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MID Air Refueling Trials of LCA with IL-78 MKI
- On 04 Sep 18, the Indian Air Force successfully carried out the first ever midair refueling of the indigenously build fighter aircraft Tejas MK 1 with an IL-78 MKI tanker of the 78 Sqn.
- Base of the tanker was in Agra while the fighter was launched from Gwalior.
- The modified Tejas aircraft carried out a series of test profiles including a ‘Dry Contact’ with the tanker. A second Tejas aircraft flying in formation was used to observe the exercise closely.
- The success of these trials is a major leap for the indigenous fighter, thus enhancing its mission capability by increasing its range and payload.
- The ability to carry out Air-to-Air Refueling is one of the critical requirements for the LCA to achieve ‘Final Operational Clearance’.
Coffee Connect & Coffee KrishiTharanga
- Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu launched Coffee Connect – India coffee field force app and Coffee KrishiTharanga – digital mobile extension services for coffee stakeholders.
- The mobile app Coffee Connect has been developed to ease the work of field functionaries and to improve the work efficiency.
- This application provides solution by harnessing the power of mobility comprising the latest technology in easing the whole process of the field activities like digitization of Coffee Growers & Estates with Geo Tagging, collecting the Plantation details.
- It will also help in transparency in the activities of the extension officers and officials, transparency in subsidy disbursement and real time report generation.
- The Coffee KrishiTharanga services are aimed at providing customized information and services to increase productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability.
- The “Coffee KrishiTharanga” is pilot tested in the Chikmagalur and Hassan districts of Karnataka State covering 30,000 farmers during the first year and will be extended to remaining growers in a phased manner.
- Coffee is cultivated in India in about 4.54 lakh hectares by 3.66 lakh coffee farmers and 98% of them are small farmers. Its cultivation is mainly confined to Karnataka (54%), Kerala (19%) and Tamil Nadu (8%) which form traditional coffee tracts.
- Coffee is also grown in non-traditional areas like Andhra Pradesh & Odisha (17.2%) and North Eastern states (1.8%), with main emphasis on tribal development and afforestation.
National Mission on GeM
- Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, launched the National Mission on Government eMarketplace (GeM) for increasing awareness and accelerating the use of (GeM).
- It is aimed at creating awareness about GeM, train the buyers and sellers, get them registered in GeM and increase the procurement through GeM.
- The mission also aims to give a boost to cashless, contactless, paperless transactions in line with Digital India objectives.
- Government eMarketplace is the national public procurement portal offering an online, end-to-end, solution for procurement of common use goods and services by government departments.
- GeM provides an open, inclusive, transparent and efficient online marketplace, which provides huge savings to government.
- It is mandatory for central government departments to procure through GeM.
- 25 states and Union Territories have signed MoU with GeM to adopt it as the mandatory mode of procurement for their departments so far.
- The portal has nearly 27 thousand buyer organisations registered and about 1.37 lakh sellers and service providers offering more than 4.65 lakh products and services for online purchase and contributes to approximately 20-25% average overall savings to the Government.
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