The recent sinking of the warship Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet — whether caused by a Ukrainian missile strike or, as Russia claims, a fire on board — is a serious setback for Russia in its war with Ukraine.
Littoral Geography: The Black Sea is bounded to the north and northwest by Ukraine, to the east by Russia and Georgia, to the south by Turkey, and to the west by Bulgaria and Romania.
It connects to the Sea of Marmara via the Bosphorus Strait and then to the Aegean Sea via the Dardanelles Strait.
Strategic Importance: Russian dominance of the Black Sea region is a geostrategic imperative, both for projecting Russian power in the Mediterranean and securing the economic gateway to key markets in southern Europe.
Gateway to the Mediterranean Sea: It has traditionally served as Russia’s warm-water entry point into Europe.
It serves as a strategic buffer between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and itself.
Since the Crimean crisis in 2014, Russia has been attempting to gain complete control of the Black Sea.
As a result, Russia has deployed its Black Sea naval fleet to the Black Sea.
The Black Sea Fleet has a long history, and it is thought to have been founded in 1783.
It is made up of Russian Navy warships stationed in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, and the eastern Mediterranean, and is headquartered in Sevastopol, the Crimean peninsula’s main port.
During the ongoing invasion, Russia has prioritised control of the Black Sea, as well as the construction of a land bridge connecting Russia and Crimea.
Capturing Mariupol: Intense efforts have been made to capture Mariupol, the Sea of Azov port in the breakaway eastern Ukrainian oblast of Donetsk.
Russia was also expected to concentrate its military efforts on Odessa, which is located to the west of Crimea.
If the Odessa region falls, Ukraine will lose access to its entire Black Sea coastline, effectively reducing it to a landlocked country.
It is also Ukraine’s largest region, serving as an important energy and transportation corridor with abundant natural resources.
The Rhine-Main-Danube canal connects the Black Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, and Odessa’s port is an important link between Ukraine and the rest of the world.
The loss of the warship Moskva is expected to stall an upcoming amphibious assault on Odessa.
Since invading Ukraine, Russia has suffered damage to two key naval assets, the first being Russia’s Alligator class landing ship Saratov in March 2022.
Both events are likely to cause Russia to reconsider its Black Sea maritime posture.
Why in the news?
The Maharashtra government recently developed a Migration Tracking System (MTS) application to map the movement of migrant workers in order to ensure the continuity of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) such as nutrition supply, immunisation, and health check-ups, among other things.
MTS is a website-based application that tracks the movements of Vulnerable Seasonal Migrant Workers using individual unique identification numbers.
Migrant beneficiaries, including children up to the age of 18, lactating mothers, and pregnant women registered with anganwadi centres, will be tracked to ensure the portability of the ICDS for their families in destination districts within or outside the state until they return to their native places.
The Umbrella ICDS is a federally funded programme run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It was first introduced in 1975.
It is a one-of-a-kind early childhood care and development programme.
Beneficiaries of the Scheme include children aged 0 to 6, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.
It offers six services: supplementary nutrition, pre-school non-formal education, nutrition and health education, immunisation, health check-ups, and referrals.
Supplementary Nutrition, which includes Take Home Ration (THR), Hot Cooked Meal, and morning snacks, is important for many vulnerable households because it affects children’s nutritional outcomes.
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana: It provides a cash incentive of Rs.5,000/- in three instalments directly to the Bank/Post Office Account of Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) in DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) Mode during pregnancy and lactation in response to individuals meeting certain conditions.
National Creche Scheme: It provides day care services to working women’s children aged 6 months to 6 years.
The facilities are available for seven and a half hours per day, 26 days per month.
Supplemental nutrition, early childhood education, and health and sleeping facilities are provided for children.
Adolescent Girls Scheme: It aims to empower and improve the social status of out-of-school girls aged 11-14 through nutrition, life skills, and home skills.
Nutrition; iron and folic acid supplementation; health check up and referral service; nutrition and health education; mainstreaming out of school girls to join formal schooling bridge course/ skill training; life skill education, home management, and so on; and counselling/ guidance on accessing public services are all part of the scheme.
Its goal is to contribute to the improvement and well-being of children in difficult situations, as well as to reduce vulnerabilities to situations and actions that lead to abuse, neglect, exploitation, abandonment, and separation of children from their parents.
It aims to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anaemia, and low birth weight babies by reducing malnutrition/undernutrition, anaemia in young children, as well as adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.
To improve children’s nutritional and health status between the ages of 0 and 6 years.
To lay the groundwork for the child’s proper psychological, physical, and social development.
To lower the rates of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition, and school dropout.
To achieve effective policy and implementation coordination among the various departments in order to promote child development.
To improve the mother’s ability to care for the child’s normal health and nutritional needs.
To assist, educate, and empower adolescent girls (AGs) in becoming self-sufficient and aware citizens.
It was established in 2013 to replace the National Rural Health Mission and the National Urban Health Mission.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is in charge of implementing it.
The main programmatic components are health system strengthening in rural and urban areas for reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health (RMNCH+A), as well as communicable and non communicable diseases.
The Midday Meal Scheme was established in 1995 as a government-sponsored programme.
It states that every child between the ages of six and fourteen who enrols and attends the school in classes I through VIII will be provided with a hot cooked meal free of charge every day except school holidays.
It is overseen by the Department of School Education and Literacy of the Education Ministry.
The Strategy aims to eliminate all forms of undernutrition by 2030, with a particular emphasis on the most vulnerable and critical age groups.
It also aims to help achieve the nutrition and health targets identified as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The NITI Aayog has made it public.
The Navy is increasing its indigenisation efforts, particularly in weapons and aviation-related items, in response to the government’s push to reduce defence imports and boost domestic manufacturing.
The ongoing Russian war in Ukraine, as well as India’s military’s reliance on Russian arms and equipment, has heightened the urgency of indigenisation efforts. Previously, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) released the third positive indigenisation list, which included 101 major equipment/platforms.
The Indian Navy Indigenisation Plan (INIP) 2015-2030 was published in 2014 to enable indigenous development of equipment and systems.
Approximately 3400 items have been indigenised by the Navy under INIP to date, including over 2000 machinery and electrical spares, over 1000 aviation spares, and over 250 weapon spares.
The existing Naval Aviation Indigenisation Roadmap (NAIR) 2019-22 is being revised as well.
The revised NAIR 2022-27 includes all fast moving aircraft mandatory spares and high cost indigenous repairs.
There is a particular emphasis on the fight component (which is weapons) because it still has a long way to go in comparison to the float and move components.
Float is the ship, move is the propulsion, and fight is the weapons and sensors.
Four in-house indigenisation committees have been formed to handle the indigenisation of naval aircraft spares.
Naval Liaison Cells: Additionally, Naval Liaison Cells (NLCs) located throughout the country have been designated as ‘indigenisation cells.’
There are currently 41 ships and submarines under construction, 39 of which are being built in Indian shipyards, while the MoD has given preliminary approval for 47 ships to be built in India.
Since 2014, Indian vendors have received 78 percent of Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) and 68 percent of contracts by value.
AoN opens the door for the tendering process to begin.
To shorten development timelines, the Navy is collaborating with the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and industry.
Some of the areas of focus include indigenous design, development, and production of anti-submarine weapons and sensors, Satcom and electronic warfare equipment, anti-ship missiles and medium range surface-to-air missiles, combat management system, software defined radios, network encryption devices, Link II communication system, main batteries for submarines, distress sonar system, missile and torpedo components, and so on.
It will be launched in August 2020 and will serve as a flexible and accessible interface between academia and industry and the Indian Navy’s capability development apparatus.
Navy personnel have filed 36 Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) applications in the last two years.
Since the establishment of NIIO, over two IPR applications have been filed every month, and technology transfer to 12 Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) has already begun.
User Inputs via Naval Project Management Teams: The Navy has now forwarded user inputs via Naval Project Management Teams to DRDO cluster headquarters, with two such clusters already operational.
These have interacted with DRDO labs and their Development and Production Partners (DcPP) to provide user inputs at every stage of 15 futuristic Technology and 100+ DRDO projects currently underway for the development of the Indian Navy’s combat capability.
The Navy is working on more than 20 Make I & Make II cases through various domestic development routes of the procurement procedure.
The ‘Make’ capital acquisition category is the cornerstone of the Make in India initiative, which seeks to build indigenous capabilities through the participation of both the public and private sectors.
‘Make-I’ projects are government-funded, whereas ‘Make-II’ programmes are industry-funded.
Make-I is working on big-ticket platforms like light tanks and communication equipment with Indian security protocols.
The Make-II category includes the development of prototype military hardware or its upgrades for import substitution, for which no government funding is provided.
About: Indigenisation is the ability to develop and manufacture any defence equipment within a country for the dual purpose of achieving self-reliance and reducing the burden of imports.
One of the primary goals of the Department of Defense Production is self-sufficiency in defence manufacturing.
Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), and private organisations are all important players in the indigenisation of defence industries.
India is one of the world’s largest arms importers, with the armed forces spending approximately USD 130 billion on defence purchases over the next five years.
The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit has been raised from 49 percent to 74 percent.
Defence India Startup Challenge: Corporatization of the Ordnance Factory Boards
The SRIJAN Portal: To make it possible for vendors to take up items for indigenization.
According to reports, the European Union (EU) has decided to punish the United Kingdom (UK) by requiring non-EU citizens to obtain a transit Schengen visa in order to fly to the UK on its airlines’ transit flights.
Passengers on one-stop flights from India to the UK do not need a transit visa to pass through the Gulf or Switzerland (which is not an EU member).
A Schengen visa is the most common type of visa for travel to Europe.
It is a short-term visa that allows its holder to freely travel throughout the Schengen area of 26 countries.
It allows its holder to enter, freely travel within, and exit the Schengen zone from any Schengen member country.
Within the Schengen Zone, there are no border controls.
This is an authorization granted by a Schengen State for the purposes of A planned stay in the Schengen States for no more than 90 days in any 180-day period (“short-stay visa”) and Transit through the international transit areas of the Schengen States (“airport transit visa”).
Under the InTranSE -II Program, indigenous Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Solutions for Indian Traffic Scenarios were launched.
The InTranSE Phase-II programme (2019-2021) is a continuation of the InTranSE Phase-I programme (2009-2012) funded by the MeitY.
Under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s ITS Endeavor for Indian Cities Phase-II initiative, the following initiatives have been launched: Onboard Driver Assistance & Warning System (ODAWS), Bus Signal Priority System, and Common SMart iot Connectiv (CoSMiC) software.
ODAWS (Indigenous) uses vehicle-borne sensors to monitor driver behaviour and vehicle surroundings in order to provide acoustic and visual alerts for driver assistance.
It entails the creation of sub-modules such as the navigation system, the driver assistance console, and the mmWave radar sensor.
The positional and dynamic characteristics of surrounding vehicles are investigated using mmWave radar sensors.