12 October 2019 01:09:50

Fight against malnutrition

By Aspire IAS

The Big Picture - Fight against malnutrition


In a bid to tackle malnutrition, government is developing an Atlas to map the crops and food grains grown in different regions of the country so that nutritious protein rich food in local areas can be promoted. The ministry of Women and Child Development in association with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Deendayal Research Institute is developing a POSHAN atlas under POSHAN abhiyan, government's multi-ministerial convergence mission with the vision to ensure attainment of malnutrition free India by 2022. According to the World Bank Global Nutrition Report – 2018, malnutrition costs India at least $10 billion annually in terms of lost productivity, illness and death and is seriously retarding improvements in human development and further reduction of childhood mortality. POSHAN abhiyan is focusing on ensuring the nutrition of children, women, and pregnant mothers in impoverished areas and the government seems to be looking at community management of the problem.

What is Malnutrition?

  • Malnutrition is a complex and multi-dimensional issue.
  • It is primarily caused by several factors, including poverty, inadequate food consumption, inequitable food distribution, improper maternal, infant and child feeding, and care practices, inequity and gender imbalances, poor sanitary and environmental conditions, and restricted access to quality health, education and social care services.
  • Malnutrition in India also persists because of the age-old patterns of social and economic exclusion.
  • Over 40% of children from Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes are stunted.
  • Close to 40% of children from the Other Backward Classes are stunted.
  • In April 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition from 2016 to 2025.
  • The Sustainable Development Goal (SD Goal 2: Zero hunger) aims to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people especially children have access to sufficient and nutritious food all year round. This involves promoting sustainable agricultural practices, supporting small scale farmers and allowing equal access to land, technology and markets.

Food and Nutrition Security Analysis, India, 2019:

  • According to the report, malnutrition amongst children in India is projected to remain high, despite all the progress made in food security.
  • It raises moral and ethical questions about the nature of a state and society that, after 70 years of independence, still condemns hundreds of millions of its poorest and vulnerable citizens to lives of hunger and desperation.
  • Some progress has been made in reducing the extent of malnutrition:
  • Chronic malnutrition decreased from 48% percent in 2005-06 to 38.4% in 2015-16.
  • The percentage of underweight children decreased from 42.5% to 35.7% over the same period.
  • Anaemia in young children decreased from 69.5% to 58.5% during this period.
  • However, many studies over the last five years have exposed the failure of the Indian state to ensure that its most vulnerable citizens are provided adequate nutrition in their early years.

    Causes of Malnutrition:

    The causes for malnutrition are various and are multidimensional. To sum up, they include:

  • Household food insecurity
  • Illiteracy specially in women
  • Poor access to health services
  • Lack of availability of safe drinking water
  • Poor sanitation and environmental conditions and low purchasing power etc.
  • Early marriages of girls
  • Teenage pregnancies resulting in low birth weight of the newborns
  • Poor breastfeeding practices
  • Poor complementary feeding practices
  • Ignorance about nutritional needs of infants and young children and  repeated infections further aggravate the situation.
  • Number of other factors such as environmental, geographical, agricultural, and cultural including various other factors have contributive effects resulting in malnutrition.
  • Therefore it is widely recognized that a multi sectoral approach is necessary to tackle the problem of malnutrition.
  • Poshan Abhiyan:

  • Ministry of Women and Child Development organized the second meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyaan.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) was launched by the government on March 8, 2018.
  • The Abhiyaan targets to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively.
  • The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan aims to ensure service delivery and interventions by use of technology, behavioural change through convergence and lays-down specific targets to be achieved across different monitoring parameters.
  • Under the Abhiyaan, Swasth Bharat Preraks will be deployed one in each district for coordinating with district officials and enabling fast and efficient execution of the
  • Abhiyaan across the country. Swasth Bharat Preraks would function as catalyst for fast tracking the implementation of the Abhiyaan.
  • Conclusion:

    Malnutrition is a complex and multi-dimensional issue. It is primarily caused by several factors, including poverty, inadequate food consumption, inequitable food distribution, improper maternal, infant and child feeding, and care practices, inequity and gender imbalances, poor sanitary and environmental conditions, and restricted access to quality health, education and social care services. It once again forces us to ask why despite rapid economic growth, declining levels of poverty, enough food to export, and a multiplicity of government programmes, malnutrition amongst the poorest remains high. Governance can be termed ‘good’ only when it banishes hunger and starvation. The poor must also be valued like the rest of the population since attaching less value to their lives is one unstated reason why their nutritional needs are not taken care of as they should be.


11 October 2019 11:57:46


By Aspire IAS

In Depth – Nobel


The 2019 Nobel Prize announcements were made this week. The first prize in the category of physiology or medicine have been given to a trio of scientists for their work on cells’ ability to sense and react to oxygen availability. The Nobel Prize in Physics has also been announced for three scientists for their contribution to the understanding of the evolution of the universe. While for Chemistry as well, the Nobel Prize has been given to three scientists who have worked to develop and advance lithium-ion batteries. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who made peace last year with bitter foe Eritrea, has been awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious award given for intellectual achievement in the world. They are awarded annually from a fund bequeathed for the purpose by Alfred Nobel. The laureates will be honoured at an elegant ceremony on December 10 - the death anniversary of Alfred Nobel.

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2019:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.

In the wake of the peace process with Eritrea, Prime Minister Abiy has engaged in other peace and reconciliation processes in East and Northeast Africa. In September 2018 he and his government contributed actively to the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Eritrea and Djibouti after many years of political hostility. Additionally, Abiy Ahmed has sought to mediate between Kenya and Somalia in their protracted conflict over rights to a disputed marine area. There is now hope for a resolution to this conflict. In Sudan, the military regime and the opposition have returned to the negotiating table. On the 17th of August, they released a joint draft of a new constitution intended to secure a peaceful transition to civil rule in the country. Prime Minister Abiy played a key role in the process that led to the agreement.

Abiy Ahmed Ali has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future. The Norwegian Nobel Committee believes it is now that Abiy Ahmed’s efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement.

Noble Prize 2019:

Nobel Prize in Physics:

Peebles findings:

  • He won one-half of the prize” for theoretical discoveries that have contributed to our understanding of “how the Universe evolved after the Big Bang“.
  • Using theoretical tools and calculations, he drew a link between the temperature of the radiation emitted after the Big Bang and the amount of matter it created.

Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz:

  • They shared the prize for their discovery of an exoplanet outside our solar system orbiting a solar-type star in the Milky Way.
  • They were able to detect a gaseous ball similar in size to Jupiter, orbiting a star 50 light years from our own Sun.
  • Harnessing the Doppler effect, the pair proved the planet, known as 51 Pegasus b, was orbiting its star.

Noble Prize in Chemistry:

John Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino :

“For the development of lithium-ion batteries”.

Noble Prize in Medicines:

William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza:

“For their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability”.

Nobel Prize- overview:

  • Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist, engineer, industrialist, and the inventor of dynamite, in his last will and testament in 1895, gave the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology/Medicine, Literature, and Peace, to be called the “Nobel Prizes”.
  • In 1968, the sixth award, the Prize in Economic Sciences was started.
  • The Nobel Prize consists of a Nobel Medal and Diploma, and a document confirming the prize amount.
  • Between 1901 and 2018, the Prizes have been awarded 590 times, the recipients during this period being 908 Laureates and 27 organisations.

How candidates are nominated?

  • The Nobel Committees of four prize-awarding institutions every year invite thousands of members of academies, university professors, scientists, previous Nobel Laureates, and members of parliamentary assemblies among others to submit candidates for the Nobel Prizes for the coming year.
  • The nominators are selected in such a way that as many countries and universities as possible are represented over time.
  • One cannot nominate himself/herself for a Nobel Prize.







11 October 2019 11:14:18

GST Review

By Aspire IAS

The Big Picture: GST Review


The government on Thursday appointed a committee to recommend measures to augment Goods and Services Tax collections, check evasion and make the new regime simpler for ease of compliance that would eventually help in expanding the tax base. “With the approval of the competent authority, it has been decided that a committee of officers be constituted to suggest measures to augment GST revenue,” an order issued by the GST Council secretariat stated. The committee has also been asked to look into systemic changes, including checks and balances to prevent misuse. One of the terms of reference is for the committee to suggest measures to improve voluntary compliance. Its mandate is also to suggest measures to expand the tax base and to improve compliance monitoring and anti-evasion measures using better data analytics. The panel has members from both the Centre and states. GST commissioners of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab are members of the committee. The central government is represented by principal commissioner and joint secretaries, among others.

What is GST?

  • It is a destination-based taxation system.
  • It has been established by the 101st Constitutional Amendment Act.
  • It is an indirect tax for the whole country on the lines of “One Nation One Tax” to make India a unified market.
  • It is a single tax on supply of Goods and Services in its entire product cycle or life cycle i.e. from manufacturer to the consumer.
  • It is calculated only in the “Value addition” at any stage of a goods or services.
  • The final consumer will pay only his part of the tax and not the entire supply chain which was the case earlier.
  • There is a provision of GST Council to decide upon any matter related to GST whose chairman in the finance minister of India.

Benefits of GST:

For Central and State Government:

Simple and Easy to administer: Because multiple indirect taxes at the central and state levels are being replaced by a single tax “GST”. Moreover, backed with a robust end to end IT system, it would be easier to administer.


Better control on leakage: Because of better tax compliance, reduction of rent seeking, transparency in taxation due to IT use, an inbuilt mechanism in the design of GST that would incentivize tax compliance by traders.

Higher revenue efficiency: Since the cost of collection will decrease along with an increase in the ease of compliance, it will lead to higher tax revenue.

GST Council:

  • Tax slabs are decided as 0%, 5%, 12%, 18%, 28% along with categories of exempted and zero rated goods for different types of goods and services.
  • Further, a cess would be levied on certain goods such as luxury cars, aerated drinks, pan masala and tobacco products, over and above the rate of 28% for payment of compensation to the States.

Tax Evasion:

  • People in India try to evade tax by some illegal means or by taking the benefit of some loopholes in the Indian tax system.
  • Tax evasion is the term for the efforts by individuals, corporate, trusts and other entities to evade taxes by illegal means.
  • It is the deliberate, misrepresentation or concealment of the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability.

Tax Avoidance:

  • Tax avoidance is deliberate measures to avoid or reduce tax burden by an individual or a company.
  • Tax avoidance, is by and large not defined in taxing statutes.
  • Tax avoidance is, nevertheless, the outcome of actions taken by the assessee,which is not illegal or forbidden by the law as such. The purpose here is to reduce tax burden.
  • A Brighter Economy:

    The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax will be a very noteworthy step in the field of indirect tax reforms in India. By merging a large number of Central and State taxes into a single tax, GST is expected to significantly ease double taxation and make taxation overall easy for the industries. For the end customer, the most beneficial will be in terms of reduction in the overall tax burden on goods and services. Introduction of GST will also make Indian products competitive in the domestic and international markets. Last but not least, the GST, because of its transparent character, will be easier to administer. Once implemented, the proposed taxation system holds great promise in terms of sustaining growth for the Indian economy.





10 October 2019 12:27:19

Wuhan to Mamallapuram

By Aspire IAS

In Depth - Wuhan to Mamallapuram


India is all ready to host Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will be visiting the country from October 11 to 12 for the second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The summit will be held in the ancient, coastal town of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu. During the summit the two countries will exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping are expected to continue their discussions on issues of bilateral, regional and global importance, and use the opportunity to find broad pathways to deepen ties between the two neighbours. In addition, trade, political relations and ways to deal with terror are also expected to be discussed in the Modi-Xi summit. Elaborate arrangements have been made ahead of crucial summit in Mamallapuram, which has been virtually turned into a fortress.

Why Mamallapuram is chosen?

  • Wuhan was picked by President Xi Jinping as the venue in 2018 to demonstrate China’s economic might.
  • India has chosen Mamallapuram as a symbol of India’s ‘soft power’.
  • Mamallapuram is an important town of the erstwhile Pallava dynasty that ruled in parts of South India from 275 CE to 897 CE.
  • It is renowned for its architecture, widely admired across the world.
  • Mamallapuram and the Pallava dynasty are also historically relevant, for the earliest recorded security pact between China and India (in the early 8th century) that involved a Pallava king (Rajasimhan, or Narasimha Varma II), from whom the Chinese sought help to counter Tibet.

What is the significance of these informal summits?

  • Informal summits have been used as trust-building exercises.
  • Informal meet at Wuhan resulted in invoking of Wuhan Spirit, which sought to reset ties between India and China.
  • Wuhan Spirit is in line with the five principles of peaceful coexistence (Panchsheel) jointly advocated by China and India in the 1950s. Under Wuhan Spirt:
  • Both countries agreed that they form the "backbone" of economic globalisation, and they should jointly make positive contributions to global peace and development.
  • The two nations have agreed to cooperate, for the first time ever, on a joint project in Afghanistan.
  • China has indicated that India’s refusal to join the Belt and Road Initiative will not come in the way of economic cooperation.

Historical connect between Mamallapuram with China:

  • Historians said that the ancient port town of Mamallapuram was used effectively by the Pallavas to trade with China.
  • More importantly, Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, who was an icon in China, was the third prince of a Pallava king who travelled to China from Kancheepuram via Mamallapuram in 527AD.
  • He went on to become the 28th patriarch of Buddhism succeeding Prajnatara.
  • Mamallapuram and the Pallava dynasty are also historically relevant, for the earliest recorded security pact between China and India (in the early 8th century) involved a Pallava king (Rajasimhan, or Narasimha Varma II), from whom the Chinese sought help to counter Tibet, which had by then emerged as a strong power posing a threat to China.

What are the conflicting issues?

  • China and India continue to compete and have a contradictory outlook on many strategic and civilisational issues.
  • These include the nature of Asian security, regional stability and the role of the U.S. in the region.
  • The China-Pakistan axis has been further cemented.
  • Doklam and the disputed border between the two countries remains an issue of concern.
  • India’s efforts to ‘dumb down’ the Dalai Lama will have appeased China to an extent.


China and India continue to have a contradictory outlook on many strategic issues including the nature of Asian security, regional stability and the role of the U.S. in the region. If India does not proceed with care and caution, the Mamallapuram summit could well prove to be a step back from Wuhan. With proper handling, the forthcoming meet could, on the other hand, provide India’s leaders with a realistic estimate as to where India-China relations are headed.



10 October 2019 11:46:29

Strengthening Health Systems in Indian States.

By Aspire IAS

RSTV Vishesh: Strengthening Health Systems in Indian States.


The WHO defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The determinants of good health are: access to various types of health services, and an individual’s lifestyle choices, personal, family and social relationships.

National Health Mission:

After the success of the National Rural health Mission, the National Health Mission (NHM) was announced in 2012 covering all the villages and towns in the country. The National Health mission has two sub-missions:

  1. National Rural Health Mission
  2. National Urban Health Mission

The core principle of NHM:

Universal Health Coverage:

The NHM shall extend all over the country, both in urban and rural areas and promote universal access to a continuum of cashless, health services from primary to tertiary care.

Achieving Quality Standards:

Standards would include the complete range of conditions, covering emergency, RCH, prevention and management of Communicable and Non-Communicable diseases incorporating essential medicines, and Essential and Emergency Surgical Care (EESC).

Decentralised Planning:

  • A key element of the new NHM is that it would provide considerable flexibility to States and Districts to plan for measures to promote health and address the health problems that they face.
  • New health facilities would not be set up on a rigid, population based norm, but would aim to be accessible to populations in remote locations and within a defined time period.

NITI AAYOG Health Index:

Some States such as Rajasthan have improved their health status, but what is worrisome is that States such as Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have not improved at all. The index analyses overall performance and incremental improvement in the States and the Union Territories for the period with 2015-16 as the base year and 2017-18 as the reference year.

The report is an annual systematic performance tool to measure the performance of the States and UTs. It ranks states and union territories on their year on year incremental change in health outcomes, as well as, their overall performance with respect to each other. The ranking is categorized as Larger States, Smaller States and Union Territories (UTs), to ensure comparison among similar entities. The Health Index is a weighted composite Index based on 23 indicators grouped into the domains of Health Outcomes, Governance and Information, and Key Inputs. Each domain has been assigned weights based on its importance and has been equally distributed among indicators.

What are the major problems of Health Sector in India?

  • After the independence the focus has been increased significantly on Health status of people. As a result, there has been a significant increase in life expectancy of people from 35 years to 65 years.
  • However, it is unevenly distributed in different parts of the country. The health problems in India are still a cause of concern.
  • As the income levels of the people have increased there is spurt in non-communicable or life style diseases which accounted for nearly half of the deaths.
  • The existing healthcare infrastructure is just not enough to meet the needs of the population. The central and state governments do offer universal healthcare services and free treatment and essential drugs at government hospitals.

Need to redefine the definition of Health:

Making private practitioners an important part of the public healthcare:

  • It is counterproductive to insist that private practitioners should not be an integral part of the overall government effort to provide good healthcare to people.
  • Such an insistence makes the notion of maintaining disease-specific countrywide registers in which individual doctors and hospitals participate almost impossible.
  • A truly universal healthcare system is driven by protocols that care for the patient and integrate all practitioners. Once such a system is put in place along with regular reporting, the distinction between private and public becomes meaningless.


It is high time for UN bodies/World Health Assembly to acknowledge the need for redefining health in light of the SDGs. Universal health coverage should be designed based on the revised definition of health. That will lead to a better understanding, and attainment, of holistic health and well-being. This will help in directing focused priority and mobilization of resources in the right direction.

History is full of examples of governments empowering their people to propagate a holistic approach to what we now term universal health coverage. In the third century BC, emperor Ashoka is believed to have said, “I am going to propagate medicinal herbs throughout my kingdom to ensure complete accessibility to all my subjects as it is my ethical responsibility to provide good health to all people


09 October 2019 11:28:42

World Post Day

By Aspire IAS

RSTV Vishesh: World Post Day

World Post Day

Celebrated each year on 9 October, the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in the Swiss Capital, Bern. It was declared World Post Day by the UPU Congress held in Tokyo, Japan in 1969. Since then, countries across the world participate annually in the celebrations. The Posts in many countries use the event to introduce or promote new postal products and services.

In 2015 countries all over the world committed themselves to working together towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to end extreme poverty and hunger, fight inequality and injustice, and take action to reverse climate change--to name just some of these 17 agreed new Goals. Playing its part in this global effort, the Post today has a more relevant role than ever by providing infrastructure for development.

History of World Post Day:

  • Firstly in Egypt, a known postal document found in 255 BC. Even before that time, postal services existed in almost every continent in the form of messengers serving Kings and Emperors.
  • After that, to exchange news and information, the universities and religious orders made their message delivery systems.
  • Over the 17th and 18th centuries, the exchange of messages between countries was mostly governed by bilateral postal agreements.
  • During the 19th century, the web of the bilateral postal agreement became complex because of rapidly developing trade and commercial sectors.
  • In 1840, the most noteworthy reform occurred in England when Sir Rowland Hill introduced a system. In this system, the postage on letters had to be prepaid.
  • Sir Rowland Hill first introduced the world’s first postage stamp. But the scope was limited. Also, they were not able to settle on an international postal agreement
  • A senior postal official from the North German Confederation, Heinrich von Stephan, drew up a plan for an international postal union. At his suggestion, the Swiss Government held an international conference in Bern on 15 September 1874 which was attended by representatives from 22 nations.
  • The Treaty of Bern signed on 9th October and its name changed to the Universal Postal Union in 1878.


Every year several activities are holding to celebrate this day in many countries. The activities include:

  • Philatelic exhibitions.
  • In post offices and public places, World Post Day posters.
  • Conferences, seminars and workshops, cultural, sports and many other activities.
  • Special keepsakes such as T-shirts and badges distributes by many postal administrations.


To create awareness about the postal sector in people’s lives and businesses.


09 October 2019 01:01:25

Cosmos - New Dimensions

By Aspire IAS

In Depth: Cosmos - New Dimensions


On 8th October, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the 2019 Nobel Prize for Physics. Three scientists have been awarded the prize this year for their contribution to the understanding of the evolution of the universe. One half of the prize has been given to Canadian-American scientist James Peebles “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology”. The other half has been given jointly to Swiss astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz “for their discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.”The laureates will receive the award at an elegant ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the death of prize founder Alfred Nobel.

What Is Cosmology?

  • Cosmology is a branch of astronomy that involves the origin and evolution of the universe, from the Big Bang to today and on into the future. According to NASA, the definition of cosmology is "the scientific study of the large scale properties of the universe as a whole."
  • Cosmologists puzzle over exotic concepts like string theory, dark matter and dark energy and whether there is one universe or many (sometimes called the multiverse). While other aspects astronomy deal with individual objects and phenomena or collections of objects, cosmology spans the entire universe from birth to death, with a wealth of mysteries at every stage.

History of cosmology & astronomy:

  • Humanity's understanding of the universe has evolved significantly over time. In the early history of astronomy, Earth was regarded as the center of all things, with planets and stars orbiting it. In the 16th century, Polish scientist Nicolaus Copernicus suggested that Earth and the other planets in the solar system in fact orbited the sun, creating a profound shift in the understanding of the cosmos. In the late 17th century, Isaac Newton calculated how the forces between planets specifically the gravitational forces.
  • The dawn of the 20th century brought further insights into comprehending the vast universe. Albert Einstein proposed the unification of space and time in his General Theory of Relativity. In the early 1900s, scientists were debating whether the Milky Way contained the whole universe within its span, or whether it was simply one of many collections of stars. Edwin Hubble calculated the distance to a fuzzy nebulous object in the sky and determined that it lay outside of the Milky Way, proving our galaxy to be a small drop in the enormous universe. Using General Relativity to lay the framework, Hubble measured other galaxies and determined that they were rushing away from the us, leading him to conclude that the universe was not static but expanding.

Cosmological Theories:

Big Bang Theory:

  • The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model for the birth of the universe.
  • It states that at some moment all of space was contained in a single point of very high-density and high-temperature state from which the universe has been expanding in all directions ever since.
  • Modern measurements place this moment at approximately 13.8 billion years ago.
  • After the initial expansion (inflation), the universe cooled sufficiently to allow the formation of subatomic particles and later simple atoms.
  • The majority of atoms produced by the Big Bang were hydrogen and helium along with trace amounts of lithium and beryllium.
  • Giant clouds of these primordial elements (hydrogen and helium) later coalesced through gravity to form stars and galaxies.

Steady State Theory:

Universe is always expanding but maintaining a constant average density, with matter being continuously created to form new stars and galaxies at the same rate that old ones become unobservable as a consequence of their increasing distance and velocity of recession.

A steady-state universe has no beginning or end in time, and from any point within it the view on the grand scale i.e., the average density and arrangement of galaxies is the same. Galaxies of all possible ages are intermingled.

Exoplanet: History of Detection

1988: First suspected scientific detection of an exoplanet .

1992:First exoplanet orbiting PSR B1257+12 deteced which is about twice the mass of the Moon.

The most massive planet listed on the NASA Exoplanet Archive is HR 2562 b about 30 times the mass of Jupiter, although according to some definitions of a planet (based on the nuclear fusion of deuterium, it is too massive to be a planet and may be a brown dwarf instead.

1996: Two more planets discovered.

1996-2006: At least 100 exoplanets recognised.

Space Telescopes:

Hubble Telescope:

  • The Hubble Space Telescope is a large telescope in space. NASA launched Hubble in 1990.
  • It was built by the United States space agency NASA, with contributions from the European Space Agency.
  • Hubble is the only telescope designed to be serviced in space by astronauts.
  • Expanding the frontiers of the visible Universe, the Hubble Space Telescope looks deep into space with cameras that can see across the entire optical spectrum from infrared to ultraviolet.

Kepler Telescope:

  • Launched in March 2009, the $600 million Kepler mission searched the night sky for Earth-like planets using the “transit method.”
  • The probe’s camera measured changes in the brightness of 150,000 stars in one patch of sky to identify alien planets, including ones that could potentially be inhabited by humans.
  • Since the launch of the observatory, astronomers have discovered thousands of extra-solar planets, or exoplanets, through Kepler telescope alone. Most of them are planets that are ranging between the size of Earth and Neptune (which itself is four times the size of Earth).
  • Most of these planets were discovered in a small region of the constellation Cygnus, at which Kepler was pointed for the first four years of its mission.
  • As of March 2018, Kepler had found 2,342 confirmed planets; add potential planets and its find of exo-worlds stands at 4,587.
  • Currently orbiting the sun 156 million km from the earth, the Kepler spacecraft will drift further from our planet when mission engineers turn off its radio transmitters.
  • The telescope has now run out of the fuel needed for further operations.