Current Affairs

UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelims and Mains Exam 30th March 2020

Innovation for Defence Excellence Initiative (iDEX)

  • iDEX is an initiative taken by the government to contribute towards modernization of the Defence Industry.
  • It was launched by the Government in April 2018.
  • iDEX aims to promote innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries (which includes MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes & academia).
  • iDEX will provide the engaging industries with funding and other support to carry out Research & Development.
  • iDEX will be funded and managed by Defence Innovation Organization (DIO), and will function as the executive arm of DIO.

Defence Innovation Organization (DIO)

  • DIO is a ‘not for profit’ company registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013.
  • Its two founding members are Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) & Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) – Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
  • HAL and BEL are navratna companies.

Defence Artificial Intelligence Project Agency

  • Defence Artificial Intelligence Project Agency (DAIPA) was created in March, 2019.
  • DAIPA aims for greater thrust on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Defence, formulation of an AI roadmap for each Defence PSU and Ordnance Factory Board to develop AI-enable products.
  • DAIP was setup after the recommendations of N Chadrasekharan Task Force 2018, which studies implications of AI in national security.

Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti

  • Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti was launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Defence with the objective of creating greater Intellectual Property (IP) in Defence Production Ecosystem.
  • The Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) has been entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating and implementing the programme.
  • The Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) is under the Department Of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence.
  • The organization provides Quality Assurance (QA) cover for the entire range of Arms, Ammunitions, Equipment and Stores supplied to Armed Forces.
  • It aims to achieve the goal of self-reliance in the defense sector to generate Intellectual Property in India and marks a departure from the culture of seeking Transfer of Technology (ToT) from foreign sources.

IPC Sections against Disease spreaders

  • During the coronavirus outbreak, penal provisions, such as Sections 188, 269 and 270 of the IPC, are being invoked to enforce the lockdown orders in various states.
  • Section 188 – Against disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.
  • Under this section it is not necessary that the offender should intend to produce harm, or contemplate his disobedience as likely to produce harm.
  • It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys, and that his disobedience produces, or is likely to produce, harm.
  • Across the country where Sections 269 and 270 have been used to book persons defying quarantine orders for containing the spread of the pandemic.
  • Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) come under Chapter XIV of the Indian Penal Code– ‘Of Offences Affecting The Public Health, Safety, Convenience, Decency and Morals’.
  • While Section 269 provides for a jail term of six months and/or fine, Section 270 provides for a jail term of two years and/or fine.
  • In Section 270, the word ‘malignantly’ indicates a deliberate intention on the part of the accused.
  • Both Sections have been used for over a century to punish those disobeying orders issued for containing epidemics.
  • The Sections were similarly enforced by colonial authorities during outbreaks of diseases such as smallpox and bubonic plague.
  • In 2018, Health Ministry said that failure by clinical establishments to notify a tuberculosis patient to the nodal officer and local public health staff can be punished under Section 269 and 270.

Biological Weapons Convention

  • Biological Weapons Convention was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production of an entire category of weapons.
  • The Convention was the result of prolonged efforts by the international community to establish a new instrument that would supplement the 1925 Geneva Protocol.
  • The Geneva Protocol prohibits use but not possession or development of chemical and biological weapons.
  • It commits the 183 states which are party to it as of August 2019 to prohibit the development, production, and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons.
  • There is no formal verification regime to monitor compliance and effectiveness of the Convention.
  • 45th anniversary of the Biological Weapons Convention’s entry into force has commemorated recently.

Siberian Ibex

  • Siberian Ibex is a species of wild goat and is distributed in diverse habitats, ranging from cold deserts, rocky outcrops, steep terrain, high-land flats and mountain ridges to low mountains and foothills.
  • It is in Least Concern category under IUCN.
  • From Mongolia, its distribution extends towards Altai, Hangai, Gobi-Altai, the Hurukh mountain ranges as well as Sayan Mountains near Russia and scattered populations in the small mountains of Trans-Altai Gobi.
  • In Asia, Ibex is distributed in the montane habitats, ranging in elevations from 500 m to 6,700 m in countries like India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Southern Siberia and China.
  • In India, the Ibex is distributed mainly in the trans-Himalayan ranges of the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh up to the river Sutlej.

Himalayan Ibex

  • Himalayan Ibex, distributed in the trans-Himalayan ranges of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh,
  • According to a recent genetic study by Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Himalayan Ibex is found to be a distinct species from the Siberian Ibex.
  • The ‘montane systems’, formed by a series of climatic oscillations and temporal topographic metamorphosis, have broken up the contiguous distribution of widespread species and accelerated allopatric speciation (speciation because of geographic and reproductive isolation).
  • Identification of Indian Ibex (Himalayan Ibex) as a distinct species will prioritize the conservation of the species at global level.


Source: PIB, the Hindu, News on AIR, Indian Express

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