Current Affairs 2017 (December)

GAIL awards major contracts for Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga

State-run Gas (India) Limited (GAIL) has placed orders for another 400-km natural gas pipeline project under ambitious Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga (PMUG). The orders were placed for 400-km for pipeline from Dobhi (Bihar) to Durgapur (West Bengal).

With this, the total pipe supply orders for 2,100 km of Jagdishpur-Haldia & Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL) project have been placed. GAIL also has placed 1,700 km of line laying orders.

Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga

The ambitious 2,655 km long JHBDPL project also known as ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’ project originates at Jagdishpur (Uttar Pradesh). The main trunk of pipeline ends to Haldia (West Bengal) and Dhamra (Odisha). The pipeline passes through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. The total cost of project is Rs. 12,940 crore and is targeted to be completed by 2019.

The project is being implemented by state-run gas utility GAIL. It will augment GAIL’s existing network of trunk pipelines covering the length of around 11,000 km by 2540 km.

Significance

The project is considered as a major step towards collective growth and development of the Eastern region of India. It will provide clean energy to households and transportation in the cities en-route the pipeline. It will usher Industrial development in East India by supplying environmentally clean natural gas to fertiliser and power plant, refineries, steel plants and other industries. Seven big east India cities viz. Varanasi, Jamshedpur, Patna, Ranchi, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack – will be the major beneficiary of this project.

Gas (India) Limited (GAIL)

GAIL is the largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company in India. It is headquartered in New Delhi. It has following business segments: natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas transmission, liquid hydrocarbon, city gas distribution, petrochemical, exploration and production, GAILTEL and electricity generation. It was conferred with the Maharatna status in February 2013 by the Government of India. Only six other Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) enjoy this coveted status amongst all central CPSEs.

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ISRO to launch 31 satellites in single mission in January 2018

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced to launch 31 satellites, including India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation space craft in a single mission onboard on January 10, 2018.

These satellites will be launched onboard of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C40 from the spaceport in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It will be first PSLV mission after the unsuccessful launch of backup navigation satellite IRNSS-1H in August 2017 on board PSLV-C39, due to technical fault on final leg following perfect launch.

Payloads

The mission will be combination of 28 nano satellites from foreign countries, including Finland, US and one micro and nano satellite from India. The mission’s main payload will be India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation satellite. This will be the third satellite in the Cartosat-2 series

Cartosat-2 series satellite launch is a follow-on mission with the primary objective of providing high resolution scene specific spot imageries. It carries Panchromatic and Multi-spectral cameras operating in Time Delay Integration mode. It is capable of delivering high resolution data.

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

PSLV is third generation launch vehicle indigenously designed and developed by ISRO. It is one of world’s most reliable and versatile workhorse (launch vehicles) with 39 consecutively successful missions by June 2017.

It is four stages launch vehicle and first Indian rocket to be equipped with liquid stages. It can take up to 1,750 kg of payload to Sun-Synchronous Polar Orbits (SSPO) of 600 km altitude and payload of 1,425 kg to Geosynchronous and Geostationary orbits.

Four Stages: The uppermost stage or fourth stage of PSLV comprises of two Earth storable liquid engines. The third stage is solid rocket motor that provides upper stages high thrust after the atmospheric phase of the launch.

Second stage of PSLV uses an Earth storable liquid rocket engine, know as Vikas engine, developed by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre. The first stage uses uses the S139 solid rocket motor that is augmented by 6 solid strap-on booster.

Successful missions: During 1994-2017 period, PSLV has launched 48 Indian satellites and 209 satellites for customers from abroad. It has been in service for over twenty years and has launched historic missions like Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), IRNSS (NAVIC) etc.

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