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4th March Current Affairs

Defence Acquisition Procedure

(GS-II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

In News:

In a renewed push for self-reliance in the defence sector, the government has given in-principle approval to a raft of indigenous defence projects that will involve design and development by the industry.


The defence ministry has cleared nine such projects: four under the ‘Make-I’ and five under the ‘Make-2’ categories of the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020.

The approved projects include development of light tanks, communication equipment with Indian security protocols, airborne electro-optical pod with ground-based system and airborne stand-off jammers.

DAP 2020:

The new policy superseded the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016 from October 1.

The DAP contains policies and procedures for procurement and acquisition from the capital budget of the MoD in order to modernise the Armed Forces including the Coast Guard.

Highlights of the new policy:

Reservations for Indigenous firms:

The policy reserves several procurement categories for indigenous firms.

DAP 2020 defines an “Indian vendor” as a company that is owned and controlled by resident Indian citizens, with foreign direct investment (FDI) not more than 49 per cent.

New Buy (Global–Manufacture in India) category:

This stipulates indigenisation of at least 50 per cent of the overall contract value of a foreign purchase bought with the intention of subsequently building it in India with technology transfer.

Greater indigenous content:

It promotes greater indigenous content in arms and equipment of the military procures, including equipment manufactured in India under licence. In most acquisition categories, DAP-2020 stipulates 10 per cent higher indigenisation than DPP 2016.

Import embargo list:

The “import embargo list” of 101 items that the government promulgated last month has been specifically incorporated into DAP 2020. (An embargo is a government order that restricts commerce with a specified country or the exchange of specific goods.)

Offset liability:

The government has decided not to have an offset clause in procurement of defence equipment if the deal is done through inter-government agreement (IGA), government-to-government or an ab initio single vendor.

The offset clause requires a foreign vendor to invest a part of the contract value in India.

Solar conjunction event

(GS-III: Awareness in space)

In News:

A team of scientists from different units of ISRO used ‘S-band’ radio signals from Mangalyaan, the Indian Mars orbiter, to study the solar corona and locate the area of the sun where the temperature rises abruptly.

The details are yet to be published.

Significance of the study:

The scientists utilised the solar conjunction event, when the Earth and Mars are on the opposite sides of the Sun.

During conjunction events, which happens once in two years for Mars, the radio signals from Mangalyaan pass through the solar corona — about 10 solar radii or about 69,57,000 km from the centre of the Sun.

This provides scientists a unique opportunity to study solar dynamics. Each solar radii is about 6,95,700 km.

What is Solar Conjunction?

It is the period when Earth and Mars, in their eternal march around the Sun, are obscured from each other by the fiery orb of the Sun itself.

The two planets are temporarily invisible to each other like dancers on either side of a huge bonfire.

Solar conjunction occurs every two years.

How will it impact space missions?

Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory respond in a variety of ways.

Before solar conjunction, the mission team sends up any necessary commands.

They turn off some instruments. They collect data from others and store it.

In some cases, they continue sending data to Earth, knowing that some data will be lost.

No one attempts to send new instructions to Mars during solar conjunction.

Govt has no right to enact law for 3 capitals: HC

(GS-II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

In News:

The Andhra Pradesh high court has ordered Amaravati’s development as the state capital and ruled the government has no right to enact fresh legislation for three capitals.

What has the Court said?

The state legislature lacks competence to make any legislation for shifting, bifurcating or trifurcating the capital and heads of departments of the three wings of the government, including the high court, to any area other than the capital city notified under Section 3 of the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2014 (APCRDA), and the land pooled under the Andhra Pradesh Capital City Land Pooling Scheme Rules, 2015.

Parliament alone is competent to deal with the setting up of legislature, executive and judicial organs of the state, and this was implicit in the language employed in Article 4 of the Constitution.

Article 4 declares that laws made for admission or establishment of new states (under Article 2) and formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries, or names of existing states (under Articles 3) are not to be considered as amendments of the Constitution under Article 368.

What’s the issue?

In November 2021, the government repealed the legislation saying it will bring in a fresh fool-proof law to ensure no legal hurdles. But the court continued to hear the petitions.

The Andhra Pradesh Assembly had passed a Bill to repeal the A.P. Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act (aimed at setting up three capitals), and the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Repeal Act of 2020.

The repeal was intended to impart more clarity to the policy of decentralisation and an exhaustive explanation to all sections of people.

Three- capitals issue:

On July 31, 2021 the state government notified the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, and the AP Capital Region Development Authority (Repeal) Act, 2020.

This law paved the way for three capitals for the state.

  • Amaravati– legislative capital.
  • Visakhapatnam– executive capital.
  • Kurnool– judicial capital.

Need for three capitals:

Three capitals ensure equal development of different regions of the state.

Why implementing this idea will be difficult?

Coordination and logistics fear: Coordinating between seats of legislature and executive in separate cities will be easier said than done, and with the government offering no specifics of a plan, officers and common people alike fear a logistics nightmare.

Time and costs of travel: Executive capital Visakhapatnam is 700 km from judicial capital Kurnool, and 400 km from legislative capital Amaravati. The Amaravati-Kurnool distance is 370 km. The time and costs of travel will be significant.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

(GS-II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate)

In News:

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has put all activities relating to Russia and Belarus on hold and under review in the wake of the current conflict in Ukraine.


The AIIB referred to the situation as “war in Ukraine”, the closest to “invasion” that any Chinese government-affiliated institution has until now described the situation in the east European country.

Impact of such sanctions:

After years of life in a growing, globally connected economy, Russians find themselves in a country increasingly unplugged from the world.

Following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, a sweeping wave of sanctions by the European Union and the U.S. has combined with an exodus of foreign companies and investors, leaving Russia more isolated and economically restricted.

For several days, long lines formed near ATMs around Russia as people rushed to withdraw cash — both foreign currency and rubles — amid fears of a breakdown in electronic banking.

The value of the ruble has plummeted to a record low, less than 1 cent, as many people watched their savings erode.

The Kremlin has banned all Russians from transferring foreign currency abroad and ordered exporters to exchange 80% of their foreign currency proceeds for rubles.

On social media, Russian shoppers are noting early price increases for some products, particularly electronics and appliances.

Many people in Russia who work for foreign companies have been anxious about being able to receive pay, as the first batch of key Russian banks has been booted from the interbank SWIFT system to target oil and gas profits.

International artists and cultural organizations have also imposed their own restrictions.

Impact on oil prices: Russia is not only the world’s third biggest oil (after the US and Saudi Arabia) and the second biggest natural gas (after the US) producer, besides the No. 3 coal exporter (behind Australia and Indonesia). It is also the second largest exporter of wheat.

What is AIIB?

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.

The Parties (57 founding members) to agreement comprise the Membership of the Bank.

It is headquartered in Beijing.

The bank started operation after the agreement entered into force on 25 December 2015, after ratifications were received from 10 member states holding a total number of 50% of the initial subscriptions of the Authorized Capital Stock.


By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors today, it aims to connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.


There are more than 100 members now.

Voting Rights:

China is the largest shareholder with 26.61 % voting shares in the bank followed by India (7.6%), Russia (6.01%) and Germany (4.2 %).

The regional members hold 75% of the total voting power in the Bank.

Various organs of AIIB:

Board of Governors: The Board of Governors consists of one Governor and one Alternate Governor appointed by each member country. Governors and Alternate Governors serve at the pleasure of the appointing member.

Board of Directors: Non-resident Board of Directors is responsible for the direction of the Bank’s general operations, exercising all powers delegated to it by the Board of Governors.

International Advisory Panel: The Bank has established an International Advisory Panel (IAP) to support the President and Senior Management on the Bank’s strategies and policies as well as on general operational issues.