Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups – News
Analysis from THE HINDU (January 19, 2019)
1. IndiGo A320neo engines failed 69 times, says DGCA
There have been 69 instances of engine failure of Airbus
A320neo aircraft operated by IndiGo in 2018, according to the data available
from the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation.
The data, contained in a January 8 note issued by the
Ministry of Civil Aviation, show there have been 12 instances of failure of the
Integrated Standby Instrument System since the aircraft with the Pratt &
Whitney PW1100G engines were inducted in 2016. The instrument system is meant
to be a backup in case of a failure in the cockpit instrument system. It is
designed to operate as reliably and independently as possible from the main
Ministry officials said 42 of the engine failures pertained
to oil chips that play a role in early warning. This was followed by 21
instances of distress in the combustion chamber, three cases of problem with
the Fan Drive Gear System and one each of oil leak from the bearings and the
engine stall, and high engine vibration.
In India, IndiGo and Go Air operate the Airbus A320neo with
the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines. Air India and Vistara have Airbus
320neo aircraft with CFM Leap 1A engines. The DGCA on Thursday barred IndiGo
and Go Air from operating A320neo planes to Port Blair, because the nearest
landing place in an emergency is more than one hour away.
On January 8, the Ministry reviewed the performance of
A320neos with the identified version of Pratt & Whitney engines and decided
to issue directives, besides the existing measures for the combustion chambers
and Number 3 bearing issues, for identifying and correcting impending failures
of dry face seal. The two carriers were asked to carry out inspections of the
Pratt & Whitney-PW1100G engines, including a weekly inspection of the third
stage LPT blade.
2. SC Collegium clears 3 HC judges
The Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India
Ranjan Gogoi has given a slew of decisions concerning appointments to various
The series of recommendations on January 16 came even as the
Collegium deferred decision on some of the names while rejecting a few sent
back for re-consideration by the government.
The Collegium deferred a decision on the elevation of
advocates Krishnendu Datta and Saurabh Kirpal as judges of the Delhi High Court
for the present.
The names would be taken up after two or three weeks.
It remitted to the Delhi High Court Chief Justice the
proposal for elevation of advocates Priya Kumar and Sanjoy Ghose after
considering “all relevant factors and material on record”.
The four names were among nine advocates recommended by the
Delhi High Court Collegium on October 13, 2017 for elevation as judges of that
The Collegium remitted the names of seven lawyers — Sukant
Gupta, Sanjay Vashisth, Jasdeep Singh Gill, Mansur Ali, Sunil Kumar Singh
Panwar, Deepinder Singh Nalwa and Harsh Bunger — considered for appointment as
judges to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
3. Gaganyaan top priority: ISRO
The priorities for the Indian Space Research Organisation
(ISRO) this year are working on the human space flight programme Gaganyaan and
launching a major student outreach apart from the scheduled missions, said its
Chairman Dr. K. Sivan on Friday, while stating that India is no less than China
in its space programme.
“A separate Human Space Flight Centre has been formed in
ISRO. The Gaganyaan project will come under it and that’s how we will target
the first unmanned mission in December 2020,” Dr. Sivan said.
Responding to questions on the Chinese space programme, he
said China had gone slightly ahead following its human space programme but,
“Once Gagayaan is launched, we will be equal to them in all respects.”
4. NGT asks NHAI to furnish performance guarantee
The NGT has directed the National Highways Authority of
India to furnish a performance guarantee of ₹2 crore for the delay in the
construction of the Chilla-Motichur corridor in Uttarakhand. A petition had
alleged that tigers in the Rajaji National Park were at threat due to the
5. Major reshuffle in Ambassador team
In a major reshuffle, the External Affairs Ministry has
decided on sending new Ambassadors to Israel, Mexico, South Africa, Argentina,
New Zealand and Vietnam. There will also be two significant changes in the
neighbourhood, coinciding with new governments being elected in Bhutan and the
Maldives, Ministry sources said.
High Commissioner to South Africa Ruchira Khamboj is
expected to be posted to Thimphu after completing the visit of South African
President Cyril Ramaphosa, who will be the chief guest for the Republic Day
Ms. Khamboj would exchange places with Jaideep Sarkar, who
is moving from Thimphu to Pretoria in her place.
Sunjay Sudhir, now with the Petroleum Ministry, has been
chosen to move to the Maldives, an important posting given the reset in ties
between the two countries since the election of President Ibu Solih. On Friday,
the new Maldivian Ambassador, Aishath Mohamed Didi, a former Education
Minister, arrived in Delhi to present her credentials.
In other decisions, a key official in the Prime Minister’s
Office, Sanjeev Singla, who has been Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s private
secretary for the past few years, is being sent to Israel in place of Ambassador
6. Flight to link Ayodhya, Janakpur
Non-stop flight services between the religious towns of
Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and Janakpur in Nepal may be in the offing. Indian
civil aviation authorities are keen on developing an air route linking the two
Discussions between the two countries on the sidelines of
the Global Aviation Summit that concluded earlier this week also involved
routes between the Buddhist towns of Lumbini and Gaya as well as Nepalgunj and
New Delhi for pilgrims headed to Kailash Mansarovar.
According to Hindu mythology, Sita was the daughter of King
Janak who ruled over Janakpur.
According to a source from the Indian side, India has given
an in-principle approval for a route connecting Nepalgunj and New Delhi.
7. India inks agreement for Uzbek uranium
To meet India’s long-term energy requirements, Prime
Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbek President Shakat Mirziyoyev on Friday inked a
pact for import of uranium from the Central Asian country. The agreement was
signed at an event on the sidelines of Vibrant Gujarat Summit where Mr.
Mirziyoyev is one of the chief guests, in addition to a deal for $200 million
credit for housing projects in Uzbekistan.
8. Mughalsarai tehsil named after Deendayal
The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Friday approved the proposal of
renaming the Mughalsarai tehsil after Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, co-founder of
the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Last August, the Mughalsarai railway station was
renamed Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay junction. Many places in Uttar Pradesh have
got new names under the government of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. On
October 16, Allahabad was renamed Prayagraj. The Centre and the State have
drawn flak for the renaming.
9. Women to be inducted in military police
Induction of women in the military police will be done in a
graded manner, and they will eventually make up 20% of its total strength,
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Friday. The decision to induct
women to enhance their representation in the armed forces was announced by Army
chief General Bipin Rawat last year. Their role would range from probing rape
and molestation cases to assisting the Army wherever required.
10. Asif Khosa takes oath as new Pak. Chief Justice
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, known for adding lyrical flair in
his judgments, on Friday took oath as the 26th Chief Justice of Pakistan in a
ceremony here, which was also attended by foreign legal luminaries, including
former Indian SC judge Madan Bhimarao Lokur. Justice Khosa, 64, was administered
oath by President Arif Alvi. He will retire on December 21.
11. Adani to invest ₹55,000 crore in Gujarat
The first day of Vibrant Gujarat Summit saw major investment
announcements by top industrial groups, including Reliance, Adani, Birla,
Torrent and Russian major Rosneft group’s Nayara Energy.
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani announced
doubling of the group’s current investment of about ₹3 lakh crore in Gujarat
over the next 10 years, saying the State would continue to remain the hub of
the group’s overall investments in the country.
“With investments of over ₹3 lakh crore, the company has so
far created and catalysed over one million livelihood opportunities in
Gujarat,” Mr. Ambani said. Reliance operates the world’s largest grassroots
refinery in Jamnagar and has petrochemical units in Vadodara, Dahej and Hazira.
Another major announcement came from Gujarat-based
billionaire Gautam Adani who committed investments to the tune of ₹55000 crore
in the next five years.
According to Mr. Adani, his investments would create
employment opportunities for 50,000 people in the State.
12. Sportstar Aces awards — the five-member jury
Sportstar Aces Awards will celebrate the stars, the future
stars and the tireless silent partners who have dedicated their lives to
sports, to realise the dream of making India a ‘Sporting Nation’.
The Popular Awards, which were put to vote on our website,
and other awards will be presented to an elite panel of jury comprising Sunil
Gavaskar, M.M. Somaya, Anju Bobby George, Anjali Bhagwat and N. Ram to make the
A short profile of the jury members
Sunil Gavaskar: The former India captain and cricketing
legend, whose punditry is looked forward to by the faithful, also plays
badminton and follows most other sports that come under the ambit of the
multi-discipline Olympic arena and appeals to a vast majority of the Indian
M.M. Somaya: A member of the Olympic gold-medal winning
hockey team in Moscow (1980) and skipper of the Indian team at Seoul (1988), he
also took part in two World Cups, two Asian Games and three Champions Trophies
among other major tournaments.
13. Japan satellite off to deliver artificial meteors
A rocket carrying a satellite on a mission to deliver the
world’s first artificial meteor shower blasted into space on Friday, Japanese
A start-up based in Tokyo developed the micro-satellite for
the celestial show over Hiroshima early next year as the initial experiment for
what it calls a “shooting stars on demand” service.
The satellite is to release tiny balls that glow brightly as
they hurtle through the atmosphere, simulating a meteor shower.
It hitched a ride on the small-size Epsilon-4 rocket that
was launched from the Uchinoura space centre by the Japan Aerospace Exploration
Agency (JAXA) on Friday morning. The rocket carried a total of seven
ultra-small satellites that will demonstrate various “innovative” technologies,
JAXA spokesman Nobuyoshi Fujimoto said.
By early afternoon, JAXA confirmed all seven satellites had
successfully been launched into orbit. “I was too moved for words,” Lena
Okajima, president of the company behind the artificial meteor showers, told
the Jiji Press agency.
14. India ranks third in research papers on artificial intelligence
India ranks third in the world in terms of high quality
research publications in artificial intelligence (AI) but is at a significant
distance from world leader China, according to an analysis by research agency
Itihaasa, which was founded by Kris Gopalakrishnan, former CEO and co-founder
The agency computed the number of ‘citable documents’— the
number of research publications in peer-reviewed journals — in the field of AI
between 2013-2017 as listed out by Scimago, a compendium that tracks trends in
scientific research publications.
India, while third in the world with 12,135 documents,
trailed behind China with 37, 918 documents and the United States with 32,421
15. Saturn’s rings are younger than thought
Saturn’s rings are one of our solar system’s magnificent
sights, but may be a relatively recent addition, according to data obtained
from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft before the robotic explorer’s 2017 death plunge
into the giant gas planet.
Scientists said that a calculation of the mass of the rings
based on gravitational measurements of the planet collected by Cassini
indicated they formed between 100 million and 10 million years ago in roughly
the final 2% of Saturn’s current age.
The findings challenge the notion favoured by some
astronomers that the rings developed soon after Saturn formed about 4.5 billion
years ago along with the other planets, including the earth.
Others felt the rings were much younger, but lacked crucial
data like their mass to estimate their age reliably.
The ring mass turned out to be 45% lower than previous
estimates based on 1980s data from NASA’s Voyager spacecraft. Lower mass
indicates a younger age, the researchers said in a study published in Science.
Scientists suspect the rings formed perhaps when a large icy
comet or moon ventured too close to Saturn and was shattered by gravitational
forces or moons collided in orbit. Scientists hope that they can, in the
future, get samples of ring material to find the precise date of origin.
16. DD to start its own OTT platform
Doordarshan, India’s public service broadcaster, is working
towards plans to launch its own OTT (over-the-top) platform to stream content
to viewers over the Internet.
“OTT is an important platform. Doordarshan is also planning
to have its own digital platform where it can put out its content which can be
available worldwide. CEOs of Prasar Bharati and Doordarshan are working on a
project to evolve an online platform for the viewers,” said Supriya Sahu,
“We have a huge library of content. Some of our content is
iconic. People of India associate themselves with our shows as they have grown
up watching such shows,” Ms. Sahu said.
Her comment comes amidst reports that Doordarshan is in
talks with other OTT platforms to take its content to a larger audience.
Launched in 1959, Doordarshan is known for creating iconic
shows like Hum Log, Buniyaad, Fauji, Bharat Ek Khoj, Byomkesh Bakshi,
Chitrahaar, Shaktimaan, Dekh Bhai Dekh and Malgudi Days. Recently, streaming
platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar, Voot and SonyLiv have signed an agreement
to follow a new industry code of conduct.
17. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver is dead
Mary Oliver, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose work, with
its plain language and minute attention to the natural world, drew a wide
following while dividing critics, died on Thursday at her home in Florida State
in the U.S. She was 83. She had been treated for lymphoma, which was first
diagnosed in 2015.
Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)
19. Things to Remember:
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi
20. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning 1 – Prod (someone) gently with one’s elbow in order
to attract attention
Example – ‘people were nudging each other and pointing at
Synonyms – poke, elbow, dig, prod, jog, jab, butt
Meaning 1.1 – Touch or push (something) gently or gradually.
Example – ‘the canoe nudged a bank of reeds’
Synonyms – touch, bump, bump against, push, push against,
Meaning 1.2 – Coax or gently encourage (someone) to do
Example – ‘we have to nudge the politicians in the right
Synonyms – prompt, encourage, coax, stimulate, prod, jog
Meaning 1.3 – Approach (an age, figure, or level) very
Example – ‘both men were nudging fifty’
Synonyms – approach, come close to, get close to, be verging
on, border on, near