National Current Affairs – UPSC/IAS/IPS – 28th June 2017

China launches its Biggest Naval Destroyer

China India

  • China launched its most powerful naval destroyer, the Type 055, which is among the largest warships in the world.
  • China is building four of these destroyers, the first of which was shown off this morning at the Shanghai port.

About the ship

  • Weighing in when fully armed at more than 12,000 tonnes, the colossal Type 055 is considerably larger and more powerful than India’s latest Project- 15B “Visakhapatnam” class destroyers which have still not been commissioned.
  • India’s latest destroyers will displace close to 8,200 tonnes when completely armed and are designed to carry a mix of nearly 50 surface-to-air, anti-ship and land attack missiles.
  • In contrast, China’s giant cruiser will combine nearly 120 missiles, making it one of the most heavily-armed ships in the world.
  • Powerful phased array radars will help it focus on targets at sea, on land and in the air.
  • The giant new warship is the most sophisticated design put to sea by China which has commissioned a host of new, advanced warships at a remarkable pace over the last five years. According to PLA Realtalk, an ope-source online platform which discusses Chinese military developments, “The 055 is expected to field a substantially more modern and more capable command and control and battle management system.”

Worry to India?

  • Since March 2014, China has commissioned five Type 52D destroyers thought to be similar in capability to India’s `Visakhapatnam’ class warships mentioned above.
  • Worryingly for India, which has planned seven of these warships, China plans a fleet of at least 18 ships of this class.
  • Earlier this year, China launched its first indigenous aircraft carrier, construction of which started in November 2013.
  • India’s own homegrown aircraft carrier, the Vikrant (named after India’s first aircraft carrier), in development since 2009, she sailed out for the first time in 2011, but is unlikely to be completed before 2023 according to a report last year of the national auditor.

India – USA – China

  • China is presently locked in a war of words with the United States over its presence on artificially-created islands in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
  • India is an important maritime ally of the United States and shares deep concerns on the expansion of the Chinese Navy, particularly in the Indian Ocean.
  • In the last five years, China has constantly deployed submarines (including nuclear submarines), warships and support vessels in the Indian Ocean.
  • In January this year, Admiral Harry Harris Jr., the Commander of the US Pacific Command said, “I believe India should be concerned about the increased Chinese influence. If you believe there is only a finite amount of influence in the region, then whatever influence that China has is influence that India doesn’t have.”

EC takes Facebook help to call unregistered eligible Indian voters

EC takes Facebook help to call unregistered eligible Indian voters

  • The Election Commission will launch a special drive to enrol new electors, and has collaborated with Facebook to launch a ‘voter registration reminder’ on July 1.
  • From next month, Facebook will remind eligible Indian voters to get themselves enrolled as the Election Commission of India has teamed up with the social media giant to push its “No Voter To Be left Behind” moto.
  • An official statement said that ECI is launching a ‘Special Drive’ to enrol left out electors, with a special focus on first time electors from 1st July , 2017 , so as to move in the direction of Commission’s motto that ‘NO VOTER TO BE LEFT BEHIND’
  • “In order to reach out to maximum eligible voters, the ECI is collaborating with Facebook to launch first Nationwide “Voter Registration Reminder” on 1st July ,2017,”the statement adds.

How will it work?

  • On 1st July, a notification of the “voter registration reminder” will be sent to people on Facebook in India who are eligible to vote.
  • The reminder will be sent out in 13 Indian languages – English, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Assamese, Marathi and Oriya.
  • Facebook has over 180 million people in India on Facebook, which will now have the ‘Register Now’ button designed to encourage Indian citizens to register themselves with the Election Commission of India.
  • By clicking on the “Register Now” button on Facebook, people will be directed to the National Voters’ Services Portal (www.nvsp.in) , which will guide them through the registration process.
  •  This is the first time Facebook’s voter registration reminder has been rolled out across India. In 2016 and 2017, Chief Electoral Officers made such efforts at state level during their respective state elections.

India’s First Blood Bank for Cattle to Come up in Odisha

India's First Blood Bank for Cattle to Come up in Odisha

  • Odisha is all set to become the first state in the country to have a blood bank for the cattle.
  • Stating this, the Vice-chancellor of the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) Surendra Nath Pasupalak said that the first of its kind blood bank would be established on the premises of OUAT at an estimated cost of Rs. 3.25 crore.
  • Mr. Pasupalak said a proposal in this regard was earlier submitted to the National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP). After approval from the NADP, the OUAT is now awaiting approval from the state government.
  • The project will have a 60:40 sharing between the Centre and the state government
  • 60% of the project cost would be funded by the Central government and the rest 40% would be funded by the Odisha state government.
  • The cattle farmers will provide blood voluntarily.
  • The blood bank will also go and collect blood from centres.
  • Blood transfusion facility for cattle blood will also be done at the proposed blood bank. This will prevent death of cattle during deliveries and other ailments, he said.
  • The storage facility would come in handy for the veterinarians to save lives of the domesticated animals.