Current Affairs – January 2018

Current Affairs – January 2018 with Latest Current Affairs for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS and other Competitive Examinations. Current Affairs Today – January 2018 with news summary on current events of national and international importance.

Scientist S. Somanath takes charge as Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

Noted scientist S Somanath took charge as Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.  He succeeded K Sivan, who was recently appointed as Chairman of ISRO.

Prior to his elevation, he was Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), the lead centre responsible for liquid engines and stages for all launch vehicles and satellite programs of ISRO,.

S Somanath

S Somanath had joined ISRO in 1985 and was team leader for Integration of PSLV during its early development phase and during first flight of PSLV and successful second flight PSLV-D2. He also was Associate Director (Projects) of VSSC and also Project Director of GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle. He has received ‘Merit Award” and ‘Performance Excellence award’ from ISRO and ‘Team excellence award’ for GSLV Mk-III development.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)

VSSC is major space research centre of ISRO, under the Department of Space (DOS). It is mandated to focus on rocket and space vehicles for India’s satellite programme. It is located in Thiruvananthapuram, in the Indian state of Kerala. VSSC has emerged as one of the main research and development establishments within ISRO.

It was established in 1963 and it has its beginnings as Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in 1962. It was later renamed in honour of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, father of the Indian space program. VSSC is an entirely indigenous facility working on development of sounding rockets, Rohini and Menaka launchers, and ASLV, PSLV, GSLV and GSLV Mk III families of launch vehicles.

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Government launches Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-Free Cities

The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched the ‘Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-Free Cities’ in Goa. It has been developed under Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban for rating cities on 7-star rating system based on multiple cleanliness indicators for solid waste management.

Key Facts

Indicators: These include Door to Door garbage Collection, source segregation, sweeping, scientific processing of waste, bulk generator compliance, scientific land filling, construction and demolition management, plastic waste management, dump remediation & citizen grievance redressal system etc.

Rating: Cities will be rated as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 star based on their compliance with protocol conditions specified for each of rating. City will be given rating of 3 star or above only after it is declared ODF (Open Defecation Free).

Cities can self-declare themselves as 1-star, 2-star or 4-star provided that MoHUA carry out additional verification through independent third party to certify cities as 3-star, 5-star or 7-star. Cities need to get themselves recertified every year to retain their star-status.

Significance: It provides stakeholders with single metric to rate a city’s cleanliness, rather than separately evaluating multiple factors which contribute to city’s overall cleanliness and garbage free status. It will assess many cities for having higher stars as compared to only one city being “Cleanest city” under Swachh Survekshan.

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