8th Sep, 2020


Significance and capability of scramjet vehicle tested 

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently successfully flight tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV).

It is an unmanned scramjet vehicle with a capability to travel at six times the speed of sound.

The parameters of the test were monitored by multiple tracking radars, electro-optical systems and telemetry stations and a ship was also deployed in the Bay of Bengal to monitor the performance during the cruise phase of hypersonic vehicle.

The indegenous development of the technology will also boost the development of the systems built with hypersonic vehicles at its core, including both offensive and defensive hypersonic cruise missile systems and also in the space sector.

To achieve the level of technology with countries like the US, Russia and China, many more rounds of tests will have to be done .

It is a giant leap in indigenous defence technologies and a significant milestone towards a Sashakt Bharat and Atmanirbhar Bharat. 

Capabilities for highly complex technology  will serve as the building block for NextGen Hypersonic vehicles in partnership with industry.

The test was conducted from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha. 

The Agni missile was used for the launch.


The hypersonic vehicle and its scramjet engine

The scramjets are a variant of a category of jet engines called the air breathing engines.

Hypersonic speeds are those which are five times or more than the speed of sound. The unit tested by the DRDO can achieve upto six times the speed of sound or Mach 6.

Disadvantages: Very high cost and high thrust-to-weight ratio.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and DRDO have worked on the development of the technology earlier as well in 2016 and 2019, respectively. 


RBI’s Contingency Fund (CF)

The RBI has retained an amount of Rs 73,615 crore within the RBI by transferring it to the Contingency Fund (CF).

It shall lead to a sharp fall in the transfer of surplus to the government in the current year.

Contingency Fund (CF) 

It is a specific provision meant for meeting unexpected and unforeseen contingencies.

It includes depreciation in the value of securities, risks arising out of monetary/exchange rate policy operations, systemic risks and any risk arising on account of the special responsibilities enjoined upon the Reserve Bank. 

This amount is retained within the RBI.

Section 47 of the RBI Act: Profits or surplus of the RBI are to be transferred to the government, after making various contingency provisions.

RBI’s’s main risk provision accounts: Contingency Fund, Currency and Gold Revaluation Account (CGRA), Investment Revaluation Account Foreign Securities (IRA-FS) and Investment Revaluation Account-Rupee Securities (IRA-RS).

The Currency and Gold Revaluation Account (CGRA) 

It is maintained by the RBI to take care of currency risk, interest rate risk and movement in gold prices. 

Unrealised gains or losses on valuation of foreign currency assets (FCA) and gold are not taken to the income account but instead accounted for in the CGRA.


First World Solar Technology Summit 

The first World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) is being organized by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 8th September, 2020.

Organized by: The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

FICCI is also the convenor of ISA Global Leadership Task Force on Innovation.

More than 26000 participants from 149 countries have registered to join the virtual Summit.

It is expected to bring the spotlight on accelerating affordable and sustainable clean green energy.

Three agreements shall be announced: (1) ISA and International Institute of Refrigeration, (2) ISA and and Global Green Growth Institute and (3) ISA and National Thermal Power Corporation.

A tripartite agreement between India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the World Bank and the International Solar Alliance is also set to be inked.

ISA’s technology journal, Solar Compass 360 will also be launched during the summit.


International Solar Alliance (ISA)

The launch of ISA was announced by the Indian Prime Minister and former French President on 30th November 2015, at the 21st session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris, France.

Headquarter: Gurugram, India

Aim: Lower the cost of technology and finance and thereby facilitate deployment of over 1,000 GW of solar energy and mobilize more than USD 1,000 billion into solar power by 2030 in Member countries.

It was conceived as a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries (which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn) to address their special energy needs.

67 countries have signed and ratified the ISA framework agreement.

The Assembly of the ISA is the apex decision-making body which comprises representatives from each Member Country.

It could play a significant role in achieving the universal energy access goal (SDG 7).


RBI’S Loan Recast Plan specified

The RBI specified five financial ratios and sector-specific thresholds for resolution of COVID-19-related stressed assets in 26 sectors, including auto components, aviation and tourism.

The circular issued for resolution of the stressed assets is based on the recommendations of the K.V. Kamath Committee.

The 26 sectors include automobiles, power, tourism, cement, chemicals, gems and jewellery, logistics, mining, manufacturing, real estate, and shipping among others.

Five financial metrics need to be taken into account while deciding on a recast plan: (a) total outstanding liabilities/ adjusted tangible net worth, (b) total debt/Ebitda, (c) current ratio, (d) debt service coverage ratio, and (e) average debt service coverage ratio.

For each of these parameters, RBI has prescribed either a floor or a ceiling.

The committee has set 180 days to implement the plan and make an inter creditor agreement (ICA) mandatory. 

The tenure of a loan may be extended by a maximum of two years, with or without a moratorium.

The resolution process shall be treated as invoked once lenders representing 75% by value and 60% by number agree to invoke the same.


Patrika Gate 

Indian Prime Minister shall inaugurate the Patrika Gate in Jaipur on the 8th September 2020.

Patrika Gate derives its name from newspaper and media company-Rajasthan Patrika.

The facade is inspired by the traditional architecture and features Jharokhas, Pols, Pavilions, and Chhatris.

The idea of building this gate is linked with the old city gates of Jaipur walled city. When Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II founded Jaipur in 1727 AD, he secured the perimeter with a wall and eight gates.



The Chushul sub-sector has come into focus in the standoff between the Indian and PLA troops of China following the movement that took place recently.

The Chushul sub-sector lies south of Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh. 

It comprises high, broken mountains and 

It also comprises Thatung, Black Top, Helmet Top, Gurung Hill, and Magger Hill 

Passes such as Rezang La and Reqin La, the Spanggur Gap, and the Chushul valley are also present.

The Chushul Valley has a vital airstrip that played an important role even during the 1962 War with China.

Chushul is one among the five Border Personnel Meeting points between the Indian Army and the Chinese army. 

It is here that representatives of the two armies meet for regular interactions.

It is the gateway to Leh. 

If China enters Chushul, it can launch its operations for Leh.