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

India Contributes $1 mn To UN Development Partnership Fund.

Background

  • India has contributed an additional $1 million to the India-UN Development Partnership Fund earmarked for South-South cooperation.
  • The contribution made on 1st February, 2018 aims to intensify its partnerships with other developing countries, the UN Office of South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) said.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • India has pledged a multi-year contribution of $100 million to the fund established in June 2017, according to the UNOSSC, and has already provided $6 million within the seven months since its launch.
  • The fund focuses on the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.
  • Managed by the UNOSSC, it has developed an impressive portfolio of projects including in climate resilience, improving maternal health, youth employment, agricultural development, and infrastructure, according to the organisation.
  • The fund is also helping with reconstruction efforts in hurricanes-affected countries.
  • Its first project is a Climate Early Warning System for Pacific Island Countries.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

Centre Sanctions Rs 1,500 Cr For Organic Farming In Uttarakhand.

Background

  • The Centre has sanctioned Rs 1,500 crore for three years to promote organic farming in Uttarakhand.
  • The amount was sanctioned by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh when Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat met him in New Delhi on 30th January, 2018.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • This is in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of developing Uttarakhand as an organic state which he spelt out during his visit to Kedarnath last year, the release said.
  • The Union minister also cleared a proposal worth Rs 2,600 crore for the co-operative sector in the state. Of which, Rs 200 crore is meant for the reorganisation of sugar mills.
  • The co-operation extended by the Centre would strengthen the co-operative sector in the state in a major way, the chief minister said.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.

GS Paper III- Security.

US Air Force Chief General David L. Goldfein Flies Tejas Aircraft.

Background

  • General David L Goldfein, Chief of Staff of US Air Force flew in India’s indigenous light combat aircraft, the Tejas, on 3rd February, 2018 morning, in a special flight that took off from the Jodhpur Air Force Station, signalling the soaring ties between the two air forces.
  • The US Air Force chief was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal AP Singh as co-pilot during the 40-minute sortie. General Goldfein is the first foreign chief commander to fly in the multi-role light fighter, which is being pitched as the replacement of the ageing MiG-21 aircraft.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The top ranking US military officer had reached India on 1st February, 2018 on an official visit to deepen relations. There is already a strong relationship between our two air forces and I’m looking forward to making it stronger, he wrote in a Facebook post shortly after being welcomed at Air Headquarters in the national capital.
  • He also referred to the IAF’s acquisition of the C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft that is capable of lifting tanks to the border with China and Pakistan. The IAF operates the second largest C-17 fleet in the world and continues to mature their fleet operation to support regional mobility needs, the US Air Force Chief said.
  • For the Tejas that is being inducted in the Air Force, it is also seen as the biggest endorsement of the fighter that has been in the making for more than three decades.
  • Ng Eng Hen, the Defence Minister of the island nation of Singapore had gone on a sortie from the Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal last November (2017).
  • Under development for more than three decades, the indigenous Tejas, earlier known as the Light Combat Aircraft or LCA is the first fighter jet to be built in India since the HF-24 Marut designed several decades earlier.
  • Severely criticised for delays in its development, the Tejas fighter has belatedly shown promise as a jet far more capable than the MiG-27 and the MiG-21, legacy fighters which the Indian Air Force is in the process of retiring.
  • In December last year (2017), the government paved the way for the manufacture of 83 indigenous Tejas Mk-1A Light Combat aircraft by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The deal is likely to be worth close to 60,000 crores and would be among the largest ever deals the government has sanctioned for the domestic arms sector, a huge boost for the government’s ‘Make in India’ defence manufacturing programme.

Sources- NDTV.