Items at a glance
GENERAL STUDIES II
- OPEC Groupings.
GENERAL STUDIES III
- Polavaram Project.
- GSAT-11 Ready For Launch.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
- First Manned Soyuz Mission To ISS.
GENERAL STUDIES II
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
- Qatar will leave OPEC groupings in a move that threatens to fracture the group’s unity.
- Qatar will leave the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in order to focus on gas production.
- It has been a member of OPEC since 1961, and the decision to pull out after all these decades comes at a turbulent time in Gulf politics.
- Qatar is OPEC 11th-biggest oil producer and the first Middle Eastern nation to leave OPEC.
- Its departure is significant for its potential impact on the group’s cohesion.
- Qatar was the first country to join OPEC after the five founding nations – Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – formed the group in 1960.
- Other countries who left OPEC groupings:
- In the history of OPEC groupings, three nations have left the organisation, although two later re-joined.
- Ecuador left in 1992 after an economic and political crisis, suspending its membership until 2007.
- Gabon left in 1995 but returned in 2016.
- Indonesia suspended its OPEC membership in 2016 after it having been a net importer of oil for a few years.
- The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is an intergovernmental organisation of 15 nations, founded in 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela).
- Headquarters : Vienna, Austria.
- Objectives of OPEC:
- To co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries.
- In order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers.
- An efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations.
- A fair return on capital to those investing in the industry.
- Member countries:
- The current OPEC members are the following: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, the Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia (the de facto leader), United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. Indonesia.
- Qatar to quit OPEC in Jan. 2019, says its energy minister.
- Link: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/qatar-to-quit-opec-in-2019-says-energy-minister/article25652868.ece
GENERAL STUDIES III
- Irrigation, river interlinking and related aspects.
- The Centre pulled back from its undertaking in the Supreme Court to appoint an independent agency to conduct public hearings of people in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
- Polavaram is a multi-purpose irrigation project which is under construction and located on river Godavari .
- It is located near Ramayyapet village of Polavaram Mandal of West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh.
- The project will be a one-stop solution for all the water needs of the state.
- Polavaram project dam being built on River Godavari can help divert and utilise Godavari water to Krishna and other rivers.
- The project has the capability to make the Andhra Pradesh state drought free.
- The project has been accorded national project status by the Union Government of India and will be the last to be accorded the status.
- Important concerns regarding project:
- Submergence of villages:
- The environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the project says 276 villages will be affecte
- An estimated 177,275 people live in these villages.
- The Polavaram Project Environmental Impact Appraisal Report of 1985 expected 150,697 people to be displaced in 226 villages.
- Till date the Andhra government has not found a financier for the project.
- Work on rehabilitation has stopped due to funds crunch.
- Earlier, the state negotiated with Austrian government for loans but the Centre refused to be the counter guarantor.
- The Andhra government has also approached the World Bank and the US Exim Bank.
- Design plays down flood threat:
- Environmental clearance for the Polavaram dam is based on a 2005 environmental impact assessment (EIA).
- But the Central Water Commission (CWC) changed its flood situation estimate in 2006 which has not been incorporated in the design.
- Polavaram project was designed in 1980s and updated in 2005.
- When Godavari experienced high flood in August 2006, submerging about 370 villages for days in Andhra Pradesh, CWC made a fresh assessment of PMF at 140,000 cumecs.
- Consequently, CWC directed the state government to revise the Polavaram project design to handle 142,000 cumecs flood level for its spillway.
- However, the National Institute of Hydrology of the Union Ministry of Water Resources estimated the PMF at 169,920 cumecs.
- The institute found that if the dam bursts, the peak flood will be of 198,200 cumecs. This means the project’s EIA is flawed and downplays the threat of flood.
- Submergence of villages:
- Centre backtracks on Polavaram hearing.
- Link: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-backtracks-on-polavaram-hearing/article25656404.ece
- Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
- Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
- Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
GSAT -11 READY FOR LAUNCH
- GSAT 11 is the Part of ISRO’s new satellite fleet for high-speed Internet services.
- Indian Space Organisation officials and engineers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (IISRO), now stationed in the Guiana Space Centre, South America, is going over the last steps before it sees off the heaviest Indian communication satellite, GSAT-11, to its space orbit.
- The 5,854-kg satellite, almost double the biggest one built or launched by ISRO to date, will ride up on European launch vehicle Ariane 5 ECA, numbered VA246.
- GSAT-11 is part of ISRO’s new family of high-throughput communication satellite (HTS) fleet that will drive the country’s Internet broadband from space to untouched areas.
- The broadband domain is now ruled by underground fibre and covers partial and convenient locations.
- High-speed data:
- Already up in space are two HTSs GSAT-29 (November 14) and GSAT-19 (June 2017) while one more is due to join them in the near future.
- They are all to provide high-speed Internet data services at the rate of 100 Gbps (Gigabits per second) to Indian users.
- The HTSs will also be the backbone of pan-India digital or easy Internet-based programmes and services such as Digital India, BharathNet for rural e-governance, and commercial and public sector VSAT Net service providers.
- According to ISRO, GSAT-11’s multiple spot beam coverage 32 in Ku band and eight in Ka bands will deliver an improved service of 16 gbps over the Indian region and nearby islands.
- It said, “GSAT-11 will play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country.
- It will also provide a platform to demonstrate new generation applications.
- GSAT -11 is ready for launch.
- Link: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/58-tonne-gsat-11-ready-for-launch/article25656789.ece
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
FIRST MANNED SOYUZ MISSION TO ISS
- A Soyuz rocket carrying Russian, American and Canadian astronauts took off from Kazakhstan and reached orbit on Monday, in the first manned mission.
- It was the first manned launch for the Soviet-era Soyuz since October 11, when a rocket carrying Russia’s Aleksey Ovchinin and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague failed just minutes after blast-off.
- The Soyuz is the only means of reaching the ISS since the U.S. retired the space shuttle in 2011.
- Soyuz: first manned mission to ISS since October failure.
- Link: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/soyuz-first-manned-mission-to-iss-since-october-failure/article25656575.ece
- Exseed SAT 1 is a full communication satellite which falls under microsatellite category is all set to fly on the Falcon 9 rocket of Space X.
- The Made in India microsatellite built by a start-up will be the first in the private sector to go in to space.
- It will be one of the 66 from 17 nations that will be placed in the orbit by a launcher from the Vandenberg Air Force base.
- ExseedSAT 1 will be freely available for all radio amateurs across the world.
- Microsatellite Exseedsat 1 to fly Space X.
- Source: Hindu businessline.