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‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Various Security forces & their mandate – More Akash systems for Army

Defence Acquisition Council bats for indigenously developed missiles

    What is important to know:

  • The Defence Ministry has decided to cancel the Army’s global contest for shortrange surface-to-air missile (SR-SAM) systems and instead procure two additional regiments of the indigenously developed Akash missile systems.
  • The decision was taken at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley two weeks ago.

        Induction in 2018:

  • The Army is expected to begin inducting the systems by December 2018. “The DAC has cancelled the global buy of two regiments of SR-SAM.
  • The case continued for five to six years and trials of certain equipment were conducted. The DAC has now decided to go in with additional Akash systems,” a defence source said on Monday. The Army has a requirement for four regiments of SR-SAMs.
  • It had earlier ordered two Akash regiments and formally began inducting them in May 2015.
  • Two more regiments were meant to be procured by a global tender for which competition was under way between three or four global firms.
  • Of the Akash systems, the first regiment has been inducted and operational and induction of the second regiment will be completed in the next 2-3 months.

   Source: Defence News

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Important International Defense policies & their effects – N. Korea fires Scud missile into sea

Japan lodges a protest after the missile appeared to have landed in its exclusive economic zone

    Brief:

  • North Korea fired at least one short-range ballistic missile that landed in the sea off its east coast, the latest in a fast-paced series of missile tests defying world pressure and threats of more sanctions.
  • The missile was believed to be a Scud-class ballistic missile and flew about 450 km, South Korean officials said. North Korea has a large stockpile of the short-range missiles, originally developed by the Soviet Union.
  • Launch was followed two successful tests of medium-to-long-range missiles in as many weeks by the North, which has been conducting such tests at an unprecedented pace in an effort to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the mainland United States.

   U.S. aggression:

  • The missile reached an altitude of 120 km, Mr. Roh said. “The assessment is there was at least one missile but we are analysing the number of missiles.
  • North Korea, which has conducted dozens of missile tests and tested two nuclear bombs since the beginning of 2016 in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, says the programme is necessary to counter U.S. aggression.
  • The White House said President Donald Trump had been briefed about the launch. The U.S. Pacific Command said it tracked what appeared to be a shortrange ballistic missile for six minutes and assessed it did not pose a threat to North America.
  • The United States has said it was looking at discussing with China a new U.N. Security Council resolution and that Beijing, North Korea’s main diplomatic ally and neighbour, realises time was limited to rein in its weapons programme through negotiations.

    Bleak scenario:

  • S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, asked what a military conflict with North Korea might look like if diplomacy failed. Russia condemned the launch and also called for restraint, “including towards military activity.
  • Japan lodged a protest against the test missile, which appeared to have landed in its exclusive economic zone. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed action along with other nations to deter Pyongyang’s repeated provocations.

   Source: The Hindu

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Indian Economy & issues related to it – ‘Note ban’s social impact not gauged fully’

More data, especially on labour, needed to evaluate policy outcome: World Bank

Workers in the informal sector would have been affected the most, says the bank

    What is important to know:

  • The World Bank said the social impact of demonetisation may have been greater as the informal economy was likely to have been hit especially hard.
  • However, the impact of demonetisation on the informal economy was difficult to measure and greater data availability, especially on labour markets, was needed to better gauge the social impact of such policies, it said.

   Statistical issues:

  • In its India Development Update released on Monday, the bank said there were “statistical issues that mask some of the impact of demonetisation on measured economic growth in Q3 (third quarter of 2016-2017).”
  • The Centre had on November 8, “demonetised” or withdrawn legal tender status to ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes, corresponding to 86% of the currency in circulation by value.
  • Noting that demonetisation caused an immediate cash crunch affecting activity in cash-reliant sectors, the bank said India’s GDP growth slowed to 7% during the third quarter of 2016-17 from 7.3% in the first quarter.
  • As a result, a modest slowdown was expected in GDP growth in 2016-17 to 6.8%. According to the update, growth is expected to recover in 2017-18 to 7.2% and is projected to gradually increase to 7.7% in 2019-20.
  • Though the informal economy may account for only 40% of (India’s) GDP, it employs 90% of workers, and the disproportionate impact of demonetisation on the informal sector suggests it would have affected those workers the most.
  • However, in the longterm, demonetisation has the potential to accelerate formalisation of the economy.
  • Frederico Gil Sander, senior country economist and the update’s main author, said: “Private investment growth continues to face several impediments in the form of excess capacity, regulatory and policy challenges, and corporate debt overhang.
  • However, the recent push to increase infrastructure spending and to accelerate structural reforms will eventually drive a sustained rebound of private investments.

    Source: Business Standard