- Aeolus is a European wind survey satellite launched by Arianespace, world’s leading satellite launch company.
- It is part of the Copernicus project, a joint initiative of the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA) to track environmental damage and aid disaster relief operations.
- It is the fifth of the ESA’s planned Earth Explorer missions and Arianespace’s 50th launch for ESA.
- It was recently launched from French Guiana using Vega rocket.
- It will use advanced laser technology to track global winds and improve weather forecasts.
- The satellite is equipped with Doppler wind lidar, an advanced laser system designed to accurately measure global wind patterns from space.
- It will probe the lowermost 30 kilometres of the atmosphere in measuring winds around the Earth.
- It is the world’s first space mission to gather information on Earth’s wind on a global scale.
Doppler wind Lidar
- It is an advanced laser system designed to accurately measure global wind patterns from space.
- The Doppler lidar transmits short, powerful pulses of laser light toward Earth in the ultraviolet spectrum.
- Particles in the air – moisture, dust, gases – scatter a small fraction of that light energy back to the transceiver, where it is collected and recorded.
Biodiversity Heritage Sites
- In a move that is expected to provide an impetus to the restoration and protection of the rich ecosystems, the Tamil Nadu State Biodiversity Board has initiated steps to identify and declare Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS).
- The purpose is to enhance the quality of life of the local communities through this conservation measure. It will be flagged in the tourism map of the area which will bring in additional revenue for the people.
- Some of the potential sites that are proposed by board members are Vagaikulam tank in Tirunelveli. Vagaikulam is an important nesting area for many migratory bird species. It attracts over 10,000 birds and about 90 species, including cormorants and herons. However, the place is facing a threat due to the rampant cutting down of trees. Veerasamuthiram panchayat has also requested the government to declare Vagaikulam tank as BHS. Another site is Arittapatti, a tiny village on the outskirts of Madurai, that has emerged as a hotspot for birding.
- A large number of raptor (bird of prey) are spotted here. Highly Endangered Laggar Falcon, which is the only specimen recorded in South India, is found here. Close to 20 varieties of big and small raptor are found in the region. The village is also home for Pandiya period rock-cut cave temple and Tamil Brahmi inscriptions making it an ideal site for BHS tag. Udhayan said BHS need not necessarily be only rich in flora and fauna. “We considered sites that are endemic to native dog breeds and domesticated species.”
Inflammatory bowel disease
- Recently an Indian-American scientist has identified as many as 50 protein biomarkers that can non-invasively detect inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
- It is a gut disorder that leads to diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and weight loss.
- IBD occurs when the body’s immune system fights its intestinal cells.
- Two of the most common types are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, both of which cause inflammation in the digestive tract.
National Service and Tracking of Electronic Processes
- It is a collaboration between Case Information Software (CIS), Web portal and Mobile Application.
- It is a transparent and secure system for transmission of process from one location to another, and shall address delays in process serving particularly for processes beyond jurisdiction.
- NSTEP will lead to secured auto generation of processes with unique QR Code through CIS, publishing processes on portal and transmission of processes to other court complexes in the country and ultimately to mobile app of the bailiffs.
- A facility to send electronic processes directly to registered mail of the addressee by secured mechanism, to upload documents associated with process and facilities like tracking GPS where process is served or otherwise, obtaining photograph and on screen signature after service is provided.
- Immediate communication of status of service of process to Court and stake holders will be done and there is a secured dedicated system for transmission of processes from one district to another or from one state to another with travel time in seconds.
- The status of service can also be tracked on public portal. It will empower litigants to take immediate follow up action which will reduce delays.
- It is a unified portal wherein facility to pay online court fees is provided.
- The platform is user-friendly which can be used with very little self-help.
- At present, the facility will be made operational in two states – Maharashtra and Haryana.
- The eCourts Mission Mode Project (Phase I 2010-15; Phase II 2015-19) is a national eGovernance project for ICT enablement of the district and subordinate courts of the country.
- The major objectives of the Project are to make whole judicial system ICT enabled by putting in place adequate and modern hardware and connectivity.
3D Printed Reef
- World’s largest 3D-printed reef was installed in Maldives to help save corals.
- The artificial reef was developed using computer modelling and a 3D printer at a lab in Melbourne, Australia,.
- It was designed to resemble reef structures typically found in the Maldives.
- It aims to help coral reefs survive the ravages of climate change and warming waters.
- 3D printing technology offers a new way of saving the corals to fight with global warming, bleaching and environmental pollution.
- ICESat-2 is a part of NASA’s Earth Observing System.
- It is a planned satellite mission for measuring ice sheet elevation and sea ice freeboard.
- It will be launched on 15 September 2018 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, into a near-circular, near-polar orbit with an altitude of approximately 496 km.
- Mission Duration for three years and will carry enough propellant for seven years.
- It will provide topography measurements of cities, lakes and reservoirs, oceans and land surfaces around the globe.
- The ICESat-2 project is being managed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
- The satellite will launch on a Delta II rocket provided by United Launch Alliance.
National Logistics Portal
- The portal is being developed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- It is a digital platform to bring all stakeholders in the logistics sector on board to cut down transaction cost and time for businesses.
- It will act as a single window online market place for trade.
- Stakeholders like traders, manufacturers, logistics service providers, infrastructure providers, financial services, government departments and groups and associations will all be on one platform.
- There are four main components of the portal – logistics e-market place, logistics certification platform, integrated regulatory platform and banking and financial services platform.
- The portal is developed to achieve the government’s target of reducing the logistics cost from the present 14% of GDP to less than 10% by 2022.
National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG)
- The NJDG for district & subordinate courts has been created as an online platform which now provides information relating to judicial proceedings/decisions of 16,089 computerized district and subordinate courts of the country.
- The portal provides online information to litigants such as details of case registration, cause list, case status, daily orders, and final judgments.
- Currently litigants can access case status information in respect of over 10 crore cases and more than 7 crore orders / judgments.
- Case information is thus available speedily to the petitioners and respondents.
- The eCourts portal and National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) also serve as tools of efficient court and case management for judiciary which aids in disposal of pending cases.
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
- It is a professional association that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places around the world.
- Now headquartered in Paris, ICOMOS was founded in 1965 in Warsaw as a result of the Venice Charter of 1964 and offers advice to UNESCO on World Heritage Sites.
The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS)
- The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS), a body of geological timekeepers.
- It was formed in 1974.
- It is the largest and oldest constituent scientific body in the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).
- It had divided the Holocene Epoch, which began 11,700 years ago
- At the 8,200-year and 4,200-year points, thereby creating the Greenlandian, the Northgrippian and the Meghalayan Ages.
National Crime Records Bureau
- The NCRB is a government agency responsible for collecting and analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
- NCRB is headquartered in New Delhi and is part of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- NCRB was set-up in 1986 to function as a repository of information on crime and criminals so as to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators.
- It was set up based on the recommendation of the Task force and National Police Commission by merging the Directorate of Coordination and Police Computer (DCPC), Statistical Branch of BPR&D, Inter State Criminals Data Branch of CBI and Central Finger Print Bureau of CBI.
- NCRB brings out three annual reports i.e. Crime in India, Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India and Prison Statistics India. These reports are principal reference points for police officers, researchers, media & policy makers.
- Besides, the Bureau is also collecting Crime Statistics and Anti-human Trafficking statistics on monthly basis. The complete software package of ‘Monthly Crime Statistics’ has been released in the month of December, 2016.
- To Empower Indian Police with Information Technology and criminal Intelligence to enable them to uphold law and protect people.
- To provide leadership and excellence in crime analysis particularly for serious and organized crime.
- Create and maintain secure sharable National Databases on crimes and criminals for law enforcement agencies and promote their use for public service delivery.
- Collect and process crime statistics at the national level and clearing house of information on crime and criminals both at National and International levels.
- Training and capacity building in Police Forces in Information Technology and Finger Print Science.