JATAN: special software for Digitization of Archaeological Museum
July 23, 2019

The Minister of State (I/c) of Culture and Tourism, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel informed Lok Sabha about JATAN: Virtual Museum software. JATAN has been developed by Human Centres Design and Computing Group, C-DAC, Pune, Maharashtra.


JATAN is used for creating digital collections in various museums and digital archival tools that are used in background for managing National Portal and Digital Repository for Indian Museums. As per the agreement with Union Ministry of Culture, the National Portal and Digital Repository for Indian Museums is developed and hosted by Human Centres Design and Computing Group, a technical expertise. The portal works through website- http://museumsofindia.gov.in/ wherein all digitised data on museums have been up-loaded for on-line viewing.

Digitisation Phase 1: Currently there are 48 Archaeological Site Museums under Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Out of these 2 Archaeological Site Museums, namely Velha Goa and Nagarjunakonda, have been digitised during 1st phase through JATAN and data has been up-loaded in public domain through National Portal and Digital Repository for Indian Museums.

Digitisation Phase 2: Digitisation in rest of the 46 archaeological museums through multi-user JATAN software is being done in phase-wise manner.

Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft successfully launched by GSLV MkIII-M1
July 23, 2019

Chandrayaan-2, India’s 2nd moon mission (after Chandrayaan-1, 2008) was successfully launched by GSLV-MkIII-M1 from Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This successful launch comes exactly a week after Missions’ liftoff was aborted due to a technical snag.

About Chandrayaan-2

Besides being India’s 2nd mission to the moon it is 1st-ever mission to be spearheaded by two women.

Mission Objective: To demonstrate key technologies for end-to-end lunar mission capability, including soft-landing and roving on lunar surface. It will also carry detailed study of moon’s topography and atmosphere leading to a better understanding of Moon. It seeks to improve understanding of moon which could lead to discoveries that will benefit India and humanity as a whole.

Landing: The rover will land on unexplored lunar South Pole of Moon on 7 September 2019, to carry out scientific experiments. After touchdown the rover will carry out experiments for 14 Earth days (equalling 1 Lunar Day).

Components: It comprises a fully indigenous-
  1. Orbiter
  2. Lander- Vikram. It is named after father of Indian space research programme Dr Vikram A Sarabhai. It will be landed in a high plain between 2 craters at a latitude of about 70 degrees South of moon.
  3. Rover- Pragyan. Pragyan in Sanskrit means wisdom. It is 6-wheeled robotic vehicle, weighing 27-kg. It will set out on its job of collecting information on lunar surface
Rover Pragyan is housed inside Vikram lander i.e. Vikram will be carrying the rover Pragyan.

Payload: Mission carries a total of 13 payloads. It includes 3 from Europe, 2 from United States and 1 Bulgaria. A Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) of NASA (US space agency) is among the payloads. LRA is aimed at understanding dynamics of Earths’ moon system and deriving clues on Lunar interior.

Significance: Besides making India 1st country in world to land a rover on unchartered Lunar South Pole, Chandrayaan-2 will also make India 4th country after Russia, United States and China to pull off a soft landing on moon.


It is a 3-stage launch vehicle developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It has two solid strap-ons, a core liquid booster and a cryogenic upper stage.
It is 43.43-metre tall. It is dubbed as Baahubali for its ability to carry heavy payloads.
It is designed to carry 4 ton class of satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) or about 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
Chandrayaan-2 was the GSLV-MKIII’s 1st operational flight.

NAM Ministerial Meeting held in Caracas, Venezuela
July 23, 2019

Ministerial meeting of Coordinating Bureau of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was held in Caracas, capital of Venezuela. Theme for 2019 Meet was- Promotion and Consolidation of Peace through Respect for International Law.

Since 2016 Venezuela has held the presidency of NAM which will now be passed on to Azerbaijan in October 2019.

Key Highlights

At NAM Ministerial Meeting 2019, India was represented by Indian envoy to United Nations Syed Akbaruddin.

Issues raised by India at NAM Meet included- Climate change, Digital Technologies and Terrorism.

India highlighted that Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) needs to be re-examined and revise its methodology. It also emphasized that the grouping needs to undertake a new journey.

India also slammed Pakistan for raking up Kashmir at grouping’s ministerial meet. India held its stand that NAM never was and can never be a platform for pursuits aimed at undermining territorial integrity of a State by another State.

About Non-Aligned Movement

Background: It was established in Belgrade in 1961 during Cold War so as to unite developing countries that are not part of any collective defense pacts in interest of any major power. It was a joint initiative of former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. It was formed in wake of decolonization processes in Africa, Asia and other parts of world around values of independence, sovereignty, equality and territorial integrity.

It is forum comprising of developing states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.
It is the 2nd largest international organization after United Nations (UN) with 120 member states.

Membership: 120 member states; 17 states (observers); 10 International Organisations

Lt Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane appointed next Vice Chief of Indian Army
July 23, 2019

In a major rejig in Indian Army, Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane has been appointed as next vice-chief of armed force. He will succeed Lt Gen D Anbu who is set to retire on 31 August 2019.

Key Highlights

Lt Gen M M Naravane will be in contention for Chief of Indian Army post as he will be the senior-most commander when incumbent Gen Bipin Rawat retires on 31 December 2019.

Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane: In his 37 years of service, he has served in numerous command and staff appointments in peace, field and highly active counter insurgency environments. He has also commanded Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in Jammu & Kashmir and an Infantry Brigade on eastern front.

Other Key Appointment
  • Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen Anil Chauhan will be new General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Command
  • Lt Gen AS Kler has been appointed General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of South-Western Command. He will succeed Lt Gen Cherish Matheson who retires on 31 August 2019.
  • Lt Gen I S Ghuman has been appointed General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Central Command. He will be succeeding Lt Gen Abhay Krishna.
  • Lt Gen RP Singh has been appointed head of Western Command. He will be succeeding Lt Gen Surinder Singh who is currently serving as commander of the 21 Strike Corps is set to retire from service on 31 July 2019.

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