Current Affairs – February 2017

February 21: International Mother Language Day

The International Mother Language Day (IMLD) was observed across the world on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic, multilingualism and cultural diversity. This year it is the 17th anniversary of IMLD.

The observance of this day signifies importance of mother language as the greatest weapon to express one’s feeling. Mother Language of one country is the sign of independence of that country.

2017 Theme:Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education”.

Background

The International Mother Language Day was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by passing resolution 61/266 in 2007. The resolution had called upon member states “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world. Since 2007, it is observed annually by member states to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The day was first proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

Bangladesh Connection

The IMLD assumes special significance in Bangladesh where scores of people (activists), mostly students and teachers of the Dhaka University, were mercilessly shot down by the Pakistani army in 1952 in erstwhile East Pakistan. The activists had protested against imposition of Urdu as the national language side-stepping Bengali – their mother tongue and the protest came to be known as Language Movement.

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Government approves Phase II of coastal surveillance project

The Union Defence Ministry has given its nod to the Phase II of coastal surveillance project to expand the coastal radar surveillance network. It will strengthen surveillance of over 7,500-km coastline of the country.

The decision was taken by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. It also approved proposal of setting up of a shore-based intermediate engine repair facility for the Indian Navy’s MiG-29K fighters at the Naval yard in Goa.

Phase II of coastal surveillance project
  • Phase II of coastal surveillance project involves setting up 38 additional radars aimed to give gap less electronic surveillance of Indian coastline.
  • The project will be executed by Indian companies and Bengaluru based Bharat Electronics Ltd will be the lead integrator for the various works.
  • Under it four mobile surveillance stations will be also set up and will be integrated with two vessel traffic management systems (VTMS) in Kutch and Khambat in Gujarat.
Background

The Central government had decided to set up a chain of static sensors to fill gaps in coastal surveillance and keep track of boats entering Indian territorial waters aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which terrorists used a fishing boat to enter the city. Under Phase I of the surveillance project, a chain of 46 coastal surveillance radars and electro-optic sensors were set up, including 36 in the mainland, 6 in the Lakshadweep islands and 4 in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Besides, India is also setting up similar radar stations in friendly Indian Ocean littoral nations.

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC): It is an apex body of Union Defence Ministry for clearing defence procurement proposals forwarded by the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.

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