DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB -19th March 2020- IASbhai

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IASbhai DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS(THE HINDU+LIVEMINT+PIB)

Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you-Walt Whitman

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

Ordnance Factories

      HEADLINES:

Ordnance Factories observe their 219th foundation day

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB!

MINISTRY?Ministry of Defence
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Defence: Ordinance Factories

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS its important to understand the origin, aim , objective and the recently updated machine from OFB.

For MAINS stick to the historical perspective of OFB and go through the timeline.

      ISSUE: 

The history and development of Indian Ordnance Factories is directly linked with the British reign in India.

ORDNANCE FACTORY

BACKGROUND

The first Ordnance Factory, now known as the ‘Gun and Shell Factory’ at Cossipore in Kolkata was established on this day in 1801.

  • East India company of England for their economic interest in India and to increase their political hold considered military hardware as vital element.
  • During 1775 British authorities accepted the establishment of Board of Ordnance in Fort William, Kolkata. This marks the official beginning of the Army Ordnance in India.
  • In 1787 a gun powder factory was established at Ishapore which started production from 1791 ( at which location Rifle Factory was established in 1904).
  • In 1801 a Gun Carriage Agency at Cossipore, Kolkata (presently known as Gun & Shell Factory, Cossipore) was eatablished and production started from 18th March, 1802. This is the first Industrial establishment of Ordnance Factories which has continued its existence till date.

HEADQUARTERS

The Ordnance Factories are a conglomerate of 41 ordnance factories under the aegis of its corporate headquarters Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) in Kolkata.

AIM

Since their inception, the Ordnance Factories have evolved as one of the largest defence manufacturing conglomerates in the world with more than 90 per cent of indigenous content and a strong technological and R&D infrastructure that currently contributes to 25 per cent of the revenue.

Items produced in Ordnance Factories are highly sophisticated and complex in nature with products span across a wide and exhaustive range of requirements of any armed forces.

OBJECTIVE

OFB along with its 41 factories spread over India provide:

  • a broad and versatile production base with multi-technology capabilities
  • state of the art manufacturing facilities
  • large reservoir of skilled and professionally qualified manpower and managerial personnel
  • strict adherence to  quality standard (all the units are ISO-9000 certified)
  • original as well as adaptive research & development to make need based refinement and modifications
  • project engineering capability
  • a strong base for industrial training facilities
  • ready market access due to convenient location

TIMELINE

  • 1801 – Establishment of Gun Carriage Agency at Cossipore, Kolkata.
  • 1802 – Production started from 18th March 1802 at Cossipore.
  • 1906 – The Administration of Indian Ordnance Factories came under a separate charge as ‘IG of Ordnance Factories’.
  • 1933 – Charged to ‘Director of Ordnance Factories’.
  • 1948 – Placed under direct control of Ministry of Defence.
  • 1962 – Dept. of Defence Production was set up at Ministry of Defence.
  • 1979 – Ordnance Factory Board came into existence from 2nd April.
At the DefExpo 2020 held at Lucknow in February, the OFB launched the up-gunned version of the 1950’s vintage Russian 130mm to 150X45 calibre known as ‘Sharang’.

RECENT PROJECTS:

The highlight of the previous year was the handing over of ‘Dhanush’ 155 X 42 artillery gun system to the Army.

In addition, a number of products such as electronic fuzes;

  • 40mm under Barrel Grenade Launcher Ammunition;
  • 5.56 X 30 mm Joint Venture Protection Carbine (JVPC) alpha version;
  • the 7.62 X 51 mm belt fed light machine gun (LMG) were also launched this year.

Prominent among these is the upgraded BMP II, an infantry combat vehicle (ICV).

 

With technologies such as advanced target tracking and a new fire control system, ICV will be equipped with missile firing capability.

This upgrade will considerably extend the life of the existing BMP IIs.

The Ordnance Factories are also developing the futuristic infantry combat vehicle (FICV) which will be the successor of the upgraded BMP II.

In the field of artillery, 155 X 52 Mounted Gun System (MGS) has been developed and it is undergoing internal validation trials.

155 X 52 Mounted Gun System

Another achievement is the successful trial of 155 X 52 barrels and the related breech mechanism by a global major.

The OFB has also developed the Commander Thermal Imaging (TI) sights to enhance the night fighting capability of T-72 and T-90 tanks.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The OFB is currently developing many critical weapon systems with cutting edge technologies.

A majority of the R&D work being carried out by the Ordnance Factories is in collaboration with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and premium institutes such as the IITs.

The OFB has entered into an agreement with IIT Madras to develop Centre of Excellence for Ammunition at the institute that will power the development of futuristic ammunition such as precision guided ammunition.

The OFB has also signed an MoU with the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) for advanced research.

     SOURCES:PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Joint Air Exercise with Myanmar

      HEADLINES:

Joint Air Exercise with Myanmar

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB !

MINISTRY?Ministry of Defence
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Defence:Exercise

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this is just a random exercise with least information released.Go through the objective once!

      ISSUE: 

A Table Top Exercise between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Myanmar Air Force (MAF) was conducted at Prayagraj on the theme of HADR.

OBJECTIVE

The objectives of the exercise include planning of HADR operation in a given scenario, learn best practices, executing mission during HADR disasters, understand Search and Rescue Mission procedures etc.

FEATURES

The exercise was conducted under the aegis of Headquarters Central Air Command, IAF.

20 member team of IAF participated in the exercise.

The expenditure incurred on the exercise was met almost entirely from the operational budget of the Services.

The countries with which IAF have conducted exercises during the last three years and the current year include Singapore, USA, UAE, Thailand, Bangladesh, Oman, Israel, Russia, Sri Lanka, Australia, Malaysia, France, UK and Myanmar.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The Air Forces of both countries were able to achieve the objectives of the laid down procedure.

India and Myanmar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation on 29th July, 2019 in New Delhi for furtherance of India-Myanmar cooperation in the field of Defence.

     SOURCES:PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Coal Bed Methane Policy

      HEADLINES:

Coal Bed Methane Policy

MINISTRY?Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Energy:Unconventional Sources of Energy

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this article gives a timeline of events regarding CBM Policy.

      ISSUE: 

Coalbed Methane (CBM), an unconventional source of natural gas is now considered as an alternative source for augmenting India’s energy resource. India has the fifth largest proven coal reserves in the world and thus holds significant prospects for exploration and exploitation of CBM.

COAL BED METHANE (CBM) POLICY

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has brought out following policies/notifications after Coal Bed Methane (CBM) Policy 1997:

  • Policy for extension of exploration phases for exploration and production under CBM contracts in 2007.
  • Guidelines for pricing and commercial utilization of CBM in 2011.
  • Notification for grant of right to exploration and exploitation of Coal Bed Methane to Coal India Limited and its subsidiaries from all coal bearing areas for which they possess mining lease for coal in 2015.
  • Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy was introduced in 2016 wherein all types of hydrocarbon resources, both conventional and unconventional can be explored and exploited.
  • Policy framework for Early Monetisation of CBM in 2017.
  • Notification for consolidated terms and conditions for grant of right to exploration and exploitation of Coal Bed Methane to Coal India Limited and its subsidiaries from all coal bearing areas for which they possess mining lease for coal in 2018.
  • A policy framework for Exploration and exploitation of Unconventional hydrocarbons in existing acreages under existing Production Sharing Contracts, CBM contracts and Nomination fields was introduced in 2018.
  • A policy framework to promote and incentivize enhanced recovery methods for Oil and Gas was notified by the Government in 2018.
The Gondwana sediments of eastern India host the bulk of India’s coal reserves and all the current CBM producing blocks. The vast majority of the best prospective areas for CBM development are in eastern India, situated in Damodar Koel valley and Son valley. 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

33 blocks have been allotted to various companies in four CBM bidding rounds.

     SOURCES:PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Greenco Rating System

      HEADLINES:

Greenco Rating System

MINISTRY?Ministry of Railways
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Rating Agency

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand the parameter and the aim of the rating.

      ISSUE: 

GreenCo Rating, developed by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has been acknowledged in India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) document, submitted to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015.

GREENCO

  • GreenCo Rating is the “first of its kind in the World” holistic framework that evaluates companies on the environmental friendliness of their activities using life cycle approach.
  • Implementation of GreenCo rating provides leadership and guidance to companies on how to make products, services and operations greener.
  • Industry personnel are trained on the latest Green concepts and facilitated for implementing better systems and implementing global best practices in green.
  • CII – Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre works closely with the stakeholders on promoting Green practices in the Industry and offers world-class advisory services on the conservation of natural resources.
  • One of the major step taken by CII towards this direction is the development of ‘Green Company Rating system’ (GreenCo rating) for companies.

GREENCO VISION

Be a catalyst for ‘Greening’ Indian industry and facilitate India to become one of the global leaders in Green Businesses by 2022

GREENCO MISSION

To facilitate indian industry make a substantial improvement in their environmental performance thereby saving both natural and financial resources

APPLICABILITY OF GREENCO RATING

GreenCo rating is applicable to both manufacturing facilities and service sector units.

The rating is implemented at unit or facility level.

The unit or facility has to be in operation for a minimum period of 3 years. In case of new plants/ facilities minimum 2 years operation is required.

 

RATING PARAMETERS

ParametersWeightage (Points)
Energy Efficiency150
Water Conservation100
Renewable Energy100
GHG Mitigation100
Waste Management100
Material Conservation, Recycling and Recyclability100
Green Supply Chain100
Product Stewardship75
Life Cycle Assessment75
Green Building features, Biodiversity & Innovation100
Overall Rating1000

This system is beneficial for the environment as the GreenCo rating assesses the units on their environmental performance and thus aligns them to national priorities towards environment such as energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable energy, waste management, etc.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Assessment and rating of major Workshops and Production Units of Indian Railways as Green Industrial Units started with ‘GreenCo’ certification in 2016-17.

It helps the industrial units in identifying and implementing various possible measures in terms of energy conservation, material conservation, recycling, utilisation of renewable energy, Green House Gases (GHG) reduction, water conservation, solid and liquid waste management, green cover etc.

Increasing focus in these areas helps Railways in resource conservation and reduction in intensity of environmental impact.

     SOURCES:PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Real Time Train Information System

      HEADLINES:

Real Time Train Information System

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB!

MINISTRY?Ministry of Railways
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Railways

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand what RTIS means and its usage.Dont forget to read the suggested link.

      ISSUE: 

Automatic acquisition of train movement data on Indian Railways is a key requirement for improving operational efficiency and quality of passenger information. This requirement gained greater significance after implementation of ICT based Control Office Application (COA) on all divisions of Indian Railways. Accordingly, Railway Board sanctioned a work “Real-time Train Information System (RTIS)”.

REAL-TIME INFORMATION SYSTEM (RTIS)

A Real-Time Information System (RTIS), developed in collaboration with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is being installed on the locomotives for automatic acquisition of train movement timings at the stations, including that of arrival & departure or run-through.

They get automatically plotted on the control chart of those trains in the Control Office Application (COA) system.

RTIS gives mid-section updates with a periodicity of 30 seconds.

The Train Controllers can now track the location and speed of RTIS enabled locomotives/train more closely, without any manual intervention, which helps in improving the efficiency of train control.

This real time data of RTIS is also linked with the National Train Enquiry System (NTES).

BENEFITS OF RTIS:

• Automatic capture of train running Information & automatic plotting of Control Charts in COA
Stress free work conditions for train controllers
• Optimum utilization of resources
Accurate train running information to passengers
• Improved Customer Services
Richer MIS for management

Now more accurate train running information is being passed to the passengers, which helps them to conveniently plan their arrival at the stations.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Further, it is extremely handy for emergency messaging from locomotive to control centre, helping in faster response in case of any breakdown or disaster.

     SOURCES:PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

LCA Tejas Mk-1A

      HEADLINES:

Nod for 83 LCA Tejas Mk-1A

      WHY IN NEWS:

These are in addition to the 40 jets already ordered by IAF

MINISTRY?MOD
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Defence:LCA tejas

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to know the specifications of LCA Tejas and its role in enhancing Aerial Power of Indian Air force.

For MAINS nothing much here!

      ISSUE: 

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday accorded approval for the procurement of 83 indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk-1A from the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) by “finalising the contractual and other issues”.

The deal is expected to cost around ₹39,000 crore.

“The proposal will now be placed for consideration of the Cabinet Committee on Security [CCS],” the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement.

The DAC had given initial clearance for the 83 aircraft in November 2016 and the IAF issued the Request For Proposal in December, 2017.

However, negotiations got stuck due to the steep price quoted by HAL, which the IAF said was more than the price of a Su-30MKI.

LIGHT COMBAT AIRCRAFT TEJAS

Tejas is a single engined, light weight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter.

It has quadruplex digital fly-by-wire Flight Control System (FCS) with associated advanced flight control laws.

The aircraft with delta wing is designed for ‘air combat’ and ‘offensive air support’ with ‘reconnaissance’ and ‘anti-ship’ as its secondary roles.

Extensive use of advanced composites in the airframe gives a high strength to weight ratio, long fatigue life and low radar signatures.

Aeronautical Development Agency is the designated project manager for the development of LCA.

LCA-Production Group (LCA-PG) was launched in 2002 at HAL as the designated manufacturing unit for manufacturing the indigenously designed 4.5 generation aircraft – Tejas being designed by ADA.

ADVANCED FEATURES

The FOC aircraft are equipped with advanced features such as Air-to-Air refuelling and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile system.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The 83 jets are in addition to the 40 LCA already ordered by the IAF in two batches of 20 each in the Initial Operational Clearance and the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) configurations.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

‘Call data being used to improve quality’

      HEADLINES:

‘Call data being used to improve quality’

      WHY IN NEWS:

Amid surveillance concerns, DoT clarifies that the records sought do not include any personal details

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:3:Privacy:Data:Surveillance

      ISSUE: 

Amid questions over possible surveillance and violation of privacy following bulk call data records being sought by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the government on Wednesday asserted that the data was only being collected to analyse and improve the quality of telecom services, and ruled out any form of surveillance.

 

In a statement, the DoT said that given the numerous complaints about quality of service on the country’s telecommunications networks, including call drops, echo, cross connections, incomplete or poor caller experience, the DoT had developed a software tool to analyse big data.

“For this purpose, data on calls made from mobiles in any tower coverage area is analysed to ascertain calls terminated within 30 seconds and made again,” the department said.

For this purpose, total data of calls made during any particular time period from the identified cell phone tower locations from where the complaints are received is collected to enable analysis,” .

The government stressed that this data was anonymous. “There is no infringement of privacy of any person. No personal details are collected. There is no tracking of any phone number,”

Observing that the government was already empowered under Rule 419 of the Indian Telegraph Rules, 1951, to access such anonymous data, the DoT asserted: “Moreover, DoT has also put in place an in-house standard operating procedure so that any authorisation of such access to call drop data can be approved only by very senior officers.”

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The letter added, “…neither the intended purpose for requirement of CDRs is mentioned nor the identity of the subscriber(s)… Further CDRs sought for specific routes/areas may lead to allegations of surveillance, especially in a State like Delhi having numerous VVIP zones having offices and residences of Ministers, MPs, Judges etc.”

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 Let us ‘Discuss’

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Let us know what you think about this in the comment section.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

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