Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 27, 2018

Defence

111 utility helicopters procurement approved by DAC

What

  • Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has approved procurement of 111 utility helicopters for Indian Navy at cost of over Rs 21,000 crore.

Enlighten about DAC

  • DAC is Union Defence Ministry’s highest decision making body on capital procurement of Indian Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force).

Strategic Partnership (SP) Model

  • The procurement of 111 utility helicopters will be the first project under Defence Ministry’s Strategic Partnership (SP) model
  • Indian Navy will shortlist helicopter it wants after extensive evaluation process which will be followed by contract where most of these helicopters will need to be built in the country in conjunction with local partners.
  • The SP model will provide vibrant and widespread Defence industrial eco-system in Indian Aviation Sector with private industry and MSMEs as major stakeholders
  • It envisages indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by Indian Strategic Partner, who will collaborate with foreign OEMs (original equipment manufactures), acquire niche technologies and set up production facilities in country.
  • The model has long-term vision of promoting India as manufacturing hub for defence equipment.
  • It will help in enhancing self sufficiency and establishing an industrial and R&D ecosystem, capable of meeting future requirements of Indian Armed Forces

Vertically Launched Short Range Missile Systems

What

  • Approved by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)
  • 10 systems will be indigenously developed and remaining four will be imported.
  • These missile systems will help boost self-defence capability of ships against anti-ship missiles.

DAC

  • DAC is Union Defence Ministry’s highest decision making body on capital procurement of Indian Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force).
  • It is chaired by Defence Minister.
  • Vertically Launched Missile Systems (VLS)
  • VLS is advanced system for holding and ring missiles on mobile naval platforms, such as surface ships and submarines.
  • Each vertical launch system consists of number of cells, which can hold one or more missiles ready for ring.

Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems

What

  • Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved procurement of 150 indigenously designed and developed 155 mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems for Indian Army
  • These guns have been indigenously designed & developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • They will be manufactured by production agencies as nominated by DRDO.
  • Procurement of indigenous artillery gun systems will provide major fillip to ‘Make in India’ programme of Government.
  • It will also help to create self-reliance in country’s defence manufacturing sector. It also has potential of making defence industry as a major engine of India’s economic growth.

Energy Security

India’s first inter-state transmission system (ISTS) auction – Bhuj Gujrat

What

  • India’s first inter-state transmission system (ISTS) auction, was commissioned in Bhuj, Gujarat.
  • It was part of India’s first ISTS auction was conducted by state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd (SECI) in February 2017.

Enlighten about ISTS auction

  • This was bid for projects to be connected on ISTS wherein power generated from one state (renewable resource rich state) can be transmitted to other renewable deficient states.
  • The energy generated from this project is being purchased by Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The first auction signifies major shift from earlier regime of state-specific feed-in-Tariff (FiT) model to PanIndia, market-driven mechanism.
  • It also marks beginning of capacity additions in wind power based on market discovered tariffs, in line with the Government’s plan of having 175 GW renewable energy by 2022

Economy

G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting – Salta , Argentina

What

  • The G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting was held in Salta, Argentina from 23 to 24 August, 2018.

Theme

  • The theme of the meeting was ‘Building consensus for fair and sustainable development‘.

Enlighten about the issues

  • Its three key issues for the agenda were future of work, infrastructure for development, and sustainable food future.
  • It concluded with adaptation of declaration that reflects G20’s commitment towards promoting policies and actions that catalyze digital transformations.
  • The other focus areas which were also deliberated included digital inclusion in particular gender divide, digital government, digital infrastructure and measuring digital economy
  • They also agreed to promote digital government and digital infrastructure, strengthen digital skills of workforce, deepen analysis towards digital economy measurement and to share experiences and lesson learned.

G20 Group of Twenty (G20)

  • It is premier forum for international economic cooperation and decision-making.
  • It is a forum for governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies to focus on economic issues and other important development challenges.
  • The G20 comprises of total 19 countries plus European Union (EU), representing 85% of global GDP, 80% of international trade, 65% of world’s population.
  • Its members include Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, India, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, UK, US and EU.

Environment

Nauradehi sanctuary Madhya Pradesh

What

  • To revive its Cheetah Reintroduction Project to reintroduce Cheetahs in Nauradehi sanctuary located in Sagar district of state the MP forest department has written to National Tiger Conservation Authority.
  • In earlier action plan, around 20 cheetahs were to be translocated to Nauradehi from Namibia in Africa.
  • Namibia Cheetah Conservation Fund had then showed its willingness to donate felines to India However, State was not ready to finance plan contending that it was the Centre’s project.

Enlighten about NTCS

  • In 2011, NTCA, a statutory body under Union Environment Ministry had committed Rs.50 crore to State for this project.
  • Dehradun based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) also had prepared Rs. 260 crore Cheetah Re-introduction Project in 2012.
  • Nauradehi sanctuary was found to be most suitable area for reintroduction of Cheetahs as its forests are not very dense to restrict fast movement of Cheetahs and also has abundant prey base.

Sources - The Hidu, Indian Express , ToI