Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2015

Nuclear-capable Dhanush missile successfully test fired from warship Subhadra

The nuclear-capable Dhanush ballistic missile was successfully test fired from warship Subhadra, off the Puri coast of Odisha in the Bay of Bengal.

The test was conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and it was a perfect mission as the missile hit the target point with high degree of accuracy.

About Dhanush missile

  • One of the five missiles indigenously developed by the DRDO under its strategic Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
  • The surface-to-surface missile is a naval variant of Prithvi-II missile and can carry both conventional as well as a nuclear payload of 500 kg.
  • The missile has a length of 8.53 meters and is 0.9 meter wide. It is single-stage, liquid propelled which can hit both land and sea-based targets upto strike range of 350 kms.
  • The missile already has been inducted into the armed Services. Naval variant of the missile was first successfully tested in 2012.


2019 new deadline for completion of PMGSY

Union Government has reduced the deadline for completion of flagship Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for rural connectivity through all- weather roads from 2022 to 2019.

The annual allocation of the Central release for PMGSY works during year 2015-16 also has been increased by 5,000 crore rupees. With this, the total Central allocation to states under PMGSY would now be 15,100 crore rupees.

Key facts

  • By providing enhanced financial allocation through a modified funding pattern in the PMGSY scheme, Government is seeking to accelerate the implementation of rural connectivity.
  • It is also considering giving financial incentives to the states achieving the targets allocated to them under the PMGSY.
  • Government also has accepted the recommendation of the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Rationalization of Centrally Sponsored on modified sharing pattern.
  • Recommendations: The sub group has recommended that fund sharing pattern of PMGSY between the Centre and States for all states will be in the ratio of 60:40.
  • But for all land locked 8 North Eastern states and 3 Himalayan states, the fund sharing pattern of PMGSY between the Centre and States will be in the ratio of 90:10.

About Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

  • PMGSY was launched in year 2000 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • Objective: To provide single all-weather road connectivity to all eligible unconnected rural villages (habitations).
  • Nodal Authority: Union Ministry of Rural Development. It was fully funded by the central government.
  • Implantation: Under phase I of PMGSY, 1,78,184 unconnected habitations were identified.
  • So far, 1,12,550 identified habitations which accounts for 63 per cent of the target have been connected with the PMGSY roads.
  • Presently, about 37 per cent of identified habitations as per the mandate of the scheme are yet to be connected with the PMGSY roads.


Japan successfully launches its first commercial satellite

Japan has successfully launched its first commercial satellite on 24 November 2015 as part its national space programme.

Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying Canadian TELSTAR 12V communications and broadcasting satellite for operator Telesat was successfully lifted off from Tanegashima Space Centre (TSC).

With this, Japan is entered into the commercial satellite launch business which is mainly dominated by European and Russian companies.

Key facts

  • The first commercial satellite launch was overseen by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
  • Japan is aiming to become a major player in the commercial satellite launching business which is worth 2.5 billion dollars a year.
  • In this regard, it has tried to improve its H-IIA rocket in order to cut the cost of each launch to make its programme competitive.

Some Facts: India had launched its first commercial satellite successfully in 2007 using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying Italian satellite AGILE for space exploration.

With this, India had joined the elite club of nations comprising US, Russia, China, Ukraine and European Space Agency (ESA) having capacity to deploy their space exploration resources for commercial use. Antrix Corporation Limited (ACL) is the marketing arm of ISRO. It oversees commercialization of space exploration resources for commercial use developed by ISRO.