Current Affairs July 2013
India’s newest satellite INSAT-3D which was put in orbit on a European rocket is expected to increase the weather observation and forecasting, disaster warning systems and also enhance land and sea surface monitoring over the sub-continent and the Indian Ocean region.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has planned to switch on the meteorology instruments on the satellite and test them extensively before starting the operations. The satellite will then have a period matching the Earth’s 24-hour rotation and will be geosynchronous over the sub-continent. Prior to it the scientists will start the first of four ‘orbit manoeuvres’ from the Master Control Facility at Hassan, Karnataka. They will push the spacecraft’s initial elliptical orbit into a circular one that will be nearly 36,000 km above the ground at 82 degrees East longitude.
- ISRO spent around Rs. 200 crore to build the satellite and around Rs. 350 crore on its launch and insurance costs.
- The metsat supplements the decade-old and fading Kalpana-1 and INSAT-3A with four sophisticated payloads.
- The six-channel imager takes weather pictures of the Earth with better resolution.
- The 19-channel sounder gives layered vertical profiles of temperature, humidity and integrated ozone.
- The data relay transponder picks and relays met, moisture and sea related information from automatic data collection platforms placed at remote uninhabited locations on to a processing centre for generating accurate forecasts.
- SAR device: The Search And Rescue device picks up and relays distress alert signals from users on sea, land and air to an ISRO centre in Bangalore and enables speedy detection and rescue of such people.
The Union Health Ministry is considering a new “National Antibiotics Policy” to handle increasing antibiotics resistance. The policy is on anvil at a time when India has failed to respond to the urgent need to regulate the sale and use of antibiotics, track the incidence of resistance or improve sanitation.
Key points on the proposed National Antibiotics Policy:
- Intends to ban on the counter sale of antibiotics and to use high end antibiotics only in tertiary care centres.
- It will aim to prevent the further development of resistant strains.
- It ideates to establish a national antibiotic resistance surveillance system will be established with representation from all regions in the country, government and private hospitals.
Five countries participating in the project TMT- Canada, China, India, Japan and the U.S. have inked Master Partnership Agreement (MPA) for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) costing $1.5 billion.
Main promoters of Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project:
The main promoters of the international project are Caltech and the University of California in the U.S. and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA), with China, India and Japan providing additional financial and technical support. The telescope is expected to become operational in 2022.
Major Participating Institutes in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project from India:
- Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA)
- Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCCA), Pune
- Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital
India’s Contribution in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project:
- India has 10% share in the project, which implies a financial assurance of about Rs. 1,000 core. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) will jointly fund the Indian component.
- Indian astronomers will get observational time in proportion to India’s share in the total project cost
- India’s contributions will include fabrication of edge sensors, which sense relative displacement of segments due to gravity and temperature while tracking objects in the sky.
- India has the responsibility to build the entire actuator system to provide the best possible image of objects in the sky.
- Godrej and Avasarala companies have taken up segment support assembly, a very complicated system on which the primary mirror segments sit.
- India is also designing a mirror coating system and exploring the possibilities of setting up a unit to polish 100 segments to the project .India may also provide a part of the 492 mirror segments.
About the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project:
What is so special about
Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project?
- It will be world’s largest optical and infrared telescope which is proposed to be located just below the summit at Mauna Kea at a height of 4,050 m in Hawaii.
- It will be 81 times more sensitive than the current telescopes of its kind and resolve objects by a factor of 3 times better than the largest ground-based telescopes that are available at present across the world.
- It will be the first ground-based telescope to incorporate the technology of Adaptive Optics (AO) as an integral component of the telescope.
What is Adaptive Optics?
AO is the system designed to sense atmospheric turbulence in real time, make the appropriate corrections to the beam and enable true image on the ground limited only by optical diffraction.
The Centre has been asked by the Supreme Court to organize a meeting of Chief Secretaries or Health Secretaries of all the states to frame a law for regulation of clinical trials of drugs by multinational pharmaceutical companies. The court wants certain standards and protocol to be followed while conducting clinical trials of drugs on humans. The court asserted that the clinical trial of drugs should be monitored so that these drugs do not result in death and to ensure that there are no side effects and for this there should be proper compensation also.
As per the Supreme Court uncontrolled clinical trial of drugs by multinational companies caused deaths because of the various fake rackets running. All the drug trials will be done under the supervision of the Union Health Secretary.