India-US Current Affairs
Indian Army inducted three major globally combat proven artillery gun system viz. M777 A2 ultra light howitzers (ULH), K-9 Vajra-tracked self-propelled guns and ‘Composite Gun Towing Vehicle’ at Deolali Field Firing Range in Maharashtra. These are first artillery gun systems to be inducted by Indian Army in three decades. Last inducted was Bofors artillery gun system procured from Sweden in early 1980s.
M777 A2 Ultra Light Howitzers : It is 155mm, 39 Calibre ULHs towed artillery gun, with maximum range of 24-30km procured from US. It being versatile and light weight can be heli-lifted, thus providing employment flexibility in different terrains.
It will be procured under India-US deal signed in November 2016 for 145 M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers. Under it, 25 guns will be imported and rest will be assembled in India by BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defense.
Deliveries will be completed by mid-2021. The gun systems induction gives a major impetus to Make In India initiative. It will bring new level of capability to artillery unit by offering rapid deployment and extreme accuracy.
K9 Vajra guns: It is a 155-mm, 52-calibre self-propelled gun with maximum range of 40 km. It will be imported from South Korea. It is customized version of original K9 Thunder artillery gun for desert conditions. Total 100 units will be procured by Army, and first 10 will be imported in semi knocked down form from South Korea and assembled by L&T in India and rest 90 will be manufactured in India. The first regiment of K9 will be equipped by July 2019 and all 100 guns will be delivered by November 2020.
Common Gun Tower: It is 6×6 field artillery tractor is indigenously developed by Ashok Leyland. It with has cross country capability and will replace ageing fleet of artillery gun towing vehicles.
Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) has signed MoU with US-based Research Institute for Fragrant Materials (RIFM) for improving the quality of fragrant oils. It was signed at conclusion of two-day annual conference of International Fragrance Association (IFA) in Paris, capital city of France. Team of RIFM had visited the Lucknow headquarter of CIMAP earlier in 2018 to increase the acceptability and demand of Indian fragrances on a global level. The deliberations during the visit resulted in signing of the MoU.
Benefits of MoU
It will go long way in standardizing fragrant material produced in India and bring it to an international level. It will give a big boost to fragrance quality in India as RIFM internationally standardizes the quality of fragrant materials. It will give impetus to aroma mission of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) which aims at enhancing production of fragrant materials.
Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP)
Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) is a frontier plant research laboratory of CSIR. It was originally established as Central Indian Medicinal Plants Organisation (CIMPO) in 1959. It is headquartered in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. It has four research centers situated in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pantnagar and Purara (near Bageshwar, Uttarakhand). It is engaged in the field of science and business of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs). It steers multidisciplinary high quality research in biological and chemical sciences and extending technologies and services to farmers and entrepreneurs of MAPs.