Current Affairs – June, 2015

Australia to join China led AIIB

Australia has decided to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a founding member.

In this regard, Australia will contribute paid-in capital of 718.5 million US dollars over next five years i.e. till 2020.  With this investment it will become sixth largest shareholder in AIIB.

About Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

  • AIIB is an international financial institution proposed by China which seeks to provide support to infrastructure projects in Asia.
  • Headquarters: It is expected to be operational in December 2015.
  • The bank is also considered as China’s move to balance the power with the WB, IMF and ADB which are being controlled/dominated by the US, EU and Japan respectively.
  • The authorised capital of AIIB is US $100 billion and the initial subscribed capital is expected to be around US $50 billion. The paid-in ratio will be 20%.
  • The bank will lend designed finance to infrastructure projects like construction of roads, ports, railways etc. in Asia.
  • India along with other 20 member nations was the founding member of AIIB and had signed agreement in this regard in October 2014. It should be noted that India is the second-largest shareholder of AIIB.

Light Combat Helicopter successfully clears hot weather trials at Jodhpur

Indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) prototype has been successfully cleared hot weather trials at Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

The testing involved temperature survey of engine bay and hydraulic system apart from handling qualities, assessment of performance and loads at different all up weights etc.

With this successful test it will pave way for the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC), which is expected  to receive it by the end 2015 and is likely to enter production from 2017-18.

Earlier in March 2015, LCH had successfully cleared cold weather trials at Leh at a temperature of -180 C and at an altitude of 4.1 km.

LCH is indigenously designed and manufactured by Bengaluru based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is an armed helicopter designed specifically to meet the requirements of Indian Army and Air Force.

It weighs around 5.8-tonne and has twin-engine. Its successful induction in Armed Forces will add a new milestone in the development of an indigenous attack helicopter which can fight in the treacherous and mountainous fronts of north and east of country.