PRELIMS SCORE BOOSTER
1. Induction of Chinook Helicopters in Indian Air Force
The IAF formally inducted the CH 47 F (I) - Chinook heavy lift helicopters into its inventory at Air Force Station Chandigarh.
IAF had signed a contract with M/s Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 15 Chinook helicopters.
The first batch of four helicopters has been delivered on schedule and the last batch is to be delivered by March next year.
These helicopters will be deployed in the Northern and Eastern regions of India.
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine, twin rotor heavy-lift helicopter.
It is primarily used in troop movement, artillery placement and battlefield resupply.
The original Chinook first flew in 1962 and has undergone several upgrades.
It is now one of the most modern heavy lift choppers in the world.
The addition of heavy-lift CH 47 F (I) helicopter is a significant step towards modernisation of Indian Air Force’s helicopter fleet.
The helicopter has been customized to suit IAF’s future requirements and capability roadmap.
The helicopter has a fully integrated digital cockpit management system, advanced cargo handling capabilities and electronic warfare suite that complement the aircraft’s performance.
The helicopter is capable of airlifting diverse military and non-military loads into remote locations.
2. Young Scientist Programme (Yuvika)
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched a special programme for School Children called “Young Scientist Programme” “YUva VIgyani KAryakram” from this year.
About the programme
The Program is primarily aimed at imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications to the younger ones with the intent of arousing their interest in the emerging areas of Space activities.
ISRO has chalked out this programme to “Catch them young”.
The residential training programme will be of around two weeks duration during summer holidays and it is proposed to select 3 students each from each State/ Union Territory to participate in this programme covering state, CBSE, and ICSE syllabus.
The selection is based on the academic performance and extracurricular activities.
Students belonging to the rural area have been given special weightage in the selection criteria.
3. Chandrayaan 2 will carry NASA’s laser instruments to Moon
India’s lunar mission Chandrayaan 2, scheduled to launch in April will carry NASA’s laser instruments that allow scientists to make precise measurements of the distance to the Moon.
Chandrayaan-2, India's second mission to the Moon is a totally indigenous mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover.
After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander housing the Rover will separate from the Orbiter.
After a controlled descent, the Lander will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a Rover.
The mission will carry a six-wheeled Rover which will move around the landing site in semi-autonomous mode as decided by the ground commands.
The instruments on the rover will observe the lunar surface and send back data, which will be useful for analysis of the lunar soil.
The Chandrayaan-2 weighing around 3290 kg and would orbit around the moon and perform the objectives of remote sensing the moon.
The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice.
4. PSLV-C45 project will mark several firsts for ISRO
For the sheer number of ‘firsts’ to its credit, the PSLV-C45/Emisat mission scheduled for an April 1 lift-off from Sriharikota will be a memorable one for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
It will be ISRO’s first attempt at placing payloads in three different orbits. The chief payload — the Emisat — will be injected into a 749 km orbit.
After that, the fourth stage of the rocket will be manoeuvred to a 504 km orbit for releasing 28 international satellites.
Once that job is over, the fourth stage will be restarted and guided to an altitude of 485 km. For the next six months, this stage will serve as an orbital platform for space-based experiments. This is another first for the ISRO. Normally, the spent stage simply becomes space junk.
The orbital platform will also sport solar panels, which too is a first. But that’s not all: the launch vehicle itself is a new variant, designated PSLV-QL. For the first time, ISRO will be employing four XL strap-on motors on the first stage.
Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST)
Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) is a government-aided institute and deemed university for the study and research of space science, located at Valiamala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
It is the first university in Asia to be solely dedicated to the study and research of Outer space.
IIST was set up by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under the Department of Space, Government of India.
A.P. J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India, was the Chancellor of IIST.
IIST offers regular engineering undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate programmes with focus on space science, technology and applications.
5. Golan Heights belongs to Israel: U.S.
With Israeli Prime Minister at his side, U.S. President declared that the Golan Heights belongs to Israel.
The Golan Heights were part of Syria until 1967, when Israel captured most of the area in the Six Day War, occupying it and annexing it in 1981.
That unilateral annexation was not recognised internationally, and Syria demands the return of the territory.
Syria tried to regain the Heights in the 1973 Middle East war but was thwarted.
Israel and Syria signed an armistice in 1974 and the Golan had been relatively quiet since.
In 2000, Israel and Syria held their highest-level talks over a possible return of the Golan and a peace agreement.
But the negotiations collapsed and subsequent talks also failed.
Why Golan Heights is important?
Having control of the Golan gives Israel a vantage point from which to monitor any Syrian military movements towards Israel.
The area is a key source of water for an arid region. Rainwater from the Golan’s catchment feeds into the Jordan River. The area provides a third of Israel’s water supply.
The land is fertile, with the volcanic soil being used to cultivate vineyards and orchards and to raise cattle. The Golan is also home to Israel’s only ski resort.