UPSC Current Affairs - 2019

Latest Current Affairs 2018-2019 for UPSC IAS / Civil Services Examination. This category comprises the current affairs short notes useful primarily for UPSC preliminary examination and upsc mains as well as state civil services examinations.

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Government clears setting up of Defence Space Research Agency

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) of the Central Government of India headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared setting up of new agency called Defence Space Research Agency (DSRO. The DSRO has been entrusted with task of creating space warfare weapon systems and technologies.

Key Highlights

Background: The decision to set up a new agency for developing space warfare weapon systems was taken some time ago at the topmost level and the agency has already started taking shape under a Joint Secretary-level scientist.

Function:

The Defence Space Research Agency would be provided with a team of scientists who would be working in close coordination with tri-services (Indian Army, Navy and Air Force) Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) officers. The IDS was set up in October 2001 under Ministry of Defence in aftermath of ‘Operation Vijay’ (Kargil Operations) as an organisation that will be responsible for fostering coordination and enabling prioritisation across all branches of Indian Armed Forces.

DSRA would be providing research and development (R&D) support to Defence Space Agency (DSA) which again comprises of members of tri-services.

It is also charged with finding and implementing defense related applications for India’s entire spectrum of space technologies.

Significance: This newly approved space agency DSRA will develop sophisticated weapon systems and technologies so as to enhance capabilities of armed forces to fight wars in space.

About Defence Space Agency (DSA)

It is being set up in Bengaluru under an Air Vice Marshal-rank officer and will gradually take over the space-related capabilities of the three armed forces.

DSA has been created to help India fight wars in the space.

In April, the government established DSA to command the space assets of tri services, including military’s anti-satellite capability. It is responsible for formulating strategy to protect India’s interests in space, including addressing space-based threats.

In March 2019, India carried out a successful Anti Satellite Test (ASAT) which demonstrated the country’s capability to shoot down satellites in space. With this test it joined an elite club of four nations (only United States, Russia, China, and India) with similar capability. The test also helped India to develop deterrence capability against adversaries who may want to attack Indian satellites to cripple systems in times of war.

Month: Categories: Defence & SecurityUPSC

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Global Peace Index 2019: India ranked 141

In the recently released Global Peace Index (GPI) of Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), India’s rank slipped by five places to 141 among 163 countries on GPI 2019 and Iceland was ranked 1st. India was ranked 136 in GPI 2018.

Key Findings of Report

Most Peaceful Country: Iceland with rank 1st remains the most peaceful country in world. It has held this rank since 2008. Other countries at top of GPI are New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark.

Least Peaceful Country: As per GPI 2019 Afghanistan is now ranked as least peaceful country in world. It has replaced Syria, which is now the 2nd least peaceful. Other least peaceful countries includes South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq.

Countries with highest risk of multiple climate hazards: includes China, Japan, India, Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Countries with largest total military expenditure: United States (US), China, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

South Asia: Bhutan topped the index in South Asia with its 15th rank. Other countries of region include Sri Lanka (72), Nepal (76) and Bangladesh (101). The neighbouring country Pakistan is ranked 153rd on index.

Both India and Pakistan had highest rating at five in the score for internal conflicts fought. Only deaths from internal conflict showed improvement, with fewer fatalities in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India than the year before.

The report observed that China, India and Bangladesh score in bottom half of GPI and have significant exposure to climate hazards, with over 393 million people in high climate hazard areas

Report Analysis

As per the index findings, although global peacefulness improved for first time in past five years but world now remains less peaceful than a decade ago.

The GPI 2019 report includes new research on possible effects of climate change on peace. It also revealed that since 2008 global peacefulness has deteriorated by 3.78%.

While the state sponsored terror has declined significantly over the last decade, with 62 countries improving their scores and only 42 deteriorated but imprisonment data shows the opposite trend with 95 countries increasing the imprisonment rate compared to 65 that improved.

The score of South Asia for every indicator in ongoing conflict is less peaceful than total global average, with four out of six deteriorating in 2018 itself.

About GPI

It was founded by Steve Killelea, an Australian technology entrepreneur and philanthropist.

The report covers 99.7% of world’s population. It uses 23 quantitative and qualitative indicators from highly respected sources to compile the index.

Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), an Australian think tank ranks countries according to their level of peacefulness. This is based on three thematic domains-

  • level of societal safety and security
  • extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict
  • degree of militarisation.

Month: Categories: Reports & IndicesUPSC

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