Facts In News

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    Internal Security

    Haqqani Network

    Syllabus: GS 3/Terrorism

    In News 

    • Recently, The Haqqani Network emerged as the most powerful group in the new Taliban government, with four of the clan nominated as cabinet members.

    About 

    • The Haqqani Network takes its name from the leader of the group, Jalaluddin Haqqani, who first fought the Soviet Army in Afghanistan as a loyal ally of the CIA and the ISI, and then fought the US and NATO forces.
    • Jalaluddin’s death was announced as having occurred of natural causes in September 2018, although it was rumoured that he had died years before.
      • The mantle passed to his son Sirajuddin.

    Jalaluddin Haqqani

    • Jalaluddin Haqqani, a Zadran tribesman from the Loya Paktia (Paktia, Paktika and Khost) area in eastern Afghanistan close to the border with Pakistan, was a member of the anti-communist, anti-Soviet Hizb-e-Islami, and became active as a mujahideen in the 1970s.
    • He is an alumnus of the Dar-ul-ulum Madrassa, also known as the jihad factory, in Akhora Khattak in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
    • He led a protected existence in North Waziristan, where Pakistan gave him and the entire group safe haven.

    Why are they so widely feared?

    • Deadliest Attackers: 
      • The Haqqani network is blamed for some of the deadliest and most shocking attacks in Afghanistan during the last two decades.
      • They have demonstrated the ability to carry out complex, high-casualty assaults on major targets including military installations and embassies.
    • International recognition : 
      • They have been designated a foreign terrorist group by the United States, and are also under United Nations sanctions.
      • Recently, a UN report described the Haqqani Network as “Taliban’s most combat-ready forces [with] a highly skilled core of members who specialize in complex attacks and provide technical skills, such as improvised explosive device and rocket construction.
    • Suicide bombers :
      • The Haqqanis have a reputation for frequently using suicide bombers — including drivers of cars and trucks packed with huge amounts of explosives 
    • Link with Pakistan: They have also long been suspected of links with the Pakistani military establishment.
      •  US Admiral Mike Mullen described them as a “veritable arm” of Islamabad’s intelligence in 2011. Pakistan denies the allegation.
    • Taliban: 
      • The Haqqanis have also hugely contributed to the Taliban’s fighting ranks, and are the group’s “most combat-ready forces”.
    • The Haqqani Network remains a hub for outreach and cooperation with regional foreign terrorist groups and is the primary liaison between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda”.

    Haqqani Network and India

    • The 2008 Indian Embassy bombing in which a senior diplomat and a military official posted at the Embassy were killed among dozens of others, mostly Afghan civilians, was blamed by US and Afghan intelligence on the Haqqani Network.
    • The National Directorate of Security, the intelligence agency of the erstwhile Afghan government, had provided communication intercepts to Indian authorities that pointed to Haqqani involvement, allegedly with ISI support. 
    • The Haqqani Network is also said to have been behind the attacks on Indian construction workers in Afghanistan in the years 2009-2012. 
    • There is considerable disquiet in the Indian security establishment that Sirajuddin Haqqani is a member of the new government of Afghanistan.

    Source: IE

     

    Geography

    River Bhogdoi

    Syllabus: GS 1/Indian Geography 

    Context 

    • The rampant coal mining in Nagaland, coupled with waste discharge from tea estates and encroachment have been sounding death knells for River Bhogdoi in Assam. 

    About 

    • The river, one of the south bank tributaries of the mighty river the Brahmaputra, originates from Mokokchung in Nagaland where it is also known as Tsujenyong nullah. 
    • The total catchment area of the inter-state river (flowing between Assam and Nagaland) is 1,545 square kilometres and travels 160 kilometres before joining Dhansiri river near its confluence with the Brahmaputra.  
    • In 2019, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change declared Bhogdoi as one of the most polluted rivers in Assam and 351st among the polluted rivers in the country. 

    Brahmaputra

    • It is a major river of Central and South Asia.
    • It originates from the Chemayungdung glacier of the Kailash range near the Mansarovar lake.
    • It passes through the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, and Bangladesh and enters India west of Sadiya town in Arunachal Pradesh.
    • Tributaries: Dibang, Lohit, Siang, Burhi Dihing, Tista, and Dhansari.
    • It is a perennial river and has several peculiar characteristics due to the physiography and prevailing climatic conditions.
    • In its lower course, the river is both a creator and a destroyer as it deposits huge quantities of fertile alluvial soil but also causes disastrous and frequent floods.
    • It flows around 2,900 km from its source in the Himalayas to its confluence with the Ganges (Ganga) River, after which the mixed waters empty into the Bay of Bengal at Sunderban Delta.
    • Brahmaputra basin is one of the world’s most ecologically sensitive zones and is identified as one of the world’s 34 biological hotspots.

                                                               (Image Courtesy: DTE)

     

     

    Source: DTE

     

    Defence

    C-295 aircraft 

    Syllabus: GS 3/Defence

    In News 

    • Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared procurement of 56 transport aircraft from Airbus to provide a major fillip to the transport fleet of the Indian Air Force.

    About 

    • C-295MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of the IAF which are British-origin twin-engine turboprop, military transport and freighter with a 6-tonne freight capacity.
    • It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo.
    • It will buy the transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain.
    • The deal to buy the C-295MW  is expected to cost upwards of Rs 20,000 crore.
    • The first 16 of these aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain, within 48 months of the contract being signed, the remaining 40 will be manufactured in India by a consortium led by the Tata Group over 10 years.
    • This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. 
      • All fifty-six aircraft will be installed with the indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.

    Image Courtesy: Times Now News

    Source: IE

     

    Infrastructure

    India-ADB deal to Improve Urban Water Supply

    Syllabus: GS3/Infrastructure

    In News

    • The Indian government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $112 million loan in order to develop water supply infrastructure in the state of Jharkhand.

    About

    • It will be the first urban project of ADB in Jharkhand. It will help in establishing a model for continuous water supply in combination with policy reforms for sustainable operation.
    • Also, one more 300-million-dollar loan deal was signed to expand rural connectivity in Maharashtra.

    Significance

    • The loan will also strengthen the capacities of urban local bodies (ULBs) in order to improve service delivery in four towns of Jharkhand.

    Asian Development Bank (ADB)

    • About: It is a regional development bank established on 19th December 1966. The ADB was modelled closely on the World Bank.
    • Headquarters: Manila, Philippines.
    • Members: 68 members, 49 from within Asia.
      • Japan holds the largest proportion of shares in ADB followed by the USA, because Japan is one of the largest shareholders of the bank, the president has always been Japanese.
      • ADB is an official United Nations Observer.
    • Aim: To promote social and economic development in Asia.
      • It is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

    Source: PIB