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19th November 2022 (7 Topics)

Vikram-S, India’s first private rocket, lifts off from ISRO spaceport


In a historic moment Vikram-S, India’s first privately-developed rocket, lifted off from the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) launchpad in Sriharikota, under the ‘Prarambh’ Mission.


About Vikram-S Rocket:

  • It is a single-stage suborbital launch vehicle
  • It is India’s first privately developed rocket.
  • It is named after Vikram Sarabhai, the founder of India’s space programme.
  • It is developed by Skyroot Aerospace with support from ISRO and IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion &Authorization Centre.
  • The Vikram-S rocket is a single-stage sub-orbital launch vehicle.
    • It will carry three customer payloads and help test and validate technologies in the Vikram series space launch vehicles.
    • Its engine was developed using 3D printing with a superalloy.
    • The engine used in the launch vehicle is named after former president Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, ‘Kalam-80’.
  • The company is designing three Vikram rockets that will use various solid and cryogenic fuels to carry between 290 kg and 560 kg payloads to sun-synchronous polar orbits.
    • Vikram-I can carry 480 kilograms of payload to Low Earth Orbit. It will be powered by a Kalam-100 rocket.
    • Vikram-II is equipped to lift off with 595 kilograms of cargo.
    • Vikram-III can launch with an 815 kg to 500 km Low Inclination Orbit.

About Skyroot

  • The company is based in Hyderabad.
  • It builds state-of-the-art space launch vehicles for launching commercial satellites into space.
  • It aims to disrupt entry barriers to cost-efficient satellite launch services and spaceflight by advancing its mission to make space flights affordable, reliable, and regular for all.

Prarambh Mission:

  • The Prarambh mission is aimed at carrying three payloads into space, including a 2.5-kilogram payload that has been developed by students from several countries.
  • The Prarambh mission and the Vikram-S rocket were developed by the Hyderabad-based startup with extensive support from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre).

Significance of privatization of the space sector

  • Low costs: It has allowed companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, etc. to cut their costs substantially and perform operations at reduced costs.
  • Creating widespread interest: The publicity of their operations, like live streaming launches, has sparked widespread interest in space exploration among the general public.
  • Quick decision-making: There is quick decision-making in private companies while the same process in a public enterprise would have to pass through several stages.
  • Higher autonomy: private companies have a greater degree of autonomy in making decisions, which enables them to take up new projects.


Art & Culture

World Heritage Week

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is observing the annual World Heritage week from November 19 to 25.
  • At present, 3,691 monuments across India are protected by the ASI, with the highest number, 745, in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Member States of UNESCO adopted the World Heritage Convention in 1972.
    • India is a signatory to the World Heritage Convention.
  • As of 2022, India boasts 40 World Heritage Sites located in India, out of which 32 are cultural, 7 are natural, and 1 is of mixed type. 

Polity & Governance

Madhya Pradesh Notifies PESA Rules



  • Madhya Pradesh has notified its PESA Rules on the occasion of Janjatiya Gaurav Divas on 15th November 2022. 
  • PESA is an Act to provide for the extension of the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution relating to the Panchayats to the Scheduled Areas.
  • Out of the ten PESA States, eight States namely; Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana have framed and notified their State PESA Rules under their respective State Panchayati Raj Acts.
  • Presently, 10 States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Telangana, have Fifth Schedule Areas in their respective States.


National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)

  • 5th Meeting of Governing Council of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)
  • NIIF is India’s first-ever sovereign wealth fund (SWF).
  • The state-owned fund was set up by the Indian Government in the year 2015.
  • The primary goal of setting up NIIF was to optimize the economic impact largely through investing in infrastructure-related projects.
  • Currently, the NIIF is managing the
    • Master Fund
    • Fund of Funds
    • Strategic Fund


Red-crowned roofed turtle

  • India has put forward a proposal to better protect a species of freshwater reptile called the red-crowned roofed turtle (Batagurkachuga) under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
    • CITES is an agreement regulating the movement across international borders of certain wild animal and plant species.
  • The Batagurkachuga or the red-crowned roofed turtle is found in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
  • In India, the Chambal sanctuary is among the last viable habitats. 
  • The red-crowned roofed turtle is already classified as critically endangered under the IUCN Red List.

Science & Technology

North Korea's new Hwasong-17 'monster missile'

  • North Korea test-fired its massive new Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
  • The Hwasong-17 is nuclear-armed North Korea's biggest missile yet and is the largest road-mobile, liquid-fuelled ICBM in the world.
  • Its diameter is estimated to be between 2.4 and 2.5 meters, and its total mass, when fully fuelled, is likely somewhere between 80,000 and 110,000 kg, according to 38 North, a U.S.-based program that monitors North Korea.

  • Countries that have ICBMs:
  • India, Russia, the United States, North Korea, China, Israel, the United Kingdom, and France.
  • North Korea conducted the first successful test of its Hwasong-14 ICBM in July 2017.


Science & Technology

Antimalarial drug

  • WHO launches new strategy to tackle antimalarial drug resistance in Africa.
  • Malaria is an acute febrile illness caused by Plasmodium parasites, which are spread to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • There are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and 2 of these species – P. falciparum and P. vivax – pose the greatest threat. 
    • P. falciparum is the deadliest malaria parasite and the most prevalent on the African continent. 
    • P. vivax is the dominant malaria parasite in most countries outside of sub-Saharan Africa.

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