22&23, January 2017

INS Vikramaditya, the largest warship and latest aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, has a strength of over 1500 personnel.

INS Vikramaditya Becomes First Indian Naval Ship With ATM Onboard.

World Government Summit to be held in Dubai UAE next month: In the first time Seven world and international organisations the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, UNESCO, the World Bank,  Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and World Economic Forum will participate in the event.

1.Health Ministry to launch population based prevention, screening and control programme for five non-communicable diseases

Source: PIB

Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs) which are Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) such as heart attacks and stroke, Diabetes, Chronic Respiratory Diseases (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases and Asthma) and Cancer inter alia account for over 60% of all mortality in India.

  • Of these, nearly 55% are premature mortality.
  • This imposes a financial and social cost on families and the country. According to the World Economic Forum, India stands to lose $ 4.58 trillion (Rs 311.94 trillion between 2012 and 2030 due to non-communicable diseases.

Key facts:

  • As part of the National Health Mission, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is launching population based prevention, screening and control programme for five common non-communicable diseases, namely Hypertension, Diabetes, and Cancers of oral cavity, breast and cervix.
  • On February 4th coinciding with World Cancer Day, Union Health and Family Welfare Minster is expected to launch the programme.
  • In the first phase, the population based screening component will be rolled out in 100 districts in 32 states and UTs with about 1000 sub-centres undertaking screening.
  • ASHAs(Accredited social health activists (ASHAs)) will also be capturing information on major risk factors so that persons at risk could be counselled on leading healthy lifestyles to prevent onset of NCDs.
  • In subsequent phases, Chronic Obstructive Respiratory diseases will be included and the programme will be scaled up to cover other districts. Support to states will also be provided for community health promotion and prevention efforts, and referral and treatment.


  • Noncommunicable diseases are the leading killer today and are on the increase.
  • Nearly 80% of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries
  • More than nine million of all deaths attributed to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) occur before the age of 60. Around the world, NCDs affect women and men almost equally.

Noncommunicable diseases:  Prevention and Control of NCDs

Millions of deaths can be prevented by stronger implementation of measures that exist today.

These include policies that promote government-wide action against NCDs:

  1. stronger anti-tobacco controls
  2. promoting healthier diets,
  3. physical activity,
  4. reducing harmful use of alcohol;
  5. along with improving people’s access to essential health care.

2.India will continue to extend their support in early implementation of past commitment

Source: PIB


India support the proposal of strengthening of AMIS

The challenges of maintaining food and nutritional security need innovative solutions through collaborative and coordinated polices.

Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare addresses G-20 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting at Berlin:

India will continue to extend their support in early implementation of past commitments made at the G20 Agriculture Ministers Meetings particularly on Research and Development, collaboration and knowledge transfer, action to combat food loss and waste, and information and communication technologies (ICT).

Key facts:

The Minister added that in India, ICT has proved to be an effective and powerful medium to disseminate information on agronomic practices, prices, fertilizer and pesticide use and weather and pest related advisories. Many new initiatives have been taken in order to develop an integrated approach for communication process in the agricultural sector.

This include:

  • Launch of agricultural web portals, mobile apps and a dedicated broadcasting channel.
  • Moreover, with the objective to reform the agriculture marketing system in the country, a National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) portal has been launched which provides a pan-India electronic trading.
    • This e-marketing platform is expected to help farmers in facilitating better price discovery through efficient, transparent and competitive marketing platform; better marketing of agricultural produce; reducing wastages; and getting market related information and with access to large number of buyers from within and outside the State through transparent auction processes.
  • In order to promote efficient irrigation practices in the country, a major irrigation programme was launched with emphasis on improving water-use efficiency through, water conservation/ rainwater harvesting and use of micro-irrigation. The programme aims at providing end-to-end solutions in irrigation supply chain, viz., water sources, distribution network and farm level applications and extension services on new technologies and information.
  • That the role of G20 economies in achieving the sustainable global food security assumes significant importance and there is a growing consensus that the challenges of maintaining food and nutritional security need innovative solutions through collaborative and coordinated polices among the member as well as non-member countries.

Way ahead:

  • The world economy has made strides in increasing the global food production, but the emerging challenges of increasing climate complexities, stress on natural resources, degrading soil heath and fragmentation of land holdings pose serious risks in sustaining this growth momentum.
  • Other major issues particularly faced by the developing and under developed economies include poor marketing infrastructure, food losses and wastage, low coverage of institutional agricultural credit, and insuring farmers’ produce from frequent climatic variations.

The discussions on agriculture sector under the G20 German Presidency has been rightly focused on the increasing stress on natural

3.Seventeen States and Six Central Ministries to showcase their tableaux in Republic Day Parade – 2017

Source: PIB

This year Republic Day Parade on Rajpath will witness tableaux from 17 States and Six Ministries of the Central Government.

These tableaux will showcase varied themes starting from country’s rich cultural heritage and socio-economic development to nation’s progress in key areas like IT, Women, Empowerment and Environment Protection.

  1. Odisha: Dola Jatra- Dola Jatra’ – a popular festival celebrated in the state. This festival signifies the journey of Goddess Radha & Lord Krishna for ultimate union in the tradition of Bhakti cult.
  • ‘Dola Jatra’ coincides with the Holi festival that takes place on Falguna Dashami before full moon day in the midst of February-March.
  1. Arunachal Pradesh: Yak Dance – The tableau depicts the Yak Dance, one of the most famous pantomimes of the Mahayana sect of Buddhist Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.
  2. MAHARASHTRA: Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak – This year is being commemorated as the 160th birth anniversary of the honoured freedom fighter, Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak.
  • Known popularly as Lokmanaya, meaning revered by the people, Tilak was one of the first leaders of the Indian Independence movement.
  • A freedom activist and a social reformer, he was also a mathematician, news reporter, editor, writer and orator: tarted publishing his newspapers, the ‘Mahratta’ and ‘Kesari’.
  1. MANIPUR: Lai Haraoba- Lai Haraoba is one of the oldest ritualistic theatres of the world jealously preserved by the Meitei community of Manipur with utmost awe and sanctity.
  2. Gujarat: The Art and Lifestyle of Kutch- Gujarat’s Kutch district is renowned all over the world for its art and lifestyle. 16 different types of embroidery is done here. The Rogan art, Mud work and the art of making Bhunga gives Kutch a unique identity across the globe.
  3. LAKSHADWEEP: An Unexplored Tourist Destination – Lakshadweep or “Laksha – Dweep” – A Hundred Thousand Islands – as defined in Sanskrit, consists of 36 islands un-evenly spread in the Arabian Sea.
  4. KARNATAKA: Folk Dances- Goravas, the worshippers of Lord Shiva engaged in the traditional ritualistic dance.
  5. HIMACHAL PRADESH: Chamba Rumal – Chamba Rumal is the finest specimen of Pahari art flourishing in Chamba town of Himachal Pradesh during late 18th century.
  • Hand woven satin cloth is embroidered with untwisted silken thread in double stitch that comes the same on both sides known as do-rukha. Rasleela, Astanayika and scenes from ancient legends and myths are generally depicted on Rumal.
  1. WEST BENGAL: Sharod Utsav- The appearance of pristine-white “Kashphool” in the backdrop of the greenery of rural Bengal in autumn (sharad), signals the advent of the festive season of Durga Puja, also known as “Sharod Utsav”.
  2. PUNJAB: Jago Aaiya – “JAGO” literally means “Wake Up”. Centuries ago invitations were not sent to invite people to wedding ceremony.
  • A pot (Gaagar) decorated with oil lamps and carried on the head is used while dancing and singing Jago songs.
  • Relatives of the bride or groom would go around the village so also encourage people to wake-up and join in the festivities. The tableau is based on the theme of “JAGO”.
  1. TAMIL NADU: Karakattam- ‘Karakattam’, a popular folk dance of Tamil Nadu forms an important event in temple festival celebrations especially in Amman Temple festivals in the rural areas of Tamil Nadu.
  • The Karagam dancers perform entertaining dance movements to the beat of drums balancing with the Karagam on their head.
  1. GOA: Musical Heritage of Goa – Sangodd is the larger platform formed by combining two or more canoes. Like the Sangodd, the musical heritage of Goa has different influences from the various regimes.
  • The front tractor carries a peacock fronted Sangodd. On it are fibre figurines of a lady playing a ghumat – a percussion instrument made from an earthern pot.
  1. TRIPURA: Hojagiri- Hojagiri – A Magnificent Reang Tribal Dance of Tripura is presented as the theme of the Tripura State Tableau.
  • It is performed by women and young girls, about 4 to 6 members in a team, singing, balancing on an earthen pitcher and managing other props such as a bottle on the head and earthen lamp on the hand while only the lower half of the body is moved.
  • The dance is performed on the occasion of the Hojagiri festivals and is accompanied by bamboo-made flute, cymbal and khamb.
  1. JAMMU & KASHMIR: Winter Sports at Gulmarg – The tableau of Jammu & Kashmir showcases Winter Sports at Gulmarg, a world famous tourist destination of the state Jammu & Kashmir.
  2. ASSAM: Kamakhya Temple– The tableau of Assam portrays the holy shrine of Kamakhya that renders prominence to its capital metropolis – Guwahati.

Themes of

  • CENTRAL BOARD OF EXCISE & CUSTOMS (CBEC) :Goods and Service Tax,
  • MINISTRY OF HOUSING & URBAN POVERTY ALLEVIATION: Housing for All – Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban),
  • Green India – Clean India,
  • MINISTRY OF SKILL DEVELOPMEt: Transforming India through Skill Development.

HARYANA: Beti Bachao – Beti Padhao is a relevant issue of our country. In earlier days girls were mostly denied higher education and pushed into early marriage.

Sex ratio in Haryana touches 900-mark for first time in 20 years

  • To achieve 950, for which we will need support from our neighbouring States.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ambitious “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (B3P) campaign against female foeticide in Panipat in January 2015. Two years later, Haryana, notorious for its skewed sex ratio and patriarchal mindset, saw a historic turnaround.
  • Sex ratio at birth (SRB) in the State this past year touched the 900-mark for the first time in almost two decades.
  • This improvement was made possible due to effective implementation of the law against illegal sex-determination and female foeticide

4.South China Sea: Recent developments surrounding the crisis

Source: Indian Express and The Hindu

Recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas

South China Sea and the nine-dash line:

The SCS is a busy international waterway, one of the main arteries of global economy and trade. And China claims more than 85% of it.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands, has ruled that China’s claims of historical rights over South China Sea (SCS) has no legal basis. The case against China was initiated by the Philippines.

The PCA is not a ‘court’ per se, but organises arbitration tribunals between member countries, should issues arise.

What did the arbitration panel rule?

  • The Hague-based PCA ruled that China has no legal basis to claim historical rights to islands in the SCS, and has violated Philippines’ sovereign rights.
  • It said Beijing “had no historic rights to resources in the waters of the South China Sea” and that “such rights were extinguished to the extent they were incompatible with the exclusive economic zones provided for in the Convention.”

Why is South China Sea considered so important?

  • The SCS is a busy international waterway, being one of the main arteries of the global economy and trade. More than $5 trillion of world trade ships pass through the SCS every year.
  • The SCS is also resource rich, with numerous offshore oil and gas blocks.

So what is the dispute about?

There are a few hundred small islands in the SCS, a part of the Pacific Ocean. Some of the main ones are Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands and Scarborough Shoal — the bone of contention between China and the Philippines.

  • China claims most of these islands as its own. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims. China has said it will not permit other nations to infringe on what it considers its sovereign rights in the strategically vital area.
  • The U.S. has no claim in the South China Sea, but has been highly critical of China’s assertiveness and says it will protect freedom of navigation.

When did China start taking this position on SCS?

  • China laid claim to the SCS back in 1947. It demarcated its claims with a U-shaped line made up of eleven dashes on a map, covering most of the area.
  • The Communist Party, which took over in 1949, removed the Gulf of Tonkin portion in 1953, erasing two of the dashes to make it a nine-dash line.

What is the ‘nine-dash’ line?

  • The ‘nine-dash line’ stretches hundreds of kilometers south and east of its southerly Hainan Island, covering the strategic Paracel and Spratly island chains. China buttresses its claims by citing 2,000 years of history when the two island chains were regarded as its integral parts.
  • But Vietnam rejects the Chinese argument, justifying its own claims, on the basis of written records, which, in its view, establishes its administration over the area since the 17th century. Beijing and Manila clash on account of their dispute over the jurisdiction of the Scarborough shoal, which is 160 kilometres from the Philippines.

However, China and Vietnam have jointly patrolled and explored for oil in the Gulf of Tonkin in one of the “success stories” that “demonstrate that both countries are committed to shelving their maritime differences through cooperation rather than confrontation, which will yield more win-win results and larger-scale cooperation.

If the SCS islands are claimed by so many countries, why is the ruling about the Philippines alone?

  • Back in 2013, the Philippines raised the dispute with China to the PCA, saying China’s claims violated Philippines’ sovereignty under the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • A five-member panel of international legal experts was appointed in June 2013 to hear the case. The result of this arbitration was announced on July 12, 2016, with the panel saying China had no “historic rights” over the SCS.

Will this ruling affect China?

  • Unlikely, because PCA is an intergovernmental organisation and not a ‘court’, hence the ruling is not binding.
  • The Philippines has asked the tribunal to declare China’s claims and actions invalid under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • China has swiftly rejected the ruling, saying it was null and void and that Beijing would not accept it. “China opposes and will never accept any claim or action based on those awards,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement read.

What is India’s stance?

  • India follows the policy of not involving in disputes between sovereign nations.
  • India has commercial interest in the region Vietnam has offered India seven oil blocks in its territory of SCS, a move that didn’t get down well with China.
  • India has signed energy deals with Brunei too.
  • India has noted the Award of the Arbitral Tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the matter concerning the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China.

Recent developments surrounding the crisis

China has refused to recognize the arbitration decision and has warned the United States and other countries not involved in the territorial row not to meddle in the disputes, which Beijing wants to settle through one-on-one negotiations.

  • Vietnam has had complicated relationship with China: both are nominally allies ruled by communists, but unresolved maritime boundaries and China’s pressing ahead with its territorial claims over objections of other claimants has rattled Hanoi.
  • However, China and Vietnam have jointly patrolled and explored for oil in the Gulf of Tonkin in one of the “success stories” that “demonstrate that both countries are committed to shelving their maritime differences through cooperation rather than confrontation, which will yield more win-win results and larger-scale cooperation.

CAMBODIA SHELVES US MILITARY DRILLS: Cambodia, long a loyal friend to China, has told the United States that it is canceling annual joint military exercises this year and next, even though planning had already begun.

  • Cambodia depends on China as its most important ally and has demonstrated its willingness to do Beijing’s bidding in diplomatic meetings, especially regarding Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea.
  • Cambodia in December for the first time hosted the Golden Dragon joint exercise with Chinese troops similar in size and purpose to Angkor Sentinel.

5.INS navy submarine

INS Khanderi, India’s second indigenous Scorpene submarine: It can undertake multifarious types of missions, i.e anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, etc.

INS Kalvari: India’s first indigenous Scorpene-class stealth submarine, has hit the sea for trials. The Scorpene is equipped with Weapons Launching Tubes (WLT), and can carry weapons on board which can be easily reloaded at sea, through special handling and loading equipment.

  • The Scorpene Submarine is designed to operate in all theatres including the Tropics. All appropriate means of communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other components of the Navy.

The Navy has, at present, 14 operational submarines, including nine Russian-made and four German HDW vessels. Chakra, a Russian nuclear-powered submarine, is on lease with the Indian Navy.

India’s first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine, Arihant is already undergoing sea trials and is expected to be inducted shortly.

6.Indian model to predict impact of climate change

Source: The Hindu

Indigenous assessment to be presented to IPCC to report on effect on ocean temperatures, weather patterns

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, are likely to unveil in December a computerised model that can forecast the impact of climate change on the Indian monsoon until 2100.

  • Key facts:
    This model is significant because it is the first time India will be submitting a home-grown assessment to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body convened by the United Nations, and influential to policymakers and governments on the risks posed by climate change.
  • The IPCC summarises projections from such models, developed by scientists from around the world, to report on the level of consensus, among scientists, of the extent to which specific pollutants and gases — from carbon dioxide to particulate matter — interfere with weather patterns and ocean temperatures.

Significant customization: IITM scientists have customised significant parts of a model, called CFS 2 (Climate Forecast System version 2) and used it to give three month forecasts of the Indian monsoon, to project how the it will be altered by climate change over the next century.

  • The model has to first reasonably simulate land and ocean temperatures that existed in the 1850s, or before the carbon dioxide-spewing Industrial Revolution, and also capture droughts and floods in the years up to the present.

Assessment report:

The IITM is preparing its models for the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report that is expected to be ready by 2022.

  • There will, however, be an interim IPCC report, in 2018, on the impact of global warming of 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways.
  • Nations of the world committed in Paris, in 2015, to endeavour to “…keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C.

7.SpaceX is about to launch one of its final expendable rockets NASA

Source: The Hindu

Company betting on its “Block 5” version of the Falcon 9 for easy reusability.

SpaceX successfully launched and landed its first unmanned Falcon 9 rocket since a costly and complicated launchpad explosion in September.

Moments after the Falcon 9 soared into the sky, the rocket’s two sections separated as planned, sending the satellites to orbit and the tall portion, known as the first stage, of the rocket back to Earth.

SpaceX has successfully landed multiple rockets this way, on both land and water, as part of its effort to bring down the cost of space flight by re-using multimillion dollar components instead of jettisoning them in the ocean after launch.

Next level of SpaceX:

  • SpaceX will make its next launch from Cape Canaveral. With this mission from a new pad at Launch Complex 39A, SpaceX will loft the EchoStar 23 communications satellite to geostationary transfer orbit. BLOCK 5
  • This is a heavy satellite, weighing 5.5 metric tons, and getting it out to about 40,000 kilometers from the surface of the Earth will require pretty much all of the lift capacity of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. This would leave almost no propellant for the Falcon 9 rocket to fire its engines to slow down, make a controlled descent through the Earth’s atmosphere, and attempt a difficult landing on a drone ship.

Falcon 9, Block 5: upgraded Falcon 9″ rocket, saying the “Block 5 is the final upgrade of the Falcon architecture. But now SpaceX appears to be close to maximizing performance of the Falcon 9 rocket. Musk confirmed that SpaceX will make one more major improvement to its Falcon 9 rocket, which calling “Block 5”.

Easy reuse? SpaceX’s primary goals is to simplify the reuse of its rockets. With seven first-stage booster landings at sea and on land, SpaceX has now shown that it can bring rockets home.

Fueling concerns:

  • Last S explosion, during a test a day prior to a scheduled launch, was traced to a problem with a pressure vessel in the second-stage liquid oxygen tank. SpaceX said it will change the way it fuels for now and redesign its pressure vessels in the future.
  • SpaceX uses super chilled liquid oxygen, and since the temperature must stay so low, it plans to have astronauts inside the spacecraft atop the rocket before fueling is complete, known as a “load and go” approach.
  • Founded in 2002, SpaceX logged 18 successful launches of the Falcon 9 before the 2015 accident.
  • The company has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to supply the International Space Station using its Dragon space capsule(Dragon/SpaceX), which is the only cargo ship that can return to the Earth intact.

      23-01                                                                   23-01-00











Leave a Reply