50% rise in the number of people illegally entering Bangladesh

According to the latest data of the National Crime Records Bureau, the number of people caught while trying to cross the border and illegally emigrate to Bangladesh from India has increased by over 50%. A total of 2,971 people were arrested by the Border Security Force in 2018 as compared to 1,800 in 2017. 

Crux of the Matter
  • Out of 2971 people arrested, 1,532 were men, 749 women and 690 children.
  • The movement from Bangladesh to India has marginally decreased to 1,118 in 2018 in comparison to 1,180 in 2017.
  • Subir Bhaumik, an author and Bangladesh expert says, “A definite reverse migration is happening to Bangladesh because of the fear factor generated by NRC post-Assam followed by repeated statements by BJP leaders that such an exercise would be conducted all over India.”
  • A senior BSF official said, “a large number of human traffickers, cattle smugglers, fake currency and drugs suppliers, and suspected terrorists who move in and out of Bangladesh are often arrested on Indo-Bangla border. But there are other people who have families on both sides who are often apprehended as well when they cannot produce proper documents.”

The Bangladesh–India border, is an international border that demarcates the eight divisions of Bangladesh and the Indian states. Bangladesh and India share a 4,156 kilometre-long international border, the fifth-longest land border in the world, including 262 km (163 mi) in Assam, 856 km (532 mi) in Tripura, 180 km (110 mi) in Mizoram, 443 km (275 mi) in Meghalaya, and 2,217 km (1,378 mi) in West Bengal.The Land Boundary Agreement to simplify the border was ratified by both India and Bangladesh on 7 May 2015. More Info

Defence Minister flags off 51st K-9 Vajra at L&T

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday flagged off the 51st K-9 Vajra-T gun at the Larsen and Toubro Armoured Systems Complex in Surat. The gun weighs 50 tonnes and can fire 47kg bombs at 43-kilometre distant targets.

Crux of the Matter
  • The K9 Vajra contract will deliver 100 systems in 42 months.
  • Different manoeuvres of the K-9 Vajra-T, a tracked self-propelled howitzer were displayed. It can also turn around at zero radii.
  • L&T in 2017 had won the  ₹4,500-crore contract from the Ministry of Defence to supply 100 units of K9 Vajra-T 155 mm/52 calibre tracked self-propelled gun systems to the Indian Army under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “the government has simplified the process of giving licences for defence manufacturing and created a defence investors cell at the Ministry of Defence. The government will try its level best to remove all roadblocks that are coming in the industry’s way of indigenous defence manufacturing.”

The K9 Thunder is a South Korean self-propelled 155 mm howitzer developed by Samsung Techwin for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and now manufactured by Hanwha Defense. It was developed to supplement and then replace the K55 self-propelled howitzers in South Korean service. K9 is an indigenous system of an all-welded steel armour construction which is rated to withstand 14.5 mm armour piercing rounds, 152 mm shell fragments, and anti-personnel mines. The main armament consists of a 155 mm/52 calibre ordnance with a maximum firing range of 40 km. State-of-the-art mobility subsystems include a 1,000 horsepower (750 kW) engine with potential for growth and hydropneumatic suspension unit, a requirement for Korea’s rugged mountainous terrain. More Info

All unmanned aerial vehicles now compulsory to be registered

According to the order issued by the aviation ministry, “Any unregistered drone operated beyond January 31 will invite penal action.” Operating unregistered drones violates the norms prescribed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Crux of the Matter
  • Starting from January 14, all drone operators in India will have to register their unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • A government wants registrations to regulate drone numbers by January-end.
  • Joint secretary SK Mishra said, “In order to facilitate the identification of civil drones and drone operators, a one-time opportunity for voluntary disclosure of such drones and drone operators is now being provided.”
  • After registration, a Drone Acknowledgement Number (DAN) and Ownership Acknowledgement Number (OAN) will be issued online which will help in validating operations of drones in India.
  • The DGCA in 2018 had announced the rules to regulate drones and had categorised drones into five categories based on weight, starting from 250 grams to 150 kilograms and above.
  • The government had also categorised airspace where drones could operate.  Airspace is partitioned into Red Zone (flying not permitted), Yellow Zone (controlled airspace) and Green Zone (automatic permission).
  • The red zone areas are closer to airports, military areas and international borders. 
  • The government is also planning for the second set of regulations which would allow operations of drones beyond the line of sight. 

An unmanned aerial vehicle is an aircraft without a human pilot onboard and a type of unmanned vehicle. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system; which include a UAV, a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two. A UAV is defined as a ‘powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload.’ More Info


CDS Bipin Rawat: Terrorism Needs to be Fought the Hard Way, the American Way

“Terrorism is here to stay so long as there are going to be states that are going to sponsor terrorism and they are going to use terrorists as proxies, make weapons available to them, make funding for them, then we can’t control terrorism. We’ve to bring an end to terrorism and that can only happen the way Americans started after 9/11. They said let’s go on a spree on global war on terror. To do that you have to isolate the terrorists. Anybody who is sponsoring terrorism has to be taken to task. Any country which is sponsoring terrorism has to be taken to task. I feel one of the measures adopted is of blacklisting by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is one good measure. Diplomatic isolation, you have to do this.”

Chief of Defence Staff, Bipin Rawat

Naval Version of Tejas successfully undertakes maiden ski-jump take-off from INS Vikramaditya

The indigenously built naval variant of Tejas aircraft developed by DRDO made its first landing on the deck of INS Vikramaditya on 12th January 2020. The light combat aircraft took off from the ‘ski-jump’ deck of the aircraft carrier.

Crux of the Matter
  • The ski-jump is the upwardly curved ramp that provides sufficient take-off lift for fighter jets.
  • Both the landing and take off by the aircraft has made India a part of the select group of countries with the capability to operate a jet from an aircraft carrier.
  • The naval version of Tejas light combat aircraft is in the development stage. 
  • The Indian Air Force has already inducted a batch of Tejas aircraft and further plans to induct 83 aircrafts costing Rs. 50,000 crores.
  • DRDO has developed the new naval variant of Tejas in collaboration with Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Aircraft Research and Design Centre of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) and CSIR.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “it a great event in the history of Indian fighter aircraft development programme.”

The Defence Research and Development Organisation is an agency of the Government of India, charged with the military’s research and development, headquartered in New Delhi. It was formed in 1958 by the merger of the Technical Development Establishment and the Directorate of Technical Development and Production of the Indian Ordnance Factories with the Defence Science Organisation. With a network of 52 laboratories engaged in developing defence technologies covering various fields, like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, land combat engineering, life sciences, materials, missiles, and naval systems, DRDO is India’s largest and most diverse research organisation. The organisation includes around 5,000 scientists belonging to the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS) and about 25,000 other scientific, technical and supporting personnel. More Info