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22nd September 2022

  • Published
    22 September 2022

ISRO’s new hybrid propulsion system

Context

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully tested a hybrid motor, potentially paving the way for a new propulsion system for the forthcoming launch vehicles.

About

About the tested hybrid motor:

  • The test was conducted at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu supported by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC).
  • The motor used Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) as fuel and liquid oxygen (LOX) as the oxidiser.


  • While both HTPB and LOX are green, LOX is safer to handle.
  • The hybrid motor demonstrated ignition and sustained combustion for the intended duration of 15 seconds. 

Features:

  • The 30 kN hybrid motor is scalable and stackable.
  • The use of liquids helps throttling and the control over the flow rate of LOX enables the re-start capability.
  • Unlike solid-solid or liquid-liquid combinations, a hybrid motor uses solid fuel and liquid oxidiser.

ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC)

  • ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) formerly Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, Mahendragiri (LPSC-M), is located near Kanyakumari at Mahendragiri Hills, Tamil Nadu.
  • It is the major testing hub of ISRO's liquid propulsion systems. 
  • The role of IPRC is to carry out research for the development of liquid propulsion systems both for Satellites and Satellite Launch Vehicles.
  • IPRC is equipped with state of the art facilities for the assembly, integration and testing of liquid propulsion systems.
  • It is responsible for the development, qualification and acceptance testing of sub-systems and systems for launch vehicles and spacecraft projects.

Dharamshala Declaration

Context

The three-day National Conference of State Tourism Minister adopted “Dharamshala Declaration” which affirms commitment toward developing “sustainable and responsible tourism” and positions India as a “global leader in the tourism sector by 2047”.

About

The National Tourism Conference 2022:

  • The Conference was organised by the Ministry of Tourism (at Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh) to discuss issues related to development of tourism in the country.
  • The Conference holds significance in the current context of India’s G20 presidency (in 2023). G-20 will be used as a platform to showcase India’s tourism potential to the world.

Ambitious goals for tourism sector:

  • Recovery to the pre-pandemic level by 2024
  • $250 billion contribution to the GDP by 2030
  • world leader by 2047
  • A long-term revenue goal of $1 trillion by 2047

Important Initiatives to promote tourism

  • West Bengal: With Durga Puja getting a place on UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage, Indian Government has made a provision for puja passes for foreign travellers, to give them quick access to the pandals, skipping long queues.
  • Jammu and Kashmir: promoting destinations beyond Srinagar and Gulmarg.
    • Incentives for films where more than 50 per cent shoot is done in the UT.
    • Opened up most of the areas for shoots, even going up till Rajouri, which is close to the Line of Control.

Important Schemes

  • Bharat Gaurav Scheme
  • SWADESH Darshan Scheme
  • PRASHAD Scheme
  • Buddhist Enclave
  • Dekho Apna Desh initiative
  • Tamil Nadu pitched itself as a destination for medical tourism, with the state getting 40 percent of all medical tourists coming to India. 
  • The Centre announced that several visa reforms will be undertaken, while immigration will also be made more visitor-friendly.
  • The Ministry of Tourism has launched a number of initiatives and implemented a four-pronged development strategy that focuses on
    • Improving the connectivity - air, rail, and roads.
    • Enhancing the tourism infrastructure and dependent services.
    • Streamlining branding and promotion.
    • Showcasing the culture and heritage.

Significance of tourism for nation’s economy

Challenges in tourism Industry of India

  • Generating Income and Employment
  • Source of Foreign Exchange Earnings
  • Preservation of National Heritage and Environment
  • Developing Infrastructure
  • Promoting Peace and Stability
  • Lack of Proper Infrastructure
  • Access and Connectivity Issues
  • Lack of availability of amenities
  • Lack of trained/skilled Human Resource
  • Lack of marketing and Promotion
  • Security Issues

Star-rating for packaged food

Context

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has issued a draft notification on front-of-package labelling, which proposes “Indian Nutrition Rating” (INR) modelled on the health star-rating system.

About

About the draft:

  • The draft of the amended Food Safety and Standards (Labelling & Display) Regulations, 2020 made public recently.
  • It requires packaged food to display the prescribed format of INR by assigning a rating from 1/2 star (least healthy) to five stars (healthiest).
    • More stars indicate the food product is better positioned to provide for daily human need of nutrients. 
  • The INR is to be calculated on the basis of contribution of energy, saturated fat, total sugar, sodium and the positive nutrients per 100 gm of solid food or 100 ml of liquid food.
    • Solid food with a score of more than 25 will be given 0.5 stars, and those with a score less than – (minus) 11 will get 5 stars.
  • The star assigned to a product shall be displayed close in proximity to the name or brand name of the product on front of pack.
  • Exemptions: Certain food products such as milk and milk-based products, egg-based desserts, infant formula, salads and sandwich spreads and alcoholic beverages have been exempted.

Front of Package Labelling (FoPL) System:

  • According to the WHO definition, FoPL refers to nutrition labelling systems that:
    • are presented on the front of food packages (in the principal field of vision) and can be applied across the packaged retail food supply;
    • comprise an underpinning nutrient profile model that considers the overall nutrition quality of the product or the nutrients of concern for NCDs (or both); and
    • present simple, often visual information on the nutrient content or nutritional quality of products to complement the more detailed nutrient declarations usually provided on the back of food packages
  • The Codex Alimentarius Commission, an international food standards body established jointly by WHO and the Food and Agriculture organization (FAO), mentions that “FoP labelling is designed to assist in interpreting nutrient declarations”.
  • In India, FoPL on packaged foods was recommended in 2014 by an expert committee constituted by the FSSAI.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

  • It is a nodal statutory agency responsible for protecting and promoting public health in India through regulation and supervision of food safety.
  • It was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
  • It operates under aegis of Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • FSSAI is headed by a non-executive Chairperson, appointed by the Central Government, either holding or have held a position not below the rank of Secretary to the GoI. 

India’s Presidency extended at AIBD

Context

India’s presidency of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development was unanimously extended for another year by AIBD member countries at the two-day general conference of the institute.

About

Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD):

  • The Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) was established in August 1977 under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
  • It is a unique regional inter-governmental organisation servicing countries of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in the field of electronic media development.
  • It is hosted by the Government of Malaysia and the secretariat is located in Kuala Lumpur.
  • The AIBD is mandated to achieve a vibrant and cohesive electronic media environment in the Asia-Pacific region through policy and resource development.
  • Founding Organisations: The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) are the founding organisations of the Institute and they are non-voting members of the General Conference.
  • The AIBD currently has 26 Full Members (countries), represented by 43 organisations, and 50 Affiliate Members (organisations) with a total membership of 93 representing 46 countries and regions.

Government mute spectator to hate speech: SC

Context

The Supreme Court recently criticised the manner in which television channels conduct debates, observing that a methodology should be laid down for such discussions to ensure that they do not fuel hate speech.

About

About SC Observations:

  • SC criticised centre for being a “mute witness” to hate speech incidents and asked it to assist the court in addressing the problem. 
  • SC chastised the Centre for not being “proactive” in addressing the rising phenomenon of hate speech and instead treating it as a “trivial matter”. 
  • Mainstream TV channels still hold sway. The role of anchor is critical and it’s their duty to see that hate speech doesn’t occur. Many a time those who want to speak are muted.

Other observations

  • Hate speech poses complex challenges to freedom of speech and expression
  • In the US, hate speech is given wide constitutional protection, whereas under international human rights covenants and in other western democracies, such as Canada, Germany, and the UK, it is regulated and subject to sanctions

SC Suggestions:

  • SC suggested that the vacuum in legislation be filled with guidelines, as was done in the Vishaka case.
  • Guidelines in Vishaka case remained effective for more than two decades before the law on sexual harassment at the workplace was notified.
  • Simultaneously, the bench added, it would explore devising a methodology on how TV debates should be conducted so that they do not further hate speech.

Law Commission’s recommendations:

  • In its Report No 267 tilted Hate Speech, the Law Commission suggested the following amendments to the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973:
  • Insert a new IPC Section 153C (Prohibiting incitement to hatred) following Section 153B
  • Insert Section 505A (Causing fear, alarm, or provocation of violence in certain cases) following Section 505 IPC

Hate Speech:

  • Under the existing laws, neither hate speech has been defined, nor is there any specific provision to curb it.
  • Police take recourse to Sections 153(A) and 295, which deal with incitement and spreading of disaffection among communities, to tackle it.
  • Though the clamour for a specific anti-hate speech provision in law has steadily grown, defining what constitutes "hate speech" may be tricky, with the risk of an expansive law being used by the authorities to curb free expression.

Editorial

The ambit of fraternity and the wages of oblivion

Context:

The ‘fraternity’ is among the basic values inscribed in the Preamble of the Constitution of India and must not be treated as a separate item from equality and liberty.

Fraternity and the Responsibility of a citizen:

  • The idea of fraternity: Although it was defined during the French Revolution as a slogan, but there is a vagueness in it, and appears to be an emotion rather than a principle. In the Indian context, the Preamble reflects the relevance of the dignity of the individual and the unity of the nation in relation to the sense of fraternity.
  • The missing element of harmony: The element of harmony was absent when India started its journey as a republic. However, shape 42nd Amendment (1976) in Article 51A (e) on Fundamental Duties visualized the same as the duty of every citizen of India.
  • Role of an individual citizen: The responsibility of actualizing the laid constitutional provisions does not solely rest with the state but seems to be the responsibility of the individual citizen too.
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ThinkQ

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QUIZ - 22nd September 2022

Mains Question:

Q1. “In a diverse country like India, subjects such as ‘hate speech’ become a complex issue to deal with as it is difficult to differentiate between free and hate speech”. Comment (150 words)

Question Mapping

  • Subject: Polity & Governance (GS-II)
    • Sub-topic: Fundamental Rights
  • Subject: Security (GS-III)
    • Sub-topic: Challenges to Internal Security

Approach 

  • Introduction- define hate speech (Quote Law Commission of India’s 267th Report)
  • Threats/Impacts of hate speech
    • severely affects fraternity, dignity of individuals, unity and national integration
    • offends the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution
    • intangible effects of hate speech (damage to right to live with dignity)
  • Treatment of Hate Speech in Indian Law
    • Sections 153A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code
  • Discuss conflict between free speech and hate speech
  • Suggest measures to deal with the complex issue
  • Concluding Thoughts

Verifying, please be patient.

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