Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 11, 2017

Defence

NAG Missile

Ananda Temple –

  • Successfully tested by – DRDO in Rajasthan
  • Indigenously developed 3rd generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)
  • During the test, ATGM Nag missile has successfully hit both the targets under different ranges and conditions with very high accuracy.

About the TEST -

  • With these two successful trials and earlier test conducted in June 2017, complete functionality of Nag ATGM along with launcher system NAMICA has been established.
  • It marks successful completion of development trials of Nag Missile.

Enlighten about Nag Missile

  • The ATMG Nag missile is one of five missile systems developed indigenously by DRDO under integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP).
  • The other four missiles developed under this programme include Agni, Akash, Trishul and Prithvi.
  • The Nag missile is third generation anti-tank guided missile which works on “fire and forget” principle.
  • It has been equipped with highly advanced Imaging Infrared Radar (IRR) seeker along with integrated avionics.
  • The missile has been designed mainly to destroy modern main battle tanks and other heavily armoured targets.
  • It can be launched from land and air-based platforms.
  • It has operational range of 500m to 4km (Land version) and 7-10km (when air-launched).
  • The helicopter launched version known of NAG missile is known as NAG (HELINA) can be fired from Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) and HAL Rudra attack helicopter.
  • The land-based version of missile is at present available for integration on the Nag missile carrier (NAMICA

International

Sahara Forest Project – Launched By Jordan

JORDAN – A water deficit nation
- Having 90% desert

  • Jordan has launched Sahara Forest Project near the southern port city of Aqaba to turn desert land into farming land to produce food using sun and sea water.
  • The project seeks to demonstrate innovative application of technology to revolutionize our land systems in a way that benefits the climate, people, and businesses.
  • It is funded by Norway and European Union.

About the Project -

  • Sahara Forest Project aims to provide fresh water, food and renewable energy in hot, arid regions as well as re-vegetating areas of uninhabited desert.
  • It combines saltwater-cooled greenhouses with solar power technologies, and technologies for desert revegetation.
  • In the first stage, the project aims to produce up to 130 tonnes of organic vegetables annually from area size of four football pitches.
  • It will also produce fresh water. It will use solar panels to provide power and include outdoor planting space, water desalination unit, two saltwater-cooled greenhouses and salt ponds for salt production.

National

BHARAT PETROLEUM CORPORATION (BPCL) – soon to become a MAHARATNA company

  • State-run oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) is all set to become a Maharatna company.
  • Presently it is having Navratna status
  • The decision to elevate BPCL to Maharatna status was taken by panel headed by Cabinet secretary and an announcement to this effect will be made soon.
  • BPCL will be eight Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) to get coveted Maharatna status.
  • The status will enable BPCL Board to get enhanced powers which will help in expansion of its operations, both in India and abroad.

Navratna Scheme

  • The Government had introduced Navratna scheme, in 1997, to identify CPSEs that had comparative advantages and to support them in their drive to become global giants.
  • The Boards of Navratna CPSEs have been delegated powers in following areas: Capital expenditure, Investment in joint ventures / subsidiaries, Mergers & acquisition and Human resources management, etc.

Maharatana Scheme

  • The “Maharatna” category for CPSEs was introduced in 2009 with objective to empower mega CPSEs to expand their operations and emerge as global giants or become Indian Multinational Companies (MNCs)
  • At present, there are seven Maharatna companies — Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), Coal India (CIL), GAIL (India), Indian Oil Corporation, NTPC, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Steel Authority of India (SAIL).

Maharatna and Navaratna state-owned units operate in strategic fields such as coal, petroleum, steel, heavy engineering, telecommunications, power supply and transportation services.

Criteria for Maharatna status

Under government rules, Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) must fulll following criteria for grant of Maharatna status.

  • Average annual turnover of more than Rs. 25,000 crore, during last 3 years.
  • Average annual net worth of more than Rs. 15,000 crore, during last 3 years.
  • Average annual net prot after tax of more than Rs. 5,000 crore, during last 3 years
  • Should have signicant global presence and international operations.
  • Listed on Indian stock exchange with minimum prescribed public shareholding limit under SEBI regulations.

Bilateral Trade

Countervailing Duty (CVD) – Imposed on Chinese Steel

  • The Union Finance Ministry has imposed 18.95% countervailing duty (CVD) on certain Chinese at steel products for period of five years to protect domestic players from cheap subsidised imports.
  • The decision to impose CVD was taken by finance ministry based on the recommendation of Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).
  • This is first case of imposition of CVD on any steel product in India

Reason behind this -

  • The Commerce Ministry’s investigation arm, DGAD in its probe had concluded that despite sufficient demand in India and capacities, domestic industry has lost sales opportunities, due to direct consequence of subsidised imports from China.
  • The move assumes significance as steel sector in India is facing challenges due to cheap steel imports.
  • The imposition of CVD will help domestic players to grow to full potential
  • It will strengthen the ongoing efforts of Indian industry to move towards 100% quality regime for better safety and health of users.

Countervailing duty

  • It is imposed to safeguard domestic industry against unfair trade subsidies provided by local governments of exporting nations.
  • It is basically country specific.
  • It is generally equal to excise duty paid by manufacturers when same product is produced in home country.
  • It is mainly levied to neutralize effect of subsidies in exporting country on price and domestic market of importing country

Defence

NAVIKA SAGAR PARIKARMA

India’s first all-women crew circumnavigation expedition

  • Flagged off by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Goa.
  • The crew belongs to Indian Navy and is sailing Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini (INSV Tarini).
  • It will circumnavigate globe in approximately 165 days and is expected to return to Goa in April 2018.

Enlighten about the expedition -

  • The expedition will be covered in five legs, with stop-overs at 4 ports viz. Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands) and Cape Town (South Africa) for replenishment of ration and repairs as necessary.
  • The 6 member crew: Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi and Lt Payal Gupta from (Uttarakhand), Lt Cdr P Swathi (Andhra Pradesh), Lt Cdr Pratibha Jamwal (Himachal Pradesh), Lt Aishwarya Boddapati (Telangana) and Lt Shourgrakpam Vijaya Devi (Manipur)

Women Empowerment -

  • It has been named Navika Sagar Parikrama in consonance with National policy to empower women to attain their full potential.
  • It will help to discard societal attitudes and mindset towards women in India by raising visibility of their participation in challenging environment.

Environment Friendly -

  • The expedition also aims at harnessing renewable energy as sailing encourages use of environment friendly non-conventional renewable energy resources
  • During their voyage, the crew will collect and update Ocean/Meteorological/Wave data on regular basis for accurate weather forecast by India Meteorological Department (IMD) and subsequent analysis by R&D organisations.
  • It will also monitor and report marine pollution on high seas.

Enlighten about INSV Tarini

  • INSV Tarini is a 55-foot sailing vessel, built indigenously by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Goa.
  • It was inducted in Indian Navy in February 2017
  • It is sister vessel of INSV Mhadei which was used by Captain (Retd) Dilip Donde to successfully undertake India’s first solo circumnavigation in 2009

Economics

Project INSIGHT

Implementing agency –

  • The Union Finance Ministry

When –

  • October 2017

Why -

  • To monitor high value transactions and detect tax evaders using technology with a view to curbing circulation of black money.
  • To implement the project government has signed contract with Information Technogolgy major L&T Infotect Ltd.
  • The project will add to list of efforts made by government to curb black money like Operation Clean Money’ after demonetisation, Income Disclosure Scheme, GST implementation, amendment DTAA with other countries etc.

Enlighten about Project Insight

  • It will use data mining, big data analytics to scoop out tax evaders from social media platforms to deduce mismatches between spending pattern and income declaration.
  • Project Insights will play key role in widening of tax base and data mining to track tax evaders.
  • It will help in catching tax evaders in non-intrusive manner like search and seizure.
  • It will help to promote voluntary compliance and also enable taxpayers to resolve simple compliance related issues in online manner without visiting Income tax office