After Mars, ISRO decides it’s time to probe Venus:

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has invited scientists to suggest studies for a potential orbiter mission to Venus – somewhat similar to the one that landed in Mars in 2013.
  • ISRO plans to send a spacecraft that will initially go around Venus in an elliptical orbit before getting closer to the ‘Yellow Planet’. It will carry instruments weighing 175 kg and using 500W of power.
  • Venus, the second planet from the Sun, comes closest to Earth roughly every 583 days, or about 19 months.
  • Venus, our closest planetary neighbour, is similar to Earth in many aspects. However, it takes only 225 days to revolve around the Sun. Secondly, the surface is very hot due to nearness to the Sun.
  • Ever since the then USSR sent the Venera mission to Venus in February 1961, there have been close to 30 missions to the planet, the last one being Japan’s Akatsuki in 2010. These comprised orbiters, landers, atmospheric probes and fly-bys.

For the First Time, UNESCO’s Peace Prize Goes to a Mayor:

A Unesco jury has awarded the organization’s prestigious ‘peace prize’ to the mayor of Lampedusa, the Italian island which gained fame as a hotspot for migrant arrivals. Mayor Giusi Nicolini was awarded the prize together with French NGO SOS Mediterrannee, for their work in saving the lives of refugees and migrants and for welcoming them with dignity. The peace prize, also known as the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, named after the first president of Ivory Coast, has been awarded by Unesco each year since 1989, to recognize individuals and groups who “safeguard, maintain, and seek peace”.

GMR Hyderabad Airport gets carbon neutrality certificate:

  • The GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited has received the Carbon Neutrality (Level 3+) Certificate from the Airports Council International (ACI).
  • The certification comes under ACI’s Airport Car Accreditation Programme that is the industry standard for assessment of an airport’s efforts to manage and reduce carbon emissions. The programme was launched in June, 2009 and comprises four levels.
  • Airports Council International (ACI) is the only global trade representative of the world’s airport authorities. Established in 1991, ACI represents airports’ interests with governments and international organizations, develops standards, policies and recommended practices for airports, and it provides information and training opportunities to raise the standards around the world.

Civil Services Day:

The Civil Services Day is organized on 21st April every year, when civil servants re-dedicate themselves to the cause of the citizens and renew their commitment to public service. This day coincides with the date on which SardarVallabhbhai Patel had addressed the first batch of probationers at the All India Administrative Service Training School at Metcalfe House, New Delhi in 1947.



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