IASCLUB PIB News Summary : 22 May 2019

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PSLV-C46 successfully launches RISAT-2B

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) today successfully launched the RISAT-2B satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

More in news:

  • This was the 72ndlaunch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota and 36th launch from the First Launch pad.
  • PSLV-C46 lifted-off at 05:30Hrs (IST) from the First Launch Pad and injected RISAT-2B into a orbit of 556 km. After separation, solar arrays of RISAT-2B were deployed automatically and ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.
  • RISAT-2B is a radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 615 kg. The satellite is intended to provide services in the field of Agriculture, Forestry and Disaster Management.
  • ISRO is now gearing up for the launch of Chandrayaan-2 onboard GSLV MkIII during the window of July 09, to July 16, 2019, with an expected Moon landing on September 06, 2019.

Vice President calls for equitable and people-centred sustainable development

Inaugurating the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) celebrations, in Chennai today, the Vice President said Biodiversity is fundamental to the survival of the human race and said that man must re-establish the link with nature, as did the ancients in India centuries ago, and take from earth and the environment only so much “as we can replenish”.

Important point from the speech:

  • Earlier in the day, the Vice President flagged off the ‘Tree Ambulance’ initiative, a campaign to save trees. The Tree Ambulance has been conceived, designed, fabricated and equipped to provide first aid treatment to trees, aid tree plantation, assist the shifting of trees, carry out seed ball distribution etc.
  • He opined the theme for this year’s IDB Celebrations, ‘Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health’.
  • The United Nations proclaimed May 22ndas the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to improve understanding of issues related to biodiversity and raise awareness regarding the importance of conserving biodiversity, among the world community.
  • In post-independent India, a sweeping package of measures was brought about inter alia through the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and the Forest Conservation Act in 1980.
  • Local self governance got a major boost through the Panchayati Raj Amendment Act of 1992 that provided for devolution of powers and responsibilities to local elected bodies or panchayats for planning economic development.
  • To address environmental concerns at the global level, a plethora of multilateral environmental treaties have been negotiated, including the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • In response to the changing paradigms relating to biodiversity, post-Rio de Janerio, India enacted the Biological Diversity Act, 2002to give effect to the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • The recognition of Forests Rights Act, 2006thereafter, gave forest rights to traditional forest dwellers whose rights on ancestral lands were not adequately recognized in colonial period.
  • Our forest cover stands at 21% against global standard of 33.3%. India has lost over 1.6 million hectare of tree cover between 2001 and 2018, according to a new study released by the World Resources Institute (WRI).
  • Globally also, in the last 100 years, more than 90 percent of crop varieties have disappeared from farmers’ fields, affecting the food security of billions of people across the globe.
  • As much as 80% of food supply is based on a few crops such as rice, wheat, maize and millets. The loss of diversity in diets is directly linked to life-style diseases as well.
  • Half of the breeds of domestic animals have been lost and over fishing has had its adverse impact on aquatic resources as well.
  • Good health and well-being is also one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals propounded by UN and adopted universally.


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