1 . India’s Home-Made Drone ‘Rustom 2’ Flies With High-Power Engine
India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation or the DRDO successfully tested its heavy duty drone named Rustom 2, from its test facility at Chalakere, in Karnataka. The new indigenously built drone has the capability to replace precision drones imported from the United States of America and Israel.
The Rs. 1,500-crore drone project was initiated considering the requirements of the Army, Navy and Air Force . Modern warfare is heavily dependent on drones and India had deployed its imported drones effectively during the surgical strikes it carried out across the Line of Control in Pakistan in September 2016.
Features of Rustom 2
1 . Rustom 2 drone is a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, developed on the lines of predator drones of the United States.
2 . The objective of this drone is to carry out surveillance for the armed forces with an endurance of 24 hours.
3 . Rustom 2 is capable of carrying different combinations of payloads like synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence systems and situational awareness payloads.
4 . The drone has been designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment of the DRDO, and aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Bharat Electronics Ltd are its production partners.
2 . 21st National Conference on e-Governance , Hyderabad
The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Government of India, along with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India in association with Government of Telangana is organizing the 21st National Conference on e-Governance on February 26- 27, 2018 in Hyderabad, Telangana.
The theme of the Conference this year is, ‘Technology for accelerating Development’.
The Conference serves as a forum in which the Secretaries, Administrative Reforms and Secretaries, Information Technology of State Governments, IT Managers of the Central Governments, Software Solution providers, industry, etc. participate and interact, exchange opinions, views, discuss issues, problems and also analyze various solution frameworks.
The Conference is also a forum to showcase best practices, innovative technologies and ICT solutions.
3 . Gopi, Monica win Delhi marathon
Defending champions T. Gopi and Monica Athare retained their titles in the men’s and women’s categories respectively at the third edition of the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon , but were unable to achieve the qualifying mark for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
While Gopi clocked a personal best timing of 2:15:16, Monica completed the race in 2:43:46.
4 . Opening up commercial coal mining for the private sector
The Centre opened up commercial coal mining for the private sector on February 20.
The sector will move from an era of monopoly to that of competition . With an aim to boost coal production, the state-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) was set up in 1975. Ever since, it has monopolised the sector, and is now the world’s largest coal-producer.
Reasons behind this move
The coal ministry had, from 1993 to 2011, allocated 218 coal blocks to eligible Public Sector Undertakings and private firms for specified end-use projects, that is power, steel and cement, as well as for commercial mining by PSUs.
However, these allocations were challenged before the Supreme Court, which in August 2014 cancelled the allocation of 204 blocks after finding that the allocations were arbitrary and illegal.
To manage and reallocate the cancelled blocks, the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 was enacted.
In March 2017, the coal ministry brought out a discussion paper on auction of coal mines for commercial mining. The paper said “given the present demand-supply situation and the projected economic growth of the country, it will be necessary to further augment the production through commercial mining… certain mines will be offered to all eligible companies in private as well as public sector through auction mode.”
1 . It is expected to bring in greater efficiency, technology, higher investment and more employment.
2 . It would also lead to more revenue that can be used for development of the area and inhabitants around the mine by the State.
3 . Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra would benefit the most.
4 . Global mining giants like BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Glencore have expressed interest in prospecting for coal in India.