Insights Daily Current Events, 16 November 2015
Paper 3 Topic: indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Navy gets indigenous system to decoy under water attack on ships
The Advanced Torpedo Defence System (ATDS), christened as Mareech was recently handed over by defence minister Manohar Parrikar to the Navy.
- Maareech is a joint project of Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), Kochi and NSTL, Visakhapatnam.
- It is a state-of-the-art indigenous system for torpedo detection and countermeasures.
- This system offers a complete solution to detect and locate the incoming torpedo and to apply countermeasures to protect naval platform against torpedo attack.
How the system operates?
- The system first detects and then confuses and diverts the torpedo attacks on ships from under the water.
- By diverting the torpedoes’ original course, it forces it to lose its energy thus preventing it from being effective on target.
Torpedoes are self propelled weapon with a warhead and can be used under or on the water surface. They are one of the mainstay of sea-warfare attack systems.
The minister also dedicated to the nation the Seakeeping and Maneuvering Basin (SMB)-
- It is a one of its kind platform in the country, set up as a joint effort of DRDO and Indian Navy.
- The facility puts India among the few nations in the world having the capability to undertake comprehensive hydrodynamic model testing of naval platforms and weapon systems.
- SMB would help to design and build state of the art naval combatants such as submarines, ships, torpedoes.
Paper 2 Topic: UN organs.
Syed Akbaruddin is India’s next Permanent Representative to UN
Senior diplomat and former high-profile spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin has been appointed as India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, succeeding Asoke Mukerji.
- Akbaruddin is a 1985 batch IFS officer. He is currently serving as an Additional Secretary in MEA.
- As India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Mr. Akbaruddin’s main task would be to push for India’s bid to gain permanent membership of the UN Security Council as well as to strongly advocate its position on key issues.
The Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations is the India’s foremost diplomatic representative to the United Nations. The permanent Representative (UN ambassador) is the head of a diplomatic mission to the United Nations (UN).
sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
India and Bangladesh sign Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to operationalize agreement on coastal shipping
India and Bangladesh recently signed the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to operationalize the “Agreement on Coastal Shipping” signed between the two countries in June, 2015.
About the SOP:
- The SOP has been framed as per the terms and conditions of the Agreement on Coastal Shipping and both India and Bangladesh have agreed to its provisions.
- It will pave the way to promote coastal shipping between India and Bangladesh and would enhance bilateral trade between the two countries by bringing down the cost of transportation of EXIM cargo.
- The SOP contains provisions which stipulate that India and Bangladesh shall render same treatment to the other country’s vessels as it would have done to its national vessels used in international sea transportation.
Advantages of the Agreement:
- The agreement will enable a huge saving in logistic costs of EXIM transport between the two countries.
- The opening of coastal shipping between India and Bangladesh would enable the movement of cargo to the North East through coastal shipping upto Chittagong and thereafter by road/inland waterways.
- The deep draft ports on the eastern coast of India can be ‘hub ports’ for the onward transportation of cargo to Bangladesh via the coastal mode through River sea Vessel (RSV) category of vessels.
- The Indian ports will attract enhanced cargo and also the overall transportation cost to Bangladesh will get reduced.
- The Indian ports serving as trans- shipment ports for Bangladesh cargo will derive benefits by way of enhanced throughput as a result of Indo-Bangladesh coastal trade.
Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda recently inaugurated the Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) outlet at AIIMs, Delhi.
About AMRIT outlets:
- These are retail outlets, which will sell drugs for the two ailments at highly discounted rates.
- The main aim of these outlets is to reduce the expenditure incurred by patients on treatment of cancer and heart diseases.
- The AMRIT pharmacy will sell 202 cancer and 186 cardio-vascular drugs, and 148 types of cardiac implants at very affordable prices.
- Patients can buy medicines and implants at 50 to 60% cheaper prices than the open market from AMRITs.
- The project has been floated in a tie-up with government-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL) which is deputed to establish and run the AMRIT chain of pharmacies across the country.
Soon, AMRITs will be launched in all Central Govt hospitals. Lakhs of patients will benefit from this initiative.
Significance of this move:
The government’s move comes amid statistics that peg Indians diagnosed with cancer at 700,000 every year. About 2.8 million people have cancer at any point of time and half a million die of the disease each year. The annual figure of women being diagnosed with breast cancer in India is 145,000, according to the World Health Organisation. A significant number of patients (nearly over 50 per cent) stop visiting hospitals after two or three cycles of chemotherapy due to unaffordable costs.
Paper 3 Topic: conservation.
The Centre has decided to develop the Doyang lake in Nagaland as an eco-tourism spot for bird-watchers.
- The lake is famous as a roosting site for longest travelling raptors Amur Falcons.
- Amur falcons are the longest travelling raptors in the world and come to Doyang every year in millions.
- Amur falcons, weigh just 150 grams and cover 5,600 kms, flying non-stop in five days from Mongolia to arrive in Nagaland.
Until recently, Naga tribesmen used to hunt thousands of Amur falcons for meat. But last year, after a vigorous campaign by wildlife activists, they pledged to protect the bird and since then, not a single bird has been hunted in the area.