ISRO has signed agreement with French space agency, CNES for cooperation in Gaganyaan Mission. CNES has agreed to provide:
fireproof carry bags made in France to shield equipments from shocks and radiation.
Training to Indian flight physicians, etc
About Gaganyaan Mission:
Gaganyaan is a mission by the ISRO aiming to send a three-member crew to space for a period of five to seven days by 2022 when India completes 75 years of independence.
Under the Gaganyaan Mission:
Three flights would be sent into orbit.
There will be two unmanned flights followed by one human spaceflight.
The Gaganyaan’sOrbital Module will have three Indian astronauts, including a woman.
It will be designed to circle Earth inlow-earth-orbit i.e., at an altitude of 300-400 km from earth for 5-7 days.
Payloads envisioned for the mission:
Crew module –which will carry human beings.
Service module – will be powered by two liquid propellant
It will also be equipped with emergency escape and emergency mission abort system.
It will be launched by GSLV Mk III, also referred as the LVM-3 (Launch Vehicle Mark-3).
The prospective cosmonauts studied in detail with the systems of the Soyuz manned spaceship in Russia
Wholesale Price Index:
Why in News?
Inflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI) last month reached to a record high of 7.4%.
WPI represents the price of a basket of wholesale goods.
It focuses on the price of goods that are traded between companies at a non-consumer stage.
The objective of WPI is – to monitor the price drifts that reflect the demand and supply in manufacturing, construction and industry.
WPI based inflation rates are released by the Office of Economic Advisor under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Base Year of WPI: 2011-12
Commodities covered under WPI: Manufacturing inputs and intermediate goods like minerals, machinery basic metals, etc.
WPI, unlike Consumer Price Index, does not capture changes in the prices of services.
Polity and Governance
National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)
Why in News?
Recently, NCBC has urged the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to collect data on the population of OBCs in the country as part of Census of India 2021 exercise.
About National Commission for Backward Classes
Initially, under National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993; NCBC was established as astatutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
102nd Constitution Amendment Act, 2018 provides constitutional status to the NCBC.
It examines complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes.
Supreme Court had directed the government in Indra Sawhney case of 1992, to create a permanent body to entertain, examine and recommend the inclusion and exclusion of various Backward Classes for the purpose of benefits and protection.
Composition of NCBC: five members which include:
Vice- Chairperson and
three other members
They are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
The conditions of service and tenure of office of the members are determined by President.
Functions of NCBC:
Monitoring how safeguards provided to the backward classes under the Constitution and other laws for their protection are being implemented,
Inquiring into complaints regarding violation of rights, and
Recommending on socio-economic development of such classes.
Both the central and state governments are required to consult the NCBC on all major policy matters affecting the socially and educationally backward classes.
NCBC presents annual reports (and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit) to the President, about working of the safeguards.
The President lays these reports before each House of Parliament.
NCBC has powers of a civil court.
Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)
Why in News?
The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the CARA on a plea by a Hindu couple, living in USA, seeking a no-objection certificate to adopt a child born to Christian parents.
CARA is a statutory bodyunder Ministry of Women & Child Development.
As the nodal body for adoption of Indian children.
Monitors and regulates in-country and inter-country adoptions.
CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993.
CARA deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated and recognised adoption agencies.
CARA is also empowered to frame regulations on adoption-related matters under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
About Hague Convention:
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction protects children and their families against the risks of illegal, irregular or premature adoptions abroad.
It is a multilateral treaty which came into existence on 1st December 1983.
It was ratified by the Government of India in 2003.
The Convention applies to children under 16 years.
It also ensures the prompt return of the child who has been abducted from the country of their habitual residence.
Art and Culture
Kathakali Dance Form
Why in News?
A power-packed presentation with of Kathakali, was staged at Kerala Kalamandalam University.
Kathakali is a classical dance form associated with Kerala.
It derives its name from ‘Katha’ meaning story and ‘kali’ meaning drama.
Koodiyattamm Chakiarkoothu, Ramanattam and Krishnattam are few of the ritual performing arts of Kerala to which the origin of Kathakali is generally attributed to.
Kathakali is a blend of dance, music and acting which dramatizes stories, mostly adapted from the Indian epics.
It is known for use of heavy make-up and stunning costumes (elaborate masks, huge skirts and big head-dresses).
Different facial and costume colours indicate different mental stages & character, e.g.:
Green – nobility,
Black – wicked,
Red patches – combining royalty & evil.
Hand gestures, facial expressions with eye movements are important aspect of this dance form.
Renowned Malayali poet Vallathol Narayana Menonis known to revive it in modern times.
Prominent Artists: Ramankutty Nair and Kalamandalam Gopi, Guru Kunchu Kurup, Gopi Nath, Rita Ganguly, etc.