[Newsbits] 29.07.2023

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Gaganyaan Service Module Propulsion System

The Gaganyaan SMPS, a crucial component of India's ambitious space project, has successfully completed hot tests, a critical phase in the project's development. These tests were conducted at the ISRO Propulsion Complex, located in Mahendragiri, and form an integral part of the Service Module - System Demonstration Model Phase-2 test series.

The System

What is SMPS?

The SMPS is a propulsion system specifically designed to power the service module of the Gaganyaan spacecraft. This module houses the main propulsion engine that is critical for the spacecraft's maneuvers.

The Orbital Module

The Gaganyaan spacecraft is further equipped with an orbital module that serves as the habitat for the crew while in orbit.


Tasks performed by SMPS

The SMPS is not only responsible for the propulsion of the spacecraft but also plays a crucial role in performing other tasks such as:

  • Orbit injection
  • Spacecraft control
  • De-boosting
  • Abort operations, if required


Who developed SMPS?

The Gaganyaan SMPS was designed and developed by the Liquid Propulsion System Centre, which has its operations running in two significant locations in India - Bengaluru and Valiamala, Thiruvananthapuram.

The Engines

Liquid Apogee Motor Engines

The main engine of the spacecraft is propelled by the Liquid Apogee Motor engines, which are essentially chemical rocket engines. These engines are controlled by two electrically-driven valves, which provide the required thrust.


The successful testing and implementation of the Gaganyaan SMPS signifies a great leap in India's space exploration capabilities. The rigorous testing processes and the successful results have showcased India's ability to develop advanced propulsion systems that could potentially revolutionize space travel.

Black July


The anniversary of Black July, also known as the "Black July Riots" or "Black July pogrom," was observed near the Borella Cemetery in Colombo.


  • Black July refers to a period of intense communal violence and ethnic riots that occurred in Sri Lanka.
  • During these riots, thousands of Tamils were killed, many more were injured, and Tamil properties such as homes and businesses were targeted and destroyed.


  • The conflict leading to Black July can be traced back to long-standing ethnic tensions between the majority Sinhalese community and the minority Tamil community.
  • The Tamil community advocated for greater political rights and autonomy in Sri Lanka but felt marginalized and discriminated against by government policies that favored the Sinhalese community.
  • The immediate trigger for the violence was the ambush and killing of 13 Sri Lankan soldiers by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a separatist militant group fighting for an independent Tamil state.
  • In response to the LTTE attack, mobs composed mainly of Sinhalese civilians, with the involvement of some state forces, unleashed a wave of violence against the Tamil community.


  • The observed anniversary marked the 40th year since the tragic incident occurred in July 1983.
  • The aftermath of Black July was significant as it sparked a mass exodus of Tamil people and exacerbated tensions between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities.
  • The civil conflict that followed escalated into a prolonged and brutal civil war that lasted nearly three decades until 2009.


  • The riots were targeted against the Tamil minority population in Sri Lanka.


The violent events of Black July took place in July 1983, leaving a deep scar on the history of Sri Lanka and contributing to years of conflict and unrest.

Black July remains a tragic reminder of the consequences of ethnic tensions and violence and serves as a pivotal event in Sri Lanka's history, shaping its socio-political landscape for years to come.

Cinematograph Amendment Bill 2023


The Rajya Sabha has passed the Cinematograph Amendment Bill 2023.


  • The Cinematograph Amendment Bill 2023 is a proposed legislation to amend the existing 1952 Cinematograph Act.
  • The 1952 Act currently authorizes the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to require cuts in films to clear them for exhibition in cinemas and television broadcasting.

Highlights of the Amendment Bill

Introduction of Anti-Piracy Provisions

  • The Amendment Bill introduces anti-piracy provisions, expanding the scope of the law from censorship to copyright issues.

Proposed Penalties

  • The Bill proposes penalties for making or transmitting infringing copies of films or attempting to do so, with provisions for a jail term of up to three years and a fine of up to 5% of the film's production cost.

Introduction of Three Age Ratings

  • The Bill introduces three age ratings for films requiring adult supervision, replacing the current U/A rating. The new age ratings are:
    • U/A 7+
    • U/A 13+
    • U/A 16+

Prohibition of Adult-Rated Films on Television

  • Adult-rated films have been prohibited on television since a 2004 Bombay High Court order. Broadcasters often cut such films voluntarily and re-apply for a U/A rating from CBFC. The Bill formalizes this practice, allowing films to be recertified for TV and "other media."

Implementation of IT Rules, 2021

  • The Bill also implements the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which provide graded age ratings for streaming platforms.

Facts: Government's Revisional Powers over CBFC's Decisions

  • As per a 1991 Supreme Court ruling, the government's revisional powers over CBFC's decisions did not exist.
  • However, the 2023 Amendment Bill formalizes the government's revisional powers over CBFC's decisions.

The Cinematograph Amendment Bill 2023 aims to modernize and strengthen the regulatory framework for films in India by addressing issues related to piracy, age ratings, and television broadcasting of films. The bill's passing in the Rajya Sabha marks a significant step towards its enactment into law.

Typhoon Doksuri


Typhoon Doksuri, also known as Super Typhoon Egay, has made landfall in Taiwan.


  • Typhoon Doksuri is a very strong tropical cyclone that occurred during the 2023 Pacific typhoon season.


  • The typhoon originated off the coast of the Philippines.
  • It underwent a second intensification round in the South China Sea after making landfall over the Philippine islands of Babuyan.

Typhoon Doksuri, also referred to as Super Typhoon Egay, has posed a significant weather threat in the Pacific region and has impacted areas in Taiwan.

Mera Gaon Meri Dharohar


A virtual platform has been launched from Qutub Minar, the iconic heritage site in the national capital, as part of the "Mera Gaon Meri Dharohar" initiative.

What: Project under National Mission on Cultural Mapping

  • The "Mera Gaon Meri Dharohar" project is undertaken as part of the National Mission on Cultural Mapping.
  • The virtual platform aims to provide insights into the cultural significance of Indian villages.

Why: Objectives of the Project

  • The project seeks to encourage appreciation for India's rich culture and traditions.
  • It aims to pave the way for economic growth, social harmony, and artistic development in rural communities.

How: Implementation of the Project


  • The project aims to cover 6.5 lakh villages across India.

Village Division into Categories

  • Villages will be categorized based on various factors, including ecological importance, developmental importance, scholastic importance, production of famous textiles or products, and their connection to historical or mythological events (e.g., Independence struggle, Mahabharata).

"Cultural Asset Mapping" through Field Surveys

  • Cultural asset mapping will be carried out through field surveys conducted by joint teams comprising members from the Culture Ministry and Common Services Centres (CSC) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • The survey process will capture the cultural identity of villages and involve citizens in sharing the uniqueness of their village, block, and district.

Survey Process Details

  • CSC Village-Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) will conduct meetings with citizens in the villages.
  • Interesting facts about the village, places of interest, customs and traditions, famous personalities, festivals and beliefs, art, and culture will be uploaded onto a special application during the survey.

Who: Coordination with Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts

  • The "Mera Gaon Meri Dharohar" initiative is implemented in coordination with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

By leveraging technology and cultural mapping, the "Mera Gaon Meri Dharohar" initiative aims to create awareness about India's diverse cultural heritage in its villages, fostering pride, and promoting socio-economic growth in rural areas.

The Indian Institutes of Management (Amendment) Bill

The Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) (Amendment) Bill was recently introduced in the Lok Sabha to amend the existing 2017 Act governing IIMs. The bill proposes significant changes in the governance and administration of IIMs, and it has sparked discussions regarding its impact on the autonomy of these premier management institutes.

What: Amendment to the 2017 Act

The Bill aims to amend the 2017 Act that governs the functioning and operations of Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).


President as Visitor

  • The Bill designates the President of India as the Visitor for all IIMs.

Visitor's Role in Board of Governors

  • The Visitor will nominate the Chairperson of the Board of Governors of IIMs.

Interim Board Constitution

  • The central government will have the authority to constitute an interim Board in case the Board of Governors is suspended or dissolved.

Changes in Board's Role

  • The selection of the Chairperson and the appointment of a Director will now require prior permission from the Visitor.

Director Appointment Process

  • The Director of an IIM will be appointed from a panel of names recommended by a Search-cum-selection committee. This committee will be constituted by the Board and will include the Chairperson of the Board, one member nominated by the Visitor, and two members chosen from eminent administrators, industrialists, educationists, scientists, technocrats, and management specialists.

Board Removals

  • With the Visitor's approval, the Director can be removed from their position, and the Visitor also holds the power to terminate the Director.

Institute Name Change

  • The bill proposes changing the name of National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, to Indian Institute of Management, Mumbai.


Impact on IIMs' Autonomy

  • Expert opinions suggest that the Bill may affect the autonomy of IIMs and bring their governance structure closer to that of central universities.

How: Amendments to the Act

Newly added Section 10A

  • This section establishes the President as the Visitor of every IIM.

Amended Section 10

  • The Chairperson of the Board of Governors will now be nominated by the Visitor.
  • The central government gains the power to constitute an interim Board in cases of suspension or dissolution of the existing Board.

Amended Section 16

  • The Visitor gains more powers in the appointment of IIM Directors.

Amended Section 29

  • This section allows the Visitor to nominate an eminent person as the Chairperson of the Coordination Forum of the Institute.

Deleted Section 17

  • The bill eliminates the Board's power to initiate an inquiry against the Director.


The Indian Institutes of Management (Amendment) Bill aims to make significant changes in the governance and administration of IIMs by granting more powers to the Visitor and central government. While proponents argue that these changes could improve coordination and efficiency, some experts are concerned that it may compromise the autonomy of these prestigious management institutes. The bill's impact and implications will be closely monitored as it progresses through the legislative process.

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