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July 19, 2021
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July 21, 2021
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20th July Current Affairs

NASA’s new spacecraft NEA Scout

In News:

NEA Scout is one of several payloads that will hitch a ride on Artemis I, which is expected to be launched in November.

What is Artemis I?

It is an uncrewed testflight of the Orion spacecraft and SLS rocket.

Under the Artemis programme, NASA has aimed to land the first woman on the Moon in 2024 and also establish sustainable lunar exploration programs by 2030.

What is NEA Scout?

NEA stands for Near-Earth Asteroid.

NEA Scout is a small spacecraft, about the size of a big shoebox.

Its main mission is to fly by and collect data from a near-Earth asteroid.

It will also be America’s first interplanetary mission using a special solar sail propulsion.

How will it use sunlight to sail?

The CubeSat will use stainless steel alloy booms to deploy an aluminum-coated plastic film sail – thinner than a human hair and about the size of a racquetball court.

The large-area sail will generate thrust by reflecting sunlight.

Energetic particles of sunlight, called photons, bounce off the solar sail to give it a gentle yet constant push.

Over time, this constant thrust can accelerate the spacecraft to very high speeds, allowing it to navigate through space and catch up to its target asteroid.

Significance of the mission:

NEA Scout will begin an approximate two-year journey to fly by a near-Earth asteroid.

Once it reaches its destination, the spacecraft will capture images of the asteroid which scientists will then study to further our understanding of these small but important solar system neighbors.

Understanding their properties could help us develop strategies for reducing the potential damage caused in the event of an impact.

Indian Labour Conference (ILC)

In News:

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convene the Indian Labour Conference (ILC).

Details:

The most recent session of ILC was held in 2015, at the earliest.

Need for convening ILC:

The ILC is “required to uphold the noble tradition of tripartism in the country”.

India also has a legal obligation to do so since the Parliament has ratified Convention No. 144 of the ILO related to strengthening the tripartite mechanism.

About ILC:

The Indian Labour Conference (ILC) is the apex level tripartite consultative committee in the Ministry of Labour & Employment to advise the Government on the issues concerning working class of the country.

All the 12 Central Trade Union Organisations, Central Organisations of employers, all State Governments and Union Territories and Central Ministries/Departments concerned with the agenda items, are the members of the ILC.

The first meeting of the Indian Labour Conference (then called Tripartite National Labour Conference) was held in 1942 and so far a total of 46 Sessions have been held.

Significance:

Indian Labour Conference discusses and deliberates on significant issues aimed at improving the welfare of the workers. Notable contributions have been emanated by this forum including the Minimum wage fixing methodology and standing orders for employment.

Monsoon session of Parliament

In News:

The monsoon session of Parliament has begun.

Details:

The last session of Parliament was curtailed and ended sine die on March 25 and under the Constitutional norms, the next session has to be held within six months. This period ends on September 14.

What the Constitution says?

Article 85 requires that there should not be a gap of more than six months between two sessions of Parliament.

Please note, the Constitution does not specify when or for how many days Parliament should meet.

The maximum gap between two sessions of Parliament cannot be more than six months. That means the Parliament should meet at least twice a year.

A ‘session’ of Parliament is the period between the first sitting of a House and its prorogation.

Who shall convene a session?

In practice, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, comprising senior ministers, decides on the dates for parliament’s sitting and it is then conveyed to the president.

So, the executive, headed by the prime minister, which steers the business to be taken up by parliament will have the power to advise the president to summon the legislature.

Why is a Parliamentary Session important?

Law-making is dependent on when Parliament meets.

Also, a thorough scrutiny of the government’s functioning and deliberation on national issues can only take place when the two Houses are in session.

Predictability in the functioning of Parliament is key to a well-functioning democracy.

What is the Monkey B virus?

In News:

China has reported the first human infection case with Monkey B virus (BV).

About Monkey B Virus:

First identified in 1932, the virus is learnt to have infected only 50 people till 2020, of which 21 died.

It is an alphaherpesvirus enzootic in macaques of the genus Macaca.

B virus is the only identified old-world-monkey herpesvirus that displays severe pathogenicity in humans.

Currently, there are no vaccines that can protect against B virus infection.

Transmission:

The infection can be transmitted via direct contact and exchange of bodily secretions of monkeys.

Symptoms:

Initially there are flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills, muscle ache, fatigue and headache.

Following this, an infected person may develop small blisters in the wound or area on the body that came in contact with the monkey.

Some other symptoms of the infection include shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and hiccups.

As the disease progresses, the virus spreads to and causes inflammation (swelling) of the brain and spinal cord, leading to neurologic and inflammatory symptoms such as pain, numbness, itching near the wound site; issues with muscle coordination.

NASA’s new spacecraft NEA Scout

In News:

NEA Scout is one of several payloads that will hitch a ride on Artemis I, which is expected to be launched in November.

What is Artemis I?

It is an uncrewed testflight of the Orion spacecraft and SLS rocket.

Under the Artemis programme, NASA has aimed to land the first woman on the Moon in 2024 and also establish sustainable lunar exploration programs by 2030.

What is NEA Scout?

NEA stands for Near-Earth Asteroid.

NEA Scout is a small spacecraft, about the size of a big shoebox.

Its main mission is to fly by and collect data from a near-Earth asteroid.

It will also be America’s first interplanetary mission using a special solar sail propulsion.

How will it use sunlight to sail?

The CubeSat will use stainless steel alloy booms to deploy an aluminum-coated plastic film sail – thinner than a human hair and about the size of a racquetball court.

The large-area sail will generate thrust by reflecting sunlight.

Energetic particles of sunlight, called photons, bounce off the solar sail to give it a gentle yet constant push.

Over time, this constant thrust can accelerate the spacecraft to very high speeds, allowing it to navigate through space and catch up to its target asteroid.

Significance of the mission:

NEA Scout will begin an approximate two-year journey to fly by a near-Earth asteroid.

Once it reaches its destination, the spacecraft will capture images of the asteroid which scientists will then study to further our understanding of these small but important solar system neighbors.

Understanding their properties could help us develop strategies for reducing the potential damage caused in the event of an impact.