Current Affairs, News & Facts of 07 Oct 2015

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  • INS Astradharani commissioned into Indian Navy

     

    INS Astradharani commissioned into Indian Navy

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    " INS Astradharani " Indian Navy’s first totally indigenously-designed and built torpedo launch and recovery vessel ( TRV ) was commissioned into Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

    Key facts about " INS Astradharani " :-

    • INS Astradharan is a 50-metre twin-hulled warship with maximum speed of 15 knots (28 km/h).
    • The unique design of the ship was a collaborative effort of Naval Science and Technological Laboratory, IIT Kharagpur and Shoft Shipyard.
    • The catamaran hull configuration significantly reduces its power requirement.
    • INS Astradharani will be used to carryout the technical trials of underwater weapons and systems developed by the city-based NSTL.
    • It is an advanced replacement for Astravahini which was decommissioned on July 17 this year.

    INS Astradharani adds thrust to the Nation’s ongoing endeavours towards indigenisation and achieving the nation’s goal of self reliance in underwater weapons development.

    The ship reflects the capability of our scientists and manufacturing facilities and would go a long way in the `Make in India' campaign of the Government. Such a ship has been a long-felt need and it is a dream come true.

    Facts to know about Indian Navy :-

    • The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the navy.
    • The 17th-century Maratha emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is considered as the 'Father of the Indian Navy'.
    • As of 2015, the Indian Navy has a strength of 58,350 personnel and a large operational fleet

    Motto :-  ( Sham No Varunah) i.e, May the Lord of the Oceans be auspicious unto us.

    Current Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) :- Admiral RK Dhowan

    Current Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS) :- Vice Admiral P Murugesan

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  • Sergey Karjakin wins 2015 World Cup Chess Championship

     

    Sergey Karjakin wins 2015 World Cup Chess Championship

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    • Russia’s Sergey Karjakin has won the chess World Cup held at Baku, Azerbaijan. In the final match he defeated Peter Svidler (Russia) by 6-4 score. The title was decided in the tie-breakers after the two won two classical games each.
    • Karjakin and Svidler thus joined five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and American duo of Fabiano Caruana andHikaru Nakamura as the pair have both qualified for the 2016 Candidates Chess Tournament which will decide the challenger for Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the nextworld championship. Now as the world cup concludes all eyes are now on the Candidates tournament which begins in 2016.
    • The Cup is one of the highly regarded tournaments in chess after the World Championship and the Candidates Tournament. It is from here that the players aspiring to winthe World Championship have a chance to participate. The World Cup is held annually every year with the top most players in the world competing for the prize.

    Facts about Sergey Karjakin :-

    • Sergey Karjakin is Ukrainian-born Russian chess grandmaster and chess prodigy and  holds the record for the world's youngest Grandmaster, at the age of 12 years and7 months.
    • He has competed in six Chess Olympiads, three times for Ukraine and three times for Russia, winning three gold medals, two silver and a bronze.
    • Karjakin won the 2012 World Rapid Chess Championship and the Chess World Cup 2015.  He also won the Norway Chess Tournament twice (2013, 2014) and theCorus Chess Tournament in 2009.

     

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  • Government launches KISAN Project and Hailstorm App for crop damage

     

    Government launches KISAN Project and Hailstorm App for crop damage

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    Government has unveiled KISAN Project (Crop Insurance using Space Technology and Geoinformatics) to fasten payment of crop insurance claims to farmers and help the farmers in many other ways. The project will use satellite and drone-based imaging and other geospatial technology to get timely and precise data on crop yields.

    Key Facts :-

    • The pilot study will be carried out in rice and cotton fields in four districts during the ongoing Kharif season in Karnataka (Shimoga district), Maharastra (Yavatmal), Haryana (Kurkshetra) and Madhya Pradesh (Seoni).
    • KISAN Project emphasises on the  use of high resolution remote sensing data both from satellite and drone-based imaging, sophisticated modelling activity and other geospatial technology for improving the accuracy of crop yield estimation through more efficient crop cutting experiments. 
    • Block level yield estimation and development of a new index based insurance approach, using remote sensing data are also envisaged under the project. 
    • The programme will be jointly conducted by Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation, India Meteorological Department, State Agriculture Departments and Remote Sensing Centres, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). 

    Implications of KISAN Project :-

    • Currently payment of crop insurance claims is done on the basis of crop cutting experiments due to which there has always been a problem in getting timely and accurate data, following which payment of claims to farmers were getting delayed. KISAN Project will provide timely and accurate data for insurance claims and make payment of claims to farmers without any delay.

    Hailstorm App for crop damage

    • Hailstorms cause large scale damage to standing crops. However, at present, there is no comprehensive approach to collect hailstorm data. To overcome this, an Android app has been developed with the support of ISRO 
    • The app can be used through smartphones for collection of hailstorm data along with photographs and locations and can be uploaded on real-time to ISRO's Bhuvan server 
    • The app will be used by state agriculture department officials for data collection. Even farmers can download the app and send pictures of hailstorm. "This will help the government to have very fast assessment of hailstorm damage to crops," 
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  • Twelve Pacific Rim countries ink Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement

     

    Twelve Pacific Rim countries ink Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement

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    • Twelve Pacific Rim countries have signed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that cuts trade tariffs and sets common standards in trade
    • Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) aims to counter the trade obstructions created by china and cut trade barriers that are affecting everything from the price of cheese to the cost of cancer treatments. It should be noted that China being world’s second-largest economy has been not part of the agreement.
    • The agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was reached on Monday after five days of talks in Atlanta, US which was under negotiation for five years and was delayed repeatedly by negotiations over drug patents.
    • The TPP is designed to encourage trade between the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The 12 countries have a population of about 800 million and are responsible for 40 Per Cent of world trade.

    Key facts related to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) :-

    • The TPP will seek to lower trade barriers such as tariffs and establish a common framework  for intellectual property, enforce standards for labour law and environmental law, and establish an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.
    • The stated goal of the agreement is to "enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, to promote innovation, economic growth and development, and to support the creation and retention of jobs".
    • Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) eliminates more than 18000 taxes levied by various countries on American goods in turn benefiting farmers, ranchers and manufacturers.
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  • Govt to spend Rs 70,000 crore on development of major ports

     

    Govt to spend Rs 70,000 crore on development of major ports

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    • The government has decided to to spend Rs 70,000 crore on major ports to make them more efficient and reduce logistics cost in the country under it's ambitious  Sagarmala Project, which is aimed at port-led development in coastal areas.
    • It was announced by Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who chaired the first meeting of the National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC). Once implemented, this will result in cargo traffic increasing three folds. Logistic cost will be reduced. Our logistic cost is thrice that of China's.
    • The meeting also highlighted the potential of transporting 100 MMTPA of thermal coal by coastal shipping as against the present volume of 23 MMTPA by 2020.
    • This will lead to annual savings of about Rs 7,000 crore in coal logistics cost by 2020 and will also free up approximately 80,000 rake days which can be effectively utilised.Sagarmala project has potential to reduce the cost of power generation by 15 per cent and will give a boost to the manufacturing sector.

    Key Facts about Sagarmala Project :-

    • On 25 March 2015 Cabinet gave approval to the  concept and institutional framework of the Sagarmala project under which the the NSAC was established. Under Sagarmala project govt aims to develop 12 ports of India and also 1208 Islands. The government also aims to promote tourism and fishery under Sagarmala 
    • The NSAC panel comprises the NITI Aayog vice chairman, union ministers from stakeholder ministries and chief ministers of 10 maritime states- Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
    • National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC) will provide policy direction and guidance for the initiative’s implementation, shall approve the overall National Perspective Plan (NPP) and review the progress of implementation of these plans.
    • Two ports, Kandla and Paradip, are being developed into Green smart cities and the government is eyeing Rs 4,500 profit from the ports this fiscal. Government is investing 4,000 crore rupees at Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone which will provide employment to 1.5 lakh youth.
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