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‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Important international institution & their mandate – A law, this time for Antarctica

Bracing for activity in the remote region

    What you need to know:

  • Preparing for a populous future in which Antarctica — the world’s only continent without countries and citizens — may see more tourists, over-exploited fisheries, disputes and crime, India is drafting a dedicated Antarctica policy and a law that will likely be tabled in the winter session of Parliament.
  • Ministry of Earth Sciences officials tasked with drafting the law said that India, being among the countries that have acceded to the Antarctica Treaty, is expected to have a clear policy on the consequences of its activities in the region.
  • The treaty is framed to ensure ‘in the interests of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord.
  • To this end it prohibits military activity, except in support of science; prohibits nuclear explosions and the disposal of nuclear waste; promotes scientific research and the exchange of data; and holds all territorial claims in abeyance.

Many pacts for region:

  • Several related conventions, such as the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (1972) and the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1980), are appended to this treaty for protection.
  • However, these laws also mean that conventional concepts such as territories and jurisdicti- ons do not hold good here. India is expanding its infrastructure development in Antarctica. The government is rebuilding its station, Maitri, to make it bigger and last for at least 30 years.

First Indian base:

  • Dakshin Gangotri, the first Indian base established in 1984, has weakened and become just a supply base. A committee that includes Biman Patel, ViceChancellor, Gujarat National Law University, has been asked to draft the new ‘Antarctica law.’ M. Ravichandran, Director, National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, said clear laws are necessary on a wide range of matters, including “domestic disputes between residents.” South Africa and Australia have specific laws.

Source: World United

 

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Awareness in the field of Space – PSLV will lock heavy weight Cartosat-2 into orbit

It will be the 17th flight of the four-stage PSLV in the extended version with strap-on motors

    What is important to know:

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set for the launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle carrying the Cartosat-2 series satellite, along with 30 co-passenger satellites.
  • The 28-hour countdown for the PSLV- C38 mission began at 5.29 a.m. at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
  • It will be the 17th flight of the four-stage PSLV in the XL (extended) version with strap-on motors.
  • The rocket weighing 320 tonnes at lift-off uses solid propellant for the first and third stage and the strap-ons, while the second and fourth stage use liquid propellant.

30 other satellites:

  • The 31 satellites, together weighing 955 kg, will be lifted into a 505-km polar sun synchronous orbit.
  • This will be the second highest number of satellites to be launched by ISRO using a single rocket”, says PSLV project director B. Jayakumar.
  • In February this year, the PSLV-C37 mission launched 104 satellites into orbit, in a milestone achievement.
  • The Cartosat-2 earth observation satellite, weighing 712 kg, is the primary payload aboard PSLV-C38 and will be the first to be injected into orbit, 16 minutes from lift-off.
  • The imagery provided by the satellite will be used for cartographic applications, coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, water distribution, land use mapping and geographical information system applications.
  • Cartosat-2 is designed for a lifespan of five years, according to ISRO.

14 countries:

  • The PSLV-C38 payload includes a nano satellite designed and developed by the Noorul Islam University in Kanyakumari district.
  • The rest of the payload comprises 29 nano satellites from 14 countries — Austria, Belgium, Chile, the Czech republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, United Kingdom and the U.S.
  • They are being launched as part of the commercial pact between the Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of ISRO, and the international customers.

Source: The Hindu

 

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: India & its neighborhood relations – India flags U.S. military aid to Pakistan

Agenda set for Prime Minister Modi’s first meeting with President Donald Trump later this week

    Brief:

  • Setting the agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump later this week, India raised the issue of continued American military assistance to Pakistan and sought an end to cross-border terrorism.
  • Speaking at the weekly press briefing, Official Spokesperson Gopal Baglay pointed out that Pakistan diverts U.S. military aid to target India, even as India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin told the U.N. Security Council to deal with the “adversary” that provides “safe haven” to terrorists who target Afghanistan.
  • S. officials are aware of our view which essentially is that the military aid (to Pakistan) is diverted for use against us.

Relationship:

  • In between Pakistan and the U.S. is a relationship between two sovereign countries but we have conveyed our concerns regarding military assistance to Pakistan,” said the Official Spokesperson of MEA Gopal Baglay who also explained that problems with Pakistan remain a bilateral issue without the possibility of a third-party intervention.
  • Earlier, Syed Akbaruddin in a statement at the U.N. Security Council hinted at Pakistan and called for urgent action to stop the current wave of violence in Afghanistan.
  • Clearly, the international community is dealing in Afghanistan with an adversary who is not averse to flagrantly violating international humanitarian and human rights law… where are these anti-government elements getting their weapons, explosives, training and funding from? Where do they find safe havens and sanctuaries? How is it that these elements have stood up against one of the biggest collective military efforts,” said Mr. Akbaruddin.
  • The strongly worded statement went on to point out that the UNSC has often failed to condemn terror incidents in Afghanistan,which was echoed subsequently by Afghan officials.
  • Akbaruddin lamented that the recent multiple crises inflicted on the war-torn country have again made Afghan territory attractive for criminal and terrorist groups, which seem well connected to international terror and crime networks that prey themselves on the resources of Afghanistan.“

Source: Press Trust of India