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Daily PIB Analysis For UPSC/IAS | Download PDF

Date: 01 April 2019


Department of Space

  • PSLV-C45 successfully launches EMISAT and 28 customer satellites India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C45) today successfully launched EMISAT and 28 international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR in Sriharikota. This flight marked the first mission of PSLV-QL, a new variant of PSLV with four strap-on motors.
  •  PSLV-C45 lifted off at 9:27 Hrs (IST) from the Second Launch Pad and injected India’s EMISAT into a 748 km sunsynchronous polar orbit, 17 minutes and 12 seconds after liftoff. After separation, the two solar arrays of EMISAT were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.
  • Following the separation of EMISAT, the vehicle’s fourth stage engines were restarted twice to place the 28 international customer satellites precisely into a sun-synchronous orbit of 504 km height. The last customer satellite was placed into its designated orbit 1 hour and 55 minutes after lift-off.
  • About 3 hours after lift-off, the fourth stage (PS4) of the vehicle was moved to a lower circular orbit of 485 km after two restarts to establish it as an orbital platform for carrying out experiments with its three payloads.
  • EMISAT is a satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 bus weighing about 436 kg. The satellite is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement.
  • The 28 international customer satellites, together weighing about 220 kg, are from four countries, namely, Lithuania (2), Spain (1), Switzerland (1) and USA (24). These foreign satellites were launched as part of commercial arrangements.
  • The payloads carried by PS4 are Automatic Identification System from ISRO, Automatic Packet Repeating System from AMSAT, India and Advanced Retarding Potential Analyzer for ionospheric studies from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology.
  • ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan congratulated the launch vehicle and satellite teams involved in the mission.
  • Today’s PSLV mission was unique in several ways. It was a four strap-on new variant, the vehicle achieved three different orbits and for the first the PS4 stage is powered by solar panels,” Dr Sivan said. He added that a new PSLV team executed today’s mission.
  • Dr Sivan also placed on record the significant involvement of the industry in this mission.
  • So far, PSLV has launched 46 national satellites, 10 satellites built by students from Indian Universities and 297 international customer satellites, including the satellites launched today.
  • In its next mission, PSLV-C46 will launch RISAT-2B in May 2019.
  • ''Today, PSLV-C45 successfully injected EMISAT in a 748-km orbit and 28 other satellites in a 504-km orbit as sought by the customers," ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said.
  • The four-stage PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) was launched at 9.27 a.m. from the second launch pad.
  • EMISAT, with its core payload or brain coming from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was released first into its planned slot from the fourth stage or PS4, 17 minutes into the launch.
  • Thereafter, the mission team fired the fourth stage — still carrying the other satellites — twice to bring it down to 504 km from the Earth. New PSLV variant

 A new fourth variant

  •  Of the launcher, called the QL, was used in this mission. Its first stage was fitted (or 'strapped on') with two additional rockets.

Ministry of Finance

  • GST Revenue collection for March, 2019 crossed Rupees One Lakh Crore and recorded Highest Collections in the FY 2018-19
  • Total Gross GST revenue collected in the month of March, 2019 is Rs. 1,06,577 crore of which CGST is Rs. 20,353 crore, SGST is Rs.27,520 crore, IGST is Rs.50,418 crore (including Rs. 23,521crore collected on imports) and Cess is Rs. 8,286 crore (including Rs. 891crore collected on imports). The total number of GSTR 3B Returns filed for the month of February up to 31st March, 2019 is 75.95lakh.
  • The Government has settled Rs.17,261crore to CGST and Rs. 13,689crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement. Further, Rs. 20,000crore has been settled from the balance IGST available with the Centre on provisional basis in the ratio of 50:50 between Centre and States. The total revenue earned by Central Government and the State Governments after regular and provisional settlement in the month of March, 2019 is Rs. 47,614 crore for CGST and Rs. 51,209 crore for the SGST.
  • The collection during March, 2019 has been the highest since introduction of GST. The revenue in March, 2018 was Rs. 92,167crore and the revenue during March, 2019 is a growth of 15.6% over the revenue in the same month last year. The revenue for the last quarter in the year 2018-19 is 14.3% higher than the revenue collected during the same period last year. The monthly average of GST revenue during 2018-19 is Rs. 98,114 crore which is 9.2% higher than FY 2017-18. These figures indicate that the revenue growth has been picking up in recent months, despite various rate rationalization measures.

Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation

  • Technical clarification on recent media reports on National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey
  • Recent media reports in the Hindustan Times and Scroll.in have questioned the findings of the National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey conducted under the World Bank supported “Swachh Bharat Mission Support Operation”, questioning the sufficiency of the sample size and the adequacy of training of enumerators. These reports are factually incorrect, misleading and biased.
  • The NARSS2018-19 is the largest independent sanitation survey in the country to data, with a sampling framework that covers more than six thousand villages, 92040 households, and 5782 schools, 5803 Anganwadi Centers, 1015 Public toilets and 6055 Public spaces, making it the most representative sanitation survey in the country.
  • The selection of villages, as well as households within each village is random, and statistically significant and the village, State and national level.
  • The methodology and processes of the NARSS have been developed and approved by an empowered and independent Expert Working Group comprising leading experts on statistics and sanitation which include Prof. Amitabh Kundu, Dr N. C Saxena, World Bank, UNICEF, BMGF, Water Aid India, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), among others.
  • This group has overseen and participated in the conduct of the NARSS, from questionnaire design to sampling to training of enumerators to the actual questioning in the field.
  • The NARSS followed a robust quality assurance mechanism through accompaniment and back check of enumerators by their supervisors and members of the EWG, during and post the survey period to re-validate the data collected.
  • Over 5% of the total sample was back checked to ensure that the findings are credible. This level of rigor and neutrality by external experts makes the NARSS data the most credible data available on sanitation in India.
  • These media reports have used other statistically insignificant, non-representative and biased studies from varying timeframes to cast aspersions on the findings of the NARSS.
  • The report on Scroll.in has in fact quoted data from NARSS 2017-18 instead of NARSS 2018-19, misrepresenting it as the present sanitation coverage in rural India.
  • It would have been appropriate for the authors to read the NARSS Protocol document, as well as the results of the survey from 2017-18 and 2018-19 which are all available in the public domain, before making sweeping remarks on its methodology and robustness.