Defence Current Affairs And Updates 8 July 2020

SC gives one more month to Defence Ministry to grant permanent commission to women officers in Indian Army

  • The Supreme Court has granted one more month to the Union Defence Ministry to comply with its February order and grant permanent commission to women officers in the Indian Army. Ministry of Defence had moved the top court seeking six more months to implement court’s February verdict in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Centre said that decision making was at a final stage and only formal orders were awaited.
  • On February 17 this year, the apex court had upheld Delhi High Court’s 2010 order which allowed permanent commission for women officers in Indian Army and had asked Centre to comply with the order by May 2020. Centre has agreed to implement court’s verdict in letter and spirit.
  • While delivering its verdict in February, the top court had questioned non-implementation of the high court order by the Centre since it was not stayed at any point of time. Centre’s earlier submissions on stereotyping of women as physiologically weak were brushed aside by the court, holding that such notions had caused irreparable loss to women officers in terms of service and seniority.
  • Court’s ruling stressed upon need to change attitudes and mindsets after 70 years of independence, pointing towards laurels earned by women officers while working shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts.
  • Observing that non-discrimination in employment was a fundamental right under law, court had held that engagement of women officers in army was an evolutionary process. The order criticised the “deeply disturbing” ideas that taking care of family is a woman’s primary job and ruled that it was an insult to both women and the institution of Army aspersions cast on women’s ability and achievements.
  • According to 2019 figures, women comprise only 3.8% of the world’s second-largest army – compared to 13% of the air force and 6% of the navy. There are some 1,500 female officers compared to more than 40,000 male officers.

South Western Army Command Chief Reviews Red Eagle Division

  • Army Commander Sapta Shakti Command Lt. Gen. Alok Singh Kler visited Red Eagle Division and reviewed the operational preparedness.
  • He exhorted all ranks to continue to work with zeal & enthusiasm.
  • The 4th Indian Infantry Division, also known as the Red Eagle Division, is the infantry division name the Indian Army retained after the present India adopted its entire rank and structure from its parent Army, the British Army. During the Second World War, it took part in campaigns in East Africa (Eritrea and Sudan), Syria, North Africa, and Italy.

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviews progress of border infrastructure

  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh chaired a high-level meeting today to review the progress of various infrastructure projects under construction in border areas. The meeting was also attended by Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and other senior officials of the Ministry.
  • The state of forward connectivity to border areas was reviewed and the consistent need of boosting the ongoing projects and to expedite the construction of strategic roads, bridges and tunnels in the border areas was discussed. The Border Roads has executed 30 per cent more works in financial year (FY) 2019-20 as compared to FY 2018-19.
  • The BRO has worked incessantly even during the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 without affecting the progress of various projects. Despite unprecedented snowfall, breaking 60-year-old record, all strategic passes and roads were cleared this year for traffic about one month before their average yearly opening dates. The Border Roads executed snow clearance works on 149 roads (of 3,965 kilometres) in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. This ensured rapid and early movement of troops and logistics to forward areas.
  • While complementing the BRO for its achievements, Raksha Mantri exhorted it to continue its work to achieve even greater laurels. The Border Roads has also inducted latest equipment and machines and has introduced modern construction methods after successful trials to expedite works on surfacing with cementations base, use of plastics, geotextiles, etc and various techniques for slope stabilisation. Trials have also been carried out successfully for indigenously produced modular bridges in collaboration with Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE) under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. This will revolutionise the bridge laying capabilities in forward areas. Shri Rajnath Singh lauded the efforts of BRO for their contribution to national security.

U.S. State Department approves possible sale of 8 Osprey aircraft to Indonesia

  • The Pentagon confirmed Monday that the State Department has approved a possible sale to Indonesia of 8 MV-22 Block C Osprey aircraft.
  • The potential deal for eight MV-22 Osprey aircraft made by a joint venture of Boeing and Bell Helicopter for an estimated cost of $2 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in an official notification to the U.S. Congress.
  • “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of an important regional partner that is a force for political stability, and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region,” the DSCA said in a statement, adding “It is vital to U.S. national interest to assist Indonesia in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defence capability.”

U.S. Army to bring Artificial Intelligence to its combat vehicles

  • The U.S. Army wants its combat vehicles will drive itself, autonomously select and prioritize targets to ease Soldier burdens in multi-domain operations. To achieve this, Army researchers plan to augment combat vehicles with Artificial Intelligence, or AI.
  • New applications of AI are consolidating data and made possible of streamlining multiple targeting sensors to destroy long-range targets and receiving organized weather-specific terrain mapping from nearby drones. AI-enabled technologies could analyse seemingly limitless amounts of targeting data in seconds to massively improve attack options and shorten “sensor-to-shooter” time.
  • Currently, the Army designated several research programs as essential for future Soldier capabilities. Of these major flagship programs, the Artificial Intelligence for Manoeuvre and Mobility, or AIMM, Essential Research Program, endeavours to reduce Soldier distractions on the battlefield through the integration of autonomous systems in Army vehicles.
  • Manufacturers typically design commercial self-driving cars to operate on pristine roads, where heavy traffic and crowds of pedestrians play a significant factor in its capabilities. In contrast, the Army often faces environments with diverse terrains and areas that may not even have a road to travel on.
  • Autonomy in the next generation combat vehicle will not only help Soldiers make decisions but also clearly explain the rationale behind its suggestions so that a Soldier can either approve the choice or intervene if necessary.

Lithuania to receive 6 Blackhawk helicopters from United States

  • The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on 6 July that the State Department has approved a possible sale to Lithuania of 6 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters and related equipment at an estimated cost of $ 380 million.
  • The UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters are planned to be used for search and rescue operations and for the tasks of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania.
  • The United States is Lithuania’s strategic partner and key ally for the security of the Baltic region. The two countries cooperate across a range of areas, including acquisitions.

INAS 300 celebrates Diamond Jubilee  

  • Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 300 completes six decades of Air Supremacy.
  • Mainstay of power projection over Indian Ocean Region, INAS300 proved its mettle on various occasions including Operation Vijay in 1961, Indo-China war in 1962 & the Indo-Pak wars in 1965 & 1971.
  • 60 years ago the White Tigers (INAS 300) heralded the era of carrier borne aviation for Indian Navy with Sea Hawks operating from the deck of INS Vikrant & in over two decades earned nine gallantry awards including one Maha Vir Chakra & five Vir Chakras.
  • The Sea Harriers replaced the Sea Hawks in 1983 & brought with them the concept of Vertical Take Offs & Landings, the Sea Harriers operated from the deck of INS Viraat for over three decades.
  • The 4++ Generation, Swing Role, Supersonic MiG-29K, inducted in 2016 brought with them the capability of Air Dominance, operating from the deck of INS Vikramaditya.

REVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. When did the Supreme Court of our country declare permanent commission to women in the Indian Army?
  2. 17th June 2020
  3. 17th April 2020
  4. 17th February 2020
  5. 17th May 2020

ANSWER: C

  • The Red Eagle Division of the Sapta Shakti Command is also known as:
  • 4th Indian Infantry Division
  • 5th Indian Infantry Division
  • 6th Indian Infantry Division
  • 7th Indian Infantry Division

ANSWER: A

  • Current Defence Secretary of our country:
  • Shashi Kant Sharma
  • Dr. Ajay Kumar
  • R. K. Mathur
  • G. S. Bhalja

ANSWER: B

  • The Pentagon confirmed Monday that the State Department has approved a possible sale of 8 MV-22 Block C Osprey aircrafts to which country?
  • Micronesia
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Germany

ANSWER: B

  • The United States is Lithuania’s strategic partner and key ally for the security of the
  • Mediterranean Region
  • Indian Ocean Region
  • Western Pacific Region
  • Baltic region

ANSWER: D

  • INAS 300 is nicknamed as:
  • White tigers
  • Blue tigers
  • Green tigers
  • Yellow tigers

ANSWER: A

Hemanth Kasturi

    General Studies Tutor at SSBCrackExams, Graduate in Aeronautical Engineering, Cleared NDA, CDS, INET, AFCAT exams.

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