8 Feb 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Khap menace
B. GS2 Related
SOCIAL SCHEMES
1. Ujjwala Yojana to benefit eight crore women now
POLITY
1. Judicial intervention in government policies
GOVERNANCE
1. Centre set to link driving licence with Aadhaar
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Nasheed snubs China, renews call for ‘liberator’ India’s help
2. Call to democracy
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Biologics, patents and drug prices
2. In inflation’s shadow
3. RBI keeps the rates unchanged
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. NGT penalises Rajasthan for polluting Jodhpur river
2. Corbett National Park
3. Ozone layer continues to deplete
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. NASA to test deep space atomic clock
DEFENSE
1. India successfully test-fires nuclear capable Prithvi-II
D. GS4 Related
E. Prelims Fact
F. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Category: SOCIAL ISSUES

1. Khap menace

  • The court’s latest observations that khap panchayats should not act as though they are conscience-keepers of society and that no one should interfere in relationships between adults came while it was hearing a writ petition seeking a ban on such community organisations and guidelines to put an end to “honour killings”.
  • In 2011, the highest court termed such khaps “kangaroo courts”, declared them illegal and wanted them stamped out ruthlessly.
  • It is a grave misfortune that parents and self-appointed guardians of social mores continue to use coercion and harassment, and even resort to murderous violence, as a means to enforce their exclusionary and feudal prejudices.

Steps taken to curb the menace

  • Such views can only be eradicated with a change in social attitudes.
  • The Law Commission in 2012 prepared a draft bill to prohibit interference in marriage alliances.
  • Key provisions that seek to address the problem of khap panchayats in this draft say such informal groups would be treated as an ‘unlawful assembly’ and decisions that amount to harassment, social boycott, discrimination or incitement to violence should be punishable with a minimum sentence.

B. GS2 Related

Category: SOCIAL SCHEMES

1. Ujjwala Yojana to benefit eight crore women now

In news

Centre to raise allocation for the project to Rs. 4,800 crore.The Union Cabinet  approved the increase in the target for the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, meant to provide cooking-gas connections to rural women, to eight crore from the earlier five crore. The deadline for achieving the target is 2020.

What are the other changes?

  • The Cabinet also approved an additional allocation for the scheme of Rs. 4,800 crore.
  • The meeting took a slew of decisions across sectors, including increasing the minimum support price for copra, extending the Discovered Small Fields Policy to include more oil and gas fields, approving several bilateral agreements signed by India, and giving ex post facto approval to the changes made in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Bill.

MSP for copra

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for increase in the minimum support price for fair average quality (FAQ) of ‘milling copra’ to Rs. 7,500 a quintal for 2018 season from Rs. 6,500 per quintal in 2017.
  • The MSP for FAQ of ‘ball copra’ has been increased to Rs. 7,750 per quintal for the 2018 season from Rs. 6,785 per quintal in 2017.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the incorporation of the official amendments to the Major Port Authorities Bill 2016, which is pending in Parliament.
  • The Cabinet has given its approval for extending the Discovered Small Field Policy notified on October 14, 2015 to identified 60 discovered small fields/un-monetised discoveries for offer under the Discovered Small Field Policy Bid Round-ll.
  • Out of these, 22 fields/discoveries belong to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited, five belong to Oil India Limited (OIL) and 12 are relinquished fields/discoveries from the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP) blocks.

Category: POLITY

1. Judicial intervention in government policies

In news

  • A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta said courts must intervene against an economic policy of the government only if it was constitutionally unavoidable.
  • The court made the observations after quashing the Goa government’s policy to grant a second renewal of 88 mining leases with retrospective effect.
  • Judiciary must be very cautious and circumspect in diluting or setting aside an economic policy of the government, the Supreme Court observed .
  • Till recently, policy matters, particularly economic policy, were hands-off as far as the courts were concerned- Justice Lokur observed.

What does the constitution say?

  • Any economic policy in violation of Article 39(b), which mandates the distribution of material resources of the community to subserve common good, and Article 14, the fundamental right to equality, will be liable to challenge and judicial review.

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. Centre set to link driving licence with Aadhaar

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Nasheed snubs China, renews call for ‘liberator’ India’s help

In news

  • A vast majority of Maldivians want New Delhi to intervene, says former President
  • Maldivians see India’s potential role in resolving the crisis gripping the island not as an occupation, but as a “liberating assistance”, exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed said, reiterating his earlier call for Indian intervention.
  • Apparently rebutting China’s recent statement that the Maldives could deal with the current situation on its own.
  • Following turbulence in the Indian Ocean Island over the last week, culminating in President Abdulla Yameen declaring a state of emergency on Monday, Mr. Nasheed had sought Indian military intervention to release jailed dissidents.
  • Meanwhile, the government on Wednesday said the state of emergency addressed “certain internal aspects of governance” affecting mostly the capital, and not tourist resorts. “Life in the Maldives continues as normal,” it said in a statement issued to “assure international community.”
  • After declaring the emergency, security officials arrested Supreme Court chief justice Abdulla Saeed, another judge of the court and former President Gayoom.
  • On Tuesday, three Supreme Court judges annulled a portion of an order of the court that set off the crisis. The earlier ruling called for the release of nine Opposition leaders firom prison, including Mr. Nasheed, who is currently in Colombo.

China calls for dialogue

  • With Male coming under increased international pressure to release the jailed leaders and lift the state of emergency, China on Wednesday signalled that it could activate international diplomacy to resolve the crisis.
  • In response to a query, the spokesperson said that China’s Free Trade Area deal with the Maldives signed in December serves the common interests of the two countries and two peoples.

2. Call to democracy

The Maldives crisis highlights a long-standing debate: has being a democracy shaped India’s approach to the region?

  • An interesting feature of Southern Asia for decades has been the existence of a liberal democracy in India, in a region inhabited largely by non-plural or mixed regimes.
  • A commitment to political and civil liberties, human rights, social and economic freedoms, and, a secular ethos are the hallmarks of India’s Constitution.

Concert of democracies

  • In 2000, India joined the Community of Democracies, a body of over 100 countries that endorsed the virtues of liberal political values.
  • In 2005, India and the U.S. jointly launched the UN Democracy Fund, which aimed to strengthen democratic institutions across the world.

A more complex reality

  • Indian leaders and elites have accepted the norms of a representative liberal democracy and a free-market economy, how and whether these ideas should become a universal norm and marketed abroad remain deeply contested.
  • Note, for example, then Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s remarks in 2007 in the context of protests in neighbouring Myanmar: “India is a democracy and it wants democracy to flourish everywhere. But we are not interested in exporting our own ideology.”
  • “We are committed to democratic practices and are convinced that robust democracies are a surer guarantee of security in our neighbourhood and beyond. Yet we do not ‘promote’ democracy or see it as an ideological concept that serves as a polarising axis in world politics.”
  • The traditional Nehruvian approach prescribed a light Indian footprint into the sovereign realms of other states and also one where pressure and coercion were to be minimised in that engagement process.
  • Consequently, whole period in the 1970s and 1980s when India was actively involved in re-orienting or securing the political structures within regional states.
  • And, it was aimed at changing the constitutional and political basis of regimes towards something resembling an image closer to India’s own federal democratic values.
  • The post-Cold War period witnessed a sharp retreat from such interventionism towards a “pragmatic” and non-interference policy.
  • This found the clearest expression in the 1997 Gujral Doctrine, a framework uncannily similar to the Nehruvian approach in that both sought to minimise coercion and force in dealing with neighbours, accepting their internal quirks and flaws while attempting to craft a policy of friendship whereby positive inducements could be leveraged to produce a more stable and cohesive subcontinent.

Geopolitical Situation around

  • The geopolitical projection of Indian constitutional values and secular ethos was far stronger during the Cold War period than in recent decades when India’s identity as a democracy has come to the fore.
  • The military assistance to the Sri Lankan regime to fend off a radical left-wing rebellion in 1971, the same year when India also successfully assisted in the emergence of a secular Bangladesh.
  • Or in the late 1980s, when India intervened in Sri Lanka, at great cost to itself, to protect the citizenship rights of the Tamil minority and sought to shape a more pluralist federal structure, and, in Bangladesh when India mobilised popular support against the military regime in 1989-1990.
  • And, finally, of course, there was the 1988 intervention in the Maldives when Indian paratroopers rapidly restored the authority of the Maumoon Abdul Gayoom regime after an attempted coup d’état.

After the Cold War

  • In the post-Cold War period, in contrast, New Delhi has assumed a much lighter footprint, with perhaps the possible exception of Nepal, in how it chooses to involve itself and shape the political transitions and internal power struggles in the region.
  • It appears that homeland security and geo-economic considerations rather than ambitious realpolitik or normative concerns have shaped India’s neighbourhood policy.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. Biologics, patents and drug prices

India’s rejection of secondary patents has kept blockbuster medicines affordable for many

Context:

  • The global sales of the world’s best-selling prescription drug, Humira, continue to grow even after the expiry of the patent over its main ingredient, adalimumab, a biologic used for the treatment of arthritis.
  • By 2020, AbbVie Inc, makers of Humira, expects its sales to touch $21 billion — a figure that will surpass India’s pharmaceutical exports for that year.

 But what was the problem?

  • Patents offer their owners market exclusivity for a limited period of time.
  • For medicines, this exclusivity should last as long as the primary patent which relates to the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) of the medicine is in effect, typically 20 years.
  • The end of patent exclusivity is referred to as a patent cliff, because drug prices fall steeply afterwards by as much as 80% owing to generic competition.
  • The secondary patents prop up before the expiry of a primary patent thereby stretching the exclusivity beyond 20 years, a practice that is called “evergreening”. This strategy is most lucrative when employed in the context of so-called blockbuster medicines, which reap annual revenues exceeding $1 billion.

Examples

  • Over the years, AbbVie has increased the price of Humira in the U.S. by 100%, while steadily filing a large number of secondary patents.
  • The U.S. recognises and encourages secondary patents. India, however, does not, which means that while Humira costs $1,300 (₹85,000) in the U.S., the same treatment costs only $200 (₹13,500) in India, thanks to the rejection of secondary patents on Humira by the Indian Patent Office (IPO) and the consequent introduction of cheaper versions.
  • The rejection of a secondary patent for Novartis’ Glivec, a crucial leukaemia cure, was famously upheld by the Supreme Court of India in 2013, while the same was granted in the U.S. Consequently, the cost of a monthly dose of the medicine in the U.S. was ₹1.6 lakh, while the cost of the generic was ₹11,100 in India.
  • Likewise, Spiriva, a medicine for asthma, enjoys patent protection until 2021 in the U.S., largely due to secondary patents. As a result, while the monthly cost of the medicine in the U.S. is over ₹19,100, it costs a mere ₹250 in India.

Good patent law

  • However Indian patent law helps thwart evergreening practices by pharmaceutical companies.
  • Secondary patents for several blockbuster medicines have been rejected by the IPO dramatically expanding access to medicines for important health problems such as cancer, AIDS, asthma and cardiovascular diseases.
  • As per Section 2(1)(ja) of the Patents Act, the product in question must feature a technical advance over what came before that’s not obvious to a skilled person. Because secondary patents for pharmaceuticals are often sought for trivial variants, they typically fail to qualify as an invention.
  • Further, when a medicine is merely a variant of a known substance, Section 3(d) necessitates a demonstration of improvement in its therapeutic efficacy.
  • The provision also bars patents for new uses and new properties of known substances.
  • This additional requirement is unique to Indian law, and along with Section 2(1)(ja), ensures that bad patents stay out of the system.

Conclusion

  • Blockbuster medicines are crucial to the success of public health. But they have been gamed, and rendered inaccessible to the people and governments who need them.
  • In order for these medicines to be accessible, there can be no surer way than to enact strong standards that put bad patents where they belong.

2. In inflation’s shadow

  • The RBI has stressed the need for vigilance on price stability amid fresh uncertainties
  • The Reserve Bank of India’s decision to keep the repo rate unchanged was no surprise given the focus with which the Monetary Policy Committee has approached its mandate: of keeping inflation in check.
  • Consumer Price Index, reflects acceleration in inflation for a sixth straight month in December.
  • RBI once again spotlighted the less than reassuring outlook for price stability.
  • For starters, “an unusual pick-up in food prices in November”, combined with a “less than usual” softening in the winter seasonal food price moderation, meant headline inflation averaged 4.6% in the third quarter.
  • The RBI had in December made a projection for inflation in the range of 4.3-4.7% in the six months through March 2018.
  • With pump prices of petrol and diesel having risen sharply in January, the RBI has now been forced to raise its estimate for retail price gains in the fourth quarter to 5.1%.

 Inflation scenario gets even more worrying.

  • These include the staggered impact of
    • HRA increases by various State governments that may induce second order effects on prices;
    • the pick-up in global growth, a factor the RBI also cites as a positive for the economy,
    • push up crude oil and commodity prices worldwide;
    • the Budget’s proposed changes to the minimum support price norms for crops as well as the proposals to increase customs duty on a range of goods; and
    • the fiscal slippage, which could not only fan inflation but also risks increasing borrowing costs.
  • The normalisation of monetary policy by advanced economies could spell a decisive end to global ‘easy money’ conditions and may trigger some flight of capital from emerging markets including India.
  • The upshot is that the RBI sees CPI inflation hovering in the 5.1-5.6% range in the first six months of the new fiscal before moderating to 4.5-4.6% in the second half, subject to a big assumption: a normal monsoon in 2018.
  • Under the looming shadow of inflationary risks, the RBI has again reasserted the need for unwavering vigilance on the price stability front.

3. RBI keeps the rates unchanged

  • Central bank projects retail inflation in 5.1-5.6% range in H1 2018-19; pegs GVA growth next fiscal at 7.2%
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday held the policy repo rate at 6% as the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) raised the estimate for fourth-quarter inflation and flagged concerns about the future outlook for price gains.
  • Five of the six members of the RBI’s MPC voted in favour of keeping the benchmark interest rate unchanged for the third consecutive meeting, while one member, M.D. Patra, recommended a 25 basis points (bps) rate increase. While holding interest rates — as widely anticipated — the central bank also retained its ‘neutral’ policy stance.

Fuel prices impact

  • Domestic pump prices of petrol and diesel rose sharply in January, reflecting lagged pass-through of the past increases in international crude oil prices.
  • Considering these factors, inflation is now estimated at 5.1% in Q4, including the HRA (house rent allowance) impact.
  • The RBI had in December projected inflation to range between 4.3-4.7% for second half of the current financial year. The central bank also projected retail inflation in the range of 5.1-5.6% for the first half of 2018-19, while assuming a normal monsoon — effectively ruling out any rate reduction in the near future.
  • The MPC has a mandate to ensure inflation remains in a band between 2% and 6%. For the second half of the next fiscal, inflation is projected at 4.5-4.6%, with ‘risks tilted to the upside’.
  • Among the upside risks to inflation, the MPC noted that pick-up in global growth could exert further pressure on crude oil, with the higher minimum support price to farmers, announced in the Budget, adding to the uncertainty.
  • However, the exact impact of higher MSP on inflation could not be fully assessed at this stage, the RBI said. The proposed increase in customs duty on a number of items and fiscal slippage could also impinge on inflation outlook, the RBI added.
  • RBI Governor Urjit Patel said a key factor that had spurred the rise in government bond yields was the slippage in the fiscal deficit.
  • We have news of fiscal slippages at three levels. Fiscal slippage this year, fiscal slippage next year compared to what the market expected and what the target was and then a postponement of the medium term adjustment even further. If you look at all the factors it makes it very clear which way the bond yields are likely to move.
  • Deputy Governor Viral Acharya said the RBI’s infusion of liquidity should not be seen as an effort to manage bond yields. Except in rare, extraordinary economy-wide circumstances, the goal of RBI’s liquidity operations is not to manage directly the prices of any particular long-term asset market.
  • The benchmark 10-year bond’s yield eased 4 bps to 7.53% on Wednesday. The RBI pared its 2017-18 GVA growth estimate to 6.6%, from December’s 6.7%.

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. NGT penalises Rajasthan for polluting Jodhpur river

In news

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on January 30 imposed an environment compensation of Rs. 10 lakh on the Rajasthan government for failing to control the discharge of domestic sewage into a river in Jodhpur.
  • A bench headed by NGT acting chairperson U.D. Salvi, lambasted the State government for displaying a casual attitude towards the matter and not taking appropriate measures to mitigate the damage to the environment.
  • The affidavit or response of the State government dated August 23, 2017, reveals that a 50 MLD capacity of sewage treatment plant at Silvassa, Phase II, was to be constructed and commissioned in a month. As of now, the said STP is yet to be commissioned. This shows the casual attitude of the State government which will have deleterious effects” the bench said.

‘Incomplete projects’

  • Further, the NGT observed that the sewage treatment plants at Silvassa and Bansi Banda were still incomplete. The village Doli and Araba continue to suffer from the effects of unregulated discharge of domestic sewage and trade effluents in river Jojri , the soil as well as the ground water is contaminated.

Penalties

  • Coming down heavily on the State government, the tribunal directed it to pay 25% of the amount to the Central Pollution Control Board and 75% of the amount to the State Pollution Control Board.

Who is the Aggrieved party?

  • The directions came while the NGT was hearing a plea filed by the Gram Panchayat of Araba village, which claimed that the authorities had not taken active steps to treat the domestic waste which had accumulated.
  • Further, it was alleged that there was unregulated discharge of domestic and industrial sewage in the river Jojari.

2. Corbett National Park

A MOSAIC OF VEGETATION

  • Located in scenic Uttarakhand and spread across more than 500 sq.km., Corbett National Park has the distinction of being the country’s first national park. The Park is part of the 1200-odd-sq.km. Corbett Tiger Reserve.
  • Named after James Edward Corbett (popularly known as Jim Corbett), the hunter-turned-conservationist who played a significant role in establishing it, the Park is most noted for the population of Royal Bengal tigers and Asiatic elephants.
  • Situated between the Shivaliks and the terai lowlands, the Reserve offers a dramatic landscape. Streams and rivers run through the terrain, which is a lush mosaic of wet and dry, plain and mountainous, gentle and rugged forests and grasslands.
  • This varied vegetation makes it an ideal habitat for several species of fauna from both the hilly regions and the plains. With over 550 species of birds in the region, it is one of the bird-rich parts of the country.
  • In fact, Corbett has been declared an “Important Bird Area” by Birdlife International.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Located as it is in Uttarakhand that receives heavy rains, the monsoon season is tricky for Corbett Tiger Reserve. Several areas in and around these regions get cut off during the rains as long stretches of forest roads get washed away – making the area difficult for patrolling and vulnerable to poachers.
  • Particularly worrisome are places that border Uttar Pradesh. To add to this, a few of the areas become completely inaccessible due to the swelling of seasonal rivers that criss-cross the region.
  • To strengthen patrolling in such a scenario, last year the Park decided to seek help from unusual quarters – elephants! As many as nine trained elephants (two from an initial list of 11 were dropped on health grounds) from the forest camps of Nagarahole in Karnataka’s dry plains undertook the 2,400-km journey, two years after the request was made by Uttarakhand to Karnataka. This elite patrol group proved to be a blessing in areas with tough terrain, combing it for poachers.

BIRDS

  • The birds found in the region include pelicans, darters, cormorants, grebes, herons, bitterns, egrets, storks, ibises, spoonbills, flamingoes, ducks, geese, pochards, shelducks, hawks, eagles, kites, vultures, griffons, harriers, falcons, hobbies, kestrels, francolins, partridges, quails, pheasants, cranes, crakes, waterhens, swamphens, moorhens, watercock, jacanas, thick-knees, lapwings, plovers, sandpipers, snipes, stints, redshanks, gulls, terns, doves, pigoens, parakeets, cuckoos, coucals, nightjars, owls, owlets, swifts, kingfishers, bee-eaters, hornbills, barbets, woodpeckers, flamebacks, leafbirds, orioles, pittas, bushlarks, skylarks, martins, swallows, drongos, shrikes, starlings, mynas, magpies, cuckooshrikes, minivets, bulbuls, babblers, yuhinas, laughing thrushes, flycatchers, fantials, warblers, prinias, white-throats, rubythroats, redstarts, robins, forktails, wheatears, bushchats, rock thrushes, tits, nuthatches, pipits, wagtails, sunbirds, flowerpeckers, munias, sparrows, weavers, finches and buntings. In addition, one can also spot peafowl, junglefowl, coot, Bengal florican, small pratincole, avocet, black-winged stilt, malkoha, Eurasian hoopoe, common iora, and long-tailed broadbill.

ANIMALS

  • Royal Bengal tiger, Asiatic elephant, gharial, sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, yellow-throated marten, hog deer, sambar, mugger or marsh crocodile, rhesus macaque, mongoose, otter, jackal, pangolin, python and cobras.

3. Ozone layer continues to deplete

  • Study proves that despite the ban on CFCs, the concentration of ozone in the lower part of the stratosphere is declining
  • Contrary to expectations, the ozone layer which protects life on Earth from high-energy radiation is actually thinning out in the lower stratosphere, new research has found.
  • In the 20th century, when excessive quantities of ozone-depleting chlorinated and brominated hydrocarbons were released into the atmosphere, the ozone layer in the stratosphere – at altitudes of 15 to 50 km – thinned out globally.
  • The Montreal Protocol introduced a ban on these long – lasting substances in 1989.
  • At the turn of the millennium, the loss of stratospheric ozone seemed to have stopped. Until now, experts have expected that the global ozone layer would completely recover by the middle of the century.
  • But the new study, published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, showed that despite the ban on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), the concentration of ozone in the lower part of the stratosphere (15 to 24 km) – where the ozone layer is at its densest – has continued to decline.
  • The scientists were able to demonstrate this using satellite measurements spanning the last three decades together with advanced statistical methods.
  • Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, ozone in the upper stratosphere – i.e. above 30 km – has increased significantly since 1998, and the stratosphere is also recovering above the polar regions.

What is the status of total ozone in atmosphere?

  • Yet despite these increases, measurements showed that the total ozone column in the atmosphere has remained constant, which experts took as a sign that ozone levels in the lower stratosphere must have declined.
  • The reasons for the continuing decline are still unclear. However, the authors have two possible explanations.
  • On the one hand, climate change is modifying the pattern of atmospheric circulation, moving air from the tropics faster and further in the polar direction, so that less ozone is formed.
  • On the other hand, very short- lived substances containing chlorine and bromine are on the rise, and could increasingly enter the lower stratosphere, for example as a result of more intense thunderstorms.
  • Although these substances are less ozone- depleting than CFCs, they are not neutral either.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. NASA to test deep space atomic clock

  • NASA is planning to send its new deep space atomic clock on a flight aboard a spacecraft, to test the system’s ability to provide accurate on-board timekeeping for future missions.
  • In deep space, accurate timekeeping is vital to navigation, but not all spacecraft have precise timepieces aboard.
  • For 20 years, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in the U.S. has been perfecting the Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC), an instrument being built for deep space exploration.
  • An Atomic Clock, GPS Receiver and Ultra-Stable Oscillator make up the Deep Space Atomic Clock Payload, and is integrated into the middle bay of Surrey Satellite US Orbital Test Bed Spacecraft.

Category: DEFENSE

1. India successfully test-fires nuclear capable Prithvi-II

  • India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile as part of a user trial by the Army from a test range in Odisha, Defence sources said.
  • Inducted into the Armed forces in 2003, the nine-metre-tall Prithvi-II is the first missile to have been developed by the DRDO
  • The trial of the surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur near here at around 11.35 a.m., they said.
  • Describing the trial as a complete success, they said all mission objectives were met during the test launch. The perfect test launch came after the successful trial of Agni-5 on January 18 and Agni-1 missile on Tuesday.
  • Prithvi-II is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines. The state-of-the-art missile uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target, they said.
  • The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the entire launch activities were carried out by the specially formed Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the Army and monitored by the scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of the training exercise, they said.
  • The missile trajectory was tracked by radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations by the DRDO along the coast of Odisha.
  • The downrange teams on board the ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the terminal events and splashdown.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

E. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for Today!!!

F. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements: 
  1. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is meant to provide cooking-gas connections to rural women.
  2. The deadline for achieving the target is 2020.

Which of the above statement/s is/are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer
Question 2. Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan Committee has been appointed in relation to: 
  1. Road Safety
  2. Issue of PIL
  3. Ban of Crackers
  4. Issue of MSP

See

Answer
Question 3. Prithvi II is a missile: 
  1. Developed by ISRO.
  2. Range of the missile is 350 km.

Which of the above statement/s is/are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer
Question 4. Corbett National Park is: 
  1. It is the country’s first National Park and is located in the state of Uttarakhand.
  2. It has also been declared as an Important Bird Area.

Which of the above statement/s is/are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer

G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

GS Paper II
  1. China is now mastering the arts of intervention that were once the monopoly of the European great powers. Explain.
GS Paper III
  1. What are the key differences between NeGP and e Kranti? Also, explain the challenges in its implementation.
  2. What are the various Policy Initiatives taken up by the govt to support Electric vehicles? Also, discuss the challenges encountered and steps to overcome them.

 

 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

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