CURRENT AFFAIRS


19th Oct, 2020

India’s First Seaplane Project to be inaugurated on 31st October

The first of the five seaplane services in Gujarat will be inaugurated on October 31, the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

It shall connect Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad to the Statue of Unity in Kevadia in Narmada district.

Ministry: Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Other spots: Dharoi dam (Mehsana district) to connect Ambaji and Shatrunjay dam (Bhavnagar district) and Tapi in the next phase.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) had requested state governments of Gujarat, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the administration of Andaman & Nicobar to propose potential locations for setting up water aerodromes to boost the tourism sector.

Impact:

The water aerodrome is not a listed project/activity in the Schedule to the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006 and its amendments. 

However, the Expert Appraisal Committee was of the opinion that the activities proposed under the water aerodrome project may have a similar type of impact as that of an airport.

In its proposal seeking environmental clearance, the Director of Aviation, Government of Gujarat, had expressed fears of environmental impact during the stage of construction. 

Also, according to the state government, during seaplane operations, there will be turbulence created in the water while takeoff and landing of seaplanes which will lead to more mixing of oxygen in the water having a positive impact on the aquatic ecosystem near seaplane operations 

A seaplane is a fixed-winged airplane designed for taking off and landing on water.

It offers the public the speed of an airplane with the utility of a boat.

There are two main types of seaplane: flying boats (often called hull seaplanes) and floatplanes.

Seaplanes by multiple airline carriers are operational in countries like the Philippines, Canada, Australia, the United States, etc.

In India, Jal Hans, a commercial seaplane service based in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands was launched as a pilot project on 30 December 2010 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

 

Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2020 released

Global Hunger Index report was recently released.

Published by: Jointly by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Concern

Worldwide, and Welthungerhilfe (WHH) 

India: 94th rank among 107 countries

It continues to be in the “serious” hunger category.

However, it has made some progress, particularly since the enactment of National Food Security Act.

Bangladesh: 75th rank

Myanmar: 78th rank

Pakistan: 88th rank

Nepal: 73rd rank and 

Sri Lanka: 64th rank 

Last year, India’s rank was 102 out of 117 countries.

The neighboring countries of Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan too were in the “serious” category.

They ranked higher than India in 2020’s index.

Nepal and Sri Lanka are in “moderate” hunger category.

Undernourished: 14% of India’s population 

Stunting: 37.4% among children under five 

Wasting: 17.3% 

Under-five mortality rate: 3.7%

The GHI is calculated by using a three-step process. 

The indicators used are percentage of undernourished population, percentage of children under five years suffering from wasting and stunting, and child mortality.

 

BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile successfully test fired

BRAHMOS, the supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from Indian Navy’s indigenously-built stealth destroyer INS Chennai, hitting a target in the Arabian Sea.

BrahMos Aerospace is an India-Russia joint venture, produces the supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or from land platforms.
BRAHMOS as a prime strike weapon will ensure the warship’s irresistibility by engaging naval surface targets at long ranges.

In the last few weeks, India has test fired a number of missiles including a new version of the surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos and anti-radiation missile Rudram-1.

The original 290-km range BrahMos has already been deployed in Ladakh as well as Arunachal Pradesh during the ongoing military confrontation with China.

 

Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE) awarded

Nine States and Union Territories have been selected by the Sports Ministry for up gradation to Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE).

States and UTs selected: Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Pondicherry, Tripura and J&K.

The centers have been selected based on their past performances, quality of infrastructure, management and sports culture in the State.

The overall number now stands at 24 KISCEs from 23 States and UTs.

The assistance to these centers will be provided in the form of bridging the gaps in sports equipment, high performance managers, coaches, sports scientists and technical support.

 

Israel & Bahrain establish diplomatic Relations

Recently, Israel and Bahrain have formally established diplomatic relations after signing the US brokered deal in Bahrain’s capital Manama.

The two countries are now expected to open embassies.

Bahrain is now the fourth Arab country in the Middle East – after the UAE, Egypt and Jordan – to establish diplomatic Relations with Israel.
Bahrain is a sovereign state in the Persian Gulf.

The island nation comprises a small archipelago made up of 40 natural islands and an additional 51 artificial islands, centered on Bahrain Island which makes up around 83% of the country’s landmass.

The country is situated between the Qatari peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre King Fahd Causeway.

The capital and largest city is Manama.

 

Originalism

US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett had recently described originalism as her legal philosophy.

It means interpreting the country’s Constitution as per the intentions of USA’s 18th-century founding leaders.

In legal philosophy, this theory prescribes that while resolving disputes, judges should interpret the constitution as it was understood at the time it was ratified, irrespective of whether they personally agree or disagree with the outcome of a case decided this way.

The legal philosophy which is said to be the opposite of originalism is ‘living constitution’ or ‘modernism’.

This theory, supported by likes of the late Justice Ginsburg, believes that the constitution should be updated with times to encompass changing societal needs.

Slinex-20

The Eighth Edition of annual Indian Navy (IN) – Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) bilateral maritime exercise SLINEX-20 is scheduled off Trincomalee, Sri Lanka from 19 to 21 October 2020.

SLINEX-20 aims to enhance inter-operability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations between both navies.


 






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