Defence & Security 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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The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) was formed on on 7 May 1960, with primary goal of securing India’s borders and developing infrastructure in remote areas of India’s north and north eastern states. On 7 May 2019 BRO celebrated its 59th Raising Day (foundation day).
- It is a leading road construction agency under Ministry of Defence.
- Its primary role is to provide road connectivity in India’s border areas. It also creates up-grades and maintains infrastructure along borders to meet India’s overall tactical and strategic goals.
- Apart from road construction it also executes maintenance works along Northern and Western frontiers mainly to meet strategic requirements of Indian Army. It is responsible for over 53,000 Km roads.
- Its work involves Formation Cutting, Surfacing, Bridge construction and Resurfacing.
- It contributes towards India’s strategic objectives in neighbouring regions by constructing roads in friendly foreign nations like Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
- Disaster management: It has played important role in reconstruction work after tsunami in Tamil Nadu in 2004, Kashmir earthquake in 2005, Ladakh flash floods in 2010 etc.
- To meet challenges of enhancing overall strategic connectivity along borders BRO has begun organizational re-structuring and simplified procedures with adequate delegation of financial powers to executives.
- To enhance its capabilities it is now executing works in combination of departmental, contractual and EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) mode.
According to reports, India is in talks with the United Kingdom (UK) for building a new state-of-the-art aircraft carrier that would be replicate (copycat version) of Britain’s HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier as part of ongoing ‘Make in India’ negotiations. It will be named ‘INS Vishal’ in 2022 and will become Indian Navy’s largest warship.
- As talks are underway for Indian Navy to buy detailed plans for British Warship, an Indian deputation have already paid a visit to Rosyth dockyard (in Scotland) where HMS Queen Elizabeth was assembled. Currently second supercarrier, HMS Prince of Wales, is being built there.
- The design for UK aircraft carriers is owned by British and French aerospace giants BAE and Thales. They have begun discussion with India and proposed that carrier’s design can be modified to meet Indian Navy and local industry requirements.
- Once agreed upon deal, the new warship would be built in India (under Make in India initiative) but UK companies could supply many of its parts.
- The new Naval carrier would serve alongside India’s INS Vikramaditya (a 45,000-ton carrier which was bought from Russia in 2004) and INS Vikrant (a 40,000-ton carrier which is currently under-construction). This could give India a larger carrier fleet than Britain.
- The India-UK Naval deal which is yet to fructify would follow sale of Britain’s Falklands War carrier HMS Hermes to India in 1987, which was later renamed INS Viraat (it was decommissioned in 2017).
HMS Queen Elizabeth
It is a 65,000-ton British warship. It is largest warships ever built for Royal Navy and is capable of carrying up to 60 aircraft (or up to 40 F-35B fighter). It was named in honour of Queen Elizabeth I.