9th Nov, 2020

PSLV-C49 successfully launches EOS-01

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 51st flight (PSLV-C49), successfully launched EOS-01 along with nine international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota 

PSLV-C49 is the 2nd flight of PSLV in ‘DL’ configuration (with 2 solid strap-on motors).

EOS-01 is an earth observation satellite, intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support.

The nine customer satellites from Lithuania (1), Luxembourg (4) and USA (4) were launched under a commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).

Place in news: Tigray region, Ethiopia 

Ethiopia is on the brink of a civil war after Ethiopia’s Prime Minister announced that he had ordered troops to counter an allegedly violent attack by armed forces in the country’s northern Tigray region.

The Tigray Region is the northernmost of the nine regions (kililat) of Ethiopia.

It is the homeland of the Tigrayan, Irob and Kunama peoples.

It is also known as Region 1 according to the federal constitution.

Capital and largest city: Mekelle.

It is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Sudan to the west, the Amhara Region to the south and the Afar Region to the east and south east.

In early November 2020, the region and the Ethiopian federal government entered into conflict, with some gunfire being reported in the capital of Tigray, Mekelle.

There was conflict in September also, when Tigray held local elections in insubordination of the Ethiopian federal government. 

These elections were considered “illegal” by the federal government, further leading to conflict with Tigray authorities.

Various development projects to be inaugurated in Varanasi 

Indian Prime Minister will inaugurate various development projects in Varanasi including Sarnath Light and Sound show.


Sarnath is a place located 10 km north-east of Varanasi city near the confluence of the Ganges and the Varuna rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India.

The Deer Park in Sarnath: Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma and Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna.

It is also referred to as Isipatana. 

This city is mentioned by the Buddha as one of the four places of pilgrimage which his devout followers should visit.

It was also the site of the Buddha’s Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which was his first teaching after attaining enlightenment. 

Under this Sutta, he taught the four noble truths and the teachings associated with it.

Singhpur, a village approximately 1km away from the site, was the birthplace of Shreyansanath, the Eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism.

FASTags mandatory for all four wheelers

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a notification making FASTags mandatory for all four wheel vehicles from 1st January 2021.

This will apply to old vehicles as well as M and N category of motor vehicles sold before 1st December, 2017.

As per Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, the FASTag had been made mandatory for all registration of new four wheeled Vehicles since 1st December 2017. 

It is being supplied by the Vehicle Manufacturer or their dealers.

It had further been mandated that the renewal of fitness certificate will be done only after the fitment of FASTag for the Transport Vehicles. 

For National Permit Vehicles the fitment of FASTag has been mandated since 1st of October, 2019.

The Ministry said that a valid FASTag is also mandatory while getting a new third Party Insurance through an amendment in certificate of Insurance, wherein the details of FASTag ID will be captured. 

This will be applicable with effect from 1st of April 2021.

This notification would be a major step for ensuring that the payment of fees be 100% at Toll Plazas through the Electronic Means only and that the vehicles pass seamlessly through the Fee Plazas. 


FASTag is an electronic toll collection system in India

Operated by: National Highway Authority of India.

It employs Radio Frequency Identification technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it or directly toll owner.

Haryana State Employment Of Local Candidates Bill, 2020

On the lines of Andhra Pradesh government, Haryana too has announced that it wants 75% of private sector jobs in the state, till a certain salary slab, reserved for local candidates.

The state Assembly has passed the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020 paving way for more employment opportunities for locals in private sector.

All the companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms, partnership firms and any person employing 10 or more persons shall come under the ambit of this Act. 

It shall not include the central government or state government or any organisation owned by the central or state government.

A candidate “who is domiciled in State of Haryana” is called a local candidate and shall be able to avail the benefit of this reservation while seeking employment in private sector.

Every employer shall be required to employ 75% local candidates for the posts where the gross monthly salary or wages are not more than Rs. 50,000 or as notified by the government from time to time.

An employer can claim exemption from this 75% recruitment restriction, but only after going through a long procedure and only if the government appointed officers believe that the employer’s request seeking exemption holds merit.

The employer can be fined with a minimum Rs. 10,000 to a maximum Rs. 2 lakh once it is established that the employer has committed a violation of provisions of the Act.

Concerns were raised in Haryana Vidhan Sabha that the Bill violates Article 16 of the Indian Constitution

However, Haryana government claims that while Article 16 talks about the “public employment”, the Bill only pertains to “private sector employment”.

AIM–Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0 launched 

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Sirius, Russia launched ‘AIM–Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0’.

It is a 14-day virtual programme for Indian and Russian schoolchildren.

The first Indo-Russian bilateral youth innovation initiative, the AIM–Sirius programme seeks to develop technological solutions (both web- and mobile-based) for the two countries.

Over a two-week programme, 48 students and 16 educators and mentors will create 8 virtual products and mobile applications addressing global challenges in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.

Innovations developed by the student teams will leverage 21st-century technologies such as app development, artificial intelligence, block chain, machine learning etc.