- Draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy (2020)
Why in News
Recently, the Ministry of Defence has formulated a draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020).
- The DPEPP 2020 is envisaged as an overarching guiding document to provide a focused, structured and significant thrust to defence production capabilities of the country for self-reliance and exports.
Goals and Objectives:
- To achieve a turnover of 1,75,000 Crores including export of Rs. 35,000 Crore in Aerospace and Defence goods and services by 2025.
- To develop a dynamic, robust and competitive Defence industry, including Aerospace and Naval Shipbuilding industry to cater to the needs of Armed forces with quality products.
- To reduce dependence on imports and take forward “Make in India” initiatives through domestic design and development.
- To promote export of defence products and become part of the global defence value chains.
- To create an environment that encourages R&D, rewards innovation, creates Indian Intellectual Property (IP) ownership and promotes a robust and self-reliant defence industry.
- A Project Management Unit (PMU) will be set up for development and production of technologies involved, life cycle costs and maintenance requirements of platforms, equipment and weapon systems.
- It also aims to move away from licensed production to design, develop and produce indigenously.
- It also aims to own the design rights and IP of the systems projected in Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) and a Technology Assessment Cell (TAC) would be created.
- The TAC would also assess the industrial capability for design, development and production, including re-engineering for production of major systems such as armoured vehicles, submarines, fighter aircraft, helicopters and radars with the major industries in the country.
Indigenization And Support to MSMEs/Startups:
- The indigenization policy aims to create an industry ecosystem to indigenize the imported components (including alloys and special materials) and sub-assemblies for defence equipment and platforms manufactured in India. 5,000 such items are proposed to be indigenized by 2025.
- More than 50 startups are currently developing new ‘fit-for-military-use’ technologies/products.
Optimize Resource Allocation:
- The share of domestic procurement in overall Defence procurement is about 60%.
- In order to enhance procurement from domestic industry the procurement needs to be doubled from the current Rs 70,000 crore to Rs 1,40,000 crore by 2025.
Investment Promotion & Ease of Doing Business:
- India is already a large aerospace market with rising passenger traffic and increasing military expenditure, as a result of which the demand for aircrafts (fixed and rotary wings) is increasing.
- The improvement in market size, demographic dividend and availability of diverse skill sets are evident from India’s ranking in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ (EoDB) report.
- The investments in the defence sector need to be on a regular basis to sustain the regular supply of orders.
Innovation and R&D:
- Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) has been operationalized to provide necessary incubation and infrastructure support to the startups in the defence area.
- iDEX would be further scaled up to engage with 300 more startups and develop 60 new technologies/products during the next five years.
- Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti was launched to promote a greater culture of innovation and technology development and file a greater number of patents in Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
- It would be scaled up for promoting creation of Intellectual Property in the sector and its commercial utilization.
- Self-reliance in defence manufacturing is a crucial component of effective defence capability and to maintain national sovereignty and achieve military superiority.
- The attainment of this will ensure strategic independence, cost-effective defence equipment and may lead to saving on defence import bill, which can subsequently finance the physical and social infrastructure.
- Habeas Corpus Cases in Jammu & Kashmir
Why in News
After the abrogation of the special status (under Article 370 of the Constitution) of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir in August 2019, the Jammu & Kashmir High Court was confronted with an unprecedented number (250 plus) of habeas corpus petitions.
- The habeas corpus petitions were filed to challenge the detentions under the J&K Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978.
- After the abrogation of the special status, thousands of people were detained from across the Kashmir valley under the preventive detention law. Of these, several hundred were detained under the PSA.
- The other preventive detention laws under which people were booked are National Security Act (NSA) 1980 and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
Status of Habeas Corpus Petitions Against PSA:
- The records of cases dealt by the High Court show that 61% of the cases under the habeas corpus were dragged on over 3-4 hearings, which were later either dismissed or settled.
- However, in 17 cases, the court quashed the detention orders, due to lack of procedure followed by the government while invoking the PSA.
J&K Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978
- It is a kind of preventive detention law, under which a person is taken into custody to prevent him or her from acting in any manner that is prejudicial to the security of the state or the maintenance of public order.
- Period of Detention: Up to 2 years.
- Enforcement: Detention order is passed either by Divisional Commissioner or the District Magistrate.
- Challenging the Detention: The only way the administrative preventive detention order can be challenged is through a habeas corpus petition filed by relatives of the detained person.
- The High Court and the Supreme Court have jurisdiction to hear such petitions and pass a final order seeking quashing of the PSA.
- However, if the order is quashed, there is no bar on the government passing another detention order under the PSA and detaining the person again.
- There can be no prosecution or any legal proceeding against the official who has passed the order.
- It is a Latin term which literally means ‘to have the body of’. Under this the court issues an order to a person who has detained another person, to produce the body of the latter before it. The court then examines the cause and legality of detention.
- This writ is a bulwark of individual liberty against arbitrary detention. The writ of habeas corpus can be issued against both public authorities as well as private individuals.
- The writ, on the other hand, is not issued where the:
- detention is lawful, the proceeding is for contempt of a legislature or a court,
- detention is by a competent court, and
- detention is outside the jurisdiction of the court.
- 100th Death Anniversary of Lokmanya Tilak
Why in News
Recently, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) conducted the webinar to observe 100 death anniversary of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak on the 1 August , 2020.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations
- The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), is an autonomous organisation of the Government of India, involved in India’s external cultural relations (cultural diplomacy), through cultural exchange with other countries and their peoples.
- It was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister.
- ICCR has been assigned the responsibility of facilitating the celebration of the International Day of Yoga (21 June) by Indian Missions/Posts abroad since 2015.
- Born on 23 July 1856 in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. Lawyer by profession and also known as Lokmanya Tilak.
- Gave the slogan of “Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it!” during Indian struggle for independence.
- He died on 1 August 1920.
Contribution to Indian Struggle for Independence:
- One of the earliest and the most vocal proponents of complete independence or swarajya (self-rule).
- Along with Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal, he was part of the Lal-Bal-Pal trio of leaders with extremist outlooks.
- A book ‘Indian Unrest’ written by Valentine Chirol, an English journalist, stated Tilak the ‘father of Indian unrest’.
- Joined the Indian National Congress (INC) in Propagated swadeshi movements and encouraged people to boycott foreign goods.
- Indian Home Rule Movement was started in 1916, it is believed to have set the stage for the independence movement under the leadership of Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak for the educated English speaking upper class Indians.
- The All India Home Rule League was founded by Tilak in April 1916 at Belgaum.
- It worked in Maharashtra (except Bombay), the Central Provinces, Karnataka and Berar.
- Lucknow Pact (1916) was signed between the INC headed by Tilak and All-India Muslim League led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah for hindu-muslim unity in nationalist struggle.
- Started newspapers namely, Kesari (Marathi) and Mahratta (English) and wrote books namely, Gita Rhasya and Arctic Home of the Vedas.
- Founder of the Deccan Education Society (1884) along with his associate Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and others.
- Popularised the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in the Maharashtra Propounded the celebration of Shiv Jayanti on the birth anniversary of the monarch Chhatrapati Shivaji.
- Devout Hindu and used Hindu scriptures to rouse people to fight oppression. Relevance of the Tilak’s Ideas in Present Time
- Tilak’s stand for Swadeshi products and Swadeshi movement may help today’s India to push Atmanirbhar Bharat. Thus, revival of economic nationalism can be embibe from Tilak’s ideology.
- It was Tilak’s advocacy for local languages in the Congress that made members speak in their mother tongue during its meetings. Whereas, the government has given a push to bring Sanskrit and local languages through National Education Policy (2020).
- Also, Tilak was a staunch opponent of untouchability and launched a huge movement to unite the society divided on the basis of caste and sects. Such behavioural push will help to unite Indian society
- Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network
Why in News
The Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) is being used by the State/UT governments in India to monitor the supply chain of Covid response material. This has been used with the requisite customization during the Covid pandemic for ensuring continuation of the essential immunization services.
- About: It is an indigenously developed technology system that digitizes vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application.
- Objective: It is aimed at strengthening immunization supply chain systems across the country.
- eVIN aims to support the Government of India’s Universal Immunization Programme by providing real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in these states.
- Implemented by: It is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in partnership with the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The integrated solution combines:
- Technology: Online real-time information on vaccine stocks and storage temperature to facilitate evidence-based decision-making.
- Governance: Systemizing record keeping, upgrading logistics and encouraging good practices to ensure efficient vaccine logistics management.
- Human Resources: To empower the state cold chain network by building the capacities of handlers and managers at each stage of vaccine supply.
Universal Immunization Programme
- It was launched by the government in 1985, to prevent mortality and morbidity in children and pregnant women against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Under UIP free of cost vaccination is provided against twelve vaccine-preventable diseases i.e. Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia , Meningitis due to Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib), Measles, Rubella, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Rotavirus diarrhoea.
- The programme is one of the largest health programmes in the world. Despite being operational for many years, UIP has been able to fully immunize only 65% of children under 1 year of age.
- This strong platform has the potential to be leveraged for any new vaccine including COVID-19 vaccine, as and when available.
- eVIN can be a powerful contribution to strengthening health systems and ensuring equity through easy and timely availability of vaccines to all children, pregnant mothers and other vulnerable groups.
- eVIN can be upscaled to build VALUE (Vaccine and Logistics Utilisation Evaluator), which is a held device for capturing the data of vaccines administered, to monitor reach till the last-mile beneficiaries.
- It can help to fully automate the process of indenting and supplying vaccines based on historic actual consumption of vaccines and
- Phase II/III Clinical Trials of Covishield
Why in News
Recently, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given approval to the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune to conduct Phase II/III clinical trials of Covishield in India.
- SII is the world’s largest maker of vaccines and it has a tie-up with AstraZeneca, the Swedish-British pharma giant, to manufacture the Covid-19 vaccine for low- and middle-income countries.
- It is the name given to an Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine candidate which is technically referred to as AZD1222 or ChAdOx 1 nCoV-19.
- It is already being tested in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, where participants are being administered two doses nearly a month apart.
- It had triggered an immune response in humans against the novel coronavirus in early trials and is considered to be one of the global frontrunners for the Covid-19 vaccine.
- The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) for Covid-19 related therapies of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) felt that the SII needed to take a ‘pan India’ approach while considering trial sites.
- It recommended that authorisation to market Covishield should be granted after considering clinical data generated from both the India and international trials.
- SII can now start its larger phase II/III trials, ahead of other vaccine candidates like Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadila’s ZyCov-D which are still in phase I/II trials.
- However, the exact timings of trial beginning are not clear It would take at least a week to get the ethics committee’s approval before starting the trials.
- . The trials for Covishield will have around 1,600 participants at 18-odd sites across the country including those identified by the National Biopharma Mission and Grand Challenges India Programme.
Current Trend in India:
- India continues to improve the Case Fatality Rate (CFR-number of deaths per positive case) and maintain its global position of having one of the lowest Covid- 19 fatalities rates.
- The current CFR is 2.11%.
Grand Challenges India Programme
- It is a partnership framework for the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in India, its Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- BIRAC is a Public Sector Enterprise, set up by the DBT.
- Aim: To launch joint initiatives aimed at catalyzing innovative health and development research within India.
National Biopharma Mission
- It is an industry-academia collaborative mission for accelerating biopharmaceutical development in the country.
- It was launched in 2017 at a total cost of 1500 crore and is 50% co-funded by World Bank loan.
- It is being implemented by the BIRAC.
- Time Capsules
Why in News
The Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has denied reports about placing of a time capsule under the ground at Ram Temple construction site in Ayodhya.
- The Time Capsule, also known as Kaal Patra, was supposed to contain the history of Ayodhya and Rama Janma Bhoomi Movement.
- Time Capsule is a container of any size or shape, which accommodates documents, photos and artefacts typical of the current era and is buried underground, for future generations to unearth.
- To ensure that the capsules do not decay they are built using special engineering techniques like steel or aluminium encasing, vacuuming, use of acid-free paper,
- The time capsules mostly have a scheduled time for reopening, and are supposed to be buried again after opening, with people of the future adding their own contributions to the time capsule.
- The International Time Capsule Society (ITCS), based in the USA and formed in 1990, is now defunct but continues estimating the number of time capsules in the world.
- As per its database, there are 10,000-15,000 times capsules worldwide.
Famous Time Capsules in the World
- Samuel Adams and Paul Revere Time Capsule: It is the oldest known time capsule from 1795 (USA).
- The “Century Safe”: The world’s first planned time capsule was established at Philadelphia Centennial Exposition (USA) in 1876. It was opened and resealed in 1976.
- The Crypt of Civilization in Georgia: It was built around 1940 at OglethorpeUniversity in Brookhaven, Georgia and is scheduled for opening in the year 8113 AD. It is a project to preserve all human knowledge and was the brainchild of Thornwell Jacobs, also known as father of time capsules.
- The Voyager and Voyager II Spacecraft: They are currently circling on the edge of our solar system. These capsules were created by NASA to be seen by future
Time Capsules In India
- Outside the Red Fort: This was placed underground in 1972 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was dug out by the subsequent government in 1977.
- It raised a controversy as it was said to glorify Gandhi Nehru family in indian History.
- At IIT Kanpur Campus: This time capsule was buried on 6 March, 2010 containing details on IIT Kanpur in the form of documents, photographs, and films.
- At The Alexandra Girls’ English Institution, Mumbai: It was set up in the 19 century and is scheduled to be opened in 2062. It contains information on the school.
- At Jalandhar’s Lovely Public University: It was buried in January 2019 and contains 100 items that represent modern-day technology in India.
- Time Capsules are intended as a method of communication with future They are also supposed to help future archaeologists, anthropologists, or historians in knowing about the past human civilisation.
- Most intentional time capsules are filled with a lopsided view of history. They are often politically motivated and glorify the people who planted them.
- They can not be regarded as facts and are not very reliable. The information in time capsules has to be verified with other sources of information.
- Many time capsules which have been unearthed were filled with junk telling little about the people of the time.