PIB News 7th Sep, 2020


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)

DRDO successfully flight tests Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully demonstrated the hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology with the flight test of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV) at 1103 hours from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha today.

The hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 kilometres (km), where the aerodynamic heat shields were separated at hypersonic Mach number. The cruise vehicle separated from the launch vehicle and the air intake opened as planned. The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound i.e., nearly 02 km/second for more than 20 seconds. The critical events like fuel injection and auto ignition of scramjet demonstrated technological maturity. The scramjet engine performed in a text book manner.

The parameters of launch and cruise vehicle, including scramjet engine was monitored by multiple tracking radars, electro-optical systems and Telemetry Stations. The scramjet engine worked at high dynamic pressure and at very high temperature. A Ship was also deployed in the Bay of Bengal to monitor the performance during the cruise phase of hypersonic vehicle. All the performance parameters have indicated a resounding success of the mission.

With this successful demonstration, many critical technologies such as aerodynamic configuration for hypersonic manoeuvers, use of scramjet propulsion for ignition and sustained combustion at hypersonic flow, thermo-structural characterisation of high temperature materials, separation mechanism at hypersonic velocities etc. were proven.   

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO on this landmark achievement towards realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat. He also spoke to the scientists associated with the project and congratulated them on this great achievement. India is proud of them, he added.

Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy congratulated all the Scientists, Researchers and other personnel related with HSTDV mission for their resolute and unwavering efforts towards strengthening Nation’s defence capabilities. On this successful demonstration, the country enters into the hypersonic regime paving way for advanced hypersonic Vehicles.


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.)

Thykoodam-Petta stretch of Kochi metro inaugurated
25.2 km of stretch operational
Kochi water metro project all set to be implemented

Kerala metro phase 1 has been completed with the commissioning of the Thykoodam-Petta stretch, announced  Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS, I/C, Housing and Urban Affairs. Shri Puri added that Phase-1 of the Kochi Metro is now complete at a cost of ?6218 crores. He further said that the proposal for Phase-2 of Kochi Metro is under active consideration of Govt of India and would be approved soon. Thykoodam-Petta stretch of Kochi Metro was inaugurated by Union Minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri and Kerala Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi VIjayan through video conference today.

Addressing at the online launch, Shri Puri urged the people of the country to travel responsibly while adhering to various SOPs issued in different states for metro operations. Union Minister along with Kerala Chief Minister flagged off the train from Petta at 12:30 PM in a virtual inauguration conducted over video conference. The commencement of civil works from SN Junction to Thrippunithura by unveiling the plaques was also done. Kerala Ministers, MPs, MLAs, Chief Secretary and senior officials also joined the virtual inauguration.

Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHua congratulated the Kerala Government and the people of Kerala for the completion of phase 1 of Kochi metro. With the inauguration of the 1.33 km stretch from Thykoodam to Petta today, the total operational stretch will be 25.2 Kms. From technology, to manpower, to process and functioning, Kochi Metro has been a pioneer. With the commissioning of Petta-Thykoodam stretch, Kochi Metro should be able to increase ridership to over one lakh per day.

KMRL is all set to implement Kochi Water Metro Project at the cost of Rs 747 crore with the financial assistance of German Bank, KFW. Kochi is the first city in the country wherein water transport has been integrated as a feeder service to the metro. Kochi Metro has dedicated walls for the fishermen community who saved thousands during the 2018 Kerala floods. KMRL has engaged persons from the LGBT community in its operations, thus becoming the first organization to appoint transgender persons in the country.
Kochi Metro's another unique feature is its themed metro stations. Base on the core theme of Western Ghats Kochi Metro has selected various themes such as Kerala's heritage, culture, art etc. For the Petta Metro Station KMRL has chosen Fishing as the theme with a dedication to the fishermen community of the state. The Automated Fare Collection (AFC) system is a critical core component of any Metro system. KMRL has developed a unique PPP model where in the capital investment as well as the maintenance cost is taken care by a bank and in return the bank to have a co-branded card for Kochi Metro System. This was the first time such an innovate model was launched and is expected to change funding models for AFC systems in the metro industry globally.

Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) had approved the opening of Petta metro station back in May, 2020. KMRL had completed the works of Petta station way back in March itself but the commissioning was delayed due to COVID19 lockdown.


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

President Ramnath Kovind inaugurates Conference of Governors on ‘Role of National Education Policy 2020 in Transforming Higher Education’
PM addresses inaugural session of the Governors' Conference
National Education Policy will take India forward as per needs and aspirations of 21st century: President Kovind
Education policy and education system are important means of fulfilling the aspirations of the country – PM
With the participation of all we will push this education policy towards implementation without delay – Education Minister

The President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated a virtual Conference of Governors on ‘Role of National Education Policy 2020 in Transforming Higher Education’ in New Delhi today. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed the inaugural session of the  conference, which was attended by Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', MoS for Education Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Governors, Lieutenant Governors/ Administrators of states and also some Sate Chief Ministers and Education Ministers .

Addressing the Conference, the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind said that National Education Policy (NEP) will take the country, especially the youth forward in accordance with the needs and aspirations of the twenty-first century. Congratulating the Prime Minister for his visionary leadership and inspiring role in shaping this historical document, he also appreciated Dr. Kasturirangan and Ministers as well as the officials of Education Ministry for giving shape to National Education Policy through an elaborate process which took into consideration more than two lakh suggestions received from 2.5 lakh gram panchayats, more than 12,500 local bodies and about 675 districts. If changes are effectively brought about, India will emerge as an education superpower, he added.

Elaborating on the NEP, the President said that Governors being Chancellors of State Universities have a crucial role to play in the implementation of NEP. There are some 400 State Universities with about 40,000 colleges affiliated to them, hence it was imperative to establish coordination and dialogue with these universities which could be done by Governors who are also the Chancellors, the President said.

President Kovind said that education is the most effective way for social justice and hence the National Education Policy calls for an investment of about 6 per cent of GDP jointly by the Centre and the States. He said the NEP emphasizes on strengthening of public educational institutions for a vibrant democratic society and at the same time inculcate respect among students for Fundamental Rights, Duties, Constitutional values and patriotism.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the education policy and education system are important means of fulfilling the aspirations of the country.

The Prime Minister said that though the responsibility of education lies with the Central, State and Local level Governments, their interference in the policy should be minimal. He said the relevance and effectiveness of the education policy will increase when more and more teachers, parents and students get associated with it. He added that the National  Education Policy 2020 was drafted after receiving feedback from millions of people across the country, and from those related to the education sector, which is why there is a sense of ownership and an all round acceptance among people about this policy.  

The Prime Minister further said that the NEP is not only directed at reforming the education system but also at giving a new direction to the social and economic fabric of 21st century India. He said the policy aims at making India self- reliant or AatmaNirbhar, by making  our youth future ready in a rapidly changing world and equipping them with the knowledge and skills as per the requirements of the future.

He added that the National Education Policy  focuses on ‘Learning’ rather than ‘Studying’ and goes beyond ‘Curriculum’ to  emphasizes ‘Critical Thinking’. He said there is more emphasis is given on ‘Passion’, ‘Practicality’ and ‘Performance’ than on ‘Process’.

He said that the policy aims at making India a Knowledge Economy in the 21st century. He added that it also allows for offshore campuses of top international universities in India which will address the issue of Brain Drain.

In his welcome remarks, Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ touched upon the journey, evolution and consultation process of the National Education Policy. The Minister said, this policy is the  result of a wide ranging consultation process covering lakhs of villages, blocks, districts, academicians, vice-chancellors, principals, teachers and scientists. He stressed upon the new direction and support to research that will be given through National Research Foundation. He said the  National Education Policy will make our education system both flexible and stable. He said the focus in the policy is on Reform, Transform and Perform. and hoped the road to a Swachh, Swasth, Sasakt, Atma Nirbhar and ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat  will go through this National Education Policy

The Minister of State for Education, Shri Sanjay Dhotre appreciated the enriching insights from the Governor’s Conference and thanked all the participants of the Conference.

A discussion session with Governor, Lt. Governors and Education Minister of the States and Union Territories was held during the Conference. The prospect of transformational reforms in higher education under the new National Education Policy-2020 and road ahead was elaborately discussion upon in the session. The Governors and Lt. Governors briefed the President and other participants about various issues with regard to their States and Union Territories.

Prof. K. Kasturirangan, Chairman, Committee for draft NEP delivered the Key Note Address in a special session and touched upon the journey of consultation process of the NEP and various aspects of National Education Policy. A technical session on the role of NEP in transforming education was chaired by Prof. D.P. Singh, Chairman, UGC. Renowned Mathematician of Princeton University and Member, Committee on draft NEP Prof. Manjul Bhargava and Prof. M.K. Sridhar, Member, Committee for draft NEP were the guest speakers on the session. The Speakers touched upon the critical role played by education in nation’s development; Societal challenges India faces and the solution rooted in research and innovation; exponential growth of knowledge in 21st century, integration of humanities and arts with STEM; and multidisciplinary holistic education.




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