- Vande Bharat Express
- International Day of UN Peacekeepers
Focus: Indigenization of technology
Why in News?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off northeast region’s first Vande Bharat Express virtually. The train will connect Guwahati in Assam with New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and the journey will take five-and-a-half hours.
About Vande Bharat 2:
- Vande Bharat 2 will be equipped with more advancements and improved features like 0 to 100 Kmpl speed in just 52 second, maximum speed up to 180 Kmph, lesser weight of 392 ton instead of 430 ton and WI-FI content on demand.
- New Vande Bharat will also have 32-inch LCD TVs which was of 24 inch in earlier version.
- 15 percent more energy efficient ACs with dust free clean air cooling of traction motor will make the travel more comfortable.
- Side recliner seat facility which is being provided to Executive Class passengers, will now be made available for all classes.
- In the new design of Vande Bharat Express, photo-catalytic ultra violet air purification system is installed in the roof mounted Roof Mounted Package Unit (RMPU) for air purification.
- As recommended by Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Chandigarh, this system is designed and installed in both ends of RMPU to filter and clean the air free from germs, bacteria, virus, etc. coming through fresh air and return air.
About Vande Bharat Express:
- The Train18, later named Vande Bharat Express, is an Indian semi-high-speed, intercity, EMU train which was designed and manufactured by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at Perambur, Chennai under the Indian government’s Make in India initiative, over a span of 18 months.
- The train was launched on 15 February 2019.
- It is a semi-high speed trainset, each of 16 coaches, and self-propelled — they do not require an engine.
- This is called a distributed traction power system, which is increasingly becoming the norm the world over for passenger operations.
- Distributed power gives the train higher acceleration and deceleration compared to loco-hauled trains, which take a much longer time to reach top speed or to gradually come to a halt.
- It is capable of running at a maximum speed of 200 km/h (120 mph), but the tracks on which the train operates are not capable of supporting such high speeds, hence the train is operated at a maximum speed of 130 km/h (81 mph).
- This made it the fastest train to run in India and the second fastest operating train in India, behind the Gatimaan Express which operates at 160 km/h (99 mph).
- Some of its passenger friendly features include; European-style seats, diffused LED lighting, GPS-based infotainment systems, modular bio-toilets, fully sealed gangways for dust-free environment, centrally controlled entry/exit doors with sliding footsteps, divyang friendly toilet and automatic sliding cabin doors.
- It is energy-efficient as its coaches will be fitted with LED lights. Coaches will have automatic doors and retractable footsteps.
Focus: GS II: Important International Institutions
Why in News?
The Indian Army commemorated the 75th International Day of UN Peacekeepers
- Theme for 2023: “ Peace Begins with Me ”
UN Peacekeeping Forces
- UN Peacekeeping is a joint effort which deploys troops and police from around the world, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to address a range of mandates set by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the General Assembly.
- This joint effort between the Department of Peace Operations and the Department of Operational Support helps countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace.
- According to the UN Charter, every Member State is legally obligated to pay their respective share for peacekeeping.
- Since 1948, UN Peacekeepers have undertaken 71 Field Missions.
- There are approximately 81,820 personnel serving on 13 peace operations led by UNDPO, in four continents currently.
- This represents a nine-fold increase since 1999.
- A total of 119 countries have contributed military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping.
- Currently, 72,930 of those serving are troops and military observers, and about 8,890 are police personnel.
India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping
- India has a long history of service in UN Peacekeeping, having contributed more personnel than any other country.
- To date, more than 2,53,000 Indians have served in 49 of the 71 UN Peacekeeping missions established around the world since 1948.
- Currently, there are around 5,500 troops and police from India who have been deployed to UN Peacekeeping missions, the fifth highest amongst troop-contributing countries.
- India has also provided, and continues to provide, eminent Force Commanders for UN Missions.
- India is the fifth largest troop contributor (TCC) with 5,323 personnel deployed in 8 out of 13 active UN Peacekeeping Missions, of which 166 are police personnel.
- India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping began with its participation in the UN operation in Korea in the 1950s, where India’s mediatory role in resolving the stalemate over prisoners of war in Korea led to the signing of the armistice that ended the Korean War. India chaired the five-member Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission, while the Indian Custodian Force supervised the process of interviews and repatriation that followed.
- The UN entrusted the Indian armed forces with subsequent peace missions in the Middle East, Cyprus, and the Congo (since 1971, Zaire).
- India also served as Chair of the three international commissions for supervision and control for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos established by the 1954 Geneva Accords on Indochina.
Role of women in Indian Peacekeeping
- India has been sending women personnel on UN Peacekeeping Missions.
- In 2007, India became the first country to deploy an all-women contingent to a UN Peacekeeping Mission.
- The Formed Police Unit in Liberia provided 24-hour guard duty and conducted night patrols in the capital Monrovia, and helped to build the capacity of the Liberian police.
- These women officers not only played a role in restoring security in the West African nation but also contributed to an increase in the number of women in Liberia’s security sector.
Medical care as part of India’s Missions
- In addition to their security role, the members of the Indian Formed Police Unit also organised medical camps for Liberians, many of whom have limited access to health care services.
- Medical care is among the many services Indian Peacekeepers provide to the communities in which they serve on behalf of the Organization. They also perform specialised tasks such as veterinary support and engineering services.
- Indian veterinarians serving with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), stepped up to help cattle herders who were losing much of their stock to malnutrition and disease in the war-torn nation.
- The Indian contingent in South Sudan has provided vocational training and life-saving medical assistance, as well as carrying out significant road repair work.
- In September 2020, based on an urgent request received from the UN Secretariat, India deployed two medical teams of 15 medical personnel each at Goma (DRC) and Juba (South Sudan).
- The Hospital by India in Goma, operational since January 2005, has 90 Indian nationals including 18 specialists.