For all Defence aspirants preparing for NDA/CDS/AFCAT Current Affairs Part -1
India re-elected as Member of International Maritime Council
International Maritime Council India has been re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under Category ‘B’ at 29th session of the IMO Assembly held in London. India’s membership of the IMO Assembly supports India’s status as one of the countries with the largest interest in international seaborne trade. Presently, India ranks amongst the top 20 shipping countries of the world in terms of Gross Tonnage capacity (GT) as well as Deadweight capacity. About International Maritime Organization (IMO) IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping. Established: 1948 in Geneva and came into force in 1959. Headquarter: London, United Kingdom. Member Countries: IMO has 171 member states and 3 associate members. India was one of the earliest members of the IMO and had joined it as a member-state in 1959. Functions: To develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit. This framework should address various areas like safety, legal matters, environmental concerns, technical co-operation, maritime security and efficiency of shipping. IMO Council: Consist of 40 member countries who are elected by the IMO Assembly. It plays a crucial role in deciding various matters related to global shipping industry.
Saudi Arabia for 1st time allows women to vote in local elections
\Vote Saudi Arabia has allowed women to vote and become candidates in local elections for the first time in the history of male dominated country. In this regard, Saudi authorities allowed 979 women among the 6,917 registered candidates to campaign for 284 municipal councils as per the royal decree issued in 2011. Earlier Saudi Arabia had held municipal elections in 2005 and 2011 in the transitional phase undertaken monarchy but only men were allowed to take part. Thus by allowing participation of women in the municipal elections Saudi Arabian government apparently is showing other countries that social participation of its women is expanding. Presently, women make up one fourth of the country’s Shura Council which is an unelected body appointed by the king to propose laws for government but cannot pass them.
Women Related Issues Russia imposes economic sanctions against Turkey
Vladimir Putin Russia has imposed economic sanctions against Turkey, a NATO member over the issue of downing of a Russian Sukhoi 24 warplane on the Syrian border. In this regard, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree adopting a series of retaliatory economic measures against Turkey with an effect from 1st January 2016. Russian economic sanctions covers Ban on imports from Turkey, work of Turkish companies in Russia and any Turkish nationals working for Russian companies. End to charter flights between the countries and urges Russian tour operators to refrain from selling tourist packages to Turkey. Background NATO member Turkey on 24th November 2015 had shot down Russian Sukhoi 24 (Su-24) warplane escalating crisis in bilateral relations of both countries. Turkey has claimed that the Russian jet was shot down after it had crossed into its airspace and ignored several warnings to change course. However, Russia has furiously denied the claims and demanded an apology and economic compensation from Turkey.
Interceptor boat ICGS C-422 commissioned into Indian Coast Guard service
ndian Coast Guard has commissioned interceptor boat ‘ICGS C-422’ into its fleet to further enhance its vigil along Pondicherry and South Tamil Nadu coast in the Bay of Bengal. It was commissioned in a traditional ceremony held at Karaikal port in Tamil Nadu by Puducherry Assembly Speaker V Sabapathy. About ICGS C-422 ICGS C-422 is the 36th interceptor boat to be inducted into the Coast Guard service. The boat is capable of multiple tasks including interdiction, surveillance and search and rescue. It has been fitted with state-of-the-art communication, navigational equipment along with adequate fire power. Presently, Indian Coast Guard has two fast patrol vessels ICGS Rani Durgavati and ICGS Ameya along with two interceptor boats C-428 and C-415 stationed at Karaikal port.
Great Britain wins 2015 Davis Cup of Tennis
Davis Cup Andy Murray led Great Britain have won the 2015 Davis Cup for first time since 1936 and for the 10th time in the competition’s 115-year history. Great Britain tennis team defeated Belgium team by 3-1 score in the finals to win the 104th edition of the competition. Davis Cup 2015 results Round 1: David Goffin of Belgium defeated Kyle Edmund of Great Britain by 6-3, 6-1, 2-6, 1-6, 0-6 score. Round 2: Andy Murray of Great Britain defeated Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium by 6-3, 6-2 and 7-5 score. Round 3: Andy Murray and Jamie Murray pair of Great Britain defeated Steve Darcis and David Goffin pair of Belgium by 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 and 6-2 score. Round 4: Andy Murray of Great Britain defeated David Goffin of Belgium by 6-3, 7-5 and 6-3 score. Following the Davis Cup 2015 results, the top three teams are: Czech Republic (28231.25 points), Switzerland (21518.75) and Great Britain (15196.56). About Davis Cup The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men’s tennis organised by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). It was established in 1900 as a tennis challenge between Great Britain and the United States. Since then, it is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a knock-out format. United States has won the tournament for record 32 times. The women’s equivalent of the Davis Cup is the Fed Cup. Australia, US and Czech Republic are the only three countries that have won both Davis Cup and Fed Cup titles in the same year.
PV Sindhu wins 2015 Macau Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton tournament
Ace Indian shuttler Pusarla Venkata Sindhu has won the $120,000 2015 Macau Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton tournament in the women’s single category. In the title clash of the tournament, Sindhu (World No. 12) defeated Minatsu Mitani (World No. 6) of Japan by 21-9, 21-23, 21-14 score. With this victory, she has won this title for the third consecutive time after she had won it in 2013 and 2014. Overall this was PV Sindhu’s fifth title of in her career and first title of the 2015 season. Her other four individual titles are Indonesia International (2011), Malaysia Masters (2013) and Macau Open for consecutive two times in 2013 and 2014.
Nico Rosberg wins 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title of F1
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg from Germany has won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title of Formula One (F1) held at Yas Marina Circuit. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title race was the nineteenth and final round of the 2015 season of Formula One. It was Rosberg’s overall fourteenth championship title of F1 in his career and the sixth win in the 2015 season after Spain, Monaco, Australian, Mexican and Brazilian Grand Prix. Result of 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix First Position: Nico Rosberg (Germany) of Mercedes team. Second Position: Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) of Mercedes team. Third Position: Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) of Ferrari team. Fourth Position: Sebastian Vettel (Germany) of Ferrari team. Fifth Position: Sergio Perez (Mexico) of Force India team. Seventh Position: Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) of Force India team. Top 3 teams are: Mercedes, Ferrari and Force India. It should be noted that Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is formally known as Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, Kenyan Cynthia Limo win 2015 Delhi Half Marathon
Birhanu Legese from Ethiopia and Cynthia Limo from Kenya have won the 2015 Delhi Half Marathon in men’s and women’s categories respectively. In this eighth edition of marathon around 34,000 athletes and amateur runners from different parts of the world had participated. Men’s category winners Birhanu Legese claimed the first spot by finishing race in 59:20 minutes and was followed Mosinet Geremew (Ethopia) and Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) at second and third spots respectively. Women’s category winners Cynthia Limo claimed the first spot by finishing race in 1:08:35 hour and was followed by Helah Kiprop (Kenya) and Gladys Chesir (Kenya) at second and third spots respectively. Among the Indian runners Nitendra Singh Rawat and Lalita Babar topped in the men’s and women’s category. In men’s category, Nitendra Singh Rawat finished the race in 1:04:41 and was followed by Gopi T and Mohd Yunus at second and third spots respectively. In women’s category, Lalita Babar finished the race in 1:10:52 and was followed by O P Jaisha and Sudha Singh at second and third spots respectively.
India-Israel co-developed LRSAM missile successfully tested
Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) co-developed by India and Israel was successfully test-fired for the first time from an Israeli Naval Platform. Test: The trial test was undertaken by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in the presence of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists. During the test the missile achieved the desired goal by hitting the incoming target. About Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) LRSAM is also called Barak 8 missile in Israel which in Hebrew language means Lightning. Barak 8 is an advanced, long-range missile defence and air defence system. Its main features are long range, active radar seeker missile, vertical launch and multiple simultaneous engagements. For the LRSAM, DRDO has developed dual pulse propulsion system along with other safety arm mechanisms for Solid Propulsion system. The LRSAM programme consists of Missiles, Weapon Control System, MFSTAR (Radar), Vertical Launcher unit and two- way data link. It is capable to counter a wide variety of air-borne threats such as anti-ship missiles, aircraft, UAVs and drones as well as supersonic cruise missiles. Comment The successful test marks a milestone in bilateral cooperation of the two countries in developing advanced weapon systems. It is also considered as the major milestone in proving the missile system is compatible with the Ship Borne Tracking Equipments (SBTE).
Patricia Scotland Commonwealth’s new Secretary General
Dominica-born British lawyer Patricia Scotland (60) has been elected as the new Secretary General of the Commonwealth. With this, she becomes its first woman and also first British citizen to be elected secretary‑general of the 53-member bloc’s history. She will succeed Kamalesh Sharma from India and enter into the office on 1 April 2016 for four-year term i.e. till 2020. About Patricia Scotland Patricia Scotland is prominent lawyer and for first time she became a member of House of Lords (Upper House) of the British parliament in 1997. Earlier, she had served as Attorney General (AG) for England and Wales and Northern Ireland from 2007 to 2010. She was UK Minister of State (Home Office) from 2003-2007 and UK Parliamentary Secretary (Lord Chancellor’s Department) form 2001-2003. She also had served as UK Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1999 to 2001. About Commonwealth Secretary-General The Commonwealth Secretary-General is the head of the Commonwealth Secretariat which is the central body that has served the Commonwealth of Nations. Secretary-General can now serve a maximum of two four-year terms and its duties involve representing the organisation globally and also promote its values and principles maily democratic standards and development. Commonwealth Secretariat was established in 1965 and responsible for representing the Commonwealth publicly. Its headquarter is at Marlborough House in London.
Nuclear capable Agni-I missile successfully test-fired
Indigenously developed nuclear capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-I was successfully test-fired from Dr Abdul Kalam Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast. The user trial of the strategic missile was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian Army. About Agni I Missile Agni-I is the first missile of the Agni series launched in 1983 by the DRDO as part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) in India. Powered by both solid and liquid propellants and can be fired from road and rail mobile launchers. Features: weighs around 12 tonnes and is 15-metre-long. Designed to carry both conventional and nuclear payload of about 1000 kg. Can travel at a speed of 2.5 km/s and can destroy targets nearly 700 km away. Equipped with sophisticated navigation system which helps to navigate missile to hit the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision. The Agni I missile already has been inducted into armed forces and claimed to be a part of the India’s minimum credible deterrence under No first to use policy.
ASW Corvette Kadmatt handed over to Indian Navy by GRSE
The second Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvette INS Kadmatt has been formally handed over to Indian Navy at Kolkata, West Bengal. It has been built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) and would be inducted into the Eastern Fleet shortly. About ASW Corvette Kadmatt INS Kadmatt is super-sophisticated frontline warship. It is 109 metres long with a displacement of 3200 tonnes. The basic design of the ship was developed by Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND) while the detailed design was made GRSE’s in-house design department. Maximum speed: 25 Knots with an endurance of over 3,400 NM at 18 knots speed. Ship crew: Designed to accommodate 17 officers and 106 sailors. Advance Technology: Equipped with total atmospheric control ventilation system which makes warship fully capable to fight in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare environments. Ship’s main role: Protect nation’s maritime interests against possible submarine attack. Provide potent platform for neutralising the enemy submarines using deployed weapons like torpedoes, rocket launchers and helicopter. GRSE is tasked to build 4 ASW Corvette class ships for Indian Navy under the strategic P-28 Project. INS Kamorta was the first in this class to be handed over to the Indian navy in 2014.
Nuclear capable Prithvi II missile successfully test fired
Indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile was successfully test-fired by the Indian Army. The missile test was carried out by Strategic Force Command (SFC) from a mobile launcher at launch complex-3 from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha. About Prithvi-II Missile Prithvi-II is a tactical short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) developed by indigenously by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It has been developed under Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) and currently deployed by India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC). The missile is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads. It has been designed to operate with both liquid and solid fuel twine engines and has strike range of 350 km. It has the ability to dodge enemy missiles and uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target. The missile was inducted into Indian armed forces in 2003.
Union Government clears over Rs 3000 crore infrastructure investment for 102 AMRUT cities
Union Urban Development Ministry has approved an investment of over Rs 3000 crore for boosting urban infrastructure in 102 cities across five states. Decision in this regard was taken by Inter-Ministerial Apex Committee chaired by Urban Development Secretary Madhusudhan Prasad. Key facts The infrastructure investment under Action Plans for 2015-16 was approved under the flagship Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Scheme. The five states are: Haryana, Chattisgarh, Telangana, Kerala and West Bengal. These funds under Action Plans for 2015-16 would be used to enhance water supply, sewerage network and availability of public spaces in these selected 102 cities State wise annual action plan: Haryana as 18 AMRUT cities and approved investment is Rs 438 crore; for Chattisgarh for Chattisgarh is Rs 573 crore. Besides Rs. 416 crore rupees for Telangana and Rs 588 crore for Kerala. The highest allocations of Rs.1,105 crore has been made to West Bengal. AMRUT Scheme: It is an urban transformation scheme with the focus of the urban renewal projects to establish infrastructure that could ensure adequate robust sewerage networks and water supply.
Antonio Costa named as Prime Minister of Portugal
Atonio Costa, the leader of Portugal’s Socialist Party was named Prime Minister of Portugal. He was appointed as PM by President Anibal Cavaco Silva and has tasked him to form a new government due to political instability caused by an inconclusive 2015 general election results. With this, for the first time in history of Portugal Socialist government came to power with the support of Communists parties after dictatorship was overthrown in 1974. Background After Portugal’s 2015 general election, moderate Socialist Party in coalition with the Communist Party and Left Bloc was able to secure a 122-seat majority in the 230-seat parliament. This coalition had forced then ruling centre-right coalition government led by Pedro Passos Coelho to resign as the election mandate did give a clear majority to any Party. About Antonio Costa Atonio Costa was born on 17 July 1961 in Lisbon, Portugal. By profession he is lawyer. He traces his paternal roots to Goa (India) and is son of Orlando Costa, an accomplished poet and writer. His grandfather, Luis Afonso Maria da Costa hailed from Goa. Earlier, he had held several positions in previous governments and in the European Union (EU) including Minister of Parliamentary Affairs (1997-1999), Minister of Justice (1999-2002) and Minister of State and Internal Administration (2005-2007). In 2004 he was elected as one of the 14 Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament and also had served on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. He was Mayor of Lisbon City from 2007 to 2015. He was elected as Secretary-General of the Socialist Party in September 2014. Interesting Fact: Portugal was the first western country to colonise some parts of India in the early sixteenth century and the last to leave in 1961.
Delhi Assembly passes Delhi Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services Amendment Bill, 2015
Delhi Assembly Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill, 2015 aimed at providing citizens with time bound delivery of Government services. The bill amends Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Act, 2011. Key provisions of Amendment Bill Seeks to make the life of common man hassle free by providing services in a time bound manner. Ensure mandatory and automatic compensation for citizens if government services are not provided to them in time. Mandatory for each government department, local body and public authority will issue a ‘Citizen’s Charter’. They would set out in detail the time stipulated for provision of citizen-related services and the officer responsible for providing it. Imposes penalty on officials for delay in providing services.
Australia, New Zealand create history by playing first day-night Test
Australia and New Zealand have created history by playing first day-night Test match at the Adelaide Oval Cricket Stadium with a pink Kookaburra ball. The first day-night test match was the third match of the series between Australia and New Zealand played for 2015 Trans-Tasman Trophy. This Test match numbered 2188 has a five-day limit and six-ball overs bowled with bright pink Kookaburra ball to ensure proper visibility in floodlights. This match is being played as per recommendations of the MCC World Cricket Committee to keep the test cricket alive. Background: The idea of playing day-night test matches par with One Day Internationals (ODIs) was mooted by Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland. It was approved by International Cricket Council (ICC), an apex body for regulating cricket in July 2015.