8th January – Prelims Booster

Vaikunta Festival

Srirangam was soaked in religious fervour as thousands of devotees thronged the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple and offered worship to Namperumal on the occasion of Vaikunta Ekadasi.

About Vaikunta Ekadasi Festival –

  • Vaikunta Ekadashi is the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi that occurs during the Dhanu/Margazhi month in the Hindu calendar (December-early January).
  • The Vaishnava (worshippers of Vishnu) sect believes that ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’ or ‘the gate to the Lord’s Inner Sanctum’ is opened on this day.
  • The Shaiva sect observes the day as Trikoti Ekadashi, a religious observance where all the deities in the Hindu pantheon pay obeisance to Lord Shiva at once.
  • It is celebrated at Sri Rangam (Tamil Nadu) and Tirupati.
  • The processional deity of Sri Rangam is named Namperumal.


Union Health Minister has launched NetSCoFAN, a network of research & academic institutions working in the area of food & nutrition.

What is it?

  • It would comprise of eight groups of institutions working in different areas viz. biological, chemical, nutrition & labelling, food of animal origin, food of plant origin, water & beverages, food testing, and safer & sustainable packaging.
  • FSSAI has identified eight Nodal Institutions who would develop a ‘Ready Reckoner’ that will have inventory of all research work, experts and institutions and would carry out and facilitate research, survey and related activities.
  • It would identify research gaps in respective areas and collect, collate and develop database on food safety issues for risk assessment activities.

Significance –

The need for identify research gaps in respective areas and collect, collate and develop database on food safety issues for risk assessment activities, will be addressed by NetSCoFAN.

Indian Data Relay Satellite System

India plans to ring in its own era of space-to-space tracking and communication of its space assets this year by putting up a new satellite series called the Indian Data Relay Satellite System (IDRSS).

Details –

  • The IDRSS is planned to track and be constantly in touch with Indian satellites, in particular those those in low earth orbits which have limited coverage of earth.
  • It will be a series of two satellites that will track, send and receive information from other Indian Satellites.
  • IDRSS satellites of the 2,000 kg class would be launched on the GSLV launcher to geostationary orbits around 36,000 km away.

Significance –

  • The first beneficiary would be the prospective crew members of the Gaganyaan mission of 2022 who can be fully and continuously in touch with mission control throughout their travel.
  • In the coming years, it will be vital to Indian Space Research Organisation, whose roadmap is dotted with advanced LEO missions such as space docking, space station, as well as distant expeditions to moon, Mars and Venus.

Daily MCQs

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