India showcases A-SAT missile prowess
India showcased its anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile capability to the world as the weapon, Mission Shakti, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), rolled out on the Rajpath during the 71st Republic Day parade.
About A-SAT missile –
- It is an interceptor missile that destroys or jams satellites in space.
- Two types of A-SATs: Kinetic and Non-Kinetic A-SATs.
- Kinetic A-SATs, like ballistic missiles physically strike an object in order to destroy it.
- Non-Kinetic A-SATs are the ones that use non-physical means to disable or destroy space objects, which include frequency jamming, blinding lasers or cyber attacks.
- The theoretical maximum range of A-SATs is limited which means satellites above 20,000 km are out of range.
Local villagers use gram sabhas to oppose hydrocarbon, INO projects
Villagers in different parts of Tamil Nadu used gram sabha meetings, organised on Republic Day, to pass resolutions against initiatives such as the hydrocarbon exploration and India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) projects, which, they feared, would be detrimental to their respective regions.
About INO –
- INO involves the construction of an underground laboratory in Theni District, about 110 kilometres west of Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
- The project location was initially decided to be located in the Nilgiris but later, on grounds that it was too close to tiger habitat, was moved to a cavern under a rocky mountain in the Bodi West Hills.
- It involves Inter-Institutional Centre for High Energy Physics (IICHEP) and Iron Calorimeter Detector (ICAL).
- There is a proposal to construct a magnetised Iron Calorimeter in order to study the properties of the neutrino, specifically, the mass hierarchy in various types of neutrino. It will be the largest in the world weighing over 50,000 tonnes.
- Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Atomic Energy jointly support the project.
What are neutrinos?
Neutrinos are electrically neutral, elementary weakly interacting subatomic particles with half-integer spin. Neutrinos are similar to the more familiar electron, with one crucial difference: neutrinos do not carry electric charge. Because neutrinos are electrically neutral, they are not affected by the electromagnetic forces which act on electrons.
Palestinians threaten to quit Oslo Accords
Palestinian officials threatened to withdraw from key provisions of the Oslo Accords. which define relations with Israel, if US President Donald Trump announces his West Asia peace plan next week.
What are Oslo Accords?
After many rounds of talks, Israeli Government and Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Organisation entered into a peace agreement in the year 1993, according to which
- Israel and PLO will formally recognise each other’s right to exist.
- A new Palestine authority (PA) will be formed, it’ll have elected Arab representatives.
- Israel will gradually handover the administration of Gaza strip and West Bank, to this Palestine Authority (PA).
But Hamas was opposed to Oslo accords. Elections were held, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah party won majority seats and he became the first President of Palestine Authority (PA).
Padma Awards 2020 announced
The Union Government has announced the Padma Awards for the year 2020 on the eve of Republic Day.
About Padma Awards –
- Padma Awards – one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
- The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.
- ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service;
- ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and;
- ’Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field.
- The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.
Prelims Facts –
Tatrakshak Awards are awarded to the personnel of Indian Coast Guard on Republic Day and Independence Day every year since January 26, 1990.