Current Affairs 21- 31 OCT 2023
Daily Current Capsules
21 to 31st October 2023
- Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas launched ‘Reference Gasoline and Diesel Fuels’ produced by IndianOil for the first time in India.
Know! about Reference Fuels
- Reference Fuels’ are of superior quality and are crucial for gasoline and diesel vehicle manufacturers.
- These are used extensively for engine development, performance assessment, and ensuring operability across global climatic conditions.
- IndianOil has successfully commenced the production of Reference Gasoline and Diesel Fuels for the first time in India.
- These fuels are used for calibration and testing of vehicle by Automobile manufacturers and testing agencies like ICAT (International Centre for Automotive Technology) and ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India). \
- Reference fuels (Gasoline and Diesel) are premium high-value products, used for calibration and testing of vehicles by Auto OEMs and organizations involved in testing and certification in the automotive field.
- Specification requirements of Reference Fuels are more stringent than commercial gasoline and diesel.
- The demand for Reference Fuels in India is currently met by importing from other countries.
- IOC’s Paradip refinery in Odisha will produce ‘reference’ grade petrol and its Panipat unit in Haryana will produce such quality diesel.
Know! about Octane Number
- Fuel retailers like IOC sell petrol and diesel of primarily two kinds – regular and premium, through their fuel station network. The biggest difference between the normal and premium fuel lies in the octane number.
- The regular fuel has an octane number of 87, but premium fuel has an octane number of 91. Reference grade fuel comes with a 97-octane number.
- The octane number is nothing but a unit to measure the ignition quality of petrol or diesel.
- For vehicle testing purposes, the fuel has to be of a higher grade than regular or premium petrol and diesel.
- The host of specifications — from Cetane number to flash point, viscosity, sulphur and water content, hydrogen purity, and acid number — are listed under government regulations, such fuels are referred to as ‘reference’ petrol/diesel.
- These reference fuels are used for emission testing of vehicles equipped with spark ignition engines.
7th Edition of the India Mobile Congress (IMC)
- Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the 7th Edition of the India Mobile Congress 2023
- During the programme, the Prime Minister awarded 100 ‘5G Use Case Labs’ to educational institutions across the country.
- These labs are being developed under the ‘100 5G labs initiative’.
100 5G labs initiative
- The ‘100 5G labs initiative’, is an endeavour to realise the opportunities associated with 5G technology by encouraging development of 5G applications which cater, both to India’s unique needs as well as the global demands.
- The unique initiative will foster innovation across various socioeconomic sectors like education, agriculture, health, power, transportation etc, and propel the country into the forefront of usage of 5G technology.
- The initiative is also a pivotal step for building a 6G-ready academic and start-up ecosystem in the country.
Know! about IMC
- India Mobile Congress (IMC) is the largest telecom, media, and technology forum in Asia, jointly organized by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
- Since its inception, IMC has established itself as a leading forum for bringing together industry, government, academia, and other ecosystem players to discuss, deliberate, demonstrate and display the latest trends in the realm of TMT and ICT.
- Theme – Global Digital Innovation
- IMC 2023 aims to strengthen India’s position as a developer, manufacturer, and exporter of key cutting-edge technologies.
- This year, IMC is introducing a startup program – ‘Aspire’. It will foster connections between startups, investors, and established businesses with an aim to catalyse fresh entrepreneurial initiatives and collaborations.
Dark Patterns Buster Hackathon 2023
- The Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India in collaboration with IIT (BHU), launched Dark Patterns Buster Hackathon 2023
- The objective of the initiative is to provide protection to consumers from all types of unfair trade practices.
Few of the comments/suggestions being considered for inclusion in the revised guidelines are provided below:
- “Trick Question” is a dark pattern, which means the deliberate use of confusing or vague language; in order to misguide or misdirect a user.
- “Saas Billing” is a process of generating and collecting payments from consumers on a recurring basis in a software as a service (SaaS) business model by exploiting positive acquisition loops in recurring subscriptions to get money from users.
- “Rogue Malwares” is a dark pattern using a ransomware or scareware to mislead/trick user into believing there is a virus on their computer and aims to convince them to pay for a fake malware removal tool that actually installs malware on their computer.
- Forced action” shall mean forcing a user into taking an action that would require the user to buy any additional good(s) or subscribe or sign up for an unrelated service or share personal information, in order to buy or subscribe to the product/service originally intended by the user.
- “Confirm shaming” means using a phrase, video, audio or any other means to create a sense of fear or shame or ridicule or guilt in the mind of the user, so as to nudge the user to act in a certain way that results in the user purchasing a product or service from the platform or continuing a subscription of a service, where, primarily, the purpose of the platform is to make commercial gains by subverting consumer choice.
- “Nagging” shall mean a dark pattern due to which a user is worn down by repeated and persistent interactions, in the form of requests, information, options, or interruptions, to effectuate a transaction and make some commercial gains, unless specifically permitted by the user.’
Chanakya Defence Dialogue 2023
- The event, ‘Chanakya Defence Dialogue 2023’ is being organised by the Indian Army in partnership with Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS).
- The first edition of Chanakya Defence Dialogue will be held on 3rd & 4th November 2023 in Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi.
- This is the first event of its kind being organised by the Indian Army.
- This Dialogue will carry out a comprehensive analysis of security challenges in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific.
- It will focus on crafting a roadmap for collaborative security measures in the region to fortify India’s position as a ready, resurgent, and relevant stakeholder among the nations of this region.
Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS)
- It is an autonomous think tank on strategic studies and land warfare.
- The mandate of CLAWS covers national security issues, conventional military operations and sub-conventional warfare.
- CLAWS is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and is a membership-based organisation.
- It is governed by a Board of Governors and an Executive Council.
- Research at CLAWS is futuristic in outlook and policy-oriented in approach.
- The objective of the organization is to convey policy recommendations based on interactions, consensus and research projects to policymakers and experts.
Gulf Of Guinea
- India and EU ships conducted joint activities in the Gulf of Guinea, in an effort to reinforce naval maritime security cooperation in support of the region.
- European Union (EU) and India conducted their first joint naval exercise in the Gulf of Guinea.
- The exercise followed the third meeting of the EU-India Maritime Security Dialogue
Gulf of Guinea – Map Location
- The Gulf of Guinea is the northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean from Cape Lopez in Gabon, north and west to Cape Palmas in Liberia
- Null Island, defined as the intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian (zero degrees latitude and longitude), is in the gulf.
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)
- The National Event on Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) held at Yashwantrao Chavan Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Know! about PMMVY
- The primary objective of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) launched on 1st January 2017 and revised and incorporated as a component of Mission Shakti from 1st April 2022, as PMMVY 2.0 is to provide cash incentive for partial compensation of the wage loss during pregnancy so that women can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the child; and to improve health seeking behaviour amongst the Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers (PW&LM).
- PMMVY 2.0 is its commitment to promote a more positive societal attitude towards the girl child by offering incentives for the birth of girl child.
- For women coming from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, the PMMVY provides a maternity benefit of Rs. 5,000/- distributed in two instalments.
- The scheme’s benefits have now been extended to include support for a second child, provided that the second child is a girl.
- In this revised framework, mothers are eligible to receive an incentive amount of ₹6,000 in a single installment following the birth of the second girl child.
World Dwarfism Day
- International Dwarfism Awareness Day is celebrated every year on 25 October.
- The day spreads awareness for achondroplasia, a bone growth disorder that causes dwarfism.
- The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment observed the World Dwarfism Day, through the institutions associated with it
Know! about Dwarfism
- Dwarfism is short stature that results from a genetic or medical condition. Dwarfism is generally defined as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches (147 centimeters) or less.
- The average adult height among people with dwarfism is 4 feet (122 cm).
- A common cause of dwarfism is a genetic mutation that affects bone growth.
- Indian Army and Indian Air Force contingent comprising 120 personnel departed for Kazakhstan to take part in the 7th edition of Joint Military ‘Exercise KAZIND-2023’.
- The Exercise will be conducted at Otar, Kazakhstan from 30th October to 11th November 2023.
- The Joint Exercise between India and Kazakhstan was instituted as ‘Exercise PRABAL DOSTYK’ in the year 2016. After the second edition, the Exercise was upgraded to a company-level exercise and renamed as ‘Exercise KAZIND’.
- The Exercise has been further upgraded as a Bi-service Exercise this year by including the Air Force component.
- ‘Exercise KAZIND-2023’ will provide an opportunity for both sides to gain an insight into the tactics, battle drills and procedures of each other, which is a prerequisite while operating under the ambit of the United Nations.
Urban Mobility India (UMI)
- The 16th Urban Mobility India (UMI) Conference & Exhibition 2023, the premier event dedicated to the advancement of sustainable urban mobility solutions, concluded on a high note with its valedictory session.
Know! about the 16th Urban Mobility India (UMI) Conference & Exhibition 2023:
- The event was organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs through the Institute of Urban Transport (India) and with the support of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. from 27th – 29 October, 2023
- It brought together leaders, experts, and stakeholders from across the globe to discuss and collaborate on the future of urban transportation.
- The exhibition, comprising of display of best practices in urban transport in India and aboard, latest urban transport technologies, services, and in other related fields, is an important part of the UMI Conference organized every year.
- 2023 UMI exhibition was inaugurated by Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Hardeep Singh Puri on 27th October 2023 and continued on all the 3 days of the conference.
- Around 22 exhibitors from Metro Rail Companies, public and private sectors participated.
Science & Technology Clusters
- Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India Professor Ajay Kumar Sood Chaired the first joint Science and Technology (S&T) Clusters’ Meet held on October 26-27, 2023 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
- The meeting was organised by the Jodhpur City Knowledge and Innovation Foundation (JCKIF) and hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur.
- Launched in 2020, the City S&T Clusters is a flagship initiative of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, established on the recommendation of the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
- This initiative aims to tackle local challenges through S&T interventions by bringing together academia, R&D institutions, industries, startups and local governments.
- Currently, there are seven S&T clusters operating in Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Pune, and the recently established Northern Region Cluster in Chandigarh, all working together to find solutions to regional issues through collaborative efforts.
Know! about PSA
- The Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) is the chief advisor to the government on matters related to scientific policy.
- It is currently a Cabinet Secretary level position created in 1999 by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
- The first appointed Principal Scientific Adviser was A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.
- The ‘Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser’, through the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) helps scientific cross-sectoral synergy across ministries, institutions, and the industry.
LAUNCH OF THIRD ACTCM BARGE, LSAM 17 (YARD 127)
- Third Ammunition Cum Torpedo Cum Missile (ACTCM) Barge, LSAM 17 (Yard 127) was launched by Cmde V Pravin, AWPS (Mbi) on 27 Oct 23 at M/s Suryadipta Projects Pvt Ltd, Thane.
- Contract for construction and delivery of 11 x Ammunition Cum Torpedo Cum Missile (ACTCM) Barge was concluded with M/s Suryadipta Projects Pvt Ltd, Thane, a MSME, in consonance with “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” initiatives of the Government of India.
- The MSME shipyard has successfully delivered two Barges. These Barges are being built under the classification rules of Indian Register of Shipping (IRS).
- The availability of ACTCM Barges will provide impetus to Operational commitments of Indian Navy by facilitating embarkation and disembarkation of articles / ammunition to Indian Navy Ships both alongside jetties and at outer harbours
Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar
- The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi paid tributes to the venerable Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar on his sacred Guru Pooja.
- Ukkirapandi Muthuramalinga Thevar (30 October 1908 – 29 October 1963), also known as Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, was a politician, patriarch of Thevar community.
- He was elected three times to the national Parliamentary Constituency.
- The birth anniversary of Muthuramalinga Thevar on October 30 is celebrated annually by the Thevar community in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu as Thevar Jayanthi.
Meri Mati-Mera Desh’ campaign
- Meri Maati Mera Desh campaign is a tribute to the Veers and Veeranganas who have made the supreme sacrifice for the country.
Activities and ceremonies under the campaign
- Building of Shilaphalakam (Memorial) to express heartfelt gratitude to all the bravehearts who have made the supreme sacrifice
- Panch Pran pledge taking by the people at Shilaphalakam
- planting of saplings of indigenous species and developing ‘Amrit Vatika’ (Vasudha Vandhan)
- ‘Meri Maati Mera Desh’ campaign also includes the Amrit Kalash Yatra, which comprises collection of mitti and rice grains from over 6 lakh villages in rural areas and from wards in urban areas, which is sent to block level (where mitti of all villages in the block is mixed) and then to the state capital.
- The mitti from state level will be sent to the National Capital, accompanied by thousands of Amrit Kalash Yatris.
- On 30th October 2023, the Amrit Kalash Yatra will witness all the states and UTs represented by their respective blocks and Urban Local bodies putting mitti from their Kalash in one giant Amrit Kalash in the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.
- Under this yatra, the soil of the birthplace of immortal martyrs is being taken in Amrit Kalash to the National Martyrs Memorial in Delhi.
- Amrit Kalash Yatra’ carrying soil in 7500 urns from every corner of the country reached Delhi
- On 31st October, Prime Minister will address thousands of Amrit Kalash Yatris joining the programme from across the country.
- The Amrit Vatika and Amrit Mahotsav Memorial, whose foundation stone will be laid by the Prime Minister, will be built from the soil collected from every part of the country.
- Meri Maati Mera Desh campaign was envisaged as a culminating event of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav began on 12th March 2021 to celebrate the 75 years of India’s independence.
- ‘Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) is being established as an autonomous body to serve as a one stop whole-of-government platform for youth of the country.
- In line with the Prime Minister’s vision to provide equitable opportunities to every youth of the country, MY Bharat will leverage technology to provide an enabling mechanism across the entire spectrum of the Government so that they can realise their aspirations and contribute in building of ‘Viksit Bharat’.
- The aim of MY Bharat is to inspire youth to become community change agents and nation builders, and enable them to act as the ‘Yuva Setu’ between the Government and the citizens.
Know! also about Amrit Sarovars
- Mission Amrit Sarovar has been launched on 24th April 2022 with an objective to harvest and conserve water for future generation. The salient features of the Mission Amrit Sarovar is as follows-
- Mission Amrit Sarovar is based on “Whole of Government” approach with the participation from the Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and technical organizations.
- Under the Mission every district of the country will construct or rejuvenate at least 75 Amrit Sarovars.
- Every Amrit Sarovar will have a pondage area of at least 1 acre with a water holding capacity of about 10,000 cubic metre.
- Every Amrit Sarovar will be surrounded by trees like Neem, Peepal and Banyan etc.
- Every Amrit Sarovar will be a source of generation of livelihoods by using the water for different purposes like irrigation, fisheries, duckery, cultivation of water chestnut, water tourism and other activities.
- The Amrit Sarovar will also act as a social gathering point in that locality.
National Unity Day
- National Unity Day is celebrated in India on 31 October. It was introduced by the Government of India in 2014.
- The day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who had a major role in the political integration of India.
- Vallabhbhai Patel was dubbed “Sardar” (chief) for his leadership skills in leading the country through the struggle for independence and beyond, and most notably during the integration of the princely states and the India-Pakistan War of 1947.
- Sardar Patel achieved the incredible feat of persuading almost every single one of the 565 self-governing princely states, that had been released from British suzerainty, to accede to the Union of India. For his commitment to the national integration of the newly independent country, Sardar Patel earned the sobriquet “Iron Man of India”.
World Occupational Therapy Day
- The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment observed the World Occupational Therapy Day
- Every year on October 27th, World Occupational Therapy Day is observed and promotes the mission and goals of occupational therapy.
- The day also increases awareness of occupational therapists and their global impact.
- “Unity through Community” is the theme of this year which promotes our role in working together with others to facilitate participation and community interaction.
- Occupational therapists provide treatment to injured or disabled patients.
- They also work with children who have special needs or need help in acquiring certain skills.
- Occupational therapists make recommendations on types of equipment and home modifications necessary for seniors or those with disabilities
Hostile Activity Watch Kernel (HAWK) system
- The Karnataka Forest Department and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) launched HAWK (Hostile Activity Watch Kernel) system.
- This is a specialized software system, which will be the nerve center of the state forest department as part of their modernization initiatives.
Know! about HAWK
- HAWK is used to monitor all aspects of forest and wildlife crime, such as the death of wildlife, suspected criminal activities, and movement of suspicious vehicles.
- Information regarding these and other incidents of interest from the field are input into a centralized system so that effective and pre-emptive responses, including counteraction, can be initiated.
- The HAWK system will help the department to manage and monitor data regarding forest and wildlife crime across the state in real-time. This will increase the overall efficiency of the department in crime management.
- The development of HAWK started in 2017 in the state of Kerala by a joint team of Kerala Forest Department & Wildlife Trust of India.
- The system was officially launched in 2019 in Kerala, and since then it has been the official system of the state forest department.
- The implementation of a customised version of HAWK was initiated in 2022 in Karnataka in partnership with the ICT cell of Karnataka forest department, and the system is being implemented across the state.
Know! about Wildlife Trust of India Wildlife
- Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is a conservation organization established in 1998 with a mission to conserve nature, especially endangered species and threatened habitats, in partnership with communities and governments.
- 25T Bollard Pull (BP) Tug, ‘Mahabali’ was launched at M/s Shoft Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Bharuch, Gujarat.
- Contract for construction and delivery of three 25T BP Tug was concluded with M/s Shoft Shipyard Pvt Ltd (SSPL), an MSME, in consonance with “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” initiative of the Government of India.
- These Tugs are built under the classification rules of Indian Register of Shipping (IRS).
- The availability of Tugs will provide impetus to Operational commitments of IN by facilitating assistance to Naval ships and submarines during berthing and un-berthing, turning, and manoeuvring in confined waters.
Know! about the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS)
- Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) is a not-for-profit entity that was founded in 1975.
- IRS is an international ship classification society providing ship classification and certification as well as technical inspection services.
- It is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), representing classification societies worldwide.
- IRClass Systems and Solutions Ltd. (ISSPL) is an organisation promoted by the IRS and was set up in 2014.
- The two companies, IRS and ISSPL, form the brand IRCLASS, which provides survey, inspection, and certification services to the maritime and industrial sectors.
- IRCLASS is committed to promoting safe and environmentally friendly engineering practises through its services to the business community.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) revealed that the “Chandrayaan-3 Lander Module generated a spectacular ‘ejecta halo’ of lunar material” as it descended towards the Moon’s south pole on August 23, 2023.
- This simply means that as the lander module of the Chandrayaan-3 mission descended towards the Moon’s surface, it underwent descent stage thrusters and then a subsequent soft-landing happened.
- During this process, a significant amount of lunar surficial epiregolith material got ejected.
- Epiregolith is lunar rocks and soil, or regolith, or Moon dust.
- Around 2.06 tonnes of this lunar epi-regolith or material were ejected during the landing event.
- The material was displaced over an area of 108.4 m² around the landing site.
- This, subsequently, resulted in formation of an ‘ejecta halo’. This halo appeared “as an irregular bright patch surrounding the lander”,
11 Countries Sign Declaration for Global Protection of River Dolphins by 2030
- Representatives from the 14 countries that are home to the world’s populations of river dolphins, came together on October 23 and 24 for the Global Declaration of River Dolphins and their Rivers convening.
- Eleven countries signed a first-of-its-kind global declaration for the protection of river dolphins by 2030.
- Countries that adopted the declaration include Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, and Venezuela.
- The countries involved agreed to improve water quality in the dolphins’ habitat, create protected areas, tackle overfishing, and involve Indigenous communities in the affected regions in protecting the animals.
Know! about river dolphins
- River dolphins are any of six species of small, usually freshwater aquatic mammals that are related to whales (Order Cetacea).
- A seventh river dolphin species, the Chinese river dolphin, or baiji, was declared extinct in 2007.
- These dolphins are found in rivers of south-central Asia, China, and South America and in the coastal waters of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.
- They have slender beaks lined with lots of teeth, small eyes, flexible necks and bodies, pronounced forehead melons, large flippers, and small dorsal fins.
- The six surviving species of river dolphins are the Amazon, Indus, Ganges, Irrawaddy, Tucuxi, and Yangtze finless porpoises.
- All six species of river dolphins are classified as Endangered or Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- The largest is the Amazon River dolphin (Inia geoffrensis).
- They are important indicators of the health of rivers. Where freshwater dolphin populations are thriving, it is likely that the overall river systems are flourishing.
- Two persons died and around 40 people suffered injuries during the traditional stick fight festival, known as Banni festival, at Devaragattu village in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.
Know! about the Banni festival
- It is a traditional stick-fight celebrated on the night of Dussehra (Vijaya Dasami) every year.
- The objective of this event was to snatch the idols from God’s team, leading to a fierce battle known as the Banni Fight.
- People under the Vijayanagara Empire celebrated this festival.
- It is celebrated on account of the victory of Lord Mala Malleswara Swamy and Goddess Parvati over demonish Mani and Mallasura, who troubled the people in the Devaragattu region.
- The ritual takes place at midnight when the procession idols of the ruling deities Malamma (Parvati) and Malleshwara Swamy (Shiva) are brought down the hill temple at Neraneki.
- Devotees carry long sticks or lathis with them for hitting each other with these sticks on the head. The basic idea of this fight is to capture the procession idol.
IAF deploys 3 S-400 missile units on the China-Pak border
- The Indian Air Force has deployed its three S-400 air defense missile squadrons along borders with China and Pakistan.
- To further boost India’s defence system, Indian and Russian officials are set to meet soon to finalise the delivery schedule for the remaining two squadrons
- This strategic deployment marks a crucial step in enhancing India’s national security.
Know! about the agreement of S-400
- In 2018-19, India agreed with Russia to procure S-400 missiles worth ₹35,000 crore
- As per the agreement five squadrons of S-400 missiles were set to be delivered by Russia to India.
- Out of five squadrons, three were delivered. Whereas the delivery of the remaining two was hindered due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Know! about S-400
- It is an anti-aircraft missile defense system developed by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau.
- It comes with an integrated multifunction radar with autonomous detection and targeting systems.
- It also consists of anti-air missiles launchers and command and control missiles
- The radar can detect and track aircraft, rotorcraft, cruise missiles, guided missiles, drones and ballistic rockets within a distance of 600km.
- It can simultaneously track up to 300 targets.
- India’s own long-range air defence system, titled ‘Project Kusha’, is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- It will be capable of detecting and destroying enemy projectiles and armour, including cruise missiles, stealth fighter jets, and drones at long range.
- The ambitious project is believed to not only perform better than Israel’s Iron Dome system, but also rival the effectiveness of Russia’s S-400 system and the ‘Patriot’ system of the United States.
Know! the working of long-range surface-to-air defence system (LR-SAM)
- The indigenous long-range surface-to-air defence system (LR-SAM) includes long-range surveillance and fire control radars, along with interceptor missiles that can detect and strike hostile targets at the ranges of 150 km, 200 km, and 350 km. It will also be effective in providing strategic and tactical cover.
- LR-SAM. The three-layered long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) defence system would be able to strike down enemy aircraft and missiles at around 400 Km ranges
- The system reportedly has a single-shot kill chance of at least 80% and over 90% when two missiles are fired after each other.
- The surveillance and fire control radars will enable the Indian Air Force (IAF) to effectively monitor the airspace and defend against enemy strikes.
- Additionally, the firing units of the LR-SAM system will also be able to interact with the IAF’s air command and control system to integrate a wide array of military radars.
- ‘Project Kusha’ received approval for funding amounting to an estimated budget of Rs 21,700 crore for five squadrons.
Know! about Israel’s Iron Dome system
- The Iron Dome is a ground-to-air defence system that comprises radar and interceptor missiles that are capable of tracking and neutralising any rockets or missiles fired towards targets in Israel.
- It is particularly useful in defending against rockets, artillery and mortars, as well as aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
- The Dome has a range of close to 70 km and has three crucial components, Detection and Tracking radar, Battle Management and Weapons Control and the Missile Launcher armed with 20 Tamir Missiles.
Diving Support Craft (DSC)
- The Indian Navy launched DSC A 21, the second vessel in the Diving Support Craft (DSC) project.
- These Diving Support Craft (DSC) are purpose-built for conducting diving operations in harbors and coastal waters.
- Equipped with state-of-the-art diving equipment, they are set to enhance the Indian Navy’s underwater capabilities.
- The vessels feature a catamaran hull design and boast a displacement of approximately 300 tons.
- The contract for constructing five Diving Support Craft (DSC) was formalized between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and M/s Titagarh Rail Systems Ltd (TRSL) on February 12, 2021.
- The DSCs are equipped with advanced technological capabilities to facilitate diving operations in diverse underwater conditions.
Abua Awas Yojna (AAY)
- The Jharkhand Cabinet recently approved the ‘Abua Awas Yojna’ (AAY), a housing scheme designed to provide eight lakh pucca houses to homeless individuals in the state.
- With a total budget of Rs 16,320 crore, the scheme will be executed in three phases, targeting 2 lakh houses in the current financial year, 3.5 lakh houses in FY 2024-25, and 2.5 lakh houses in FY 2025-26.
- Under the ‘Abua Awas Yojna’ scheme, beneficiaries will receive a three-room house with one kitchen, covering a total area of 31 sq m.
- The government has allocated Rs 2 lakh per beneficiary in its budget, disbursed in four instalments.
- In comparison, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Rural constructs houses with two rooms and one kitchen, with a provision of Rs 1.2-1.3 lakh per beneficiary.
- AAY offers beneficiaries the opportunity to work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and earn wages for up to 95 unskilled man-days at the prevailing wage rate, which can be used for building their houses.
- There is also a provision to include a toilet in the house’s construction, using funds from the Swachh Bharat Mission or other available schemes.
- All houses built under AAY will be registered in the name of women from the beneficiary families.
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