Current Affairs – February 2017

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China successfully tests DF-5C missile with 10 nuclear warheads  

China has successfully tested a new version of a DF-5C missile that can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads in January 2017.

The flight test of the missile was carried using 10 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles, (MIRVs), from the Taiyuan Space Launch Centre in Shanxi province and to an impact range in the western Taklamakan desert.

Key Facts
  • The Dongfeng 5 (DF-5) is a three stage Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It has a length of 32.6 m and a diameter of 3.35 m. It weighs in at 183,000 kilograms.
  • It has an estimated range of 12,000 to 15,000 kilometers. It is primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery.
  • The DF-5’s first flight was conduected in 1971 and was in operational service 10 years later. This missile’s development is considered as response to development of US’s ballistic missile defence system.
Comment

This development indicates shift in China’s nuclear deterrence policy to modify older its arsenal of rockets with new MIRV busses. It means that China intends to increase the number of nuclear warheads it possesses. It is currently estimated to have about 250.

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India, Sri Lanka signs MoU to construct new multi-ethnic tri-lingual secondary school

India and Sri Lanka have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to construct a new multi-ethnic tri-lingual secondary school in Polonnaruwa District of Sri Lanka.

The MoU was signed by of India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Secretary to the Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Education Sunil Hettiarachchi. 

Key Facts
  • The School will be constructed using Government of India’s grant of 30 crore rupees. It will provide opportunities to Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim students to learn in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural environment.
  • The project envisages construction of class rooms, library and laboratories, as well as procurement of furniture and other equipment.
  • It will also contribute to Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena efforts to promote and strengthen reconciliation and unity in Sri Lanka.

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