- MCI again denies approval for 7 Rajasthan government medical colleges
- In a big blow to medical education in the state, Medical Council of India (MCI) has yet again recommended to the Centre to not give permission for the establishment of seven proposed government medical colleges in seven districts of the state.
- The state government here was hopeful of starting academic session from 2018-19 in at least five districts – Bhilwara, Bharatpur, Churu, Pali and Dungarpur. However, all applications for the proposed colleges were rejected by the MCI. The state government had little hope for Barmer and Sikar as it was not prepared for beginning with new session.
- MCI released its report at the executive committee meeting, held on December 14, 2017 in New Delhi, during which applications for new medical colleges and increasing the number of seats at the existing medical colleges in the country were discussed.
- The executive committee found that these medical colleges do not have adequate facilities leading to failure to meet the eligibility criteria for commencing as medical colleges from 2018-19.
- World’s largest solar thermal plant to be built in South Australia
- The world’s largest solar-thermal power plant has been given development approval by the South Australian government.
- Construction on the 150-megawatt Aurora plant, to be built by utility-scale solar power company Solar Reserve, will begin in 2018 at an estimated cost of $509 million.
- It will have the capacity to power 90,000 homes with eight hours of full load storage.
- Ministry of Railway launches SFOORTI Application
- In a major digital initiative to help plan the traffic flows and optimize freight operations, Ministry of Railways have launched Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information (SFOORTI)
- This is an app for Freight Managers which provides features for monitoring and managing freight business using Geographic Information System (GIS) Views and Dashboard.
- Both passenger and freight trains can be tracked over Zones/Divisions/ Sections in single GIS View. Freight business can be monitored. Comparative Analysis of Zonal/Divisional Traffic. Analysis of new traffic captured and traffic lost. This app provides a Bird’s eye view of all Freight Assets in a single window.
- GAIL to Set Up India’s 1st Coal-to-gas Conversion Plant
- India’s first plant to convert coal to synthetic gas is to be set up in Odisha under the supervision of state-run gas transmission utility GAIL, the Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
- This synthetic gas is expected to be cheaper than natural gas,” the Minister said.
- According to sources here, GAIL has roped in other public sector undertakings like Coal India, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers and Fertilizer Corp of India for the project, which will generate ammonia synthesis gas from coal.
- Kajol named ambassador for Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat
- Actress Kajol, an active supporter of eradicating preventable deaths from hygiene-related issues, has become an advocacy ambassador for a Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat initiative.
- Kajol took to Twitter to urge people to become “swachhta doot” and contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
· Reliance Jio planning to launch its own cryptocurrency
- Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd is planning to create its own cryptocurrency, JioCoin.
- The Jio coin project is being led by Mukesh Ambani’s elder son Akash AmReliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is planning to create its own cryptocurrency, JioCoin.
- The Jio coin project is being led by Mukesh Ambani’s elder son Akash Ambani.
- The blockchain is decentralized incorruptible digital ledger for storing data across a peer-to-peer network.
· Indu Malhotra is First woman lawyer to be directly promoted as SC judge
- The Supreme Court collegium led by Chief Justice of India (CI)Dipak Misra unanimously recommended the name of senior advocate Indu Malhotra for the appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court.
- With this, she becomes first woman lawyer from the country to be directly elected to the post of judge of the Supreme Court.
- Overall she will be seventh woman judge in SC since it was established 67 years ago.
- Indu Malhotra is reputed senior advocate practicing in SC or the past 30 years.
- She was born in 1956 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
· ISRO’s PSLV-C40 lifts off from Sriharikota
- ISRO’s PSLV-C40 carrying Cartosat-2series satellite and 30 other spacecraft lifts off from Sriharikota.
- The “Cartosat-2 Series” and 29 other satellites inserted into a 505-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit.
- Later, the payload Microsat developed by the ISRO will be taken down to a lower orbit at 359-kilometer height and launched using the ‘multiple engine switch-on’
- This is the fourth time the novel method has been used by the ISRO for placing satellites in multiple orbits in a single flight.
Gk bit – Space Satellites
- A satellite is a moon, planet or machine that orbits a planet or star. For example, Earth is a satellite because it orbits the sun. Likewise, the moon is a satellite because it orbits Earth. Usually, the word “satellite” refers to a machine that is launched into space and moves around Earth or another body in space.
- Earth and the moon are examples of natural satellites. Thousands of artificial, or man-made, satellites orbit Earth. Some take pictures of the planet that help meteorologists predict weather and track hurricanes.
- There are different types of Satellites launched by ISRO as follows:
- The Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system is one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in Asia-Pacific region with nine operational communication satellites placed in Geo-stationary orbit. Established in 1983 with commissioning of INSAT-1B, it initiated a major revolution in India’s communications sector and sustained the same later. GSAT-17 joins the constellation of INSAT System consisting 15 operational satellites, namely – INSAT-3A, 3C, 4A, 4B, 4CR and GSAT-6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 18.
Earth Observation Satellites
ð Starting with IRS-1A in 1988, ISRO has launched many operational remote sensing satellites. Today, India has one of the largest constellations of remote sensing satellites in operation. Currently, *thirteen* operational satellites are in Sun-synchronous orbit – RESOURCESAT-1, 2, 2A CARTOSAT-1, 2, 2A, 2B, RISAT-1 and 2, OCEANSAT-2, Megha-Tropiques, SARAL and SCATSAT-1, and *four* in Geostationary orbit- INSAT-3D, Kalpana & INSAT 3A, INSAT -3DR.
ð Varieties of instruments have been flown onboard these satellites to provide necessary data in a diversified spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions to cater to different user requirements in the country and for global usage. The data from these satellites are used for several applications covering agriculture, water resources, urban planning, rural development, mineral prospecting, environment, forestry, ocean resources and disaster management.
ð Satellite Navigation service is an emerging satellite based system with commercial and strategic applications. ISRO is committed to provide the satellite based Navigation services to meet the emerging demands of the Civil Aviation requirements and to meet the user requirements of the positioning, navigation and timing based on the independent satellite navigation system. To meet the Civil Aviation requirements, ISRO is working jointly with Airport Authority of India (AAI) in establishing the GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system. To meet the user requirements of the positioning, navigation and timing services based on the indigenous system, ISRO is establishing a regional satellite navigation system called Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)
(a) GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN):
ð This is a Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) implemented jointly with Airport Authority of India (AAI). The main objectives of GAGAN are to provide Satellite-based Navigation services with accuracy and integrity required for civil aviation applications and to provide better Air Traffic Management over Indian Airspace. The system will be interoperable with other international SBAS systems and provide seamless navigation across regional boundaries. The GAGAN Signal-In-Space (SIS) is available through GSAT-8 and GSAT-10.
(b) Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) : NavIC
This is an independent Indian Satellite based positioning system for critical National applications. The main objective is to provide Reliable Position, Navigation and Timing services over India and its neighbourhood, to provide fairly good accuracy to the user. The IRNSS will provide basically two types of services
Standard Positioning Service (SPS)
Restricted Service (RS)
Wherever, Standard Positioning Service (SPS) for civilian users and
Restricted Service (RS) for strategic users.
ð AstroSat is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical and UV spectral bands simultaneously. The payloads cover the energy bands of Ultraviolet (Near and For), limited optical and X-ray regime (0.3 keV to 100keV). One of the unique features of AstroSat mission is that it enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite.
ð AstroSat with a lift-off mass of 1515 kg was launched on September 28, 2015 into a 650 km orbit inclined at an angle of 6 deg to the equator by PSLV-C30 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The minimum useful life of the AstroSat mission is expected to be 5 years.
Mars Orbiter Mission
ð Mars Orbiter Mission is ISRO’s first interplanetary mission to planet Mars with an orbiter craft designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit of 372 km by 80,000 km. Mars Orbiter mission can be termed as a challenging technological mission and a science mission considering the critical mission operations and stringent requirements on propulsion, communications and other bus systems of the spacecraft.
ð Chandrayaan-1, India’s first mission to Moon, was launched successfully on October 22, 2008 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. The spacecraft was orbiting around the Moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon. The spacecraft carried 11 scientific instruments built in India, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria.
- Chandrayaan-2 will be an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission to Moon.Chandrayaan-2 is configured as a two module system comprising of an Orbiter Craft module (OC) and a Lander Craft module (LC) carrying the Rover developed by ISRO.
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