People Places
History Art
Science
SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

International Celestial Reference System

The International Celestial Reference System is the current standard celestial reference system adopted by the International Astronomical Union. Its origin is at the barycenter of the Solar System, with axes that are intended to be "fixed" with respect to space. ICRS coordinates are the same as equatorial coordinates: the mean pole at J2000.0 in the ICRS lies at 17.3±0.2 mas in the direction 12 h and 5.1±0.2 mas in the direction 18 h. The mean equinox of J2000.0 is shifted from the ICRS right ascension origin by 78±10 mas. The defining extragalactic reference frame of the ICRS is the International Celestial Reference Frame based on hundreds of extra-galactic radio sources quasars, distributed around the entire sky; because they are so distant, they are stationary to our current technology, yet their positions can be measured with the utmost accuracy by Very Long Baseline Interferometry. The positions of most are known to 0.001 arcsecond or better. At optical wavelengths, the ICRS is realized by the Hipparcos Celestial Reference Frame, a subset of about 100,000 stars in the Hipparcos Catalogue.

A more accurate optical realization of the ICRS, based on the observation by the Gaia spacecraft of 500,000 extragalactic objects believed to be quasars, is under preparation. Astrometry Astronomy Barycentric celestial reference system International Terrestrial Reference System and Frame Kovalevsky, Jean.

George Murray, 6th Duke of Atholl

George Augustus Frederick John Murray, 6th Duke of Atholl, was a Scottish peer and freemason. Born at Great Cumberland Place, London, he was the son of James Murray, 1st Baron Glenlyon, the second son of John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl, his wife Lady Emily Frances Percy, second daughter of Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland, he succeeded his father as baron in 1837 and his uncle John Murray as duke in 1846. Murray served in the British Army and was lieutenant of the 2nd Dragoon Guards, retiring in 1840. Murray became a Deputy Lieutenant of Perthshire in 1846 and was invested as a Knight of the Thistle in 1853; as Lord Glenlyon, he formed the Atholl Highlanders in 1839 as his personal bodyguard. On 30 August of that year he attended the Earl of Eglinton's tournament in Ayrshire in the guise of'The Knight of the Gael', accompanied by a retinue of his Highlanders. In 1844, when Queen Victoria stayed at Blair Castle, the Atholl Highlanders provided the guard for the Queen. So impressed was she with their turnout that she ordered they be presented with colours, giving them official status as a British regiment.

On 29 October 1839, he married daughter of Henry Home-Drummond. Murray died in 1864, aged 49, from cancer of the neck and was succeeded in his titles by his only child John, he served as 66th Grand Master Mason of Scotland from 1843-1863 and was Grand Master of England from 1843 until his death in January, 1864. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Duke of Atholl

Mihir Shah

Mihir Shah is an Indian economist and former member of the erstwhile Planning Commission of India. Mihir Shah graduated with a B. A. degree in Economics in 1976 from St. Stephen's College, Delhi. In 1978, he received an M. A. degree in Economics from Delhi School of Economics. He received a PhD degree in Economics from Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum in 1984. From 2009 to 2014, Shah was Member, Planning Commission, Government of India, holding the portfolios of Water Resources, Rural Development and Decentralised Governance, he is the youngest Member of the Planning Commission. Shah was chiefly responsible for drafting the paradigm shift in the management of water resources enunciated in the 12th Five Year Plan; as Chairman of the Government of India's Committee for Revision of MGNREGA Guidelines, he initiated a makeover of MGNREGA, the largest employment programme in human history, with a renewed emphasis on rural livelihoods based on construction of productive assets. An expert on water and rural development, he holds memberships in several important committees such as the International Steering Committee of the CGIAR Research Program on Water and Ecosystems and serves as the chair of the Revitalising Rainfed Areas Network in India.

He is the first President of the Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation, which supports innovative civil society action in close partnership with state governments. He chaired the Government of India's Task Force on the National Social Assistance Programme which presented a landmark report in 2013. Mihir Shah chaired the Advisory Council of the first India Rural Development Report brought out by the Ministry of Rural Development. In 1990, he co-founded Samaj Pragati Sahayog, today one of the largest grass-roots initiatives for water and livelihood security, working with its partners on a million acres of land across 72 of India’s most backward districts. Mihir Shah has spent nearly three decades living and working in central tribal India, forging a new paradigm of inclusive and sustainable development. Mihir Shah, along with his colleagues penned their experiences in the book, India's Drylands: Tribal Societies and Development through Environmental Regeneration, published by Oxford University Press in 1998.

The book brings out the macro-economic significance of watershed programmes for food security and employment guarantee in India. He has played a significant role shaping policies and in the development of tribal areas in Madhya Pradesh, he coauthored one of three chapters in Human Development Report of the state in 1998. Shah is a visiting faculty member at Ashoka University, where he teaches a course on the Political Economy of India's Development 1947-2014 for the Young India Fellowship students. With effect from 1 August 2016, Shah has been appointed the first Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Shiv Nadar University. Under Shah's leadership, the Shiv Nadar University launched an M. Sc. Program on Water Science and Policy in August 2017, which aims to be a first-of-its-kind program globally. Few programs across the world are able to incorporate the essential multi-disciplinary character of water. Fewer still deal with the urgent policy requirements of the sector; this program, with a faculty drawn from leading water experts from across the world, seeks to address both lacunae.

The main aim of the program is to create a critical mass of water professionals with a and contextualised, multi-disciplinary perspective and understanding of water. These water professionals would guide development of sustainable and just 21st century policies and solutions to the growing water crisis. In September 2015, Shah led a seven-member committee to restructure the Central Water Commission and the Central Ground Water Board, achieve optimal development of water resources in the country The panel recommended disbanding the CWC and CGWB, two of the biggest water organisations, creating a multi-disciplinary National Water Commission in their place, for greater involvement of social scientists, professionals from management and other specialised disciplines and reduce reliance on engineers who man the CWC. Full report of the committee is available in the Ministry of Water resources website; the rated social science journal and Political Weekly, devoted a whole issue to a symposium on the Mihir Shah Committee Report with 12 renowned water scholars and activists commenting on it and Mihir Shah giving a response.

However, the CWC is unhappy with these recommendations and sent a strong note condemning them to the Water Resources Minister, Uma Bharati. The CWC claimed that these recommendations were anti-dam and anti-development, both of which Shah refuted claiming that on the contrary they intent to make them much stronger institutions in a new avatar which would devolve more power to states and reduce delays in techno-economic appraisals of projects. Mihir Shah notes, "it is not enough to just build dams and forget about the trillions of litres of water stored in them. We need to ensure that this water reaches the people"; the prime minister's office is evidently open to the idea of forming a National Water Commission, combining CWC and CGWB In July 2017, Shah became one of the Founding Signatories of the Geneva Actions on Water Security, which aim to secure environmentally sustainable water services for those people who are least able to afford them and ensure, as a first priority, that investments from the Global Human Water Security Fund meet the basic water needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable people for drinking and cooking.

In December 2017, Shah was appointed Chair of the Task Group to draft the Karnataka State