Current Affairs 2017 (August)

DRDO, IAI to produce MRSAM missile system by 2020 for Indian Army

The DRDO has signed Rs.17,000 crore deal with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for producing advanced medium—range surface to air missile (MRSAM) system for Indian Army by 2020. The deal envisages develping 40 firing units and around 200 missiles.

Key Facts

The MR-SAM, a land-based version of long range surface to air missile (LRSAM) of Indian Navy, has strike range of up 70 km. It is capable of shooting down enemy ballistic missiles, aircraft, helicopters, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft.

The MRSAM for Indian Army’s Air Defence is an advanced all weather, 360 degree mobile land based theatre air defence system capable of providing air defence to critical areas against wide variety of threats in combat zone. The current version of MRSAM is operational with the Indian Air Force and the Navy.

Background

The Indian Army has been pressing the government to enhance its aerial attack capability considering the evolving security challenges. Indian Army is the first land force in the world to deploy Brahmos missile in 2007. It has raised several regiments of this formidable weapon. In May 2015, the Army had inducted the indigenously— developed supersonic surface to air Akash missile which is capable of targeting enemy helicopters, aircraft and UAVs from a range of 25 km. The Army thinks procurement of MRSAM will mark paradigm shift in its strike capability.

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Government notifies Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2017

The Union Government has notified the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2017. The Parliament had approved the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which replaced an ordinance in this regard.

It amended the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 by adding provisions for handling cases related to stressed assets or non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks.

Key Facts

The Act empowers the Central government to authorize the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banking companies to resolve specific stressed assets by initiating insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The RBI can specify authorities or committees to advise banks on resolution of stressed assets. The members on the committees will be appointed or approved by the RBI. The Act also make these provisions applicable to the SBI and its subsidiaries and also Regional Rural Banks (RRBs).

Background

The banking sector in India is saddled with non-performing assets (NPAs) of over Rs.8 lakh crore, of which, Rs. 6 lakh crore are with public sector banks (PSBs). The Union Government in May 2017 had promulgated an ordinance authorising the RBI to issue directions to banks to initiate insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The RBI had identified 12 accounts each having more than Rs. 5000 crore of outstanding loans and accounting for 25% of total NPAs of banks for immediate referral for resolution under the bankruptcy law. The bulk of the NPAs are in various sectors including power, steel, road infrastructure and textiles.

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