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Rapid Fire

Rapid Fire Current Affairs

  • 08 Feb 2023
  • 6 min read

Record Decline in LWE­ Related Violence

The Union Home Minister in a meeting said that for the first time in 4 decades, the number of deaths of civilians and security forces in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) came down under 100 in 2022. Violence related to LWE had come down by 76% in 2022 as compared to 2010.

LWE organizations are the groups that try to bring change through violent revolution. They are against democratic institutions and use violence to subvert the democratic processes at the ground level.

The MHA’s policy to deal with LWE is a three-pronged approach – strategy to curb extremist violence with ruthless approach, better coordination between Centre and states, and eliminating support for LWE through public participation in development.

As part of the goal to ensure all-round development in LWE affected areas; construction of 11,811 km of roadways had been completed to improve road connectivity, 2,343 mobile towers had been installed during the last 8 years, 245 Eklavya Model Residential Schools had been sanctioned in 90 LWE-affected districts and 121 of them were now functional.

Read More - Left Wing Extremism

Possible Landing Sites for Chandrayaan 3

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has finalised the coordinates of three possible landing sites for its third lunar mission – Chandrayaan-3 – expected to be launched later in 2023. The prime landing site for Chandrayaan-3 lies between Manzius U and Boguslawsky M craters on the moon. The moon’s southern polar region is of particular interest to scientists because there’s a possibility of finding water ice.

Chandrayaan programme, also known as the Indian lunar exploration programme, is an ongoing series of outer space missions by ISRO.

Chandrayaan-1 was launched in 2008 and was successfully inserted into lunar orbit. Chandrayaan-2 was successfully launched and inserted into lunar orbit in 2019, but its lander crash-landed on the moon’s surface when it deviated from its trajectory while attempting to land in Sept 2019. Chandrayaan-3 will be launched by Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM3) rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

Other upcoming ISRO missions for 2023 include - Aditya-L1, India’s first dedicated scientific mission to study the sun, and Gaganyaan’s uncrewed ‘G1’ mission.

Read More - Chandrayaan-3

India Seeks Armed Predator Drones from US

The Indian armed forces are seeking 18 armed Predator MQ 9A drones from the US. The Predator armed drones can fly up to 50,000 feet for up to 24 hours and carry an option of Hellfire air-to-ground missiles for high-value targets or air-to-air missiles to bring down aerial enemy targets.

Of these 18 drones from the US, 6 drones will be provided to each of the three services.

The Indian Navy already has two General Atomics-manufactured Sea Guardian (MQ 9B) drones for maritime domain awareness on lease from the US. Currently, the navy is the leading service in armed drone acquisition and deployment.

The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) (an electronic and spatial intelligence organisation) will also soon acquire 8 Indian-manufactured Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drones for border surveillance. The MALE drones have been built with the help of Israel in a joint venture in Gujarat.

Both China and Pakistan have the Wing Loong II armed drones in their arsenals, therefore, the acquisition of these surveillance and predator drones is significant from India’s security perspective.

Read More - Atma Nirbhar India in Defence Production, India-Us Defence Ties

Steps Towards Prison Reforms

Rajasthan has adopted an open prison model where convicts stay on community land without high walls or strict surveillance. The move has promoted a reformative form of punishment and succeeded in transforming the lives of inmates. The state has opened 40 such camps.

Under the system, Prisoners who have served 1/3rd of their sentences are eligible to shift to the open jails. In these open camps, each inmate can stay with 3 family members, some are also established at gaushalas to enable the inmates to work at the cow shelters.

As minimum-security facilities, open prisons require 92.4% less staff compared to closed jails and the cost incurred per prisoner is only ₹500/month.

In another significant move, Tihar jail is installing AI-powered CCTV cameras to monitor inmates and fight crime. The premises will also have a real-time grievance redressal system and optical fibre network. Tihar jail is the largest prison complex of South Asia. With a capacity to house 5,200 inmates, it has 12,762 prisoners at present. The overcrowding has made monitoring inmates difficult leading to commitment of many crimes from inside the jail.

Read More - Need for Prison Reforms

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