Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 30, 2018

Science and Technology

GSAT-11 satellite to be launched from French Guiana

What

  • GSAT-11 would be located at 74 East and is the fore-runner in a series of advanced communications satellite with multi-spot beam antenna coverage over Indian mainland and Islands
  • Weighing about 5,854 kg, GSAT-11 would play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country, and also provide a platform to demonstrate new generation applications

Connect to GSAT -11

  • GSAT-11 is the next generation “high throughput” communication satellite configured around ISRO’s I-6K Bus, and its designed lifetime is more than 15 years.
  • It was initially planned for launch on May 25 was rescheduled by ISRO, citing the need for additional technical checks.
  • The satellite would be initially placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit and subsequently be raised to Geostationary Orbit by firing the Liquid Apogee Motor on-board the satellite.
  • GSAT-11 would be located at 74 East and is the fore-runner in a series of advanced communications satellite with multi-spot beam antenna coverage over Indian mainland and Islands
  • The heavy-lift Ariane-5 vehicle would carry GEO-KOMPSAT-2A for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), along with GSAT-11.
  • GEO-KOMPSAT-2A is designed to conduct meteorological and space weather monitoring missions.

Defence

World’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile BrahMos to be fitted on ‘Project 1135.6’ frigates

What

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting chaired by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave approval for the procurement of BrahMos Missiles for two of the vessels to be built in Russia.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in October for the procurement of four Grigorovich-class ‘Project 1135.6’ frigates, will be equipped with BrahMos Missiles system instead of 3M-54E Klub-N anti-ship missiles and advanced sensors.
  • The world’s fastest missile has supersonic speed of Mach 2.8, a very low-cruising altitude of 10 metres at terminal phase and pin-point accuracy, and is expected to make the frigates of the Indian Navy more deadly. This missile has been in with the Indian Navy since 2005.
  • The indigenously designed BrahMos missile an Indo-Russian joint venture is a tested and a proven supersonic cruise missile and will form the primary weapon on board these vessels.

Project 1135.6’ frigates

  • Recently, deal for the Grigorovich-class ‘Project 1135.6’ frigates, between Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and the Russia’s state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport was inked in New Delhi for two frigates which will be built at Yantar shipyard, Kaliningrad in Russia, at a cost of $ one billion ($ 500 million each).
  • Known as Project 1135.6 – the frigate is a class of guided-missile frigates designed and built by Russia for the Indian Navy, as modified Krivak III-class frigates (the class that is also the basis of the Russian Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate), with a number of systems of Indian design and manufactured here.

Connect to BrahMos

  • BrahMos is a short-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.
  • It is a joint venture between Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia and the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India.
  • They have formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited to make the missile. The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
  • The new frigates once commissioned in the Indian Navy will add more strength in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • There is already a shortage of 10 frigates out of the 24 that the navy needs. According to the Indian Navy, presently it is operating six of the Talwar-class frigates, and the new ones when they come will be more advanced technologically.
  • It may be recalled that the 3,620-ton Admiral Grigorovich-class is an upgraded variant of the six Talwar-class frigates that Russia built for the Indian Navy between 2003 and 2013.
  • The first of three frigates, INS Teg and INS Tarkash were delivered to the Indian Navy in 2012 and the INS Trikand was delivered in 2013.

Ex Cope India 2018

What

  • Ex Cope India-18 is the fourth edition in the series of Bilateral Joint exercise held between IAF and USAF, which is conducted in India.

Connect to the exercise

  • This is the first time, the exercise is being planned at two Air Force bases, Kalaikunda and Panagarh from 03-14 Dec 18.
  • USAF is participating with 12 X F15 C/D and 03 X C-130. IAF is participating with the Su-30 MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000 , C-130J & AWACS aircraft.
  • The aim of exercise is to provide operational exposure and undertake mutual exchange of best practices towards enhancing operational capability.

Election Commission

Shri Sunil Arora takes over as new Chief Election Commissioner of India

What

  • Shri Sunil Arora today assumed charge as the 23rd Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India succeeding Shri O.P.Rawat.
  • Shri Rawat who demitted the office on 1st December, 2018 after completing his tenure .
  • Prior to assuming charge as Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Arora had been serving as Election Commissioner in Election Commission of India since 1st September 2017.
  • During his tenure as CEC, there will be General Election to the 17th Lok Sabha, General Elections besides the elections to State Legislative Assemblies of Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand, NCT of Delhi, Bihar and Jammu & Kashmir.
  • A CEC of the Election Commission can have a tenure of six years or hold office till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. The convention is to appoint the senior-most election commissioner as chief election commissioner.

Connect to the CEC

  • The Chief Election Commissioner heads the Election Commission of India, a body constitutionally empowered to conduct free and fair elections to the national and state legislatures and of President and Vice-President.
  • Chief Election Commissioner of India is usually a member of the Indian Civil Service and mostly from the Indian Administrative Service.
  • It is very difficult to remove the authority of the Chief Election Commissioner once appointed by the president, as two-thirds of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha need to vote against him for disorderly conduct or improper actions.

Agriculture Sector

13th Edition Of CII Agro Tech India – 2018

What

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the 13th edition of CII Agro Tech India-2018 in Chandigarh.
  • Agro Tech India-2018 will promote specific partnerships that will benefit India’s farmers.

Connect to the fair

  • The Government of India, in its Budget 2015-16, announced several steps for sustainable development of agriculture, including signing up agreements with as many as 63 countries.
  • India is a global agricultural powerhouse with immense opportunities for foreign and domestic investors.
  • CII Agro Tech, India’s Premier Biennial & Agro Technology Business Fair, has been working in partnership with Ministries of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare; Food Processing Industries and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India to provide better agricultural facilities and also enhance bilateral trade between India and the world.
  • The event provides, not only deep insight into the India’s food & agriculture market but also acknowledges a meaningful business interaction with & to the overseas participants.
  • It has been the single event to congregate the largest strength of decision makers to agitate and evolve with, practical solutions to the challenges faced by the Indian agriculture today.
  • It works as an ideal interaction platform between the Farm Producers and the Agro Industry.
  • By creating linkages for value creation and value addition, the event offers varied business opportunities to the technology holders as well as practical learning to the technology users.

Civil Aviation

Digital Sky Platform launched – India to start registration of drones, pilots, and operators Registration portal for online permission

RPAS

  • Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), popularly referred to as drones, are a technology platform with wide-ranging applications.
  • In August 2018, India had announced the release of its Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) to enable safe flying of RPAS in India.
  • The CAR detailed the obligations of operators, remote pilots/ users and manufacturers/ OEM for safe operations of RPAS and co-operative use of airspace.

Connect to the Digital Sky Platform

  • It also announced Digital Sky Platform, a first of its kind that implements 'no permission, no take-off’ (NPNT) – a novel system of software-based self-enforcement to minimize deviations from the CAR.
  • The regulations were to come in effect from December 1, allowing the industry time to ready themselves for the launch.
  • Nano drones in India can start flying legally from today.
  • For micro and above categories, operators and pilots are required to register on the Digital Sky Portal.
  • To get permissions to fly, RPAS operators or remote pilots will have to file a flight plan. Flying in the ‘green zones’ will require only intimation of the time and location of the flights via the portal or the app.
  • Permissions will be required for flying in ‘yellow zones’ and flights will not be allowed in the ‘red zones’. The location of these zones will be announced soon. Permission, if granted, will be available digitally on the portal.
  • If an RPAS does not have permission to fly, it will not be allowed to take-off under the policy of NoPermission-No-Takeoff (NPNT).
  • The Digital Sky Platform is built to evolve with the evolving needs of this rapidly changing industry. In the coming months, new features will be developed to ease the process of flying for users, and provide oversight to security agencies.
  • The Minister for Civil Aviation has constituted a task-force on the recommendation of Drone Policy 2.0 under the chairmanship of the Minister of State.
  • This task-force which is expected to release their final report by the end of this year. Drone 2.0 framework for RPAS are expected to include regulatory architecture for autonomous flying, delivery via drones and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights.

NITI Aayog

NITI Forum for North East

What

  • The second meeting of the newly constituted ‘NITI Forum for North East’ will be held in Guwahati on 4thDecember, 2018.
  • Vice Chairman NITI AAYOG, Dr Rajiv Kumar will chair and Minister of State (IC) for DoNER, Dr Jitendra Singh will co-chair the meeting.

Connect to the forum

  • In February 2018, the ‘NITIForum for North East’ was constituted to periodically review the development status in North EasternRegion.
  • The NITI Forum for Northeast is tasked to identify various constraints on the way of accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the North East Region of the country and to recommend suitable interventions for addressing identified constraints.
  • Members of the Forum include Secretaries of various Ministries of the Government of India, Chief Secretaries of all the eight North-eastern states and also senior government officials and experts from various fields. The Secretary, North East Council (NEC) is the Member Secretary of the Forum.
  • The Forum’s first meeting was held on 10th April 2018 at Agartala where a wide ranging spectrum of issues was discussed.
  • It emerged that Infrastructure, Horticulture, Bamboo, Tourism, Food Processing, Education, Livelihoods, Health and Made in North Eastern Region were areas critical for the development of the Region.
  • Decisions taken at the meeting have since been carried forward by various Government Departments and other stakeholders.
  • Deliberations during the meeting will mainly focus on issues pertaining to five critical sectors - Tourism, Bamboo, Dairy, Fisheries and Tea.

Sources – PIB , The Hindu