9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – October 30th, 2021

Dear Friends
We have initiated some changes in the 9 PM Brief and other postings related to current affairs. What we sought to do:

  1. Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you.
  2. We have widened the sources to provide you with content that is more than enough and adds value not just for GS but also for essay writing. Hence, the 9 PM brief now covers the following newspapers:
    1. The Hindu  
    2. Indian Express  
    3. Livemint  
    4. Business Standard  
    5. Times of India 
    6. Down To Earth
    7. PIB
  3. We have also introduced the relevance part to every article. This ensures that you know why a particular article is important.
  4. Since these changes are new, so initially the number of articles might increase, but they’ll go down over time.
  5. It is our endeavor to provide you with the best content and your feedback is essential for the same. We will be anticipating your feedback and ensure the blog serves as an optimal medium of learning for all the aspirants.
  • For previous editions of 9 PM BriefClick Here
  • For individual articles of 9 PM BriefClick Here

Mains Oriented Articles 

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

Why bail proceedings for offences under NDPS Act are complex and open to abuse

Source: This post is based on the article “Why bail proceedings for offences under NDPS Act are complex and open to abuse” published in Indian Express on 30th October 2021.

Syllabus: GS2 – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors.

Relevance: To understand the ambiguities in the NDPS Act.

Synopsis: Conditions of granting bail under NDPS act are very stringent. Amendments should be introduced to it to make it justiciable. 

Introduction 

As highlighted by the present case of Aryan Khan, the interpretation of provisions for bail under NDPS act has resulted in many suffering behind bars for years. 

Must ReadDrug usage and the NDPS Act – Explained, pointwise
What are the issues related to bail under the NDPS Act? 

Under this act, the innocent-until-proven-guilty principle is reversed to the guilty-until-proven-innocent principle. The burden of proof of proving himself innocent is on accused.  

Section 37 places limitations on granting of bail for offences under the NDPS Act, through 2 conditions:  

  1. Firstly, that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of such an offence.  
  2. Secondly, the person is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. 
Read more: Should the NDPS Act be amended?

Words reasonable grounds in the above Act are not defined in the law, so it is subject to judicial intervention. Further, the ambiguity in interpretation and improper ground of denying bail like WhatsApp chats and notes on mobile phones makes it more complicated.   

 Chief Justice of India spoke the sorry state of affairs in lawmaking at the Independence Day celebrations this year, said “ We don’t know for what purpose they(laws) are made. They(Laws) are causing a lot of litigation and inconvenience to the people, courts…” 

GS Paper 3

Cities and climate change: why low-rise buildings are the future – not skyscrapers

Source: This post is based on the article “Cities and climate change: why low-rise buildings are the future – not skyscrapers” published in “Down To Earth” on 29th October 2021.

Syllabus: GS3- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Relevance: To understand the interplay of urban infrastructure and its consequent effects on climate.

Synopsis: The plan of urban architecture for accommodating more people needs a change. The new research model offers solutions to both infrastructure and climate.

Introduction

More than 50% of the world’s population live in cities and urban areas. By 2050, an additional 2.5 billion will be living there.

Hence, we need a climate proof plan of architecture for urban areas.

There is a popular belief that taller, more densely packed skyscrapers are the way forward, because they optimise the use of space and house more people per square metre and limit urban sprawl.

But as per a new study and given the global commitments to emission-reduction targets and mitigating climate change, this is not the most sustainable solution from a carbon-reduction perspective.

The study found that densely built, low-rise environments are more space and carbon efficient, while high-rise buildings have a drastically higher carbon impact.

What was the study and its findings?

In the study, both operational and “embodied” carbon — of different buildings and urban environments were studied. Four different urban scenarios were developed:

High-density, high-rise (HDHR)- tall and close together.

low-density, high-rise (LDHR)- tall but more spread out.

high-density, low-rise (HDLR)- low and close together.

low-density, low-rise (LDLR)- low level and more spaced out.

Results: The study showed that HDLR scenario is more space and carbon efficient i.e more environmentally friendly.

When moving from a HDLR to HDHR urban environment, the average increase in whole life-cycle carbon (both operational and embodied) emissions is 142%.

Operational carbon is generated while a building is in service.

Embodied carbon (hidden carbon) is produced during the extraction, production, transport and manufacture of raw materials used to construct a building, plus any produced during maintenance, refurbishment, demolition or replacement.

Why building design is a critical element?

At a global scale, the construction sector is responsible for a significant impact on the environment. In this, largest contribution comes from ‘consumption of energy and resources’, which is due to design stage neglect.

Design is also important because skyscrapers rely heavily on concrete as a structural material. And concrete has highest hidden carbon contribution among construction materials. So the type of materials we use, how much we use, and how we use them is crucial.

What are the various issues with the present building design frameworks?

Presently, in building design, “operational efficiency” is given more importance, however “embodied impact assessment” is voluntary and therefore neglected. The focus is on driving down ‘operational energy’ requirement.

Embodied impact is the impact from the production of materials, their transportation to the construction site, and the construction process itself

However the proportional share of ’embodied energy’ consumption has been driven up, as the materials and activities required to build it in first place produce proportionally more impacts across the building’s lifespan.

What is the solution?

We need to build more HDLR type buildings rather then HDHR.


Facebook deploys hardly any resources in India to tackle misinformation. This must change

Source: This post is based on the article “Facebook deploys hardly any resources in India to tackle misinformation.This must change” published in “Indian Express” on 26th October 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Awareness in the fields of IT.

Relevance: To understand the challenges put by technology.

Synopsis: Social media platforms in India are being used to spread hate against minorities and to serve petty political ends. Moreover, platforms like Facebook are not taking serious steps to address these issues as clear by the recent revelations.

Introduction

Since 2016, Facebook has been under the scanner for its alleged involvement in encouraging fake news, to the extent of affecting elections, promoting hate speech and emboldening prejudice.

Now, for the first time, leaked internal reports have made it clear that the issues that plague social media in the US are also true for India, the company’s largest market.

What are the concerns w.r.t usage of Facebook in India and its policies towards Indian market?

Bots (AI) and fake accounts tied to political parties and cultural organisations tried to spread fake news, to impact the elections.

Facebook spends 87% of its global budget earmarked for tackling misinformation in North America where only 10% of its users reside. Given the resources it deploys in US and other countries, it is clear that the well-being of some users and geographies matters more than others.

Political parties and their proxies — groups representing narrow community interests — have used the platform to great effect for their own ends.

Facebook did little to curb reported instances of hate speech against minority communities.

What is the way forward?

Social media must be more transparent and proactive in addressing the fundamentals of its algorithms and business models, which can clearly cause social harm.

For impartial and reasonable regulation of the digital sphere, the political class, too, must be willing to sacrifice the quick gains it has reaped on social media.

Instead of focusing on polarization of the general public, political parties should utilize digital media for evidence-based discussions.


Catch all control that aren’t likely to end overfishing

Source: This post is based on the article “Catch all control that aren’t likely to end overfishing” published in Livemint on 26th October 2021.

Subject: GS3- Resources of economic importance.

Relevance: Understanding the issue of over-exploitation of fisheries.

Synopsis: Overexploitation of fish resources needs to be addressed urgently.

Introduction

The world faces many global or common problems ranging from climate change to over-exploitation of common resources like fisheries. According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) more than a third of the marine resources have been depleted beyond a point which it cannot replace itself.

Why fisheries segment is important?

39 million people depend on fisheries for their livelihood. Fisheries meet about 1/5 of the animal-proteins requirement of about 42% of the population of the world.

What are the ways to solve the fisheries’ problem?

World Trade Organization (WTO) should focus on ending subsidies for activities that promote deep-sea fishing. For example, ending subsidies on cheap fuel for Deep Sea trawlers.

Countries need to control the illegal or unregulated high-volume mechanized deep sea fishing.

Read more: Differential treatment: On fisheries subsidies issue at WTO

For territorial waters, it should be left to the country to manage the resources. For example, India.

What should be the way forward?

Though ending the subsidies would be difficult, WTO should still take up the issue.  The developed countries, which have caused maximum harm, need to take up more responsibility in overcoming this crisis.


Is India ready for a world where electric vehicles will dominate transportation?

Source: This post is based on the article “Driving a New World Order” published in Indian Express on 30th October 2021.

Syllabus– GS3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation

Relevance: Significance of Electric Vehicles

Synopsis: India needs Electric Vehicles to protect the environment and acquire a permanent place in the new global order.

Introduction

Fossil-fuel-based transportation has resulted in pollution around the world. India has nine of the 10 most polluted cities in the world I.e., Greater Noida, Noida, Lucknow, and Delhi, etc. Thus, the government is steadily encouraging electric vehicles.  

How Electric Vehicles are beneficial compared to combustion engines? 

An EV operates on an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. and has a battery instead of a fuel tank. 

1) It does not emit environmentally harmful gases. 2) It’s cost of running is 80 paise per kilometer compared to 7-8 per kilometer for petrol-based vehicles.  

Initiatives to promote EV 

Government Initiatives: 1) National Electric Mobility Mission Plan aims at least 30 per cent of vehicles on our streets by 2030, would be electric. 2) Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme: It provides for road and registration tax subsidies and technological support to encourage the manufacturing and purchase of electric vehicles.  

Private initiatives: Companies like Amazon, Swiggy, Zomato, and Ikea are deploying EVs for deliveries. Car manufacturers like Mahindra and Tata Motors are making partnerships with mobility companies Ola and blue smart mobility respectively, to ensure more EV delivery and ride-hailing services.   

Challenges in the adoption of electric vehicles in India

lack of charging infrastructure in India is a major issue. At present, there are only 427 charging stations around the country.  

Uninterrupted supply of electricity will also be a challenge in the adoption of EVs.   

India will be dependent upon foreign countries like China and Korea for lithium-based EV batteries. Its manufacturing in India is at a nominal stage.  


How to create a truly digital public

Source: This post is based on the article “How to create a truly digital public” published in The Indian Express on 30th Oct 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life.

Relevance: Utilizing technology for governance, Building trust of the marginalized on digital tech

Synopsis: Technological solutions for social services should be more citizen centric. At present these solutions are more suitable for elite class instead of marginalised class.  

Introduction 

Government has recognized the power of technology in ensuring inclusion at a massive scale. Technology is being used for social services such as receiving vaccines and rations to paying for cooking gas and applying for fertilizer subsidies.  

However, the technology of such services is not designed, keeping in mind the ordinary citizens of the country. It is more suitable for “elite” citizen I.e., male, urban, upper class. The term used in law, un-ironically, is “reasonable man”. 

What are the issues in technological designs of services? 

Accessibility and trust deficit: Large segments of Indians either do not trust or don’t have access to the digital model of services and hence rely upon trusted human intermediaries.  

Gender digital divide: social commerce entrepreneurs are not able to take the benefit of technology due to gender divide.  

What are the suggestions to make digital spaces truly public? 

Encouraging human-centric design: A shift from the default “build first and then disseminate” approach is required. Designs should be human-centric and its assessment by users should be mandatory before its rollout. For example, UPI payments app, BHIM and Postman Savings products have been successful among non “digital natives” due to their simple and pro-poor designs.  

Using trusted human interface: Local intermediaries like community leaders and civil society organizations and existing networks like ASHAs should be used to bridge the digital divide. These intermediaries are trusted by those who are not comfortable or don’t trust the technology.  

Institutionalize an anchor entity: This entity will bring together innovators, policymakers, civil society organisations and researchers to ensure citizen-centricity in GovTech. One such platform is Citizen Lab in Denmark.  

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Launching ceremony of TUSHIL – P1135.6 follow on Frigate (Ex-Russia)

Source: This post is based on the article “Launching ceremony of TUSHIL – P1135.6 follow on Frigate (Ex-Russia)” published in “PIB” on 29th October 2021.

What is the News?

The 7th Indian Navy Frigate of P1135.6 class was launched at Yantar Shipyard, Russia. The ship is formally named as ‘Tushil’-a Sanskrit word meaning Protector Shield.

The construction of ships is based on an Inter-Governmental Agreement between the India and Russian Federation for construction of two ships of Project 1135.6 ships in Russia and two ships in India at M/s Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL).

More about the Frigate-Tushil

The construction of these ships is based on Indian Navy’s specific requirements to meet the entire spectrum of naval warfare in all three dimensions of Air, Surface and Sub-surface.

The ships with a potent combination of state-of-art Indian and Russian Weapons and Sensors are equipped to operate in Littoral and Blue waters, both as a single unit and as consort in a naval task force.

They feature “stealth technology” in terms of low radar and under water noise signatures.

These ships are being equipped with major Indian supplied equipment such as Surface to Surface Missiles, Sonar system, Surface Surveillance Radar, Communication Suite and ASW system along with Russian Surface to Air Missiles and gun mounts.


Run-up to COP26: Wonder rice may help reduce emissions, offer good yield

Source: This post is based on the article “Run-up to COP26: Wonder rice may help reduce emissions, offer good yield” published in Business Standard on 30th Oct 2021.

What is the news?

Scientists at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Manila have come up with new DSR rice varieties.

Must Read: What is Direct Seeded Method (DSR) of growing rice?
Why were new varieties developed?

Rice-growing is resource-intensive as it covers 11% of the Earth’s arable land and consumes one-third of irrigation water. Moreover, paddy farming is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, DSR method of rice cultivation is being incentivized.

But, the Direct Seeded Method (DSR) despite being eco-friendly has not witnessed large scale adoption due to complaints of low yields and increased susceptibility to pests.

Hence, scientists at IRRI developed new varieties which not only give higher yields than the traditional puddling method but are also resistant to pests.

What are key features of the new varieties being developed?

The new varieties have the following features:

– The crop takes less time to mature, giving farmers ample time to do residue management. Hence, these varieties can address the problem of stubble management.

– Higher yield: These varieties not only germinate quickly in extreme dry conditions but also give a yield of around 4-5.5 tonnes per hectare. If the same variety is grown through puddling, the yield level goes up even further to almost seven tonnes per hectare, researchers claim.
At which locations the newly developed varieties are being tested?

The varieties being tested at the IRRI in various agro-climatic zones across Asia. The cross-country trials are being conducted across 29 sites in Asia and Africa including India where the first trials are currently close to harvest in states such as Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha.


NITI Aayog Releases Report on ‘Health Insurance for India’s Missing Middle’

Source: This post is based on the following articles:

  • NITI Aayog Releases Report on ‘Health Insurance for India’s Missing Middlepublished in PIB on 30th October 2021
  • At least 40 cr individuals don’t have any financial protection for health: Niti Aayogpublished in Financial Express on 30th October 2021.
What is the News?

Niti Aayog has released a report titled ‘Health Insurance for India’s Missing Middle’.

What are the key Findings of the report?

At least 30% of the population, or 40 crore individuals – called the missing middle are devoid of any financial protection for health:

  • The Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(AB-PMJAY) and State Government schemes provide comprehensive hospitalization cover to the bottom 50% of the population. 
  • Another 20% of the population are covered through social health insurance and private voluntary health insurance. 
  • But the remaining 30% of the population or 40 crore individuals are without any health insurance. This uncovered population is termed as the missing middle. 
  • Missing middle predominantly constitutes the self-employed (agriculture and non-agriculture), the informal sector in rural areas and a broad array of occupations – informal, semi-formal, and formal – in urban areas.
What should be done to cover the missing middle?

The report has recommended three models.

First Model: It focuses on increasing consumer awareness of health insurance.

Second Model: It is about developing a modified, standardized health insurance product like ‘Arogya Sanjeevani’. It is a standardised health insurance product launched by the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India, IRDAI) in 2020.

Third Model: This model recommends the expansion of PMJAY to a wider set of beneficiaries. This is the only model out of three proposed which has fiscal implications for the Government. 

What are the other Suggestions in the Report?

The report has suggested sharing of the government scheme data with the private insurance companies. 

Government databases such as National Food Security Act (NFSA), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana or the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) for agricultural households can be shared with private insurers after taking consent from these households.

Such databases will help ease the identification of and outreach to potential customers by insurers.


DRDO & IAF jointly flight test Long-Range Bomb successfully

Source: This post is based on the article DRDO & IAF jointly flight test Long-Range Bomb successfullypublished in PIB on 29th October 2021.

What is the News?

Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) and Indian Air Force (IAF) have jointly flight-tested Long-Range Bomb(LRB).

What is a Long Range Bomb(LRB)?

Long Range Bomb is India’s first indigenously-developed guided bomb.It will be used to attack land-based targets at a long-range with greater accuracy.

Developed by: It has been designed and developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), a DRDO laboratory located at Hyderabad in coordination with other DRDO laboratories. 

Range: The bomb has a range of around 100 kilometres.

Significance: This development is important as India in the past has been using Israeli laser-guided bombs. Hence, the successful test of the LR Bomb makes India capable of staying well within its territory and hitting enemy targets at 100 kilometres with high accuracy.


Union Health Minister launches the Sixth Edition of National Formulary of India (NFI)

Source: This post is based on the article Union Health Minister launches the Sixth Edition of National Formulary of India (NFI)published in PIB on 28th October 2021.

What is the News?

The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has launched the Sixth Edition of the National Formulary of India (NFI). 

About National Formulary of India(NFI)
  • Published by: Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission(IPC) 
  • Aim: To promote rational use of medicines in the country.
  • Significance: The NFI will be very beneficial for Clinicians and Healthcare professionals while prescribing the medicines to the patients.
Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission(IPC)

IPC is an Autonomous Institution of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. 

Functions of IPC:

  • To set standards of drugs in the country. 
  • To update regularly the standards of drugs commonly required for the treatment of diseases prevailing in this region.
  • To publish official documents for improving the Quality of Medicines by way of adding new and updating existing monographs in the form of Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP).
  • To further promote rational use of generic medicines by publishing the National Formulary of India.
  • To prescribe standards for identity, purity and strength of drugs essentially required from the health care perspective of human beings and animals. 

Union Minister launches Nationwide expansion of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under the Universal Immunization Programme(UIP)

Source: This post is based on the following articles:

  • Union Minister launches Nationwide expansion of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under the Universal Immunization Programme(UIP)” published in PIB on 30th October 2021
  • “Nationwide PCV drive launched” published in The Hindu on 30th October 2021.
What is the News?

The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has launched the nationwide expansion of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. 

About Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine(PCV) 

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is given to prevent pneumococcal disease.

Pneumococcal disease refers to any illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria. These bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs.

Pneumonia is a leading cause of death among children under-5 years old, globally and in India. In India around 16%  of deaths in Children occur due to pneumonia. 

Hence, the nationwide rollout of PCV will reduce child mortality by around 60%.

Note:  So far, PCV vaccine through government hospitals was available only in five states — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. On the other hand, two states, Haryana and Goa were offering the PCV vaccine from the state government funds.

About Universal Immunisation Programme(UIP)

Universal Immunisation Programme(UIP) is a vaccination programme launched by the Government of India in 1985.

Under UIP, immunization is being provided free of cost against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases:

Nationally against 10 diseases – Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Rubella, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis, Rotavirus diarrhea, Hepatitis B and Meningitis & Pneumonia caused by Haemophilus Influenzae type B

Sub-nationally against 2 diseases – Pneumococcal Pneumonia and Japanese Encephalitis.

Among these, Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine is nationally expanded while JE vaccine is provided only in endemic districts.


Zoonotic pathogens threaten humans, snow leopards in High Asia: Policy brief

Source: This post is based on the article Zoonotic pathogens threaten humans, snow leopards in High Asia: Policy briefpublished in Down To Earth on 30th October 2021.

What is the News?

According to a report, the remote mountains of inner Asia could witness future pandemics which could threaten both humans as well as non-human species such as snow leopards.

About Snow Leopard

– Scientific Name: Panthera uncia

– Habitat: It lives at high altitudes in the steep mountains of Central and Southern Asia, where the climate is extremely cold.

– Diet: Snow leopards are carnivores that actively hunt their prey.

– Range Countries: It is found in 12 range countries namely Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

– India: It is found in higher Himalayan and trans-Himalayan landscape in the states/union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.

– State Animal: It is the State animal of Himachal Pradesh

– Indicator Species: Snow Leopard (also known as Ghost of the mountains) acts as an indicator of the health of the mountain ecosystem in which they live. It is because of their position as the top predator in the food web.

– Snow Leopard capital of the world: Hemis, Ladakh.

– IUCN Red list Status: Vulnerable (VU)

– CITES: Appendix I

– Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972: Schedule I

It is also listed in the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).

Must Read: International Snow Leopard Day
About Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP) 

GSLEP is a unique alliance of range country governments and non-governmental partners established in 2013.

– Origin: In the 2013 Bishkek Declaration, the 12 snow leopard range countries endorsed a comprehensive, long-term Global Snow Leopard Conservation Program.This led to the launch of GSLEP

– Aim: To address high-mountain development issues using the conservation of the charismatic and endangered snow leopard as a flagship.

– Secretariat: Its program Secretariat is based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.


No money left in MGNREGA coffers; 21 States in the red

Source: This post is based on the articleNo money left in MGNREGA coffers; 21 States in the red published in PIB on 28th October 2021.

What is the News?

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme has run out of funds halfway through the financial year. Moreover, supplementary budgetary allocations cannot be allocated for at least another month when the next Parliamentary session begins. 

What is the issue?
Source: The Hindu

During COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, the scheme was given its highest budget allocation. But the 2021-22 budget has not allocated sufficient amounts.

Due to this, the MGNREGA scheme has run out of funds halfway through the financial year.

Already, 21 States are showing a negative net balance with Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal faring the worst.

What is the impact?

Firstly, this will mean that payments for MGNREGA workers as well as material costs will be delayed unless States provide their own funds.

Secondly, activists have said that by delaying wage payments, the Centre is making workers do “forced labour” at a time of economic distress. 

Thirdly, delay in wage payments is a violation of a 2016 judgement of the Supreme Court, which described pending wage payments under MGNREGA as a clear constitutional breach committed by the State and a modern form of begar.

Lastly, when there is no money, State governments tend to stop generating work. As MGNREGA data shows that 13% of households who demanded work under the scheme were not provided work.


Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh launches India’s First and Unique Manned Ocean Mission Samudrayan at Chennai

Source: This post is based on the article “Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh launches India’s First and Unique Manned Ocean Mission Samudrayan at Chennai” published in the PIB on 29th October 2021.

What is the news?

India recently unveiled its First Manned Ocean Mission, Samudrayan in Chennai.

About the mission

It is India’s first unique manned ocean mission that aims to send men into the deep sea in a submersible vehicle for deep-ocean exploration and mining of rare minerals.

It will send three persons in a manned submersible vehicle MATSYA 6000 to a depth of 6000 metres into the sea for deep underwater studies.

Note: India completed the preliminary design of MATSYA 6000 and started the realization of the vehicle. The deepwater manned submersible will be ready for trials by the second quarter of 2024.

With this, India will join the elite club of nations such as the USA, Russia, Japan, France and China to have such underwater vehicles for carrying out subsea activities.

What will be the design of the submersible vehicle?

India has vast experience in developing unmanned submersible vehicles for a depth of 6000 m. This will be used to develop a manned submersible with a depth capability of 6000 m under the aegis of a deep ocean mission. 

It will have a titanium alloy personnel sphere, Human support and safety system in enclosed space, low-density buoyancy modules, Ballast and Trim System.

It will also have an operational to support emergency insurance up to 96 hours.

What are the advantages of a submersible vehicle?

It will help in carrying out deep ocean exploration of the non-living resources such as polymetallic manganese nodules, gas hydrates etc located at a depth between 1000 and 5500 meters.


Indian military cannot operate effectively without Russian supplied equipment: CRS report”

Source: This post is based on the article “Indian military cannot operate effectively without Russian supplied equipment: CRS report” published in the Indian Express on 27th October 2021.

What is the news?

Recently, Congressional Research Service (CRS) report has said that the Indian military cannot operate effectively without Russian-supplied equipment and will continue to rely on Russian weapons systems in the near and middle terms.

Read moreUS cautions India over S-400 deal with Russia, cites strategic partnership choices
About the CRS report?

CRS is a public policy research institute of the United States Congress. The CRS prepares periodic reports on various issues using independent subject experts. Its reports are not official reports of Congress and are prepared to help lawmakers make informed decisions.

What does the CRS report say about India-Russia arms sales?

Since 2010 Russia has been the source of nearly 2/3 of all Indian arms imports. India has been the largest importer of Russian arms. India’s major military equipment’s from tanks to aircraft carriers are of Russian origin.

Since 2015 there has been a consistent drop in the import of equipment from Russia. But the Indian military cannot operate effectively without Russian-supplied equipment.

Why defence relation is important for both Russia and India?

Arms purchase is one of the leverage that India has over Russia. Moreover, Russia supplies advanced technologies to India which no other countries would supply. So this creates Russian leverage over India. Thus, this relation is mutually beneficial for both countries, and both countries would like to sustain it.

Read more: Reviving India-Russia Relationship – Explained, Pointwise
What are the recent Indian deals with Russia?

In 2019 India submitted US$800 million for the S 400 systems. The total value of the sale is estimated to be $5.4 billion.

India has also entered a contract for indigenous production of Russian T 90 tanks.

Read here: What is “CAATSA” or Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act?

This report would thus help US lawmakers decide on the issue of CAATSA in the wake of India purchasing S-400 systems from Russia.

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