In a first, Survey of India to use drones for mapping country: Report
GS PAPER -01 GEOGRAPHY - geographical features and their Location ; Government policies and interventions .
The Survey of India (SoI), will for the first time, use about 300 drones to map the country
More in the news:
The maps created with the help of drones, the report states, will have a 1:500 resolution, meaning 1 cm will represent 500 cm on the ground.
According to the report, the best SoI maps have a resolution of 1: 250000 currently. This means that 1 cm on the map represents 2500 cm on the ground.
According to the report, the aim of the survey is to map 75 percent of India's geography, coming up to 2.4 million sq km of the overall 3.2 million sq km.
The mapping of forests, hills and deserts is likely to be left out.
The drone mapping will help SoI in getting unprecedented detail of India’s landscape
It will also help creating high resolution maps of land in villages facilitating the digitisation of land titles in villages
Source :- The Hindu
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
Government should protect Sentinelese in their own environment, says expert
GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
A research paper on the Sentinelese published in Anthropological Survey of India’s journal has argued that the tribe should be protected by the government in its own environment and chosen circumstances.
The Sentinelese are a negrito tribe who live on the North Sentinel Island of the Andaman.
Based on carbon dating by the Anthropological Survey of India, Sentinelese presence was confirmed in the islands to 2,000 years ago.
The Sentinelese are hunter-gatherers, likely using bows and arrows to hunt and more rudimentary methods to catch local seafood.
It is known that the Sentinelese speak their own language, the Sentinelese language.
Currently,their numbers are believed to be less than 150 and as low as 40.
Protection under law:
The Sentinelese and other aboriginal tribes of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands are protected under The Andaman and Nicobar (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation,1956
The entire North Sentinel Island including the coastal sea extending up to 5 Kms has been declared as Tribal Reserve.
Government has also prohibited entry of all persons except those with authorisation.
Further,photography or filming the tribe members is also an offence.But restricted area permits were relaxed for some islands recently.
Why are they Protected ?
Sentinelese have been hostile to outside contact.
They have been mostly left alone even from colonial times unlike other tribes such as the Onges, Jarawas and Great Andamanese,because the land they occupy has little commercial attraction.
Further,having lived in isolation,the Sentinelese have no immunity or resistance to even the commonest of infections.
There are historical records of these tribes falling prey to malaria and recently measles. Their populations are small and fluctuations do occur in their numbers.
Source :- Times of India
India, Australia to elevate strategic partnership
GS PAPER - 02 INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS - Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests
India and Australia are likely to conclude the mutual logistics support agreement and a broader maritime cooperation agreement to elevate the strategic partnership.
The two countries have gradually increased cooperation in the field of maritime domain awareness. An information exchange agreement in this regard becomes important for better maritime domain awareness.
Australia has submitted a draft mutual logistics support agreement after India signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. in 2016. But India wants to consider more such agreements only after the first comes into operation.
Now that India has signed such an agreement with South Korea, India may consider signing the agreement with Australia too.
Maritime Cooperation agreement:
India and Australia have already expanded cooperation in maritime domain awareness.
The maritime cooperation agreement with a border mandate is important for better maritime domain awareness.
The Indian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy are also partners in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium(IONS).
Indian Ocean Naval Symposium(IONS):
IONS is an international maritime security initiative launched in February 2008.
It is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime cooperation among the navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.
There are 36 littoral in the Indian Ocean which have been geographically grouped into the four sub-regions.
AUSINDEX is a biennial bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The first edition of the exercise, AUSINDEX-15 took place in 2015 off the East Coast of India.
The exercise is aimed at strengthening professional interaction and enhance interoperability between the two navies.
It seeks to strengthen maritime cooperation between India and Australia
Source :- The Hindu
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
Vulture culture: How the bird was saved from extinction
GS PAPER - 03 ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY - Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
The current population of vultures in Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centres (VCBC) in India is 700.
Causes for declining population of Vulture :
Diclofenac: Feeding on cattle carcass with contaminated vetnary drug diclofenac has led to fatality among vulture population.
Low food availability
Conservation efforts taken :
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has prohibited the manufacture of Diclofenac for animal use in 2008 and has also restricted packaging of multi-dose vials of Diclofenac to single dose for humans.
The central government has formulated a National Action Plan (2006) on Vulture Conservation.
The Action Plan provides for strategies, actions for containing the decline of vulture population through ex-situ, in-situ vulture conservation.
Bombay Natural History Society in collaboration with the Haryana State Forest Department has set up Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centres (VCBC) in Pinjore. A ‘Vulture Captive Care facility’ has been established at Panchkula.
Vulture Breeding Facilities have been set up Rani, Guwahati (Assam), Buxa (West Bengal), Pinjore (Haryana) and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh).
Breeding facilities at Zoos at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Junagarh and Hyderabad have also been set up through Central Zoo Authority.
Vulture Safe Zones: It is an area designated as natural habitats of vultures.
The area is made free of diclofenac contaminated carcasses. It aims to sustain and increase vulture populations.
VSZ are there in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Assam.
Jatayu Restaurant: These are areas where regular and safe food supply is provided to attract vultures in to the safe area and to retain vultures already there.
White backed, Long Billed and Slender Billed Vultures are listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
Source :- The Hindu
Army to get indigenous tank ammunition
GS PAPER - 03 SECURITY - science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved indigenous development of ammunition for the Army’s T-72 and T-90 tanks
The T-90S ‘Bhishma’ is a main battle tank of the Indian Army.
India had procured T-90 from Russia in 2001 and deliveries started in 2004.
The tank is equipped with a new turret weapon station with an upgraded 125mm gun.
The tanks also sport an advanced and highly automated digital fire control system(FCS) to annihilate enemy tanks, self-propelled guns and other armoured targets.
The tank also has a guided missile system which can destroy armoured targets including those equipped with explosive reactive armour (ERA) and has a range up to 5 kilometres.
The tank has a protection system to insulate and help its crew operate in a Nuclear-Biological-Chemical attack environment.
Defence Acquisition Council :
Defence Acquisition Council(DAC) is the highest decision making body for military procurement.
It was formed in 2001.
It is headed by Defence minister.
The objective of the Defence Acquisition Council is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.
in-principle approval of 15 Year Long-Term Integrated Perspective Plan for Defence Forces;
accord of Acceptance of Necessity to acquisition proposals;
categorization of the acquisition proposals relating to ‘Buy’, ‘Buy & Make’ and ‘Make’;
issues relating to Single vendor clearance;
decision regarding ‘offset’ provisions in respect of acquisition proposals above Rs. 300 crores;
decisions regarding Transfer of Technology under ‘Buy & Make’ category of acquisition proposals; and
Field Trial evaluation.
Source :- The Hindu
Indian Air Force receives Spice-2000 'building blaster' buster bombs
GS PAPER - 03 SECURITY - Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
Indian Air Force(IAF) has received the new version of the guided air-to-ground Spice-2000 bombs from Israel.
The IAF had signed a contract with Israel in June this year for acquiring more than 100 Spice-2000 bombs under the emergency procurement powers of the services given by the Narendra Modi government.
The Israeli firm has started the delivery of the Spice-2000 bombs to India and the first batch of these bombs was received recently
The contract was signed as the Air Force wanted to acquire the bombs after their successful usage in the Balakot airstrikes against a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist camp in Pakistan.
Spice-2000 bombs :
SPICE stands for Smart, Precise Impact, Cost Effective.
The bomb comes from a family of standoff air-to-ground weapon systems.
The bomb is basically an electro-optical/GPS guidance kit to convert air dropped unguided bombs into precision guided ‘Smart’ bombs.
SPICE has a stand-off range of 60 km.It is a highly sophisticated piece of weaponry.
These bombs are difficult to detect by most ground-based radars.
SPICE can also overcome errors in locating the target,GPS jamming and reduces collateral damage.