News Crux Science & Technology

NISAR Satellite

On March 8, 2023, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) received the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite, which is designed for advanced Earth observation, in Karnataka.

  • NISAR is a joint Earth-observing mission between National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the ISRO.
  • Systematic Mapping of Earth: NISAR's ability to systematically map the entire globe in just 12 days using two distinct radar frequencies will provide a wealth of data and information regarding changes in the Earth's surface,and ecosystem disturbances.
  • Managing Natural Disasters: The data provided by NISAR will aid in managing natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions by enabling faster reaction times and more accurate risk assessments.
  • Enhancing Agriculture Management: NISAR's data will be utilized to enhance agriculture management and food security by providing information on crop growth, soil moisture, and land-use changes.

News Crux Bill/Act/Amendment

Virtual Digital Asset Regulation

On March 9, 2023, the Finance Ministryhas bought a range of virtual digital asset (VDA) transactions under the ambit of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002, to curb money laundering and illegal activities involving virtual digital assets.

  • Virtual digital assets were defined as any code or number or token generated through cryptographic means with the promise or representation of having inherent value.
  • Any exchange between virtual digital assets and fiat currencies, exchange between one or more forms of virtual digital assets, and transfer of virtual digital assets.
  • Safekeeping or administration of virtual digital assets, instruments enabling control over virtual digital assets, and participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer and sale of a virtual digital asset.
  • As a result, VDA entities such as exchanges, custodians, or administrators handling customer funds will have to comply with PMLA laws and report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit India (FIU-IND) like banks do.