GS 2

Category: POLITY

  1. Contempt of court

The issue in news

The Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal declined consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy and his Principal Adviser Ajeya Kallam.

Background:

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had addressed a letter to the Chief Justice of India complaining about the functioning of a few judges.

Main points

  • The Attorney-General was responding to a petition filed by Supreme Court advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay for his prior consent under the Contempt of Court Act to initiate proceedings.
  • However, the Attorney-General said Mr. Reddy’s letter and its release by Mr. Kallam at a press conference was suspect because they came “in the background of the order passed by Justice Ramana, directing pending prosecutions of elected representatives to be taken up and disposed of expeditiously”.
  • The Attorney-General declined consent to initiate contempt proceedings as the letter was sent to the CJI and asserted that it would not be appropriate for him to deal with the matter.

 

Types of contempt in India

  • Civil Contempt: As per the Contempt of Courts Act of 1971, civil contempt has been defined as wilful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other processes of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to a court.
  • Criminal Contempt: As per the Contempt of Courts Act of 1971, criminal contempt has been defined as the publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise) of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which:
    • Scandalises or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court, or
    • Prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with the due course of any judicial proceeding, or
    • Interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.

 

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

  1. ‘Strategic Partnership will aid smooth work in the event of regional crisis’

The issue in news

Comments by the Australian High Commissioner to India on a range of cooperative initiatives on the anvil.

Main points

  • Australia and India have been cooperating together as countries since 1987. Most recently, India- Australia bilateral cooperation has seen a positive trend including a Prime Ministerial summit in June 2020 and Australia’s inclusion in the Malabar naval exercises.
  • It is believed that Australia’s participation in the Malabar Exercise would build on the mutual logistic support arrangement, which was designed to improve the collaboration between the armed forces.
  • Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Scott Morrison agreed to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) during the Prime Ministerial summit in June 2020, which also included a maritime agreement.
  • CSP has agreements in relation to critical technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, quantum computing, and 5G.
  • The Australia-India framework Arrangements on Cyber and Cyber-Enabled Critical Technology cooperation would help in enhancing bilateral cooperation.
  • It provides a programme of 66 crore over four years for an Australia-India cyber and critical technology partnership to support research by institutions in both Australia and between institutions in Australia and India.
  • This includes the Australian India Strategic Research Fund, which has been going for over 20 years.
  • The areas of focus for India’s national quantum mission is in fundamental science, translation, technology development, human and infrastructural resource generation, and start-ups to address national issues.
  • The applications under the mission include aerospace engineering, numerical weather prediction, simulations, securing communications and financial transactions, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, health, agriculture, and education.
  • Australia has undertaken data collaboration on Indian remote satellites.
  • Since 2013, it has been doing laser ranging for Indian regional navigational satellite systems.
  • The country is in the process of exploring how it could place temporary ground station tracking facilities in Australia to support the Gaganyaan Mission
  • Australia is also contributing to India’s national quantum mission by facilitating partnerships with universities, research institutions and businesses.
  • There is also a strong engagement between ISRO and Australian agencies.

 

GS 3

Category: ECONOMY

  1. ‘Manufacturing grows fastest since 2007’

The issue in news

India’s manufacturing sector activity improved for the third consecutive month in October 2020.

Main points

  • The headline seasonally adjusted IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose from 56.8 in September to 58.9 in October 2020, and pointed to the strongest improvement in the health of the sector in more than a decade.
  • Companies are raising output to the greatest extent in 13 years amid robust sales growth.
  • In April 2020, the index had slipped into contraction mode, after remaining in growth territory for 32 consecutive months.

 

Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)

  • The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is an index of the prevailing direction of economic trends in the manufacturing sector.
  • It consists of a diffusion index that summarizes whether market conditions, as viewed by purchasing managers, are expanding, staying the same, or contracting.
  • The headline PMI is a number from 0 to 100. A PMI above 50 represents an expansion when compared with the previous month. A PMI reading under 50 represents a contraction, and a reading at 50 indicates no change.

 

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  1. Traffic cops of Space

The issue in news

Skylark would be the first dedicated satellite constellation looking at managing the situation in space such as congestion, threats of collisions, and addressing space traffic management.

Main points

  • Sputnik 1 was the first human-made object to orbit the Earth. Its launch created new opportunities in space.
  • However, it has also added 29,000 objects as debris (larger than 10 centimetres in diameter) in addition to the 2,500-plus active satellites in space.
  • Numerous space missions have contributed to the build-up of debris and artificial space objects are only expected to grow.
  • Most ‘space junk’ can reach a speed of nearly 29,000 kilometres per hour.
  • According to NASA, because of the amount of debris in low Earth orbit and the speed at which they are moving, current and future space-based services, explorations, and operations pose a safety risk to people and property in space and on Earth.

 

Details:

  • North Star plans to provide safe and sustainable solutions through its Skylark satellite constellation designed specifically for Space Situational Awareness (SSA).
  • It plans to provide the information to prevent accidents as the number of satellites exponentially increase.
  • NorthStar Earth & Space is a Canada-based space company that made headlines for its efforts to address the threat of space debris, which has increased over the recent years.
  • It has received investments from the Canadian government, the Québec government, Telesystem Space, and the Space Alliance.
  • It has announced signing the contract for the first three satellites to build the constellation. It plans to launch them by mid-2022 and the rest by 2024.

 

How the system functions

  • The system works on NorthStar’s algorithms to provide space traffic data and collision avoidance navigation services.
  • SSA tracks natural and artificial objects in the orbit around the Earth, and predicts where the objects are going to be at any given time.
  • Each satellite weighs about 200 kilograms and is equipped with a 60-centimetre long sensor.
  • The set of three satellites form a spiral, so the constellation will have four spirals with different orbits, all of which will be circular and polar at about 575 kilometres from the Earth’s surface in the low Earth orbit (LEO).
  • The constellation of 12 satellites would be equipped with optical sensors to monitor space objects including active and inactive satellites and debris that could pose a threat.
  • This is intended at helping in the management of space traffic in a safe and sustainable way.

 

Advantages:

  • A space-based satellite system has certain advantages over ground-based systems, including:
  • Having multiple points of view for an object.
  • Not reliant on weather changes and atmospheric interferences.
  • The ability to make frequent revisits.

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