GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World.

Seychelles Ratifies International Solar Alliance Framework Pact.

Background-

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) took another step closer to becoming a recognised inter-governmental body under the United Nations charter, after Seychelles became the ninth member to ratify the ISA Framework Agreement.
  • With this, the ISA will need the ratification of just six more countries to become a recognised inter-governmental body.
  • Till now India, France, Nauru, Niger, Fiji, Mauritius, Tuvalu and Bangladesh have ratified the ISA Framework Agreement.

Highlights Of The Development–

  • The ISA aims to get at least six more countries on board before October (2017)-end.
  • Last month, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Coal, Power, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal had said that before the end of this calendar year, we will see the ISA as a multilateral agency, ratified by the first 15 countries who would then be founding members.
  • Once recognised, the ISA can embark on its task to channelise $300 billion in 10 years to promote renewable energy projects under a global mega fund for clean energy.
  • The ISA was instituted to connect 121 solar-resource-rich nations for research, low-cost financing and rapid deployment of clean energy. These countries lie within the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • The list of signatory countries to the ISA Framework Agreement is growing, too. On August 30,2017,  Costa Rica became the 39th signatory to the list that already has Australia, Brazil, Cambodia and Peru.
  • Benin, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominican Republic and Ethiopia are also signatories to the agreement. It is expected that these countries will eventually ratify the ISA Framework Agreement.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.

GS Paper II- Governance.

Bihar Govt Orders Registration Of All Placement Agencies In Bihar.

Background

  • The Bihar government has directed the authorities concerned to get all the placement agencies registered in order to prevent fraud, Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh reported on 1st September, 2017.
  • The government has directed the placements agencies to get themselves registered. The move would help in preventing fraud being committed by these agencies.
  • The move would also be helpful in ensuring action against them.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The Bihar government would come out with a policy within three months to regulate the functioning of placement agencies.
  • The Bihar government has also taken a decision to create a corpus of Rs 5 crore for rescued child labours. The fund would be made available from Chief Ministers Relief Fund.
  • The government would deposit Rs 25,000 into the bank account of every rescued child labour and they get the maturity amount at the completion of 18 years of age.
  • The chief secretary said that the Bihar government has decided to construct a convention centre at Bodhgaya where around 2000 people could be accommodated at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore.
  • The convention centre would help in organising big events and programmes in the holy city.

Sources- Indiatoday.

GS Paper III- Technology.

NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson Returns To Earth After Spending A Record Breaking 288 Days In Outer Space.

Background

  • A record-shattering NASA astronaut returned to Earth on Saturday, 2nd September, 2017, finishing a 288-day mission that put her over the top as the American who has spent the most cumulative amount of time in space.
  • Peggy Whitson, 57, is also the oldest female astronaut in the history of space exploration, was the first female International Space Station commander, and holds the record for number of spacewalks by a woman.

 

Key Points Of The Development-

  • Whitson wrapped up a record-breaking flight that catapulted her to first place for US space endurance. Whitson’s 665 days off the planet — 288 days on this mission alone — exceeds that of any other American and any other woman worldwide.
  • Upon her return, Whitson will have racked up 665 days in space in her career, more than any other American astronaut. She is eighth on the all-time space endurance list, NASA said.
  • The biochemist is completing a mission at the International Space Station that began in November 2016, covering 122.2 million miles (196.7 million kilometers) and 4,623 orbits of Earth.
  • She and crewmates Jack Fischer of NASA and Fyodor Yurchikhin of Russian space agency Roscosmos were expected to land in Kazakhstan at 9:22 pm (0122 GMT Sunday, 3rd September, 2017) in a Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft.
  • She checked out of the International Space Station along with another American and a Russian. Their Soyuz capsule landed in Kazakhstan shortly after sunrise Sunday — Saturday night back in the US.
  • Whitson was the last one carried from the Soyuz. She immediately received a pair of sunglasses to put on, as she rested in a chair on the barren, wind-swept Kazak steppes. Medical personnel took her pulse, standard practice. She then received a bouquet of flowers with the greeting, “Welcome back, Peggy.”
  • Besides duration, Whitson set multiple other records while in orbit: world’s oldest spacewoman, at age 57, and most experienced female spacewalker, with 10. She also became the first woman to command the space station twice following her launch last November (2016).
  • Yurchikhin is now No. 7 on the world’s all-time endurance list, followed by Whitson at No. 8. The top spot belongs to Russian Gennady Padalka, with 879 days in space over five flights.

Sources- Firstpost.