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07 Apr, 2020

29 Min Read

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY)

GS-II : Governance Policies and Programmes

Tamil Nadu topped in micro-irrigation- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II-Governance

The state of Tamil Nadu has topped the all-India level for micro-irrigation (MI), under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), with coverage of 2,06,853.25 ha for the year financial year 2019-20. The state is followed by Karnataka and Gujarat with 1,41,103.56 Ha and 1,08,322.00 Ha of coverage respectively.

  • On the other hand, the cumulative total coverage of MI during 2015-2020 has been topped by Karnataka (8,15,690.31 ha) followed by Andhra Pradesh (7,17,421.08 ha) and Gujarat (7,00,858.35 ha). Tamil Nadu occupies the fourth spot with about 5,62,059.11 ha.
  • At the all-India level, 43.71 lakh ha of land was brought under micro irrigation in the last 5 years.

How does MI cover the increase in TN?

During the inaugural year of the MI programme (2015-16), Tamil Nadu had just 32,290 hectares under micro-irrigation. After that, the State government started providing additional subsidies to what was provided by the Centre to small and marginal farmers and big farmers through a website “Micro Irrigation Management Information System” (MIMIS). They have also removed 12% goods and services tax (GST) on MI components. The state has provided options to farmers for the purchase of MI components by identifying 45 firms.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana

Out of about 141 m.Ha of net area sown in the country, about 65 million hectares (or 45%) is presently covered under irrigation. Substantial dependency on rainfall makes cultivation in unirrigated areas a high-risk, less productive profession. Empirical evidence suggest that assured or protective irrigation encourages farmers to invest more in farming technology and inputs leading to productivity enhancement and increased farm income.

The overreaching vision of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) is to ensure access to some means of protective irrigation to all agricultural farms in the country, to produce ‘per drop more crop’, thus bringing much desired rural prosperity.


The broad objectives of PMKSY include (PT SHOTS)

  • Achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level (preparation of district level and, if required, sub-district level water use plans).
  • Enhance the physical access to water on the farm and expand cultivable areas under assured irrigation (Har Khet ko Pani).
  • Integration of water source, distribution and its efficient use, to make best use of water through appropriate technologies and practices.
  • Improve on - farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage and increase availability both in duration and extent.
  • Enhance the adoption of precision - irrigation and other water saving technologies (More crop per drop).
  • Enhance recharge of aquifers and introduce sustainable water conservation practices.
  • Ensure the integrated development of rainfed areas using the watershed approach towards soil and water conservation, regeneration of groundwater, arresting runoff, providing livelihood options and other NRM activities.
  • Promote extension activities relating to water harvesting, water management and crop alignment for farmers and grass root level field functionaries.
  • Explore the feasibility of reusing treated municipal wastewater for peri-urban agriculture.
  • Attract greater private investments in irrigation.

Programme implementation

  • Krishi Sinchayee Yojana with an outlay of Rs.50,000 crores for a period of 5 years (2015-16 to 2019-20) is to achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level.
  • PMKSY has been formulated amalgamating ongoing schemes viz. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation; Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) of Department of Land Resources; and On Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation.
  • PMKSY is to be implemented in an area development approach, adopting decentralized state-level planning and projected execution, allowing the states to draw their irrigation development plans based on district/block plans with a horizon of 5 to 7 years. States can take up projects based on the District/State Irrigation Plan.
  • All the States and Union Territories including the North Eastern States are covered under the programme.
  • The National Steering Committee (NSC) of PMKSY under the chairmanship of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, will provide policy direction to the programme framework and a National Executive Committee (NEC) under the chairmanship of Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog will oversee the programme implementation at the national level.
  • Provision has been made under PMKSY during 2015-16 for carrying out extension activities in the field with special focus on water harvesting, water management and crop alignment for farmers and grass root level field functionaries.

Programme Components

PMKSY has the following programme components:

A. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP)

  • To focus on faster completion of ongoing Major and Medium Irrigation including National Projects.

B. PMKSY (Har Khet ko Pani)

  • Creation of new water sources through Minor Irrigation (both surface and groundwater)
  • Repair, restoration and renovation of water bodies; strengthening carrying capacity of traditional water sources, construction rainwater harvesting structures (Jal Sanchay);
  • Command area development, strengthening and creation of distribution network from source to the farm;
  • Ground water development in the areas where it is abundant, so that sink is created to store runoff/ flood water during peak rainy season.
  • Improvement in water management and distribution system for water bodies to take advantage of the available source which is not tapped to its fullest capacity (deriving benefits from low-hanging fruits). At least 10% of the command area to be covered under micro/precision irrigation.
  • Diversion of water from a source of the different locations where it is plenty to nearby water scarce areas, lift irrigation from water bodies/rivers at lower elevation to supplement requirements beyond IWMP and MGNREGS irrespective of irrigation command.
  • Creating and rejuvenating traditional water storage systems like Jal Mandir (Gujarat); Khatri, Kuhl (H.P.); Zabo (Nagaland); Eri, Ooranis (T.N.); Dongs (Assam); Katas, Bandhas (Odisha and M.P.) etc. at feasible locations.

C. PMKSY (Per Drop More Crop)

  • Programme management, preparation of State/District Irrigation Plan, approval of annual action plan, Monitoring etc.
  • Promoting efficient water conveyance and precision water application devices like drips, sprinklers, pivots, rain - guns in the farm (Jal Sinchan);
  • Topping up of input cost particularly under civil construction beyond permissible limit (40%), under MGNREGS for activities like lining inlet, outlet, silt traps, distribution system etc.
  • Construction of micro irrigation structures to supplement source creation activities including tube wells and dug wells (in areas where ground water is available and not under semi critical /critical /over exploited category of development) which are not supported under AIBP, PMKSY (Har Khet ko Pani), PMKSY (Watershed) and MGNREGS a s per block/district irrigation plan.
  • Secondary storage structures at tail end of canal system to store water when available in abundance (rainy season) or from perennial sources like streams for use during dry periods through effective on-farm water management;
  • Water lifting devices like diesel/ electric/ solar pump sets including water carriage pipes and underground piping systems.
  • Extension activities for promotion of scientific moisture conservation and agronomic measures including cropping alignment to maximise use of available water including rainfall and minimise irrigation requirement (Jal sarankchan);
  • Capacity building, training and awareness campaign including low-cost publications, use of pico projectors and low-cost films for encouraging potential use of water sources through technological, agronomic and management practices including community irrigation.
  • The extension workers will be empowered to disseminate relevant technologies under PMKSY only after requisite training is provided to them, especially in the area of promotion of scientific moisture conservation and agronomic measures, improved/ innovative distribution systems like pipe and box outlet systems, etc. Appropriate Domain Experts will act as Master Trainers.
  • Information Communication Technology (ICT) interventions through NeGP - A to be made use in the field of water use efficiency, precision irrigation technologies, on farm water management, crop alignment etc. and also to do intensive monitoring of the Scheme.

D. PMKSY (Watershed Development)

  • Effective management of runoff water and improved soil & moisture conservation activities such as ridge area treatment, drainage line 5 treatment, rainwater harvesting, in-situ moisture conservation and other allied activities o n watershed basis.
  • b) Converging with MGNREGS for the creation of water sources to full potential in identified backward rainfed blocks including renovation of traditional water bodies

yesJai Hind Jai Bharat


Central government constitutes 10-member group headed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh kant

GS-II : Governance NITI Aayog

The central government constitutes a 10-member group headed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant to fight corona

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- GOVERNANCE

On April 5, 2020, In order to deal with this coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, the central government constituted a 10-member group under the chairmanship of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Amitabh Kant.

Key Points:

i.The work of this group will primarily identify issues through 3 groups of stakeholders, and then present effective measures to address solutions to the issues related to the formulation of plans for counter-activities related to COVID-19. The 3 groups include

  • The UN agencies, World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • Civil Society Organisations and development partners
  • Industry associations – CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), FICCI ( Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India), NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies).

ii. NITI Aayog writes to the over 92,000 NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) / CSOs (civil society organisations) registered on its ‘Darpan’ portal to help the government identify hotspots, the elderly, the differently-abled, children & other vulnerable groups to fight against the virus.
iii. Other members of the Committee include Dr Vijayaraghavan, PSA, Kamal Kishore (Member, NDMA); Sandeep Mohan Bhatnagar (Member, CBIC); Anil Malik (AS, MHA); Vikram Doraiswami, (AS, MEA); P. Harish (AS, MEA); Gopal Baglay (JS, PMO); Aishvarya Singh (DS, PMO); Tina Soni (DS, Cabinet Secretariat); and Sanyukta Samaddar (Adviser, SDG, NITI Aayog).

NITI Aayog Evolution

The NITI Aayog was formed on January 1, 2015. In Sanskrit, the word “NITI” means morality, behaviour, guidance, etc. But, in the present context, it means policy and the NITI stands for “National Institution for Transforming India”. It is the country’s premier policy-making institution which is expected to bolster the economic growth of the country. It aims to construct a strong state that will help to create a dynamic and strong nation. This helps India to emerge as a major economy in the world. The NITI Aayog’s creation has two hubs called “Team India Hub” and “Knowledge and Innovation Hub”.

  1. The Team India: It leads the participation of Indian states with the central government.
  2. The Knowledge and Innovation Hub: it builds the institution’s think tank capabilities.

NITI Aayog is additionally creating itself as a State of Art Resource Center, with the essential resources, knowledge, and skills that will empower it to act with speed, advance research and innovation, bestow crucial policy vision to the government and manage unforeseen issues. The reason for setting up the NITI Aayog is that people had expectations for growth and development in the administration through their participation. This required institutional changes in administration and active strategy shifts that could seed and foster substantial scale change.

Objectives of NITI Aayog

  1. The active participation of States in the light of national objectives and to provide a framework ‘national agenda’.
  2. To promote cooperative federalism through well-ordered support initiatives and mechanisms with the States on an uninterrupted basis.
  3. To construct methods to formulate a reliable strategy at the village level and aggregate these gradually at higher levels of government.
  4. Economic policy that incorporates national security interests.
  5. To pay special consideration to the sections of the society that may be at risk of not profiting satisfactorily from economic progress.
  6. To propose strategic and long-term policy and programme frameworks and initiatives, and review their progress and their effectiveness.
  7. To grant advice and encourage partnerships between important stakeholders and national- international Think Tanks, as well as educational and policy research institutions.
  8. To generate knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a shared community of national and international experts, etc.
  9. To provide a platform for the resolution of inter-sectoral and inter-departmental issues in order to speed up the accomplishment of the progressive agenda.
  10. To preserve a state-of-the-art Resource Centre, be a repository of research on good governance and best practices in sustainable and equitable development as well as help their distribution to participants.
  11. To effectively screen and assess the implementation of programmes and initiatives, including the identification of the needed resources to strengthen the likelihood of success.
  12. To pay attention to technology improvement and capacity building for the discharge of programs and initiatives.
  13. To undertake other necessary activities in order to the implementation of the national development agenda, and the objectives.

7 pillars of effective governance envisaged by NITI Aayog

The NITI Aayog is based on the 7 pillars of effective Governance. They are:

  1. Pro-people: it fulfils the aspirations of society as well as individuals
  2. Pro-activity: in anticipation of and response to citizen needs
  3. Participation: involvement of the citizenry
  4. Empowering: Empowering, especially women in all aspects
  5. Inclusion of all: inclusion of all people irrespective of caste, creed, and gender
  6. Equality: Providing equal opportunity to all, especially for youth
  7. Transparency: Making the government visible and responsive

NITI Aayog Composition

The NITI Aayog will comprise the following:

  1. Prime Minister of India is the Chairperson
  2. Governing Council consists of the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in India.
  3. Regional Councils will be created to address particular issues and possibilities affecting more than one state. These will be formed for a fixed term. It will be summoned by the Prime Minister. It will consist of the Chief Ministers of States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories. These will be chaired by the Chairperson of the NITI Aayog or his nominee.
  4. Special invitees: Eminent experts, and specialists with relevant domain knowledge, which will be nominated by the Prime Minister.
  5. The full-time organizational framework will include, in addition to the Prime Minister as the Chairperson:
    1. Vice-Chairperson (appointed by the Prime Minister)
    2. Members:
      • Full-time
      • Part-time members: Maximum of 2 members from foremost universities, leading research organizations and other innovative organizations in an ex-officio capacity. Part-time members will be on a rotational basis.
    3. Ex Officio members: Maximum of 4 members of the Council of Ministers which is to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
    4. Chief Executive Officer: The CEO will be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure. He will be in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.

About NITI Aayog:

Headquarters– New Delhi.

Chairperson– Narendra Modi.

Vice Chairperson– Rajiv Kumar.

yesJai HIND Jai Bharat

Source: TH

NASA and associated Missions


NASA’s Artemis: First human base camp

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- S&T

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) unveiled its plan to setup ‘Artemis’, the first human base camp on Moon’s South Pole by 2024 through a 13-page report titled “NASA’s Plan for Sustained Lunar Exploration and Development”. The report was submitted to the National Space Council, an advisory group to United States (US) President Donald Trump, presided over by Vice President Mike Pence.

  • The Artemis program aims to land first woman and next man on the moon by 2024. The report offered a summary of how the space agency will accomplish the 2024 moon landing mission.
  • The plan is to make a one to two-month stay at the South Pole of the moon to learn more about it and the universe.
  • Base camp will need infrastructure for power, waste disposal and communications, besides radiation shielding and a landing pad.

The Artemis program is carried out by NASA along with European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Australian Space Agency (ASA).
About NASA and Missions


  • Following World War II, the United States was in direct competition with the erstwhile Soviet Union (the superpower that was disbanded into several sovereign nations including the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, the Ukraine, etc. in 1991). That period was called “Cold War”.
  • It was the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik on October 4, 1957, that first put an object into orbit around Earth.
  • It was followed in November by the even larger Sputnik II, which carried the dog Laika.
  • Only in late January 1958, the United States could launch Explorer 1, hoisted aloft by the Army’s rocket team, using rocket technology developed from World War II.
    • Though a small spacecraft weighing only 30 pounds, it discovered what are now known as the Van Allen radiation belts, named for the University of Iowa scientist Dr. James Van Allen, launching the new discipline of space science.
    • Explorer 1 was followed in March, 1958 by the Navy’s Vanguard 1, 6 inches in diameter and weighing only 3 pounds.
  • NASA’s birth was directly related to the launch of the Sputniks and the ensuing race to demonstrate technological superiority in space.
  • Driven by the competition of the Cold War, on July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, providing for research into the problems of flight within Earth’s atmosphere and in space.
  • After a protracted debate over military versus civilian control of space, the act inaugurated a new civilian agency designated the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Objectives of NASA

  • To expand human knowledge of space
  • To lead the world in space-related technological innovation
  • To develop vehicles that can carry both equipment and living organisms into space
  • To coordinate with international space agencies to achieve the greatest possible scientific advancements.

NASA Missions

Over the last 60 years, the NASA has achieved every one of the aforesaid goals through various missions some of which are given below, and it continues to seek answers to some of the biggest mysteries in science as it evolves with a changing world.



Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) Launched: 1997

  • Observes particles of solar, interplanetary, interstellar, and galactic origins, spanning the energy range from solar wind ions to galactic cosmic ray nuclei.

The Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere

satellite (AIM) Launched: 2007

  • Strange Clouds- Astronauts on board the International Space Station have been observing electric blue "noctilucent" clouds from Earth-orbit.
  • Noctilucent or "night-shining" clouds (NLCs) are also known as Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMC).
  • The AIM satellite will orbit Earth at an altitude of 550 km.
  • AIM will take wide angle photos of NLCs, measure their temperatures and chemical abundances, monitor dusty aerosols, and count meteoroids raining down on Earth.

The Apollo Missions Launched: 1968

  • It resulted in American astronauts making a total of 11 space flights and walking on the moon.
  • The first Apollo flight happened in 1968. The first moon landing took place in 1969. The last moon landing was in 1972.

Apollo-Soyuz: An Orbital Partnership Begins Launched: 1975

  • The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was the first spaceflight to include two participating nations working together with their own national spacecraft.
  • The Americans sent up an Apollo command module, while the Russians launched a Soyuz spacecraft.

Aqua Launched: 2002

  • Aqua is an Earth Science satellite mission that collects information on our water systems.
  • The satellite has six different Earth-observing instruments on board and streams approximately 89 gigabytes of data per day.

Aquarius Mission Operation: 2011 to 2015

  • The joint U.S./Argentinian Aquarius /Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas (SAC)-D mission was launched June 10, 2011, and ended on June 8, 2015, when an essential part of the power and attitude control system for the spacecraft stopped operating.
  • Aquarius/SAC-D mapped the salinity (the concentration of dissolved salt) at the ocean surface, information critical to improving our understanding of two major components of Earth's climate system: the water cycle and ocean circulation.
  • By measuring ocean salinity from space, Aquarius provided new insights into how the massive natural exchange of freshwater between the ocean, atmosphere and sea ice influences ocean circulation, weather and climate.

Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) Operated: March 2, 2008 to April 20, 2008

  • The Arctic is undergoing significant environmental changes related to global climate change.
  • NASA is extensively studying the role of air pollution in this climate-sensitive region as part of the ARCTAS field campaign, the largest airborne experiment ever to do so.

Artemis Lunar Program Launched: May 2019

  • The Artemis program, unveiled by NASA, aims to put astronauts on the lunar surface in 2024 — and give us the first female moonwalker.
  • The initiative comes as the nation prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in 1969, which made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin the first people to set foot on another world.
  • The Greek god who became the namesake of NASA's Apollo program in the 1960s and ’70s had a twin sister named Artemis, will lead humans back to the moon.

Airborne Tropical TRopopause EXperiment (ATTREX) Launched: 2014

  • Despite its low concentration, stratospheric water vapor has large impacts on the earth’s energy budget and climate.
  • Recent studies suggest that even small changes in stratospheric humidity may have climate impacts that are significant compared to those of decadal increases in greenhouse gases.
  • The ATTREX will perform a series of measurement campaigns using the long-range NASA Global Hawk (GH) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to directly address these problems.

Aura - Understanding and Protecting the Air We Breathe Launched: 2004

  • Aura (Latin for breeze) is a program dedicated to monitoring the complex interactions that affect the globe using NASA satellites and data systems.
  • Aura's measurements will enable to investigate questions about ozone trends, air quality changes and their linkage to climate change.

BARREL (Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses- 2013 and 2014)

  • It is a balloon-based Mission that seeks to measure the precipitation of relativistic electrons from the radiation belts during two multi-balloon campaigns, operated in the southern hemisphere (option for third northern hemisphere campaign).
  • The BARREL consists of two Antarctic balloon campaigns conducted in Austral summers of 2013 and 2014.

CALIPSO (The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation): 2006

  • The CALIPSO satellite provides new insight into the role that clouds and atmospheric aerosols (airborne particles) play in regulating Earth's weather, climate, and air quality.
  • It was launched on April 28, 2006 with the cloud profiling radar system on the CloudSat satellite.

Cassini-Huygens Operation: 1997 to 2017

  • The Cassini mission to Saturn is one of the most ambitious efforts in planetary space exploration ever mounted.
  • A joint endeavor of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), Cassini is a sophisticated robotic spacecraft orbiting the ringed planet and studying the Saturnian system in detail.
  • Cassini also carried a probe called Huygens, which parachuted to the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, in January 2005 and returned spectacular results.
  • It entered Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017 and lost communication with NASA.

Chandra X-Ray Observatory Launched: By Space Shuttle Columbia in 1999.

  • The Chandra X-ray Observatory is part of NASA's ?eet of "Great Observatories" along with the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope and the now deorbited Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.
  • Chandra allows scientists from around the world to obtain X-ray images of exotic environments to help understand the structure and evolution of the universe.
  • It was named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel Laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), he was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century.

CINDI: Coupled Ion Neutral Dynamic Investigation Operation: The C/NOFS satellite, which carried NASA's CINDI investigation was launched in 2008 and ended in 2015

  • The CINDI studied the elements that influence space weather near Earth’s equator.
  • The CINDI investigation is a key component of the science objectives of the Communication/Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS) undertaken by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Space and Missile Command Test and Evaluation Directorate.

Clementine Operation: January 25, 1994 to 21 July 1994

  • Clementine was a joint project between the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and NASA.
  • It was designed to test sensors and spacecraft components under extended exposure to the space environment and to make scientific observations of the Moon and the near-Earth asteroid 1620 Geographos.

Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) Operation: 2015 to 2017

  • The CATS, is a lidar remote-sensing instrument that measured atmospheric aerosols and clouds from the International Space Station (ISS).

CloudSat: 2006

  • The CloudSat is an experimental satellite that uses radar to observe clouds and precipitation from space.

Cluster ESA (European Space Agency)/NASA Mission: 1996

  • Cluster is currently investigating the Earth's magnetic environment and its interaction with the solar wind in three dimensions.

Commercial Crew

  • NASA's Commercial Crew Program is a partnership to develop and fly human space transportation systems.

The CGRO Mission (1991 - 2000)

  • The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) was a sophisticated satellite observatory dedicated to observing the high-energy Universe.
  • Compton, at 17 tons, was the heaviest astrophysical payload ever flown at the time of its launch on April 5, 1991 aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.
  • Compton was safely deorbited and re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on June 4, 2000.

Operation: 1989 to 1993

  • The purpose of the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) mission was to take precise measurements of the diffuse radiation between 1 micrometer and 1 cm over the whole celestial sphere.

Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS)
Launched: 2003

  • The CHIPS is a NASA astrophysics spacecraft that targets the hot and diffuse nebulae at about a million degrees temperature.


  • CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites.
  • CubeSats are built to standard dimensions (Units or “U”) of 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm.
  • They can be 1U, 2U, 3U, or 6U in size, and typically weigh less than 1.33 kg (3 lbs) per U.

Curiosity: 2011

  • A rover named Curiosity is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet.
  • Curiosity was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes.
    • In other words, its mission is to determine the planet's "habitability."

Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS)
Launched: 2016

  • The CYGNSS mission will use eight micro-satellites to measure wind speeds over Earth's oceans, increasing the ability of scientists to understand and predict hurricanes.
  • Each satellite will take information based on the signals from four GPS satellites.

Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission
Launching: 2021

  • The DART is a planetary defense-driven test of technologies for preventing an impact of Earth by a hazardous asteroid.

The Dawn
Operation: 2007 to 2018

  • The Dawn was a mission to the two most massive bodies in the main asteroid belt – Vesta and Ceres.
  • Vesta is rocky, while dwarf planet Ceres is icy.
  • Each followed a very different evolutionary path, constrained by the diversity of processes that operated during the first few million years of the solar system.
  • When Dawn visited Ceres and Vesta, the spacecraft brought us back in solar system time.

Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS)
Operation: 1984 to 2005

  • The ERBS was designed to investigate how energy from the Sun is absorbed and re-radiated by the Earth.
  • Understanding this process helps reveal patterns in Earth's weather.
    It was launched on the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS)
Launched: 2018

  • The ECOSTRESS measures the temperature of plants and use that information to better understand how much water plants need and how they respond to stress.
  • It uses a multispectral thermal infrared radiometer to measure the surface temperature.
  • The radiometer was deployed on the International Space Station in 2018.
    The radiometer will acquire the most detailed temperature images of the surface ever acquired from space and will be able to measure the temperature of an individual farmers field.

FAST (the Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer)
Operation: 1996 to 2009

  • The FAST investigated the behavior of ionized gas, called plasma, and particles during auroras.
  • As the FAST flew over the poles—the most common regions where auroras form—it took quick, high-resolution bursts of data on particles, electric and magnetic fields, and plasma.

Operation: 1989 to 2003

  • The Galileo spacecraft orbited Jupiter for almost eight years, and made close passes by all its major moons.
  • Its camera and nine other instruments sent back reports that allowed scientists to determine, among other things, that Jupiter’s icy moon Europa probably has a subsurface ocean with more water than the total amount found on Earth.

Hubble Space Telescope
Launched: 1990

  • The NASA named the world's first space-based optical telescope after American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953).
    • Dr. Hubble confirmed an "expanding" universe, which provided the foundation for the big-bang theory.
  • The Hubble is the first major optical telescope to be placed in space, the ultimate mountaintop.
    • Above the distortion of the atmosphere, far far above rain clouds and light pollution, Hubble has an unobstructed view of the universe.
    • Scientists have used Hubble to observe the most distant stars and galaxies as well as the planets in our solar system.

IceBridge Mission
Launched: 2009

  • The IceBridge is the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown.
  • It yields an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice.
  • Data collected during IceBridge will help scientists bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) - launched in 2003 and de-orbited in 2010 and ICESat-2, launched in 2018.

International Space Station (IIS)

  • The ISS is a multi-nation construction project that is the largest single structure humans ever put into space.
  • Its main construction was completed between 1998 and 2011, although the station continually evolves to include new missions and experiments.
  • The NASA , Roscosmos (Russia) and the European Space Agency are the major partners of the space station.

The James Webb Space Telescope
Launching: 2021

  • The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST or Webb) will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror.
  • The telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in 2021.
  • It will find the first galaxies that formed in the early universe and peer through dusty clouds to see stars forming planetary systems.

Mars 2020 Rover
Launching: 2020

  • The rover will search for signs of habitable conditions on Mars in the ancient past and for signs of past microbial life itself.

Orion spacecraft: Underdevelopment

  • The Orion is a new NASA spacecraft for astronauts.
  • The spacecraft will play an important part in the journey to Mars.
  • Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.

PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) Launching: 2022

  • The PACE is NASA's Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem mission, currently in the design phase of mission development.
  • It will extend and improve NASA's over 20-year record of satellite observations of global ocean biology, aerosols (tiny particles suspended in the atmosphere), and clouds.

Operation: 2004 to 2016

  • Rosetta was a spacecraft on a ten-year mission to catch the comet "67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko" (C-G) and answer some of our questions about comets.
  • This was a European Space Agency mission with support and instruments from NASA.
  • Rosetta was the first spacecraft to soft-land a robot on a comet.

Establishment– 1958,

Headquarter– Washington, D.C., United States

Administrator– James Frederick Bridenstine

Source: TH/WEB

Naveen Patnaik conferred PETA’s “Hero to Animals Award”


Naveen Patnaik conferred PETA’s “Hero to Animals Award”for feeding community animals

The Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik has been conferred with Hero to Animals Award by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India for feeding community animals in five municipal corporations and all 48 municipalities of Odisha during the COVID-19 lockdown. He has allocated Rs 54 lakhs from a relief fund for the same.

  • He has presented a framed certificate and a letter of appreciation from PETA India.

It should be noted that the central government advisory body the Animal Welfare Board of India had urged state governments and union territories (UTs) to allow animal welfare volunteers to feed community animals. Also, Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries mandated veterinary services and animal shelters to function as normal and kept in the “essential services” list.
About PETA India

Establishment– 2000

Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Source: NP

Indian Railways’ RCF unit developed low-cost ventilator ‘Jeevan’


Indian Railways’ RCF unit developed low-cost ventilator ‘Jeevan’ to fight COVID-19

The Indian Railways has developed a low-cost ventilator ‘Jeevan’ at its premier coach production unit,Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala in Punjab.The cost of “Jeevan”is around Rs 10,000 without the compressor and it will not rise over Rs 30,000 even after adding a few more indicators.The ventilator is now awaiting the final clearance from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

  • It should be noted that this ventilator has produced at a time when the nation needs them utmost due to COVID-19 effect. Currently India has 57,000 ventilators but their requirement can be reached between 110,000-220,000.
  • Also, Jeevan will produce low cost effective service as other ventilators cost between Rs5- Rs15 lakh.

Key Points:

-If Jeevan receives final clearance from ICMR then RCF will produce 100 such devices every day.
-The reason behind its low cost is that it is produced from materials which were already available in the factory. For eg: the portable compressor has been made from an air cooling machine, the body from coach components, the argon flow has been taken from a laser welding machine, while the microprocessor has been taken from the coach information system.

About RCF:

Establishment– 1986

General manager– Ravinder Gupta

Source: News

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