Current Affairs of 1st January 2020

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1. ISRO to set up second launch port in Thoothukodi district of Tamilnadu for small satellite launch vehicles

Indian Space Research Organisation will establish a second launch port in Thoothukodi district in Tamilnadu exclusively to launch small satellite launch vehicles. ISRO Chairman K Sivan informed that this will come up in 2300 acres.

On the lines of GPS navigation system developed by America, the Indian navigation system called Navic with the indigenous atomic clock will be operational with mobile phone manufacturers coming forward to install the regional navigation device.

On future programs, the ISRO Chairman said that Chandrayaan 3 mission to the moon, comprising of a lander and a rover is approved by the Government. On the progress made in India’s first manned mission to outer space Gaganyaan, he said, the process of Astronaut selection is over and four men selected from Indian Air Force will leave for Russia in the third week of January to get training. The Gaganyaan mission is targeted to be launched by 2022.

Before that unmanned missions will be launched to test the crew module with robots resembling humans. This unmanned space mission will test spacecraft re-entry technology, space capsule recovery experiment and effect of microgravity on the crew module necessary for human space travel. 

2. Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020 rescheduled to 20th January this year

Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s interaction program Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020 with a cross-section of Students and Teachers from India and abroad to beat exam stress has been rescheduled to 20th January this year. The program has been rescheduled on account of Pongal, Makar Sankranti, Lohri, Onam and other festivals across the country.

The program was earlier scheduled for the 16th of January. Human Resource Development Ministry said a lot of excitement and enthusiasm is being seen among the students, teachers, and parents to not only participate in the unique event but also to receive valuable tips from the Prime Minister.

3. GST revenue collection increased by 16% in December 2019

The GST revenue collection has crossed one lakh crore rupees in December 2019, which is a growth of 16 percent over the revenue collected in the same month in 2018. The total GST collected during last month was one lakh three thousand and 184 crore rupees.
Finance Ministry said, a total of over 81 lakh GSTR 3B returns were filed for the month of November up to 31st December 2019.

4. ISRO to set up second launch port in Thoothukodi district of Tamilnadu for small satellite launch vehicles

The process of Astronaut selection for India’s first manned mission to outer space Gaganyaan is over and four men selected from Indian Air Force. They will leave for Russia in the third week of January to get training.

The Gaganyaan mission is targeted to be launched by 2022. Before that unmanned missions will be launched to test the crew module with robots resembling humans. This unmanned space mission will test spacecraft re-entry technology, space capsule recovery experiment and effect of microgravity on the crew module necessary for human space travel. 

5. Vinod Kumar Yadav assumes charge as Chairman, Railway Board on reappointment for period of one year

Vinod Kumar Yadav has assumed the charge of Chairman, Railway Board after being reappointed. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved the reappointment of Vinod Kumar Yadav as Chairman, Railway Board for a period of one year. 

6. ISRO launched many successful missions in 2019

Indian Space Research Organisation-ISRO has successfully accomplished 13 missions including 06 launch vehicle missions and satellite missions during the year 2019.
Besides, 50 foreign satellites from seven countries were launched on a commercial basis during this period. PSLV-C44 successfully launched Microsat-R and Kalamsat-V2 in January this year from Sriharikota. Our correspondent takes a look at the major initiatives taken by the Department of Space.

7. Palau is the first country to ban ‘reef toxic’ sun cream

Palau is first country to ban 'reef toxic' sun cream

The Pacific nation of Palau has become the first country to ban sun cream that is harmful to corals and sea life. From 1st January 2020, sun cream that includes common ingredients, including oxybenzone, is not allowed to be worn or sold in the country.

Palau’s President Tommy Remengesau said: “We have to live and respect the environment because the environment is the nest of life.” The island nation markets itself as a “pristine paradise” for divers.

A lagoon in Palau’s Rock Islands is a Unesco World Heritage site. The country has a population of around 20,000 dotted across hundreds of islands.

The ban – which was announced in 2018 – prohibits sun cream containing any of 10 ingredients. The list includes oxybenzone and octinoxate, which absorb ultraviolet light.

The International Coral Reef Foundation said the banned chemicals were “known environmental pollutants – most of them are… incredibly toxic to juvenile stages of many wildlife species”.

  • Palau to ban sunscreen to save coral reefs.
  • Hawaii to ban sunscreen harmful to corals.

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