Current Affairs

17 April, 2022

International

“Neptune” Ukraine’s Homemade Anti-Ship Cruise Missile

Neptune is a Ukrainian homemade anti-ship cruise missile capable of destroying targets within a range of 300 km. The Neptune Missile system was inducted into the Ukrainian Defence Forces in March 2021. It is designed to defeat surface warships and transport vessels with a displacement of up to 5,000 tons, either in convoys or moving individually.
About “Neptune Missiles”:
i.The Neptune is based on the Soviet-era Zvezda Kh-35 anti-ship missile. The Neptune anti-ship missile was developed by the Luch design bureau.
ii.The 16-ft long engine-powered missiles can travel at speeds of up to 560mph (900 km/h) and at heights of between nine and 30ft above the surface.
iii.It weighs around 870 Kilogram (kg) and carries a 150kg warhead.
iv.It uses an internal navigation system and radar-homing guidance to target enemy ships.
v.It flies 10-15 metres above the water on its way to the target but drops to 3-10 metres on its final approach to counter any ship defences.
vi.Neptune is integrated with Ukraine’s missile boats, patrol vessels and corvettes as an integrated defence system to take on any attack from the seas.
Recent News:

Due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, Ukraine used its homemade anti-ship cruise missile “Neptune” against the Slava-Class missile cruiser and the flagship of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva, and destroyed it.

“The Moskva” was originally commissioned as the Slava in 1983. It was recommissioned in 2000 as the Moskva with refurbished weapon systems and electronics.
Note:
i.Two submarines of Russia, the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and the Volkov, testfired Kalibr cruise missiles from underwater at a target in the Sea of Japan, amid tension with Tokyo as it made sanctions against Russia.

Kalibr is a land-attack cruise missile with an estimated range of 1,500 to 2,500 km.

COVID-19 plunged 77 million into poverty in 2021: UN-DESA Report

In accordance with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) report, titled ‘2022 Financing for Sustainable Development Report: Bridging the Finance Divide’, the COVID-19 plunged 77 million more people into extreme poverty in 2021 and many developing countries can’t recover because of debt repayments. Now, the Ukraine-Russia War has further impacted this situation. The report is a joint product of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development.
The report is on financing to achieve UN development goals for 2030, including ending poverty, ensuring quality education for all young people and achieving gender equality. It was produced by the UN–DESA in collaboration with more than 60 international agencies, including the UN system and international financial institutions.

National

Six MoUs Signed at Waterways Conclave 2022 in Dibrugarh, Assam

Six Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements were signed during the Waterways Conclave-2022 organised by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways along with Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) from 11th-12th April 2022, in Dibrugarh, Assam. The MoUs and agreements were signed in the presence of Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of ports, shipping and waterways and Himanta Biswa Sarma Chief Minister(CM) of Assam.

Details of the MoUs:
i.The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Gauhati University (GU) signed an MoU regarding research and development, consultancy and investment in inland waterways.
ii.The IWAI also signed a MoU with Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL), Dibrugarh, for transportation of cargo using inland water transport.
iii.The IWAI has also signed a MoU with Tata Steel, Jamshedpur, for transportation of steel cargo using inland water transport.
iv.The government of Tripura signed a MoU with Indian Register of Shipping for co-operation of survey of vessels and training of personnel.
v.IWAI also signed 2 seperate agreements with Rajesh Auto Merchandise Private Limited and Jimex International for operation and maintenance of temporary terminal at Maia in West Bengal.
About Waterways Conclave-2022:
Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Hon’ble Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and AYUSH inaugurated the Conclave. The conclave aims to increase cooperation with neighbouring countries in the waterways sector.
i.Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) is the industry partner of the Waterways Conclave 2022.
ii.The conclave is focused on harnessing the domestic and international potential of waterways ecosystem in the Northeastern region of India and will be held in physical and hybrid format.
iii.The conclave organised in line with the goals of PM Gati Shakti National Masterplan aims to fast-track the development of Multimodal projects in Northeast region for energizing economic activities and enhance business opportunities and employment generation.
iv.Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, State Minister of Shipping, Government of Bangladesh and Lyonpo Loknath Sharma, Minister of Economic Affairs, Bhutan have participated in the conclave.

Central Govt raises Rs 1tn via Asset Monetization in FY22, beats target by 12%

i.Under the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) i.e. Central Government’s asset monetization, the public sector brownfield asset generated revenues and investments worth Rs 1 trillion(tn), 12% more than the target set for FY22.
ii.In aggregate, revenues and investments mobilized from asset monetization in FY22 stood at Rs 96,000 crore, which will go up by at least Rs 4,000 crore after some additional data.
iii.Coal and mineral mining block auctions led the monetization in FY22 with Rs 58,700 crore.
What is the National Monetization Pipeline?
In August 2021, Government of India announced a 4-year (FY22-25) asset monetization plan i.e. National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) wherein existing public Brownfield assets in sectors such as roads, railways, power, oil and gas pipelines, telecom, civil aviation etc. will be leased to private sector worth Rs. 6 trillion. It is Monetization of ‘Rights’ not ‘Ownership’.

Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia flags off 1st Made in India Dornier Aircraft Flight to Connect NER

Union Minister Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), and the Chief Minister (CM) of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu flagged off the first flight of indigenous 19-seater Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)-manufactured Dornier Do-228 Aircraft to connect airports and Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) of India’s North Eastern Region (NER). The flight will be operational from Dibrugarh in Assam to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh and finally to Lilabari in Assam. It should be noted that Indian made Dornier aircraft is called Hindustan aircraft. Basically, it is of German origin. This is the first time that the civilian version of the aircraft is made entirely in India.
Background:
Delhi-based Alliance Air, a public sector airline company, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with HAL, a Central Public Sector Unit under Ministry of Defence (MoD) to operate Indian made Dornier aircraft. This is in line with the vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat. With this, Alliance Air becomes the first commercial airline to fly Indian made aircraft for civil operations.

Deployment:
i.In the first phase, 2 Hindustan aircrafts would be stationed at Dibrugarh, to connect Tezu, Pasighat and Ziro.
ii.In the second phase, connectivity will be provided to Mechuka, Tuting and Vijoy Nagar
Civil Aviation Development Plans for NER:
Under UdeDesh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN), the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of MoCA has identified NER as a priority area. In total, more than Rs 2,000 crore will be invested by the Central Government to upgrade and create civil aviation infrastructure. These include the following, among others:
i.In Arunachal Pradesh, a new greenfield airport in Hollongi will be inaugurated with a budgetary allocation of Rs. 645.63 Crore.
ii.At Tezu, Rs 67 crores has been allotted for the upgradation of airport.
iii.Budgetary support of Rs 500 Crore has been approved for enhancing air connectivity and aviation infrastructure in NER till March, 2024.
iv.At Imphal, the airport would be getting a major up-gradation with a budgetary allocation of Rs. 499 Crore
v.In addition to this, about 18 airstrips, heliports/ helipads, water aerodromes are also awarded under UDAN scheme and are being developed in NER with the budgetary allocation of about Rs 182 Crore.
The State Government of Arunachal Pradesh has also reduced the VAT (Value Added Tax) on ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel) from 20% to 1%.

Economy

PhonePe partners with Extreme IX to enable faster payments

In a First initiative in digital payments platform, the Phone Pe and Extreme IX (Internet Exchange) collaborated to provide faster digital payment service to over 370 million PhonePe users by decreasing the latency irrespective of their location or Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The partnership makes PhonePe the first digital platform to participate in an Internet Exchange in India.

i.The Partnership will enable the PhonePe users to swiftly administer their day-to-day financial transactions across the Geographic locations.
About Extreme IX:-
i.Extreme IX is carrier neutral, data centre neutral Internet Exchange point for Indian ISPs and for local and international content providers. Extreme IX is a project operated by Extreme Infocom Pvt. Ltd. a newly established Indian based company dedicated to operating and maintaining it.
ii.It has 30 points across 5 cities in India with more than 450 networks including Internet Service Providers and prominent Content Delivery Networks like Netflix, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Akamai etc.
Executive Director – Raunak Maheshwari
About PhonePe:-
Chief Executive Officer – Sameer Nigam
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka

Govt Enhances Authorised Share Capital of NICL, OICL & UIICs

In accordance with the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance notification, the Central Government in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) and sub-section (6) of section 16 of the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972 (57 of 1972) amended the following acts,
National Insurance Company Limited (Merger) Scheme, 1973 with National Insurance Company Limited (Merger) Amendment Scheme, 2022.
Oriental Fire and General Insurance Company Limited (Merger) Scheme, 1973.This Scheme may be called the Oriental Fire and General Insurance Company Limited (Merger) Amendment Scheme, 2022
United India Fire and General Insurance Company Limited (Merger) Scheme, 1973,This Scheme may be called the United India Fire and General Insurance Company Limited (Merger) Amendment Scheme, 2022.
Following table shows the increased authorized capital in these companies:

General Insurance Companies Present Authorized Capital Previous Authorized Capital
NICL Rs 15,000 crore Rs 7,500 crore
OICL Rs 7,500 crore Rs 5,000 crore
UIIC Rs 7,500 crore Rs 5,000 crore

Sports

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Miscellaneous

COAS Inducts Indigenously Developed Specialist Vehicles Into Army

General MM Naravane, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) inducted the first set of indigenously developed specialist vehicles into the army during the event organised at the Bombay Engineer Group (BEG).With the aim to strengthen the initiative “Atma Nirbhar Bharat”.

Specialist Vehicle:

Quick Reaction Fighting Vehicle Medium (QRFV), Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicle (IPMV), Ultra Long Range Observation System developed by Tata Advanced System Limited (TASL). Monocoque Hull Multi Role Mine Protected Armoured Vehicle developed by Bharat Forge.

About Tata Advanced System Limited (TASL):
i.TASL became the first private sector company in India to produce and deliver wheeled armoured combat-ready vehicles for the Armed Forces.
ii.The induction of these indigenously developed Systems by TASL and Bharat Forge is to enhance the operational capabilities of Indian Army in future conflicts.
iii.TASL will provide 24×7 support to maintain the vehicles at the deployment locations. The IPMV is also a co-development project of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).

iv.Delivery of IPMV marks the first commercial sale of a strategic platform that has been developed by TASL and co-developed by DRDO.
About Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicle (IPMV):
i.The IPMV is developed and manufactured at TASL’s Pune facility, it was built on the strategic 8×8 Wheeled Armoured Platform (WhAP) indigenously designed and developed by TASL along with the Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (VRDE), a unit of DRDO.
ii.The vehicles undergo field trials in deserts as well as high altitude areas by the Indian Army.
iii.The IPMV includes: TASL’s in-house designed and developed Remote Controlled Weapon Station with thermal sights. External add-on armour protection panels developed by the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory of DRDO.

About Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO):
Secretary – G. Satheesh Reddy
Founded – 1958

MoRTH launched e-DAR portal for easy compensation claims for road accidents

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in consultation with the Insurance companies has launched a portal e-DAR (Digitised Detailed Accident Report) which provides information on road accidents instantaneously, helping easier claims under insurance and check on fake claims conducting a search of vehicles involved in the accident, the date of accident, and the First Information Report number..

Lloyd Endorses Sourav Ganguly as Its Brand Ambassador For Eastern Indian markets

Lloyd, one of the consumer durable brands of major electrical goods brand – Havells India, has endorsed former Indian cricket team captain and current Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President, Sourav Ganguly as the Brand Ambassador of Lloyd for markets in eastern part of India. Also, Sourav will endorse Lloyd range of consumer durables through promotion, advertising and marketing. Sourav has been roped into Lloyd, as he portrays a rare blend of talent, class, intelligence, and popularity who also complements Lloyd’s legacy and brand ethos.

Indian Cricketer Robin Uthappa appointed as ambassador for Karnataka Brain Health Initiative

The Karnataka Health Department on April 15, 2022, has appointed Indian Cricket Player Robin Uthappa as the brand ambassador for Karnataka Brain Health Initiative (KA-BHI) (Launched in January 2022). The KA-BHI was launched by the State government in association with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, NITI Aayog and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, Karnataka. This is a first of a kind initiative in the country that will facilitate early diagnosis and timely treatment, for common neurological diseases.

i.The Project aims at early diagnosis and treatment of common neurological disorders such as epilepsy, headache, stroke, dementia and brain infections at grassroot levels from Primary Health centres (PHCs), Secondary-level Districts Hospitals and the tertiary level at NIMHANS.
ii.Under the KA-BHI, pilot projects were initiated at three hospitals – Jayanagar General hospital in Bengaluru Urban, Sri Narasimha Raja (SNR) Hospital in Kolar and District Hospital in Chickballapur for providing training in screening and treating mental health patients..

Prabhat Patnaik selected for Malcolm Adiseshiah Award 2022

An Indian Marxist economist and political commentator Dr.Prabhat Patnaik from Odisha has been selected for the 2022 Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for his contributions to development studies for an outstanding economist. The Malcolm Adiseshiah Award & The Elizabeth Adiseshiah Award will be instituted by Malcolm & Elizabeth Adiseshiah Trust every year.
About Prabhat Patnaik :-
i.Dr. Prabhat Patnaik was born in 1945 (now his age 76) at Jatni,Odisha. He was a great economic professor at Centre for Economic Studies and Planning (CESP) at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.
ii.He was the vice-chairman of Kerala State Planning Board from June 2006 to May 2011.
iii.He specialized in macroeconomics and political economy. He has written a number of books and articles such as

Time, Inflation and Growth, Economics and Egalitarianism ,Whatever Happened to Imperialism and Other Essays, Accumulation and Stability Under Capitalism , The Retreat to Unfreedom , The Value of Money and Re-envisioning Socialism .
iv.In 2012, Prabhat was awarded honorary Doctor of Science in Economics from School of Oriental and African Studies at University of London.
About Malcolm Adiseshiah Award & The Elizabeth Adiseshiah Award:-

This is a prestigious award instituted by Malcolm & Elizabeth Adiseshiah Trust.Both awards are open to Indian and foreign scholars ordinarily resident in India.

i.Malcolm Adiseshiah Award is given for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies for an outstanding economist / social Scientist / historian.

The first Malcolm Adiseshiah Award was given in 2001 and so far, 21 awards were distributed. Malolm Adiseshiah Award carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs.2 lakhs.
The award is named after an Indian development economist and educator Malcolm Sathiyanathan Adiseshiah who was born in 1910 in Vellore.
In 1976 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan and in 1998, UNESCO created ‘The Malcolm Adiseshiah International Literacy Prize’ in recognition of his contribution to education and literacy.
ii.Elizabeth Adiseshiah Award was Instituted in 2018 will be presented to a young scholar below the age of 45 as on 1st January of the year of Award for recognized contributions to Development Studies. Elizabeth Adiseshiah Award will carry a cash prize of Rs.1 lakh.

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