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PIB 21st January 2021

  1. Statehood Day
  2. Exercise Kavach
  3. AstroSat’s Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope
  4. Union Coal Minister launches ‘Project Passion’
  5. Vaccine Hesitancy


Focus: GS 1; Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

Why in News?

PM Greets Meghalaya on its Statehood Day.PM greets the people of Tripura on their Statehood Day.PM greets people of Manipur on their Statehood Day.

Please click on this link for detailed explanation about State reorganization Act 1956


Focus: GS 3; Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

Why in News?

Training for Joint Operation in Andaman Sea: Exercise Kavach

About Exercise Kavach

  • A large scale Joint Military exercise ‘Exercise Kavach’ involving assets of Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Indian Coast Guard is being conducted in the coming week under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), the only Joint Forces Command of the country.
  • The exercise would involve participation and deployment of elements of Army’s Amphibious Brigade along with supporting forces including Special Forces of Navy, Armour/Mechanized components, Naval Ships comprising Destroyers, ASW Corvettes and Landing Ships with ship-borne helicopters of Eastern Naval Command and ANC, Jaguar Maritime Strike and Transport aircrafts from Indian Air Force and assets of Coast Guard.  
  • The exercise involves synergized application of maritime surveillance assets, coordinated air and maritime strikes, air defence, submarine and landing operations. Concurrently Joint Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) exercise involving various technical, electronic and human intelligence from three services will be conducted.
  • The ISR exercise will validate the capabilities of intelligence gathering from space, air, land and sea-based assets/ sensors, its analysis and sharing to achieve battle field transparency for quick decision making at different stages of operations.
  • The joint force would execute multi domain, high intensity offensive and defensive manoeuvres in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal and carry out amphibious landing operations, air landed operation, helicopters-borne insertion of Special Forces from sea culminating in tactical follow-on operations on land.
  • The tri-services exercise aims to fine tune joint war-fighting capabilities and SOPs towards enhancing operational synergy.


Focus: GS 3; Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Why in News?

AstroSat’s Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope spots rare ultraviolet-bright stars in a massive intriguing cosmic dinosaur in the Milky Way

About AstroSat’s Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope

  • Astronomers exploring the massive intriguing globular cluster in our Galaxy called NGC 2808 that is said to have at least five generations of stars have spotted rare hot UV-bright stars in it.
  • These stars whose inner core is almost exposed, making them very hot, exist in the late stages of evolution of a Sun-like star.
  • It is not clear how these stars end their lives as not many of them are detected in these fast-evolving phases, making their study crucial.
  • Motivated by the fact that old globular clusters referred to as dinosaurs of the universe present excellent laboratories where astronomers can understand how stars evolve through various phases between their birth and death, scientists at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, looked out for NGC 2808.
  • With spectacular ultraviolet images of the cluster from Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) onboard India’s first multi-wavelength space satellite, AstroSat, they distinguished the hot UV-bright stars from the relatively cooler red giant and main-sequence stars which appear dim in these images.
  • The findings of this study have been accepted for publication in the journal ‘The Astrophysical Journal’.
  • The team of scientists comprising Deepthi S. Prabhu, Annapurni Subramaniam and Snehalata Sahu from IIA combined the UVIT data with observations made using other space missions such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gaia telescope along with ground-based optical observations.
  • About 34 UV-bright stars were found to be members of the globular cluster.
  • From the data, the team derived the properties of these stars such as their surface temperatures, luminosities and radii.
  • One of the UV-bright stars was found to be about 3000 times brighter than the Sun with a surface temperature of about 100,000 K. 
  • The properties of these stars were then used to place them on what astronomers call the Hertzsprung-Russel (HR) diagram along with theoretical models to throw light on the characteristics of their parent stars and to predict their future evolution.
  • Most of the stars were found to have evolved from a solar stage called the horizontal branch stars with hardly any outer envelope.
  • Thus they were bound to skip the last major phase of life called the asymptotic giant phase and directly become dead remnants or white dwarfs.
  • Such UV-bright stars are speculated to be the reason for the ultraviolet radiation coming from old stellar systems such as elliptical galaxies which are devoid of young blue stars.
  • Hence, it is all the more important to observe more such stars to understand their properties.  
AstroSat's Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope spots rare ultraviolet-bright stars  in a massive intriguing cosmic dinosaur in the Milky Way
About AstroSat
  • Astrosat satellite is a dedicated mission of ISRO on Astronomy.
  • India has recently launched its first ever multi wavelength space observatory, ASTROSAT, into space which aims at understanding the high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes.
  • The first space observatory is the Hubble Space Telescope launched by NASA in 1990 but ASTROSAT is about 10 times smaller and cannot be compared to the Hubble, which is versatile.
  • A space observatory is launched to reduce the problems encountered in ground observations such as light pollution, scintillation.  
  • Since the spacecraft orbits outside the earth’s atmosphere, it does not face these problems, hence can perform high efficient tasks. 
  • It is a mission to observe the celestial sources simultaneously in X-Ray, Optical and UV Spectral bands simultaneously.
  • Astrosat satellite was launched from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. 
  • The satellite was launched on September 28, 2015, using the launch vehicle Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-30.
  • The satellite was placed into an orbit of 650 Km.
  • The mission was planned for a period of 5 years.
  • This has put India in an exclusive club of countries which have multi wavelength space observatories.
Benefits of AstroSat
  • Analyzing radio, optical, and IR observation; these would be coordinated through ground-based telescopes whereas, the high energy regions, i.e., UV, X-ray and visible wavelength, would be covered by the dedicated satellite-borne instrumentation of ASTROSAT.
  • Studying near simultaneous multi-wavelength data from different variable sources.
  • In a binary system, for example, regions near the compact object emit predominantly in the X-ray, with the accretion disc emitting most of its light in the UV/optical waveband, whereas the mass of the donating star is brightest in the optical band.
  • Low- to moderate-resolution spectroscopy over a wide energy band with the primary emphasis on studies of X-ray-emitting objects
  • Timing studies of periodic and aperiodic phenomena in X-ray binaries.


Focus: GS 2; Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Why in News?

Coal India arms NCL, CCL and WCL get the Coal Minister’s Award 2020. Union Coal Minister launches ‘Project Passion’- ERP of Coal India Ltd. Union Coal Minister inaugurates new Coal Handling Plant (CHP) at Krishnashila Coal Project of NCL

About Union Coal Minister Launches ‘Project Passion’

  • Coal is and will remain the lifeline of our energy aspirations.
  • India aims to become Aatmanirbhar in coal production with due care to safety and sustainability. 
  • Union Minister of Coal & Mines Shri Pralhad Joshi presented “Coal Minister’s Award” to three coal companies of Coal India Ltd. Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL), Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) and Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) in a function held in New Delhi.
  • The award has been instituted to promote best and sustainable practices for coal mining in the country.
  • Shri Joshi also launched ‘Project Passion’ the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) of Coal India Ltd (CIL) which will help improve business performance and growth of the company with enhanced data integrity.
  • Mr Joshi said, implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning will help Coal India Limited in real-time decision making, improving efficiency and reducing costs.
  • He said, it will empower Coal India Limited to achieve 1 billion tonne coal production by Financial Year 2023-24.


Focus: GS 2; Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Why in News?

Dr Harsh Vardhan unveils IEC Campaign to address Vaccine Hesitancy and Misinformation

About Vaccine Hesitancy

  • Vaccine hesitancy, also known as anti-vaccination or anti-vax, is a reluctance or refusal to be vaccinated or to have one’s children vaccinated against contagious diseases.
  • It was identified by the World Health Organization as one of the top ten global health threats of 2019.
  • The term encompasses outright refusal to vaccinate, delaying vaccines, accepting vaccines but remaining uncertain about their use, or using certain vaccines but not others.
  • Arguments against vaccination are contradicted by overwhelming scientific consensus about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
  • Hesitancy primarily results from public debates around the medical, ethical and legal issues related to vaccines.
  • Vaccine hesitancy stems from multiple key factors including a person’s lack of confidence (mistrust of the vaccine and/or healthcare provider), complacency (the person does not see a need for the vaccine or does not see the value of the vaccine), and convenience (access to vaccines).
  • It has existed since the invention of vaccination, and pre-dates the coining of the terms “vaccine” and “vaccination” by nearly 80 years.
  • The specific hypotheses raised by anti-vaccination advocates have been found to change over time.
  • Vaccine hesitancy often results in disease outbreaks and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases.

December 2023