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28th May – Editorials/Opinions Analyses

Contents

  1. What is Tianwen-1?
  2. A blueprint to make local Indian brands truly global
  3. What making Aarogya Setu open-source means?

WHAT IS TIANWEN-1?

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

In July, China will launch its first Mars mission, the ‘Tianwen-1’, which is expected to land on the Red Planet’s surface in the first quarter of 2021.

Tainwen-1 Details

  • The success of the mission will make China the third country to achieve a Mars landing after the USSR and the United States.
  • Tianwen-1 is an all-in-one orbiter, lander and rover will search the Martian surface for water, ice, investigate soil characteristics, and study the atmosphere, among completing other objectives.
  • The Tianwen-1 mission will lift off on a Long March 5 rocket, and will carry 13 payloads (seven orbiters and six rovers) that will explore the planet.
  • The mission’s launch in July was confirmed on 24th May by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), which has been working on the project since 2016.
  • The Chinese mission will be the first to place a ground-penetrating radar on the Martian surface, which will be able to study local geology, as well as rock, ice, and dirt distribution.
  • China’s previous ‘Yinghuo-1’ Mars mission, which had piggybacked on a Russian spacecraft, had failed after it could not leave the Earth’s orbit and disintegrated over the Pacific Ocean in 2012.

Previous Mars missions

USSR

  • The USSR in 1971 became the first country to carry out a Mars landing– its ‘Mars 3’ lander being able to transmit data for 20 seconds from the Martian surface before failing.
  • The country made its second and Mars landing two years later in 1973.

U.S.A.

  • The second country to reach Mars’s surface, the US, holds the record for the highest number of Mars landings.
  • Since 1976, it has achieved 8 successful Mars landings, the latest being the ‘InSight’ in 2019 (launched in 2018).

India

  • India and the European Space Agency have been able to place their spacecraft in Mars’s orbit.
  • India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or ‘Mangalyaan’ was able to do so in September 2014, almost a year after its launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh.

Why Mars exploration?

  • Mars, the Red Planet, has several Earth-like features– such as clouds, polar ice caps, canyons, volcanoes, and seasonal weather patterns.
  • For ages, scientists have wondered whether Mars can support life.
  • In the past few years, Mars missions have been able to discover the possible presence of liquid water on the planet, either in the subsurface today or at some point in its past.
  • Another significant point is: exploration of Mars will pave the way for other missions to planets farther away and hence are very important for the future missions.

Mangalyaan

  • The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan, is a space probe orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014.
  • It was launched on 5 November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • It is India’s first interplanetary mission and it made it the fourth space agency to reach Mars, after Roscosmos, NASA, and the European Space Agency.
  • It made India the first Asian nation to reach Martian orbit and the first nation in the world to do so on its maiden attempt.

-Source: Indian Express


A BLUEPRINT TO MAKE LOCAL INDIAN BRANDS TRULY GLOBAL

Focus: GS-III Indian Economy

Introduction

The vision for an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) is about making India self-confident and self-reliant to take global competition head on.

Domestic and Global Stages

  • The nation needs to transform our local champions into global ones.
  • Brands such as ITC and Amul have the processing capabilities and market linkages to serve the world, benefiting farmers in the process.
  • India must create a policy environment that enables local brands to thrive on the global stage.
  • Many countries have enabled the creation of global giants, and we must learn from them.

Comparing with other countries

  • The Japanese economic miracle saw a war-ravaged country transform into a global leader.
  • South Korea’s per capita income was $158 in 1960, compared to $82 in India and $89 in China. Its per capita income in 2018 was $31,362.
  • China and India had similar levels of per capita income in 1990. By 2018, China’s per capita incomes accelerated to $9,770, compared to $2,010 for India.
  • These countries nurtured domestic industry, focused on cost competitiveness, quality, size, scale and adoption of cutting edge technologies to enable global expansion.

How can the Government Facilitate?

  • The first avenue is to enable economies of scale in India’s manufacturing. For this, action will be required at the state level. We need to provide industries with a regular and cheap supply of power to boost their competitiveness, along with the creation of plug-and-play facilities.
  • The second avenue is land. States must identify and develop large tracts of land and provide them with infrastructure.
  • States must also ease the process of labour laws.
  • Easing the regulatory environment will ensure that we attract both domestic and foreign capital to our industrial hubs.
  • Related to all of this is urbanisation. Self-sufficiency in job creation and domestic demand will be driven by urbanisation.
  • Urban innovation, decentralisation and municipal finance will serve as great tools.
  • We must connect our urban and industrial hubs through efficient infrastructure.
  • The government must drive efficiencies in the logistics sector. Digitisation of ports, moving processes to an online system will reduce compliance costs.

-Source: Hindustan Times


WHAT MAKING AAROGYA SETU OPEN-SOURCE MEANS?

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

  • On 26th May, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology announced that it has released the source code of Aarogya Setu app to promote transparency and collaboration with the software developer community.
  • The IT Ministry’s move came in the wake of demands from cyber law experts and critics who had said the app was too closed in nature and without adequate data protection measures.

What does an open-source software mean?

  • Software can be divided into two broad categories, proprietary and open source.
  • Any software that has to be bought or licensed from the creator of the software is called a proprietary or closed-source software.
  • Examples include Microsoft Windows, Google Earth and Adobe Photoshop. The intellectual property rights of the software, even if bought or licensed, remains with the creator.
  • Open-source software requires no licensing and need not be bought. Its source code is open for everyone to download, examine, redistribute, and improve upon if they can, with an acknowledgment to the original software coder or the company.
  • Examples of such software are WordPress, VLC Media Player, and the Mozilla browser.

Why has the source code of Aarogya Setu been made public?

  • Critics questioned whether the app could be used for surveillance and go beyond its mandate of contact tracing, calling to allow reverse engineering and also publish the source code of the app so that it could be seen by anyone.
  • Now that the source code has been released, software developers from around the world will be able to go through the code and point out vulnerabilities or fix loopholes, if any, by writing fresh codes and suggesting these to the government.

State of Open Software movement in India

  • There are political, cultural and economic reasons to believe Open Source (OS) was important when the campaign for more OS started in the 2000s.
  • Twin objectives: Software localised to Indian languages would show our independence in technological standpoint. We would be independent of multinational companies for core technology like operating systems from an economic standpoint.
  • Today, some of the largest e-governance projects and start-ups in India are running on Open Source.

-Source: Indian Express

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