Daily Current Affairs 08.09.2020 (NEP, MISSILES)

Daily Current Affairs 08.09.2020 (NEP, MISSILES)

1. Govt. intervention in education policy should be minimal: PM

People’s doubts must be addressed before NEP implementation, Modi says

  • The government’s intervention in the education policy should be “minimal”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, emphasising that the policy belonged to the whole country, rather than to any particular government in power.
  • Mr. Modi was addressing the inaugural session of the Governors’ conference on the National Education Policy (NEP), which is being attended by State Education Ministers and Vice-Chancellors. The focus of the conference is on the implementation of NEP.
  • “The education policy and the education system are important means of fulfilling the aspirations of the country. The Central and the State governments, as well as local bodies, all have responsibility for the education system. But it is also true that the government’s interference or intervention in education policy should be minimal,” he said.
  • “Just as the foreign policy or defence policy are the policies of the country, not of the government, so is the education policy. It belongs to the whole country,” he noted, urging a “collective responsibility” in implementing the policy.
  • Mr. Modi urged the States to hold consultations with stakeholders on the implementation of the policy by September 25.
  • “When we move towards change, it’s natural for doubts and questions to arise in people’s minds,” he said.

‘Hold discussions’

  • Parents may have questions about subject stream flexibility, teachers may want to know about the curriculum design and other stakeholders may have doubts about the availability of resources needed to implement the NEP. “It’s important to discuss all the provisions and the nitty-gritty of this document. It can only be implemented once all the doubts and questions in people’s minds are addressed.”
  • With Governors being the Chancellors of the 400-plus universities — which have more than 40,000 affiliated colleges — they have a crucial role to play in the implementation of the NEP. Further consultations would be held with the central universities on September 19.
  • Mr. Modi said the NEP 2020 provided a vision for a new India of the 21st century, in line with its aspirations to be a self-reliant power. He felt it would help transform the country into a “knowledge economy” and tackle brain drain by paving the way to open local campuses of global educational institutions.
  • The policy would also prepare the country’s youth for the jobs of the future, in a world where the nature of work was undergoing change.
  • The focus on critical thinking, instead of mere curricular studying, as well as the emphasis on vocational education, would equip Indian students with the skills needed for the global workforce, he pointed out.

President’s call

  • Addressing the conference, President Ram Nath Kovind urged the Central and State governments to increase their percentage of investment in research and innovation. He noted that such investment was only 0.7% of the GDP in India, in comparison to 2.8% in the U.S., 4.2% in South Korea and 4.3% in Israel.
  • “Education is the most effective means of social justice and personal advancement. There is no better investment than that in education to improve the future of society,” he said.
  • The goal of investing 6% of the GDP in public education had remained unreachable since it was originally made in the 1968 Education Policy, he added.

2. Hypersonic cruise vehicle test puts India in elite club

DRDO says it will help develop hypersonic cruise missiles

  • The hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology was successfully demonstrated by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Monday with a flight test of the hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HSTDV), which will lead to the development of hypersonic cruise missiles and vehicles in future.
  • “It’s a major technological breakthrough in the country. This testing paves the way for development of more critical technologies, materials and hypersonic vehicles. This puts India in a select club of nations that have demonstrated this technology,” DRDO chairman G. Satheesh Reddy said.
  • A test of the technology demonstrator was conducted in June 2019.
  • “With this success, all critical technologies are now established to progress to the next phase,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted.
  • The HSTDV took off at 11.03 a.m. from the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam launch complex on Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast. “The hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 km, where the aerodynamic heat shields were separated at hypersonic speed,” the DRDO said in a statement.
  • The cruise vehicle separated from the launch vehicle and the air intake opened as planned. “The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound, which is nearly 2 km/s, for more than 20s,” it added.

‘Major breakthrough’

  • With this technology, cruise missiles could now travel at hypersonic speeds, a defence source said. “Scramjet engine is a major breakthrough. Air goes inside the engine at supersonic speed and comes out at hypersonic speeds,” the source noted.
  • The vehicle reaches a certain altitude, then cruises and also reaches very high temperatures, up to 1,000°-2,000° Celsius, during re-entry. “After the Anti-Satellite Test, this is the biggest achievement recently,” the source pointed out.
  • Critical events such as fuel injection and auto ignition of the scramjet demonstrated technological maturity, the DRDO said. “The scramjet engine performed in a textbook manner. It worked at high dynamic pressure and at very high temperature.”
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the DRDO on Twitter. “The scramjet engine developed by our scientists helped the flight achieve a speed six times the speed of sound! Very few countries have such capability today.”

Notable Missile Systems in India and their details

MissileType Range
Astraair-to-air 80 km
Trishulsurface-to-air 9 km
Akash  30 km
Prithvi Air Defence (PAD)  2000 km
Nagsurface-to-surface Anti-tank missile 4 km
Prahaarsurface-to-surfaceSRBM150 km
BrahMosland, naval, airSupersonic Cruise Missile300 km
Nirbhayland, naval, airSubsonic Cruise Missile1000 km
K-15 Sagarikaunderwater-to-surfaceSLBM700 km
Dhanushsea-to-sea/surfaceSRBM350 km

SLBM: Sub-marine launched ballistic missile

AstraAstra is a beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile (AAM).In terms of size and weight, the Astra is the smallest missile developed by the DRDO.It was envisaged to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speeds.
TrishulUsed as anti-sea skimmer (to fly low to avoid radar) from ships against low-flying attacks.
AkashIt has the capability to “neutralize aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles” as well as ballistic missiles.
PADAnti-ballistic missile developed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere (exo-atmospheric).
Nag3rd generation anti-tank ‘fire and forget’ guided missile (lock-on before launch system) where the target is identified and designated before the weapon is launched.
PrahaarHigh manoeuvrability.Primarily a battlefield support system for the Army.
BrahMosIt is a supersonic cruise missile developed as a joint venture between Indian and Russia.It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world.It is the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation.
NirbhaySubsonic missile which is ancillary (providing necessary support) to the BrahMos range.
K-15 SagarikaIt forms the crucial third leg of India’s nuclear deterrent vis-à-vis its submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) capability.It was subsequently integrated with India’s nuclear-powered Arihant class submarine.
DhanushIt is capable of carrying nuclear warheads.It carries forward the legacy of the K-15 Sagarika.
ShauryaSurface-to-surface ballistic missile (SSM) variant of the K-15 Sagarika.The nuclear capability of the missile enhances India’s second-strike capability.It reduces the dependence on the K-15 which was built with Russian assistance.

Prithvi Missiles

All the Prithvi variants are surface-to-surface SRBMs.

NameVersionRangePayload in kg
Prithvi IArmy version150 km1000
Prithvi IIAir force version350 km500
Prithvi IIINaval version600 km1000

Agni Missiles

NameTypeRangePayload in kg
Agni-IMRBM700 – 900 km1,000
Agni-IIMRBM2,000 – 3,000 km750 – 1,000
Agni-IIIIRBM3,500 – 5,000 km2,000 – 2,500
Agni-IVIRBM3,000 – 4,000  km800 – 1,000
Agni-VICBM5,000 – 8,000 km (Testing)1,500 (3 – 10 MIRV)
Agni-VIICBM8,000 – 10,000 km (Under development)1,000 (10 MIRV)

MIRV: Multiple Independently targetable Re-entry Vehicle

Anti-satellite weapons (ASAT)

  • In March 2019, India successfully tested its ASAT missile.
  • The ASAT missile destroyed a live satellite in Low Earth orbit (283-kilometre).
  • As per DRDO, the missile is capable of shooting down targets moving at a speed of 10 km per second at an altitude as high as 1200 km.

There are 2 kinds of Missiles, Ballistic and Cruise

Ballistic MissilesCruise Missiles
It follows a ballistic trajectory with the objective of delivering one or more warheads to a predetermined target.It is a guided missile that remains in the atmosphere and flies the major portion of its flight path at approximately constant speed.
Target is predetermined. Fit for large targets.Target can be mobile. More appropriate for small mobile targets.
Guided only during relatively brief periods of flight and the rest of its trajectory is unpowered and governed by gravity.Are self-navigating
High altitude. Easy to trackAble to fly in extremely low-altitude trajectory. Makes it difficult to track
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