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UPSC Prelims News 28 September 2022

 

UPSC Prelims News of 28th September 2022

Rohini RH-200 Sounding Rocket

Context: ISRO will carry out 200th successful launch of Rohini RH-200 sounding rocket.

About Rohini RH-200 Sounding Rocket

  • The RH-200 is a trusted member of the Rohini sounding rocket family. The rocket is used by the ISRO for atmospheric studies.
    • The ‘200’ in the name of the rocket denotes the diameter of the rocket in mm.
  • RH-200 is a two-stage rocket having a capability to climb to a height of 70 km bearing scientific payloads.
    • RH-300 Mk-II and RH-560 Mk-III are other operational variants of Rohini.
  • Fuel: The RH-200 rocket previously used a polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-based propellant. A new propellant based on hydroxyl-terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB) was successfully tested in September 2020.
    • HTPB propellant is more energetic, has higher mechanical & interface properties and has fewer defects.
Rohini RH-200 sounding rocket
Rohini RH-200 sounding rocket

Sounding Rockets:

  • Sounding rockets are one or two stage solid propellant rockets used for exploring the upper atmospheric regions and also carry out space research.
  • Sounding rocket have served as a flexible platform for experiments and testing out new components used in launch vehicles and satellites.
  • RH-75 was the first truly Indian sounding rocket, followed by RH-100 and RH-125 rockets.
  • In 1975, all sounding rocket activities were consolidated under the Rohini Sounding Rocket (RSR) Programme.

UPSC Prelims News of 27 September 2022

Fund of Funds for Startups

Context: The Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) has committed Rs. 7,385 crores to 88 Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), under the Startup India initiative.

About Funds of Funds for Startups (FFS) scheme

  • The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is responsible for operationalizing the FFS scheme.
  • FFS scheme provides funds for AIFs. These AIFs, in turn invest in domestic startups.
  • FFS was announced with an initial corpus of Rs. 10,000 crores. The corpus is to be built over 14th and 15th Finance Commission Cycles using budgetary support given by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
  • Significance:
    • Capital availability: FFS has made capital available for startups at early stage, seed stage and growth stage.
    • It has helped raise domestic capital, reduce dependence on foreign capital and encourage home grown venture capital funds.
    • Increased valuation: Startups supported through FFS have shown valuation increase by more than 10 times with number of them have achieved unicorn status.
    • Growth and employment: The returns generated from the success of these startups and innovation created will help generate employment and create wealth in the country.

Alternative Investment Funds (AIF):

  • Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) is a category of privately pooled investment vehicle that is different from conventional investment instruments.
  • Ex: Venture funds, Angel funds, social venture funds, infrastructure funds, Fund of Funds, private equity funds, debt funds etc.
  • Benefits of AIF are high returns, low risk and chances for diversification.

 

Cheetah Mitras

Context: After the recent re-introduction of cheetahs in Kuno National Park, the government is trying to smoothen the settling in of the cheetahs through the medium of “cheetah mitras” or ‘cheetah friends’.

Who is Cheetah Mitra?

About

  • Cheetah mitras have mainly been involved by the government to familiarize the local populations with the Cheetahs and minimize potential conflicts (As the main cause of the extinction of Cheetah from India was a lack of awareness and sensitization of humans towards the wildlife).
  • This initiative is like the one taken to aid the conservation of the Asiatic lions in Gujarat.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • The main role of Cheetah Mitra is to protect the cheetahs brought from Namibia.
  • To make the local population understand more about the cheetah and its characteristics.
  • They will take care that the animal does not move outside the park and into the villages, and alert officials in times of need.

How are Cheetah Mitras selected?

  • Almost 400 Cheetah Mitra from 51 villages, including schoolteachers, village headmen, and patwaris have received training from Forest officials.
  • Participants were selected for the role of Cheetah Mitras On the basis of verbal interaction and a basic general knowledge test.

 

The Ram Setu

Context: The ‘Ram Setu’ is in news due to a film based on it.

About Ram Setu

  • The Ram Setu, also known as Adam’s Bridge, is a 48-km chain of limestone shoals between Rameswaram on India’s southeast coast and Mannar Island near Sri Lanka’s northwest coast.
  • The structure has significance in both Hindus and Muslims. Hindus believe this is the bridge (Setu) built by Lord Ram and his army to cross to Lanka and fight Ravan.
    • As per Islamic legend, Adam used this bridge to reach Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka, where he stood on one foot for 1,000 years in repentance.
  • Scientists believe Ram Setu is a natural structure formed due to tectonic movements and sand getting trapped in corals.

Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project

  • Inaugurated in 2005, to create a shipping route in the shallow straits between India and Sri Lanka. This would provide a continuously navigable sea route around the Indian Peninsula.
  • The project was proposed to dredge around the Setu to build an 83-km-long deep-water channel.
  • However, the project was challenged in court and has been opposed on environmental grounds too.

UPSC Prelims News of 29 September 2022

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