National Current Affairs
National Current Affairs August 5th Week 2017
Category : National Current Affairs
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1. DRDO, IAI to produce MRSAM missile system by 2020 for Indian Army.

After years of wait, the Indian Army will finally get an advanced medium-range surface to air missile (MRSAM) system by 2020 which will be able to shoot down ballistic missiles, fighter jets and attack helicopters from a range of around 70 km.

The missile system will be produced by premier defence research organisation DRDO in collaboration with the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a senior army official said.

The MRSAM system will be capable of shooting down enemy ballistic missiles, aircraft, helicopters, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft, the official said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.The current version of MRSAM is operational with the Indian Air Force and the Navy.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has signed a Rs. 17,000 crore deal with the IAI for the ambitious project.

The MR-SAM, a land-based version of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) for the Navy, will have a strike range of up 70 km, the official said. The deal envisages 40 firing units and around 200 missiles.

"The MRSAM for Army`s Air Defence is an advanced all weather, 360 degree mobile land based theatre air defence system capable of providing air defence to critical areas against a wide variety of threats in a combat zone," the official said.The first set of missile system will be ready in the next three years, he said.

The Army has been pressing the government to enhance its aerial attack capability considering the evolving security challenges.

In May, the Army successfully test fired an advanced version of the Brahmos land-attack cruise missile in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The Indian Army, which became the first land force in the world to deploy the Brahmos in 2007, has raised several regiments of this formidable weapon.

In May 2015, the Army had inducted the indigenously- developed supersonic surface-to-air missile Akash which is capable of targeting enemy helicopters, aircraft and UAVs from a range of 25 km.The Army thinks procurement of the MRSAM will mark a paradigm shift in its strike capability.
2. National Sports Day is observed on August 29.
National Sports Day is observed on August 29
The National Sports Day is observed every year on 29th august every year to birth anniversary of the legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand who was born on 29 August 1905.

To celebrate the day, Government had conducted various programs throughout the country. On this occasion, President Ram Nath Kovind presented National sports Awards to 29 players. The President conferred Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award.

About Dhyan Chand
The legendary hockey player was born on 29 August 1905 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. He is widely considered as the greatest field hockey player of all time. He had started playing hockey only after joining the Army at the age of 16.

He was famously known as ‘The Wizard’ for his superb ball control and had scored more than 1000 goals during his international career. He is mostly remembered for his extraordinary goal-scoring feats, in addition to earning 3 Olympic gold medals in field hockey in 1928 (Amsterdam), 1932 (Los Angeles) and 1936 (Berlin).
3. Bharati Airtel Ties up with Symantec to fight cyber wars.
Bharati Airtel Ties up with Symantec to fight cyber wars
Bharti Airtel has entered into a partnership with Symantec Corporation to protect businesses in India from online threats. The partnership comes amid a spike in cyber attacks over the past few months, including ransomwares such as Petya and WannaCry that disrupted systems across the world.

According to the agreement, Airtel will be the exclusive Cyber Security Services partner for Symantec in India, and will distribute the US-based software firm’s enterprise security software, the companies said.

Through the partnership, the two companies will target the IT security requirements of large enterprises, small and medium businesses, as well as the government.

“Increasingly sophisticated cyber threats with potential to disrupt business continuity are the new normal in today’s digitally connected world. Enterprises need to guard against these emerging threats and Airtel, with its experience in serving businesses with integrated connectivity solutions, is uniquely positioned to serve them,” Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (India and South Asia), Airtel, told reporters here on Monday.
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He said the partnership will help Airtel add value to existing enterprise relationships and further consolidate its leadership position in the B2B space.

“We think this is a rising tide... It will have decades of constant recurring revenues. Cyber crime is a new theatre of crime, of warfare, that will be with us for centuries. We think the alliance is well positioned to benefit from that rising tide,” said Greg Clark, CEO, Symantec.

Airtel Business serves over 2,000 large enterprise accounts, plus more than 2.50 lakh corporate and tech start-ups, with its integrated telecom solutions. In addition, it has a strong presence in Central and State government departments/divisions.

“With this partnership, under one service-level agreement, Indian organisations can bolster their cyber defence and respond to new threats as they emerge at a significantly lower operational cost,” Clark said.

Symantec has blocked over a billion Petya and Wannacry infection attempts since the launch of the two malware platforms, and they are an example of the risks, “both financial and mission critical”, that organisations face, he added.
4. Karnataka tourism department launches Dasara package on Golden Chariot.
Karnataka tourism department launches Dasara package on Golden Chariot
Karnataka’s Department of Tourism has announced Dasara Special Tour Packages. The department, through its arm KSTDC, plans to launch the ‘Dasara Special Tour Package’ in the Golden Chariot Luxury Train, to promote the state festival.

The Golden Chariot is South India’s first and only luxury tourist train run by KSTDC. With its exquisite accommodation, décor inspired by dynasties from Karnataka’s past, fine dining and service by liveried attendants, the Golden Chariot gives you a glimpse of the rich heritage of Karnataka and a feel of royalty on wheels.

Priyank Kharge, Karnataka Minister for ITBT and Tourism, said “this initiative of KSTDC provides an excellent opportunity to people to experience royalty on board, which would showcase the Nadahabba, the Mysuru Dasara and its grandeur.”

Dasara Special Trips include a two night and one day package at a subsided rate of Rs 25,000 per person (for Indians) and Rs 40, 000 for foreigners. The package is inclusive of accommodation, meals, sightseeing and Mysuru Palace events. The Golden Chariot has 44 luxury cabins that can accommodate 88 people.

The first trip will run from September 23 to 25, and the second from September 29 to October 1. The train will depart from Yeshwantpur railway station in Bengaluru at night on the first day of the journey and return to Bengaluru early in the morning on the third day.Heritage city

KSTDC has planned curated royal walks to enable guests to explore the heritage-rich city of Mysuru. Guests will be offered a Gold pass to witness the Dasara and cultural programmes in front of an illuminated Mysuru Palace.

5. Union Government to hold Pan India Handloom and Handicraft Camps under Hastkala sahyog Shivir.

Union Government to hold Pan India Handloom and Handicraft Camps under Hastkala sahyog Shivir

The Ministry of Textiles proposes to organize Pan India camps in handlooms and handicrafts clusters, under the initiative Hastkala Sahyog Shivir". The camps will be organized during 7th October to 17th October, 2017. This initiative is dedicated to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Garib Kalyan Varsh, the birth centenary year of Pandit Deendayal Upadhayay.

The following services will be provided to the weavers and artisans in these camps:

a)    Issuance of credit facilities through MUDRA scheme

b)   Assistance for technological upgradation under Hathkargha Samvardhan       Sahayata

c)    Distribution of modern tool kits and equipments

d)   Issuance of Yarn Pass Book

e)    Enrollment under IGNOU/NIOS courses

f)    Access to Common Service Centre facilities

g)   Buyer-seller meets and expos

It is proposed to organize the camps in more than 200 handloom Block Level Clusters & Weavers Service Centres and more than 200 handicraft clusters in collaboration with State Governments.

6. Delhi Police launches YUVA a skill development programme.

Delhi Police launches YUVA a skill development programme

Delhi Police in collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Tuesday launched YUVA programme. 

Inaugurated by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the initiative will engage street children and youth, providing them with opportunities to hone their skills and utilise it professionally through skill development training.

Among the dignitaries present on the occasion at the Vigyan Bhawan were Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State (IC), Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal. Others included Rahul Chaudhry, Chairman (Delhi State), CII, Rajesh Agarwal, Joint Secratary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and  Mannish Kumar CEO & MD, NSDC were also present to grace the occasion. The event was telecasted live on Delhi Police Twitter handle.

Madhur Verma, Delhi Police spokesperson said, "Delhi Police has tied up with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for providing mass job linked skill training for this selected youth. National Skill Development Corporation shall be providing skill training to this youth under `Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna` (PMKVY) and CII will provide job linked training through its Sector Skill Councils who are connected to industry and thereby provide job guarantee.

Amulya Patnaik, Delhi Police Commissioner on the occasion announced that so far, 2,269 candidates have been selected to be trained by 36 training partners in 45 skills in the next three months. The whole process of selection of these candidates is paperless. The idea is to reconnect the youth that has been alienated from the civil society.

Meanwhile, presenting the blueprint, Sanjay Baniwal, Special Commissioner of Police, said that "Candidates for this programme have been selected based on their qualification and their interest. At present, 8 skill training centres have started in different districts in Delhi, while total of 32 police station buildings have been identified where Skill Development Centers would be opened at the earliest."

7. Union Cabinet approves MoU on India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund.

 Union Cabinet approves MoU on India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel on "India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)". The MoU was concluded in July, 2017.

India and Israel will make an contribution of four million US Dollars each for the Fund, both equivalent amount, annually for five years. The Innovation Fund will be governed by a joint Board which will consist of four members from each country.

The MoU envisages promotion of bilateral Industrial R&D and Innovation cooperation in the fields of science and technology by extending support to joint projects for innovative or technology-driven new or improved products, services or processes. Such projects will lead to affordable technological innovations in focus areas of mutual interest such as water, agriculture, energy and digital technologies. Institutional support in building up consortia including private industry, enterprises and R&D institutions from India and Israel will be enabled through these collaborative projects.

The activities supported by the Joint Fund would increase the techno-economic collaboration between the two countries by investing in jointly developed technology projects and collaborations based on technological innovation. It would leverage the complementary strengths of Israel and India to encourage Israel-Indian joint projects that capitalize on both the national and global marketplace. It would provide a comprehensive set of support tools to encourage joint projects that convert "know-how" into "show-how". It is expected that this will foster and strengthen the eco-system of innovation and techno-entrepreneurship in India and will contribute directly to the Start-up India programme.

8. Freyr Energy Ties up With Axis Bank.

Solar energy services company Freyr Energy has tied up with Axis Bank to offer term loans ranging from 5 lakh to 50 lakh for tenures up to five years,for solar rooftop installations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The loans will be given to MSMEs and self-employed individuals to install Freyr rooftop solar plants for industrial and commercial purposes.

Saurabh Marda, co-founder and Managing Director, Freyr Energy, said in a statement: “This loan programme will help MSMEs significantly reduce their electricity bills. 

Going forward, we will continue to work on innovative financial instruments to improve affordability.”

The Freyr SunPro app is said to eliminate the complexity involved in system design, pricing and generation.Over the past three years, Freyr has installed over 800 solar systems across 14 States in India and Ghana.