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In news:

With the country’s security in mind, ISRO is gearing up to launch an unprecedented 10 earth observation satellites with space surveillance feature during 2020-21.

In brief:

  • In comparison to 10 earth observation (EO) satellites, only three communication satellites and two navigation satellites are scheduled to be launched in the next financial year starting April.
  • A budget of Rs 13,480 crore has been proposed for the next fiscal in the recent budget for the Department of Space.

Applications:

  • To keep an eye on terror launchpads along the borders
  • Checking infiltration
  • Keeping an eye on China’s naval activities in the Indian Ocean Region
  • For civil applications related to land, water and environment like agriculture, forestry and water resource management.

10 missions include:

  • High-tech Geo Imaging Satellite Gisat-1
  • Highly advanced radar imaging satellites RISAT-2BR2, RISAT- 1A and 2A
  • Oceansat-3
  • Resourcesat-3/3A & SA

ISRO is also planning to launch a new series of high-resolution satellites (HRSATs), which will be a constellation of three satellites, to provide systematic coverage of high resolution panchromatic and multispectral data with better than 1.0 m resolution with 15 km swath.

Portugal’s Support For India

In news:

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that Portugal fully supports India’s claim for a permanent member’s seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

UNSC:

Five permanent members: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly (with end of term year)

  • Belgium (2020)
  • Dominican Republic (2020)
  • Estonia (2021)
  • Germany (2020)
  • Indonesia (2020)
  • Niger (2021)
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (2021)
  • South Africa (2020)
  • Tunisia (2021)
  • Viet Nam (2021)

Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key issues:

1. categories of membership,
2. the question of the veto held by the five permanent members,
3. regional representation,
4. the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods,
5. the Security Council-General Assembly relationship.

  • Any reform of the Security Council would require the agreement of at least two-thirds of UN member states in a vote in the General Assembly and must be ratified by two-thirds of Member States.
  • All of the permanent members of the UNSC (which have veto rights) must also agree.
  • The G4 nations – Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan, mutually supporting one another’s bids for permanent seats. The United Kingdom, France and Russia support G4 membership in the U.N. Security Council.

Elephantine Conflict Swells In The East

Why in News?

  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has provided the data which accounts for about half of both human and elephant deaths in the overall human-elephant conflict in the country.
  • Three States in the eastern and northeastern parts of the country — West Bengal, Odisha and Assam.

More in news:

  • Three States are home to just about 31% of the total population of all elephants in India.
  • Over 48% fatalities were from three States and for the past 5 years 2,361 human deaths were recorded in elephant attacks across the country.
  • Unnatural deaths of elephants mainly due to poaching, train accidents, electrocution and poisoning about in which 53% occurred in these three States alone.
  • West Bengal had the highest number of human casualties: 403, followed by Odisha with 397, Jharkhand with 349, and Assam with 332 deaths.

Related Facts:

About Project Elephant:

Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) flagship elephant conservation programme — Project Elephant and it was Launched in 1992, Centrally-sponsored scheme.

Aim:

  • Protecting elephant, their habitats and corridors
  • Addressing issues of man-animal conflict and welfare of domesticated elephants.

About The Indian elephant:

  • One of three extant recognised subspecies of the Asian elephant and native to mainland Asia
  • The wild population has declined by at least 50% since the 1930s to 1940s
  • Threatened by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.

IUCN Red List: Endangered

Fragmented Forests Leave Jumbos Jittery

Why in news?

A colony built in Chinnakanal, kerala blocked the animals’ migratory path

Reason for relocation:

The first elephant sanctuary in the State was proposed in the Chinnakanal-Anayirangal area.

More in News:

  • Dam is constructed, the forestland is fragmented at times, affecting the migratory path
  • The largest human casualty in wild elephant attack was reported in Chinnakanal after the creation of the No. 301 Colony for rehabilitating tribal people.
  • Fragmentation of forestland is the prime reason cited for the elephants straying into farmlands
  • Primary causes of biodiversity loss and it increases incidents of man-animal conflicts.
  • Forests that have turned into farms and unchecked tourism are blocking animals’ paths.
  • Animals are thus forced to seek alternative routes resulting in increased elephant-human conflict.
  • Weak regulation of ecotourism is severely impacting important habitats. It particularly affects animals that have large home ranges, like elephants.

Related Facts:

What are Elephant corridors?

  • To reduce animal fatalities due to accidents and other reasons. So fragmentation of forests makes it all the more important to preserve migratory corridors.
  • The movement of elephants is essential to ensure that their populations are genetically viable.
  • It also helps to regenerate forests on which other species, including tigers, depend.
  • Nearly 40% of elephant reserves are vulnerable, as they are not within protected parks and sanctuaries. Also, the migration corridors have no specific legal protection.

India Is Ageing Much Faster Than Previous Thought

In Brief:

  • India is ageing much faster than previously thought and is expected to have nearly 20% population of the world’s 60 years and above by 2050 with the largest number of older adults in the world.
  • Dr. Chatterjee of AIIMS in his book “Health and Well Being in Late Life” explains how people look at the growth of older adults which impacts society.
  • He cautioned that the existing health system for the elderly is not commensurate with the felt-needs, especially to actively screen and manage various age-related complex health problems like fall, frailty, dementia and multi morbidity.
  • There is no mechanism to prevent and deal with 21st centuries menacing health problems like dementia and loneliness.
  • He noted that ageing population could be a demographic dividend but due to non-preparation the dependency ratio would increase exponentially.
  • As per World Population Ageing Report by UN, older adults aged 65 and above would be expected to be more than the children aged 5 years or less the by end of 2019.
  • In India, geriatric health care is changing with national programme for the Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE) being in process of implementation across the country.

Liquidation Remains High In NCLT Cases

In Brief:

  • A data released by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) shows that More than half of the cases admitted to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) are been liquidated as recovery through resolution continues to elude creditors.
  • A total of 3,312 cases were admitted in the insolvency courts till the end of the third quarter of the financial year, of which 561 were during the Oct-Dec period.
  • Out of a total of 1,351 closed cases, 780 or 58% were closed through liquidation and only 190 cases or 14% were resolved with an average haircut of 57% on admitted claims.
  • The note also pointed out that the average duration of resolution was over 350 days for all resolved cases till December, while more than 30% of cases have crossed 270 days.
  • This reflects the increasing pivotal role played by this body in resolution of stressed assets despite the introduction of a new circular from RBI in June 2019 which removed the clause that made it mandatory for cases to be admitted to IBC.

About National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT):

  • The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is a quasi-judicial body in India that adjudicates issues relating to companies in India.
  • Established on 1st June, 2016 (Companies Act, 2013)

Functions of NCLT:

  • All proceedings under the Companies Act such as arbitration, arrangements, compromise, reconstruction and winding up of the company will be disposed off by the Tribunal.
  • The NCLT is also the Adjudicating Authority for insolvency proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
  • In the above-mentioned subjects, no civil court will have jurisdiction.
  • The NCLT has the authority to dispose of cases pending before the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), as well as, those pending under the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985.
  • Also to take up those cases pending before the Appellate Authority for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction.
  • It can also take up cases relating to the oppression and mismanagement of a company.
  • Decisions taken by the NCLT can be appealed to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). The decisions of the NCLAT can be appealed to the Supreme Court on a point of law.