China’s Chang’e-3 lunar spacecraft which is carrying its first moon rover Yutuor Jade Rabbit rover made a “soft landing” on the moon since 1976. With this accomplishment China has joined the elite club of the US and Russia to achieve this feat. The probe touched down on an ancient 400-kilometre (250-mile) wide plain known in Latin as Sinus Iridum, or The Bay of Rainbows.
What is Soft Landing?
Soft Landing is alanding by a spacecraft on the moon or a planet at a sufficiently low velocity for the equipment or occupants to remain unharmed.
About Chang’e-3 lunar probe
China’s first lunar rover mission aimed at exploring the Moon’s surface and looking for natural resources such as rare metals.
Launching Site: Xichang Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China’s southwestern Sichuan province
Launched on: December 2, 2013
Carrier: Long March-3B
Key Payload: Six-wheeled robotic rover called Yutu (or Jade Rabbit) and a landing module.
Landing Site: Sinus Iridum, or The Bay of Rainbowsin the Moon’s northern hemisphere.
Union Cabinet Okays fresh amendments to Code of Conduct for ministers
December 18, 2013
In a bid to curb the misuse of bureaucrats by ministers for political motives, both at the Centre and in the states, the government approved fresh amendments to a 50-year-old Code of Conduct for Ministers.
What are the approved amendments to the Code of Conduct for Ministers?
As a fresh amendment to the Code of Conduct for Ministers (CCM), a new clause aimed at checking the political executive from misusing bureaucrats for political purposes will be added to the CCM. As per Cabinet’s proposal, it will also help check civil servants from cultivating political backing. The new Paragraph 2 (f)will now read as: “After taking office, and so long as he remains in office, the minister shall:- uphold the political impartiality of the civil services and not ask the civil servants to act in any way which would conflict with the duties and responsibilities of the civil servants.”
Does Code of Conduct for Ministers have legal backing?
No.The CCM for Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and Ministers of the respective state governments has no legal backing. However, the current proposal expectsall the ministers to adhere to the instructions mentioned in the document scrupulously. ,
When will the fresh CCM come into effect?
While the new clause will come into effect at the Centre immediately, it will be sent to the state governments for their adoption.
Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung recommended imposition of President’s rule in Delhi
December 18, 2013
Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung has recommended imposition ofPresident’s rule inDelhi among other options as the impasse continued over formation of a new government in Delhi after a suspended verdict with no party ready to assume power.
In his report submitted to the President, Jung listed Central rule with the Assembly being kept in suspended animation as one of the options. As per the report, none of the party is in a position to form the government and so far there is no clarity on government formation. It also noted that AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal sought more time for further consultations.
Hence, Jung has suggested that the President’s rule should be imposed in Delhi by keeping the Assembly under suspended animation till any government is formed. If no party comes forward to stake claim to form the government, the President’s rule can be imposed in the next two days.
What has happened so far?
In the recently held Assembly Elections in Delhi for 70 seats, no party could secure clear mandate of 36 seats. As per the results, BJP won 31 seats along with its ally Akali Dal got 32 seats, AAP clinched 28 seats followed by Congress 8 seats. BJP has already refused to form the government citing “lack of clear mandate”. At this point AAP has become a key player as its support to BJP or Congress can facilitate in government formation. Though AAP is ready to support any of these two parties but has some conditions. As a condition for its support, AAP’s chief Arvind Kejriwal made 18 suggestions to be implemented by the government forming party in Delhi. Of 18 suggestions the Congress is ready to implement 16 but is opposed to two of it. Hence, the stalemate persists.
India sticks to top position in ICC ODI rankings
December 18, 2013
Despite the dingy performance against South Africa, the Indiancricketteamhas retained its top position in the latest ICC ODI rankings.India topped the rankings chart with 120 points, which is followed by Australia with 114 points.
Other latest ICC rankings:
A.B. Devilliersof South Africa replaced Virat Kohli as theWorld’s number one Batsman.
Indian skipper, M.S. Dhoni was placed at number 6 and Shikhar Dhawan was placed at 10 spot in the rankings table.