Current Affairs – January, 2015

Latest Current Affairs January, 2015 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of January, 2015 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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Maharashtra government gives nod for GM food trials

Maharashtra government has given nod to confined genetically modified (GM) food trails in state.

In this regard, state government has granted no-objection certificates (NOC) for open field trials of 5 genetically modified (GM) crops. They are rice, chana (chickpeas), maize, brinjal and cotton.

NOC was granted by state government after state-level Committee, headed by Anil Kakodkar had given clearance for field test of these five GM crops.

Based upon the results of these trials, government take further steps.

With this decision, Maharashtra has become the fourth state after Punjab, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh to approve open field trials in GM crops.

Confined trials: It is typically carried out in small plots of one hectare or less. It is primarily meant to collect data on the potential bio-safety impact of the GM crop lines.

Why state governments NOC are required for GM food trails?

  • Earlier, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) under the previous UPA Environment Ministry had permitted field trials of GM food in India.
  • But GEAC had inserted mandatory condition of separate NOCs from states for such trials.
  • So, states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have banned such research activities.

First Canister-based Agni-V missile successfully test-fired

For the first time, a canisterised version of Agni-V missile was successfully test-fired on 31 January 2015 from Wheeler Island off Odisha coast.

This was the third successful flight test of the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and the first canister trial.

Test: The missile was launched from sealed canister, mounted on a TATRA truck. It was carrying dummy payload. Test showed that dummy payload withstand temperatures more than 3,0000 C and hit the target at pre-designated point in the Indian Ocean.

Implication: A canister-launch system of Agni-V missile will give the forces the requisite operational flexibility. With this system, ballistic missile can be transported and can launched from any place.

Agni-V missile

  • Agni-V ICBM is indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • It is Part of the Agni series of missiles, one of the missile systems under the original Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
  • Range: 5,500–5,800 km. It will allow India to strike targets across Asia and into Europe
  • It is a 3 stage solid fuelled missile with composite motor casing in the second and third stage.
  • It carries Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles (MIRV) payloads. A single MIRV equipped missile, that can deliver multiple warheads at different targets.
  • Incorporate advanced technologies involving ring laser gyroscope and accelerometer for navigation and guidance.
  • First successfully test-fired by DRDO from Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa on April 19, 2012. With this, India joined an “elite nuclear club” that also included China, Russia, France, the US, the UK and possibly Israel.