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Question and Answer :: SRIRAM'S IAS

Civil Services Exam Preparation

 Q. 241. Great Indian Bustard
Ans.
The Great Indian Bustard is a bustard found in India and the adjoining regions of Pakistan. A large bird with a horizontal body and long bare legs, giving it an ostrich like appearance, this bird is among the heaviest of the flying birds. Once common on the dry plains of the Indian subcontinent, as few as 250 individuals were estimated in 2011 to survive and the species is critically endangered by hunting and loss of its habitat, which consists of large expanses of dry grassland and scrub. These birds are often found associated in the same habitat as blackbuck. It is protected under Wildlife Protection Act 1972 of India. In India, the bird was historically found in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Today the bustard is restricted to isolated pockets in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan (shared with Pakistan).

Great Indian bustards make local movements but these are not well understood although it is known that populations disperse after the monsoons.

The habitat where it is most often found is arid and semi-arid grasslands, open country with thorn scrub, tall grass interspersed with cultivation. It avoids irrigated areas. The major areas where they are known to breed are in central and western India and eastern Pakistan. The dry semi-desert regions where it was found in parts of Rajasthan has been altered by irrigation canals that have transformed the region into an intensively farmed area.

The Rajasthan government will set up a captive breeding centre for the great Indian bustard in an attempt to boost the wild population of the country's most critically endangered bird. The task of conservation will be taken up through two facilities in Kota and Jaisalmer districts. This will be the first such facility in the country aimed at saving the bird, which is the State bird of Rajasthan. Its last remnant wild population of about 90 in Rajasthan accounts for 95% of the total world population. The captive breeding centre will come up at Sorsan in Kota district, while a hatchery will be set up at Mokhala in Jaisalmer district in the next one year. Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is its scientific arm. For the breeding centre, the comparatively moist habitat of Sorsan has been selected. The region has better rainfall, besides forest land, and it was home to the bustards until two decades ago. After the chicks are raised, they would be transported to the desert for reintroduction in the wild.
 
 
 Q. 240. HRIDAY
Ans.
National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) was launched on 21 January 2015 with the aim of bringing together urban planning, economic growth and heritage conservation in an inclusive manner to preserve the heritage character of each Heritage City. The Scheme shall support development of core heritage infrastructure projects including revitalization of linked urban infrastructure for heritage assets such as monuments, Ghats, temples etc. along with reviving certain intangible assets. These initiatives shall include development of sanitation facilities, roads, public transportation & parking, citizen services, information kiosks etc.With a duration of 4 years (completing in November 2018) and a total outlay of ₹500 crore , the Scheme is set to be implemented in 12 identified Cities namely, Ajmer, Amaravati, Amritsar, Badami, Dwarka, Gaya, Kanchipuram,Mathura, Puri, Varanasi, Velankanni and Warangal.
 
 Q. 239. Recent legislative and regulatory measures to boost investor interest
Ans. In the recent past, India has embarked upon a number of legislative and regulatory measures that are certain to create a positive impact on the investment climate prevailing in the country and capable of boosting the confidence of investors.
Some key measures include:

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016
  • The recent enactment of a comprehensive legislation relating to insolvency of corporates, firms and individuals has been a much awaited move.
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) lays down a resolution process that is time bound and undertaken by professionals.
  • It creates an institutional mechanism for insolvency resolution process for businesses operated by companies, individuals or any other entities, either by coming up with a viable survival mechanism or by ensuring their prompt liquidation.
  • Through this enactment, Parliament has codified the laws governing insolvency and bankruptcy of both corporates and individuals, which were spread over a number of legislations.
The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2016 (Draft)
  • The IBC 2016, does not provide for resolution of corporates providing financial services.
  • Recently, a draft Bill for this purpose has been recommended by a working group constituted by the Centre and it aims to establish a framework to carry out the resolution of certain categories of financial service providers in distress and to provide deposit insurance to consumers of certain categories of financial services.
  • The draft Bill not only consolidates the resolution provisions presently scattered in different statutes, but also introduces new requirements like classification of financial service providers into various categories of risk to viability, submission of resolution/restoration plans, etc. and new methods for resolution, on the lines of prevalent international practices.
  • The overall mechanism contemplated under the Bill would certainly bring in more clarity in terms of the rights of investors in the event of resolution of the investee financial service provider and is expected to improve investor confidence in the market.
SARFAESI Act and DRT Act
Slow pace of recovery of financial debts has been imposing considerable strain on the financial position of the lenders, thus raising concerns for any investor of such lenders.
Specialised laws establishing Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) and empowering secured creditors to enforce security interest without the intervention of court, have been in vogue for several years now. While, such mechanisms have definitely facilitated faster recovery, much more needs to be done.

Some of the changes made with respect to the functioning of DRTs are:
  • Stricter time lines for filing of written statement, conclusion of hearings, etc. to expedite adjudication
  • Filing of recovery application, documents and written statements in electronic form
  • Uniform procedure for conduct of proceedings
 
 Q. 238. Malegam panel proposes 24 % cap on interest rate on MFI loans
Ans.
  • Aimed at reviving the crisis- ridden micro finance sector, a Reserve Bank of India Committee suggested that micro finance institutions (MFIs) be allowed to charge a maximum interest of 24 per cent on small loans which cannot exceed Rs. 25,000.
  • The committee, headed by Reserve Bank's Central Board Director Y. H. Malegam, also pitched for creation of a separate category of non-banking financial companies (NBFC-MFI) for the micro finance sector.
  • The panel also said small loans of up to Rs. 25,000 could be given to families having an income up to Rs. 50,000 per annum. On repayment, the borrowers should be given the option of weekly or fortnightly or monthly return of the loan.
  • At least 75 per cent of loans extended by MFIs should be for income generation purposes.
  • Borrower cannot take loans from more than two MFIs.
  • The decisions taken by the State government to regulate MFIs slowed down the loan recovery process hitting the financial health of the sector. It was further aggravated by the reluctance of banks to support MFIs.
  • To deal with the problem, the RBI had relaxed provisioning norms to enable banks to continue lending to the cash-strapped MFIs.
  • About the regulations of MFIs: it should be done by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in close coordination with the RBI.
 
 Q. 237. Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
Ans. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty governing the movements of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology from one country to another. It was adopted in 2000 as a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity and entered into force in 2003.

What are Living modified organisms (LMOs)?
The protocol defines a 'living modified organism' as any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology, and 'living organism' means any biological entity capable of transferring or replicating genetic material, including sterile organisms, viruses and viroids.
'Modern biotechnology': is defined in the Protocol to mean the application of in vitro nucleic acid techniques, or fusion of cells beyond the taxonomic family, that overcome natural physiological reproductive or recombination barriers and are not techniques used in traditional breeding and selection. 
'Living modified organism (LMO) Products': are defined as processed material that are of living modified organism origin, containing detectable novel combinations of replicable genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology (for instance, flour from GM maize).
'Living modified organism intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing (LMO-FFP)': are agricultural commodities from GM crops. Overall the term 'living modified organisms' is equivalent to genetically modified organism – the Protocol did not make any distinction between these terms and did not use the term 'genetically modified organism.'
 
 
Application
The Protocol applies to the transboundary movement, transit, handling and use of all living modified organisms that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health.

Relationship with the WTO
A number of agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO), such as the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement), and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), contain provisions that are relevant to the Protocol.

Main features
  • The Protocol promotes biosafety by establishing rules and procedures for the safe transfer, handling, and use of LMOs, with specific focus on transboundary movements of LMOs.
  • It features a set of procedures including one for LMOs that are to be intentionally introduced into the environment called the advance informed agreement procedure, and one for LMOs that are intended to be used directly as food or feed or for processing. 
  • Furthermore, the shipment of LMOs subject to transboundary movement must be accompanied by appropriate documentation specifying, among other things, identity of LMOs and contact point for further information.
 
 
 Q. 236. Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats
Ans. The Government of India provides financial and technical assistance to the State/UT Governments for activities aimed at wildlife conservation through the Centrally Sponsored Scheme viz. ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’. The scheme has following three components:
  • Support to Protected Areas (National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves). At present India has a network of 700 Protected Areas (103 National Parks, 528 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 65 Conservation Reserves and 4 Community Reserves)
  • Protection of Wildlife Outside Protected Areas
  • Recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats.
 
1.Support to Protected Areas:
Eligible PAs: National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves, other than those availing central assistance under the CSS- Project Tiger, which are duly notified under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and are under the control of the Chief Wildlife Wardens.
Pattern of funding: 100% central assistance is provided for non-recurring items and 50% assistance for recurring items. Areas falling in mountain regions, coastal zones, deserts, or those areas which support certain selected endangered species, are eligible for 100% central assistance for both recurring and non-recurring items.

2.Protection of Wildlife Outside Protected Areas:
There is substantial wildlife and natural resources lying outside the Protected Areas network of India. This component seeks to support the conservation of wildlife in these areas.
Eligible areas: High value biodiversity areas outside PAs. Areas contiguous to PAs/corridors are given priority.
Pattern of funding: Same as in the case of PAs.

3.Recovery programme for critically endangered species and habitats:
This component is for affecting the recovery of critically endangered species in the country. Initially 17 species have been identified under this component. These are Snow Leopard, Bustard (including Floricans), Dolphin, Hangul, Nilgiri Tahr, Marine Turtles, Dugongs, Edible Nest Swiftlet, Asian Wild Buffalo, Nicobar Megapode, Manipur Brow-antlered Deer, Vultures, Malabar Civet, Indian Rhinoceros, Asiatic Lion, Swamp Deer and Jerdon’s Courser.
 Pattern of funding: 100% assistance is provided for both non-recurring and recurring items.
Activities covered under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ are as follows:
  • Management Planning and capacity building
  • Anti-poaching & infrastructure development
  • Restoration of habitats
  • Eco-development and community oriented activities
 
 Q. 235. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)
Ans. What is LIDAR?
  • The government has adopted radars that sense utility lines beneath the ground using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology.
  • LiDAR uses a pulsed laser to measure distance.
What is India doing?
  • The government has made several policy interventions such as increased threshold for project approval, enhanced inter-ministerial coordination, exit policy and promoting innovative project implementation models like the Hybrid Annuity Model.
  • In an effort to increase the pace of construction of roads, the government is using technologies such as radar and remote sensing for mapping underground infrastructure like telephone lines to prevent time and cost overruns caused due to manual mapping errors.
  • About a third of manual groundwork for constructing roads, are rejected for missing infrastructure details such as electricity, phone and sewage lines, leading to delays and cost overruns.
  • India has an ambitious highways construction goal of 41km per day. The current rate of construction is 22-23km per day.
  • The government had awarded 9,655km of highways construction contracts till February out of a target of 25,000 km. It has also raised its construction target to 15,000km as against 6,000 km constructed last year. Out of this 6,467km was constructed till February.
How it will help?
  • With the help of LiDAR technology, the human error will be minimized.
  • The data collected by such technologies and associated photogrammetry is comprehensive, therefore revisits to site for measurements is not needed.
  • The system provides designers with a complete picture of the project with accurate point measurements and the ability to locate features that may be inaccessible or missed with other methods such as clearance height of high tension electricity cable.
  • LiDAR saves time, as the survey time using mobile LiDAR is much shorter than conventional surveys.
  • Technology allows minimum dependence on manpower, and weather and logistics factors are minimal.
  • The cost of LiDAR survey is found to be equal to conventional survey.
  • The output from LiDAR technology is much more comprehensive, complete and reliable which are missing in the conventional technologies, especially ground-based surveying.
 
 Q. 234. Sagarmala: Concept and implementation towards Blue Revolution
Ans. What is sagarmala project?
The prime objective of the Sagarmala project is to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. Therefore, the Sagarmala Project shall, inter alia, aim to develop access to new development regions with intermodal solutions and promotion of the optimum modal split, enhanced connectivity with main economic centres and beyond through expansion of rail, inland water, coastal and road services. 

Three objectives
  • Supporting and enabling Port-led Development through appropriate policy and institutional interventions and providing for an institutional framework for ensuring inter-agency and ministries/departments/states’ collaboration for integrated development,
  • Port Infrastructure Enhancement, including modernization and setting up of new ports, and
  • Efficient Evacuation to and from hinterland.
The Sagarmala Project therefore intends to achieve the broad objectives of enhancing the capacity of major and non-major ports and modernizing them to make them efficient, thereby enabling them to become drivers of port-led economic development, optimizing the use of existing and future transport assets and developing new lines/linkages for transport (including roads, rail, inland waterways and coastal routes), setting up of logistics hubs, and establishment of industries and manufacturing centres to be served by ports in EXIM and domestic trade.

Background:
Presently, Indian ports handle more than 90 percent of India’s total EXIM trade volume. However, the current proportion of merchandize trade in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India is only 42 percent, whereas for some developed countries and regions in the world such as Germany and European Union, it is 75 percent and 70 percent respectively. Therefore, there is a great scope to increase the share of merchandising trade in India’s GDP. With the Union Government’s “Make in India” initiative, the share of merchandise trade in India’s GDP is expected to increase and approach levels achieved in developed countries. India lags far behind in ports and logistics infrastructure. Against a share of 9 percent of railways and 6 percent of roads in the GDP the share of ports is only 1 percent. In addition, high logistics costs make Indian exports uncompetitive. Therefore, Sagarmala project has been envisioned to provide ports and the shipping the rightful place in the Indian economy and to enable port-led development.
An illustrative list of the kind of development projects that could be undertaken in Sagarmala initiative are
  • Port-led industrialization
  • Port based urbanization
  • Port based and coastal tourism and recreational activities
  • Short-sea shipping coastal shipping and Inland Waterways Transportation
  • Ship building, ship repair and ship recycling
  • Logistics parks, warehousing, maritime zones/services
  • Integration with hinterland hubs
  • Offshore storage, drilling platforms
  • Specialization of ports in certain economic activities such as energy, containers, chemicals, coal, agro products, etc.
  • Offshore Renewable Energy Projects with base ports for installations
Modernizing the existing ports and development of new ports. This strategy incorporates both aspects of port-led development viz. port-led direct development and port-led indirect development.
 
 Q. 233. Which are the primary Highway grids in India? Explain how National Highways are numbered in India?
Ans. The primary highway grids in India are:
  • The North-South Corridor stretches from Srinagar in J&K state to Kanyakumari – the southernmost tip of India. The length of this major road is 4000kms.
  • The East-West Corridor connects Porbandar in Gujarat with Silchar in Assam and the total length of this road being 3300kms. (Wonder why they didn’t plan it till the boarder including Arunachal Pradesh!)
  • The Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) is the highway network connecting the four metros in India – i.e. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. The spin-offs of GQ also connect cities like Bangalore, Pune and Ahmedabad. The total length of GQ is 5846kms.

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways had taken the initiative of re-numbering most of the highways in India a couple of years ago. India has more than 200 national highways totalling to a length of 70,000+ kilometres which is maintained by the NHAI (National Highway Authority of India).

The logic behind numbering is as follows:
  • All North-South highways will carry EVEN number
  • All East-West highways will have ODD numbers
  • All major Highways will be single digit or double digit in number
  • North-South highways will increase their numbers from East to West. For example, a particular North-South highway in Central India or Western India will have a higher number than the one in East India. To be specific, now you can guess that NH4 is somewhere in East India whereas highway 44 may be towards the west of India while both runs north-south due to the even numbering
  • Similarly, East-West highways will increase their numbers as we move from North to South. By this logic NH1 will be running East-West somewhere in North India while NH 83 may be somewhere down south. Of course, there may be a minor confusion among some roads that may be running diagonally in stretches
  • THREE digit numbered highways are secondary routes or branches of a main highway. For example, 144, 244, 344 etc will be the branches of the main National highway 44. Please note that since NH44 (NS Corridor) runs the length of the country from North to South a side shoot say 144 may be up north while something like 944 may be down south
  • Suffixes A, B, C, D etc are added to the three digit sub highways to indicate very small spin-offs or stretches of sub-highways. For example, 966A, 527B etc
 
 Q. 232. Olive Ridley Turtle
Ans. About Olive Ridley Turtle
The Olive Ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world, inhabiting warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. These turtles, along with their cousin the Kemps Ridley turtle, are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs. Though found in abundance, their numbers have been declining over the past few years, and the species is recognized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red list.

Turtle turnaround
  • An initiative driven by fishing communities in Odisha has not only given the Olive Ridley turtles a new lease of life, but has also halted the construction of ports in the nesting areas.
  • The turtle nesting at Astaranga, Puri is significant as turtle deaths have occurred with alarming regularity in Odisha.
  •  Though the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary has traditionally been the most preferred nesting site for turtles, the nesting at Astaranga has opened new vistas to secure Olive Ridley numbers. 
  • The record nesting of turtle eggs at Astaranga is due to the efforts of Green Light Rural Association (GLRA), a non-profit based in Astaranga, which has also managed to stall a state government move to acquire land for proposed ports in the fragile nesting area.
The Green Light Rural Association (GLRA) efforts
  • GLRA’s activities are focused in the region around the mouth of the river Devi, which is a distributary of the Mahanadi.
  • 1994: they undertook a rigorous seven-month-long tour to various nesting sites to monitor turtle nesting and documented the various factors that were leading to turtle deaths. 
  • 2002: GLRA started a project called “Turtle Friends” to identify strategic sites and fishing communities along the coastline.
  • 2007: GLRA started a programme to control the stray dog population in the Devi mass nesting area with the help of the Blue Cross of Hyderabad and the Odisha government’s department of animal husbandry, as stray dogs often consume turtle eggs from the nesting sites.
  • 2009-10: GLRA built an artificial reef with the help of fishing communities and funding support from the Orissa Marine Resources Conservation Consortium. This artificial reef of concrete blocks stopped net fishing and helped create new fishing areas.
  • GLRA apprised forest officials of a new phenomenon affecting turtles visiting the area. Fisher folk used massive artificial illumination for shrimp seedling harvesting. The zero mesh nets also prevented turtles from climbing ashore for nesting. Strong illumination drove away the turtles since they are highly sensitive to light.
GLRA members are also worried about the ports being planned along Odisha’s coastline. Conservationists say that even minor ports, such as the proposed Astaranga Port, which was announced by the state government in 2010, could endanger turtle nesting. 
 
 Q. 231. List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions
Ans.

List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions

Country   % CO2 emissions by country     Emission per capita (t) in 2015  
China 29.51% 7.7
 United States  14.34% 16.1
India 6.81% 1.9
Russia 4.88% 12.3
Japan 3.47% 9.9
 
 Q. 230. Department of Space
Ans. Launch Vehicle and Satellite Missions of ISRO:
  • PSLV-C31/IRNSS-1E Mission: In this flight, the workhorse launch vehicle PSLV launched IRNSS-1E, the fifth satellite of the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) constellation.
  • PSLV-C32/IRNSS-1F Mission: In this flight, which was its 34th, PSLV launched IRNSS-1F, the sixth satellite of the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) constellation.
  • PSLV-C33/IRNSS-1G Mission: In this flight, PSLV launched the seventh and the last satellite IRNSS-1G of the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) constellation. With this, the space segment of the IRNSS is fully deployed. IRNSS signals are now available and trials with the receiver system are in progress. IRNSS is also called as ‘NavIC’ (Navigation Indian Constellation). This is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland. IRNSS provides two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS) - provided to all users and Restricted Services (RS) - provided to authorised users only.
  • Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD): India’s first winged body aerospace vehicle, RLV-TD i.e. Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD), was successfully flight tested.
  • PSLV-C34/Cartosat-2 Series Mission: PSLV-C34 successfully launched 20 satellites in a single mission. It included India’s CARTOSAT-2 series of satellite as primary payload, two academic institutes’ satellites, namely, SWAYAM and SATHYABAMASAT and 17 satellites (total weighing 555 kg) of foreign customers from Canada, Germany, Indonesia and USA as co-passengers.
  • GSLV-F05/ INSAT-3DR Mission: GSLV-F05, India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, equipped with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS), successfully launched the country's weather satellite INSAT-3DR. INSAT-3DR is a follow-on meteorological satellite to INSAT-3D. This launch is significant, considering that fact that this is the third consecutive success of the indigenous CUS, which signified the country’s successful assimilation of the complex cryogenic rocket propulsion.
  • Successful Flight Testing of ISRO's Scramjet Engine Technology Demonstrator: The first experimental mission of ISRO’s Scramjet Engine towards the realisation of an Air Breathing Propulsion System was successfully conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. The Scramjet engine designed by ISRO uses Hydrogen as fuel and the Oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidiser. India is the fourth country (United States, Russia and China) to demonstrate the flight testing of Scramjet Engine.
 Miscellaneous 
  • Uttarakhand Forest Fire: The Uttarakhand state witnessed episodic fire incidents during the last two weeks of April 2016.  Recurrence of fire incidences is common in the hilly state in summer season. Satellite data based temperature anomalies were used for the detection of active fire locations. About 1600 active forest fire locations were recorded during 24th April to 4th May 2016. The burnt area was also assessed using Satellite data. The information on a near-real time basis was disseminated to Forest Survey of India, State Forest Departments, NDMA and SMS on fire alerts were sent to the identified forest officials of Uttarakhand. All Fire alerts were also published on BHUVAN geoportal. The most affected districts were Nainital, Pithoragarh, Champawat, Almora, Pauri and Tehri Garhwal.
  • Mars Orbiter Mission: India’s first inter-planetary mission completed two years in its orbit around Mars. The health parameters of Mars Orbiter spacecraft are normal and all the five payloads are sending useful data. The success of Mars Orbiter Mission has showcased India’s technical capability in exploring planetary bodies and has motivated India’s student and research community in a big way.
  • ASTROSAT Mission: ASTROSAT, India’s first multi-wavelength observatory has completed one year in orbit as of September 2016.  
 
 Q. 229. Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)
Ans.
What is a MPC?
The Monetary Policy Committee would be entrusted with the task of fixing the benchmark policy rate (repo rate) required to contain inflation within the specified target level. A Committee-based approach for determining the Monetary Policy will add lot of value and transparency to monetary policy decisions. The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (RBI Act) has been amended by the Finance Act, 2016, to provide for a statutory and institutionalised framework for a Monetary Policy Committee, for maintaining price stability, while keeping in mind the objective of growth. The meetings of the Monetary Policy Committee shall be held at least 4 times a year and it shall publish its decisions after each such meeting.
 The Government, in consultation with RBI, has notified the inflation target dated 5th August 2016 for the period beginning from the date of publication of this notification and ending on the March 31, 2021, as under: - 
  • Inflation Target                 :             Four per cent.
  • Upper tolerance level    :               Six per cent.
  • Lower tolerance level    :             Two per cent.
 
Committee:
As per the provisions of the RBI Act, out of the six Members of Monetary Policy Committee, three Members will be from the RBI and the other three Members of MPC will be appointed by the Central Government. In case there is a tie of votes in the six-member committee’s decision, then the RBI governor will have the final power to take the decision. In that sense, while the MPC seeks to ensure that the decision making is more balanced, in case of a tie, the governor still has the veto right. The meetings of the MPC will be held at least 4 times a year and it shall publish its decisions after each such meeting. The Members of the Monetary Policy Committee appointed by the Central Government shall hold office for a period of four years. 
(a) The Governor of the Bank—Chairperson, ex officio;
(b) Deputy Governor of the Bank, in charge of Monetary Policy—Member, ex officio;
(c) One officer of the Bank to be nominated by the Central Board—Member, ex officio;
(d) Shri Chetan Ghate, Professor, Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) —Member
(e) Professor Pami Dua, Director, Delhi School of Economics (DSE) — Member        
(f)  Dr. Ravindra H. Dholakia, Professor, Indian Institute of Management - Member.
 
 Q. 228. Space technology based tools in Governance & Development
Ans. Space technology applications, derived through synergistic use of earth observation, communication & navigation satellites and complemented with ground-based observations, play a key role in harnessing the benefits of space technology for socio-economic development in the country and improving the quality of life of citizens.
  • Satellite-based Earth Observation is a cost effective means of obtaining essential and reliable data on our Earth. Such data on natural resources have become an integral part of planning and implementation of action plans for managing land & water resources, developing urban & rural infrastructure, monitoring weather & climate, protecting environment including disaster risk reduction. The capabilities of satellite communication are also exploited for delivering societal applications towards education & health, connectivity, skill development and livelihood sustenance. Space technology-based applications & tools are being increasingly used in governance and development for enabling planning, periodic monitoring, mid-course correction, evaluation of developmental activities and scientific decision making in various sectors right from agriculture, urban & rural planning to disaster risk reduction.
  • Department of Space is working closely with various Central Ministries/Departments and State Governments towards maximizing the use of space technology in the various areas viz. Natural Resources Management, Energy & Infrastructure, Disaster & Early Warning, Communication & Navigation, e-Governance & Geo-spatial Governance and Societal Services. Many flagship programmes namely, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation; Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana; Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana; National Mission for Clean Ganga, Digital India & MGNREGA are also utilizing space-based tools.
ISRO is focusing on providing assured services through data continuity, improved connectivity & location-based services and enabling proactive user engagement through institutionalisation of space applications and capacity building.
 
 Q. 227. Digitising agriculture in the face of climate change
Ans. Digitisation of agriculture or e-agriculture is seen as an emerging field focused on enhancing agricultural and rural development through improved information and communication processes. Digitisation interventions seek to achieve a triple bottom line:
  • Increasing farm productivity and income sustainability.
  • Helping farmers adapt to climate change.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible.
Digitisation is integral to climate smart agriculture, a sector rapidly expanding. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach that helps to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate.
Interventions using ICT have already taken shape. Major activities include:
  • Testing and developing portfolios of climate-smart interventions for different agro-ecological zones and farm types.
  • Developing climate-smart villages.
  • Weather-based insurance.
  • Disseminating climate information based agro-advisories.
  • Mapping hotspots of germplasm collection and conservation. 
Importance of e-agriculture
The world will need 50-70 per cent more food by 2050. Thus, the main challenge today is, how to produce more food. A way to do that is to make the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers more productive and efficient. ICT is crucial for this to happen. Digitising agriculture can help countries meet goals effectively in many areas like: agricultural extension and advisory services, promoting environmentally sustainable farming practices, disaster management and early warning system, enhancing market access, food safety and traceability, financial inclusion, insurance and risk management, capacity building and empowerment, among others. ICT-based initiatives in different aspects of agriculture allow farmers access to information about agricultural value chains, risk management, market and price information, advisory services, policies. They also bring back data for agricultural research.

How can digitisation of agriculture benefit smallholder farmers?
  • It will dissipate information directly to the farmers, giving them the power of information and facilitating decision-making.
  • It brings transparency in agricultural supply chains, removing the huge inequality that exists and guaranteeing adequate income to the farmers, who are generally at the losing end of the chart.
  • It will provide reliable data for research and policy-making. Better data will allow government as well as non-government organisations to design farmer-friendly policies and planned interventions.
In a bid to facilitate countries to form national and regional strategies for digitisation of agriculture, the FAO along with the International Telecommunication Union, released a framework to guide formulation of national plans. The organisation offers technical assistance in the design, development and implementation of sustainable ICT solutions to address some of the key challenges in agriculture.
 
Hindrances in development of e-agriculture
  • E-agriculture is a multi-stakeholder process that involves bringing together many different ministries and departments as well as private sector players such as insurance, banking and mobile network operators. It is quite difficult to bring all the stakeholders on the same page.
  • Another challenge is that paying for digitisation of agriculture is not as mainstream as thought till now.
 
 Q. 226. Digitising agriculture in the face of climate change
Ans. Digitisation of agriculture or e-agriculture is seen as an emerging field focused on enhancing agricultural and rural development through improved information and communication processes. Digitisation interventions seek to achieve a triple bottom line:
  • Increasing farm productivity and income sustainability.
  • Helping farmers adapt to climate change.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible.
Digitisation is integral to climate smart agriculture, a sector rapidly expanding. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach that helps to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate.
Interventions using ICT have already taken shape. Major activities include:
  • Testing and developing portfolios of climate-smart interventions for different agro-ecological zones and farm types.
  • Developing climate-smart villages.
  • Weather-based insurance.
  • Disseminating climate information based agro-advisories.
  • Mapping hotspots of germplasm collection and conservation. 
Importance of e-agriculture
The world will need 50-70 per cent more food by 2050. Thus, the main challenge today is, how to produce more food. A way to do that is to make the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers more productive and efficient. ICT is crucial for this to happen. Digitising agriculture can help countries meet goals effectively in many areas like: agricultural extension and advisory services, promoting environmentally sustainable farming practices, disaster management and early warning system, enhancing market access, food safety and traceability, financial inclusion, insurance and risk management, capacity building and empowerment, among others. ICT-based initiatives in different aspects of agriculture allow farmers access to information about agricultural value chains, risk management, market and price information, advisory services, policies. They also bring back data for agricultural research.

How can digitisation of agriculture benefit smallholder farmers?
  • It will dissipate information directly to the farmers, giving them the power of information and facilitating decision-making.
  • It brings transparency in agricultural supply chains, removing the huge inequality that exists and guaranteeing adequate income to the farmers, who are generally at the losing end of the chart.
  • It will provide reliable data for research and policy-making. Better data will allow government as well as non-government organisations to design farmer-friendly policies and planned interventions.
In a bid to facilitate countries to form national and regional strategies for digitisation of agriculture, the FAO along with the International Telecommunication Union, released a framework to guide formulation of national plans. The organisation offers technical assistance in the design, development and implementation of sustainable ICT solutions to address some of the key challenges in agriculture.
 
Hindrances in development of e-agriculture
  • E-agriculture is a multi-stakeholder process that involves bringing together many different ministries and departments as well as private sector players such as insurance, banking and mobile network operators. It is quite difficult to bring all the stakeholders on the same page.
  • Another challenge is that paying for digitisation of agriculture is not as mainstream as thought till now.
 
 Q. 225. The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016
Ans.
Highlights of the Bill
  • The Act provides maternity leave up to 12 weeks for all women. The Bill extends this period to 26 weeks. However, a woman with two or more children will be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave.
  • The Bill introduces maternity leave up to 12 weeks for a woman who adopts a child below the age of three months, and for commissioning mothers. The period of maternity leave will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to the adoptive or commissioning mother.
  • The Bill requires every establishment with 50 or more employees to provide for crèche facilities within a prescribed distance. The woman will be allowed four visits to the crèche in a day.
  • An employer may permit a woman to work from home, if the nature of work assigned permits her to do so. This may be mutually agreed upon by the employer and the woman.
  • The Bill requires an establishment to inform a woman of all benefits that would be available under the Bill, at the time of her appointment. Such information must be given in writing and electronically.  
  • The Bill introduces a provision to grant leave of upto 12 weeks for: A woman who legally adopts a child below three months of; For a commissioning mother (A commissioning mother is defined as a biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in another woman).
Key Issues and Analysis
  • Several expert bodies like the WHO have recommended that 24 weeks of maternity leave is required to protect maternal and child health. However, since the costs of this leave are to be borne by the employer, it may have an adverse impact on job opportunities for women.
  • Various countries have implemented different funding models in relation to maternity benefits. In some countries the employer bears the cost, while in some others it is paid by the government.
  • While women will be provided with 26 weeks of maternity leave for two children, the period of leave for a third child will be 12 weeks. This could affect the growth and development of the third born child.
  • The Act and Bill cover women workers employed in establishments with 10 or more employees, and other notified establishments. However, a majority of the women workforce, who are in the unorganised sectors, may not be covered.
  • There are several labour laws that provide maternity benefits to women in different sectors. These laws differ in their coverage, benefits and financing of such benefits.
 
 Q. 224. Why India and China need to move past tensions?
Ans.
The ritual bickering between India and China has once again been brought to the fore, this time over the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh. This is symptomatic of the contradictions in the way India and China practice diplomacy. This accentuates the way each perceives the divergences in the other’s strategic thinking and how they respond to it.
Not surprisingly, the first Strategic Dialogue between the two countries held recently aimed at forging an understanding over a variety of issues failed. To take the example of India’s application to list Masood Azhar under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, China has refused to vote in favour of this measure despite India conveying its concerns about terrorism.

Counter-Terrorism
India’s dialogue with China on counter-terrorism is filled with disproportionate expectations and preconceptions. For instance, India’s expectation that China will be more than willing to support its counter-terror initiatives because China too is a victim of terrorism is a wrong assumption.
  • Firstly, China’s response to terrorism is based on the aggressive “Strike Hard” campaign against Uighurs. Chinese measures, which include restrictions on religious teaching, fasting and attire, frequent raids to retrieve religious materials, travel ban, and confiscation of passports would all be considered unconstitutional if applied in India. Thus, Chinese thinking that unilateral hard measures are justified to counter terrorism makes China’s approach distinct from that of India and, in turn, its expectations that India deal with terrorism unilaterally.
  • Secondly, China views terror attacks and local tensions in Kashmir, and the ongoing counter-terror operations in the Valley, through the prism of its Pakistani interlocutors. This makes it more sympathetic towards Pakistani concerns.
  • Thirdly, China prefers that India deal with the terrorism problem through bilateral means either through negotiations or security actions rather than involving multilateral institutions such as the UN. For China, a public and diplomatic stance of indirectly having to choose between Pakistan and India would be difficult to justify given its all-weather relationship with Pakistan. Thus, China refused any comment on India’s surgical strikes across the border in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) on the basis that it was a bilateral issue.
  • Another seldom conveyed Chinese argument is that the listing of individuals in the 1267 list in the past has not resulted in curbing terror activities as evident in the free movement of Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi. Thus, China sees no point in supporting India at the expense of weakening its partnership with Pakistan on a policy, which, in any case, it considers as ineffectual.
However, there are encouraging signs that India and China still can cooperate on this difficult issue. Given that the Chinese public and intelligentsia are concerned about terrorism in Xinjiang, India has numerous opportunities to influence opinion in China.
This requires sustained engagement with various stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, the military apparatus, legal experts, and academic communities to help bridge the gap in understanding.
  • Such interactions would not only inform them about the level of the terrorist threat faced by India but also the compulsions that determine India’s responses to terrorism.
  • These interactions would be helpful, as stakeholders play a significant role in using public forums in mass media to engage and influence the public debate and provide inputs to policy-making.
  • Moreover, it would help foster a crop of experts who could offer an effective counter-narrative to the views espoused by dominant Pakistan-influenced South Asia counter-terrorism experts.

Dangerous Trends
While opportunities exist for India and China to build trust, certain factors exacerbate the mistrust.
  • On the one hand, China wants to assuage Pakistan’s insecurities by extending it financial, military and diplomatic support. On the other, it views Pakistan’s role in South Asia as helping to maintain the regional balance. This desire to maintain the regional balance through Pakistan contradicts China’s official foreign policy pronouncements that accord India major power status in the international system. This mismatch between wanting to maintain a power balance in the region, which requires China to keep Pakistan on an equal footing with India to some extent, and treating India as a major power that would include acknowledging its potential for contribution to global issues and attention to core concerns has created contradictions in Chinese diplomacy. Clearly, this incongruity reduces China’s chances of inducing favourable policies from India. While India may recognise China’s attempt to provide economic stability to Pakistan, it finds it unacceptable that China is trying to use Pakistan as a regional balancer.
  • Compounding this is the Chinese ambiguity in concurrently treating India both as a rising power and a developing country. China labels India as a country with overwhelming economic and social challenges where China could play a role in investment in infrastructure. However, an international environment that has apparently been favourable to India had led China to term India as a rising power in the international system. Though India does not view such a categorisation negatively, it helps China to maintain an economically cooperative approach while being politically assertive. This approach helps China to limit India’s overall geo-political outreach, especially forging closer strategic cooperation with US or limiting Pakistan’s international space.
  • India’s responses to Chinese actions are often disproportionate. For instance, India tends to view economic countermeasures such as reviewing visa norms for Chinese entrepreneurs as an appropriate response to disruptions in the political sphere. However, such measures are premature since India is yet to bear the fruits of Chinese investment. Instead, India should seek more relative gains in economic cooperation in the spirit of fostering trust and stability.
Continued Economic Cooperation
Nevertheless, in spite of political tensions, economic cooperation has continued to expand.
  • Engagements are underway between the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade and its Hunan Sub-council with the Consulate-General of India in Guangzhou to accelerate collaborations for formulating long-term development plans.
  • More Chinese entrepreneurs are also being encouraged to invest in the Indian market.
  • Another area unaffected by political tensions is cooperation in the railways sector.
Undoing economic cooperation is neither desirable nor proportionate. Both countries have far too much to lose from a downward spiral in bilateral relations.

Need for Clear Signalling
  • It is in China’s interest to reformulate its thinking on the nature of India’s rise in the international system. On its part, India needs to differentiate its mode of diplomacy and interactions with China, i.e., avoid ad-hoc and conflicting signals. India uses political signals to convey information to China in order to influence its behaviour. Typically, this information reveals India’s options for a policy shift.
  • However, signalling must also reveal information about India’s grasp of the historic and strategic contexts.
  • In addition, India should be aware of the fact that China is likely to ignore the signals if it perceives the information revealed to be misleading. In fact, ambiguous signals have generally effected a more aggressive Chinese reaction because of the Chinese perception that India would either not be able to carry out a change in policy or that historic and strategic circumstances would prevent India from changing its policy.
  • Therefore, India should only convey political signals that are believable by China and doable by India. Only thus can China be persuaded to take such signals seriously.
Finally, India should aim for a strategic dialogue that focuses on the fundamentals of shared beliefs and political culture, and is supported by widespread engagement at the provincial, governmental and academic levels. In the case of counter-terrorism, cultivating a relationship with provinces and associated agencies directly affected by terrorism is imperative. India’s responses should be proportionate, i.e., not treat all issues of contention as of equal importance. Unless India and China’s ability to differentiate the nature of disagreements in the bilateral relationship improves, foreign policy decision-making would be swayed by disproportionate expectations.
 
 Q. 223. DEFENCE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATION (DRDO)
Ans.
Agni – V Successfully Test-Fired: Agni-V, the Long Range Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile was successfully flight tested by DRDO. 
 
Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’: Indigenously developed LCA is an advanced technology, single seat, single engine, supersonic, light weight, all-weather, multi-role, air superiority fighter designed for air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea combat roles. ‘Tejas’ made its international debut with participation in the Bahrain International Air Show.  
 
Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV ‘Rustom-II’: Rustom-II, a multi-mission Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is being developed to carry out the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles for the three Armed Forces with an endurance of 24 hours. DRDO successfully carried out the maiden flight of Rustom-II.
  
Surface-to-Air Missile ‘Akash’: The medium range surface-to-air missile ‘Akash’ has been developed and inducted into IAF and Indian Army.  
 
Anti-Tank Missile ‘PROSPINA’‘Nag’ is a third generation anti-tank missile (ATM) with 'Fire & Forget' and 'Top Attack' capabilities, which can be used in day and night. It is deployed on a specially modified Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) BMP-2 vehicle 'NAMICA'. The guided flight tests of ‘Nag’ were carried out with the objective of demonstrating range capabilities of IIR Seeker during worst time of the day in summer environment.
 
 Q. 222. Defence-related developments
Ans. Various Achievements of Ministry of Defence 
Speedy modernisation of the Armed Forces to meet present and emerging challenges, development of requisite capacities and infrastructure for making up critical deficiency of weapons and equipment and creating a robust defence set up in the country through the ‘Make in India’ initiative, were the salient achievements of the Ministry of Defence during 2016.
The year also saw progress for the welfare of Ex-Servicemen as the much awaited One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme funds reaching the accounts of Ex-Servicemen and families. During the year as part of Defence Diplomacy, India engaged with its neighbours and Far Eastern countries, as well as also developed countries through bilateral talks, ship visits and bilateral as well as trilateral military exercises.
The new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 was promulgated for capital procurements and came into effect from 1stApril.  DPP-2016 has a focus on achieving the ‘Make in India’ vision by according priority to ‘Buy Indian – IDDM (Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured) and ‘Buy (Indian)’ categories. It also focuses on enhancement and rationalization of indigenous content.
The Ministry of Defence also issued guidelines for penalties in business dealings with entities, which have come into effect from 21 November. The guidelines lay down policy for levy of financial penalties and / or suspension / banning of business dealings with entities, seeking to enter into contract with / having entered into a contract for the procurement of goods and services by the Ministry of Defence.
 
INDIAN ARMY
Current Situation in J&K: The security situation in J&K is at an important crossroads. Cease Fire Violations (CFVs) saw a significant rise in the preceding months. Army along with CAPF and JKP continues to put in relentless efforts to bring back normalcy to the Kashmir Valley.
Situation Along LAC: There is no commonly delineated Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the border areas between India and China.  From time to time, on account of differing perception of the LAC, situations have arisen on the ground that could have been avoided if we had a common perception of the LAC. 
Surgical Strikes along Line of ControlBased on specific and credible inputs about some terrorist teams having positioned themselves at launch pads along Line of Control to carry out infiltration and conduct terrorist strikes in Jammu and Kashmir and in various metros in other States, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on 29 Sep at several of these launch pads to pre-empt infiltration by terrorists. The operations were focussed on ensuring that these terrorists did not succeed in their design to cause destruction and endanger the lives of our citizens. During these counter terrorist operations significant casualties were caused to terrorists and those providing support to them.
 
TRAINING EVENTS & MILITARY EXERCISES
India-France Joint Military ‘Exercise Shakti – 2016’  ‘Exercise Shakti-2016’ is the seventh edition in the series of bilateral exercises.
India-Nepal Combined Military Training ‘Exercise Surya Kiran IX’ 
India–Indonesia Joint Training ‘Exercise Garuda Shakti IV’ it is the fourth edition of the joint exercise.
‘Exercise Force -18’, the largest ground forces multinational field training exercise on ‘Humanitarian Mine Action and Peacekeeping Operations’
 ‘Exercise Jalrahat’: As a step towards achieving the goals of National Disaster Management Plan 2016 released by the Prime Minister on 1 June and with the outlines of identifying high risk disaster areas and coordination between the Armed Forces, NDRF and State Disaster Management Agencies along with other State Emergency services, a mock exercise and demonstration under ‘Exercise Jalrahat’ was conducted on 29 June in Shantipur area of Guwahati on the banks of the Brahmaputra River.
‘Exercise Maitree’:   A joint exercise of the Indian Army and Royal Thailand Army.
‘Exercise YudhAbhyas’: As part of the continuing Indo - US defence cooperation, it is the 12thedition of the joint military training.
India -Kazakhstan Joint Exercise: As a part of India’s continued efforts to strengthen Indo-Kazakh relations, Armies of the two countries conducted a joint exercise.
‘Exercise Indra – 2016’: Indo-Russian eight edition of Joint ‘Exercise Indra’ was held.
‘Sino - Indian Joint Exercise’: As part of the ongoing initiative to enhance interaction and cooperation between India and China, under the provisions of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, 2013, the Indian and Chinese armies held their Second Joint Exercise ‘Sino India Cooperation 2016’.
Army Skill Training Centre: The pilot project of the Army Skill Training Centre(ASTC) was inaugurated by President. Army personnel and their spouses/wards who attend training at ASTC will receive skill certificate from NSDC and will become eligible for employment/entrepreneurship under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna scheme.
 
INDIAN NAVY
BILATERAL/ MULTILATERAL EXERCISES AND OVERSEAS DEPLOYMENT
      To enhance India’s presence in the maritime arena/ across our area of responsibility/ interest, the Indian Navy was deployed extensively across the globe and conducted exercises with friendly foreign navies.
Exercise MALABAR 2016:  In consonance with India’s ‘Act East Policy’ in the 20th edition of Exercise MALABAR-16 India, US and Japan conducted joint exercise. 
Exercise RIMPAC: Exercise RIMPAC is the largest multilateral naval exercise in the world and is held biennially in the Western Pacific Ocean. Ex RIMPAC is a platform for multilateral operational interactions to increase interoperability and development of common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations. India participated in the exercise. India participated in Ex-RIMPAC.
ADMM Plus Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter Terrorism ADMM Plus (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus) Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter Terrorism is a multinational exercise under the aegis of ADMM Plus consortium. Indian Navy participated in the latest edition conducted in Brunei and Singapore, with various drills and exercises in the South China Sea.
EXERCISE KONKAN 16:  it is the annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy (United Kingdom). Exercise KONKAN was institutionalised in 2004.
 
INDRA NAVY – 2016:  The 9th edition of exercise INDRA NAVY, an annual bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy was conducted in the Bay of Bengal. The primary aim of the exercise was to increase inter-operability amongst the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.  
 
INDIAN AIR FORCE
ACQUISITIONS
Rafale Acquisition deal: The much awaited Rafale deal with France was signed in New Delhi under which France will provide 36 Rafale fighter jets to India. The twin-engine, multi-role aircraft will be capable of carrying out various combat missions like Air Defence, Ground Attack, Reconnaissance, Anti-ship strikes etc. 
‘Tejas’ Induction: The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’ was inducted into No. 45 Squadron of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
 
OPERATION 
‘Op Sankat Mochan’: Stranded Indian nationals were evacuated from Juba, the capital of war-torn South Sudan in July.
  
MISCELLANEOUS
India gets Women Fighter Pilots:  History was created as the first three women fighter pilots of the IAF were commissioned. With this, India joined a select few nations in the world that have women fighter pilots. 
 






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