Facts in News

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    Facts in News

    Siliguri Corridor

    • China encroachments in Bhutan could emerge as a headache for India in chicken’s neck.
    • India’s North East is geographically isolated from the rest of India and is connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land called the Siliguri Corridor also known as Chicken’s Neck.
    • It is about 200 km long and 60 km wide. At its narrowest, it is just 17 km wide.
    • The corridor extends from the Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Terai areas of West Bengal towards the North East.
    • The region is important for trade, commerce and tourism for West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
    • All land trade between the North East and the rest of the country happens through this corridor.

    Seven Sisters of Northeast India

    • The ‘seven sisters’ of Northeast India comprise Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.
    • Sikkim is also a part of the Northeast but is not included in the Seven Sisters because while the other seven states are contiguous, Sikkim is sort of a neighbour, divided by the Siliguri Corridor.
    • Sikkim is also referred to as the ‘Brother’ of the Seven Sisters.

    Kaizen Academy

    • Recently, the Prime Minister inaugurated a Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy at Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) in Ahmedabad.
    • Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy is a symbol of spontaneity and modernity of relations between Indian and Japan.

    About

    • There are similarities between ‘Zen’ and Indian ‘Dhyan’ and dwelled on the emphasis on inner peace along with outer progress and growth in the two cultures. 
    • The Prime Minister similarly highlighted both external and internal meanings of Kaizen which not only emphasizes ‘improvement’ but ‘continuous improvement’.
    • Gujarat has implemented the Kaizen in the administrative training in 2004 and a special training camp was held for the top civil servants in 2005. The continuous improvement was reflected in the refinement of processes, leading to a positive impact on governance. 
    • Kaizen is now being used in many departments, institutions and schemes of the Central Government. 

    Kaizen 

    • It is a Sino-Japanese word for “improvement“. It is a concept that refers to business activities that continuously improve all functions involving all employees right from the CEO to assembly line workers. 
    • It was first practised in Japanese businesses after World War II, influenced by American business and quality-management teachers. It has since then spread across the world.
    • Aim: To eliminate waste and redundancies by improving standardized programmes and processes.
    • Kaizen also applies to processes and has been applied in healthcare, psychotherapy, life coaching, government and banking.

    Image Courtesy: Kaizen

    Gaia Mission

    • Gaia is a space observatory of the European Space Agency (ESA).
    • The spacecraft is designed for astrometry: measuring the positions, distances and motions of stars with unprecedented precision.
    • Aim: To construct the largest and most precise 3D space catalogue of astronomical objects including stars, planets, comets, asteroids, quasars, etc.

    INS Vikrant

    • India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-1, to be named INS Vikrant once it is commissioned, at the Cochin Shipyard after the completion of basin trials in late 2020, as of now, India has only one aircraft carrier, the Russian-origin INS Vikramaditya.
    • It is likely to be commissioned in 2022.
    • Earlier, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the issuance of Request for Proposal (RFP) for six advanced submarines for the Indian Navy under Project-75I.

    History of IAC project

    • The original plans for the ship were floated in 1989 after the approval of then Defence Minister George Fernandes.
    • The keel was laid a decade later, the ship was floated out of its dry dock in 2011 and was launched in August 2013.

    Combat capabilities of IAC

    • The IAC is 262 metres long and 62 metres wide and has a STOBAR (short takeoff but arrested recovery) configuration with a ski jump capability.
    • The carrier would have onboard about 35-40 aircraft — a mix of naval fighters, anti-submarine helicopters, and naval UAVs.
    • The shipborne weapons include Barak LR SAM and AK-630, while it has MFSTAR and RAN-40L 3D radars as sensors

    Significance

    • The combat capability, reach and versatility of the aircraft carrier will add formidable capabilities in the defence in the country.
    • It helps in the alignment with SAGAR mission and the wider goal of a Free, Open and Inclusive Indo-Pacific. 
    • It would offer an incomparable military instrument with its ability to project air power over long distances, including air interdiction, anti-surface warfare, offensive and defensive counter-air, airborne anti-submarine warfare and airborne early warning.

     Other Indian Navy projects

    • The Indian Navy will get three of the 24 MH-60 helicopters to be delivered by the US Navy. 
    • The Project Seabird-2, a 3,000-feet-long runway, hangars for aircraft and docking space for 30 warships will come up at the naval base.
    • India inducted two American drones Sea Guardian, an unarmed version of the Predator series, into the navy.
    • Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 323, the first unit of the indigenously built ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter) Mk III aircraft, was commissioned into the Indian Navy at INS Hansa in Goa. 
    • Earlier, the Centre has given approval for the Rs 50,000 crore Project-75 India to construct six new-generation stealth submarines.
    • Launched Operation Samudra Setu-I & II to bring back Indian citizens from overseas amidst coronavirus-induced travel restrictions.

    International Day Against Drug Abuse

    • June 26 every year is observed as International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking or World Drug Day.
    • Theme:  Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives
    • Aim:  To raise awareness among people regarding the dangerous effects of drugs and it’s illicit trafficking.
    • To combat misinformation by sharing real facts on drugs — from health risks and solutions for the world drug problem to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care.

    Significance of the day

    • Drug abuse and mental health go hand in hand. People addicted to drugs not only put their physical health at stake but also give rise to severe mental issues. Thus, the day becomes significant to make aware people of the harmful impact of drugs.

    History

    • The day was chosen by the UN General Assembly, on December 7, 1987, by its resolution 42/112.
    • Date 26 was selected to commemorate Lin Zexu’s dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong on June 25, 1839, before the First Opium War in China.

    India and Drug Abuse

    • According to a report by the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), India is one of the major hubs of illicit drug trade ranging from age-old cannabis to newer prescription drugs like tramadol, and designer drugs like methamphetamine.
    • India lies in the middle of two major illicit opium production regions in the world, the Golden Crescent in the west and the Golden Triangle in the east which makes it a viable hub of the illicit drug trade.

    Image Courtesy: Ericolason

    Indian Initiatives

    • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act): Under the Act, the production, manufacture, possession, sale, purchase, transport, and use of cannabis is a punishable offence.
    • Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB): Vested with the power to charge individuals in cases related to the illegal use and supply of narcotics.
    • National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (2018-2023): Formulated by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
      • To focus on preventive education, awareness generation, identification, counselling, treatment and rehabilitation of drug-dependent persons and training and capacity building of the service providers through collaborative efforts of the Central and State Governments and Non-Governmental Organizations.