1)India re-elected as Member of International Maritime Council for coming two years (2016-17) :-
- India has been re-elected unopposed to the Council of the International Maritime Organization.
- India has been one of the earliest members of the IMO, having ratified its Convention and joined it as a member-state in the year 1959. India has had the privilege of being elected to and serving the Council of the IMO, ever since it started functioning, and till date, except for two years for the period 1983-1984.
- IMO Council plays a crucial role in deciding various important matters within the mandate of the IMO, in relation to the global shipping industry, including its work programme strategy and budget. The IMO Council consists of 40 member countries who are elected by the IMO Assembly.
- IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping. The IMO was established in Geneva in 1948 and came into force ten years later, meeting for the first time in 1959. Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, the IMO has 171 Member States and three Associate Members
- The IMO’s primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping. IMO is governed by an assembly of members and is financially administered by a council of members elected from the assembly. The work of IMO is conducted through five committees and these are supported by technical subcommittees.
- Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), first adopted in 1914 following the Titanic disaster.
- Ballast Water Management Convention:-
- Ballast Water Management Convention, adopted in 2004, aims to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another, by establishing standards and procedures for the management and control of ships’ ballast water and sediments
- Under the Convention, all ships in international traffic are required to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain standard, according to a ship-specific ballast water management plan. All ships will also have to carry a ballast water record book and an international ballast water management certificate. The ballast water management standards will be phased in over a period of time. As an intermediate solution, ships should exchange ballast water mid-ocean. However, eventually most ships will need to install an on-board ballast water treatment system.
India and IMO:-
- India has acceded to/ratified about 32 of the Conventions/Protocols adopted by the IMO and 6 of them are under consideration for the purpose, during the year 2015. India is firmly committed to the enduring cause of safety of life at sea, and protection of the marine environment. She is among the first few countries, which had ratified the SOLAS Convention, 1974. India has taken concrete steps to upgrade the global safety standards applicable to both cargo and passenger ships. India has always been very active in associating with various initiatives of IMO and have made significant contribution for its implementation.
- India has also been playing a leading role in actively participating in and taking pro-active measures to counter threats from sea-borne piracy. It may also be recalled that vulnerable areas were defined as High Risk Area (HRA), characterized by piracy attacks and / or hijackings and in 2008, the HRA line in the Indian Ocean region was designated at 65 degrees East longitude which was quite far away from India’s West Coast. However, since then India has been consistently taking up in several global fora, such as the International Maritime Organization and the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), the issue of the restoration of the said HRA geographical coordinate from its existing position of 78 degrees East longitude to 65 degrees East longitude. Efforts were intensified since June 2011.(The shifting belt of piracy was a mains question in 2014)
- In view of India’s efforts, international bodies (International Chamber of Shipping and others) have now agreed to push back the HRA from 78 degrees East longitude to the 65 degrees East longitude.
- This is one of the most significant triumphs for India in the maritime sector on the global stage, in the past several years now, vindicating India’s reasoned stance and persistently persuasive soft skills in the matter. This will result in huge savings for India’s EXIM trade and consumers on account of reduced insurance premium and consequently freight costs. It will improve safety of fishermen and fishing boats, and will also improve the security along India’s coastline.
- India’s overseas seaborne EXIM trade, which is presently about 600 million tonnes per annum, is expected to be quadrupled to about 2,200 million tons by the year 2020. In value terms, the commensurate figures thereof are in the region of US$ 900 billion and US$ 2100 billion respectively. India ranks amongst the top twenty ship owning countries of the world in terms of Gross Tonnage as well as Deadweight.
2)The Flying Bullets and Sabre Slayers of Indian Air Force:-
- Flying Bullets:-18 Squadron or ‘Flying Bullets’ was formed on 15 April 1965 at Ambala. It was then equipped with world’s smallest fighter aircraft, the Gnats. Whether flying the Gnats or the lethal MiG-27 ML aircraft, the Squadron has an enviable operational record.
- Sabre Slayers:- 22 Squadron, known as ‘Swifts’ was raised on 15 Oct 1966 in Bareilly and equipped with Gnat Mk-I aircraft. On 22 Nov 1971, during the ‘Air Offensive for Liberation of Bangladesh’, the Squadron drew first blood by shooting down three F-86 Sabre jets over Jessore in a single sortie. For its daring and excellence, the Squadron was rechristened as ‘Sabre Slayers’ and decorated with Battle Honour.
3)LRSAM Successfully Flight-Tested:-
- For the first time, Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM), jointly designed and developed by India and Israel , has been successfully flight tested from an Israeli Naval Platform. The missile successfully engaged and destroyed the incoming air target.
4)The Green, The Blue and The Brown – Water Navy:-
- Blue Water Navy:-
- A blue-water navy is a maritime force capable of operating across the deep waters of open oceans.A term more often used in the United Kingdom to describe such a force is a navy possessing maritime expeditionary capabilities.While definitions of what actually constitutes such a force varies, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at wide ranges.
- Blue-water capability refers to an oceangoing fleet able to operate on the high seas far from its nation’s home ports. Some operate throughout the world.
- News:- Beijing is pushing to build-up a so-called “blue-water navy” able to operate in oceanic waters with a global reach.It plans to set up a naval facility in Djibouti, East Africa, to boost counter-piracy and peacekeeping efforts.
- Green Water Navy:-
- Green-water navy is terminology created to describe a naval force that is designed to operate in its nation’s littoral zones and has the competency to operate in the open oceans of its surrounding region. It is a relatively new term, and has been created to better distinguish, and add nuance, between two long-standing descriptors: blue-water navy and brown-water navy.
- Brown Water Navy :-
- Any naval force that has the capacity to carry out military operations in river or littoral environments, commonly known as riverine warfare. The term “brown-water” generally describes river environments carrying heavy sediment loads, such as from soil runoff or flooding. Since presence of “brown water” requires a soil source, whether riverine or coastal, the term has become associated with littoral navies.
5) SalTol Jyothi – saltwater-tolerant paddy:-
- SalTol Jyothi, the new variety of saltwater-tolerant paddy developed by scientists at the Rice Research Station, Vyttila in Kochi
- The landmark achievement in rice research was made possible by the introduction of genes tolerant to salinity and iron toxicity into Jyothi, Kerala’s most popular rice variety
- Jyothi, known for its superior grain quality, yet restricted by the lack of saline tolerance, has become suitable for Pokkali fields, Kuttanad and kolelands as well, according to the researchers
6)Green Highways Policy :-
- The Green Highways Policy is a Policy to promote greening of Highway corridors with participation of the community, farmers, private sector, NGOs, and government institutions. After the implementation of the policy, the community will be benefitted in terms of huge employment opportunities and entrepreneurship development. There will be huge environmental benefits also. It will also contribute to economic development of the country.
- News:-NHAI has approved a pilot project submitted by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur for undertaking scientific studies on designing greenbelts along national highways. The project will be implemented on a 5 km stretch on NH-7 between Jam and Hinganghat in Nagpur region at an estimated cost of Rs.11.80 crore . Around 20,000 trees of scientifically chosen species are proposed to be planted on both sides of this stretch in multiple rows.
For Complete details on Indian Defense check this :- http://upsctree.com/2015/11/09/09-nov-2015/