GS Paper I- Indian Heritage and Culture.
Avani Chaturvedi Becomes First Indian Woman To Fly Fighter Aircraft Solo.
- Flight Officer Avani Chaturvedi scripted history on 19th February, 2018 when she became the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft, the MiG-21 Bison. She undertook the sortie from the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Jamnagar base in Gujarat, the IAF confirmed on 21st February.
- A solo sortie is the first milestone for any fighter pilot. Chaturvedi, 27, was one of the first women — alongside Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh — to be commissioned as flying officers in the fighter stream in June 2016.
Highlights Of The Development-
- She completed the sortie in in the Russian origin jet in half an hour. This is a major milestone in training of a fighter pilot and the first time that an Indian woman has flown a fighter aircraft solo.
- Born in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna, Chaturvedi completed her schooling from Adarsh Higher Secondary School at Deoland, close to Rewaa. She then graduated in BTech Computer Science from Banasthali University in Jaipur.
- Inspired by her brother and uncle, who are both in the army, Chaturvedi cleared the IAF exam after college. She completed her training at Hyderabad Air Force Academy.
- Chaturvedi, posted to Number 23 Squadron (Panthers), underwent intense training for her first solo flight. Till last week, she trained in twin-seater jets, accompanied by qualified flying instructors of the IAF.
- She completed basic flying training on a Pilatus aircraft and then underwent six months of training on Kiran fighter jets at Hakimpet. This was followed by a year-long training on Hawk advanced trainer jets at the Bidar Air Force, the report added.
- The three women were commissioned as flying officers in July 2016, less than a year after the government decided to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis. The remaining two flying officers will make their solo flights soon too.
- The IAF has already selected the next batch of three women trainee pilots for the fighter stream.
GS Paper II- Governance.
Kerala’s New Health Policy Makes Vaccination Card Mandatory For School Admission;
Special Clinics Have Been Proposed For Transgenders In Taluk And District-Level hospitals.
- In its new health policy, the Kerala government has proposed to make vaccination cards mandatory for children seeking admission in first standard. The Pinarayi Vijayan Cabinet on 20th February, 2018 approved the draft health policy that was announced by Health Minister KK Shylaja.
- The decision to make vaccination cards mandatory for school admission comes after vaccination programmes were faced with resistance from different quarters in Kerala with the most recent being the struggle to implement the Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination programme in some districts, including Malappuram.
Highlights Of The Development-
- The health policy also states that strict legal action will be taken against those trying to discourage parents from getting their children vaccinated.
- In another significant initiative, special clinics have been proposed for transgenders in taluk and district-level hospitals. There is also a proposal to include sex reassignment surgery for transgenders in the state health insurance scheme.
- Shylaja said that though maternal mortality rate in the state is less compared to other states, the number still needs to go down and his government is making efforts to bring it down.
- She added that a survey will be conducted in areas where maternal mortality is still more to find out the reasons and take corrective measures.
- Also, standard treatment guidelines will be made mandatory for doctors at government hospitals and these will be applicable in private hospitals as well.
- The new health policy further proposes a comprehensive trauma care facility at every 10 kilometre by co-ordinating the services of government, private and cooperative hospitals.
- The government plans to improve facilities at trauma care units apart from training locals on trauma care and telling them “how to handle situations after an accident and how to provide first aid”.
- In another announcement, the policy proposes a bifurcation of the state health department. In place of the existing Director of Health Services, the new policy plans to have separate directors for clinical services and public health while the Director of Medical Education remains.
GS Paper III- Security.
Indian Navy Successfully Test Fires Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile ‘Dhanush’ From Sea.
- Continuing its user training exercise, the Indian armed forces on 23rd February, 2018 successfully test fired nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Dhanush in full operational configuration from a naval warship positioned in the Bay of Bengal.
- The trial was conducted at about 10.52 am by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Navy from an undisclosed location nearly 45 km from the Paradip coast.
- This was the third test of a Prithvi variant of missile this month and second in the last three days. On 21st Feb, the SFC of Indian Army had successfully conducted first night trial of Prithvi-II ballistic missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast.
Highlights Of The Development-
- The test was aimed at checking the performance of manoeuvring stealth warheads besides gauging the efficiency and killing probability of the missile in a real-time situation. The missile achieved close to zero circular error probability (CEP) accuracy.
- A defence official said the mission Dhanush was excellent as it met all the parameters as expected. The missile was test fired from a naval warship while another warship provided all logistic supports for the test. It was a textbook launch and fantastic mission accomplished, he said.
- Dhanush, the indigenously developed naval version of the ‘Prithvi’ short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) has a striking range up to 350 km and can neutralise both land-based and sea-based targets. It can carry a single warhead, conventional or nuclear up to 500 kg.
- The entire flight path of the missile was smooth in accordance with pre-decided coordinates. The mission parameters like elevation, trajectory, azimuth, flight path and stage separation were rightly validated.
- Developed by the DRDO under its ambitious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), the missile is about 8.53 metres in length and 0.9 metre in diameter besides its launch weight about 4.4 tonnes. This single stage missile uses liquid propellant and can be used as an anti-ship weapon as well as for destroying land targets depending on the range.
- The missile maintained its intended trajectory before plunging down the sea. The test launch was tracked from its take-off to impact point through an integrated network of sophisticated radars and electro-optic instruments for data analysis. The entire mission sequencing events occurred as expected.
- Dhanush is under production after it successfully completed several developmental and user trials. It has already been inducted into the Armed Forces. Prior to the test, a Notam was issued to aviators and mariners to keep away from the area of splashdown.
Sources- The New Indian Express.