25 May, 2020
13 Min Read
|Nuclear Command Authority (NCA)||Internal security|
|NASA’s Mission to explore Ionosphere|
|Labelling organic products|
|Nayachar Islands||Human Geography|
|India builds state-of-the-art training facility for Ugandan defence forces||International Relations|
Pratyush is an array of computers recently unveiled in India. It can deliver a peak power of 6.8 petaflops. One petaflop is a million billion floating point operations per second and is a reflection of the computing capacity of a system.
The machines will be installed at two government institutes: 4.0 petaflops HPC facility at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune & 2.8 petaflops facility at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast, Noida. Pratyush is also the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world dedicated for weather and climate research.
A key function of the machine’s computing power would be monsoon forecasting using a dynamical model. With the new system, it would be possible to map regions in India at a resolution of 3 km and the globe at 12 km.
Mankidia is one of the 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) in Odisha. They critically depends on making rope with siali fibre that’s richly available in Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR). They were denied habitat rights inside the STR under Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
So they would now be deprived of the non-timber forest produce. This is because the State Forest Department has objected on grounds that tribals could be attacked by wild animals. Had it been approved, the Mankidia would have been the first PVTG to have habitat rights.
In Odisha, processes have been initiated for according habitat rights to PVTGs such as Bondas, Didai, Hill Khadia and Paudi Bhuyan. ‘Habitat’ as defined under the FRA includes the area comprising the customary habitat and such other habitats in reserved forests and protected forests of primitive tribal groups and pre-agricultural communities and other forest dwelling STs.
Nuclear Command Authority (NCA)
It is responsible for command, control and operational decisions regarding India's nuclear weapons programme. Organisational structure of NCA includes Political Council and Executive Council. Executive Council is headed by National Security Advisor and Political Council is headed by Prime Minister. The Executive Council gives its opinion to the Political Council, which authorises a nuclear attack when deemed necessary.
This kind of organisational structure is created to prevent the accidental or unauthorised use of nuclear weapons. Strategic Forces Command is a part of Nuclear Command Authority, responsible to operationalize the directives of NCA and for the management and administration of the country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile. SFC is headed by Commander-in-chief of the rank of Air Marshal.
It will have the sole responsibility of initiating the process of delivering nuclear weapons and warheads, after acquiring explicit approval from the NCA.
NASA’s Mission to explore Ionosphere
NASA has announced two missions to explore the little-understood area of 96 km above Earth’s surface. The two missions Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) and Ionospheric Connection Explorer(ICON) will team up to explore the ionosphere.
ICON will be in low-Earth orbit, at 560 km above Earth, like a close-up camera while GOLD will be in a geostationary orbit over the Western Hemisphere, about 35,398 km above the planet’s surface. It will help in full-disk view of the ionosphere and the upper atmosphere beneath it every half hour.
Labelling organic products
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had issued regulations that required food companies selling organic produce to get certified from either one authority. Certificate issuing authorities will be National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) or the Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS-India). Companies could also get a voluntary logo from the FSSAI that marked its produce as ‘organic.’ It will be implemented from July 2018, any company that claims to sell organic food and not sticking to standards can be prosecuted.
Organic farming certification had been done through a process of third party certification under the NPOP. This is a top- down mechanism run by the Ministry of Commerce used for certifying general exports. Nearly 24 agencies were authorised by the NPOP to verify farms, storages and processing units and successful ones got a special ‘India Organic’ logo.
PGS-India: The PGS-India programme had been working from 2015, it involves a peer-review approach. Here, farmers play a role in certifying whether the farms in their vicinity adhered to organic-cultivation practices. This programme was implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture through the National Centre of Organic Farming.
Nayachar is a newly emerged island with mangrove ecosystem in the middle estuary of the Hooghly River in West Bengal. This land mass was created in the Indian Sunderbans by river silt deposits, and remained largely submerged, rising occasionally above the water level. Till 1990 it was completely barren, with hardly any plant or animal species, at present there are 151 animal species on the island, making it a rare case in ecology. The natural succession of species on the island has been aided by the inundation of water during tides, and the soil brought from other places by fishermen.
India builds state-of-the-art training facility for Ugandan defence forces
The Indian Association Uganda (IAU), in association with the Indian Military Advisory and Training Team there, handed over a state-of-the-art military training facility to Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF). The war game centre, named ‘INDIA’, was inaugurated by Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda
The centre was conceptualised by the Indian Military Team and constructed by the IAU at a cost of over 1 billion Ugandan shillings or $2,65,000. It has been funded by voluntary contributions from the Ugandans of Indian origin.
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