Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups – News
Analysis from THE HINDU (February 01, 2019)
FOR YOUR DAILY DOSE OF CURRENT AFFAIRS FROM “THE HINDU”,
1. Gupteshwar Pandey new DGP of Bihar
Senior IPS officer Gupteshwar Pandey took over as the new
Director General of Police of Bihar on Thursday. He succeeds K.S. Dwivedi, who
retired on Thursday and had been holding the position since March 1,
2. IAF chief flags delays in manufacture of equipment
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has not shifted any goal posts
and is fully committed to indigenisation, Air Chief Marshal (ACM) B.S. Dhanoa
said on Thursday, while flagging delays in domestic development and manufacture
of defence equipment.
Air power, he said, was an expensive proposition.
“IAF has not shifted any goal posts as alleged. The
development has taken such an incredibly long time that armament and technology
has gone obsolete… I, as the service chief, can make concessions to Hindustan
Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Will the enemy make concessions to me when I go and
meet the enemy?” said ACM Dhanoa at the 10th Jumbo Majumdar international
lecture organised by the Centre for Air Power Studies. “In combat, there is no
silver medal. Either you win or you lose.”
His comments come in the backdrop of recent reports that the
IAF has been changing parameters of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)
Tejas, adding to the delay in development. The IAF has contracted for 40 LCA
Mk-I jets, issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) for 83 LCA Mk-IA variants and
committed to procure 12 squadrons of LCA Mk-II and eventually the Advanced
Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).
ACM Dhanoa said a crucial contribution to the success of
indigenisation was also the sacrifice of IAF’s pilots in testing these aircraft
to battle worthy standards.
3. New broadcasting tariffs come into effect from today
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has
expressed confidence that the more than 170 million digital TV customers in
India would not face any service disruption on account of the introduction of
the new tariff regime in broadcasting from Friday.
As of Wednesday about 62% of the over 100 million cable TV
consumers and 30% of the over 70 million DTH subscribers had registered their
channel choices under the new tariff guidelines, TRAI Secretary S.K. Gupta told
4. BEL chosen to fortify naval air stations
To strengthen the perimeter security of its air stations,
the Navy has finalised a ₹700 crore contract with Bharat Electronics Limited
(BEL) for establishing an upgraded Naval Airfield Integrated Security System.
After terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station,
the system was formulated as a comprehensive project for upgrading the security
of naval airfields, an official said. The request for information went out in
March 2016 for the project to be implemented at six major air stations.
From a field of 48 vendors who responded, three public
sector undertakings qualified, and among them was BEL, which was declared the
lowest bidder early this month. The contract was signed on January 22, and the
implementation would be completed between January and June 2020,” the official
The measures forming part of the project include an
anti-climbing fence, drain detection intrusion systems, a CCTV network and
5. IndiGo’s repair facility to come up in Bengaluru
InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., which owns and operates low
cost-carrier IndiGo, has entered into a 20-year agreement with Bangalore
International Airport Limited to sub-lease land at the Kempegowda airport to
build a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility to take care of its
requirement. It will be IndiGo’s second MRO after the one in Delhi.
6. GSAT-31 to be launched from Kourou next week
The Indian Space Research Organisation will get its new
communication satellite GSAT-31 aloft in space on February 6 from French Guiana
on a hired European rocket. GSAT-31, weighing roughly 2,500 kg, will replace
the INSAT-4CR. The latter with 12 Ku-band transponders was put to orbit in
September 2007 to drive what was then a new DTH industry. The launch of
Ariane-5 V247 mission is slated for 2.31 a.m. IST on February 6.
7. Britain veers to a hard Brexit as Prime Minister May continues to
placate Tory hardliners
The prospects for Britain’s orderly withdrawal from the
European Union on March 29 have receded further, even as MPs rallied to stop a
no-deal scenario. An amendment to the draft bill on the termination of London’s
membership of the bloc obliges Prime Minister Theresa May to renegotiate her
withdrawal agreement with Brussels. A Tory backbencher’s proposal calls on the
government to come up with alternatives to the Irish backstop, a central tenet
of the deal Britain agreed with the rest of the EU. The arrangement is meant to
guarantee continuation of the soft border between Northern Ireland and the
Republic of Ireland, even if London and Brussels fail to strike a concrete
relationship after Brexit. The reservations that Conservative Eurosceptics have
over the backstop was a crucial factor why Ms. May delayed a House of Commons
vote on her withdrawal agreement. Her subsequent attempts to secure assurances
from Brussels to set a time limit on the backstop, or for Britain to quit the
mechanism unilaterally, yielded no tangible outcome. A strong Eurosceptic
opposition on the issue was also the reason for Ms. May’s overwhelming defeat
in the House of Commons a fortnight ago. Ironically, this is the same deal Ms.
May has all along insisted as being the one that could deliver the Brexit that
people voted for, and to avoid Britain’s crashing out of the EU. Soon after the
passage of the amendment on Tuesday, the President of the European Council reiterated
the bloc’s unanimous position, ruling out a reopening of the withdrawal
agreement. The Irish government has been equally categorical that as the basic
guarantor of the 1998 Good Friday accord, the soft border was non-negotiable.
With less than 60 days to the deadline, the scope to
overcome such fundamental differences in approach is rather narrow. Moreover,
the Commons voted down a move, by Conservative and Labour proponents, to
initiate legislation to defer the leave date. The latter had hoped the
postponement plan would be a way to gain time, if the government failed to
reach any agreement with Brussels or could not secure ratification at
Westminster by late-February. Opponents, including Ms. May, dubbed the idea a
remainer’s ploy to delay Brexit, or worse still, to lay the groundwork for a
second referendum. But Parliament has wrested control of the Brexit process,
and the demand to defer the deadline could well resurface. In that event, the
EU’s favourable disposition to extend the Article 50 process could serve to
influence the parliamentary balance. But Ms. May has seemed reluctant to
confront the extreme stance of her Tory backbenchers and might remain hostage
to a hard Brexit reality, notwithstanding the resulting chaos and upheaval.
That outcome is surely not one that most leave voters would have even remotely
8. Primitive reflex
This refers to reflex actions exhibited by newborn babies
that involve no conscious thought. These reflex actions usually subside as the
frontal lobe of the brain of the infant develops sufficiently during the first
few months of its life. In some cases, however, certain primitive reflexes may
persist beyond the first year of a child’s life. The sucking reflex, stepping
reflex, and the rooting reflex are some of the primitive reflexes exhibited by
newborn babies. It is believed that some primitive reflexes may simply be
remnants of behaviour from the evolutionary past which may have helped infants
to survive in tough conditions.
9. My govt. worked to build a New India: President
President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday described the current
government as one that had worked to build a “New India” after assuming power
in 2014 when, he said, the country was passing through “uncertain times.”
The President was addressing a joint sitting of Parliament
before the last budget session of the government.
The address also gave a thumbs-up to contentious decisions
of the government including demonetisation and the Rafale deal, which Mr.
Kovind described as a move that would strengthen the strike capability of the
Indian Air Force after a gap of many decades. The government believes that
neglecting the country’s defence needs even for a moment is detrimental to the
present as well as future of the country, he said.
“Prior to the 2014 general election, the country was passing
through a phase of uncertainty. After the elections, my government assumed
charge and vowed to build a ‘New India’. A New India with no place for
imperfect, corrupt and inertia-ridden systems,” Mr. Kovind said. He added that
“demonetisation was a defining moment in the government’s war on corruption and
Mr. Kovind also referred to the Constitutional Amendment
recently passed by Parliament enabling 10% quota in jobs for the economically
weaker sections in the general category, the triple talaq legislation and the
controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill in the speech that lasted over an hour.
10. Stop MPs’ meet on Kashmir, India tells U.K.
After summoning the Pakistan High Commissioner on Wednesday,
India has registered its protest with the British government about an upcoming
meet on Kashmir at the British Parliament, the Ministry of External Affairs
said. The government also warned of “consequences” if Pakistan continued its
actions on Kashmir, which it called a “direct interference in India’s internal
“We have told the United Kingdom [government] quite strongly
that their territory must not be used for anti-India activity conferences or
rallies, and we hope they will take it seriously, and take action against this
kind of conference,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. He was briefing
journalists about the measures taken against the meeting in the House of
Commons on February 4 of the “All Party Parliamentary Group on Pakistan”
(APPG-Pakistan) — a group that includes Conservative and Labour Party MPs.
Officials said they hoped that Pakistan Foreign Minister
Shah Mahmood Qureshi would not be given an official welcome during his visit to
London, where he is expected to attend the conference, and that the British
government would distance itself from the proceedings.
11. PM to visit all 3 regions of J&K on February 3
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s one-day visit to all three
regions of J&K — Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh — on February 3 will see him
focus on the BJP’s core constituency in Jammu. The separatists in Kashmir have
called for a shutdown while groups in Ladakh’s Kargil have planned protests.
12. Navy’s Project-75I approved under SP model
Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Thursday gave formal
approval to execute the Navy’s Project-75I for six advanced submarines worth
₹40,000 crore through the Strategic Partnership (SP) model of the Defence
Procurement Procedure. Under the SP route, an Indian private strategic partner
will tie up with a foreign manufacturer to manufacture submarines domestically
through technology transfer.
13. Centre firm on FDI rules deadline
The government on Thursday said it would not be extending
the deadline for implementation of the new rules governing FDI in e-commerce.
The new rules will come into effect on Friday as per plan.
“The department had received some representations to extend
the deadline of February 1, 2019 to comply with the conditions contained in the
Press Note 2 of 2018 series on FDI Policy in e-commerce issued by the
Department,” the Commerce Ministry’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal
Trade said in a notification.
“After due consideration, it has been decided with the
approval of the competent authority not to extend the above deadline.” Large
e-commerce firms such as Amazon and Flipkart have repeatedly approached the
Centre seeking either dilution of the rules or extension of the deadline.
“While we remain committed to complying with all laws and regulations, we will
continue to look to engage with the government to seek clarifications that help
us decide our future course of action as well as minimise the impact on our
customers and sellers,” an Amazon spokesperson said. The new rules ban any firm
that has any stake owned by an e-commerce company from selling on the platform
run by that e-commerce company. Further, no company that has 25% or more of its
purchases from an e-commerce group firm may sell on that firm’s platform.
14. Ajai Kumar is interim CEO of Yes Bank
Ajai Kumar, a board member of Yes Bank, will hold the charge
of managing director and chief executive officer till the new CEO Ravneet Gill
joins the lender.
Yes Bank said that the Reserve Bank of India had approved
the interim appointment of Mr. Kumar. Mr. Gill is expected to take charge by
March 1. The current MD and CEO Rana Kapoor’s term in Yes Bank ends on
Mr. Kumar, the former chairman and managing director of
Corporation Bank, is the non-executive non-independent director of bank since
Prior to this, he was acting as senior strategic advisor of
the bank since 2014.
15. International race walk in Chennai
For the first time, perhaps, India will host an exclusive
International invitational race walking (20km) meet.
Scheduled to be held in Chennai on February 16 and 17, the
event will have leading Indian athletes and second-rung walkers from China,
Japan, Korea and Australia.
Three more events, apart from the International meet, will
be held — under-20 (20km) boys and girls and the National championship (50km)
only for men and under-18 boys and girls (10km). The International and under-20
events will be held on February 16, while the men’s Nationals will be on
There will be prize money for all the four events, the exact
amount will be announced later.
Top Indian stars including K. T. Irfan, Manish Singh Rawat,
Eknath Sambhaji, Sandeep Kumar, Ravina, Soumya Baby, Shanti Kumari, among
others, are expected to participate.
The meet proides an opportunity for Indians to make the
qualifying grade for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the World championships to be
held in Doha from September 27 to October 6, 2019 for both the 20km and 50km
16. Giant cavity in Antarctic glacier signals rapid decay
NASA scientists have discovered a gigantic cavity, almost
300 metres tall, growing at the bottom of the Thwaites Glacier in West
Antarctica, indicating rapid decay of the ice sheet and acceleration in global
sea levels due to climate change.
The findings, published in the journal Science Advances,
highlight the need for detailed observations of Antarctic glaciers’ undersides
in calculating how fast sea levels will rise in response to warming.
Researchers expected to find some gaps between ice and
bedrock at Thwaites’ bottom, where ocean water could flow in and melt the
glacier from below, NASA said in a statement.
The size and explosive growth rate of the hole, however,
surprised them. It is big enough to have contained 14 billion tonnes of ice,
and most of that ice melted over the last three years.
“We have suspected for years that Thwaites was not tightly
attached to the bedrock beneath it,” said Eric Rignot of the University of
California, Irvine in the U.S. “Thanks to a new generation of satellites, we
can finally see the detail,” said Mr. Rignot, who is also associated with
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
The cavity was revealed by ice-penetrating radar in NASA’s
Operation IceBridge, an airborne campaign beginning in 2010 that studies
connections between the polar regions and the global climate.
17. Malaysia enthrones new king after abdication
Malaysia on Thursday installed a new king, Sultan Abdullah
Sultan Ahmad Shah, after the last monarch abdicated in a historic first
following his reported marriage to a Russian ex-beauty queen. The 59-year-old,
who is the ceremonial ruler of central Pahang state, was given a welcome in the
18. Barbie and National Geographic ink deal
Mattel, the company that makes Barbie dolls, and National
Geographic have announced a global licensing agreement. They will create a
product line on the theme of exploration, science and conservation. The
products will be available by the end of the year.
Enforcement Directorate (ED)
National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)
Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)
20. Things to Remember:
IAF Chief – Air
Chief Marshal (ACM) B.S. Dhanoa
CEO of NITI Aayog – Amitabh Kant
Union Sports Minister – Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore
21. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – A narrow valley between hills or mountains,
typically with steep rocky walls and a stream running through it.
Synonyms – ravine, canyon, gully, pass, defile, couloir,
deep narrow valley