01 Mar 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

Exercise Paschim Leher (XPL-18)

  • It is a three week long exercise termed Exercise ‘Paschim Leher’ (XPL).
  • The Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy concluded a large scale operational exercise in the Arabian Sea.
  • It tested the operational readiness of the Western Naval Command and the execution of its operational plans.       
  • Over 40 naval assets including the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, frontline ships of the Western Fleet and Eastern Fleet participated in the exercise.
  • The XPL 2018 enabled testing and revalidation of operational plans and manoeuvres in a hostile maritime scenario on India’s Western Seaboard. Defence of Indian offshore assets, such as oil rigs, escort operations of Indian merchant ships   as well as coastal defence, were also rehearsed.


DefExpo 2018

  • DefExpo India is one of the largest events of its kind in the world for the last 10 years.
  • For the first time DefExpo is being held in Chennai from 11 to 14 April 2018.
  • The location of the event is Tiruvidanthal, Kancheepuramdistrict on the East Coast Road near Chennai. 
  • The main theme of this DefExpo 2018 is to showcase India as a major hub of defence production in the world. 


NHAI to deploy all women toll collecting staff

  • The National Highways Authority of India has decided to deploy all women toll collecting staff in day shift on at least one toll plaza close to the city area, in every state and UT of the country on 8th March 2018, International Women’s Day.
  • If this initiative is successful, then it will be implemented across all toll plazas under operation by NHAI within the next 3 months. 
  • To improve the condition of toll plazas and create a competitive environment, NHAI is also doing a ranking of toll plazas based on various parameters directly affecting the highway users such as ETC adoptability, condition of ETC infrastructure, time taken in passing through the toll plaza using FASTag lane etc…


  • It is an initiative of Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.
  • It is an Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) program in the country under the brand name “FASTag”.
  • ETC entails payment of highway tolls electronically without needing to stop the vehicle at the toll plazas. 
  • The unique number of the RFID Tag affixed on the wind shield of the vehicle will be read by the readers fitted in the dedicated “ETC” lanes of plazas and appropriate amount as per the class of vehicle will be automatically deducted from the account of the user. 
  • The dedicated ETC lanes will have colour coding for distinct identity recognized as “FASTag lanes”. 
  • ICICI Bank and Axis bank, engaged for providing Central Clearing House (CCH) services, would distribute RFID based “FASTag” through their franchises/agents and at points of sales near the toll plazas.
  • Such type of highway tag brands are common in developed countries and are known by different names like “Eazee Pass”, “SunPass” in the US, “e-Pass” in Australia, “Salik” in Dubai etc.


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