Daily Current Affairs : 26th March

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. PSLV C-45
  2. Chandrayaan 2
  3. Regulatory Sandbox
  4. ADR Survey on factors behind voting for a candidate in an election
  5. Sharda Peeth
  6. Facts for Prelims : Abhedya, Global Energy Transition Index

1 . PSLV C-45

Context : India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its 47th mission (PSLV-C45), will launch EMISAT, the primary satellite and 28 international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. The launch is tentatively scheduled at 0930 Hrs on April 01, 2019, subject to weather conditions.

About Emisat and PS4 orbital platform

  • EMISAT has been developed for monitoring radar network by India. An ISRO release says, EMISAT, weighing 436 kg, is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement.
  • It will be placed in an orbit of about 753 km altitude
  • EMISAT based on ISROs Indian Mini Satellite-2 (IMS-2) bus platform.
  • After all the satellites are put into orbits, the fourth stage of the rocket will be propelled to a different elevation and will be used as a platform for different experiments by Indian institutions, including ISRO. Indian Institute of Space Science (IISc) and the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation are the other two institutions that will have their devices on the experimental platform.
  • Normally the rocket engine is left redundant as space debris once the launch mission is over. But ISRO uses it for such experiments for the second time in a series. During the last PSLV mission also it adopted the same innovative method.

PS4 Orbital Platform

  • The PS4 orbital platform is envisaged to provide a microgravity environment for research organisations and academic institutes to perform experiments. 
  • After all the satellites are put into orbits, the fourth stage of the rocket will be propelled to a different elevation and will be used as a platform for different experiments by Indian institutions, including ISRO. Indian Institute of Space Science (IISc) and the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation are the other two institutions that will have their devices on the experimental platform.
  • Normally the rocket engine is left redundant as space debris once the launch mission is over. But ISRO uses it for such experiments for the second time in a series. During the last PSLV mission also it adopted the same innovative method.
  • In this mission, the PS4 hosts three payloads, namely, Automatic Identification System (AIS) from ISRO, Automatic Packet Repeating System (APRS) from AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation), India and Advanced Retarding Potential Analyzer for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) from Indian Institute of Space Science and technology (IIST).

2 . Chandrayaan 2

Context : India’s lunar mission Chandrayaan 2, scheduled to launch next month, will carry NASA’s laser instruments that help scientists to make precise measurements of the distance to the Moon, according to the U.S. space agency. 

About Chandrayaan 2

  • Chandrayaan2, India’s second mission to the Moon is a totally indigenous mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover.
  • After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander housing the Rover will separate from the Orbiter. After a controlled descent, the Lander will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a Rover.
  • The mission will carry a six-wheeled Rover which will move around the landing site in semi-autonomous mode as decided by the ground commands.
  • The instruments on the rover will observe the lunar surface and send back data, which will be useful for analysis of the lunar soil.
  • The Chandrayaan-2 weighing around 3290 kg and would orbit around the moon and perform the objectives of remote sensing the moon.
  • The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice.

3 . Regulatory Sandbox

Context : The Reserve Bank of India will, in the next two months, release the guidelines for the creation of a ‘regulatory sandbox’ for the fintech sector, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Monday.

What is a FinTech sandbox?

  • A FinTech sandbox or an application program interface (API) sandbox is an environment that innovators and testers can use to mimic the characteristics exhibited by the production environment on a real-time basis to help simulate responses from all the systems an application interfaces with.
  • This enables banks and FinTech players to experiment with innovative financial products or services within a well-defined space and duration.
  • Moreover, the presence of appropriate safeguards helps in containing the consequences of failure. Essentially, the sandbox allows for the pilot testing of newly developed technologies. 

About Regulatory Sandbox

  • A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by a financial sector regulator to allow small scale, live testing of innovations by private firms in a controlled environment (operating under a special exemption, allowance, or other limited, time-bound exception) under the regulator’s supervision.
  • The concept, which was developed in a time of rapid technological innovation in financial markets, is an attempt to address the frictions between regulators’ desire to encourage and enable innovation and the emphasis on regulation
  • A regulatory sandbox introduces the potential to change the nature of the relationship between regulators and financial services providers (regulated or aspiring) toward a more open and active dialogue.
  • It may also enable the regulator to revise and shape the regulatory and supervisory framework with agility
  • A regulatory sandbox would benefit fintech companies by way of reduced time to launch innovative products at a lower cost

4 . ADR Survey on factors behind voting for a candidate in an election

Context : A nationwide survey involving more than 2.7 lakh people revealed that for 41.34% respondents, distribution of liquor, cash and freebies was an important factor behind voting for a particular candidate in an election, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms.

Key Findings

  • Though 97.86% interviewees felt that candidates with criminal background should not be in Parliament or State Assembly, 35.89% were willing to vote for a candidate with criminal records if the candidate had done good work in the past.
  • The survey has indicated that better employment opportunities and healthcare remain among the top priorities of voters. The respondents rated the government’s performance on 31 listed issues as below average.
  • On a scale of one to five, the respondents gave an average of 2.58 for better public transport, followed by 2.53 on the issue of electricity for domestic use and 2.52 for drinking water. The government’s performance on initiatives against river and lake water pollution was rated as 2.51; 2.48 for empowerment of women and security; just 1.37 on eradication of corruption; and 1.15 on the issue of terrorism.
  • As regards better employment opportunities, the interviewees gave a rating of 2.15; and on better healthcare, it was 2.35.
  • They rated the government’s performance as 2.18 for availability of water for agriculture; 2.15 for agri-loan availability; and 2.23 for higher price realisation for farm products.
  • As per the survey, better employment opportunities (46.80%), better healthcare (34.60%) and drinking water (30.50%) were the top three priorities, followed by better roads (28.34%) and better public transport (27.35%).

5 . Sharada Peeth

Context : After Kartarpur, Pakistan is proposing to open a corridor to the 5,000-year-old Sharada temple, which was once a centre of learning believed to have been established by Emperor Ashoka.

About Sharada Peeth

  • Established in 237 B.C during the reign of emperor Ashoka, the temple is located in Sharda village, which is now a tehsil headquarter, and where the Kishanganga (Neelam) river and two streams Madhumati and Sargun meet.
  • After Partition in 1947, the temple went under the control of Pakistan. It is about 150km from Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK, and about 130km from Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The peeth is also considered a historical seat of learning, and was once at par with the ancient seats of learning at Nalanda and Takshila.
  • Kashmiri Pandits consider Sharada as their “kuldevi” or principal deity. It is also one of the three famous holy sites for Kashmiri Pandits, the other two being the Martand Sun Temple in Anantnag and the Amarnath temple.
  • The Sharada Peeth is believed to be one of the foremost temple universities of the subcontinent between the 6th and 12th centuries CE. 
  • There are competing theories about when it was built, but it has been suggested that the temple is over 5,000-year-old.

6 . Facts for Prelims

Abhedya

Context : Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Training Facility – ABHEDYA”, was inaugurated at  INS Shivaji

  • This unique facility will assist Indian Navy in providing realistic simulation of  Nuclear, Chemical & Biological warfare to its personnel during their NBC damage control training, which till now was limited to theoretical training largely.”
  • It will provide realistic training to naval personnel in detection, protection against and decontamination of nuclear, biological and chemical agents, the Navy said in a statement.

Global Energy Transition Index

  • India has moved up two places to rank 76th on a global energy transition index, which has ranked 115 economies on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability.
  • Sweden remains on the top on this annual list compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) and is followed by Switzerland and Norway in the top three

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