Defence Current Affairs - 2019

Defence Current Affairs of 2018-19 related to India’s Defence, Indian Armed Forces, Defence Production, Defence Acquisition and related matters for SSC, States Civils, UPSC and Other Competitive Examinations.

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DRDO to double ASTRA’s range

The DRDO Chief, Mr G Sateesh Reddy recently announced that DRDO (Defence Research Development Organization) is to increase the range of ASTRA air-to-air missiles. India is one of the few countries to own a successful BMD-Ballistic Missile Defence programme.


Astra (Sanskrit word for weapon) is an all-weather air-to-air missile developed completely by DRDO. Currently, ASTRA is capable of engaging targets upto a distance of 110 km. The ASTRA missiles are integrated with Sukhoi Su-30 MKI aircrafts of India.

Now, DRDO plans to increase the range of the missile to 160 km. Apart from this, it is also planning to infuse technologies like solid fuel ramjet and dual pulse solid rocket motor. There are also plans to integrate the missiles with other aircrafts like Dassault, MiG-29, HAL Tejas.

Ballistic Missile Defence Programme

The BMD is an initiative to develop multi-layered defence systems to protect India from missile attacks. The programme was introduced in the light of threats from China and Pakistan. Prithvi and Ashwin are the two most successful BMD missiles developed under the programme.

Centre bans Meghalaya-based insurgent group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council

The central government has banned ‘Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council’ (HNLC), a Meghalaya-based insurgent group, for its increased activities of violence and other insurgent acts. Centre also notified that HNLC’s activities are detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India.

The central government declared the HNLC, along with all its factions, wings and front organisations as unlawful association in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967. Earlier, the HNLC was declared a banned organisation on 16 November 2000 but the ban was later lifted.

Why is HNLC Banned?

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notified that HNLC along with all its factions, wings and frontal organisations has been openly declaring secession of certain regions that are largely inhabited by Khasi and Jaintia tribals in Meghalaya from Indian Union as its objective.

The group continues to bully and intimidate civilians to extort funds. It also maintains links with other insurgent groups of Northeast region to carry out the acts of extortion and intimidation. HNLC maintains camps in Bangladesh to give sanctuary and training to its cadre. If these activities are not immediately curbed and controlled, the HNLC will regroup and rearm itself, expand its cadre base, procure sophisticated weapons, thus cause loss of lives of civilians and security forces, as well as accelerate its anti-national activities.

Recent Activities: The ministry also listed violence perpetrated by HNLC in recent past that include 4 incidents involving killing of 1 civilian, during the period from 1 January 2015, to 31 July 2019, arrest of 16 of its cadres, recovery of 4 weapons, surrender of 14 of its cadres and kidnapping of 4 persons.