Hindustan Aeronautics Limited aims to deliver all Final Operational Clearance (FOC) version aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2022, with the LCA-MK1A taking flight in June 2022.
In 2021, the Ministry of Defence inked an agreement with HAL to equip the Indian Air Force with 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft and ten LCA Mk-1 training aircraft.
The MK-1A will have more than 40 enhancements over the MK1 version.
The LCA program’s dual aims are as follows:
To create a Light Combat Aircraft(LCA) for the IAF and
To close the technological gap between India and the sophisticated countries of the West in the realm of aviation technology.
The Life Cycle Assessment is developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), which is part of the Department of Defence Research and Development (DRDO).
The IAF’s first LCA squadron, 45 ‘Flying Daggers,’ was established in 2016.
In 2020, the second LCA squadron, 18 ‘Flying Bullets,’ became operational.
Aircraft of Light Combat
The Tejas was conceptualised in 1984 as a Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
The LCA is the world’s lightest, smallest, and most maneuverable multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft.
It is armed with precision-guided air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles.
Since the initial flight of the LCA technology demonstration in 2001, the indigenous single-engine 4.5-generation multi-role fighter aircraft has been dubbed ‘Tejas’.
Status as a 'Developing Country'
Why in News:
China’s classification as a ‘developing country’ at the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been a point of contention for a number of nations, since China, as an upper-middle-income country, benefits from WTO benefits intended for poor countries.
Concerns have been expressed over Bangladesh’s ‘least developed nation’ (LDC) classification, which it may lose after surpassing India in terms of GDP per capita.
The World Trade Organization has not defined what constitutes a ‘developed’ or a ‘developing’ country.
As a result, member nations are free to declare themselves ‘developed’ or ‘developing’.
Certain WTO accords confer unique rights on developing nations via special and differentiated treatment’ (S&DT) clauses.
S&DT clauses might provide developing nations with more time to execute agreements and even promises to expand their trade possibilities.
Frequently, WTO pacts are targeted towards
Gradual reduction in government funding for certain sectors and
Establish more forgiving objectives for developing countries and give them more time to meet them than industrialised nations do.
The categorization provides for preferential treatment by other nations.
Collective Security Treaty Organization
Why in News:
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) assists Kazakhstan’s President in his dealings with demonstrators.
When the Cold War ended in 1991, the Warsaw Pact, an alliance of eight socialist governments that served as the Soviet Union’s NATO replacement, disintegrated.
Less than a year later, Russia and five of its Commonwealth of Independent States partners signed a new Collective Security Treaty, which took effect in 1994.
In 2002, as Central Asia’s geopolitical importance grew, it established the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a fully-fledged intergovernmental military alliance.
Also referred to as the “Tashkent Pact” or “Tashkent Treaty,” it now consists of six members: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. In 2012, Uzbekistan withdrew from the alliance.
With its headquarters in Moscow, Russia’s capital, it aspires to
To bolster international and regional peace, security, and stability, including cybersecurity and stability, and
To collectively safeguard the member nations’ independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty.
India's Universal Accessibility:
The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) announced the publication of “Harmonized Guidelines and Standards for Universal Accessibility in India.”
The new rules addressed a variety of components of the built environment, from planning to execution.
According to the revised criteria, ramps are critical for offering an accessible mode of transportation. However, ramps should follow established norms.
Guidelines have been developed for people with disabilities (PwD) and those participating in planning projects ranging from government facility construction to city master planning.
It demands the inclusion of accessibility symbols for people with disabilities, family-friendly facilities, and transgender individuals alongside those for other user groups.
NASA-Indian Space Agency NISAR Mission
NISAR is scheduled to launch in 2023.
ISRO has already delivered the S-band synthetic aperture radar payload to NASA for the NISAR [NASA-ISRO synthetic aperture radar] mission.
It is well-suited for investigating risks and global environmental change, enabling scientists to better manage natural resources and get a better understanding of the consequences and rate of climate change.
Over the length of its three-year mission, it will scan the globe every 12 days, photographing the Earth’s land, ice sheets, and sea ice to provide an “unprecedented” vision of the planet.
It will detect surface motions as tiny as 0.4 inches over regions about half the size of a tennis court.
NASA will contribute one of the satellite’s radars, a high-rate scientific data transfer subsystem, GPS receivers, and a payload data subsystem.
ISRO will provide the spacecraft bus, the second kind of radar (dubbed the S-band radar), the launch vehicle, and related launch services.
NISAR will be equipped with the largest reflector antenna ever launched by NASA, and its primary objectives will be to monitor minute changes in the Earth’s surface, to detect warning signs of impending volcanic eruptions, to assist in monitoring groundwater supplies, and to monitor the rate at which ice sheets melt.
Radar using synthetic apertures:
NISAR is an acronym for NASA-ISRO-SAR. SAR stands for synthetic aperture radar, which NASA will utilize to monitor changes in the Earth’s surface.
SAR is a general term that refers to a method for generating high-resolution photographs. Due to the radar’s accuracy, it can pierce clouds and darkness, allowing it to gather data day and night in all conditions.
Additional Producer Responsibilities:
Why in News:
The environment ministry has published a draft notice for the implementation of extended producer responsibility (EPR) for waste tyre management.
As part of this expansion of EPR, makers and importers of tyres are now required to manage their disposal once customers have used them.
What exactly is EPR?
EPR is a policy strategy in which manufacturers are held financially and physically accountable for the handling or disposal of post-consumer items.
It advances the circular economy by reducing the environmental effect of a product and its packaging and promoting the “polluter pays” concept by making the manufacturer responsible for the product’s whole lifespan.
India implemented EPR for the first time in 2011 with the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules and the E-Waste Management and Handling Rules.
Why it is required?
India is the world’s third-biggest producer of natural rubber and fourth-largest user. The car sector is the country’s major consumer.
At the pace at which the vehicle industry is growing, this figure is only going to climb. According to Chintan, an “environmental research and action organisation,” by 2035, there will be around 80.1 million passenger vehicles (cars and utility vehicles) and 236.4 million two-wheelers on the road.
Pollution from these sources is a significant source of concern.
Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
Why in News:
According to statistics from the finance ministry, deposits in bank accounts created under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) have surpassed Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
The scheme’s performance (as of 2021):
There are almost 44 crore PMJDY accounts in total.
As of December 29, 2021, about 24.61 crore account holders were women.
PMJDY was launched on 15 August 2014 as the National Mission for Financial Inclusion with the objective of ensuring affordable access to financial services such as banking/savings & deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance, and pension.
To enable affordable access to financial goods and services;
To use technology to reduce costs and expand accessibility.
The plan is based on six pillars:
Branches and Financial Correspondents provide universal access to banking services.
Each family would get a basic savings bank account with an overdraft capability (OD) of Rs. 10,000/-.
Financial Literacy Program – Emphasizing the need of saving, the use of ATMs, preparing for credit, obtaining insurance and pensions, and banking through basic mobile phones.
Establishment of a Credit Guarantee Fund – To insure banks against defaults.
Insurance – Up to Rs. 1,00,000 in accident protection and Rs. 30,000 in life cover on accounts created between 15 August 2014 and 31 January 2015.