GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

Angela Merkel Clings To Top Spot In Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women List.

Background-

  • Her stature may have taken a hit after the recent German elections, in which she won a fourth term as chancellor with diminished authority, but Angela Merkel remains the most powerful woman in the world, according to Forbes.
  • Merkel has topped the Forbes list of the 100 most powerful women for the seventh consecutive year, and for the 12th time in total.
  • The British prime minister, Theresa May, is in second place, despite a difficult year in which her party’s parliamentary majority was much reduced after her decision to hold a general election in June, 2017.

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • May is followed by the philanthropist Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, and Mary Barra, the chief executive of General Motors.
  • The names on the list are drawn from seven “power bases” – billionaires, business, finance, media, politics, philanthropists/NGOs and technology. Together, the women directly influence more than 3 billion people, according to Moira Forbes, executive vice-president of Forbes Media.
  • Almost half the women on the list are American. The UK has eight representatives, while the rest of Europe has 13.
  • The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, is ranked at 61st position. Other Britons include Nicola Sturgeon (42), Queen Elizabeth II (26), JK Rowling (88), Eliza Manningham-Buller (89), Emma Walmsley (29) and Zanny Minton Beddoes (72).
  • New entries include Ivanka Trump (19), the daughter and adviser of Donald Trump, Nikki Haley (43), the US ambassador to the UN, and the actor Priyanka Chopra (97), also a Unicef goodwill ambassador.
  • The former first lady Michelle Obama has dropped off the list since she left the White House last year. Hillary Clinton, who has appeared every year since the list’s inception in 2004, fell 63 places, from second in 2016 to 65th in 2017.

Sources- The Guardian.

GS Paper II- Governance.

BRO Builds World’s Highest Motorable Road In Ladakh.

Background

  • In a major feat, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed the world’s highest motorable road in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, passing through Umlingla Top at a height of over 19,300 feet.
  • The feat was achieved under ‘Project Himank’ of the organisation.
  • Being close to Hanle, the 86km long strategic road connects Chisumle and Demchok villages, located 230 km from Leh. These villages are stone’s throw away from the India-China border in eastern sector, a spokesman of BRO said.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Felicitating the BRO personnel for completing the herculean task, chief engineer, Project Himank, Brigadier DM Purvimath, said constructing the road at the altitude of over 19,300 feet was filled with life-threatening challenges.
  • He said the climate at the location is always adverse for construction activities.
  • During peak summers, temperature hovers around minus 10-20 degrees Celsius, and in winters, it dips to minus 40 degrees. Oxygen level at the altitude is 50 per cent less than at normal places, Purvimath said.
  • The brigadier said logistics was another major challenge at such an altitude.
  • Purvimath said because of this gradation, the personnel faced serious health problems like loss of memory, eyesight and high blood pressure.
  • Pardeep Raj, Commander 753 BRTF, who looks after road construction of this sector, said the BRO personnel were acclimatised through a tedious process and lot of training before being assigned the job.
  • The Project Himank has already constructed roads like Khardangu La at an altitude of 17,900 ft and Changla Pass at 17,695 ft in Leh by connecting Nobra valley and Durbuk valley in the cold desert.

Sources- TOI.

 

GS Paper III- Security.

IAF, DRDO Successfully Test Indigenous ‘Glide’ Bomb, To Be Inducted Soon.

Background

  • The government said on 3rd November, 2017 that an indigenously developed light weight ‘Glide’ bomb has been successfully tested in Chandipur in Odisha, marking a major milestone in developing such weapons.
  • The bomb — SAAW (Smart Anti Airfield Weapon) — was dropped from an Indian Air Force aircraft at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur on 2nd November, 2017.
  • The guided bomb released from the aircraft and guided through precision navigation system, reached the targets at greater than 70 km range, with high accuracies.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The defence ministry said in a statement that a total of three tests with “different release conditions” and ranges were conducted and were all successful.
  • The guided bomb is developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), along with other laboratories of the DRDO and the Indian Air Force.
  • Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated the DRDO scientists and IAF for the successful tests.
  • Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and chairman DRDO, S Christopher, congratulated the team and said SAAW will be inducted soon into the armed forces.
  • Director General Missiles and Strategic System of DRDO G Satheesh Reddy termed the test a major milestone in the indigenous capabilities to develop guided bombs.

Sources- Hindustantimes.