By: D.K Choudhary
Government Launches Web-Portal ‘ShaGun’ for Monitoring Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
i. The Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar launched a dedicated web portal ‘ShaGun’ on January 18, 2017 for continuous monitoring of the elementary education scheme Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and promote the development of education sector of India.
ii. The portal has been developed by World Bank in collaboration with Ministry of Human Resource Development. ShaGun has been coined from the words ‘Shala’ meaning schools and ‘Gunvatta’ meaning quality.
iii. The newly developed portal and first-of-its kind platform would perform dual function. Firstly it would focus on displaying positive stories in the field of education in the form of videos, testimonials, case studies, and images on the web portal for further improvement in performance under SSA.
iv. Secondly it provides an online monitoring module to measure state-level performance and progress against key educational indicators to enable the government and administrators to track the efficiency with which SSA funds are being utilised and the results that this is delivering.
v. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is a centrally sponsored scheme providing universal access to education to children in the age group of six to fourteen years of age.
ISRO Successfully Realignes Orbit of Mars Mission “Mangalyaan”
i. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully realigned the orbit of its Mars Orbiter Mission ‘Mangalyaan’ on January 19, 2017 since it could not withstand long duration eclipse.
ii. The need for changing the orbit of Mangalyaan was felt to protect it from the long duration eclipse otherwise the Mangalyaan’s battery capacity would have got exhausted due to lack of sun rays.
iii. It would help to keep the power supply strong during the eclipse caused by shadow of Mars falling on it for 7-8 hours so that Mangalyaan could continue to function longer.
iv. The spacecraft has 30kg fuel left as per the scientists and with realignment it is expected to work for a very long time to come.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru
♦ Founded: 15 August 1969
♦ Director: A. S. Kiran Kumar
High Resolution Weather Prediction System Commissioned by Ministry of Earth Sciences
i. The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) led by Dr. Harsh Vardhan commissioned a very high resolution of 12km global deterministic weather prediction model, Ensemble Prediction System (EPS), on January 16, 2017 that will be used to generate operational weather forecasts.
ii. Aim: The new system would be beneficial to overcome the problem of uncertainties in the forecasts. It would also help to generate multiple forecasts with slightly varying initial conditions and predict probabilistic forecasts and quantify the uncertainties.
iii. The newly commissioned system was on a trail run since September 2016 and will replace the earlier model of the system that had a horizontal resolution of 25 km. The previous systems made significant contribution in predicting the track and the intensity of the Cyclonic Storm Vardah and the cold wave over the northern parts of India.
iv. Besides the existing systems that are operating under MoES will also be upgraded to 12 km resolution that has an operating horizontal resolution of 25 km.
v. The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is responsible to provide Weather, Climate and Hydrological Services to users throughout the year which are implemented by India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information System (INCOIS).