The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully conducted the successful flight test of the Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) technology on March 5, 2021. The flight test was conducted from Integrated Test Range at Chandipur off the coast of Odisha. The air launch scenario was also simulated during the flight test using the booster motor. After that, the nozzle-less booster accelerated the motor to the required Mach number for the operating the Ramjet.
During the test, it was observed that, all the subsystems such as booster motor and nozzle-less motor performed as per the expectation of the DRDO. Further, the flight test proved many of the new technologies including the Solid Fuel based Ducted Ramjet technology. The performance of missile was monitored using the data which was captured by Electro Optical, Radar and Telemetry instruments. The Successful flight test of the Solid Fuel based Ducted Ramjet technology now provides the DRDO with several technological advantage. This would now enable the DRDO to develop a long-range air-to-air missile.
It is a missile propulsion system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). DRDO developed the project with the aim of developing the critical technologies which are required in the propulsion systems future long range air-to-air missiles of India. It is a missile propulsion system that comprises of the thrust modulated ducted rocket along with the reduced smoke nozzle-less missile booster. Thrust modulation of the system is achieved through a hot gas flow controller. SFDR uses a solid fuelled air-breathing ramjet engine.
The United States Department of Commerce is all set to tax aluminium sheet exporters from the 18 countries including India after the department determine that these countries had benefited from subsidies and dumping.
This decision was taken by the US Department of Commerce after several U.S. aluminium alloy manufacturers complained that they were being harmed because of imports at the lower prices. A U.S. investigation on India states that, in the year 2019, Imports from India have benefited from subsidies for 35 percent to 89 percent.
When a country or company exports any product at a price which is lower in the foreign importing market as compared to the price in the domestic market of the exporters is called as Dumping. The dumping has the ability to flood the market with product prices which are considered to be unfair. The dumping process is legal as per the norms of the World Trade Organization (WTO). However, action can be taken of the foreign country can show the negative effects that any exporting firm has caused to its domestic producers.
Countries use several tariffs and quotas in order to protect their domestic producers from dumping. Some of them are listed below:
The customs duty which is applied on the imports with the objective of providing a protection against the dumping of goods which are being sold at prices lower than the normal value is called as “Anti-Dumping Duty”. This price is charged by the foreign producers for the comparable sales in their own countries.
The custom duty on products which have received the subsidies provided by the government in the exporting country or the originating country is called the countervailing duty. It is imposed so as to counter the negative impact of import subsidies which in turn protect the domestic producers.
The scientists have discovered a “space hurricane” for the first time. The hurricane swirled for eight hours over the North Pole in the upper atmosphere of Earth.
These hurricanes are usually occurred in the lower atmosphere of the Earth. It was never observed in the upper atmosphere. Earlier, the space hurricane was detected in August 2014 during a retrospective analysis which was led by the researchers at Shandong University of China. Its findings were published in February 2021 in Nature Communications.
The tech of scientists from USA, Norway, China and United Kingdom observed and produced the image of space hurricane using the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites and a 3D magnetosphere modelling. The hurricane that was detected over North Pole comprises of plasma with multiple spiral arms. It was spinning in an anticlockwise direction. The hurricane has the diameter of 1,000 kilometres while in altitude it reached from 110 kilometres to 860 kilometres. It has the speed of up to 2,100 metres per second.
The swirling mass of plasma that rains electrons into the ionosphere instead of water is called as “Space Hurricane”. The hurricane results into the stunning effect that is a huge, cyclone-shaped glowing green aurora can ve observed below it. The astronomers have spotted hurricanes in space on Mars, Saturn and Jupiter.
The study of space hurricane will help the scientists to understand the important space weather effects like disturbances in high frequency radio communication, satellite drag, satellite navigation, errors in over-the-horizon radar location and communication systems.
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi will hold the virtual summit with his Swedish counterpart, Stefan Lofven on March 5, 2021.
Both the Prime Ministers will exchange their views on the global and regional issues. They will also be discussing the bilateral relations between both the countries. The Ministry of External Affairs highlighted that, this is going to be the 5th interaction between two leaders starting from the 1st interaction held in 2015. After that, the Swedish Prime Minister had visited India in February 2016 for Special Make in India week following which the Indian Prime Minister also visited Stockholm in April 2018 for the “First India Nordic Summit”. As per the statement of ministry, both the leaders met in September 2015 on the side-lines of United Nations General Assembly. The most recent discussion between both the countries was held in April 2020 to discuss the situation of ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.
The India–Sweden relations dates back to 1949 when both the countries formally established their diplomatic relations. The country had also recognised the India’s independence from United Kingdom in the year 1947. India has established its embassy in Stockholm and Sweden has its embassy in New Delhi. The country has also established its honorary consulates in Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai.
Relation between Sweden and India can also be traced back to 8th century CE and era of Vikings. In the year 1954, a small bronze Buddha statue was discovered which is now displayed at the Swedish History Museum. The statue is supposed to be made in present-day Kashmir. In the 18th century, the Swedish East India Company also attempted make hold on trading foothold though ports in Bengal and Surat but the British, French and Dutch East India companies forced the country to focus on trading with China.
Currently, around 10,000 Indian citizens are residing and working in Sweden. The group is employed mainly in business or other professional fields. The countries share warm and friendly relations on the basis of shared values of freedom, democracy, pluralism and rules-based international order. They have established a close relation in the fields of Trade & investment, Innovation, Research & Development and Science & Technology. Currently, more than 250 Swedish companies are operating in India in sectors like health, life sciences, auto industry, clean technology, defence, heavy machinery etc as opposed to 75 Indian companies operating in Sweden.
The Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, has asked the scientists of CSIR laboratories in India to develop land available at each laboratory to set up as a model under the “CSIR Floriculture Mission”. In the earlier move, the CSIR Floriculture Mission was given approval for the implementation across the 21 States and Union Territories of India.
Under the CSIR Floriculture mission, the available knowledge base in the CSIR Institutes will be utilized in order to help Indian farmers and industry to reposition themselves so as to meet import requirements.
The floriculture mission is being implemented in association with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Directorate of Floriculture, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED) etc. This mission will converge the floriculture with apiculture to yield benefits. The mission will focus on the commercial crops for honey bee rearing such as Gladiolus, Carnation, Canna, Marigold, Rose etc.
This mission is significant because the Indian Farmers have little knowledge regarding the floriculture which have the potential to give 5 times more return than the traditional crops. It also has the potential to provide huge employment through floriculture farming, nursery raising, entrepreneurship development for nursery trade and export. Currently, India only shares 0.6% of the global floriculture market despite having diverse agro-climatic conditions. This, this mission will help in boosting this share.
The minister also launched the CSIR’s Societal Portal and an Android App. This portal was developed by CSIR Team in collaboration with the MyGov Team. It will facilitate public to submit societal problems which will be resolved through S&T interventions.
The Simlipal Tiger Reserves in Odisha underwent the massive fires recently. The wildfires broke in the biosphere reserve situated in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha.
It is a tiger reserve situated in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha in the northern part. The reserve derives its name from Simul tree (silk cotton tree).it comprises of an area of 5,569 sq km. The reserve was declared a biosphere reserve in June 1994 by the Government of India. The reserve is home to 94 species of orchids and around 3,000 species of plants. The species of fauna include 29 species of reptiles, 12 species of amphibians, 42 species of mammals and 264 species of birds. All these species significantly highlight the biodiversity richness of the reserve. The dominant tree of the reserve is Sal tree.
The Simlipal forest reserve area witnesses the forest fires so often in the dry weather conditions. As per the Regional Conservator of Forest, there are 399 identified fire points along the fringe areas bordering the forest. All these points remain vulnerable to the wildfire as and when summers arrives. The wild fire is a recurrent annual disaster. However, with the government’s efforts, the calamity has been bought under control.
The forest officials and activists highlight that, there are several man-made factors as well the natural causes that led to the wildfires. The natural causes include lighting, even soaring temperatures, dry conditions, lesser rainfall etc. further, during the summer season, the leaves get dry so much so that even a spark could lead to the raging fire. In the forest areas, the poachers and hunters set fire in the small areas to divert the wild animals which often lead to the widespread wildfires.
The National Emergency Management Agency highlighted that; New Zealand has issued a Tsunami warning in the coastal areas on March 4, 2021 following an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 in the north-eastern coast of the country in the Kermadec Islands region.
This was the third earthquake that struck the north-eastern area of the country, following a 7.4 magnitude earthquake in the same region. The country also witnessed a 7.2 magnitude earthquake which was about 900 kilometres away towards east of North Island. Following the tsunami warnings, people near the East Coast of the North Island, from the Matata to Tolaga Bay, Whakatane & Opotiki, from Bay of Islands to Whangarei and the Great Barrier Island have been asked to move immediately to high ground. This, the tsunami prone zones have been evacuated.
National Emergency Management Agency in the latest update mentioned that, the GNS Science has reported that the largest waves have now passed. Thus, the threat level has now downgraded to the Beach and Marine threat for all areas that were under Land and Marine threat.
The areas that are still under the Beach and Marine Threat are, North Cape from AHIPARA to Bay of Islands; Great Barrier Island, Chatham Island, East Coast of North Island from the Cape Runaway to Tolaga Bay.
The island is situated in the outer Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. It is located at a distance of 100 kilometres from the north-east of central Auckland. It has an area of 285 square kilometres. The island is the sixth-largest island of New Zealand. The highest point on the island is Mount Hobson. It is 627 metres above sea level.
It is a bay as well as a small town to the East Coast of North Island in New Zealand. The region around the bay is rugged and remote. For many years, it was accessible by boat. It is a popular holiday spot.
The first consignment of ‘red rice’ was flagged off on March 4, 2021 to the United States. This adds on to the India’s rice exports potential. The rice was sourced by leading rice exporter called ‘LT Foods’.
The ceremony of the flagging-off of the export consignments was carried out by APEDA Chairman Dr. M. Angamuthu in Haryana. The APEDA is involved in promoting rice exports with the help of several stakeholders along the value chain. The government had also set up a “Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF)” under the parent head of APEDA.
The red rice is rich in Iron and is grown in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam. It is grown without using any chemical fertilisers. This variety of rice is called as the ‘Bao-dhaan’, which is an integral part of foods in Assam.
The commerce ministry of India said that, the non-basmati rice exports of India have increased to Rs 26,058 crore for the months of April-January 2020-21 as compared to the exports of Rs 11,543 crore for the same period in the fiscal year 2019-2020.
APEDA is the Apex-Export Trade Promotion Active government body. The body was set up by the “Ministry of Commerce and Industry”. It was set up under the APEDA Act. The Act was passed in December 1985. Following that, the apex body was established and came into effect from February 1986.
The REPF was set up by the Government of India to boost the rice exports. The forum takes up the collaborative steps so as to identify and document particulars. It also reaches out to the stakeholders along the entire production or supply chain of export of rice. In this way, it enhances the exports at the global market. REPF comprises of the representatives of the exporters, officials from APEDA, rice industry, ministry of commerce, and directors of agriculture from the major rice-producing states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Telangana, Haryana, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
The National Safety Day 2021 was observed on March 4 in India. This day was observed with the objective of creating awareness among people regarding the safety measures. This year, the day was observed under the theme: “Sadak Suraksha” (Road Safety).
The day is observed with the aim of increasing the awareness regarding all the guidelines including the workplace safety, road safety, safety of human health and the safety of environmental health. The celebrations of the day will be observed over a week thus, the National Safety Week will be observed from March 4 to March 10, 2021. The safety week will highlight the importance of safety on roads.
The campaign for the National safety day was started on March 4, 1972. The need for observing such day was highlighted by the Union ministry of labour and employment during the first ever conference on “industrial safety” from December 11 to 13, 1965. During the conference, the minister highlighted the need of safety councils on national and state levels and he also put forward the proposal for a National Safety Council. This proposal was accepted in the 24th session of standing labour committee. The day, March 4, marks the formation of the National Safety Council.
It is a non-profit, self-financing and tripartite apex body. It was set up by the government to generate, develop and sustain the voluntary movement on health, environment and safety at national level.
The National safety day is significant in the light of increasing accidents on Indian roads. As per the data from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), total number of accidental human deaths accounted for 421,104 in the year 2019. Out of it, traffic accidents stood at 467,171.
The eleventh edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject was released on March 4, 2021. The report was compiled by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). The ranking provided the independent comparative analysis regarding the performance of 14,435 individual university programme. As per the report, India’s private institutes have improved their performance in the latest report.
The report highlights that, the biggest challenge faced by India is educational–providing high-quality tertiary education with respect to increasing demand. This challenge was recognised by the National Education Policy 2020. The policy also set the target of 50 per cent gross enrolment ratio by 2035.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) recently reported its latest “worldwide quarterly wearable device tracker”. As per the report, India wearables market has increased by 144.3% year-on-year in 2020. In the year 2020, it accounted for 36.4-million-unit shipments.
As per the report, India has become the only country among top 20 that registered the growth in three digits. In India, the shipments in the October-December 2020 grew at 198% annually on 15.2 million units. The IDC has highlighted that, the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic led to the increase in demand for ear wear devices for the purpose of remote working and learning. Further, during the year 2020, people upgraded from wrist bands to watches. Shipment of earwear increased by 258% annually in 2020 to 30.4 million units. Thus, it accounted for 83.6% of the overall wearable market. Furthermore, the hearables became the most demandable electronic product in 2020. Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) shipment grew tenfold with 11.3-million-unit shipments in 2020.
It is the premier global provider corporation which is involved in the advisory services, market intelligence, and events for the telecommunication, information technology and consumer technology markets. The IDC comprises of more than 1100 analysts worldwide. It offers the local, regional and global expertise in the technology & industry opportunities. The corporation trends in more than 110 countries. Analysis and insight provided by the IDC helps IT professionals, investment communities and business executives in making the fact-based technology decisions and in achieving the key business objectives. It was founded in 1964. It is owned by the International Data Group which is the leading tech media, data and marketing services company of the world.
HDFC ERGO General Insurance has launched the “Business Kisht Suraksha” cover. It is a unique cover which was launched with the aim of protecting the balance sheet of Micro finance Institutions (MFIs), financial institutions and banks if any catastrophe or natural disaster occurs.
This was launched with the aim of limiting the impacts on balance sheet of financial institutions which occurs because of non-payment of EMIs by borrowers or because of several calamities like earthquakes, floods, cyclones. The Business Kisht can be customised as per the needs of the individual MFI or financial institution (FI). It can also be tailor-made based on the geographical presence of the borrower, MFI or any FIs. The MFIs or FIs would also be given the option to select the number of EMIs which might need insurance coverage.
It is a 51:49 joint venture firm between HDFC and ERGO International AG which is the primary insurance entities of Munich Re Group in Germany. ERGO operates in the insurance field under BFSI sector. HDFC ERGO offers the products in corporate, retail and rural sectors. The retail sector products include motor, health, home, travel, cybersecurity policy and personal accident. The Corporate products include marine, liability and property insurance while the Rural sector is meant for the farmers with crop insurance and cattle insurance. The merger of the HDFC ERGO Health Insurance and HDFC ERGO was completed and came into effect in November 2020. This was the second successful merger of insurance sector in India.
It is a financial services company based in Mumbai. It is a major housing finance provider across India. The company has its presence the sectors like banking, life and general insurance, venture capital realty, asset management, deposits, education and education loans.
The World food prices have increased for the ninth consecutive month in February 2021. This increase is the at its highest level since July 2014.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation stated that the food prices have increased because of jumps in prices of sugar and vegetable oils. The food price index measures the monthly changes for a basket containing the cereals, dairy products, oilseeds, meat and sugar. The index had averaged to 116.0 points in February 2021 against the 113.3 points in January. The FAO also highlighted that; the cereal harvests remained on course worldwide so as to hit the annua record in the year 2020.
The cereal price index provided by the FAO has increased to 1.2% in February 2021. The prices of sorghum have increased the most that is 17.4% for month and 82.1%. This increase in price index of sorghum is led by the increased demand in China. The prices for Maize and rice have also increased while prices on export of wheat remained stable. The price of sugar has increased to 6.4% month on month. Further, there are concerns over supplies in the year 2021 because of fall in production in the major producing countries and strong demand from Asia. Vegetable oil price index has also increased by 6.2% while the prices of palm oil increased for a ninth month. Dairy prices have increased b 1.7% while meat index was increased by 0.6%.
The food and agriculture organisation had increased its forecast in the 2020 cereal season to 2.761 billion tonnes. Earlier it was estimated as 2.744 billion. The global rice production forecast was also increased by 2.6 million tonnes for March 2021 as compared to February.
The food price index is released by the Food and Agriculture organisation. It measures the monthly change in international prices of basket of food commodities.