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02nd September Current Affairs

Ministry of Defence signs Rs 2,580 crores of contracts to boost Make in India

In News:

The Ministry of Defence signed contracts worth Rs 2,580 crores to boost Make in India. The contracts were signed for supply of six Pinaka Regiments to the Indian Army.

Details:

The contracts were signed with Tata Power Company, Bharat Earth Movers Limited and Larsen and Toubro. The Pinaka Regiments comprised of 114 launchers with Automated Gun Aiming and Positioning System. The six Pinaka regiments are to be operationalised along the Northern and Eastern borders of the country. It will enhance the operation preparedness of Indian Army.

The induction of the six Pinaka regiments is to be completed by 2024.

DRDO:

The Pinaka multiple launch rocket system was indigenously designed and developed by DRDO. It is a flagship project that showcases public private partnership enabling Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

What is Pinaka?

Pinaka is a multiple rocket launcher that was designed and developed by DRDO. It has maximum range of 40 km for Mark-I and 75 km for Mark II. Pinaka was used in Kargil war and was successful in neutralising enemy positions.

Deployment:

Pinaka is to be operated in conjunction with Swathi Weapon Locating Radar. Swati was developed by India. It locates incoming artillery and determines point of origin to counter battery fire.

Recent developments:

Pinaka II is a guided missile. It is being developed at Armament Research and Development Establishment, Pune. It is equipped with control kit and navigation guidance. It was successfully tested in Chandipur in 2013.

Way forward:

Israel has joined hands with DRDO to implement the Trajectory Correction System on Pinaka. There are also plans to integrate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles with Pinaka.

Background:

India is currently pushing Make in India initiative after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face off with the Chinese troops in Ladakh. It is the most aggressive encounter with China since 1962 war. Also, India is the second largest importer of defence goods. Thus, the defence ministry is trying to cut the imports by boosting domestic manufacturers.

Landslide Susceptibility mapping of Himalayas

In News:

The scientists from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology operating under the Department of Science and Technology carried out a study covering 84 square kilometres in the Lesser Himalayas. According to the study, 15% of the region is highly susceptible to landslides.

Details:

Mussoorie in Uttarakhand witnessed several landslides recently. The increase in the disaster hazard has led the scientists to map the landslide susceptibility in the region. The study has found that the very high and high landslide susceptible zone lies in areas that are covered by highly fractured Krol limestone.

Around 29% of the region falls under moderate landslide susceptible zone and 56% of the region fall under very low landslide susceptible zone.

Key findings of the study:

The study says that the possible causative factors of the landslides are land use, road cut drainage, curvature, elevation.

What are the Lesser Himalayas?

There are three major ranges in the Himalayas. They are the Himadri, Himachal and the Shiwalik. The Himachal is called the lesser Himalayas. Himadri is the Greater Himalayas and the Shiwalik is the outer Himalayas.

What is Landslide Susceptibility Mapping?

It is a map that identifies areas that are subject to landslides. It also says what creates the landslides in that particular area.

International Conference on Landslides Risk Reduction and resilience:

The National Institute of Disaster Management organized the fist International Conference on Landslides Risk Reduction and resilience in November 2019. The main aim of the conference was to bring the stakeholders and experts together.

Landslides in India:

The regions that are highly susceptible to landslides in India are Western Ghats, Easten Ghats, Nilgris, Himalayas, North Eastern hills and the Vindhyas.

National Institute of Disaster Management:

It operates under Ministry of Home Affairs and is located in New Delhi. The Institute has been assigned the responsibilities of capacity building, human resource development, documentation, research and policy advocacy in disaster management under Disaster Management Act, 2005.

25 key health services disrupted globally

In News:

The World Health Organization recently reported that at least half of 25 kinds of health services experienced disruptions due to COVID-19. The findings were based on the survey conducted by the international organization in its six regions

Details:

According to the report of the WHO, the immunisation-outreach were the most hit. Following this, the second most impacted was the non-communicable diseases diagnosis and treatment. It was followed by family planning and contraception, treatment for mental health disorders and cancer diagnosis and treatment.

According to the WHO report, the countries are concentrating their efforts full time towards COVID-19.

Reasons:

The Report has found the following reason for the disruption in the services

Regions of WHO:

WHO divides the world into six regions. The six regions of the organization are African region, European region, South-East Asia region, Eastern Mediterranean region, western pacific region and the European region. India lies in the south east Asia region. The other countries belonging to South East Asia region are Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, North Korea, Maldives, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Thailand.

Japan provides Rs 3,500 crores assistance to India to fight COVID-19

In News:

The Japanese Government announced that it will provide loan assistance of Rs 3,500 crores to India as a response to COVID-19 crisis. This will also include implementation of health and medical policy. The loan is being received by India as an emergency fund.

Objective:

The main objective of the loan is to provide necessary fund for India’s fight against COVID-19. It will be used to develop hospital equipment, ICUs and management facilities.

India-Japan relations:

Civil Nuclear Cooperation:

India is not a signatory of Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is the only non-signatory to receive exemption from Japan to receive fuel to nuclear reactors.

QUAD:

Both Japan and India counter actions of China in the Indo-Pacific. It was under the initiatives of these two countries that QUAD grouping was formed. It includes Australia and USA as well.

Act East Policy:

The Act East Policy of India and the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy of Japan converge at the North East Region of India. India has allowed Japan to deposit in the north east region of India at large scale. Also, the countries are teaming up to set up a diesel power plant in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Defence Minister to visit Russia

In News:

The Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh is to visit Russia from September 3, 2020 to September 5, 2020. He will attend the Defence Ministers meet of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Collective Security Treaty Organization and Commonwealth Security Treaty Organization.

Details:

During the visit, the minister will also meet his Russian counter part Defence Minister General Shoigu to discuss issues of mutual interest. During the talk, Mr Singh will insist on timely delivery of S400 missiles. The missiles are set to be delivered by the end of 2021. India had signed a deal of 5 billion USD in 2018 to buy five S400 defence missile systems in 2018. In 2019, India paid the first tranche of around 800 million USD for the missiles.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization:

The SCO is seen as one of the largest transregional international organization that accounts to 44% of the world population that stretches between Pacific Ocean and Baltic sea and also between Arctic Ocean and Indian Ocean. It aims to maintain stability, peace and security in the region. India and Pakistan became the members of the organization only in 2017.

Collective Security Treaty Organization:

It is an inter-governmental military alliance that was signed in 1992. The alliance was first formed by signing the Collective Security Treaty called the Tashkent Pact. The countries that signed the treaty were Armenia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. In 1994, three other countries namely Belarus, Georgia and Azerbaijan joined the organization in 1994.

In 2002, it was decided to transform the treaty into CSTO. In 2004, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to grant an observer status to the United Nations. In 2009, an agreement was signed to create Rapid Reaction Force by five of the seven members.

In November 2019, a session of CSTO was held in Bishek. The session was attended by India as well.

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