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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 21 JANUARY 2022

 

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

 

Current Affairs

 

Table of Contents:

 

 

GS Paper 2:

1. What is the current rule on deputation?

2. Gujarat HC’s digital initiatives.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. ISRO test fires high-thrust Vikas engine.

2. Space Debris.

3. NASA’s Artemis Mission.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA).


What is current rule on deputation?

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Role of civil services in a democracy.

 

Context:

The Centre has proposed amendments to the IAS (Cadre) Rules in order to exercise greater control in central deputation of IAS officials.

  • Central deputation has often been at the centre of tussles between the Centre and the states.

 

What is the current rule on deputation?

Central deputation in the Indian Administrative Service is covered under Rule-6 (1) of the IAS (Cadre) Rules-1954, inserted in May 1969.

As per the rule:

A cadre officer may, with the concurrence of the State Governments concerned and the Central Government, be deputed for service under the Central Government or another State Government or under a company, association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, which is wholly or substantially owned or controlled by the Central Government or by another State Government.

 

What happens in case of disagreement?

In case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the Central Government and the State Government or State Governments concerned shall give effect to the decision of the Central Government.

  • However, existing rules did not mention any time limit for deciding on such disagreement.

 

What are the proposed amendments?

The proposal will give greater say to the Centre.

  • The amendments enable the Union government to seek the services of an Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officer posted in a State even without the State government’s consent.
  • The Centre will be able to relieve an officer from their cadre if the State government does not give effect to the Central government’s decision within the specified time.
  • In case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the central government and the state government or state governments concerned shall give effect to the decision of the central government “within a specified time”.
  • Services of an AIS officer with a specific domain expertise may be required for any important time-bound flagship programme or project.

 

What necessitated these amendments?

Various state/joint cadres are not sponsoring adequate numbers of officers for central deputation, as part of the Central Deputation Reserve. As a result of this, the number of officers available for central deputation is not sufficient to meet the requirement at Centre.

 

How many officers are working under deputation?

Only 10% mid-level IAS officers were posted with the Union government in 2021, a sharp fall from 19% in 2014.

  • The decrease in central deputation of IAS officers becomes even more stark as the total pool of such officers at this level expanded from 621 in 2014 to 1130 in 2021, an increase of around 80%.
  • According to data available with the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the number of central deputation reserve of IAS officers has gone down from 309 in 2011 to 223.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that the total strength of any cadre is calculated by including central deputation reserve (CDR), which is around 40% of the sanctioned posts?

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Rules related to All India Services.
  2. Responsibility to manage cadres of IAS, IPS and IFS.
  3. Civil services board.
  4. Who has powers to take action against civil service officials who are posted under the state government?
  5. What is Home Ministry’s deputation policy for IPS officers?

Mains Link:

Discuss what are emergency provisions under the IPS Cadre Rule, 1954.

Sources: the Hindu.

Gujarat HC’s digital initiatives:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Governance

 

Context:

Two digital services for Gujarat High court — a ‘Justice Clock’, and electronic payment of court fee, were recently inaugurated.

 

What is the ‘Justice Clock’?

  • It is an LED display of 7 feet by 10 feet, placed at a height of 17 feet from the ground.
  • Placed in high court premises.
  • This ‘Justice Clock’ will exhibit vital statistics of the justice delivery system in Gujarat, to “maximise outreach and visibility” of the work done by the state judiciary.

 

What is e-court fee and how will it help?

The online e-Courts fee system allows advocate and parties to procure judicial stamps online through electronic payment and upon submission of a PDF receipt.

 

Significance of these initiatives:

  • The two digital initiatives add to a slew of other digital measures the Gujarat HC has undertaken to cope with Covid-19.
  • Digital transformation brings in transparency and openness in court proceedings and also provides a glimpse to the public at large of how judges function.

 

Need for Digitization?

Perception about Indian courts is that courts justice delivery is with long delays and difficult for ordinary litigants. It is expected that technology will revolutionaries the justice delivery.

 

Judiciary’s Efforts During Pandemic:

  1. In the wake of the pandemic, courts began using facilities like e-filing in true earnest.
  2. In May 2020, the Supreme Court also introduced another innovation: a new system of e-filing and artificial intelligence-enabled referencing.
  3. The latest Vision Document for Phase III of the e-Courts Project seeks to address the judiciary’s digital deprivation. It envisages an infrastructure for the judicial system that is ‘natively digital’ and reflects the effect that the pandemic has had on India’s judicial timeline and thinking.

Sources: Indian Express.

ISRO test fires high-thrust Vikas engine:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Context:

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently conducted a successful qualification test of its High Thrust VIKAS Engine at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Tamil Nadu’s Mahendragiri.

  • The Vikas engine will power the ambitious Gaganyaan mission into space.

 

About the Vikas engine:

  • It is a family of liquid fuelled rocket engines.
  • It is used in the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) series of expendable launch vehicles for space launch use.

 

About Gaganyaan:

  • Formal announcement of the Gaganyaan programme was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address on August 15, 2018.
  • The initial target was to launch the human spaceflight before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence on August 15, 2022.

With this launch, India will become the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission after the USA, Russia and China.

 

Objectives:

The objective of the Gaganyaan programme is to demonstrate the capability to send humans to low earth orbit on board an Indian launch vehicle and bring them back to earth safely.

 

Preparation and launch:

  1. Four Indian astronaut-candidates have already undergone generic space flight training in Russia as part of the Gaganyaan programme.
  2. ISRO’s heavy-lift launcher GSLV Mk III has been identified for the mission.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Gaganyaan.
  2. Objectives.
  3. About GSLV.

Mains Link:

Why is Gaganyaan mission significant for India? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

Space debris:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Context:

Russia blew up one of its old satellites in November in a missile test that sparked international anger because of the space debris it scattered around the Earth’s orbit.

  • Recently, a Chinese satellite (Tsinghua Science Satellite) had a near collision with one of the many chunks of debris left by the fallout of this Russian anti-satellite missile test.

 

What’s the issue?

With more countries venturing into space with every passing decade, the problem is simply ballooning out of control and recent events, like the anti-satellite weapons test by Russia, are only exacerbating the problem.

  • The debris is now adding to the space junk problem and posing a major risk to the International Space Station (ISS) and the satellites in geostationary orbit.
  • The debris also poses a potential threat to the lives of the US, Russian, and Chinese astronauts and cosmonauts currently in space.

 

What is Space Debris?

Space debris poses a global threat to the continued use of space-based technologies that support critical functions like communication, transport, weather and climate monitoring, remote sensing.

  • Predicting collision probability from these space objects is crucial from the national security perspective as well as for the protection of public and private space assets of Indian origin.

 

Amount of space debris in space:

The real amount of space debris is said to be between 500,000 and one million pieces as current sensor technology cannot detect smaller objects. They all travel at speeds of up to 17,500 mph (28,162 kmph) fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.

 

Significance of the Project:

Outcome of this project will directly support the Indian space sector, valued at $7 billion (Rs 51,334 crore) by providing an operationally flexible, scalable, transparent and indigenous collision probability solution.

 

Technologies that can tackle the problem in future are:

Moving an object out of the way by altering its orbit is one method of diverting a potential crash, but the sheer amount of debris requires constant observation and prediction – by any means necessary.

Nasa’s Space Debris Sensor orbits the Earth on the International Space Station. The sensor was attached to the outside of the space station’s European Columbus module in December 2017. It will detect millimetre-sized pieces of debris for at least two years, providing information on whatever hits it such as size, density, velocity, orbit and will determine whether the impacting object is from space or a man-made piece of space debris.

REMOVEdebris, satellite contain two cubesats that will release simulated space debris so that it can then demonstrate several ways of retrieving them.

Deorbit mission: There are two emerging technologies being developed under what’s known as the e.Deorbit mission to grasp the wayward space junk, or to catch it.

Other technologies include moving objects with a powerful laser beam. It is important to start doing that soon, current scientific estimates predict that without active debris removal, certain orbits will become unusable over the coming decades.

 

Netra:

To safeguard its space assets from space debris, Isro had set up a dedicated Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Control Centre named “Netra in Bengaluru last December.

  • Netra’s key objective is to monitor, track and protect the national space assets and function as a hub of all SSA activities.
  • Only the US, Russia and Europe have similar facilities in place to track space objects and share collision warnings.

 

India’s Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile:

Mission Shakti is a joint programme of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

  • As part of the mission, an anti-satellite (A-SAT) weapon was launched and targeted an Indian satellite which had been decommissioned. Mission Shakti was carried out from DRDO’s testing range in Odisha’s Balasore.

 

Significance:

India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised and modern capability, and Entire effort is indigenous. Till now, only the US, Russia and China had the capability to hit a live target in space.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that anti-satellite weapons are high-tech missiles possessed by few nations?  Which countries have these weapons?

Sources: down to earth.

Artemis Program

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Context:

The first moonbound rocket and spacecraft of NASA’s Artemis program are expected to do a “wet dress rehearsal” on the launch pad in February.

 

What is Artemis?

Artemis– Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of Moon’s Interaction with the Sun.

It is NASA’s next mission to the Moon.

Objective: To measure what happens when the Sun’s radiation hits our rocky moon, where there is no magnetic field to protect it.

Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology.

 

Significance of the mission:

With the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.

 

Mission details:

  1. NASA’s powerful new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), will send astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft nearly a quarter million miles from Earth to lunar orbit.
  2. Astronauts will dock Orion at the Gateway and transfer to a human landing system for expeditions to the surface of the Moon.
  3. They will return to the orbital outpost to board Orion again before returning safely to Earth.

 

Background- Artemis 1, 2:

The agency will fly two missions around the Moon to test its deep space exploration systems.

Artemis 1 is aiming to send an uncrewed spacecraft around the moon using a combination of the never-flown Space Launch System rocket, along with the once-flown Orion spacecraft.

NASA hopes to extend the program with the moon-orbiting crewed Artemis 2 mission in 2024, then a landing on Artemis 3 in 2025, ahead of other crewed missions later in the 2020s.

 

Scientific objectives:

  1. Find and use water and other critical resources needed for long-term exploration.
  2. Investigate the Moon’s mysteries and learn more about our home planet and the universe.
  3. Learn how to live and operate on the surface of another celestial body where astronauts are just three days from home.
  4. Prove the technologies we need before sending astronauts on missions to Mars, which can take up to three years roundtrip.

 

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. Names of various craters and their locations on moon.
  2. Manned missions to Moon so far.
  3. India’s missions to moon.

Mains Link:

Write a note on NASA’s Artemis program.

Current AffairsCurrent Affairs

Sources: Indian Express.

Facts for Prelims:

 

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA):

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the equity infusion of Rs.1500 crore in Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA).

About IREDA:

  • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) is a Mini Ratna (Category – I) Government of India Enterprise under the administrative control of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
  • IREDA is a Public Limited Government Company established as a Non-Banking Financial Institution in 1987 engaged in promoting, developing and extending financial assistance for setting up projects relating to new and renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency/conservation with the motto: “ENERGY FOR EVER”.

 

The main objectives of IREDA are:

  • To give financial support to specific projects and schemes for generating electricity and / or energy through new and renewable sources and conserving energy through energy efficiency.
  • To maintain its position as a leading organization to provide efficient and effective financing in renewable energy and energy efficiency / conservation projects.
  • To increase IREDA`s share in the renewable energy sector by way of innovative financing.
  • Improvement in the efficiency of services provided to customers through continual improvement of systems, processes and resources.
  • To strive to be competitive institution through customer satisfaction.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Environment Ministry’s Proposed Changes to Wildlife Act.

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