SpaceX Launches First Falcon Heavy Mission, After 3 Years
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, the world’s most-powerful active rocket, lifted off for the first time in more than three years, from Florida’s Cape Canaveral, with Elon Musk’s company sending a group of satellites into orbit for the U.S. Space Force.
About The Rocket System:
The rocket system, representing three Falcon 9 boosters strapped side-by-side, lifted off at a SpaceX launch pad. The rocket’s two side boosters were due to land in synchrony on adjacent concrete slabs along Florida’s east coast roughly eight minutes after liftoff. The Heavy carried a handful of classified payloads toward geostationary orbit for the U.S. Space Force on a mission called USSF-44.
USSF-44 is the fourth launch for the SpaceX Falcon Heavy overall and its first since June 2019. That low flight rate stands in stark contrast to the company’s Falcon 9 workhorse, which has flown more than once per week this year on average. And while the overwhelming majority of those Falcon 9 launches have used pre-flown boosters, Falcon Heavy launched on three brand-new first stages.
About The Past Falcon Missions:
Past Falcon Heavy missions have also attempted landings of the central booster on one of SpaceX’s automated drone ships in the Atlantic Ocean. However, the mass and orbital requirements of USSF-44’s payloads mandated that the core booster for this mission forgo landing and future re-use in order to dedicate maximum fuel for a direct insertion into geostationary orbit, about 22,000 miles (35,400 kilometers) above Earth.
The Falcon’s Debut:
Falcon Heavy’s February 2018 debut famously launched SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s cherry-red Tesla Roadster into interplanetary space with a mannequin named Starman strapped into the driver seat, wearing the same type of SpaceX flight suit worn by Crew Dragon astronauts. Falcon Heavy flew again in April 2019, when it launched the big Arabsat-6A satellite, and then again in June 2019 for a mission called STP-2.
The Other Heavy Rockets Are In Line:
Though the Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world, there are two massive rockets waiting in the wings to claim that title.
NASA’s Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket, which is currently slated to attempt its inaugural launch later in November to send the uncrewed Artemis 1 mission around the moon, is sitting in the Kennedy Space Center’s towering Vehicle Assembly Building, which lies just a few miles from the launch pad where the Falcon Heavy will take flight.
And just across the Gulf Coast, At SpaceX’s experimental facilities in South Texas, the company is in the final stages of preparing for the first orbital launch attempt of its Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket. Though the test flight is still awaiting final approval from federal regulators, it could take flight before the end of the year.
Gujarat Government Set Up Committee To Implement Uniform Civil Code(UCC)
With Gujarat headed to Assembly elections and awaiting the release of the poll schedule, state Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi announced that the cabinet had decided to form a committee for the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the state.
A Recent Phenomena:
Gujarat is the second BJP-ruled state after Uttarakhand to constitute a committee of experts on the UCC. Chief Ministers of Himachal Pradesh and Assam, also ruled by the BJP, too have backed the UCC proposal.
What Has Been Said:
Addressing a press conference in Gandhinagar, Union Minister Parshottam Rupala said, “From the days of our youth, we have been making demand for Ram Janmabhoomi, for (abrogation of) Article 370, for UCC. I want to congratulate and express my gratitude to Chief Minister Bhupendra Pate, he has taken the next step towards fulfilling an old demand of the BJP.” “Like Ram Mandir and Kashmir, this issue (of UCC) has been passed by the Gujarat government (in the cabinet). A committee will be formed soon and based on the committee’s report, the way for implementing this law will open up in the state of Gujarat.”
About The Committee:
The committee will be constituted under the leadership of a retired judge of the High Court. The cabinet has given the Chief Minister the right to constitute the committee and it is expected to comprise three-four members. Its scope of work too will be decided.
Since, family and succession laws come under the concurrent jurisdiction of the Centre and states, a state government can bring in a state law. But a uniform law across the country can only be enacted by Parliament. Earlier this month, the Centre told the Supreme Court that the matter will now be placed before the 22nd Law Commission.
Responding to petitions seeking uniformity in laws governing matters of divorce, succession, inheritance, adoption and guardianship, the Centre, in an affidavit, underlined that the Constitution obligates the state to have a Uniform Civil Code for citizens. It said citizens belonging to different religions and denominations following different property and matrimonial laws “is an affront to the nation’s unity”.
The government also told the Supreme Court that no direction can be issued to the legislature to enact a particular legislation. “This is a matter of policy for the elected representatives of the people to decide. It is for the legislature to enact or not to enact a legislation,” its affidavit stated.
The Prevailing Condition:
Article 44 of the Constitution – in Part IV which deals with Directive Principles of State Policy – states: “The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.”
Goa is the only state in India that has a uniform civil code regardless of religion, gender and cast. A former Portuguese colony, it inherited the Portuguese Civil Code, 1867 that is still applicable in the state even after it joined the Indian Union in 1961.
In other parts of the country, different personal laws are applicable to different religious communities. For instance, the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 is applicable to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs, the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 is applicable to matters related to Parsis, the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 for Christians and the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 is applicable to Muslims in personal matters.
Central Vigilance Awareness Week is observed from 31st October to 6th November 2022
Central Vigilance Commission observes Vigilance Awareness Week during the week in which 31st of October, the birthday of the late Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel falls. This year, Vigilance Awareness Week is being observed from 31st October to 6th November 2022 with the following theme: “Corruption-free India for a developed Nation”.
As a precursor to Vigilance Awareness Week 2022, the Central Vigilance Commission had carried out a three-month campaign highlighting certain preventive vigilance initiatives as focus areas for all the Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations.
The six focus areas include the following:
a) Property Management
b) Management of Assets
c) Record Management
d) Technological Initiatives comprising two parameters
Website Maintenance & updation
Identification of new areas for service delivery for customers to be brought on the online portal and initiation of steps for creating an Online platform.
e) Updation of guidelines/circulars / Manuals wherever found necessary
f) Disposal of complaints
About the Vigilance Awareness Week:
In course of observance of Vigilance Awareness Week, public meetings will be held at district and block levels involving the students, youth, academics, serving and retired Govt. officials, Self Help Groups, NGOs and members of civil society in order to raise public awareness against perils of corruption and enlist the support of all the stakeholders in the anti-corruption campaign.
Further, debate, quiz, cartoon, slogans, painting, rangoli & poster competitions on anti-corruption theme amongst the school and college students have been planned. Public rallies, walkathon and marathon etc. involving students and different sections of society will also be organised at different places to raise awareness.
About the Central Vigilance Commission:
The Central Vigilance Commission has the mandate under the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 to fight corruption and to ensure integrity in public administration.
It is charged with monitoring all vigilance activities under the Central Government and advising various authorities in Central Government and organizations under it, in planning, executing and reviewing their vigilance work in order to bring out systemic improvement in governance.
In addition, the Commission with its outreach activities also endeavours to create awareness amongst the common man, especially the youth, towards the policy of achieving transparency, accountability and corruption-free governance.
WHO Global TB Report 2022
The WHO released the Global TB Report 2022 on October 27, 2022. The Report notes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis, treatment and burden of disease for TB all over the world. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken note of the WHO Global TB Report 2022, and clarified that India has performed far better on major metrics as compared to other countries over time.
India’s TB Incidences:
India’s TB incidence for the year 2021 is 210 per 100,000 population – compared to the baseline year of 2015 (incidence was 256 per lakh of population in India); there has been an 18% decline which is 7 percentage points better than the global average of 11%. These figures also place India at the 36th position in terms of incidence rates i.e. from largest to smallest incidence numbers.
The Pandemic Effect & India:
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted TB Programmes across the world, Even then India was able to successfully offset the disruptions caused, through the introduction of critical interventions in 2020 and 2021 – this led to the National TB Elimination Programme notifying over 21.4 lakh TB cases – 18% higher than 2020. This success can be attributed to an array of forward-looking measures implemented by the Programme through the years, such as the mandatory notification policy to ensure all cases are reported to the government. Further, intensified door-to-door Active Case Finding drives to screen patients and ensure no household is missed, has been a pillar of the Programme.
In 2021, over 22 crore people were screened for TB. The aim has been to find and detect more cases to arrest onwards transmission of the disease in the community which has contributed to the decline in incidence. For this purpose, India has also scaled up diagnostic capability to strengthen detection efforts. Indigenously-developed molecular diagnostics have helped expand the reach of diagnosis to every part of the country today. India has over 4,760 molecular diagnostic machines across the country, reaching every district.
Key Findings Of The Report:
Over 10.6 million people fell ill because of tuberculosis in 2021. This is a 4.5 per cent increase when compared with 2020 figures.
6 million people have lost their lives to tuberculosis. Of these, 187,000 are HIV patients.
The burden of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) has risen by 3 per cent between 2020 and 2021. Last year, 450 000 new cases of rifampicin-resistant TB (RR-TB) were recorded.
COVID-19 pandemic and the on-going conflicts in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East are disrupting TB responses across the world. This is exacerbating the situation further.
Due to challenges related to accessibility to essential TB services, many people with tuberculosis have not been diagnosed and treated.
According to the report, the number of reported cases of TB fell from 7.1 million in 2019 to 5.8 million in 2020. The situation improved in 2021, with 6.4 million people reporting TB.
Reduction in the number of reported TB cases means that there is an increase in the number of untreated TB patients. The number of TB deaths have increased as well along with more community transmission of TB infection.
TB & India’s Performance:
With 28% cases, India was among the eight countries accounting for more than two-third (68.3%) of the total TB patients’ count.
The other countries were Indonesia (9.2% cases), China (7.4%), the Philippines (7%), Pakistan (5.8%), Nigeria (4.4%), Bangladesh (3.6%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2.9%).
India accounted for 36% of the global TB related deaths among HIV negative people.
India was among the three countries (along with Indonesia and the Philippines) that accounted for most of the reduction in 2020 (67% of the global) and made partial recoveries in 2021.
India’s Stand on the Report: India has performed far better on major metrics as compared to other countries over time.
India’s TB incidence for the year 2021 is 210 per 100,000 population – compared to the baseline year of 2015 (which was 256 per 100,000 population).