200 fighter jets to be acquired by Indian Air Force

The Government of India will acquire around 200 aircrafts. Of these 200, 83 fighter jets are LCA Tejas Mark 1A and are to be procured from HAL. The rest are to be procured based on Request for Proposals.

Highlights

The design of the fighter jets was finalized by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited). HAL will start manufacturing 8 LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas Mark 1A per year and will slowly increase the count to 16 per year. The LCA Tejas recently became the first indigenously made aircraft to make arrested landing on INS Vikramaditya.

LCA Tejas

The LCA Tejas was designed by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) and ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) in 1980s. It replaced India’s MiG-21. So far, LCA Tejas is operating only in India. However, Egypt and Sri Lanka have shown interests in the aircraft. This will help India achieve its Defence exports targets of Rs 35,000 crores by 2024.

India has plans exports Tejas Mark 1A and not its advanced version Tejas Mark 2.

Tejas Mark 2

Tejas Mark 2 has increased internal fuel capacity of 3.3 tonnes. Also, it is equipped with an artificial intelligence-based cock pit that is optimally manned. It has provisions for the ground stations to take control when the pilot falls unconscious or is injured. The alert signals of unconsciousness of the pilot will be generated by his helmet.

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Commemorative stamps released on 150th celebrations of Kolkata Port Trust

On January 12, 2020, PM Modi attended the 150th celebrations of Kolkata Port Trust. During the celebration, the prime minister launched commemorative stamps of the port trust.

Highlights

During the celebrations, the PM also launched Rs 600 crore worth port development activities. It includes upgrade of a ship repair facility, upgraded railway infrastructure for the port and also river front development schemes. The river front development schemes include cruise-based tourism, water parks, sea museums, aquariums. The GoI currently runs 150 cruise ships in the country. The number is to be increased to 1000 and West Bengal is to play an active role in it.

At the event, Rs 501 crores were provided to as final instalment to retired employees to meet the deficit of pension.

The PM also inaugurated Pritilata Chhatra Avas and Kaushal Vikas Kendra for 200 tribal girls in the Sunderbans region. The Kaushal Vikas Kendra are skill development centres for the youth of the country. They are established under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.

Shyama Prasad Mukherjee

During the event the Kolkata port trust was renamed as Shyama Prasad Mukherjee port. He was the founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. He laid the stone for the development of Chittaranjan Locomotive Factory, Damodar Valley Corporation and Hindustan Aircraft Factory.

The Bharatiya Jana Sangh was the predecessor to Bharatiya Janata Party. Mukherjee strongly opposed Article 370.

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