Read about the launching of 22 satellites by ISRO, the winners of the 63rd National awards , the new Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules and more …..
1) ISRO set to launch 22 satellites on one rocket:
- When the PSLV C34 rocket blasts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Srikarikota in May this year, it will signal another giant leap for India’s space mission. The trusted launch vehicle will inject 22 satellites into orbit, a first in the history of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- Apart from the Indian remote sensing satellite, Cartosat 2C, which constitutes the primary payload, the rocket will carry on board four micro-satellites weighing 85 to 130 kg each and 17 nano-satellites weighing 4 to 30 kg.
- As many as 18 satellites are being launched for foreign agencies including those from the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Indonesia. Two of the nano-satellites have been developed by the Pune Engineering College and Sathyabhama University.
- In April 2008, ISRO had launched 10 satellites into orbit using the PSLV C9 rocket.
- The nano-satellite payload includes three quadpacks of four earth imaging technology demonstrator satellites each of Spaceflight, U.S., and a package of two Canadian satellites designed to measure greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
- The first test flight of the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) developed by ISRO is also scheduled for May. The technology demonstration version named RLV- TD is undergoing extensive tests at the VSSC complex here. “It will be transported to Bengaluru next week for acoustic tests before being taken to SHAR for the launch in May when atmospheric conditions are most favourable,” Dr. Sivan said.
2) Investigators from India, Pakistan meet over Pathankot probe:
- Investigators from India and Pakistan met here today over the probe into Pathankot terror attack even as Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the visiting team has been refused permission to enter the IAF base there tomorrow amid a political slugfest.
- The visit of Pakistan’s five-member Joint Investigative Team(JIT) that includes an ISI official marked the first such trip from the neighbouring country to probe a terror case in India.
- A day after their arrival, the JIT members reached the National Investigation Agency (NIA) headquarters here after which they were briefed about the probe carried out so far.
- The meeting between the two sides took place in a cordial manner and the Pakistani side was “cooperative” during the day-long deliberations, NIA Director General Sharad Kumar said.
- The JIT, which is headed by Chief of Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Muhammad Tahir Rai, raised several questions about the probe which were answered by the NIA team which has been probing the case regarding the 80-hour long gun battle at the IAF base between Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM) terrorists and security forces.
- The visit of Pakistani probe team has triggered a political slugfest with opposition Congress criticising the Government for exposing its defence assets to Pakistan.
- However, Parrikar sought to downplay the issue and said the “crime scene” at the Pathankot airbase was with the NIA.
3) National Awards: Amitabh Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, Baahubali win big.
- Amitabh Bachchan won the best actor award for playing a hypochondriac father in Piku, while Kangana Ranaut scored her second consecutive best actress honour at the 63rd National Film Awards, where Hindi films won in major categories barring the top prize that went to Baahubali.
- This is 73-year-old Bachchan’s fourth National award . He previously won the honour in 1990 for Agneepath, for Black in 2005 and for Paa 2009.
- Ranaut, 28, won the award for her role in romantic comedy drama Tanu Weds Manu Returns for her endearing dual turn as Tanu, a troublesome wife and Haryanvi sportsperson Datto. It is her third trophy at the National Awards, having earlier won best supporting actress for Fashion and best actress for Queen last year.
- The first part of SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus Baahubali was announced as a surprise best feature film winner, even as last year’s much appreciated Masaan had to contend itself with just a best debut director award for Neeraj Ghaywan.
- Sharat Katariya’s debut Dum Laga Ke Haisha, a ‘90s set drama in Haridwar about the romance between a mismatched couple, was named the best Hindi film.
- Sweeping historical romance Bajirao Mastani helped its director Sanjay Leela Bhansali win the best director honour. Salman Khan-starrer cross-border drama Bajrangi Bhaijaan was named best popular film providing wholesome entertainment.
- Best adapted screenplay honour went to Vishal Bhardwaj for real-life inspired crime drama Talvar, while the best original screenplay and dialogue was shared between Juhi Chaturvedi (Piku) and Himanshu Sharma (Tanu Weds Manu Returns).
4) Mumbai airport on high alert after EgyptAir hijack:
- Mumbai airport was put on high alert on Tuesday, following the hijack of a Cairo-bound EgyptAir flight with 82 passengers on board.
- A week ago, the airport beefed up security arrangements after the twin bomb explosions at Brussels airport. Armed personnel manning watch booths at the airport entrances were increased and patrolling of populated stretches within the terminal and the waiting areas outside was escalated, said officials from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) which is in charge of the airport’s security.
- Airport sources added frisking at security holds had become more intense, with fliers being asked to put their shoes under the X-ray scanners. The additional caution is being linked to a surge in air travellers owing to the T20 World Cup, added officials.
- EgyptAir on a flight between Alexandria and Cairo was hijacked and forced to land in Cyprus by a man apparently distressed over a family matter.
- After the EgyptAir plane landed at Larnaca airport, the hijacker released all the people onboard except four foreign passengers and the crew following negotiations, EgyptAir said.
- Citing security sources, Cypriot state media said that the motives of the hijacker appeared personal and he had asked to contact his ex-wife, who lives in Cyprus.
5) Environment Ministry Notifies Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules for the First Time:
- The Government has notified Construction & Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016 for the first time.
- Outlining the salient features of the Construction & Waste Management Rules here today, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar, said that the rules are an initiative to effectively tackle the issues of pollution and waste management.
- Shri Javadekar said that at present, the construction & demolition waste generated is about 530 million tonnes annually. The Minister said that construction & demolition waste is not a waste, but a resource.
- The Environment Minister highlighted that the local bodies will have to utilize 10-20% material from construction and demolition waste in municipal and government contracts.
- Shri Javadekar said that segregating construction and demolition waste and depositing it to the collection centres for processing will now be the responsibility of every waste generator.
- The quantum of waste generated in India is estimated to be 1-2 kg per bed per day in a hospital and 600 gm per day per bed in a clinic. 85% of the hospital waste is non-hazardous, 15% is infectious/hazardous.
- Biomedical waste comprises human & animal anatomical waste, treatment apparatus like needles, syringes and other materials used in health care facilities in the process of treatment and research.