Defence Minister's Tribute
- Location: VC Yeshwant Ghadge Sundial Memorial in Montone, Italy.
- Context: The memorial commemorates a shared military history dating back to World War II, where Indian soldiers played a pivotal role in liberating Italy from Axis Powers. Italy's recent recognition of this contribution led to the memorial's opening earlier this year.
Naik Yeshwant Ghadge
- Age at Death: Not even 23 years old.
- Death Cause: Mortally wounded by German sniper fire.
- Location of Death: Montone, in the Italian province of Perugia.
- Service Details:
- Served for at least 4 years.
- Held the rank of Naik, commanding his own rifle section.
- Incident Details:
- Date: July 10, 1944.
- Situation: During the 5th Mahratta Light Infantry's attack, faced an enemy with strong defenses.
- Ghadge's Section: Subjected to heavy machine gun fire, resulting in all except Ghadge being killed or wounded.
- Ghadge's Bravery: He courageously charged a machine gun post, lobbing grenades, firing his Tommygun, and beating two crewmen to death.
- Death Details: Despite being mortally wounded with bullets in his back and chest, Ghadge captured the enemy post.
- Award: Posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), Britain’s highest military honour.
- Citation: Highlighted his exceptional courage, determination, and devotion, despite having little hope of survival.
World War II's Italian Campaign
- Duration: 1943-1945.
- Axis Powers: Included Nazi Germany, Italy, and Japan.
- Allies: Comprised Americans, British (and Commonwealth forces), and Soviets.
- Allies' Strategy: Counterattack by invading Italy, with goals to knock Italy out of the Axis Powers and breach the Axis's "soft underbelly."
- Progress: This campaign began with the landing in Sicily in July 1943, advancing up the Italian mainland. The Fascist Italian regime collapsed, but Germans concentrated their resistance along defensive lines across the Italian mainland.
- Ghadge's Action Location: Between the Trasimene/Albert Line and Gothic Line.
Indian Soldiers' Heroism
Indian Army's Contribution
- Under British: Over 2.5 million Indian men served with the Allies.
- Italian Campaign Stats:
- Indian Soldiers: 50,000.
- Lives Lost on Italian Soil: 5,782.
- Indian Presence: 1943-1946.
- Significant Formations: Included the 4th, 8th, and 10th Indian Divisions, as well as the 43rd Independent Gurkha Infantry Brigade.
- Major Involvements:
- Assault on the German defensive Bernhardt Line by the 8th Indian Division.
- Crossing the Sangro River by the 8th Indian Division.
- Participation in the Battles of Monte Cassino by the 4th and 8th Indian Divisions.
- A significant role in breaching the Gothic Line by Indian troops.
- Historian's Note: Historian Daniel Marston recognized the Indian Army's professionalism in the Italian campaigns, highlighting their invaluable contributions to the Allied effort.
In recent news, the groundbreaking OSIRIS-REx mission has unveiled remarkable insights about the enigmatic Bennu asteroid, offering a glimpse into the distant past of our solar system. This mission has made history by bringing back the biggest carbon-rich asteroid sample to Earth.
Initial Studies Results
Out of this World Origins
- Bennu: A small, near-Earth asteroid that periodically comes close to our planet, orbiting us every six years.
- A 4.5-Billion-Year-Old Relic: Bennu is a precious time capsule from the early days of the solar system, providing a unique window into its formation.
- Witnessed It All: This ancient asteroid has borne witness to the solar system's evolution and carries secrets from its infancy.
- Composition Clues: Bennu's current composition has been established within the first 10 million years of the solar system's formation.
- Compelling Evidence: Initial studies have unearthed high-carbon content and water-bearing clay minerals on Bennu's surface.
OSIRIS-REx Sample: A Treasure Trove
- Biggest Carbon-Rich Sample: OSIRIS-REx has successfully delivered the most extensive carbon-rich asteroid sample ever collected and returned to Earth.
- Unraveling Life Origins: This remarkable sample holds the potential to provide invaluable insights into the origins of life on our planet and beyond, benefiting future generations.
How OSIRIS-REx Made It Happen
OSIRIS-REx Mission: Pioneering the Way
- Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx): This mission, the first of its kind in the United States, was designed to collect a sample from an asteroid.
- Mission Kick-off: Launched on September 8, 2016, OSIRIS-REx embarked on its epic journey to Bennu.
- Sample Collection: Three years ago, the mission successfully collected samples from Bennu's surface.
- Return to Earth: Anticipation builds as OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to return to Earth on September 24, 2023, with the primary purpose of delivering Bennu material.
- Post Drop-off Exploration: Following the sample drop-off, the mission will shift its focus to the study of asteroid Apophis.
- "Quick-Look" Analyses: Initial examinations of the Bennu material have been conducted, revealing exciting findings.
- Tools of the Trade: Scientists used a range of tools, including scanning electron microscopes for image collection, infrared measurements, X-ray diffraction, and chemical element analysis.
- Computed Topography: A 3D computer model of a Bennu particle has been created, highlighting its diverse interior composition, including evidence of abundant carbon and water.
A Legacy of Sample Retrieval
- Decades in the Making: The practice of sample retrieval dates back to 1969, with NASA's Apollo 11 mission marking the first successful landing on the Moon.
- Continued Ambition: Subsequent missions, spanning to the Moon and beyond, have grown in ambition over the decades, culminating in the OSIRIS-REx mission.
Operation Ajay has come into action with its first chartered flight departing from Israel on October 13, carrying 230 Indian citizens back to their homeland.
Definition: Operation to repatriate Indian citizens
Operation Ajay is a significant mission aimed at repatriating Indian citizens who were residing in Israel.
Reason: Fresh regional tension
The operation was triggered by the escalating regional tension in Israel, marked by brazen attacks on Israeli towns. These attacks were carried out by Hamas militants, creating a dangerous situation for Indian citizens in the region.
Strategy: Safe return of Indians
Operation Ajay is strategically designed to ensure the safe return of Indian citizens from Israel. Key aspects of the operation include:
- Transport: Special charter flights are arranged for the evacuation.
- First flight details: The first flight departed on a Thursday and carried the initial batch of registered Indian citizens.
- Communication: The Indian embassy in Israel communicates with registered Indian citizens through email, providing instructions and updates for subsequent flights.
Control and helpline setup
To facilitate the operation and provide assistance to Indian citizens, control and helpline setups have been established:
- Delhi: A round-the-clock control room is in operation to coordinate and monitor the repatriation process.
- Tel Aviv and Ramallah: Emergency helplines are available in these regions to monitor the situation in war-torn areas, provide information, and offer assistance to Indian citizens who may require help.
Indian population in Israel
- Total: Approximately 18,000 Indian citizens were residing in Israel, making their safe repatriation a top priority for the Indian government during Operation Ajay.
The IMI 5.0 campaign officially concluded on October 14, 2023, after successfully conducting multiple rounds of vaccination across the country.
Vaccination statistics as of September 30
As of September 30, the campaign achieved significant milestones in terms of vaccinations:
- Children vaccinated: 34,69,705
- Pregnant women vaccinated: 6,55,480
Utilization of digital platform
The campaign leveraged the U-WIN digital platform in pilot mode to streamline the administration of routine immunizations.
Definition: Flagship immunization campaign
IMI 5.0 is a flagship immunization campaign initiated by the Indian government to ensure that all eligible individuals receive essential vaccines under the Universal Immunization Programme.
Goal: Enhance immunization coverage
The primary objective of IMI 5.0 is to enhance immunization coverage for all vaccines included in the National Immunization Schedule, ensuring compliance with the schedule.
In the first year of IMI 5.0, several significant attributes were observed:
- Nationwide conduction: The campaign covered all districts across India.
- Age expansion: The age limit for immunization was expanded from up to two years to up to five years, reaching a wider group of children.
Strategy: Ensure routine immunization services
IMI 5.0 employs a strategic approach to ensure routine immunization services for targeted recipients, including:
- Children: Focusing on those who missed vaccine doses or dropped out, up to the age of five years.
- Pregnant women: Ensuring their immunization needs are met.
Special emphasis is placed on the vaccination against measles and rubella, with the goal of eliminating these infections by the year 2023.
- Service time: Vaccination services are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Non-operational days: Vaccination services are not available on Sundays and public holidays.
- Phase conduction: The campaign is conducted in three phases.
- Cost: All vaccinations under IMI 5.0 are provided free of charge.
- Locations: Vaccination services are accessible at public hospitals, health centers, and selected public places. Mobile teams also reach difficult-to-reach areas to provide vaccines.
Organizer: Health Ministry
The Health Ministry of India is the organizing body behind the IMI 5.0 campaign, ensuring its successful implementation.
The campaign primarily targets two key demographics:
- Partially vaccinated and unvaccinated children up to the age of five years.
- Pregnant women, ensuring their protection and the health of their unborn children.
Campaign timeline: Since 2014
IMI 5.0 is part of a long-standing initiative that began in 2014. Over the years, it has undergone multiple phases, with the 12th phase currently ongoing.
Cumulatively, IMI campaigns have made a significant impact:
- Children vaccinated: 5.06 crore
- Pregnant women vaccinated: 1.25 crore
New scheme launched.
- Scheme's Name: "Our Odisha, new Odisha"
- Type: State government scheme
- Builds on 'Ama Gaon, Ama Bikash': Translating to "Our village, our development," this successful initiative was a game-changer in 2019.
- Execution: Chief Minister Patnaik directly interacted with people, both in panchayats and through videoconferencing, to understand their needs and aspirations.
- Project Sanction: Projects were sanctioned based on the genuine needs expressed by the rural population.
New Scheme Details
- Funds Allocation: The scheme allocates funds for various projects based on suggestions from the rural population, which constitutes 80% of the state's population.
- Interaction Medium: Video conferencing continues to be a crucial medium for interaction.
- Every Village Benefits: Every village is ensured at least one project, with a budget limit of Rs 10 lakh per project.
- Project Types: The scheme covers a diverse range of projects, including:
- Strengthening internet connectivity
- Developing playgrounds
- Establishing science parks
- Creating training facilities
- Establishing work hubs
- Setting up skill centers for rural entrepreneurs
- Bridging gaps in education infrastructure
- Providing banking facilities
- Enhancing digital infrastructure at the village level
- Odisha Government: The 'Ama Odisha' scheme is an ambitious initiative driven by the Odisha government, aimed at transforming rural communities and fostering development from the grassroots up.