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PIB – 23 July 2021




Focus: GS III- Defence

Why in News ?

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight-tested the latest Akash surface-to-air missile system.

  • The test was conducted from a test range off the Odisha coast.

Key Facts

  • The new version of the Akash missile (Akash-NG) can strike targets at a distance of around 60 km and fly at a speed of up to Mach 2.5.
  • The Akash missile system has been designed and developed as part of India’s 30-year-old Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested the new generation Akash Missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the coast of Odisha.
  • The new missile system has been developed by the DRDO’s lab in Hyderabad.
  • It has been built in collaboration with other wings of the defence research organisation.
  • The missile is unique in the way that it can be launched from mobile platforms like battle tanks or wheeled trucks.
  • It has nearly 90% kill probability and cheaper and more accurate than US’ Patriot missiles
  • Missile is supported by the indigenously developed radar called Rajendra.

About Akash Missile

  • Akash is a medium-range, surface-to-air missile defence system.
  • It is developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m.
  • It consists of a Rohini radar that detects incoming aircraft at ranges out to 120 km and relays the information to a command post.
  • It has the capability to “neutralize aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles” as well as ballistic missiles.
  • It is in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.
  • The Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) was an Indian Ministry of Defence programme for the research and development of the comprehensive range of missiles.
  • The programme was managed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Ordnance Factories Board in partnership with other Indian government political organisations.
  • The project started in 1982–83 under the leadership of Abdul Kalam who oversaw its ending in 2008 after these strategic missiles were successfully developed.
  • On 8 January 2008, the DRDO formally announced the successful rated guided missile programme was completed with its design objectives achieved since most of the missiles in the programme had been developed and inducted by the Indian armed forces.
Integrated Guided Missile Development Program(IGMDP) - Legacy IAS Academy


Focus: GS III- Defence

Why in News ?

DRDO successfully flight-tests indigenously developed MPATGM for minimum range.

Key Facts

  • In a major boost towards AatmaNirbhar Bharat and strengthening of Indian Army, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM).
  • The missile was launched from a man portable launcher integrated with thermal site and the target was mimicking a tank.
  • The missile hit the target in direct attack mode and destroyed it with precision.
  • The test has validated the minimum range successfully and all the mission objectives were met.
  • The missile has already been successfully flight tested for the maximum range.

About Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM)

  • It is an indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget missile.
  • The missile is incorporated with state-of-the-art Miniaturized Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics.
  • It brings the development of indigenous third generation man portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile close to completion.
  • The missile is being developed to strengthen the combat capabilities of the Indian Army.


Focus: GS III- Indian Economy

Why in News?

Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for specialty steel.

About the scheme:

  • The duration of the scheme will be five  years,  from 2023-24 to 2027-28.
  • The scheme will give employment to about 5,25,000 people of which 68,000 will be direct employment.
  • Speciality steel has been chosen as the target segment because out of the production of 102 million tonnes steel in India in 2020-21, only18 million tonnes value added steel/speciality steel was produced in the country.
  • Apart from this out of 6.7 million tonnes of imports in the same year, approx. 4 million tonnes import was of specialty steel alone resulting in FOREX outgo of Approx. Rs. 30,000 crores.
  • By becoming Aatmanirbhar in producing speciality steel, India will move up the steel value chain and come at par with advanced steel making countries like Korea and Japan.
  • The benefit of this scheme will accrue to both big players i.e. integrated steel plants and to the smaller players (secondary steel players)
  • Specialty steel is value added steel wherein normal finished steel is worked upon by way of coating, plating, heat treatment, etc to convert it into high value added steel which can be used in various strategic applications like Defence, Space, Power, apart from automobile sector, specialized capital goods etc.
  • There are 3 slabs of PLI incentives, the lowest being 4 % and highest being 12% which has been provided for electrical steel (CRGO).
  • The PLI Scheme for specialty Scheme will ensure that the basic steel used is ‘melted and poured ’within the country which means that raw material (finished steel) used for making specialty steel will be made in India only, thereby ensuring that Scheme promotes end to end manufacturing within the country.
22 JULY 2021 
Incentive (PLI) Scheme 
for Specialty Steel 
Enhanced exports and minimising dependence 
on imports for high end steel 
Bring in investment of 
approximately uO,OOO crores 
Employment generation 
potential of about 5.25 lakh 
Capacity addition of 25 MT 
• Will incentivize steel sector 
to invest in technological 
capability building to 
contribute to global steel 
value chain
The five categories of specialty steel which have been chosen in the PLI Scheme are:
  • Coated/Plated Steel Products
  • High Strength/Wear resistant Steel
  • Specialty Rails
  • Alloy Steel Products and Steel wires
  • Electrical Steel

Out of these product categories, it is expected that after completion of the Scheme India will start manufacturing products like API grade pipes, Head Hardened Rails, electrical steel (needed in transformers and electrical appliances) which are currently manufactured in very limited quantity or not manufactured at all.


Focus: GS III- Agriculture

Why in News?

Honey Mission Programme launched by KVIC being implemented to promote BEE keeping activities.

About Honey Mission Programme :

Nodal: Ministry of MSME

  • The Honey Mission programme was launched by Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) during 2017-18.
  • It is being implemented to promote Bee Keeping activities and provide self-sustaining employment opportunities among farmers, Adivasies and unemployed youth in rural India, especially in economically backward and remote areas.
  • Under the programme, beneficiaries are provided with Bee Boxes, live bee colonies, tool kits and training. 
  • The KVIC has also provided beekeepers practical training about examination of honeybee colonies, acquaintance with apicultural equipments, identification and management of bee enemies and diseases, honey extraction and wax purification, and management of bee colonies in spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter seasons.
  • Besides giving them certificates of trained bee-keepers, the KVIC experts also delved upon honey bee species, colony organization, division of labor and life cycle of honey bees.
  • Being the nodal agency of Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), the KVIC would provide loans for setting up units of processing, packaging and labelling units for the honey.
  • Till date, a total number of 15445 beneficiaries have been assisted under the programme.
  • KVIC has assigned the work of evaluation / assessment study of Honey Mission to M/s CRISIL (formerly Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited), Mumbai.
  • Under the Honey Mission programme of KVIC, it is proposed to form 08 Self Help Groups benefitting 80 beekeepers in the Bundelkhand Region in the financial year 2021-22.
Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)
  • KVIC is a statutory body established under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act, 1956.
  • The KVIC is charged with the planning, promotion, organisation and implementation of programmes for the development of Khadi and other village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.
  • It functions under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises


Focus: GS II- Vulnerable Sections

Why in News?

M/o Tribal Affairs has been setting up Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) for imparting quality education to tribal children in their own environment.

About Eklavya Model Residential Schools:

  • EMRS started in the year 1997-98 to impart quality education to ST children in remote areas in order to enable them to avail of opportunities in high and professional education courses and get employment in various sectors.
  • Across the country, as per census 2011 figures, there are 564 such sub-districts out of which there is an EMRS in 102 sub-districts.
  • As per revised 2018 scheme, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an EMRS by the year 2022.
  • These schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas and will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.
Objectives of EMRS:
  • Comprehensive physical, mental and socially relevant development of all students enrolled in each and every EMRS. Students will be empowered to be change agent, beginning in their school, in their homes, in their village and finally in a larger context.
  • Focus differentially on the educational support to be made available to those in Standards XI and XII, and those in standards VI to X, so that their distinctive needs can be met,
  • Support the annual running expenses in a manner that offers reasonable remuneration to the staff and upkeep of the facilities.
  • Support the construction of infrastructure that provides education, physical, environmental and cultural needs of student life.
Features of EMRS
  • Admission to these schools will be through selection/competition with suitable provision for preference to children belonging to Primitive Tribal Groups, first-generation students, etc.
  • Sufficient land would be given by the State Government for the school, playgrounds, hostels, residential quarters, etc., free of cost.
  • The number of seats for boys and girls will be equal.
  • In these schools, education will be entirely free.


Focus: GS II- Polity

Why in News?

1023 Fast Track Special Courts set up for speedy disposal of cases of rape and cases under POCSO Act

About Fast-track courts :

  • Fast-track courts (FTCs) are created primarily to deal with the judicial backlog.
  • A ‘special court’ is one which is to deal with special types of cases under a shortened and simplified procedure.
  • Fast-track courts (FTCs) have been around for a long time, with the first ones being established in the year 2000.
  • However, 56% of the States and Union Territories, including Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, had no FTCs.
  • Judges are appointed on the ad hoc basis.
  • Retired judges or eligible judicial officers who are selected by the High court of the respective states are the head of these courts.
Need for Fast Track courts
  • Clearing the considerable amount of pending cases
  • Expected to reduce the number of undertrials in jails
  • Need for Speedy Trial
  • Judiciary’s commitment to end sexual and gender based violence
Advantages of Fast track courts:
  • Lessening of the general caseload burden: The objective with which the fast track courts were established has been very beneficiary for judiciary as it has solved over a million cases and has reduced the case load from other courts.
  • Promotes specialization and professionalization: It has helped employ thousands of people from different fields, it also avails retired judges from high courts and district courts. The establishment of fast track courts has promoted the specialization of a category of law.
  • Improves judicial efficiency and effectiveness: By the proper use of judiciary and by speedy trial and judgment, fast track courts boost the efficiency of the judiciary.
  • High case clearance rate and speedy trial rate: Fast Track courts in India have the highest case disposal rate due to its speedy trial and judgment. And hence it is efficient in solving cases in a bound time.
  • Guarantees consistency and predictability: Fast track courts have high performance rate and are stable and steady. It renders justice with high accuracy.
Issues Faced by FTCs
  • Non-Uniformity in Type of Cases: In a survey of FTCs conducted by National Law University Delhi, it was observed that there is a huge variation in the kinds of cases handled by these courts across States, with certain States primarily allocating rape and sexual offence cases to them and other States allocating various other matters.
  • Infrastructural Issues: Most FTCs were not set up with different infrastructure or facilities, but were often housed in an existing court. Moreover, several States appoint FTCs special judges from the current pool of judges. This substantially increases the workload of the remaining judges.
  • Technological Barrier: Several FTCs lacked technological resources to conduct audio and video recordings of the victims and many of them did not have regular staff.
  • Adhocism: Setting up of FTCs was not based on actual problems of pendency, but was often in response to specific incidents such as securities scams, rape cases and sexual harassment of children.
  • Lack of Coordination: In India, tribunals are managed by different ministries, and fast-track courts and special courts are administered under different judicial bodies, with little coordination or uniformity among them.
  • Other Issues: There are delays in getting reports from the understaffed forensic science laboratories, judges make frivolous adjournments and inadequate staff adversely affect the efficiency of the fast track courts.
Sav» m 

June 2024