Current Affairs Analysis

15th September 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

India-Japan sign open sky agreement; Swachhta Hi Seva campaign; Gaon ki ore campaign; Operation Insaniyat; Open sky agreement; First map of lunar water; Chandrayaan-1; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
September 15, 2017


Government Schemes & Policies

  • Swachhta Hi Seva campaign


  • SAIL’s retail sales gets boost with SAIL’s Gaon ki Ore campaign

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Operation Insaniyat
  • India-Japan sign open sky agreement, fares may come down

Science & Technology

  • Scientists map lunar water with data from Chandrayaan-1

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Government Schemes & Policies

Swachhta Hi Seva campaign

The Union Government has launched Swachhta Hi Seva’ (cleanliness is service), a nation-wide fortnight-long sanitation campaign to highlight the government’s flagship cleanliness initiative Swachh Bharat Mission.

ias toppers Swachhta Hi Seva

  • It was launched by President Ram Nath Kovind from Ishworiganj village in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
  • It will run from September 15 to October 2, 2017.

About the Swachhta Hi Seva campaign:

The campaign is being coordinated by Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, convening Ministry for the Swachh Bharat Mission.


  • Its objective is to mobilise people and reinforce jan aandolan (mass movement) for sanitation to contribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a Clean India.
  • It will see large scale mobilisation of people from all walks of life to undertake shramdaan (voluntary work) for cleanliness and construction of toilets and to make their environments open defecation free. There will be targeted cleaning of public and tourist places.
  • The Ministry has made elaborate plans along with State Governments to involve people from various walks of life and make this an unprecedented people’s campaign.
  • The main agenda of the campaign will be to reach out to the poor and marginalised and provide them with sustainable sanitation services.


  • Sanitation is linked to various sectors. From health to giving security and dignity to women, sanitation also affects a country economically.
  • According to UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) good sanitation can save Rs50,000 per year per family.
[Ref: PIB]



SAIL’s retail sales gets boost with SAIL’s Gaon ki Ore campaign

Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL), is running a nation-wide campaign SAIL steel – Gaon ki ore which is aimed at boosting steel consumption in country.


  • This has started to reflect positively through the dealer sales numbers, which recorded an 18% jump in the month of August 2017 over CPLY selling 91,000 tonnes of steel in the month.
  • SAIL targets to sell 1 Million Tonnes steel through its dealer network this financial year and aims at doubling it in next three financial years.


  • SAIL had identified the potential of rural markets for enhancing steel consumption which is currently around 10 kgs per capita per year as against around 150 Kg per capita consumption in Urban India.

About Gaon ki ore campaign:

The Gaon ki ore campaign is designed to familiarize end users at the Grass-root level, especially of rural areas, with innovative usage of SAIL steel and its applications and advantages in construction, household equipment, agriculture etc.


  • Through this nation-wide campaign, SAIL aims to cover more than 100 locations by the end of this year.
  • Through engagement activities the audience are informed how using SAIL steel can increase durability, life, safety and longevity of any construction and product.
  • This new age marketing campaign strategically aims to develop a stronger link with consumers through direct engagement.
  • All workshops of the campaign are designed to familiarize participants about SAIL’s production process, product range, applications and advantages and the interactive sessions are conducted in local language for easier connect with audience.
[Ref: PIB]


Bilateral & International Relations

Operation Insaniyat

The Ministry of External Affairs has started Operation Insaniyat to provided assistance to Bangladesh in response to humanitarian crisis being faced by it due to large influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.


Who are Rohingya?

  • Rohingya are stateless ethnic minority (mostly Muslim) from Rakhine province of Buddhist-majority Myanmar, who are forced leave their country due to communal violence and repeated military operations.

About Operation Insaniyat

  • Under this operation, India will provide relief material consisting of items including rice, sugar, salt, pulses, cooking oil, biscuits and mosquito nets to the affected people.
  • The relief material will be delivered in multiple consignments. The first tranche will be brought to Chittagong by an Indian Air Force (IAF) plane.


  • According to UN estimates, over 379,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state into Bangladesh since August 2017 when a fresh wave of violence had erupted Myanmar’s Rakhine province.
  • The violence had started after Rohingya militants belonging to Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (also known as Harakat al-Yaqeen or Faith Movement) had attacked police posts in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state.
  • Following this attack, Myanmar’s military had launched violent crackdown on insurgents from Muslim Rohingya population which led to mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh.
[Ref: PIB]


India-Japan sign open sky agreement, fares may come down

India and Japan have agreed to an open sky arrangement under which the airlines of both countries can operate an unlimited number of flights.


  • The agreement was signed after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan PM Shino Abe.
  • The agreement was signed in accordance with the National Civil Aviation Policy (NACP), 2016.
  • The agreement will not only encourage connectivity and passenger travel between the two countries, but will also result in reduction in airfares on these routes.

ias toppers India-Japan sign open sky agreement

India and the Open sky agreement:

  • The NACP permits the government to enter into an ‘open sky’ air services agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC nations as well as countries with territory located entirely beyond a 5,000 kilometre radius from New Delhi.
  • Last year, India signed an open sky agreement with Greece, Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka.
  • India also signed a bilateral open sky agreement with the US in 2005.
  • In 2003, India had signed an open sky agreement with the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
[Ref: The Hindu]


Science & Technology

Scientists map lunar water with data from Chandrayaan-1

Scientists, using data from an instrument which flew aboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, have created the first map of water trapped in the uppermost layer of the moon’s soil.

iastoppers map lunar water

  • The study builds on the initial discovery in 2009 of water and a related molecule — hydroxyl, which consists of one atom each of hydrogen and oxygen — in the lunar soil.
  • Scientists used a new calibration of data taken from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, which flew aboard Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in 2008, to quantify how much water is present on a global scale.

Highlights of the study: 

The study found that:

  • The signature of water is present nearly everywhere on the lunar surface, not limited to the polar regions as previously reported.
  • The amount of water increases toward the poles and does not show significant difference among distinct compositional terrains.
  • The water concentration reaches a maximum average of around 500 to 750 parts per million in the higher latitudes. That is less than what is found in the sands of Earth’s driest deserts.
  • The way water is distributed across the moon gives clues about its source. The distribution is largely uniform rather than splotchy, with concentrations gradually decreasing toward the equator.
  • That pattern is consistent with implantation via solar wind — the constant bombardment of protons from the sun.
  • Although the bulk of the water mapped in this study could be attributed to solar wind, there were exceptions. For example, the researchers found higher-than-average concentrations of water in lunar volcanic deposits near the moon’s equator, where background water in the soil is scarce. Rather than coming from solar wind, the water in those localised deposits likely comes from deep within the moon’s mantle and erupted to the surface in lunar magma.
  • The concentration of water changes over the course of the lunar day at latitudes lower than 60 degrees, going from wetter in the early morning and evening to nearly bone dry around lunar noon. The fluctuation can be as much as 200 parts per million.

About the Chandrayaan-1:

Chandrayaan-1, India’s first mission to Moon, was launched successfully on October 22, 2008 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.


  • The spacecraft was orbiting around the Moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon.
  • The Chandrayaan-1 mission performed high-resolution remote sensing of the moon in visible, near infrared (NIR), low energy X-rays and high-energy X-ray regions.
  • One of the objectives was to prepare a three-dimensional atlas (with high spatial and altitude resolution) of both near and far side of the moon.
  • It aimed at conducting chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface for distribution of mineral and chemical elements such as Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Calcium, Iron and Titanium as well as high atomic number elements such as Radon, Uranium and Thorium with high spatial resolution.
  • The spacecraft carried 11 scientific instruments built in India, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria.
[Ref: The Hindu, ISRO]


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