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Indigenously built, first pair of weather radars installed over Himalayas

CONTEXT:

Union Minister for Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan Friday commissioned two of the ten indigenously built Doppler weather radars which will closely monitor the weather changes over the Himalayas.

                         IMG_256

NEWS IN DETAILS:

New Forecast System: A joint venture with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Union minister launched a Multi-Mission Meteorological Data Receiving and Processing System.

  • This new system will capture, process and make available for use satellite data within seven minutes as opposed to 20 minutes taken by earlier systems.

Located at: Services of X-band Doppler radars were virtually inaugurated on the 146th foundation day of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday at

  • Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand and
  • Kufri in Himachal Pradesh

Covering Regions: Covering the central and western Himalayas, these dual polarised radars will gather atmospheric variations and pick signals of extreme weather events.

Highly Prone Areas: Both Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are highly prone to

 

  • cloud bursts,
  • landslides,
  • heavy rain and
  • snowfall.

Advance plans and initiate rescue measures: Timely weather forecasts and warnings would ensure the governments make advance plans and initiate rescue measures, state officials said.

Weather and climate play a significant role in both agriculture and tourism — the two main sectors contributing towards the state’s economy.”

Strengthen IMD’s forecast: From just 13 radars in 2013, the country now has 29 radars operational. This will strengthen IMD’s forecasts further.”

Future agenda: The IMD must now utilise the latest digital technology and work towards developing mobile-friendly weather applications, especially in regional languages.

India Meteorological Department (IMD)

111

Formed in 1875

It is the national meteorological service of the country.

HQ: New Delhi

It is the chief government agency dealing in everything related to

  • Meteorology,
  • Seismology, and
  • Associated subjects.

Ministry: Under the supervision of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Indian Government.

Source: Indian Express

All member states of UN can now join International Solar Alliance-India

CONTEXT:

India on Friday said all member states of the United Nations, including those lying beyond the tropics, can now join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) with an amendment to its framework agreement coming into effect recently.

                       International Solar Alliance UPSC IAS 2020 General Knowledge

NEWS IN DETAILS:

Universalisation of the membership: In pursuance of the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for achieving the universalisation of the membership of the International Solar Alliance beyond the tropics.

  • The first general assembly of the ISA, held on October 3, 2018.
  • It adopted the amendment to its framework agreement to expand the scope of membership to all member states of the United Nations.

Ratifications/approvals/acceptances: After the necessary ratifications/approvals/acceptances were obtained from the requisite number of ISA member countries as mandated by the framework agreement.

  • The amendment has entered into force on January 8, 2021, the Ministry of External Affairs.

ISA framework agreement: It allows all the member states of the United Nations to join the grouping, including those lying beyond the tropics.

INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE:

International Solar Alliance: India takes its place in the sun with launch  of solar alliance | India News - Times of India

It was launched jointly by the Indian prime minister and the French president.

COP 21: During the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21, in Paris.

The Paris Declaration establishes ISA

HQ: Gurugram

Aims: It aims to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through rapid and massive deployment of solar energy.

Objectives: Global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over US$ 1000 billion into solar energy by 2030.

Collective response: It aims to bring together countries to provide a collective response to the main common obstacles to the massive deployment of solar energy in terms of

  • Technology,
  • Finance and
  • Capacity.

Source: Indian Express

Russia to announce exit from Open Skies Treaty

CONTEXT:

Russia will announce its exit from the Open Skies treaty in the coming days, a pact that allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, the unnamed official sources as saying on Friday.

The report about Russia's possible departure from the treaty comes ahead of U.S. president-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.

                         Are The US And Russia Neighbors? - Answers

BACKGROUND:

The United States left the arms control and verification treaty in November, accusing Russia of violating it.

NEWS IN DETAILS:

Exit takes 6 months: Russia will exit the treaty six months after notifying other members of its departure, unless it changes its mind in the interim.

Russia has raised concerns that, despite the U.S. exit, Washington could potentially retain access to overflight intelligence gathered by allies who remain members in the treaty.

Moscow had tried to get guarantees from other countries that they would not share such intelligence with Washington, but had not been given any assurances.

New START, the last remaining major nuclear arms control treaty between Moscow and Washington, is set to expire next month. Biden has said he's keen to renew it, but it remains unclear for how long.

OPEN SKIES TREATY: