- It is Sikkim’s first-ever airport.
- It is perched between the Himalayan ranges at a height of 4,500 ft.
- The Pakyong airport will be the country’s 100th functional airport.
- It which will bring the State of Sikkim on the country’s aviation map.
- It is a greenfield airport, being the Northeast’s first.
- It is skilfully engineered to include soil reinforcement and slope stabilisation techniques in the context of the altitude it has been built in.
- The largest of China’s administrative regions, Xinjiang borders eight countries – Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India – and until recently its population was mostly Uighur.
- It has been under Chinese control since 1949 when the communist People’s Republic of China was established.
- Some activists, including those who seek independence from China, refer to the region as East Turkestan.
Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently conducted first successful trials of indigenously developed third generation Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM).
- The MPATGM is a third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), which has been under development by DRDO in partnership with Indian defense contractor VEM Technologies Ltd. since 2015.
- Fitted with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead, the MPATGM reportedly boasts a top attack capability and has a maximum engagement range of about 2.5 kilometers.
Ordinance in Indian Constitution
- An ordinance is an executive order issued by the President of India/Governor of State that holds the same force and effect as an Act passed by the Parliament/state legislature.
- The President has the power to issue ordinances under Article 123 of the Constitution.
- If at any time, except when both Houses of Parliament are in session, the President is satisfied that circumstances exist, he may promulgate Ordinances.
- The maximum validity of an ordinance is 6 months and 6 weeks.
- It shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament and shall cease to operate at the expiration of six weeks from the reassembly of Parliament, or, of before the expiration of that period resolutions disapproving it are passed by both Houses.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is setting up a third launch pad at Sriharikota to undertake the Gaganyaan manned space flight programme.
- ISRO will use its GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle, which can carry the heavier payload of the Gaganyaan, and this will take off from the new launch pad.
- In addition, ISRO is scouting for a location on the western sea coast near Gujarat to set up another launch pad for Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLV).
- ISRO is developing the SSLV to offer affordable launch options for smaller satellites through Antrix, the space agency’s commercial arm.
- ISRO currently piggybacks smaller satellites on the PSLV and GSLV along with bigger satellites.
- The SSLV is expected to reduce the launch time as well as cost less to launch small satellites.
- India is set for a quantum jump in the way it undertakes drone operations by upgrading from existing ground control stations to satellite-control of military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
- This significant capability boost will come with the launch of GSAT-7A, an advanced military communications satellite built by ISRO.
- The satellite is specially geared for RPA (remotely-piloted aircraft) operations.
- The GSAT-7A, developed for IAF, will be the country’s second dedicated military satellite after GSAT-7 or ‘Rukmini’ was launched for the Navy in 2013.
Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP)
- DRIP is a state sector scheme with center’s assistance.
- The project was launched in 2012 by Central Water Commission (CWC).
- It is under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation.
- DRIP has been taken up with loan assistance of the World Bank.
- It is for rehabilitation and improvement of about 250 dams.
- Initially it is in seven States (namely Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand).
NovaSAR and S1-4
- Recently ISROs PSLV-C42 lifted off for the launch of two satellites from the United Kingdom – NovaSAR and S1-4 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
- The two satellites, owned by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) were placed in a circular orbit around the poles, 583 km from Earth.
- The commercial arm of ISRO, Antrix Corporation earned more than ₹220 crore on this launch.
- This would be the 44th flight of the PSLV and the third launch by ISRO this year. The PSLV-C-42 is the lightest version of the PSLV flying in its core-alone version without the six strap-on motors.
- The NovaSAR is a technology demonstration mission designed to test the capabilities of a new low cost S-band SAR platform. It will be used for ship detection and maritime monitoring and also flood monitoring, besides agricultural and forestry applications.
- The S1-4 is a high-resolution Optical Earth Observation Satellite, used for surveying resources, environment monitoring, urban management and for disaster monitoring.
Integrated Control Room for Emergency Response
- Home Ministry and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) have signed a MoU for setting up of a state-of-the-art Integrated Control Room for Emergency Response (ICR-ER) in Home Ministry.
- ISRO will render its technical expertise for setting up of proposed ICR-ER whereas the project will be executed under the overall supervision of MHA.
- The proposed Control Room is expected to be established in next one-and-a-half year.
- The ICR-ER will cater to the requirement of Disaster Management as well as Internal Security.
The Budget Dashboard
- The budget dashboard is an internal web portal comprising information on budget, expenditure and bill payment positions.
- The ‘budget dashboard’ incorporates features for Ministry of AYUSH and Department of Health Research.
- The internal web portal is user identity and password enabled.
- On ‘dashboard budget’, expenditure information is available in snapshots.
- Details on various categories, such as flagship schemes, central sector expenditure are also available.
- The dashboard has unique features for bill position of all India pay and accounts offices (PAOs) of this ministry and it reflects the reason for return of bills.
- Exercise Aviaindra is an Air Force level exercise between India and the Russian Federation.
- First Aviaindra was conducted in 2014.
- It has been planned as a bi-annual exercise.
- The aim of the exercise is focused towards anti-terrorist operations in a bi-lateral scenario.
Stree Swabhiman Initiative
- Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) has launched Stree Swabhiman Initiative.
- It is striving to create a sustainable model for providing affordable and accessible sanitary products close to the homes of adolescent women and girls in rural areas.
- The initiative is driven by awareness and personalized outreach by women entrepreneurs who produce and market sanitary napkins themselves.
- The initiative aspires to play its part in reducing the gender divide in access to development opportunities for women and girls which sadly affects access to education, health, and workforce participation.
- Under this initiative, semi-automatic and manual sanitary napkin manufacturing units will be set up at CSC for producing affordable and eco-friendly sanitary napkins.
- These micro manufacturing units will be operated by women entrepreneurs and generate employment for 8-10 women.
1st hydrogen-powered train
- Germany has rolled out the world’s first hydrogen-powered train.
- The hydrogen-powered train is costlier but eco-friendlier.
- Hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, a process that leaves steam and water as the only emissions.
- Excess energy is stored in ion lithium batteries on board the train.
- The Paryatan Parv will showcase the cultural diversity of the country, with cultural performances, crafts bazaar, food court showcasing folk and classical dance & music, handicrafts & handlooms and cuisine from all regions and States of the country.
- The Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with other Central Ministries, State Governments and Stakeholders is organizing “Paryatan Parv” across the country.
- The programme is being organized with the objective of drawing focus on the benefits of tourism, showcasing the cultural diversity of the country and reinforcing the principle of “Tourism for All”.
- The second edition of ‘Paryatan Parv’ of the Ministry of Tourism has begun across the country.
Capacity Development Scheme
- Cabinet approves continuation of Capacity Development Scheme for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
- The Capacity Development Scheme is an Ongoing Central Sector Scheme of MoSPI.
- The overall objective of the scheme is to augment infrastructural, technical as well as manpower resources for making available credible and timely Official Statistics for policy makers and public at large.
Tribal Circuit Project
- First Tribal Circuit Project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme will be inaugurated in Chhattisgarh. This is the second project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme being inaugurated in the country.
- The Tourism Ministry had launched ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme with an objective to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country. These tourist circuits will be developed on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.
- The Swadesh Darshan scheme is 100% centrally funded for the project components undertaken for public funding.
- To leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate sector.
- Funding of individual project will vary from state to state and will be finalised on the basis of detailed project reports prepared by PMC (Programme Management Consultant).
- A National Steering Committee (NSC) will be constituted with Minister in charge of M/O Tourism as Chairman, to steer the mission objectives and vision of the scheme.
- A Mission Directorate headed by the Member Secretary, NSC as a nodal officer will help in identification of projects in consultation with the States/ UTs governments and other stake holders.
- PMC will be a national level consultant to be appointed by the Mission Directorate.
UN Interagency Task Force
- A July 2013 resolution at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) formally established the UN Interagency Task Force on NCDs by expanding the mandate of the existing UN Ad Hoc Interagency Task Force on Tobacco Control.
- The Task Force is convened and led by WHO, and reports to ECOSOC through the UN Secretary General.
- UN Interagency Task Force (UNIATF) on the Prevention and Control of NCDs coordinates activities of relevant United Nations funds, programmes and specialised agencies and other intergovernmental organisations, to support the realisation of the commitments made in the UN Political Declaration on NCDs, in particular through the implementation of the WHO Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020.
- Following the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, UNIATF’s scope of work was expanded in 2016 to include “NCD related SDGs” – i.e. mental health, violence and injuries, nutrition, and environmental issues that impact on NCDs.