Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - June 4, 2018

Defence

Agni-5 successfully test-fired

  • Agni-5 is a three-stage, 17-metre tall, two-metre wide missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead of about 1.5 tonnes. IT has a range of 5,000 km.
  • Long-range ballistic missile Agni-5 was successfully test-fired off the Odisha coast on Sunday, proving its reliability.
  • This is the sixth successful test of the missile and the second in its pre-induction configuration.
  • The surface-to-surface missile was launched with the help of a mobile launcher from launch pad number 4 of the Integrated Test Range at Dr Abdul Kalam Island, earlier known as Wheeler Island, in the Bay of Bengal

Enlighten about Agni -5

  • Agni-5 is the most advanced with new technologies in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead, and engine
  • Agni-5's navigation systems, very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System or RINS, and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System or MINS ensured that the missile reached its target with precision.
  • The Agni-5 missile has a high speed on-board computer and fault tolerant software along with a robust and reliable bus. Its path is precisely directed by the advanced on-board computer and inertial navigation system.
  • The three-stage, 17-metre tall, two-metre wide Agni-5 missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead of about 1.5 tonnes. The missile also has higher reliability, longer shelf life, less maintenance and enhanced mobility.

Enlighten about Agni Family

  • At present, apart from the Agni-5, other Agni missiles that India has in its armoury are: Agni-1 with a 700-km range, Agni-2 with a 2,000-km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2,500 km to more than 3,500 km range.

Enlighten about The Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP)

  • It was conceived by renowned scientist Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam to enable India attain self-sufficiency in the field of missile technology.
  • Keeping in mind the requirements of various types of missiles by the defence forces, the team recommended development of five missile systems.

The missiles developed under the programme were:­

1. Short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Prithvi-

  • The Prithvi missile is a family of tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) and is India’s first indigenously developed ballistic missile.
  • Development of the Prithvi began in 1983, and it was first test-fired on 25 February 1988 from Sriharikota, SHAR Centre, Pottisreeramulu Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh.
  • It has a range of up to 150 to 300 km.
  • The land variant is called Prithvi while the naval operational variant of Prithvi I and Prithvi II class missiles are code named Dhanush

2. Intermediate-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni

  • The Agni missile is a family of Medium to Intercontinental range ballistic missiles developed by DRDO of India.
  • The initial Technology demonstrator version had a range of 1500 km but were based on a solid and a liquid stage making for long preparation before firing.
  • Learning from this the production variants of Agni are solid fuel based to allow for swift retaliation against adversaries.

3. Short-range low-level surface-to-air missile Trishul

  • Trishul is the name of a short range surface-to-air missile developed by India as a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program.
  • It has a range of 9 km and is fitted with a 5.5 kg warhead. Designed to be used against low-level (sea skimming) targets at short range, the system has been developed to defend naval vessels against missiles and also as a short-range surface-to-air missile on land.
  • Guidance consists of three different guiding beams, with the guidance handed over progressively to a narrower beam as the missile approaches the target.

4. Medium-range surface-to-air missile Akash

  • Akash is a medium range surface-to-air missile developed as part of India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme to achieve self-sufficiency in the area of surface-to-air missiles.
  • It is the most expensive missile project ever undertaken by the Union government in the 20th century.
  • Development costs skyrocketed to almost US$120 million which is far more than other similar systems.

5. 3rd generation anti-tank missile Nag

  • Nag is India’s third generation “Fire-and-forget” anti-tank missile. It is an all weather, top attack missile with a range of 3 to 7 km.

State Specific

Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana Odisha’s Health Insurance Scheme for Journalists

Enlighten about the health scheme

  • This scheme provides Rs. 2 Lakh per annum health insurance cover to all working journalists of the state.
  • This insurance scheme has come into effect from June 1, 2018 and will initially cover around 3200 journalists and their family members from various media groups.
  • The insurance coverage will be applicable for cashless treatment in government and private hospitals.
  • The scheme will also cover the injuries and illness faced by journalists while performing their duties.

Enlighten about Gopalbandhu Dasa

  • A prominent social worker, reformer, political activist, journalist, poet and essayist of Odisha.
  • His contribution to art, culture and society to Odisha earned him the epithet of Utkalmani (jewel of Odisha).

Environment

Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) IMD’s new forecast model

Concerned agency/launched by

  • The Ministry of Earth Science (MoES)

Specific purpose

  • It will generate more accurate and area specific forecast of extreme weather events including rains, heat wave and cold wave.

Enlighten about Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS)

Developed by -

  • Three bodies under Ministry of Earth Sciences viz. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.

Features of EPS

  • It is equipped with high resolution for short-medium range weather forecasts.
  • With the implementation of the new EPS the area of spatial resolution (currently 23 km grid scale) will come down to 12 km.
  • This new system will helps in sending out district level warning and forecast extreme weather events as before as five days.
  • The new system will generate more accurate and better area specific forecast of extreme weather events

Economy

Online Analytical tool to Monitor foreign contributions

Concerned/implementing Ministry

  • The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)

Specified purpose

  • To ease closer monitoring of flow and utilisation of foreign contributions received by various organisations registered or permitted under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.
  • It will effectively monitor hundreds of thousands of transactions undertaken by such organisations and help stakeholders in Government to better regulate acceptance and utilisation of foreign contributions.
  • This web baes tool will scrutinise source of foreign funds and their actual use in India. It will give them capacity to take evidence-based and data-driven decisions regarding compliance of provisions of FCRA, 2010.

FCRA 2010

  • FCRA 2010 provides for regulation of acceptance of foreign funds/foreign hospitality by certain individuals, associations, organisations and companies.

Bilateral Agreements

Agreement between Finance Ministry and World Bank For financing of for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

  • Union Finance Ministry and World Bank have signed US $500 million (Rs 3,371 crore) loan agreement to provide additional financing for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) rural road projects.
  • The loan has maturity of 10 years along with 3 year grace period.
  • It will provide additional financing for PMGSY Rural Roads Project to build 7,000 km of climate resilient roads, out of which 3,500 km will be constructed using green technologies.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

  • PMGSY fully funded centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2000.
  • It aims to provide single all-weather road connectivity to all eligible unconnected habitations in the rural areas with population of 500 persons and above (in plain areas) and 250 persons and above (in Hilly States , desert Areas, Tribal areas and selected Tribal and Backward Districts).
  • The scheme encourages use of “Green Technologies” and non-conventional materials (like waste plastic, geo-textiles, fly-ash, iron and copper slag etc) for constructing rural roads.
  • Specially for this project 75 paise per litre has been earmarked out of cess levied on high speed diesel.
  • Union Ministry of Rural Development is nodal ministry for implementation of Scheme.

Sources – PIB, The Hindu, Ministry of defence, liveMint, Vikaspedia