Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

19th November 2019 Current Affairs

1. Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched the Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh (BPKK) in New Delhi.

  • The BPKK will be a repository of diverse crops across agro-climatic zones in India for better nutritional outcomes.
  • The country has been broadly divided into fifteen agricultural regions based on agro climatic features, particularly soil type, climate including temperature and rainfall and its variation and water resources.
  • During the launch event, the father of the Green Revolution in India, M S Swaminathan put forward the five-point action programme for making India nutrition secure. These are:
    • Ensure calorie rich diet for women, expectant mothers and children.
    • Ensure intake of proteins in the form of pulses to eradicate protein hunger in women and children.
    • Eradicate hidden hunger due to deficiency of micronutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B, Iron and Zinc.
    • Ensure clean drinking water supply.
    • Spreading nutrition literacy in every village particularly in mothers with children less than 100 days’ old.
  • The five point action programme also aligns with different Sustainable Development Goals such as SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Well Being) and SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).

The Government has launched programmes such as POSHAN Abhiyaan and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) to tackle malnutrition prevalent in the country

2. Starlink Network by SpaceX

SpaceX, one of the world’s leading private company in space technology  has launched the Starlink Network in Lower Earth Orbit (LEO) aimed at providing low-cost and reliable space-based internet services to the world.

  • Currently, fibre optic cables or wireless networks through mobile towers provide internet services.
  • It can be noted that the idea of space internet system is not new. It is being used through Geostationary Satellite for selective users.

Starlinks

  • Starlink is a project by SpaceX to build a broadband network with a cluster of orbiting spacecraft that could eventually number thousands.
  • The Starlink network is one of several ongoing efforts to start beaming data signals from space.

Space Internet with Geostationary Satellite

  • Most of the existing space-based Internet systems use satellites in geostationary orbit.
  • Geostationary orbit is located at a 000000height of 35,786 km over the Earth’s surface, directly above the Equator.
  • Satellites in this orbit completes one revolution of the Earth at the same time that the earth rotates once on its axis.
  • To the observer on the ground, therefore, a satellite in a geostationary orbit appears stationary.
  • Advantages:
    • Coverage: The signals from one geostationary satellite can cover roughly a third of the planet — and three to four satellites would be enough to cover the entire Earth.
    • Easier Connectivity: As satellites appear to be stationary, it is easier to link to them.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Latency Issues: The transmission from a satellite in geostationary orbit has a latency of about 600 milliseconds. The geostationary satellites are located at higher altitudes compared to LEO, thus the longer the distance that needs to be covered results into greater latency.

Space Internet with Low Earth Orbiting Satellite

The Low Earth Orbit extends up to 2,000 km above the Earth’s surface.

  • Advantages:
    • Reduced Latency: The presence of satellite at a lower height from the Earth’s surface, will help to bring the lag down to 20-30 milliseconds, roughly the time it takes for terrestrial systems to transfer data.
    • More Viable: The signals from satellites in space can overcome obstacles faced by fibre-optic cables or wireless networks easily.
    • The traditional ways to deliver the internet — fibre-optic cables or wireless networks are not feasible in remote areas or places with difficult terrain.
    • Setting up cables or mobile towers in these areas is not viable.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Coverage: Due to its lower height, its signals cover a relatively small area. As a result, many more satellites are needed in order to reach signals to every part of the planet. The satellites in these orbits travel at more than double the speed of satellites in geostationary orbit to balance the effects of gravity. Thus, many more satellites are needed in the network to eliminate breaks in transmission of data.
    • Space Debris: It will generate more space debris.
    • Difficulty in Space Studies: The constellations of space internet satellites will make it difficult to observe other space objects, and to detect their signals.
    • Light Pollution: There will be an increased risk of light pollution.
    • Light reflected from the man-made satellites can interfere with — and be mistaken for — light coming from other space bodies.

3. Centre bans Meghalaya-based insurgent group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council

The central government has banned ‘Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC)’, a Meghalaya-based insurgent group, for its increased activities of violence and other insurgent acts. Centre also notified that HNLC’s activities are detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India.

The central government declared the HNLC, along with all its factions, wings and front organisations as unlawful association in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967. Earlier, the HNLC was declared a banned organisation on 16 November 2000 but the ban was later lifted.

Why is HNLC Banned?

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notified that HNLC along with all its factions, wings and frontal organisations has been openly declaring secession of certain regions that are largely inhabited by Khasi and Jaintia tribals in Meghalaya from Indian Union as its objective.

The group continues to bully and intimidate civilians to extort funds. It also maintains links with other insurgent groups of Northeast region to carry out the acts of extortion and intimidation. HNLC maintains camps in Bangladesh to give sanctuary and training to its cadre. If these activities are not immediately curbed and controlled, the HNLC will regroup and rearm itself, expand its cadre base, procure sophisticated weapons, thus cause loss of lives of civilians and security forces, as well as accelerate its anti-national activities.Recent Activities: The ministry also listed violence perpetrated by HNLC in recent past that include 4 incidents involving killing of 1 civilian, during the period from 1 January 2015, to 31 July 2019, arrest of 16 of its cadres, recovery of 4 weapons, surrender of 14 of its cadres and kidnapping of 4 persons.

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