Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

Israel launches first environmental research satellite Venus

Israel has launched its first environmental research satellite named as Venus (Vegetation and Environment Monitoring New Micro-Satellite). It is a joint venture between the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and its French counterpart CNES.

It was launched on board of Arianespace Vega launcher from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Key facts

The Venus satellite is an earth-observation micro-satellite. It is considered the smallest satellite of its kind in the world. It weighs only 265 kilogram. It will be placed in sun-synchronized orbit at an altitude of 720 kilometers.

It will circle the earth 29 times in each 48-hour period and will stay in commission for 4.5 years. The mini-satellite is equipped with a special camera that can visualize details on Earth that are not visible to the naked eye.

Venus Satellite has a dual mission-scientific and technological. The scientific mission will monitor Earth’s vegetation using a camera capable of recording 12 narrow spectral bands. The technological mission will test the operation of an innovative electric propulsion system based on the Israeli-designed Hall Effect Thrusters (HET). HET is a relatively low power device used to propel a spacecraft after entering orbit or farther out into space.

Applications: Venus satellite will be used to survey and monitor large areas to study soil, vegetation, forests, agriculture, water and air quality and other aspects of the environment. It will help to obtain high-resolution photographs of specific sites to track environmental issues such as erosion, desertification, pollution, natural disasters, and other phenomena linked to climate change.

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BRICS nations vow to fight protectionism

India and other four other members of the BRICS grouping members (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa) have pledged to fight protectionism.

Decision in this regard was taken at the two-day meeting of the trade ministers from BRICS nations held at Shanghai, China. They released joint statement highlighting various issues and need to address them collectively.

Highlights of Joint statement

BRICS countries should jointly tackle the challenges of economic globalisation, promote open and equitable world economy. They should uphold the common interests of the emerging markets and developing countries with a view to promoting strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

BRICS agreed to firmly oppose protectionism and pledged to annul any protective measures, calling on other countries to follow the same suit. They also encouraged more countries to participate in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), urging the institution to show more commitment to receiving the least developed countries (LDCs). They also agreed to play a major part in global economic governance.

About BRICS

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was established in 2009 as BRIC. In 2011, South Africa joined this informal group and BRIC became BRICS. The first formal BRICS summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2009. So far, eight such summits have taken place.

The BRICS members are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs. The BRICS countries are home to 42% of the world’s population. Their total share in the global economy has risen from 12% to 23% in the past decade and collectively contribute they more than half of global growth. They all developing or newly industrialised countries and all five are G-20 members. They are

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