Prelims Revision

  1. Shahpur-Kandi dam project in being developed in Punjab on the river Ravi.
  2. President Ram Nath Kovind has signed the The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019. Recently, the Cabinet gave its nod to re-issuing of the contentious triple talaq ordinance. It has been reissued for the third time in less than a year.
  3.  State government of Arunachal Pradesh has temporarily withdrawn the decision to grant the permanent resident certificate (PRC) to six communities not recognised as Scheduled Tribes. These six communities — Adivasi, Deori, Gorkha, Mishing, Moran, and Sonowal Kachari — mostly inhabit Namsai and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh on the border with Assam. (Note: The names of the tribes are important.)
  4. The Department of Telecom, Ministry of Communications is responsible for grant of licenses for various telecom services like Unified Access Service Internet and VSAT service. The Department is also responsible for frequency management in the field of radio communication in close coordination with the international bodies. It also enforces wireless regulatory measures by monitoring wireless transmission of all users in the country.
  5. The government in October, 2018, has renamed the Telecom Commission — the apex decision making body at the telecom department — as the Digital Communications Commission and has also notified the new telecom policy. The Telecom Commission was set up by the Government of India vide a resolution in 1989 with administrative and financial powers of the Government of India to deal with various aspects of Telecommunications. The Digital Communications Commission consists of a Chairman, four full time members, who are ex-officio Secretaries to the Government of India in the Department of Telecommunications and four part time members who are the Secretaries to the Government of India in the concerned Departments. The Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Telecommunications is the ex-officio Chairman of the Digital Communications Commission. The Digital Communications Commission is responsible for:
  • Formulating the policy of Department of Telecommunications for approval of the Government;
  • Preparing the budget for the Department of Telecommunications for each financial year and getting it approved by the Government; &
  • Implementation of Government’s policy in all matters concerning telecommunication.
  1. The Dehradun-based Indian Institute of Petroleum has successfully finished a pilot test to convert used cooking oil into bio-aviation turbine fuel (Bio-ATF), which can be blended with conventional ATF and used as aircraft fuel. The test assumes importance as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has launched the Repurpose Cooking Oil (RUCO) initiative to collect and convert used cooking oil into bio-fuel.
  2. The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab.
  1. India and Russia are close to concluding (in February 2019) an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for a multi-billion deal to locally bulk manufacture AK-103 assault rifles. The Army has recently signed a contract for 72,400 assault rifles from Sig Sauer of the U.S. and another tender for 93,895 Close Quarter Battle (CQB) carbines is in advanced stage of conclusion.  The Army is looking to replace the indigenous INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System) rifles in use with a modern rifle. The AK-103 will be bulk produced by the OFB with technology transfer. India recently signed deals with Russia for S-400 air defence systems and stealth frigates and one for Kamov-226T helicopters is in an advanced stage of negotiations. The AK 103 assault rifle is the third generation of the Kalashnikovs, an upgrade of the AK 47 and AKM.
  2. The government in February, 2019 announced that it will soon roll out a public Domain Name Server, or DNS, for India aimed at providing a faster and more secure browsing experience for Internet users in the country, while ensuring that citizens’ data is stored locally. A DNS is a like a directory for the Internet. It helps to convert domain names that are easy for people to remember into IP addresses, which are used by computers/machines to communicate. If the DNS is either slow or fails to work, users will not be able to locate web addresses. The main aim of bringing our own public DNS is to ensure availability, particularly for smaller Interest Service Providers (ISPs) who don’t have credible DNS. Bigger ones usually have their own DNS. The roll-out, which will be executed by the National Informatics Centre – the technology arm of the government – will be completed in the next four to six months, the official said. NIC is already using the public DNS within the government network.
  3. Wallace’s giant bee (Nickname – Flying bulldog & Scientific Name – Megachile Pluto) – the world’s largest bee — a giant insect roughly the size of a human thumb — has been rediscovered in a remote part of Indonesia in its first sighting in nearly 40 years. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the bee as “vulnerable”, meaning that while its numbers are relatively solid, the remoteness of its population makes it hard to study.