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Insights Daily Current Events, 26 December 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 26 December 2015


Paper 3 Topic: Indigenization of technology.

Astra missile proves anti-jamming capability

Astra missile was recently test-fired by the scientists of the DRDO. During the trial, a crucial capability of the missile-its resistance to jamming– was successfully validated.

  • After carrying out some more trials, including air launch trial with a warhead, the missile will be inducted into the Air Force next year.
  • During the recent ground and air trials, the missile’s RF seeker and other electronic components were sought to be jammed to see how it performs in such a scenario at the time of war when the enemy tries to jam its operation.
  • The ECCM (electronic counter-counter measure) features of the missile to overcome any jamming were also evaluated.
  • While several developmental trials, including captive flight mode, were already completed, next month’s tests would evaluate its performance in different scenarios and cover the entire air launch envelope required before its induction.

About Astra:

  • It is a Beyond-Visual Range, air-to-air indigenously developed
  • The all-weather, radar homing missile has high manoeuvrability and capability to engage and destroy aerial targets at supersonic speeds.
  • The 60-km plus range missile possesses Shot Kill Probability (SSKP) making it one of the most reliable in its class of weapon systems.
  • The missile could be launched at different altitudes from sea level to 20 km for engaging aerial targets at various ranges.
  • Apart from integrating the missile with Su-30, it is planned to be mounted on other fighter aircraft including Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, Mirage-2000 and MIG-29.
  • The missile complex at Hyderabad and several DRDO laboratories in partnership with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the Indian Air Force developed Astra.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: conservation.

Olive Ridleys find new haven in East Godavari

A recent study has revealed that Olive Ridley Turtles are finding the islands in East Godavari district safe abodes for nesting. There has been a steady increase in the number of these seasonable visitors arriving at the Hope Island, Sacemento Island, Yellaiahpeta and Surasani Yanam.

  • Every December, thousands of Olive Ridley turtles come all the way from the Indian Ocean to the shores of the Bay of Bengal in search of suitable places for nesting.
  • The turtles enter the Bay of Bengal in the second week of December every year and find a suitable place to lay their eggs in a week to 10 days. After laying the eggs in the sandy stretches, they begin their return journey. Hatching takes place naturally and the baby turtles too swim back to the Indian Ocean by June every year.
  • The seashores in Odisha are the most sought after sites for these turtle varieties to lay eggs before swimming back to the Indian Ocean.

Various awareness programmes are being organized by the forest department among the fishermen to prevent them from catching the turtles using fishing nets. Similarly, sensitization programmes for various stakeholders, including officials and representatives of industries are also being conducted.

About Olive Ridley turtles:

  • The olive ridley sea turtle, also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, is a medium-sized species of sea turtle found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
  • Olive ridley turtles are best known for their behavior of synchronized nesting in mass numbers.
  • The olive ridley is classified as Vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), and is listed in Appendix I of CITES. These listings were largely responsible for halting the large scale commercial exploitation and trade of olive ridley skins.
  • The Convention on Migratory Species and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles have also provided olive ridleys with protection, leading to increased conservation and management for this marine turtle

sources: the hindu, wiki.


Paper 1 Topic: art and culture.

12th Century monument resurrected from ruins

With the investment of Rs. 4.5 crore from the Infosys foundation, restoration works at the 12th century Someshwara temple complex have begun.

Notable points:

  • The temple is situated in Lakshmeshwar, Gadag district, Karnataka.
  • It is one of the marvels of the Kalyan Chalukya architecture and has four doorways with beautiful sculptural details.
  • The Vesara style main structure has a unique Vimana (tower) having intricate designs.
  • It is surrounded by smaller shrines, which had been corroded due to nature’s vagaries.
  • A statue of a Jain Teerthankara on a parapet wall of the temple underlines its Jain heritage.

It has emerged as a model for conserving rich cultural heritage through public private partnership.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: infrastructure.

Vajpayee’s road scheme soon in Naxal-hit areas

The centre is planning to build the roads and bridges in Maoist-affected States. If this decision is implemented, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) may lose the responsibility of building roads and bridges in the Maoist-affected States. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the brainchild of former Premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which was launched in 2004, is implemented by the Rural Development Ministry.

  • Maoist-related incidents touched a five-year low in 2015, with 1,006 incidents reported this year as compared to 1,760 in 2011.
  • The Centre is working on an ambitious plan for seamless connectivity between the 10 Naxal-affected States and is all set to launch the Road Requirement Plan-II.
  • The RRP-II will no longer be handled by the Road Ministry as it didn’t do full justice to the projects under RRP-I, which was launched in 2009 and still 30% of the road network taken up by the Ministry is yet to be completed. Since Maoist districts are all in rural areas, the government has decided to put the onus on the Rural Development Ministry.

About PMGSY:

PMGSY was launched on 25th December 2000 as a fully funded Centrally Sponsored Scheme to provide all weather road connectivity in rural areas of the country. The programme envisages connecting all habitations with a population of 500 persons and above in the plain areas and 250 persons and above in hill States, the tribal and the desert areas.

The objective was to give roads to villages:

  • with a inhabitants of 1000 persons & more by year 2003
  • having populace of 500 & more by 2007
  • mount states, ethnic & desert region villages having a population of 500 & more by the year 2003, &
  • mount states, ethnic & desert region villages having population of 250 & more by 2007.

sources: the hindu, wiki.


Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Tech Mahindra Launches NFC-Based Digital Wallet MoboMoney

Tech Mahindra Ltd. has launched India’s first NFC-based digital payment ecosystem, MoboMoney.


  • MoboMoney is a prepaid wallet issued in the form of an NFC (Near-Field Communication) tag that frees the user from the hassle of carrying cash.
  • The NFC technology allows radio communication between two NFC enabled devices and the tag is a small sticker type chip that works on the NFC technology. This tag is linked to the MoboMoney account.
  • It simplifies and enhances the customers’ payment experience by simple “Tap n Pay“.
  • With NFC-enabled MoboMoney tag, the customers without an NFC-enabled phone, can also enjoy the simple tap and pay experience to purchase goods.
  • The money loaded into the customers’ digital wallets can be used to “Tap n Pay” for over the counter payments, recharges, make bill payments, as well as pay online – converting what were earlier payments done in cash, into digital payments.
  • For the security of the customers, every transaction data is protected by stringent encryption measures that meet the highest standards of the industry.


  • All one needs to do is tap one’s MoboMoney tag on a network of NFC enabled merchant point of sale (POS), location where payment is accepted, to make a payment.
  • If the user wishes, he/she can link a bank account to the MoboMoney wallet and can retrieve the unspent amount from the wallet into the linked bank account.

About NFC:

Near field communication (NFC) is a set of protocols that enable two electronic devices, one of which is usually a portable device such as a smartphone, to establish radio data communication with each other by bringing them closer than, typically, 10 cm (4 in) from each other.

  • NFC is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology.

sources: the hindu, wiki.