Factly articles for 1st October 2020

8 min read
  1. BrahMos Missile Featuring Indigenous Booster Successfully Flight Tested

News: The BrahMos Land-Attack Cruise Missile (LACM) featuring indigenous Booster and Airframe Section was successfully flight tested. It is a surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile.

Facts:

BrahMos Missiles:

  • The BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile.
  • It is developed by BrahMos Aerospace Pvt. Ltd. (BAPL), New Delhi.
  • It is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against surface and sea-based targets.
  • It has been operationalized in the Indian Armed Forces with all the three services.

Additional Information:

Supersonic Cruise Missiles:

  • A cruise missile is an unmanned self-propelled (till the time of impact) guided vehicle that sustains flight through aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path.
  • Supersonic cruise missile travels at a speed of around 2-3 Mach i.e., it travels a kilometre approximately in a second

BrahMos Aerospace Pvt. Ltd. (BAPL)

  • The BAPL is a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
  • It is named after Brahmaputra and Moscow rivers.
  • It is responsible for designing, developing, producing and marketing BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.

2. ‘Decarbonization and Energy Transition Agenda’

News: NITI Aayog and Embassy of the Netherlands, New Delhi, signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) on to support the decarbonization and energy transition agenda for accommodating cleaner and more energy.

Facts:

  • The focus of the partnership is on co-creating innovative technological solutions by leveraging the expertise of the two entities.

Key elements include:

  • lowering the net carbon footprint in industrial and transport sectors
  • realise the target potential of natural gas and promote bio-energy technologies
  • adopt clean air technologies from monitoring to reducing actual particulates
  • adopt next-generation technologies, such as hydrogen, carbon capture utilization, and storage for sectoral energy efficiency
  • financial frameworks to deliver and adopt climate change finance.

3. PoS 3.1 Software, SMS Services and facility of Home delivery of Fertilizers (RBK) for farmers

News: Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers launched POS 3.1 software, SMS Gateway and Home Delivery facility of Fertilizers (RBK) for farmers in Andhra Pradesh.

Facts:

  • POS 3.1 version: Contactless OTP based authentication option has been introduced. Farmer will be able to purchase fertilizer without touching fingerprint sensor.
  • SMS Gateway: It will periodically send SMS to farmer about availability of fertilizer at retail outlet from where he last purchased the fertilizer.

4. Explained: What are defence offsets?

News: The Defence Acquisition Procedure, 2020 has removed the clause for offsets for certain kinds of defence contracts.

Facts:

Offset:

  • It is an obligation by an international player to boost India’s domestic defence industry if India is buying defence equipment from it.
  • According to Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), offset has three objectives:
  • partially compensating for a significant outflow of a buyer country’s resources in a large purchase of foreign goods
  • facilitating induction of technology
  • adding capacities and capabilities of domestic industry.

Background of Defence Offset Policy in India:

  • The defence offset policy was adopted on the recommendations of the Vijay Kelkar Committee in 2005.
  • The first offset contract was signed in 2007.

Ways in which foreign vendor can fulfil its offset obligations

  • Direct purchase of, or executing export orders for, eligible products manufactured by, or services provided by Indian enterprises
  • Foreign Direct Investment in joint ventures with Indian enterprises (equity investment) for eligible products and services
  • Investment in ‘kind’ in terms of transfer of technology (TOT) to Indian enterprises, through joint ventures or through the non-equity route for eligible products and services
  • Investment in ‘kind’ in Indian enterprises in terms of provision of equipment through the non-equity route for manufacture and/or maintenance of products and services
  • Provision of equipment and/or TOT to government institutions and establishments engaged in the manufacture and/or maintenance of eligible products, and provision of eligible services.
  • Technology acquisition by DRDO in areas of high technology.

What changes after Defence Acquisition Procedure, 2020?

  • Government-to-government agreements (G2G), ab initio single vendor contracts or inter-governmental agreements (IGA) will not have offset clauses.
  • All other international deals that are competitive, and have multiple vendors vying for it, will continue to have a 30% offset clause.

5. Understanding an abundant, highly transmissible coronavirus mutation

News: D614G mutation of SARS- CoV-2 has been found more transmissible than most others.

Facts:

  • Mutation: A mutation is a change in the sequence of bases of DNA or RNA in a genome. All viruses mutate to adapt to the barriers that humans put up. RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 mutate slowly as they require a host (human cell) to replicate.
  • ‘D614G’ Mutation: In this mutation, glycine (G) replaces aspartic acid (D) in the 614th position in the amino acid.