‘2nd-Global-Disability-Summit’-in-Argentina-2
Current Affair Analysis

6th June 2019 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

‘2nd Global Disability Summit’; JC Daniel award; Cabinet Committees; Transaction of Business Rules (TBR), 1961; 7th Economic Census; Location of Argentina; Emission trading scheme (ETS); International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Fiscal Performance Index (FPI); Confederation of Indian Industry (CII); Rule 49 of Conduct of Election Rules; BrahMos; Difference between Cruise Missile and Ballistic Missile; "Confetti"; Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR);
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
June 06, 2019

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Reconstitution of Cabinet Committees- 2019
  • National Training Workshop of Master Trainers for 7th Economic Census
  • Election panel wants to revisit rule on punishment to voters for false mismatch claims

Economy

  • CII launches new Index to measure fiscal performance
  • India is now the lowest-cost producer of solar power

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • Gujarat launches India’s first trading programme to combat particulate air pollution

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Minister for Social Justice to take part in ‘2nd Global Disability Summit’ in Argentina

Defence & Security Issues

  • Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos test fired

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Facebook launches 1st interactive game show in India
  • Indian Navy steams ahead with its go ‘green’ plans in eco-friendly push
  • JC Daniel award

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Polity & Governance

Reconstitution of Cabinet Committees- 2019

 

Reconstitution of Cabinet Committees- 2019 Current Affairs Analysis

Under the Transaction of Business Rules, the Government has reconstituted Cabinet Committees in 2019.

  • Recently the government of India added two new committees to generate employment and promote skill development in the country.
  • With addition to new committees, there are total eight cabinet committees now.
  • The six committees include– Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, Cabinet Committee on Accommodation, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Security.
  • Cabinet committee on investment & growth and Cabinet Committee on Employment and skill development are the two new committees added by the government.

Cabinet Committee

 

Cabinet-committees

  • Cabinet committees are extra-constitutional bodies. But they derive their legality from the constitution.
  • In constitutional parlance, a government is called executive, which also includes the President of India.
  • Article 77(3) of the Constitution allows the president to make rules for more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of India.
  • The prime minister-led Union cabinet has the powers to constitute committees of cabinet drawing members from various ministries.
  • This is done in accordance with the Government of India Transaction of Business Rules, 1961.

Objective:

  • The cabinet committees ensure smooth functioning between two departments or ministries of the government.
  • The ministries at times are seen holding contrasting views on policy matters or their implementation.
  • Cabinet committees help in ironing out the differences by preparing a common ground.
  • They work as organisations, which are instrumental in reducing the workload of the Union cabinet.

Committee’s composition and functions:

Cabinet committees3

  1. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC)
  • Headed by Prime Minister.
  • The Minister of Home Affairs and Minister in-charge of the concerned Ministry are the members of this committee.
  • It takes decision regarding all higher level appointments in the Cabinet Secretariat, public enterprises, banks and financial institutions.
  1. Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA)
  • It is composed of cabinet ministers from various ministries with one of them as the head.
  • The committee determines the guidelines or rules and terms and conditions to govern out-of-turn allotment of government accommodation and allotment of accommodation to the members of the parliament.
  • Also considers proposals regarding shifting of the existing Central Government Offices to places outside Delhi and the location of new offices in Delhi.
  1. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)
  • Cabinet ministers of various ministries are its members. Prime Minister is the head of this committee.
  • It directs and coordinates the governmental activities in the economic sphere.
  • Also reviews economic trends and evolve consistent and integrated policy framework in the country.
  • It considers issues relating to disinvestment
  1. Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs
  • This committee is composed of cabinet ministers from various ministers. The Union Home Minister is the head of the committee.
  • The function of the committee is to watch the progress of Government business in Parliament and to give directions necessary to secure smooth and efficient conduct of such business.
  1. Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs
  • The committee is headed by the Prime Minister. Cabinet ministers of various ministries are its members.
  • The committee deals with problems relating to Centre-State relations.
  • It also deals with policy matters concerning foreign affairs which do not have external or internal security implications.
  1. Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS)
  • The Prime Minister is the head of this committee. Cabinet ministers of Finance, Defence, Home Affairs and External Affairs are its members.
  • It deals with all Defence related issues. Also with the issues relating to law and order and internal security.
  • The committee also considers all matters relating to atomic energy.
  1. Cabinet committee on investment & growth
  • It is a new committee comprising Prime Minister as head, Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs and Minister of Commerce & Industry.
  1. Cabinet Committee on Employment and skill development
  • The committee is made up of Prime Minister as head, Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Minister of Rural Development, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and other ministers.

Transaction of Business Rules (TBR), 1961

  • In 1961, the Government of India Transaction of Business Rules (TBR), 1961 were framed, which prescribed the manner in which government should conduct its business.
  • In terms of the TBR, 1961, there shall be “Standing Committees of the Cabinet” as set out in the First Schedule to the TBR, 1961, with the functions specified therein.
  • The Prime Minister can amend the Schedule by adding/reducing the numbers of such Committees or by modifying the functions assigned to them.
  • Every Standing Committee shall consist of such Ministers as the Prime Minister may from time to time specify. Conventionally, while Ministers with Cabinet rank are named as ‘members’ of the Standing Committees of the Cabinet, Ministers of State, irrespective of their status of having ‘Independent Charge’ of a Ministry/Department, and others ‘with rank of’ a Cabinet Minister or Minister of State are named as ‘special invitees’.
  • The Second Schedule to TBR 1961, lists the items of Government business where the full Cabinet, and not any Standing Committee of the Cabinet should take a decision.
  • However, to the extent there is a commonality between the cases enumerated in the Second Schedule and the cases set out in the First Schedule, the Standing Committees of the Cabinet shall be competent to take a final decision in the matter, except in cases where the relevant entries in the respective Schedules themselves preclude the Committees from taking such decisions. Also, any decision taken by a Standing Committee may be reviewed by the Cabinet.
[Ref: PIB]

 

National Training Workshop of Master Trainers for 7th Economic Census

Internship-Ministry-of-Statistics-Programme-implementation-2018

In the run up to upcoming 7th Edition of Economic Census, a National Training Workshop of the Master Trainers was organized by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI).

Objective of the workshop:

Economic Census

  • The objective was to impart training to Master trainers (enumerators and supervisors) engaged in Seventh Economic Census and to trained on the key concepts, digital platform and application to be used for the enumeration (data capture and supervision) in the field.

About 7th Economic Census -2019:

Economic Census.3

  • 7th Economic Census -2019 is being conducted by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) to provide disaggregated information on various operational and structural aspects of all establishments in the country.
  • MoSPI has partnered with Common Service Centres, CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as the implementing agency for 7th
  • The Seventh Economic Census is the first-time endeavour of MoSPI to use IT based mobile application for data capture, verification and supervision.
  • Coverage – All establishments including household enterprises, engaged in production or distribution of goods/services (other than for the sole purpose of own consumption) in non-farm agricultural and non-agricultural sector will be counted.
  • Exclusions– In case of agriculture, establishments engaged in crop production and plantation will not be covered. In case of non-agriculture, establishments engaged in public administration, defence, compulsory social security, activities of households as employers of domestic personnel, activities of territorial organizations and bodies and illegal activities would not be covered during the 7th Economic Census.
  • The 7th Economic Census will be conducted using state-of-the-art ICT platform that would facilitate Geo-codes embedded data collection on mobile devices, Real-time data validation and Monitoring using interactive management information system (MIS) dashboards.

Criteria:

For 7th Economic Census, An Urban area is classified based on the following criteria:

  • All places with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee, etc., Or All other place satisfying the following three criteria simultaneously:
  1. A minimum population of 5,000
  2. At least 75% of male working population engaged in non-agricultural pursuits
  3. A population density of at least 400 per sq. km.

The first category of urban units is known as Statutory Towns while the second category of towns is known as Census Towns, identified based on last population Census.

The 7th Economic Census has been conceived to provide:

 

Fiscal Performance Index (FPI) launched by CII1

  • Nation-wide Dynamic Statistical Business Register as per international practices adopted by developing countries and in line with the UNSD recommendations.
  • Detailed information on economic variables, activity-wise of all the non-agricultural establishments including its distribution at all India, State, District, Village/Ward levels for comprehensive analysis of the structure of the economy.
  • Information on establishments registered under MSME Development Act, their assets and other economic criteria.
  • Information on number of workers working in establishments activity wise.
  • List of all establishments tagged by geographical location up to village/ward level for local level planning purposed.

Background:

  • The first edition of economic Census was carried out (except Lakshadweep) in 1977. The subsequent Censuses were conducted in the years 1980, 1990, 1998, 2005. The last (Sixth edition) of Economic Census was conducted in 2013.
  • The Government had appointed a Task Force on Improving Employment Data in 2017, under the Chairpersonship of Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog to suggest ways and means of improving employment data. 
  • The Task Force made various recommendations in its report, including that the MoSPI may undertake the Economic Census every 3 years,beginning with the 7thEconomic Census so that more frequent information on the various economic characteristics of establishments are available.
[Ref: PIB, MoSPI]

 

Election panel wants to revisit rule on punishment to voters for false mismatch claims

Rule 49MA1

The Election Commission may revise a rule that provides for prosecution of an elector if a complaint of EVM and VVPAT machine malfunction turns out to be false.

Provision in Indian constitution:

Rule-49MA4

  • A voter who claims that the electronic voting machine (EVM) or the paper trail machine did not record his or her vote correctly is allowed to cast a test vote under Rule 49 MA of the Conduct of Election Rules.
  • But, if the voter fails to prove the mismatch, poll officials can initiate action against the complainant under section 177 of the Indian Penal Code which deals with giving false submission.
  • According to IPC, he/she shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
  • The intention of the provision is to discourage those who want to disrupt the electoral process by making such complaints.

About Rule 49 of Conduct of Election Rules:

  • Rule 49MA is mentioned under ‘The Conduct of Elections Rules’.
  • Rule 49M of Conduct of Election Rules deals with Maintenance of secrecy of voting by electors within the polling station and voting procedures.
  • Under the rule, where printer for paper trail is used, if an elector after having recorded his vote under rule 49M alleges that the paper slip generated by the printer has shown the name or symbol of a candidate other than the one he voted for, the presiding officer shall obtain a written declaration from the elector as to the allegation, after warning the elector about the consequence of making a false declaration.
  • The rules outline that if after investigation, the allegation of EVM malfunctioning is found to be false or incorrect, then the complainant can be prosecuted under Section 177 of the Indian Penal Code for “furnishing false information”.
  • In such a case, a jail term of six months or a fine of Rs 1,000 or both is guaranteed.
  • In 2013, the conduct of Election Rules 1961 was amended to include Rule 49MA to prescribe the procedure to be followed in case of complaint about alleged wrong particulars of a candidate/symbol on paper slip generated.
  • In sub rule, it is prescribed that the presiding officer shall obtain the written proof from the elector as to the allegation after warning the elector about making false declaration.

Arguments against Rule 49MA:

 

Bangalore : Karnataka : 03/04/2014.  Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Triail ( VVPAT ) Electronic voting machine will be used in Bangalore South Constituancy on a trial basis in Bangalore on 3rd April 2014.  Photo : Bhagya Prakash K

  • In April 2019, the Supreme Court had sought a response from the poll panel on a plea seeking setting aside the Rule 49MA. The court alleged that Rule 49MA was unconstitutional as it criminalises reporting of malfunctioning of EVMs and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.
  • The plea alleged that putting the onus on the elector in cases of arbitrary deviant behaviour of machines used in election process, infringes upon a citizen’s right to freedom of expression under the Constitution.
  • When an elector is asked to cast test vote as prescribed under Rule 49MA, he may not be able to reproduce the same result which he was complaining about, one more time in a sequence, because of the pre-programmed deviant behaviour of the electronic machines.
  • Therefore, holding an elector accountable for deviant behaviours of EVMs and VVPATs could deter them from coming forth and making any complaint, which is essential for improving the process.
  • Since only an elector could be a witness to the secrecy of his vote cast, it would violate Article 20(3) of the Constitution which says that no person accused of an offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
[Ref: Economic Times, Business Standard]

 

Economy

CII launches new Index to measure fiscal performance

CII launches new Index to measure fiscal performance

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has launched a Fiscal Performance Index (FPI) to assess state and central budgets.

About the Fiscal Performance Index (FPI):

  • FPI is a new index comprising multiple indicators to evaluate India’s fiscal performance and budget, in order to make up for the shortcomings of Fiscal Deficit.
  • FPI incorporates qualitative assessments of revenue expenditure, capital expenditure, revenues, fiscal prudence and the level of public debt arrive at a more holistic picture of fiscal performance than the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio.
  • The index will consider expenditure on infrastructure, education, healthcare and other social sectors beneficial for economic growth compared to other revenue expenditure.
  • It will also consider tax revenues a more sustainable source of revenues for the government as compared to one-time income sources.

Need:

  • Fiscal Deficit to GDP ratio, a single criterion, is not enough to measure the quality of budget.
  • At the State level, the CII study showed that the states which are presumed to be good in fiscal health, based on fiscal deficit to GDP ratio are not necessarily doing well on FPI.
  • On the contrary, the low-income states which have shown consistent good performance on the FPI over the years mainly due to good performance in “Expenditure Quality Indices” (Revenue and Capital), have performed below average on the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio.
  • This clearly is indicative of the fact that the one single parameter i.e., fiscal deficit to GDP ratio in judging the overall quality of budgets of the state governments is not enough.

Highlights of the report:

  • The CII has used this index to analyse state and central budgets from 2004-05 to 2016-17
  • The study found that despite improvement a reduction in the fiscal deficit between FY13 and FY18, the overall performance of the budget has been remained steady with improvements only in FY16 and FY17.
  • This is largely due to moderation in the revenue, capital expenditure and and net tax revenues indices.
  • The analysis also shows that the combine performance of all state budgets has improved despite worsening of fiscal deficit numbers because of improvements in revenue and capital expenditure indices.
  • The study also points out that relatively high income states including Gujarat, Haryana and Maharashtra which are presumed to have good fiscal health because of low fiscal deficit to GDP ratio do not perform well on the composite FPI because of poor expenditure and revenue quality compared to other states.
  • Other states including, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have done well on the FPI because of their good performance in revenue and capital expenditure indices.

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII):

CII_Logo

  • CII, founded in 1895, is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India’s development process.
  • It works to create an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, Government, and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes.
  • It has 66 offices, including 9 Centres of Excellence, in India, and 10 overseas offices in Australia, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Singapore, South Africa, UAE, UK, and USA.
  • With the theme for 2019-20 as ‘Competitiveness of India Inc – India@75: Forging Ahead’, CII will focus on five priority areas- employment generation, rural-urban connect, energy security, environmental sustainability and governance – which would enable the country to stay on a solid growth track.

Membership:

  • CII membership is open to Any Company or Firm in India engaged in manufacturing activity or providing consultancy services (Engineering/Technical/Management) or present in the services sector including Banks, Financial Institutions, Law Firms, Hospitals, Travel/Tourism & Hospitality, Films, Media: Print and Electronic, Digital Entertainment, Advertising, Publishing, Fashion are eligible.
  • India Liaison Offices operating with the approval of Reserve Bank, without any Sales Turnover in India, are eligible for the “Associate Membership”.
  • There is no Individual membership in CII.

Initiatives of CII:

  • International Engineering & Technology Fair (IETF) and Auto Expo (biennial event)
  • Art-North-East Project (to provide market linkages for handlooms and handicraft products from North East)
  • Brand India Campaign
  • Integrity India Campaign
[Ref: Economic Times, The Hindu]

 

India is now the lowest-cost producer of solar power:

IRENA report ‘Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018’1

As per the report named ‘Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018’ of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), India is now the lowest-cost producer of solar power globally.

Key highlights of Solar Photovoltaics (PV) in the report of ‘Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018’

  • The total installed costs of utility-scale solar PV in India is as low as $793 per kilowatt (kW) in 2018 which is 27 per cent lower than for projects commissioned in 2017. Canada has the highest cost at $2,427 per kW.
  • The report analysed eight major solar PV markets from 2010 to 2018 including China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. The report concludes that Solar PV costs have dropped by 80 per cent in India.
  • Typically, the cost of hardware including inverters account for more than half of the total cost of setting up a solar PV project in India.

Reason for becoming lowest-cost producer of Solar power:

 

 

IRENA report ‘Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018’3

  • India has high solar potential that leads to improved asset utilization and the country imports majority of hardware for installation from China which is cheaper and helps cut the cost by a huge margin.
  • As the cost of land and labor is cheaper than the rest of the world, it contributes to low-cost production of solar power in India.

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA):

 

International_Renewable_Energy_Agency_Logo

  • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future.
  • The proposal for an international agency dedicated to renewable energy was made in 1981 at the United Nations Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy, held in Nairobi, Kenya. It was officially founded in Bonn, Germany in 2009 and its statute entered into force on 8 July 2010 and is headquartered in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
  • IRENA is an official United Nations observer.
  • It serves as the principal platform for international co-operation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.
  • In 2019, It has 160 member’s countries along with 23 countries in accession. India is a member of IRENA.
  • IRENA Statute is available in in English and in four other United Nations official languages (Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish) as well as in the language of the Depository (German).

Initiatives of IRENA:

  • Clean Energy Corridors
  • Coalition for Action
  • Global Geothermal Alliance
  • Parliamentary Network
  • Renewable Energy Roadmap (REmap)
  • Renewables Readiness Assessments
  • The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Lighthouses
  • The Global Atlas for Renewable Energy
[Ref: DownToEarth]

 

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

Gujarat launches India’s first trading programme to combat particulate air pollution

Gujarat launches India’s first trading programme to combat particulate air pollution2

Gujarat Chief Minister launched India’s first trading programme to combat particulate air pollution on World Environment Day 2019, which has air pollution as its theme.

About the Emission trading scheme (ETS)/ cap-and-trade system:

 

CapAndTrade

  • The programme is a market-based system where the government sets a cap on emissions and allows industries to buy and sell permits to stay below the cap.
  • Being initiated in Surat by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), the emission trading scheme (ETS) was designed with the help of a team of researchers from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), the Economic Growth Center at Yale University and others from The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).
  • The emissions trading programme builds on another early innovation by the GPCB —the use of continuous emissions monitoring systems to track industry emissions in real time.

How will it work?

Under the cap and trade system, the GPCB

  • Under the cap and trade system, the GPCB will first determines the total mass of pollution (in terms of particulate matter emissions) that can be put into the air over a defined period by all factories put together. This is known as the cap.
  • Then, a set of permits is created, each of which allows a certain amount of pollution, and the total is equal to the cap.
  • These permits are the quantity that is bought and sold. Each factory is allocated a share of these permits (this could be equal or based on size or some other rule).
  • After this, plants can trade permits with each other, just like any other commodity on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX).

How does the ETS incentivise industries to curb pollution?

air-pollution-1

  • The fixed cap on emissions limits the amount of toxic particulate matter that will be released into the environment. In addition, trading of permits among industrial units rewards those who have cut down their emissions while punishing those who have exceeded them.
  • Industrial units bear the additional cost when they need to buy permits after exceeding their allotted emissions limit. On the other hand, industries that emit lower than their permitted limit have the ability to sell their permits generating more cash.

Existing regulations:

  • Under existing regulations, every industry has to meet a certain maximum concentration of pollutants when it is operating. They are tested occasionally and manually.
  • However, there is widespread non-compliance across India. This is partly because penalties are rarely applied, in large part because they involve punishments such as closing down the entire plant which is not necessarily appropriate for small violations.
  • For now, the government has set a cap on concentration of emissions for each industrial unit at 150 microgramme per cubic metre (ug/m3), which is the 24-hour average for emission standard set by the Central government for industrial units.

The need for emissions trading in India:

  • In a report published by Health Effects Institute, air pollution has been identified as the third-highest cause of death, contributing to over 1.2 million deaths in 2017.
  • Another study published by India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative estimated that cleaner air could increase the life expectancy of the average Indian by 1.7 years. The ETS in Gujarat promises lowered air pollution while facilitating robust economic growth.

ETS system around the world

  • Cap-and-trade systems around the world have proven to be successful.
  • A central tool in China’s strategy to combat air pollution is the national ETS which is the largest carbon market of its kind. The European Union’s and US has also ETS system.
  • Globally, cap-and-trade systems have been used to reduce other forms of pollution, such as sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). But the Gujarat programme is the first in the world to regulate particulate air pollution.
[Ref: DownToEarth, Livemint]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

Minister for Social Justice to take part in ‘2nd Global Disability Summit’ in Argentina

2nd Global Disability Summit at Buenos Aires

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment will attend “2nd Global Disability Summit” to be held at Buenos Aires, Argentina from during June 6 to 8.

Objective of the summit:

  • To deliberate on issues across the world concerning empowerment and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and to work out a mechanism for enabling them to live an independent and dignified life.

Organizer of the summit:

  • The Government of Argentina Republic in association with The International Alliance Disability (IDA) and the Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and their Families (RIADIS) will organize the summit.

Global Disability Summit:

 

  • The first-ever Global Disability Summit was held at London, United Kingdom (UK) in 2018. It was hosted by UK Department for International Development (UK DFID), along with the co-hosts International Disability Alliance (IDA) and Government of Kenya.

Objectives:

  • Raise global attention and focus on a neglected area;
  • Mobilise new global and national commitments on disability; and,
  • Showcase best practice and evidence from across the world.

Location of Argentina:

Location of Argentina

  • Argentina is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America.
  • Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south.
  • It is the largest Spanish-speaking nation.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Defence & Security Issues

Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos test fired

BrahMos1

Supersonic anti-ship version of BrahMos cruise missile was successfully test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha.

Key features of BrahMos Missile:

Key features of BrahMos Missile

  • BrahMos Missile is the first supersonic cruise missile system known to be in service, developed as part of a joint venture between India and Russia.
  • The missile derives its name from the names of two rivers, namely the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
  • The missile is capable of carrying a conventional as well as nuclear warhead of 300 kilograms.
  • The BrahMos is a multi-stage missile having a solid propellant in the first stage and the ramjet liquid propellant in the second stage.
  • It is world’s fastest cruise missile of its class in the world. It has supersonic speed of Mach 2.8 (Mach number equals object speed divided by speed of sound), a very low-cruising altitude of 10 metres at terminal phase and pin-point accuracy.
  • It can be launched from land, sea, sub-seas and air.
  • It has strike range up to 290 km.
  • It operates on ‘Fire and Forget Principle’ by adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target.
  • It approaches the enemy target with a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the US subsonic Tomahawk Cruise Missile System.
  • The missile has been developed by the BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited.
  • It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • While the navy and army versions of the missile were inducted in 2005 and 2007 respectively, the air version is still in the testing stage.

Difference between Cruise Missile and Ballistic Missile:

Cruise Missile:

cruise_missile-1

  • A cruise missile is an unmanned self-propelled (till the time of impact) guided vehicle that sustains flight through aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path and whose primary mission is to place special payload on a target.
  • They fly within the earth’s atmosphere and use jet engine technology.
  • Depending upon the speed such missiles are classified as: Subsonic cruise missile (speed lesser than that of sound), Supersonic cruise missile (travels at a speed 2-3 times of sound) and Hypersonic cruise missile (travels at a speed of more than 5 times of speed of sound).

Ballistic Missile:

Ballistic Missile

  • A ballistic missile is a missile that has a ballistic trajectory over most of its flight path, regardless of whether or not it is a weapon-delivery vehicle.
  • They are categorised according to their range.
  • The missile carries a huge payload. It can be launched from ships and land based facilities.
  • For example, Prithvi I, Prithvi II, Agni I, Agni II and Dhanush ballistic missiles are currently operational in the Indian defence forces.
[Ref: Business Standard]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

Facebook launches 1st interactive game show in India

Confetti1

Social networking giant Facebook announced its first interactive game show, titled “Confetti” in India.

More about Confetti:

confetti

  • First launched in the US, the interactive game will challenge participants to answer pop culture trivia questions for a chance to win ₹3 lakh as cash prize every day.
  • It was first launched in US and later available in other parts of the world including Canada, the UK, Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines.
  • The interactive show will air from Wednesday to Sunday on Facebook’s dedicated video platform – Facebook Watch.
[Ref: Livemint, Hindustan Times]

 

Indian Navy steams ahead with its go ‘green’ plans in eco-friendly push

Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR)

The Indian Navy is pushing its eco-friendly programme – the Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR).

About Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR)

  • The roadmap envisions reduction in energy consumption and diversification of energy supply including renewable energy.
  • To implement INECR, Indian Navy has pledged 1.5% of its Works budget towards renewable energy generation.
  • Solar Energy: Solar photovoltaic (PV) projects has been one of the focus areas of the Navy since the inception of the INECR. Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) projects are under execution at various shore establishments of the Navy under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).
  • Wind Energy: Pilot projects utilizing wind or a mix of both solar and wind (hybrid) are also being taken up progressively which would not only reduce the carbon footprint but also help achieve self-sustenance in energy security.
  • Biodiesel: To promote use of biodiesel, Navy plans to replace High Speed Diesel (HSD) with B5 blend of HSD resulting in a direct savings of 5% of HSD, which translates to approximately 315 kL annual savings of HSD. The project to blend HSD will start at Visakhapatnam.
  • Afforestation: Afforestation drives at Naval stations, under which plants have been planted over the past one year which would mitigate a large amount of CO2 emissions.
  • Waste Management: Propagating attempts on Segregation of waste collection and improved waste management techniques as well as implementation of biogas plants using bio-degradable waste and organic waste converters across naval units.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

 

JC Daniel award

  • JC Daniel award is a prestigious award named after the famous filmmaker in Kerala who made the first silent film in Malayalam.
  • It is the highest honour for outstanding contribution to Malayalam cinema from the Kerala government.
  • Recently, veteran Malayalam actress Sheela was honoured with this award.

 

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