UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 13-June-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. Sahakar Mitra Scheme

  2. National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs)

  3. Quality Council of India

  4. Flood Warning System – iFLOWS

  5. India-Japan Moon mission

  6. NASA picks Astrobotic to land water-hunting rover on Moon

  7. NASA postpones Mars rover Perseverance launch to July 20

  8. Lonar lake


SAHAKAR MITRA SCHEME

Why in news?

  • Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar launched Sahakar Mitra: Scheme on Internship Programme, an initiative by National Cooperative Development Corporation.


Highlights:

  • Sahakar Mitra scheme will help cooperative institutions access new and innovative ideas of young professionals while the interns will gain experience of working in the field to be self-reliant

  • It will provide the young professionals an opportunity of practical exposure and learning from the working of NCDC and cooperatives as a paid intern.

  • NCDC has also introduced a complementary scheme to promote start-up cooperative ventures. 

  • Under the scheme, professional graduates in disciplines such as Agriculture and allied areas,IT etc. will be eligible for internship. 

  • Professionals who are pursuing or have completed their MBA degrees in Agri-business, Cooperation, Finance, International Trade, Forestry, Rural Development, Project Managementetc. will also be eligible.


Source : PIB (https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1631249 )


NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF PHARMACEUTICAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH (NIPERS)

Why in news?

  • National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs), under the aegis of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers makes its place in top ten  Institutions  of Higher Education in pharma  category.


Highlights:

  • National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) is the first national level institute in pharmaceutical sciences with a proclaimed objective of becoming a centre of excellence for advanced studies and research in pharmaceutical sciences.

  • The Government of India has declared NIPER as an 'Institute of National Importance'.

  • It is an autonomous body set up under the aegis of Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India.

  • The Institute is conceived to provide leadership in pharmaceutical sciences and related areas not only within the country, but also to the countries in South East Asia, South Asia and Africa.

  • NIPER is a member of Association of Indian Universities and Association of Commonwealth Universities.


Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1631249 )


QUALITY COUNCIL OF INDIA

Why in news?

  • Shri Piyush Goyal reviews the Quality Council of India.


Highlights:

  • Quality Council of India is a non-profit autonomous society, under the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), with the mandate to establish an accreditation structure in the country and to spread quality movement in India by undertaking a National Quality Campaign.

  • The Mission of QCI is to lead nationwide quality movement in India by involving all stakeholders for emphasis on adherence to quality standards in all spheres of activities primarily for promoting and protecting interests of the nation and its citizens.

  • Quality certification should be rational, transparent, reliable and free from any malpractices


Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1631249 )


FLOOD WARNING SYSTEM - iFLOWS

Why in news?

  • Mumbai will soon be able to predict floods before they happen, helping protect property and save lives


Highlights:

  • iFLOWS- Mumbai, a state-of the-art Integrated Flood Warning System for Mumbai has been launched through video conference jointly by Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Uddhav Thackeray and Union Earth Sciences Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan today.

  • Floods to be estimated 3 days in advance, at ward-level

  • Decision Support System will enable smart decision-making and field action based on risk assessment

  • The system will help make the city become more resilient, by providing early warning for flooding especially during high rainfall events and cyclones. 

Working :

  • The system uses rain gauge data and local data such as data on land use, land topography, drainage systems, water bodies in the city, tide levels, infrastructure and population, which has been provided by BMC.

  • Using these as inputs, the prediction system models weather, rainfall, runoff and water movement, tide and storm surge impacts based on which early Flood Warnings for the city will be provided.

  • It will address the flood inundation due to rainfall, river bank breach, storm surge, obstruction of flow due to roads, buildings, rail lines, high tides and sea level rise.


Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1631249 )


INDIA-JAPAN MOON MISSION

Why in news?

  • Even as both the countries continue to battle Covid-19 pandemic, Japan, which will be launching a joint lunar mission with India — Lunar Polar Exploration (LPE) — that hopes to put a lander and rover on Moon’s surface has, for the first time, spelled out details of the project that will see ISRO lead the lander development.


Highlights:

  • As per details shared by Japanese space agency JAXA, the mission will be launched after 2023 — Isro currently has its human spaceflight programme (Gaganyaan) scheduled for 2022 — and will involve a lander and a rover.

  • JAXA diagrams show that the Japanese would be building the overall landing module and the rover, while Isro would develop the lander system. 

  • The mission will be launched from Japan, and the designated launch vehicle is the H3 rocket, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. 

  • The mission’s aim is to obtain actual data regarding the quantity of water from in-situ observations of areas where water is anticipated to exist, based on the available past observational data.

  • It also seeks to understand the distribution, conditions, form and other parameters of the lunar water resources in the polar regions. 


Source : TOI ( https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/amid-covid-indo-japan-moon-mission-takes-shape-isro-to-lead-lander-tech/articleshow/76348152.cms )


NASA PICKS ASTROBOTIC TO LAND WATER-HUNTING ROVER ON MOON

Why in news?

  • NASA has awarded Pittsburgh-based space robotics startup Astrobotic $199.5 million to deliver a water-hunting rover to the Moons South Pole in late 2023.


Highlights:

  • The water-seeking mobile VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) robot will help pave the way for astronaut missions to the lunar surface beginning in 2024.

  • Scientific data gathered by VIPER also inform the selection of future landing sites for astronaut Artemis missions by helping to determine locations where water and other resources can be harvested to sustain humans during extended expeditions.

  • VIPER’s flight to the Moon is part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, which leverages the capabilities of industry partners to quickly deliver scientific instruments and technology demonstrations to the Moon.

  •  Astrobotic is responsible for end-to-end services for delivery of VIPER, including integration with its Griffin lander, launch from Earth, and landing on the Moon.

  • During its 100-Earth-day mission, the approximately 454-kg VIPER rover will roam several miles and use its four science instruments to sample various soil environments.

  • The versions of its three water-hunting instruments will fly to the Moon on earlier CLPS lander deliveries in 2021 and 2022 to help test their performance on the lunar surface prior to VIPER’s mission.

  • VIPER will collect data—including the location and concentration of ice—that will be used to inform the first global water resource maps of the Moon.

  • Its science investigations will provide insights into the evolution of the Moon and the Earth-Moon system.


Source : Tribune India ( https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/science-technology/nasa-picks-astrobotic-to-land-water-hunting-rover-on-moon-98186 )


NASA POSTPONES MARS ROVER PERSEVERANCE LAUNCH TO JULY 20

Why in news?

  • NASA has postponed the launch of its Perseverance Mars rover to July 20 after the team determined that it needed additional time to repair an issue with the ground system equipment. 


Highlights:

  • Perseverance was earlier scheduled to lift off aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket on July 17.

  • Perseverance, the centerpiece of NASA's Mars 2020 mission,  will hunt for signs of ancient life in Jezero crater, which hosted a lake and a river delta billions of years ago

  • The rover will characterise the area's geology and perform a number of other tasks

  • Perseverance will also collect and cache dozens of Mars samples for future return to Earth

  • NASA and the European Space Agency are working together on the sample-retrieval plan, which could bring the Red Planet material here as early as 2031

  • Charged with returning astronauts to the Moon by 2024, NASA will establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASA's Artemis lunar exploration plans. 


Source : Tribune India ( https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/science-technology/nasa-postpones-mars-rover-perseverance-launch-to-july-20-98217 )


LONAR LAKE

Why in news?

  • A day after the colour of water in Lonar lake in Buldhana district turned pink, the State Forest Department has sent samples to National Environmental Engineering Research Institute in Nagpur and Agarkar Research Institute in Pune.


Highlights:

  • Formed after a meteorite hit the Earth some 50,000 years ago, Lonar lake has saline water and is a notified national geo-heritage monument.

  • As Lonar lake is located within a sanctuary, the Forest Department is responsible for its maintenance. 

  • The change in colour of the lake, having a mean diameter of 1.2 km, has not only surprised the locals, but also nature enthusiasts and scientists.

  • Mr. Rathod said some experts have attributed the change to the mixing of dunaliella algae with halo bacteria, forming a beta carotine pigment and turning the water pink. 

  • here have been such instances in other parts of the world. In a lake in Iran, the water turns reddish due to increase in salinity. We are still studying the phenomenon, but it is certain that no artificial occurrence resulted in the change in colour.


Source : Hindu ( https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/samples-from-lonar-lake-sent-for-testing/article31816780.ece )


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