11th December 2019 : Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Exam : Prelims Sure Shot
- India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its fiftieth flight (PSLV-C48), successfully launched RISAT-2BR1 along with nine commercial satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
- PSLV-C48 lifted-off at 1525 hrs (IST) from the First Launch Pad.
- After 16 minutes and 23 seconds, RISAT-2BR1 was successfully injected into an orbit of 576 km.
- Subsequently, nine commercial satellites were injected into their intended orbits.
- After separation, the two solar arrays of RISAT-2BR1 were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite.
- In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.
- This is PSLV’s 50th successful mission. The occasion was also the 75th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.
- It is a radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 628 kg.
- The satellite will provide services in the field of agriculture, forestry and disaster management.
- Its mission life is 5 years.
- The nine customer satellites of Israel, Italy, Japan and the USA were precisely injected into their designated orbits. These satellites were launched under a commercial arrangement with New Space India Limited (NSIL). The NSIL is a commercial subsidiary of the ISRO.
Nagaland brings ILP in Dimapur
The Nagaland government has extended the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system to Dimapur, the commercial hub of the State.
- The decision makes it mandatory for “every non-indigenous person” who entered the district after November 21, 1979, to obtain an ILP within 90 days.
- The notification said non-indigenous persons living in Dimapur prior to November 21, 1979, would have to produce documents as evidence to get a certificate from the Deputy Commissioner for exemption from the permit system.
- Except for Dimapur, the ILP has been applicable to the rest of Nagaland. Known as “mini India”, Dimapur district has a mixed population.
Exempt from Citizenship Amendment Bill:
- Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, protected by the ILP requirement, have been exempted from the provisions of the CAB along with the whole of Meghalaya, Mizoram and the tribal areas of Tripura and Assam as covered in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
- Residents of other states have to mandatorily obtain an ILP to visit the protected states.
- On Monday, Home Minister Amit Shah told the Lok Sabha that Manipur would be brought under the ILP system, exempting it from provisions of the CAB. Except for non-tribal areas in Assam and Tripura, the entire northeast has been exempted from the CAB.
- There have been protests across the northeastern States against the Bill that nullifies the 1985 Assam Accord, which called for detection and deportation of anyone who entered the State after March 24, 1971.
- The Bill makes the Accord redundant as it is likely to benefit non-Muslims among the over 19 lakh people excluded from the National Register of Citizens.
Inner Line Permit (ILP):
- Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period.
- It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside those states to obtain a permit for entering into the protected state.
Western disturbance to bring rain
What’s in News?
Under the influence of western disturbance, Delhi is likely to receive rain between December 11th and 13th. The rain is likely to bring down the daytime temperature.
- A Western Disturbance is an extratropical storm originating in the Mediterranean region that brings sudden winter rain to the north-western parts of the Indian subcontinent.
- It is a non-monsoonal precipitation pattern driven by the westerlies.
- The moisture in these storms usually originates over the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
- Extratropical storms are a global phenomenon with moisture usually carried in the upper atmosphere, unlike their tropical counterparts where the moisture is carried in the lower atmosphere. In the case of the Indian subcontinent, moisture is sometimes shed as rain when the storm system encounters the Himalayas.
- The western disturbances affect weather conditions during the winter season and give occasional rainfall which is highly beneficial for the standing rabi crops, (wheat, barley, mustard, gram, lentil, etc.).
PM remembers Subramania Bharathi on his birth anniversary.
- Subramania Bharathi was a Tamil poet and a symbol of patriotism, social reform and freedom.
- He was also an advocate of women’s rights and wrote against the caste system.
- As a poet, his theme ranged from patriotism to nature, from romance to philosophy, from devotion to self-respect.
- He was arrested many times on account of his writings, which was anti-colonial rule.
- He is also known as ‘Mahakavi Bharathiar’.
Infrastructure Investment Trust
Cabinet authorises NHAI to set up Infrastructure Investment Trust and monetize National Highway projects.
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the proposal of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways authorizing the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to set up an Infrastructure Investment Trust(s) (InvIT) as per InvIT Guidelines issued by SEBI.
- This will enable the NHAI to monetize completed national highways that have a toll collection track record of at least one year and the NHAI reserves the right to levy toll on the identified highway.
- InvIT as an instrument provides greater flexibility to investors and is expected to create the following opportunities:
- Generation of specialized O&M Concessionaires (Operation & Maintenance).
- Attract patient capital (for say 20-30 years) to the Indian highway market, as these investors are averse to construction risk and are interested in investment in assets which provide long-term stable returns.
- Retail domestic savings and corpus of special institutions (such as mutual funds, PFRDA, etc.) to be invested in infrastructure sector through InvIT.
About the NHAI:
- The National Highways Authority of India was set up by an act of Parliament, the NHAI Act, 1988.
- It develops, maintains and manages the national highways of India.
- National Highways are the arterial roads of the country for inter-state movement of passengers and goods.
- They traverse the length and width of the country connecting the National and State capitals, major ports and rail junctions and link up with border roads and foreign highways.
- The total length of NH (including expressways) in the country at present is 1,32,499 km.
- While Highways/Expressways constitute only about 1.7% of the length of all roads, they carry about 40% of the road traffic.
- NHAI is mandated to implement the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) which is India’s largest ever Highways Project in a phased manner.
- The NHAI also collects fees on national highways, regulates and controls the plying of vehicles on the highways for its proper management.
- It functions under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India.
Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS)
- The above information was given by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry in the Lok Sabha.
About the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS):
- The Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) was approved by the Cabinet and established by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in June 2016 with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore.
- This was done to provide a much-needed boost to the Indian startup ecosystem and enable access to domestic capital.
- The objectives of the FFS include accelerating innovation-driven entrepreneurship and business creation, mobilizing larger equity-like resources for startups.
- The Fund of Funds does not directly invest in startups but provides capital to SEBI-registered Alternate Investment Funds (AIFs), known as daughter funds, who in turn invest money in growing Indian startups through equity and equity-linked instruments.
- Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has been given the mandate of managing this Fund through selection of suitable daughter funds and overseeing the disbursal of committed capital.
Green Window for Green Energy Finance
The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) is planning to set up a dedicated “Green Window to serve the unserved segments of renewable energy.”
- The IREDA Green Window would provide a significant boost to the renewable energy market.
- This is a new financing approach to boost investment in clean energy.
- The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), the country’s premier public finance institution, is considering an allocation of $20 million in seed funding to set up its pioneering “Green Window” aimed toward catalysing private investment and expanding the Indian clean energy market.
- A green window is a financing approach designed to leverage limited government funds to attract private capital to achieve climate and clean energy goals. The IREDA Green Window builds on the globally successful green bank model.
About Green Windows:
- Green windows, like green banks, are public entities created to work with the private sector to increase investment in green energy and bring clean energy financing into the mainstream.
- They are innovative and new tools that have been successful in the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and the United States.
- India is one of the top three nations leading global renewable energy growth.
- As of October 2019, India’s installed renewable capacity has already met about half of its 2022 target of 175 GW.
- Achieving the 175 GW goal would increase green energy access for millions of Indians and, additionally, could create up to 1 million job opportunities for over 300,000 workers in the country by 2022.
About the IREDA:
- IREDA is India’s leading financial institution dedicated to clean energy expansion.
- Since its founding under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in 1987, IREDA has financed the largest share of renewable energy projects in India.
- It is a Mini-Ratna (Category 1) enterprise.
- It was established as a non-banking financial institution engaged in promoting, developing and extending financial assistance for setting up projects relating to new and renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency/conservation.
- Its motto is: “Energy for Ever”.