AFPA

NITI Aayog released the Indian Innovation Index; Karnataka & Himachal Pradesh Topped in a different category

 

NITI Aayog, in collaboration with the Institute of Competitiveness, virtually released the 2nd Edition of the Indian Innovation Index.

The states are categorized into Major State category, North Eastern-Hilly region category, and Union territories for effective and justified comparison. Delhi topped the UT Category, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka topped the NE-Hilly region category and Major State category, respectively.

–        The Index was released by the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog.

The index has analyzed-Innovation Capabilities and Performance of states.

Primary objectives of the index

–        Invention of a framework for evaluation of India’s Innovation Environment.

–        Rank Union Territories and states according to their scores.

–        Recognize challenges and opportunities.

–        Assist state and UT in preparing government policies to boost innovation.

To make the index more development centric, NITI Aayog has further added an indicator named Research and Development expenditure by the state and remodeled the ranking process.

Category wise ranking

Major States:

  1. Karnataka (42.50)
  2. Maharashtra (38.03)
  3. Tamil Nadu (37.91)

Union Territories:

Top:

  1. Delhi (46.60)
  2. Chandigarh (38.57)
  3. Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli (26.76)

NE & Hill States:

Top:

  1. Himachal Pradesh (25.06)
  2. Uttarakhand (23.50)
  3. Manipur (22.78)

Why Karnataka topped?

Because the state has successfully increased the numbers of venture capital deals, Registration of Geographic Indicators (GI) Tags, Exports of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) & Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows.

 

 

 

Global Firepower 2021 Military Strength Rankings

 

A total of 138 nations have been listed in Global Firepower 2021 Military Strength Rankings. The United States of America ranked the top, and the rank of India was 4th. The power index rating has been provided to each country in the list. India’s Power Index Rating was 0.1214. The rating of 0.0000 is considered perfect. Region-wise ranking was topped by Asia as two superpower neighbors China and India, along with Russia, possess near-perfect ratings in the index.

 

The Power Index Ranking implies the country’s military strength, lower the rating more powerful the nation. The top 5 nations with its strength are as follows:

  1. USA (0.0721)- with 904 attack helicopters, 11 aircraft carriers (including the world’s largest), more than 40,000 armored vehicles, and 68 submarines.
  2. Russia (0.0796)- 789 fighter jets (mostly indigenous), 538 attack helicopters, more than 13000 tanks & 64 indigenous submarines.
  3. China (0.0858)- 1200 combat aircraft, more than 35000 armored vehicles, and 79 submarines.
  4. India (0.1214)- with 1 Aircraft carrier (2nd under construction), 542 combat aircraft, 37 attack helicopters (majorly US origin), 17 submarines (the number will increase in future as more indigenous nuclear submarines will be inducted soon), and 4730 tanks.
  5. Japan (0.1435)- with two helicopter carriers (smaller than aircraft carriers), 27 destroyers, 119 assault helicopters

Military Strength ranking:

  1. The Military Strength Ranking has been provided by the Global Firepower since 2006.
  2. 50 individual factors are being considered in the rankings (some are covered in the top ranking list).
  3. Manpower, land forces, airpower, natural resources, logistics, finances, etc., are other indicators of the ranking.
  4. Nuclear capability of the country has not been considered, i.e., the only conventional means of fighting a war is considered.

 

The Apex court dismissed the Aadhaar Petition; Money Bill

 

The Supreme Court dismissed petitions demanding a review of its 2018 judgment, which upheld the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act 2016.

Background:

–        In 2018, Supreme Court has given a verdict in which it approved the passage of the Aadhar Act, 2016 by the parliament as a money bill. As the money bill does not require the Rajya Sabha’s approval, petitions were filed to review the decision. Petitions were filed to check whether the Aadhar Act can constitutionally be considered as a money bill or not.

Apex Court’s decision on petitions

–        A 5-judge bench ruled out the possibilities of reviewing the judgment with a 4:1 majority.

–        According to it, the government has committed a constitutional error based on which reviewing a judgment is not possible.

As stated above, 1 out of 5 judges has dissented. According to him, “These pertinent issues must be resolved by the larger bench of seven-judge and the apex court must wait.” By giving an example of the Sabarimala Case the dissented judge referred that the nine-judge bench overruled the verdict given by the 5-judge bench while keeping the review petitions pending. 

Money Bill

Constitution provides a term Money bill in Article 110.

If a bill consists of the following matters, then it can be considered as the money bill:

  1. Tax-related issues (Imposition, Abolition, Remission, alteration, or Regulation of any tax)
  2. Money Borrowing Regulation by the Central Government
  3. Custody of Consolidated fund of India (Payment or Withdrawal of money from the consolidated fund of India)
  4. Declaration of expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.

 

 

 

Military Specialist is expected to leave to Russia for S400 Triumf training

 

Russia will soon provide a training course to India’s military specialists on the S-400 Triumf Missile Defence System.

Background:

–        In October 2018, India finalized a 5.43 billion USD deal with Russia for the S-400 Triumf Missile System. India signed the deal despite objections from the US and the threat of sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Acts (CAATSA).

S-400 Triumf Missile System

–        It is a mobile, surface-to-air system (SAM) designed and developed by Russia. It is considered the most formidable operationally deployed modern long-range SAM (MLR-SAM) in the world.  The US developed THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence System) has to cover a long journey to become as powerful as the S-400 Triumf.

–        The range of the system is 400 km.

–        Within its range, it can strike down aerial targets ranging from aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and ballistic and cruise missiles at an altitude of up to 30 km.

–        It can track 100 airborne targets at a time and engage up to six of them.

India Russia Defence Cooperation

  • The defence cooperation between the two countries is five decades old.
  • Since the 1971 war between India – Pakistan, the India-Russia friendship has evolved.
  • Still, Russia is the largest defence equipment provider of the Indian Armed Forced.
  • Submarines, ships, and even an aircraft carrier currently being operated by the Navy INS Vikramaditya is bought from Russia. INS Chakra – II, the second nuclear-powered submarine guarding the Indian Ocean Region, has been taken on lease from Russia.
  • Su-30MkI, the backbone of the Indian Air Force, is also a Russian-origin aircraft. MiG-29 aircraft of the Indian and Indian Airforce increase the assault power of the Indian Armed Forces and belong to Russia.
  • Considering the terrain, Main Battle Tanks are of utmost significance for India to fight a two-front war with adversaries. T-30 & T-72 are the most important tanks in the Indian arsenal have been a Russian intellectual Property shared by it with India.
  • Over the years, from just purely buyer-seller relations, the two countries have evolved as joint researchers and developers. Development and Manufacturing of Brahmos Cruise Missile is an example of it.
  • Joint tri-service exercise INDRA has been conducted between both countries.

 

5th Defence Minister’s Dialogue between India- Singapore was held virtually

 

Key Findings

  • An agreement on submarine Rescue Support and Cooperation has been signed between the India and Singapore Navies.
  • Discussion on early conclusion of agreements to allow live firings and to establish arrangements for the cross attendance of military courses was conducted.
  • In August 2020, both countries extended support to each other in bilateral defense cooperation and Humanitarian & Disaster Relief (HADR) Operation.
  • The cyber agencies of both nations stepped up an agreement to counter cyber-attacks.

Defence Exercises between both the countries

  • Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX)
  • Singapore-India-Thailand Maritime Exercise (SITMEX)
  • Recently, the 27th edition of SIMBEX was concluded.
  • The second edition of the SITMEX was recently held in November 2020.
  • The primary objective of conducting military exercises is to enhance interoperability between the nations and cooperate to keep sea lines of communication open.
  • Singapore has also participated in the MILAN exercise conducted by India.

India – Singapore Relationship

 

Defence Cooperation:

  1. Both the countries are facing similar kinds of adversaries. This led them to cooperate against extremism, terrorism, and up to some extent to counter Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region.
  2. Along with the military exercises mentioned above, Singapore also participated in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).
  3. Both countries can cooperate in regional issues of mutual concern on various platforms; for example, though Singapore is not a member of ADDM+, India can raise its voice in Singapore’s area of interest also.

Science and Technology

  1. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched microsatellites in Singapore in 2011, 2014, and 2015.
  2. Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning, Quantum Computing related agreements were also done by both countries.

Trade

  1. Among the ASEAN countries after Indonesia, Singapore is the largest trade partner of India.
  2. A total of 19% of FDI inflow came to India in 2018.

Infrastructure and Connectivity

  1. More than 600 weekly flights fly between India and Singapore in total.
  2. Various Singapore based companies are working with Indian cities to help them transform into Smart Cities. E.g., Amravati New Capital of Andhra Pradesh, Jodhpur & Udaipur of Rajasthan, a township in Shimla, to develop the metropolitan region in Nagpur and Pune in Maharashtra.

Cultural ties

  1. Singapore is home to a significant diaspora of India.
  2. More than 8000 people have attended the 4th International Yoga Day in 173 Yoga Sessions in Singapore.
  3. Singapore also celebrated India’s Father of Nation’s 150th Birth Anniversary on the world’s biggest HD screen.

 

 

 

Electronic Waste

 

National Green Tribunal has recently declared that scientific disposal of e-waste must be ensured as per the guidance.

What is e-waste?

  • E-waste or Electronic-waste is an old- end-of-life or discarded electronic appliances. It consists of components, consumables, spare parts, etc., of electronic gadgets.

Since 2011, India has the law to manage e-wastes. Under E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016.

Note: India’s first e-waste clinic is in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

 

 

 

Shaheen-III Missile

 

Pakistan has test-fired the Shaheen-III Missile. It is a nuclear power surface to surface ballistic missile which can hit targets up to 2750 km.

China and Pakistan have recently concluded air exercise Shaheen-4.

Ballistic Missiles in India

  • Shaurya Missile
  • Prithvi Missile
  • Agni Missile
  • Dhanush, etc.