Defence Ministry Current Affairs
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Union Defence Ministry has enhanced financial powers of three vice chiefs of the armed forces from Rs 100 crore to Rs 500 crore i.e. five times. This comes after vice chiefs were granted additional powers to carry out specific procurement to ensure operational preparedness in March 2018.
The decision to enhance financial powers of three vice chiefs of the armed forces was taken to give fillip to procurement of arms and ammunition and upgrade of defence preparedness. With new delegation, Vice Chiefs will be now able to exercise financial powers upto five times more than existing powers with enhanced ceiling.
Union Defence Ministry has signed contract worth Rs 2,435.15 crore with public sector Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata for manufacturing of four survey vessels aimed at boosting to capabilities of Indian Navy. The project completion time is 54 months from date of signing contract. The first ship will be delivered within 36 months and remaining within interval of six months for each vessel.
- These survey vessels will 110 metre long with deep displacement capacity of 3,300 tonnes and complement of 231.
- They will be equipped with highly advanced state-of-the-art hydrographic equipment and sensors including Hello Hanger to accommodate one advanced light helicopter.
- The design and construction of these vessels will be as per Classification Society Rules and Naval Ship Regulations and also conform to latest MARPOL (Marine Pollution) Standards of International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
- These vessels will be used for full-scale coastal and deep-water hydrographic survey of ports and harbours, approaches and determination of navigational channels and routes.
- They will be also used to undertake surveys of maritime limits up to Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf. They will be deployed for collection of oceanographic and geophysical data for defence applications.
- In their secondary role, they will also perform limited search and rescue, ocean research and operate as hospital ship and casualty holding ships.
Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE)
- It is defence PSU and one of India’s leading state-owned shipyards, located in Kolkata, West Bengal. It builds and repairs commercial and naval vessels. It also has started building export ships.
- It was founded in 1884 as small privately owned company on eastern bank of Hooghly River. It was renamed as Garden Reach Workshop in 1916. It was nationalised by Government in 1960.
- It has Miniratna status. It is first Indian shipyard to build 100 warships. It is currently handling major project to make three Stealth Frigates for Indian Navy under P17A Project.
- 100 warships built by GRSE so far range from advanced frigates to anti-submarine warfare corvettes to fleet tankers, fast attack crafts, etc.