Current Affairs – 24 August 2023

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari launches Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (BNCAP) Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) launched the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme(BNCAP) in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • It is launched with the aim to enhance road safety by elevating vehicle safety standards of M1 category motor vehicles which is less than 3.5T Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW).
  • The car test program BNCAP will commence on 1st October 2023 and will be led by the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT).

Key people:
Minister of State(MoS) for Road Transport and Highways Gen Vijay Kumar Singh and Anurag Jain, secretary of  Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH)also present during the launch.
The M1 category refers to vehicles used for the carriage of passengers comprising not more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat.
About Bharat NCAP:
i.The purpose of this programme is to provide automobile buyers with a tool for comparing the crash safety of motor vehicles on the market.
ii.Car manufacturers can voluntarily offer their vehicles to be tested in accordance with Automotive Industry Standard (AIS197 under this scheme.

  • The car will be awarded star ratings for Adult Occupants (AOP) and Child Occupants (COP) based on its performance in the testing.

iii.This initiative will lead to creating high demand’ for safer cars which compel manufacturers to meet ‘customer safety preferences’.
It will increase the export potential of car manufacturers in India
Key points:
i.BNCAP sets India as the world’s fifth country to have such an indigenous car crash test programme, behind the United States, China, Japan, and South Korea.
ii.So far, Indian cars have been tested by the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP), a Zero Foundation project based in the United Kingdom.

IREDA signed MoU with MNRE; Sets FY24 Revenue Target at Rs 4350 Cr On 21st August 2023, The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA), a Mini Ratna(Category I) Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), signed a  performance-based Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MNRE, Government of India(GoI) outlining the strategic targets of IREDA for the FY 2023-24 and FY 2024-25.

  • GoI has set a target of achieving Rs 4,350 crores revenue from operations during FY 2023-24 and Rs 5,220 crores during FY 2024-25.
  • The MoU is in line with the guidelines issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) under the Ministry of Finance.

Note: IREDA achieved a Revenue from Operations of Rs 3,482 crores in the preceding fiscal year (2022-23), against a target of Rs 3,361 crores.
Key People:
The MoU was signed by Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, Secretary, MNRE; Pradip Kumar Das, Chairperson & Managing Director (CMD), IREDA at Atal Akshay Urja Bhawan, New Delhi, Delhi.
Key Performance Indicators:
The government has also specified other key performance parameters in the MoU, including Return on Net Worth, Return on Capital Employed, Non-Performing Asset (NPA) to Total Loans Ratio, Asset Turnover Ratio, and Earnings per Share.
IREDA’s Financial Performance:
i.In the first quarter of FY 2023-24, IREDA witnessed a record 272% increase in loan disbursements compared to the same period in FY 2022-23.
ii.IREDA also recorded a remarkable 30% growth in Profit After Tax (PAT) during the first quarter of FY 2023-24, compared to the corresponding period in FY 2022-23.
iii.IREDA’s financial management is evident in its reduction of Net Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). In Q1 of FY 2023-24, IREDA successfully lowered its NPA figure to 1.61%, a substantial improvement from 2.92% in Q1 of FY 2022-23.
Key Points:
i.IREDA’s consistent excellence is supported by an ‘Excellent’ rating and a remarkable score of over 96 marks for the MoU in the past 3 FY.
ii.As of August 21, 2023, IREDA has financed 3,137 Renewable Energy projects with a cumulative loan sanction of Rs 1,55,694 crores and loan disbursement of  Rs 1,05,245 crores  and has supported Renewable Energy capacity addition of 22,061 Megawatts (MW) in India.
About Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA):
IREDA was established on 11th March 1987 as a Public limited Government Company under the Companies Act, 1956
Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) – Pradip Kumar Das
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi

G20 Pandemic Fund approved USD 25M proposal by DAHD to Strengthen Animal Health System in IndiaGroup 20 (G20) Pandemic Fund has approved the USD 25 million proposal by Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying(DAHD) under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying (MoFAHD) on “Animal Health Security Strengthening in India for Pandemic Preparedness and Response(PPR)”.

  • The project will be carried out by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as the lead implementing entity, along with the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

i.In May 2023, the Governing Board of the Pandemic Fund received 350 expressions of interest(EOI) and 180 full proposals, with grant requests totaling more than USD 2.5 billion against the available budget of USD 338 million.
ii.The Board have approved 19 grants under its 1st round of funding allocations aimed to boost the resilience to future pandemics in 37 countries across 6 regions.
Click here for the list of all selected proposals
Key Points:
i.The fund will also provide dedicated resources for PPR and increase investments, enhance coordination among partners, and serve as a platform for advocacy.
ii.The fund brings additional resources to India to reduce the risk of pathogens emerging from animals (domesticated and wildlife) to be transmitted into the human population.
About the G20 Pandemic Fund:
i.The Pandemic Fund was established in September 2022, and formally launched under Indonesia’s G20 Presidency(2022) at the G20 meetings in Bali, Indonesia in November 2022.
ii.This is the 1st multilateral financing mechanism dedicated to providing multi year grants to help low- and middle-income countries become better prepared for future pandemics.
iii.The Fund hosted by the World Bank has already raised USD 2 billion in seed capital from 25 sovereign and philanthropic contributors.

UNDP and MDoNER Signed MoU to Accelerate Sustainable Development in Northeast India
On 22nd August 2023, the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN’s Global Development Network, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance and accelerate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in northeastern regions of India.
Key People:
The MoU was signed in the presence of B.L.Verma, Minister of State (MoS) for the Ministry of DoNER and Ministry of Cooperation; and Ms Ulrika Modéer, United Nations (UN) Assistant Secretary-General & Director of UNDP Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy (BERA).
Key areas:
Under this MoU, UNDP would provide MDoNER with several technical support including:
i.Fast-tracking progress on the SDGs;
ii.Monitoring, evaluation, and capacity building;
iii.Support Aspirational districts and blocks;
iv.Support in the deployment of emerging technologies in governance and in scaling up good practices.
Key Points:
i.The Ministry of DoNER has taken steps across critical sectors such as infrastructure, connectivity, health, education, climate change, and economic growth to transform the lives of the people in the northeast region.
ii.In this collaboration, UNDP has been the key partner for the Ministry in promoting data-driven decision-making, especially through the North East Region (NER) District SDG Index.
iii.NER District SDG Index helped in forming the flagship Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North Eastern Region (PM-DevINE) scheme.
iv.UNDP is committed to supporting national and sub-national efforts to speed up the progress on the goals, by providing technical support on SDG localisation and improved capacities towards implementation and monitoring of programmes.
Note: PM-DevINE scheme announced in the 2022-23 Union Budget, provides infrastructure and social development funding to boost livelihood opportunities in the region, especially for women and youth. Union Cabinet approved the scheme on October 2022.
About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
Administrator– Achim Steiner
Headquarters– New York, United States of America (USA)
Established in– 1966
UNDP is based on the merging of the United Nations Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance, created in 1949, and the United Nations Special Fund, established in 1958.

NTCA approved  Dholpur-Karauli Tiger Reserve of Rajasthan as 54th Tiger Reserve of IndiaNational Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) which operates under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) of the Government of India, has approved The Karauli-Sarmathura-Dholpur sanctuary in Rajasthan as 54th Dholpur-Karauli Tiger Reserve of India under Project Tiger.

  • It becomes 5th Tiger reserve of Rajasthan and 54th Tiger Reserve of India.
  • The forest covers an area of 1,058 square kilometres (368 sq km of core area and 690 sq km of buffer area) and currently has 9 tigers.

Note: The number of tigers in Rajasthan has increased from 32 in 2006 to 88 in 2022.
Core and Buffer:
Core area: This is the central part of a protected area, where the main focus is on conservation. Human activities are strictly controlled or prohibited in the core area.
Buffer area: This is the area surrounding the core area, where human activities are allowed, but with restrictions.
Other Tiger Reserves of Rajasthan:
Ramgarh Vishdhari Tiger Reserve, Mukandra Hills Tiger Reserve, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and Sariska Tiger Reserve.
Project Tiger:

  • The Project Tiger was launched in 1973 to promote conservation of the tiger.
  • Project Tiger has been converted into a National tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) through an amendment in Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 1972.

Additional Info:
i.Established in 2022, Ranipur Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh(UP) was the 53rd Tiger reserve in India.
ii.As per “Status of Tigers 2022” report Madhya Pradesh(MP) has the maximum number (785) of tigers in India.

  • The number of tigers in India has increased from 2,967 in 2018 to 3,682 in 2022, an annual rise of 6%.

Highlights of 2nd Namaste Vietnam Festival held in 3 cities of Vietnami.The 2nd edition of Namaste Vietnam Festival (Hello Việt Nam Festival) was held in the 3 southern cities of Vietnam  viz. Ho Chi Minh(HCM) City, Da Lat city(Central Highlands province) and Tuy Hoa city (south-central coastal province) from 12th to 20th August 2023.
ii.The theme of the 2nd Namaste Vietnam Festival was “People unite, warm friendship”
iii.The festival is an intersection of culture and commerce, creating the basis for promoting bilateral relations to promote tourism, trade, art, culture, music and film.
iv.It was jointly organised by the Indian Embassy, Consulate General of India in Vietnam under the aegis of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), India, IFFW (Indian Film Festival Worldwide) and Innovations India.
v.During the seminars and meets organised as a part of the 2nd Namaste Vietnam Festival several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) worth over USD 1 billion were signed between business enterprises from both India and Vietnam.

  • The MoUs were signed across 3 major sectors: Railways, Tourism, and Cinema

About Vietnam:
Capital– Hanoi
Currency– Vietnamese dong
Prime Minister– Pham Minh Chinh

20th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ Meeting Held in Semarang, IndonesiaOn August 21, 2023, the 20th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-India Economic Ministers’ meeting held in Semarang, Indonesia which was co-chaired by the Indian representative Rajesh Agrawal, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and  Dr. Zulkifli Hasan, Minister of Trade, Indonesia.

  • Before the Economic Ministers’ meeting, an AITIGA Joint Committee meeting took place. This committee discussed the roadmap for the review, outlining the Terms of Reference and the Work Plan for AITIGA Review Negotiations.

Agenda of Meeting:
The agenda of the meeting was the timely review of ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) which was signed in 2009 amid Indian businesses’ long-standing request in order to enhance trade facilitation and mutual benefits.
i.India and ASEAN have mutually decided to finalize the review of their current free-trade agreement (FTA) concerning goods by the year 2025.
ii.The Ministers agreed to follow a quarterly schedule of negotiations and conclude the review in 2025.
iii.The review is anticipated to diversify and enhance trade, while addressing existing imbalances in bilateral trade.
iv.Upcoming Summit – Decision on review will be discussed at upcoming India-ASEAN Leaders’ Summit in September 2023.

  • Ministers discussed and fortified trade and investment ties between ASEAN and India.
  • Emphasized commitment to bolster and advance the economic partnership.
  • Focused on mutual gains through the ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
  • Interacted with ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC), acknowledging 2023 initiatives, including 5th ASEAN-India Business Summit on March 6, 2023, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Recognized business concerns about Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs).
  • Prioritized collaboration in resilient supply chains, food and energy security, health, and financial stability.

The Economic Ministers or their representatives from all the 10 ASEAN countries viz. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam participated in the meeting. Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste also joined the Meeting as an observer.
Key Notes:
i.India and ASEAN registered a bilateral trade of USD 131.5 billion in 2022-23.
ii.The trade with ASEAN accounted for 11.3% of India’s global trade in 2022-23.
About Indonesia:
Capital– Jakarta
Currency– Indonesian Rupiah
President– Joko Widodo

IFC invests USD 100 million in IIFL HFL to Boost LIG’s Access to Affordable Housing Finance in IndiaInternational Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has invested up to USD 100 million in IIFL Home Finance Ltd (IIFL HFL), to increase access to housing finance among economically weaker sections (EWS) and Low-Income Groups (LIG), including women borrowers in India.

  • The investment also aims to induce India’s affordable housing space, promote green construction, and support India’s climate goals.
  • Through this partnership with IFC, IIFL HFL aims to bring sustainable living in self-constructed houses.

Note:  IIFL HFL is a subsidiary of IIFL Finance Limited, formerly known as IIFL Holdings Limited, doing business as India Infoline Finance Limited(IIFL).
Features of the Partnership:
i.Under the partnership, 50% of funding will be dedicated to promoting housing finance for women borrowers, with the remaining 50% dedicated to financing green housing for buyers in this underserved segment.
ii.As part of this collaboration, IFC will offer a performance-based incentive from the United Kingdom(UK)-IFC Market Accelerator for Green Construction Program (MAGC).

  • The incentive aims to accelerate the execution of IIFL HFL’s green building strategy and stimulate the adoption of affordable housing units certified as green.

Note: In 2018, IFC and the UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ, then operating as BEIS) formed a partnership to combat climate change in developing countries. MAGC is the first UK-IFC bilateral partnership in that regard.
iii.In addition, IFC advisory services will also help strengthen IIFL’s green housing portfolio through knowledge sharing using the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) framework and enhancing capacity building for staff on green certification.
iv.IIFL will also leverage IFC’s expertise in capacity building for diversity and inclusion to increase the proportion of women borrowers in its portfolio.
Key Points:
i.India’s rapid urbanisation has intensified the need for affordable housing, with an estimated requirement of 38 million housing units by 2030. EWS and LIG segments represent over 96% of these needs.

  • LIGs, particularly women, often lack the financial resources and credit history required to secure mortgages, making adequate housing.

ii.As per IFC estimates, India’s green buildings market accounts for only 6% of residential buildings, despite representing a USD 1.25 trillion opportunity between now and 2030.
About International Finance Corporation (IFC):
IFC is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries.
Managing Director– Makhtar Diop
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., The United States of America

Max Life Insurance Introduces Max Life NIFTY Smallcap Quality Index FundMax Life Insurance Company Limited(Max Life) launched “NIFTY Smallcap Quality Index Fund” in the Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) segment to provide an opportunity to capitalise on the growth potential of smallcap companies, aiming for long term index linked returns.

  • This is the first smallcap index fund of the life insurance segment.
  •  Max Life Nifty Smallcap Quality Index Fund is similar to Nifty Smallcap 250 Quality 50 Index which offers 22% Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for 10 years.
  • This fund is designed to provide investors with an opportunity to leverage the growth potential of Small-Cap companies, with a focus on achieving long-term index-linked returns.

Additional Points about NIFTY Smallcap Quality Index Fund:
i.The fund will be available with leading products like Online Savings Plan with zero allocation and admin charges, Platinum Wealth Plan available with guaranteed wealth boosters and additions during the New Fund Offer (NFO) period. This will also be available with other ULIP products.

  • The Fund will be available with an Online Savings Plan along with the Platinum Wealth Plan during the NFO period.

ii.The lower Fund Management Charges (FMC) makes this Index Fund a valuable investment avenue for millennial investors.
iii.This fund is anticipated to produce returns that are comparable to the benchmark returns of the NIFTY Smallcap 250 Quality 50 Index following the investing guidelines established by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
About Max Life Insurance Company Limited(Ltd):
Max Life Insurance Company Limited(Ltd) is a joint venture between Max Financial Service Limited(70%) and Axis Bank Limited(30%).
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Prashant Tripathy
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana

ICRA Estimates GDP Growth at 8.5% in Q1FY24; Maintains FY24 Forecast at 6%On August 22, 2023, ICRA Limited (formerly Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited) projected that India’s economic growth will accelerate to 8.5% in the April 2023 to June 2023 period – 1st Quarter of financial year 2023-24 (Q1FY24from the 6.1% growth rate witnessed in the January 2023 -March 2023 quarter (4QFY23).

  • ICAR has projected that the real Gross domestic product (GDP) growth of India will be maintained at 6% for FY24 which is lower than the RBI estimates of 6.5%.

i.India’s Q1FY24 GDP increase is supported by a strong Q1FY23 base, improved profit margins, and service sector revival.
ii.This 8.5% estimate for Q1FY24 is higher than the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) forecast of 8.1%.
iii.Q1FY24 Gross Value Added (GVA) growth is projected at 8.1%, compared to 6.5% in Q4FY23.
iv.Unpredictable rainfall, narrowing year-on-year commodity price differences, and a potential slowdown in Government capex momentum due to the upcoming parliamentary elections will hamper GDP growth in FY2024.
Key Points:
i.Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) expansion in Q1 FY24 to be in double digits, based on the robust year on year growth performance of a majority of the investment-related indicators.
ii.The aggregate capital outlay and net lending of 23 state governments (except Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya), and Indian Government’s gross capital expenditure surged by 76% (Rs 1.2 lakh crore) and 59.1% (Rs 2.8 lakh crore) respectively in Q1FY24.
iii.Capex-related External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs) for modernization, new projects, and capital goods imports reached USD 13.0 billion in Q1FY24, surpassing FY23’s full-year levels of USD 9.6 billion.
iv.Services’ gross value added growth to have risen to 9.7% in Q1FY24 from 6.9% in Q4 FY23
v.Electricity generation growth dropped to an 11-quarter low of 1.3% in Q1 FY24 due to an unfavorable base and excessive rainfall in the first half of the quarter.
vi.Industrial GVA growth estimated to have risen to 7.3% in Q1 FY24 from 6.3% in Q4 FY23, driven by the manufacturing sector with an expected growth of 8% in Q1 FY24.
vii.Agricultural growth projected at 4.0% in Q1 FY24, relatively lower compared to the 5.5% in Q4FY23.
Click Here for Official Release

NHPC Signs Pact with RITES to Construct Railway Siding For 2,880 MW Dibang
NHPC Limited has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RITES Ltd, previously known as Rail India Technical and Economic Service Limited to construct a railway siding at Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh, in support of NHPC’s 2,880 megawatts (MW), Dibang Multi-Purpose Project development.

  • NHPC Limited (erstwhile National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) is a prestigious Miniratna (Category–I) Schedule ‘A’ Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) under the Ministry of Power while RITES is a distinguished Miniratna Schedule ‘A’ Central Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Railways.
  • NHPC’s total installed capacity is 7,097.2 MW of renewable power including Wind & Solar, through its 25 power stations including 1,520 MW through subsidiaries.
  • The strategic partnership between NHPC and RITES enhances the capabilities of both organizations.
  • RITES, as a Project Management Consultant, will provide comprehensive and efficient solutions for developing rail infrastructure facilities for NHPC Dibang and other upcoming projects in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Dibang Multipurpose Project is a significant hydropower project undertaken by NHPC Limited in the Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh, India. It aims to harness the potential of the Dibang River to generate electricity and provide various benefits like irrigation, flood control, and water supply. The project’s proposed capacity is 2,880 megawatts (MW), making it one of the largest hydropower projects in the country.

Srettha Thavisin Elected as 30th PM of ThailandOn 22nd August 2023, Srettha Thavisin (61 years old) of Pheu Thai Party (PTP) was elected as the 30th Prime Minister (PM) of Thailand after winning the joint vote of the bicameral parliament.

  • He has also  received the approval from the Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn to assume the office as PM of Thailand.
  • He succeeds Prayut Chan-o-cha, the 29th PM of Thailand (2014 to 2023), who announced retirement from politics in July 2023.

Overview of 2023 Elections:
i.General elections were held in Thailand on 14 May 2023 to elect 500 members of the House of Representatives.

  • National Assembly of the Kingdom of Thailand  is a bicameral legislature composed of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The assembly has a total of 750 members of which 500 (members in the lower house) are elected through general elections.

ii.Move Forward Party (MFP) won the May 2023 election with 151 constituency seats, while PTP secured the 2nd place with 141 seats.
iii.Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat fell short by more than 50 votes to win a majority in both the elected house and the 250 member Senate.
iv.Srettha Thavisin of PTP was elected as the PM with 482 votes for, 165 votes against, with 81 abstentions.
About Srettha Thavisin:
i.He’s a former Chief Executive Officer(CEO) and President of Sansiri Public Company Limited, one of Thailand’s largest property developers.
ii.Before joining Sansiri, he worked for Procter & Gamble (PG.N) and also served as a distributor of Fast-Moving Consumer Products (FMCG).
iii.He joined the Pheu Thai Party in November 2022 and has been long associated with Thaksin Shinawatra, former PM and founder of the populist Pheu Thai Party, who left Thailand 15 years ago, following a 2006 coup, only to be imprisoned.
About Thailand:
Prime Minister– Srettha Thavisin
Capital– Bangkok
Currency– Thai baht (THB)

LIC Acquires 6.66% Shareholding in Jio Financial Service
Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), an Indian multinational public sector life insurance company, has acquired 6.66% shareholding in Jio Financial Services Ltd. (JFSL).Jio Financial Services Limited (JFSL), previously named Reliance Strategic Investments Limited, the demerged financial subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited(RIL).

  • LIC holds a 6.49% stake in RIL as of June 30, 2023.
  • The acquisition of the shareholding in Jio Financial Services by LIC occurred as a part of the process in which Jio Financial Services was separated from its parent company.
  • The cost of acquiring this shareholding represents 4.68% of the value of RIL  before the separation or demerger occurred.

LCA Navy Prototype NP5 Trainer Aircraft Completes Successful Maiden FlightThe Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Naval Trainer Prototype ‘NP5‘ successfully completed its maiden flight in Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) Airport, Bengaluru, Karnataka.

  • LCA Navy is designed and developed jointly by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and HAL.
  • Captain Amit Kawade of the Indian Navy and Wing Commander Siddarth Singh (Retired) piloted the aircraft, which was flying for 57 minutes and displayed normal parameters during the mission.

Features of LCA Navy NP5:
i.The LCA Navy NP5 is equipped with cutting-edge technology such as a fly-by-wire flight control system, a glass cockpit, and modern mechanical systems.
ii.It features modern hands-free ski jump take-off and landing flight control modes.

  • It can operate with Air-to-Air weapons for combat missions and also capable of operating both during the day and night.

iii. NP5 is a production-ready version of the LCA aircraft including all the improvements identified during the testing of NP1 and NP2.
iv.The flight testing activities of NP5 aircraft will provide designers vital inputs towards the design and development of the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF).
 About Previous Prototypes:
i.The first trainer prototype NP1 was flown on 27 April 2012 and the fighter prototype NP2 was flown on February 7, 2015.

  • Both Naval Prototypes (NP1 and NP2) have achieved major landmark milestones like ski jump take-off and arrested landing demonstrations on Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) at Dabolim Airport, Goa.

LCA Navy in Aircraft Carrier:
i.LCA Navy demonstrated 18 arrested landings and ski-jump takeoffs from Indian Navy Ship (INS) Vikramaditya in  2020, including hot refuelling capability.
ii.It also performed 10 ski-jump take-offs and arrested landings from INS Vikrant on 2023.

  • LCA Navy is the first indigenous fighter aircraft landing on the indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.

ski jump is an upward-curved ramp that allows the aircraft to take off from a runway that is shorter than the aircraft’s required take-off roll.
About Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA):
Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is a department of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the nodal agency for the design & development of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
Director General – Girish S. Deodhare
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
Established – 1984

Dr Jitendra Singh Launches Indigenous E-Tractor, CSIR Prima ET11
Union Minister of State(MoS) Dr.Jitendra Singh, Ministry of Science & Technology, launched CSIR Prima ET11, India’s 1st indigenous e-Tractor. It was developed by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) -Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), Durgapur, West Bengal.

  • He also released a book by CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) and a compendium on 75 technologies developed by CSIR.

i.This event highlights the introduction of advanced technology in the form of electric tractors to promote sustainability and innovation in the agricultural sector.
ii.Minister highlighted the importance of the 5 S’s mantra – Showcasing, Stakeholders, Startups, Synergizing, and Strategizing Industry linkage to ensure the success of Research and Development (R&D)endeavours carried out in government-run scientific laboratories.
iii.He also notified that prominent startups are emerging within the agriculture sector, especially in specialized technologies such as e-Tractor, garbage recycling, drip irrigation, and genome-sequenced farming (like Mango and Lotus).

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