HCS Yearly Current Affairs: Defence Affairs-III
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HCS Last One Year Topic Wise Current Affairs: Defence Affairs Part-III
Haryana Civil Services Exam
CURRENT AFFAIRS YEARLY 2020
Last one-year Current Affairs For HCS Exam: Defence Affairs Part-III
1. Russian Foreign Minister is hosting the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral foreign ministers’ meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of victory of the Russian people in the second world war.
- On 24th June, Moscow hosted Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, who attended the Victory Day parade.
- For the first time the contingent of tri-services (Indian Army, Navy and Air Force) have participated in the Russian Victory Day Parade
- Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has also reached Russia for a three-day visit on the occasion.
2. The Indian Navy has inducted an advanced anti-torpedo decoy system called ‘Maareech’ that is capable of being fired from all frontline ships.
- ‘Maareech’ has been designed and developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and it is capable of detecting, locating and neutralizing incoming torpedoes.
- Bharat Electronics Limited, a defence PSU, would undertake the production of this decoy system.
3. India sent its tri-services contingent to Russia.
- The contingents took part in the Victory Day parade to be held in Moscow.
- This is the first time all the three services of India are participating. Earlier, in 2015 the Indian Army alone took part in the parade.
- Every year, Victory Day is celebrated on May 9. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis the parade was postponed.
- The parade is held every year to mark the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945.
- The military parade of Russia is held at the Red Square, Moscow with the President of Russia as the guest of honour.
4. Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta has assumed charge as Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command (ENC), Visakhapatnam.
- Vice Admiral S N Ghormade, the outgoing Chief of Staff, has proceeded on transfer as Controller Personnel Services at the Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy), New Delhi.
- Biswajit Dasgupta was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1985 and is a specialist in Navigation and Direction.
- He has commanded four frontline ships, including the missile corvettes INS Nishank, INS Karmuk, stealth frigate INS Tabar and the aircraft carrier INS Viraat.
5. The U.S. Navy will host the world's largest maritime exercises in Hawaii again this year, but the drills will only be held at sea because of the coronavirus.
- The Navy has held the Rim of the Pacific exercises(RIMPAC) in Hawaii every two years since the early 1970s.
- RIMPAC 2020 would not include social events on shore.
- Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will host a "minimal footprint" of staff for logistics and support functions.
- RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, is the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise.
6. The premier multilateral air combat training Exercise Pitch Black 2020 scheduled from July 27 to August 14 is cancelled by Australia due to the current and anticipated impacts of the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19.
- The next edition is scheduled in 2022.
- It is a biennial three week multinational large force employment exercise conducted primarily from Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF ) Base Darwin and Base Tindal. RAAF
- It aims to provide a unique opportunity for an exchange of knowledge and experience in a simulated war environment.The exercise hosts up to 3500 personnel and up to 120 aircraft from around the globe, Japan was to take part for the first time.
- In its last edition in 2018, IAF for the 1st time participated with its contingent consisting of 145 personnel and four Su-30MKI fighters
- Prime Minister – Scott John Morrison.
7. According to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the total global military expenditure rose to USD 1,917 billion in 2019, which represents an annual growth of 3.6% compared to 2018 & it is the largest annual growth in spending since 2010.
- For the 1st time two Asian countries- China(2nd), India(3rd) have featured among the top military spenders after the United States- US.
- The five largest spenders, which accounted for 62% of the total expenditure, are US, China, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
- India’s military spending grew 6.8 % to touch $71.1 billion outpacing Japan ($47.6 billion) and South Korea ($43.9 billion)
8. The US government has approved the sale of air-launched Harpoon anti-ship missiles and torpedoes to India for a combined cost of USD 155 million.
- The Defense Security Cooperation Agency approved ten AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of USD 92 million and sixteen MK 54 All Up Round Lightweight Torpedoes (LWT), three MK 54 Exercise Torpedoes and related equipment for an estimated cost of USD 63 million.
- The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale
- The proposed sale will improve India's capability to meet current and future threats from enemy weapon systems.
9. The Indian Army observed the 36th Siachen Day on April 13, remembering the gallant martyrs of Siachen.
- On April 13, 1984, the Indian Army launched ''Operation Meghdoot'' to secure Bilafond La and other passes on the Saltoro Ridgeline from Pakistani aggression.
- The Siachen Warriors continue to guard the ''Frozen Frontier'' with tenacity and resolve against all odds.
- "The ''Siachen Day'' every year honours all the Siachen Warriors who served their motherland while successfully thwarting evil designs of the enemy over the years," said the force.
- The force celebrates a saga of unmatched bravery, heroism, courage and sacrifice on the world''s highest and coldest battlefield.
- Siachen lies in the Karakoram Range in North-West India.
10. Indian Navy’s Naval Dockyard in Mumbai has designed and developed its own handheld infrared-based temperature sensor gun for the screening of personnel in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19.
- The Naval Dockyard here has developed a low-cost handheld temperature sensor to screen its personnel in light of the coronavirus outbreak in the city .
- As many as 20,000 personnel enter the 285-year-old naval dock and Western Naval Command in South Mumbai every day.
- The infrared-technology-based sensor is manufactured using in-house resources under Rs 1,000 (which is fraction of the cost of temperature guns available in the market).
11. The government of India recently announced the establishment of “cargo air-bridge” between India and China.
- This air bridge uses regular cargo flights for transporting critical medical supplies between the two countries. This initiative is operated by Air India from April 3.
- The initiative is aimed at ferrying medical and essential supplies from one place to another across the country.
- It includes COVID-19-related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, gloves and other accessories required by "Corona Warriors" across the country.
12. China will launch the first two communications satellites for its space-based Internet-of-Things project this month with one of them named after its birthplace Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus.
- COVID-19 originated in December last year in Wuhan.
- The rocket to send the satellites, Kuaizhou-1A, was developed by the Wuhan-based Sanjiang Group under the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC).
- The two satellites, Xingyun-2 01 and 02, are the first stars of the "Xingyun Engineering" project, which is scheduled to complete the network with 80 low-orbit communications satellites. They were designed and developed by the Xingyun Satellite Company, a subsidiary of Sanjiang Group.
13. The Ministry of Civil Aviation launched Lifeline Udan flights for movement of medical and essential supplies across India.
- Over a 6 days period from 26th March to March 31, 74 flights have been operated which had covered an aerial distance of over 70,000 km to transport 37.63 tonnes of medical cargo, out of which more than 22 tonnes was transported on March 31, 2020.
- The flight operators include Air India, Alliance Air, IAF, Pawan Hans and private carriers.
- Air India also collaborated with Indian Air Force (IAF) to carry consignments for Ladakh, Dimapur, Imphal, Guwahati and Port Blair.
- The objective of these flights is to transport medical essentials to India’s remote corners in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
14. Under “Exercise NCCYogdan”, the National Cadet Corps has offered the services of its cadets to civilian authorities for tackling the coronavirus outbreak in India.
- It has issued guidelines for temporary employment of its cadets to augment relief efforts and functioning of various agencies involved in battling the pandemic.
- The defence ministry has also mobilised the services of the veteran community to assist the government
- Rajya Sainik Boards and Zila Sainik Boards are identifying and mobilising maximum ex-servicemen volunteers to assist the state and district administration in performing public outreach activities such as contact tracing, community surveillance, management of quarantine facilities or any such tasks assigned to them.
- The tasks envisaged for NCC cadets include, manning of helpline or call centres, distribution of relief materials, medicines, food and essential commodities, community assistance, data management and queue and traffic management.
15. The U.S. Air Force has cancelled Phase-I of its flagship multilateral air exercise, Red Flag, scheduled in Alaska from April 30.
- The Indian Air Force was to take part in the exercise with its Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets.
- Exercise Red Flag is a two-week advanced aerial combat training exercise held several times a year by the United States Air Force. It aims to offer realistic air-combat training for military pilots and other flight crew members from the United States and allied countries.
- Only countries considered friendly towards the United States take part in Red Flag exercises.
- The exercise offers realistic air-combat training for military pilots and other flight crew members from the U.S., NATO and other allied countries.
16. Major General Dr. Madhuri Kanitkar, former Dean of Armed Forces Medical College Pune, has been promoted to the second-highest rank of Lt. General in the Indian Army.
- Kanitkar will be the third woman officer from defence services to bag this prestigious position. She is currently posted in Udhampur's Army Command Hospital.
- Kanitkar is the first woman pediatrician to be elevated to the highest rank of Lieutenant General for Indian Army Doctors.
- Vice admiral Dr. Punita Arora was the first woman from the Indian Navy to get the second highest rank in the armed forces and Padmavathy Bandopadhyay, the first woman Air Marshal of the IAF, was the second woman in the forces to be promoted to a three-star rank after Arora.
- This will also be the first time in the history of the Indian armed forces that a couple will hold the 3-star rank of Lieutenant General. Kanitkar's husband, Lt Gen Rajeev Kanitkar, retired from the Army recently
17. The IAF and Savitribai Phule Pune University entered into an academic collaboration by signing a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a 'Chair of Excellence' at Department of Defence & Strategic Studies on 29 Feb 20.
- To pay tribute to the legend and commemorate the centenary birth year of the MIAF, the IAF has named it as "Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh Chair of Excellence".
- The Chair will enable IAF officers to pursue Doctoral Research and higher studies in Defence & Strategic Studies and allied fields.
- The chair will facilitate research and higher studies in the area of National Defence and allied fields of Air Force officers. The chair would facilitate inculcating a strategic outlook and building a pool of strategic thinkers.
18. Indian Coast Guard has conducted a 2-day national level search and rescue exercise ‘SAREX-2020’ based on the theme ‘Harmonization of Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue code named (HAMSAR)’ in the sea at Vasco,South Goa district from March 5-7,2020.
- It was inaugurated by Dr. Ajay Kumar, IAS, Secretary (Defence), Ministry of Defence.
- This is for the first time the three pillars of national SAR mechanism – Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Defence, took part in SAREX-20
- SAREX exercise is being conducted biennially by Indian Coast Guard under the aegis of National Maritime Search and Rescue Board (NMSARB) since 2003 under the Chairmanship of Director General K Natarajan, Indian Coast Guard and this was the 9th edition of the series of SAREX.
19. Former 15 Corps Commander, Lt Gen KJS Dhillon, has been appointed as the Director-General, Defence Intelligence Agency and Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Intelligence) under the Chief of Defence Staff.
- He will replace Lt Gen AS Bedi who assumed the appointment in February 2018.
- As 15 Corps Commander in Jammu and Kashmir, Lt Gen Dhillon had a successful tenure in which he handled the situation after the abrogation of Article 370 and Pulwama terror attack last year.
- The Defence Intelligence Agency was created as part of recommendations of the Kargil review committee report under K Subrahmanyam.
- The DIA is a tri-services organisation.
20. The Indian Navy recently launched a unique coastal security exercise; Matla Abhiyan in Kolkata.
- The-exercise was conducted to create awareness about the coastal security to the local community in the Sundarbans region.
- Two naval boats were flagged off the Sundarbans till Hemnagar along the International Trade Protocol route between India and Bangladesh.
- The Sundarbans is a Mangrove Delta Forest formed at the confluence of Brahmaputra, Ganga and Meghna rivers.
- Four Sunderbans protected areas are listed under UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It includes Sundarbans National Park, Sundarbans South, Sunderbans West and Sunderbans East.
21. The third Scorpene submarine, INS Karanj, will be delivered to the Indian Navy by December 2020
- INS Karanj is a part of Project-75 and was launched in January 2018. It is currently in advanced stages of sea trials.
- Project 75 -is a programme by the Indian Navy that entails building six Scorpene-Class attack submarines.
- The programme has been undertaken with transfer of technology from French company Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS) at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
- The submarines in the P75 Scorpene-Class are powered by the conventional diesel-electric propulsion system.
- The first Scorpene submarine, Kalvari, was commissioned in 2017 and it would go for a normal refit after six years in 2023, during which time the Air-Independent Propulsion would be installed.
- Second Scorpene Khanderi was inducted in September 2019.
- The remaining submarines (Vela, Vagir, and Vagsheer) in the series are in advanced stages of manufacturing and trials.
22. A Joint Military Exercise “SAMPRITI” will be held between India and Bangladesh in Meghalaya from 3rd February, 2020 to 16th February, 2020.
- During the joint exercise, Command Post Exercise and Field Training Exercise is to be conducted according to the United Nations Charter.
- The troops of both the armies will also practice Counter Terrorist operations.
- The first ever India-Bangladesh Naval exercise was conducted in Visakhapatnam in October 2019.
- The Bangladesh Naval Ships also participated in CORPAT(Coordinated Patrol) before arriving in Vizag for the joint Naval Exercise.
23. The National Disaster Response Force of Government of India is to host the second BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise-2020 (BIMSTEC DMEx-2020).
- The exercise held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha between February 11, 2020 and February 13, 2020.
- The main objective of the exercise is to test the existing emergency procedures, disaster problems. The exercise will also stress upon restoring heritage sites damaged due to disasters.
- The BIMSTEC countries namely Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal are to participate in the exercise.
- The exercise is held under the theme:A Cultural Heritage Site that suffers severe damage in the Earthquake and Flooding or Storm
24. India will send up an unusually large number of 10 earth observation (EO) satellites during 2020-21, according to the latest annual report of the Indian Space Research Organisation for 2019-20.
- The launches include the first ever Geo Imaging Satellite GISAT-1's launch into space which would add to the capabilities of the nation. It should also be noted that in the ongoing 2019-20 year, the ISRO had planned to launch six earth observation satellites into space, of which two are still to be launched.
- As of now, 10 national earth observation satellites, 18 communication satellites and eight navigation satellites are actively serving the nation across a gamut of applications including broadcasting, telephony, internet services, weather forecasting, security, disaster management and more.