‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Development of Infrastructure in Energy – India, Russia ink nuclear plant pact

Vision document strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and asserts willingness to fight menace

India to join SCO within a week: Putin


  • India and Russia have signed the much-awaited agreement on setting up two more units of a nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu and decided to give a “new direction” to the defence cooperation between the two “great powers”.
  • The two countries also decided to hold the first tri-Services exercises, named ‘Indra-2017,’ this year and start joint manufacture of frigates, adding to the co-production of Kamov-226 military helicopters.
  • These decisions were taken at the wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin here, which covered issues like terrorism and increasing trade and investment.

   Mutual trust:

  • Addressing the media jointly with Mr. Putin after the talks, Mr. Modi said the relations between the two nations had been unwavering, based on “mutual love, respect and strong trust.”
  • From culture to security, our relations have been at par. We speak in one language,” he said. In a vision document, the two countries called for an end to crossborder movement of terrorists, and asserted that a decisive collective response from the international community without “double standards and selectivity” was required to combat the threat of cross-border terrorism.
  • India will formally become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) within a week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said as he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the annual bilateral summit.
  • Putin said,“I would like to remind that process was launched in 2015 in Ufa, Russia. Russia has always supported this and given full assistance to it.”
  • Very soon, in one week, we are going to meet in Kazakhstan (for SCO)” where India’s membership will be confirmed, he told Mr. Modi.

    Source: Press Trust of India


‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Awareness in the field of Space – Third gravitational wave merger detected

Observation of the merger of two black holes in January by scientists at LIGO confirms a pattern

    What is important to know:

  • The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors in the U.S. have detected yet another merger of two black holes on January 4, 2017.
  • Named GW170104, this signal marks the third confirmed detection of gravitational waves coming from a binary black hole merger. It is of great interest to the scientific community that the black holes, having masses nearly 31 times and 19 times the sun’s mass.
  • Until the first detection of gravitational waves by LIGO in 2015 (GW150914) it was not known that such massive black holes could exist.
  • The Indian space-based ASTROSAT mission did a related sensitive search for short duration x-ray flashes associated with the event and did not detect any. These results will be published soon by the scientists from ASTROSAT.
  • Meanwhile, at LIGO, this time around, the detection has revealed not merely a black-hole merger but also the alignment of the spins of the black holes. This can shed light on the way the black holes might have formed.
  • In this event, the spins of the individual black holes making up the merger are probably not aligned along the same direction. This supports the theory which says that black holes form independently in a star cluster, then sink to the centre of the cluster and eventually merge. Simultaneously, the detection does not favour the competing theory according to which binary black holes form in pairs even at the start and eventually merge. The latter theory prefers that the pair of black holes will both necessarily have aligned spins.

   Einstein proved right:

  • The observation also supports Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. According to this theory, gravitational waves, unlike light waves, will not disperse as they travel through space.
  • This, too, has been confirmed by the analysis of the latest signal. One drawback of having just the two detectors at Hanford and Livingstone tuned to detect gravitational waves is that they cannot accurately figure out where in the sky the signal is coming from. Just as in the case of a GPS, they need at least three non-collinear detectors to do this. The Italy-based VIRGO detector is almost in place and will join in to collect data later this year, a spokesperson for VIRGO said, at a tele conference organized by LIGO collaboration.
  • The study had a major Indian contribution and the LIGO India facility which is making immense progress will join the club in 2024.

    Source: The Hindu

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Indian Economy & issues relating to mobilization of resources – SREI Infra Finance to ink $500 million joint venture with Russian state lender

Deal to be signed this week is to finance exports of heavy machinery to India

    What you need to know:

  • India’s SREI Infrastructure Finance hopes to sign a $500 million joint venture this week with Russian state lender VEB to finance exports of equipment to India.
  • Economic forum Mr. Kanoria was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg economic forum, where Russian and foreign businessmen gather every year in June.
  • We are looking at a joint venture with VEB which will be trying to support equipment exports from Russia into India.
  • This would be heavy equipment going into the mining, construction and other industry in India,” Mr. Kanoria said, adding that the machinery could be leased or purchased in India.
  • We are looking at half a billion dollars to do a memorandum of understanding with them.”
  • Asked if the venture could be announced at the St. Petersburg forum, Mr. Kanoria said: “Yes.” Infrastructure fund He said that SREI had also mooted creating a joint infrastructure fund together with the state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), but progress had been slow so far.
  • SREI’s projects in Russia have stalled since Western sanctions were imposed on Moscow after its 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, forcing partners in its Russian venture to pull back.
  • These include the European Bank for Reconstruction (EBRD) and Development and Germany’s DEG.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attending this year’s St. Petersburg forum and also holding a bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Back home, Srei informed the bourses that its group company Bharat Road Network Ltd (BRNL) has received an observation letter from market regulator Sebi with regard to the draft red herring prospectus filed by the company.
  • “The proposed IPO of BRNL will be open for subscription within a period of 12 months from the date of issuance of the aforesaid observation letter,” the filing said.

   Source: Business Standard