Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared capital acquisition proposals of DRDO’s NAG missile system (NAMIS) for Indian Army and 127 mm calibre guns for Indian Navy. DAC is Defence Ministry’s highest decision-making body on procurement.
NAG missile system (NAMIS): It will be procured for Indian Army at cost of Rs. 524 crore. It has been indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The system includes third generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) Nag along with the missile carrier vehicle (NAMICA).
The NAG ATGM has strike range of over 2.5km with fire and forget capabilities. It has top attack capabilities that can effectively engage and destroy all known enemy tanks during day and night. The Indian army is currently using second generation Milan 2T and Konkur ATGMs and has been looking for about 8000 third generation ATGMs, which are important for stopping advancing enemy tanks.
127 mm calibre guns: Thirteen such guns will be procured for Indian Navy. They will be procured from BAE Systems under Buy (Global) category of Defence Procurement Procedure at cost of over Rs 3,000 crore. These guns will be fitted on-board new construction ships for undertaking surface engagements including Naval Gunfire Support Operations. These guns have engagement range of 24 kilometres, enabling Naval ships to provide fire support and engagement of targets on the land. This range can be extended further by using Extended Range Gun Munitions (ERGM).
The Asia Pacific Regional Workshop of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), jointly hosted by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and UNCCD was held in New Delhi. The four day workshop aimed at building capacity of Asia-Pacific Region to monitor and report on land degradation. It was attended by delegates from about 40 Asia Pacific countries, as well as representatives from 12 Indian states affected by land degradation, researchers and scientists from scientific institutions of national importance.
The workshop provided UNCCD member countries platform to submit their national report in time and in particular for Target 15.3 on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). It provided diverse and multi-disciplinary knowledge sharing platform addressing desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) issues.
It also provided opportunity to bring all key stakeholders from Asia to India and discuss key aspects of Reporting, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).
The participants were trained in use of state-of-the-art tool called ‘Trends.Earth’ developed by Conservation International, an NGO for combating land degradation. The tool will collect data that inturn will help policy-makers to prioritize areas for interventions for combating land degradation.
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
UNCCD was adopted in 1994 and entered into force 1996. It is only legally binding international agreement to address problem of desertification and other land issues. It promotes good land stewardship and its end goal is to protect land from over-use and drought, so it can continue to provide food, water and energy. The Convention addresses desertification and land issues specifically arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as drylands.
India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the nodal Ministry for this Convention, as well as other two Rio Conventions -United Nations Framework Convention to Combat Climate Change (UNFCC) and Convention on Biological Diversity, having their genesis in Earth Summit in 1992 in Rio De Janerio, Brazil.