Current Affairs March 2016

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IAF conducts day-night exercise ‘Iron-fist 2016’ at Pokhran firing range

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has conducted its flagship day-night exercise ‘Iron-fist 2016’ at Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan.

The day-night exercise demonstrating IAF’s combat and fire power was conducted in the presence of Hon’ble President Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The event comprised 6 packages depicting 6 different themes in which more than 180 aircraft, including fighters, transport and helicopters of IAF participated. They are

  • Fly Past: It depicted the great journey of the IAF over 8 decades with the aircraft of yesteryear flying wing to wing along with the latest acquisitions of the IAF.
  • Net Enabled Operations: It showcased the indigenously developed Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEWCS) of aircrafts. It also displayed multiple aircraft weapon delivery demonstration of precision based bombing at simulated enemy targets.
  • Air Defence Operations: The multi-layered Air Defence Operations of the IAF was demonstrated by the Flight Refuelling aircraft (IL-78 FRA) along with two Su-30 aircraft and the indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’.
  • Combat Support Operations: It showcased the very important role played by the IAF in support of the ground forces using live weapons. The assault landing capability of C-130 J aircraft and fire fighting capability of the Mi-17V5 were also displayed.
  • Flying Displays: It displayed aerobatic displays by the Sarangs, Suryakirans and the Su-30.
  • All Weather Operations: The night capabilities of the IAF were also displayed with number of targets were engaged in this phase by fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters using rockets as well as bombs.

The event mainly showcased more than 22 types of platforms and Weapons Systems of IAF.  Frontline fighter aircraft including Sukhoi-30, Mirage-2000, Jaguar, MiG-29, Attack helicopters, Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and high tech AWACS were displayed during the show. IAF’s indigenous project – Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) “Tejas” was also a part.  Transport aircraft like An-32, IL-76, IL-78, Embraer and C-130J also participated.


Union Government bans repeat animal testing of drugs

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has scrapped repeat tests on animals for drugs which already have been approved by other countries.

In this regard, the ministry has as amended Schedule Y of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.

The new rules state that

  • There is no need for repeat tests on animals for new drug registrations if complete data from similar toxicity experiments already exists for drugs approved abroad.
  • However, no permission will be required to conduct clinical trial intended for academic purposes in respect of approved drug formulation

The amendments come after repeated appeals by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and Union Women & Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi who is a well-known animal rights activist.


General Lori Robinson nominated as first US female combatant Chief

United States (US) Air Force General Lori Robinson has been selected as the next head of the US military’s Northern Command.

With this she becomes the first woman to head a US combatant command as the position is one of the most senior in the US military.

Currently, she leads US air forces in the Pacific and Executive Director of Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. She had enrolled in the US Air Force in 1982.

Earlier in September 2007, Robinson had made history after she became the first Air Battle Manager and first woman 552nd ACW commander to be frocked to brigadier general.

Her appointment comes after US Government had announced to open all combat roles in the US military to women in December 2015. The move had opened up about 220,000 positions to women.