Bay of Bengal Current Affairs

Dhanush missile successfully test fired

Nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Dhanush ballistic missile was successfully test-fired from naval ship off Odisha near Paradip in the Bay of Bengal. The missile test was carried out by Strategic Forces Command (SFC), the tri-services military command that controls all of India’s nuclear weapons and their associated delivery systems.

Dhanush missile

Dhanush missile is also known as Prithvi-III.  It is naval variant of indigenously-developed Prithvi-II missile. Its design features customisations to Prithvi platform to make it suitable for launch from ship. It is short-range ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear as well as conventional warheads.

It has length of 8.53 meters and 0.9 metre wide is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and is capable of hitting both land and sea-based targets. It can be used for both ship-to-ship and ship-to-surface strikes. It has declared strike range of 350 km.


The Dhanush/Prithvi-III is part of five missile platforms that have been indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) since 1983, as part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). The other families of missiles developed under IGMPD are Agni, Trishul, Akash and Nag. The Dhanush missile made its first test flight in 2000, with first fully operational test conducted in 2004. It has been test-fired total of seven times so far. The last time Dhanush was test fired was in November 2015.


Three new eel species discovered in Bay of Bengal

Scientists from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered three new species of eel along northern Bay of Bengal coast. They are Gymnothorax pseudotile, Gymnothorax visakhaensis and Enchelycore propinqua.

Key Facts

Gymnothorax pseudotile: It was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal. It has dark brown and white dots on the dorsal side. It is about 1 feet to 1.5 feet long.

Gymnothorax visakhaensis: It was discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is uniformly brown. It is about a foot long.

Enchelycore propinqua: It was also discovered from Visakhapatnam coast. It is reddish brown body mottled with irregular creamy white spots. It is the smallest of three measuring less than a foot.


Eels are found mostly at bottom of rivers and seas. There are about 1,000 species of eels identified so far across the world. In India, there are around 125 species of eels identified. Eel species belonging to Muraenidae family, referred commonly as Moray eels, recorded about 200 species of which more than 30 species are found in India.

Recent Discoveries

With these new discoveries, Bay of Bengal coast has yielded at least 5 new species of eel. In 2016, Gymnothorax indicus, an edible species of eel was discovered. In 2015, a short brown unpatterned moray eel, named Gymnothorax mishrai (Bengal moray eel) was discovered.