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1. Govt urged to protect interests of fishers
• The National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) and Kerala Swathantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF) have called on the government to prioritise the coastal and inland fisheries sector in the post-flood reconstruction of the State.
• A press note aid the government failed to protect the interests of the fishermen community even as it espoused their role in the massive rescue operation for flood victims.
• The organisations feared that any attempt to relocate them away from the coast would leave the beaches open for sand mining and tourism activities.
2. PSLV to launch 2 U.K. satellites tonight
• A PSLV launch on Sunday night will put two earth observation satellites from the U.K. to space.
• PSLV-C42 will be the first fully commercial trip of the year, breaking a five-month-long lull for the Indian Space Research Organisation.
==> Important highlights of this programme
• ISRO did not make any launch post-April 12, after it put replacement navigation satellite, IRNSS-1I to space on the PSLV-C41 rocket.
• PSLV-C42 is scheduled for launch at 10.08 p.m. from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
• It will lift NovaSAR and S1-4 to a sun-synchronous (‘pole-to-pole’) orbit 583 km from Earth.
• The entire flight up to the release of the satellites is designed to happen within 17.5 minutes.
• The satellites are owned by Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd., which signed a commercial launch contract with Antrix Corporation, an ISRO release said.
• The countdown to the launch began at 1.08 p.m. on Saturday. The PSLV is being flown in its core-alone format, minus the external boosters.
• The two satellites together weigh nearly 889 kg; this is the optimum payload that a core-alone PSLV can launch, Dr. Sivan said.
3. Opening Ceremony: Indo-US Joint Military Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018
• Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 a joint military exercise of Indian and US armies, commenced this morning at Chaubattia, Uttarakhand.
• Indian and US soldiers stood side by side, and gave a ceremonial salute to the two senior most officers of the US and Indian side reviewing the ceremony.
• The US contingent was represented by 1st Infantry Battalion, 23 Infantry Regiment, US Army while Indian side is represented by an Infantry Battalion.
• General Officer Commanding, 6 Mountain Division welcomed the US soldiers and in his inaugural remarks highlighted the common shared beliefs of democracy, freedom, equality and justice that are precious to both nations.
==> Significance of this programme
• Battalion strength army personnel from USA and an equal number of Indian soldiers are taking part in the two week long.
• The event will see them hone their tactical and technical skills in countering insurgency and terrorism in a UN peace keeping scenario involving a combined deployment at a brigade level.
• State of the art equipment for surveillance and tracking, specialist weapons for close quarter battle with terrorists, explosive and improvised explosive device detectors, as well as the latest communication equipment are being fielded by both sides.
• Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in UN peace keeping operations during division level command post exercise.
• The experts from both sides will also hold discussions to share each others’ experience in varied topics for mutual benefit.
4. HRD Minister inaugurates more than 3400 Test Practice Centres for entrance examinations for Higher Education, across 622 Districts in the country
• The Union Minister for HRD Shri Prakash Javadekar has inaugurated a network of more than 3,400 Test Practice Centres (TPCs) spread across the 622 Districts in the country.
• 25 Test Practice Centres (TPCs) joined Minister of HRD through Google Hangouts in this inauguration at New Delhi today.
• These test centres have been set up to facilitate students appearing in entrance examinations for Higher Education to hold practice sessions to enable them to get used to the changed mode and pattern of examination.
==> Objectives of this Test Practice Centres
• While interacting with Test Practice Centres (TPCs), the Union Minister said that the government is committed to provide quality education with equity.
• Therefore we are launching Test Practice Centres across the countryfor those students who do not have computers and smart phones. Now no student will suffer due to lack of resources, the Minister added.
• Now it has become computer based instead of Pen and Paper mode.
• The new exam pattern is more Transparent, leak proof, scientific, student friendly and fast.
==> About NTA
• In order to provide facility for practice for the changed pattern, National Testing Agency (NTA) has established Test Practice Centres across the country.
• NTA has also launched a practice App through which students can practice on their own on their computers or on smartphones.
==> Important highlights of this inauguration
• This is the real revolution in the field of competitive examinations, the Minister explained.
• NTA has established, a network of ‘Test Practice Centres’ (TPCs)across the country in about 622 Districts in 33 States/UTs.
• The TPCs will provide Mock Tests to the candidates of JEE (Main) and UGC-NETexaminations.
• While interacting with students, HRD Minister informed students that now students can access IIT PAL(Professor Assisted Learning) video lecture on SWAYAM Platform for the preparation of JEE.
• The HRD Minister received overwhelmed response from all 25Test Practice Centres. Students from various centres appreciated and thanked the government for this particular initiative.
• Secretary, Higher Education Shri R. Subrahmanyam and DG, NTA Shri Vineet Joshi were also present during the video conference.
==> Way forward
• In order to bring efficiency, transparency and qualitative difference in competitive examination process for Higher Education.
• MHRD has set up ‘National Testing Agency’ (NTA), a premier testing organization, to conduct entrance Tests for higher educational Institutions.
• The NTA has been mandated to conduct JEE (Main), NEET (UG),UGC-NET, CMAT and GPAT examinations.
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