November 07, 2018
12 months

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

  • India has been elected as a Member of the ITU Council for another 4-year term (2019-2022).
  • India has been a regular member of the ITU council since 1952.
  • ITU is the specialized agency of United Nation (UN) for information and communication technologies (ICTs).
  • It currently has a membership of 192 countries and more than 700 private-sector entities.
  • Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It is responsible for the allocation of radio spectrum and satellite orbits, and for the standardization and development of ICTs worldwide.
  • The work of ITU covers the whole ICT sector, from digital broadcasting to the Internet and from mobile technologies to 3D TV.
  • It is unique among UN agencies in having both public and private sector membership.
  • In its recent meeting, it was decided to set up ITU South Asia Area Office and Technology Innovation Centre in New Delhi.

GSAT – 11

  • GSAT – 11, India’s heaviest communication satellite till date, returns to Guiana after repair work in Bengaluru, for its launch in December.
  • It is going to be launched in Ariane -5 launch vehicle designed by Arianespace, ISRO’s long-time European launch services contractor.
  • It will be launched from Guiana space port in South America along with South Korea’s weather satellite GEO-Kompsat 2A.
  • It is built to provide the Indian region superior communication and 12 GBPS connectivity with its multiple spot beams in Ka and Ku bands.

VdW Materials

  • VdW materials are made of piles of ultra-thin layers that are held together by van der Waals bonds.
  • Van der Waals bonds are weak forces exist between molecules of same substance and arise when atoms are in close proximity.
  • VdW materials have the potential to replace the current hard drive assemblies in computers and become the key to quantum computing.
  • Controlling magnetism is typical of VdW materials.
  • The layers in the material can be changed, added or removed in order to introduce magnetism and other new physical properties in the material.


  • Ude Desh Ki Aam Nagrik (UDAN) is a regional connectivity scheme introduced by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
  • Under UDAN 3, government proposes to connect destinations through seaplanes and have invited bids for the same.
  • Among the destinations, the recently unveiled Statue of Unity at Sardar Sarovar Dam, Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, Tehri Dam in Uttarakhand and Nagarjuna Sagar in Telangana are included.
  • UDAN offers concessions to the airlines to encourage them to fly on regional routes.
  • Concession include operating subsidies like levies or charges imposed by the airport operators, excise duty at 2% and VAT at 1% on aviation turbine fuel, parking charges at airports and exempting these operations from the GST net.
  • Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the implementing agency.
  • A Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) will be created to subsidise operations under the RCS.
  • The central government will fund 80% of the losses incurred and the rest will be covered by the states.
  • This is provided through the Viability gap funding (VGF) to the selected airline operators from RCF, and state governments will be required to reimburse the applicable share.
  • VGF will be provided for three years from the date of commencement of operations of such RCS flights.
  • In general, central and state contributions for VGF are 80:20 and for the north-eastern states & union territories it is 90:10.
  • Benefits under the Scheme will be available for a period of 10 years from the date of its notification.
  • RCS will be made operational only in states and at airports which are willing to provide concessions required under the Scheme.

SDG Global Media Compact

  • Global media compact was introduced in the last session of UN general assembly in collaboration with UN foundation.
  • It is an initiative marking a new drive to advance awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • The Compact seeks to inspire media and entertainment companies around the world to leverage their resources and creative talent to advance the Goals.
  • It is inclusive and aims to embrace media companies from all regions and all platforms.
  • The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by world leaders at the historic Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.


Source: PIB, The Hindu, Business Standard



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