The Hindu Editorial Summary Topic -1 

The Significance of Carrier Aviation and INS Vikrant 

GS-2 Mains ; Defence

Revision Notes

Question : Analyze the technological and economic aspects of the indigenous construction of INS Vikrant, considering its contributions to India’s defense industry and broader economy.

INS Vikrant – A Feat of Indigenous Engineering

  • Commissioned in September 2022, INS Vikrant is India’s first indigenously designed and constructed aircraft carrier.
  • Design work began in 1999, with a crucial decision in 2005-2006 to develop DMR-249 warship grade steel in India.
  • This steel is now used for all warships in the country.
  • Vikrant’s construction involved collaboration between the Steel Authority of India, DRDO, and the Indian Navy.
  • Launched in 2013, it underwent extensive trials before commissioning in 2022.

An Engineering Marvel

  • Vikrant boasts a massive area exceeding 12,450 sq m, comparable to two and a half hockey fields.
  • The 262m long and 62m wide carrier is powered by four engines generating 88 MW, enabling a maximum speed of 28 knots and a range of 7,500 nautical miles.
  • It has around 2,200 compartments for a crew of 1,600, including dedicated cabins for women officers and sailors.
  • Vikrant’s construction significantly boosted the Indian economy:
    • Engaged 500 MSMEs
    • Provided employment for 12,000 ancillary industry workers
    • Supported 2,000 CSL employees

Operational Capabilities

  • Vikrant can operate an air wing of 30 aircraft, including:
    • MiG-29K fighter jets
    • Kamov-31 helicopters
    • MH-60R multi-role helicopters
    • Advanced Light Helicopters (indigenous)
    • Light Combat Aircraft (Navy) (indigenous)
  • It utilizes STOBAR (Short Take-Off but Arrested Recovery) for launching and recovering aircraft.
  • The flight deck has an independent lighting system for bad weather and night operations.
  • Vikrant offers increased deck space and wider hallways compared to previous carriers.

India’s Long History with Aircraft Carriers

  • Vikrant is not India’s first aircraft carrier:
    • INS Vikrant (1961) – purchased from the U.K., played a key role in the 1971 war.
    • INS Viraat (1987) – formerly HMS Hermes (U.K.).
    • INS Vikramaditya (2013) – procured from Russia.

Importance of Carrier Aviation for India

  • Aircraft carriers are vital for:
    • Command and control of naval operations
    • Projecting combat power at sea, ashore, and in the air
  • A strong navy with carrier capabilities is essential for India’s security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • Twin carrier operations allow for a credible presence on both western and eastern seaboards.
  • Despite advancements in anti-carrier missiles and drones, carrier aviation remains a potent force for the foreseeable future.

Limitations of Carrier Aviation for the Indian Navy:

Despite its undeniable importance, carrier aviation for the Indian Navy has limitations that need consideration:

  • Vulnerability: Aircraft carriers are large, expensive targets vulnerable to modern anti-ship missiles and submarines.
    • Example: During the Falklands War (1982), Argentina (with limited naval power) managed to sink a British destroyer and damage other ships using Exocet missiles.
  • High Cost: Building, maintaining, and operating carriers are incredibly expensive. This diverts resources from other crucial naval capabilities.
    • Example: The cost of building INS Vikrant was estimated to be around ₹23,000 crore (US$3.2 billion). These funds could be used for acquiring other essential equipment or strengthening other branches of the military.
  • Limited Operational Range: Carriers are dependent on a carrier battle group (CBG) for air defense, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and logistics. This limits their ability to operate independently far from friendly bases.
  • Time-Consuming Deployment: Deploying and recovering aircraft requires trained personnel and specialized equipment. This can be a slow process, especially during high-intensity conflicts.
  • Environmental Concerns: Aircraft carrier operations contribute to air and noise pollution, raising environmental concerns.

Potential Mitigation Strategies for India:

  • Focus on Asymmetric Warfare: India can develop effective anti-ship capabilities (missiles, submarines) to deter potential adversaries and make carrier operations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) riskier.
  • Diversification of Naval Assets: Invest in a balanced fleet with smaller, more agile warships, submarines, and long-range maritime patrol aircraft to complement carrier capabilities.
  • Strengthening Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW): Submarines pose a significant threat to carriers. India needs robust ASW capabilities to protect its carriers and deter enemy submarines.
  • Land-Based Air Support: Develop a network of strategically located naval air stations to provide additional air cover for carrier operations, reducing reliance solely on ship-borne aircraft.
  • Investing in Defensive Technologies: Continuously upgrade missile defense systems and electronic countermeasures to enhance carrier survivability.

By acknowledging these limitations and implementing effective mitigation strategies, the Indian Navy can ensure its carrier aviation arm remains a potent force while optimizing its overall naval capabilities for the evolving security landscape.



The Hindu Editorial Summary Topic -2

Anticyclones, Heat Waves, and Early Warning Systems in India

GS-1 Mains : Geography

Revision Notes 

Question : Discuss the relationship between global warming and the intensification of heat waves in India, with a focus on the role of anticyclonic circulations. How do these phenomena contribute to extreme weather events such as heat waves and floods?


Heat Waves and Global Warming

  • Global warming creates unique local features that intensify heat waves on top of a generally warmer baseline temperature.
  • Persistent circulation patterns, like anticyclones, can modulate these heat waves.
  • Recent heat waves in India and the historic Dubai floods are potentially linked to anticyclonic circulations.

Understanding Anticyclones

  • Anticyclones are natural seasonal features with clockwise winds and sinking air in the center, leading to compression, warming, and high-pressure heat domes.
  • The pre-monsoon season sees the formation of the upper-level Indian Easterly Jet (IEJ) and a strong westerly jet stream, creating an anticyclonic pattern over India.
  • A strong anticyclone during the pre-monsoon season brings dry and hot weather, while a weak one brings milder weather.

Amplification of Heat Waves in 2023

  • The record warmth of 2023 is partially explained by the El Niño phenomenon, but other factors are at play.
  • A weakening El Niño can lead to a stronger and more persistent anticyclone, resulting in longer-lasting and more intense heat waves.
  • This year’s heat waves are likely due to a combination of El Niño’s warmth and unexplained additional warming in 2023.

Early Warning Systems for Heat Waves

  • Accurate early warnings are crucial. India utilizes a “ready-set-go” system under the World Meteorological Organisation’s Subseasonal-to-Seasonal Predictions project.
  • The “ready” step provides a seasonal outlook based on global warming, El Niño, and other factors to improve long-term forecasts. This allows disaster response systems to prepare.
  • Subseasonal predictions (weeks 2-4) contribute to the “set” step, where resources are allocated and potential hotspots are identified.
  • The “go” step relies on short-term (days 1-3) and medium-term (days 3-10) forecasts to trigger disaster management actions like rescue efforts and opening heat shelters.


  • India’s heat wave prediction and early warning systems are improving.
  • The challenge lies in further refining local weather predictions across India to build resilience for the future.


Additional Notes

1.About Heat Waves

Heat waves are periods of abnormally high temperatures that can last for several days or even weeks. They pose a significant health risk in India, especially for vulnerable populations like children, elderly, and those with chronic health conditions.

  • When do they occur? Typically, heat waves hit India between March and June, sometimes extending into July.
  • How hot can it get? During a heat wave, temperatures can soar well above 40°C (104°F) in plains, 37°C (98.6°F) in coastal areas, and 30°C (86°F) in hilly regions.
  • What causes them? Several factors contribute to heat waves in India:
  • Global warming: Rising global temperatures create a baseline for hotter weather, making heat waves more likely and severe.
  • Anticyclones: These are large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns with high pressure in the center. They can trap hot air near the surface, leading to heat waves.
  • El Niño: This cyclical warming of the Pacific Ocean can influence weather patterns in India, sometimes leading to drier and hotter conditions.
  • Impacts of heat waves: Heat waves can have various negative consequences:
  • Health risks: Heatstroke, dehydration, and worsening of pre-existing medical conditions are major concerns.
  • Reduced productivity: Working outdoors in extreme heat can be dangerous and lead to decreased productivity.
  • Power outages: Increased demand for electricity for cooling can strain power grids, leading to outages.
  • Impact on agriculture: Heat waves can damage crops and reduce agricultural yields.


Anticyclones in India are large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns with high pressure in the center. While they have some natural benefits, they can also contribute to heat waves, leading to negative consequences.

Pros of Anticyclones in India:

  • Clear Skies and Less Rainfall: Anticyclones bring stable weather with clear skies and less rainfall. This can be beneficial for:
    • Winter Season: During winters, anticyclones can lead to clear skies and pleasant sunshine, which is desirable.
    • Agricultural Activities: In some cases, drier conditions created by anticyclones can be suitable for harvesting certain crops.
    • Drying Activities: Clear skies and less moisture can be helpful for drying agricultural produce or construction activities.

Cons of Anticyclones in India:

  • Heat Waves: A major downside of anticyclones is their potential to contribute to heat waves. Here’s how:
    • Sinking Air: As air spirals downward in an anticyclone, it gets compressed and warms up. This warm air gets trapped near the surface, leading to rising temperatures.
    • Reduced Cloud Cover: Clear skies associated with anticyclones allow more sunlight to reach the ground, further intensifying heat.
    • Weaker Winds: Anticyclones are often associated with weaker winds, which reduces the natural cooling effect of air circulation.

Overall Impact:

The negative consequences of heat waves, like health risks, reduced agricultural yields, and power outages, often outweigh the benefits of clear skies brought by anticyclones, especially during the summer months.

Additional Points:

  • The strength and duration of anticyclones determine their impact. A stronger or longer-lasting anticyclone is more likely to cause a heat wave.
  • Other factors like El Niño, a cyclical warming of the Pacific Ocean, can further influence the severity of heat waves associated with anticyclones.

Anticyclones are a natural weather phenomenon, but their influence on temperatures needs to be monitored and factored into heat wave predictions and mitigation strategies.


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