PIB – 22nd Jan 2021

Training for Joint Operation in Andaman Sea: 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/Mechanised components, Naval Ships comprising Destroyers, ASW Corvettes and Landing Ships withship-bornehelicopters of Eastern Naval Command and ANC, Jaguar Maritime Strike and Transport aircrafts from Indian Air Force and assets of Coast Guard.  
  • The exercise involves synergised 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 tri-services exercise aims to fine tune joint war-fighting capabilities and SOPs towards enhancing operational synergy.

1.1 crore Houses approved under PMAY(U) so far

  • Construction of 1,68,606 new houses have been approved in the 52nd Meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).  
  • 14 States/UTs participated in this meeting.  These houses are proposed to be constructed across the verticals of Beneficiary Led Construction, Affordable Housing in Partnership and In-Situ Slum Redevelopment.  
  • The states also put in their proposals for revision of projects due to various issues such as, of land, topographical hazards, inter-city migration, change of preferences of verticals etc.  Construction is in various stages in more than 70 Lakh houses and more than 41 Lakh houses have been completed. 
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban
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  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U), a flagship Mission of Government of India being implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), was launched on 25th June 2015. 
  • The Mission addresses urban housing shortage among the EWS/LIG and MIG categories including the slum dwellers by ensuring a pucca house to all eligible urban households by the year 2022, when Nation completes 75 years of its Independence. 
  • PMAY(U) adopts a demand driven approach wherein the Housing shortage is decided based on demand assessment by States/Union Territories. 
  • State Level Nodal Agencies (SLNAs), Urban Local Bodies (ULBs)/ Implementing Agencies (IAs), Central Nodal Agencies (CNAs) and Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) are main stakeholders who play an important role in implementation and success of PMAY(U).
  • The Mission covers the entire urban area consisting of Statutory Towns, Notified Planning Areas, Development Authorities, Special Area Development Authorities, Industrial Development Authorities or any such authority under State legislation which is entrusted with the functions of urban planning & regulations. 
  • All houses under PMAY(U) have basic amenities like toilet, water supply, electricity and kitchen. 
  • The Mission promotes women empowerment by providing the ownership of houses in the name of female members or in joint name. Preference is also given to differently abled persons, senior citizens, SCs, STs, OBCs, Minority, single women, transgender and other weaker & vulnerable sections of the society. 
  • A PMAY(U) house ensures dignified living along with a sense of security and pride of ownership to the beneficiaries.
  • PMAY(U) adopts a cafeteria approach to suit the needs of individuals based on the geographical conditions, topography, economic conditions, availability of land, infrastructure etc. 
  • The scheme has hence been divided into four verticals as given below:
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AstroSat’s Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope spots rare ultraviolet-bright stars in a massive intriguing cosmic dinosaur in the Milky Way

  • 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. 

Khelo India Winter Games in Ladakh

  • Zanskar Winter Sports & Youth Festival 2021 started on 18th January and will take place till 30th January 2021. A host of outdoor activities are being organised in the picturesque Zanskar Valley of the Union Territory of Ladakh.
  • Organized by Ladakh Administration, the main attractions of the first-ever Zanskar Winter Sports & Youth Festival are Chadar trek, snow skiing, snow scooter and hiking, ice hockey, and others.