MAINS DAILY QUESTIONS & MODEL ANSWERS
Q1. Write a short note on the future missions of ISRO.
Paper & Topic: GS III – Space related issues
- In the 1960s, India started making investments in space research and technology. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has historically prioritised social development as the primary goal of space technology applications, rather than addressing strategic or security goals. Since its modest beginnings five decades ago, India’s space programme has evolved rapidly, and it has now earned the right to be regarded as a major player in the space arena. The worth of the global space business is currently estimated to reach $350 billion, and by 2025, it is expected to surpass $550 billion. ,
ISRO’s upcoming missions are planned:
- The Gaganyaan project is a crewed orbital spacecraft that can travel seven days in space with three passengers on board. · It is anticipated to be finished prior to 2022. o The Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), which will oversee the Gaganyaan Project, was recently established to supervise the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme (HSP).
- The first Lagrangian point (L1) between the Sun and Earth is where Aditya-L1, India’s first solar observatory, will be situated. At this point, the dynamic gravitational attraction between the Sun and Earth approximately cancels out. o Using its seven instruments, it will examine the Sun’s atmosphere and surface.
- A Venus orbiter mission called Shukrayaan will be launched in 2025 with the specific goals of examining Venus’ surface and subsurface, atmospheric chemistry, and interactions with the sun’s wind.
- Venus’ atmosphere contains a gas that on Earth is associated with living things. Numerous expeditions to Venus have been suggested in light of the recent indications of possible extraterrestrial life.
- Phosphine molecules were discovered on Venus in September 2020; they may be a biosignature of microbial life.
- In order to comprehend the evolution and potential conditions on Earth-sized planets orbiting other stars, scientists also utilise Venus as a model.
- The country’s second space observatory will be the X-ray Polarimetry Satellite (XPoSat), which will be smaller and more focused. It will research how cosmic objects that are in Earth’s orbit polarise their X-ray emissions.
- India’s satellite-based data relay system: India aims to launch a new satellite series dubbed IDRSS this year in order to track and communicate with its own space assets from orbit.
- To enable satellite to satellite communication and data transfer, a pair of two IDRSS spacecraft will be launched into geostationary orbit.
- Other Indian satellites, particularly those in low-Planet orbits (LEO), which have less coverage of the earth, will be tracked, sent, and received in real-time.
- It will also be helpful in monitoring launches and helping the Gaganyaan mission crew maintain mission control while they are in transit.
- In 2022, Chandrayaan-3, a lander and a rover towards the moon, will launch.
ISRO’s challenges in its space endeavours:
- Astronaut training: India lacks the necessary facilities, despite ISRO’s repeated requests since the early 2000s for local training facilities for its astronauts.
- Projects need large investments and run the risk of failing.
- Biosciences: While ISRO has mastered the engineering components of the mission, bioscience is a new subject for ISRO and calls for more technical expertise as well as collaboration and support from other organisations.
- Enhancing the GSLV Mk III: Gaganyaan requires a massive rocket with the ability to lift a big capsule. Large satellites can be launched into orbit using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III, although this rocket must now be suitable for use by people.
- Technology precision: A system’s reliability must be high enough to permit a failure rate of only one out of every 500 launches.
- Either setting up a specific road map within ISRO for India’s commercial space programme or creating a distinct Space Commerce entity that is independent of ISRO for space-related operations.
- Promoting startups because they are scalable globally and have the potential to surpass product/service offerings coming from India.
- By offering mentoring, ISRO enables the private sector to effectively utilise the technical experience developed by ISRO.
- Space legislation adoption: To establish clear timetables for the commercial space industry’s pursuit of space operations in terms of regulatory, legal, and procedural frameworks.
- It was suggested to promote and govern India’s space operations through the Draft Space Activities Bill, 2017. It discussed how the Department of Space supervised and gave permission for private sector organisations to participate in space activities in India.
Q2. Write a short note on the use of money power in elections.
Paper & Topic: GS II – Election-related issues
- With several upcoming Assembly elections, one problem might require more focus than others. Money is spent heavily on elections today. Depending on estimates, a candidate may invest crores of rupees in a single constituency. Voters overlook this crucial issue amid the cacophony of campaigns, leaders, celebrities, and media attention.
- Political parties are thought to be the biggest and most immediate beneficiaries, and money lies at the heart of India’s political corruption problem. Election corruption results in diminished accountability, distorted representation, and asymmetry in governance. Transparency in election funding is required as a result.
- Voters support political parties because they promise to benefit the populace. The governments in power are more obligated to the donors than to the electorate if election financing come from other sources.
- For instance, according to the Government Budget, the Government lost 2. 24 lakh crore in 2019–20 as a result of incentives to enterprises and a reduction in tariffs and taxes. The voters are unaware of this.
- After the introduction of Electoral Bonds, there is no longer any transparency in fundraising. All political parties have refused to submit to the transparency that comes with Right to Information despite the CIC judgement. Additionally, financial restrictions lack clarity.
Issues with finance for elections:
- Donation obscurity: The majority of political parties’ funding (about 70%) comes from financial donations made anonymously. Additionally, parties are exempt from income tax, giving black money hoarders a conduit.
- For instance, the legal status of electoral financing, which is rife with issues. After the introduction of Electoral Bonds, there is no longer any transparency in fundraising. Citizens are no longer able to learn who finances political parties.
- Failure to take action against bribery: The EC requested the addition of a new clause, 58B, to the RPA, 1951 so that it could act if parties bribe electors in a constituency, but this has not been discovered.
- allowing foreign investment Political parties now have access to an unprecedented amount of foreign cash thanks to the FCRA’s amendment, which may eventually result in meddling with government.
- Unlimited corporate contributions: The 7.5 percent cap on the percentage of profits that a firm may give to a political party has been removed, making it possible for shell companies to be formed just to support political campaigns.
- Lack of transparency: Parties fail to submit their annual audit reports to the Election Commission in accordance with section 29 of the RPA, 1951.
- RTI: Parties have also resisted being included in the RTI act’s purview. All political parties have refused to submit to the transparency that comes with Right to Information notwithstanding the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) order.
Measures to increase electoral finance transparency:
- Switching to finish transactions digitally.
- Donations over a particular threshold should be disclosed in order to disrupt the corporate-political nexus.
- As is done in nations like Bhutan and Germany, political parties should be included in RTI.
- Create a national electoral fund where people can donate and money is then distributed to various parties based on how well they performed in the most recent elections. This will also eliminate dirty money and guarantee donors’ anonymity.
- Election state funding has previously been proposed as a solution to the excessive expense of elections. State funding has been favoured by the Law Commission of India, the Second ARC, and the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution.
- Limit the total amount that political parties may spend to a number of times the number of candidates fielded times the maximum allowed limit for individual candidates.
- As a return on their money, political donors can ask for favourable laws and policies, advantageous government contracts, and extraordinary police enforcement. Additionally, because money and power go hand in hand in politics, it ultimately results in its criminalization. Therefore, improvements in election funding are urgently needed in India.