Paper 5-GS-IV, Topic: Investment models. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievement of Indians in science & technology

 Navy test-ires land attack variant of BrahMos missile

Important points:

  • The Indian Navy began inducting the first version of BrahMos Missile System in all of its frontline warships from 2005. BrahMos can be launched in single or in a salvo from ship towards single or different types of targets within an interval of 2-2.5 seconds in various trajectories.
  • The Indian Navy on Friday successfully carried out the maiden test-firing of the land attack variant of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a stealth frigate in the Bay of Bengal.

Highlights:

  • Navy has inducted only the anti-ship variant in many of the frontline vessels.
  • The missiles will also equip the three 7000-ton Kolkata class destroyers currently under construction at the Mazagon Docks Ltd, Mumbai.
  • This variant of Long Range BrahMos Missile was fired from Indian Naval Ship Teg, a guided missile frigate, on a target on land.
  •  The land attack variant provides the naval ships the capability “to precisely neutralise selected targets deep inland, far away from coast, from stand-off ranges at sea.”
  • Majority of the frontline ships of the Navy, like the Kolkata, Ranvir and Teg classes of ships, are capable of firing this missile.
  • The present range of the BrahMos is 290 km, which is now in the process of being extended up to 450 km following India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime last year.
  • BrahMos, derived from Russian P-800 Oniks or Yakhont missile, is a joint product of India and Russia.

Source: Times of India

Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

India, South Korea ink pacts on artillery guns

To be noted:

  • India and South Korea on Friday signed two agreements to build artillery guns for the Indian Army and for collaboration in shipbuilding.
  • The Inter-governmental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for defence industry co-operation in shipbuilding was signed
  • India has already nominated Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Visakhapatnam while South Korea will designate their shipyard soon. The MoU was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between both sides, Defence Ministry.
  • The MoU will come into effect from the date of signature by both sides and will be initially valid for a period of five years and would be automatically extended for further successive five year at a time.

Terms and conditions:

  • The two sides will identify specific projects to work on and this cooperation is expected to enable HSL to upgrade and modernise its facilities.
  • Indian engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Hanwa Techwin of South Korea signed a contract on Friday to manufacture the K9 Vajra-T tracked, self-propelled artillery guns for the Indian Army.
  • The first of the guns should be delivered within this financial year. Deliveries would be completed in 42 months.

Source: The Hindu

Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 Why force people to get Aadhaar, SC asks Center 

Important to know:

  • The Supreme Court on Friday questioned the Centre’s logic to make Aadhaar card mandatory for filing income tax returns, asking whether this would act as a remedy to end the generation of fake Permanent Account Number (PAN) and ration cards.
  • The court was hearing petitions challenging the constitutionality of Section 139AA inserted in the Income Tax Act by the Finance Act, 2017.
  • The provision makes Aadhaar mandatory for getting a PAN. Possession of Aadhaar card is necessary for the continuing validity of an existing PAN and for filing returns under the income tax law.

Court orders:

  • The Bench observed that the Supreme Court had asked the government to make Aadhaar optional until the very validity of the Aadhaar scheme on the basis of right to privacy was decided by the court.

  • The court was referring to the October 15, 2015 order of a Constitution Bench saying that the Aadhaar card scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other.
  • To this, the law officer submitted that the October 15 Constitution Bench order had referred to the voluntary use of Aadhaar in welfare schemes and not in non-welfare activities like filing returns.

In Favor of aadhaar:

  • The Supreme Court itself had agreed to making Aadhaar mandatory in certain fields to protect identity and national security.
  • Supreme Court had recently ordered that Aadhaar should be made mandatory to procure SIM cards.
  • The argument presented was, that fake PAN and ration cards have flooded the market and jinxed financial transactions.
  • The government was referring to The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act of 2016.
  • The enactment of this Act as a Money Bill is itself under challenge in the Supreme Court on a petition.

Source: Hindustan Times