Odisha Current Affairs - 2020

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What is Government Instant Messaging System?

The Centre Government is testing a prototype of an Indian equivalent of popular messaging application platforms, such as WhatsApp and Telegram, for secure internal use. This secure messaging app is codenamed as ‘Government Instant Messaging System (GIMS)’. It is being packaged for employees of Central government as well as state government departments and organisations for intra and inter organisation communications.

Currently the platform is in pilot testing stage across some states, (like Odisha) and is learnt to have been released to Indian Navy to be tried out on trial basis. In addition to this, a GIMS Portal is also being simultaneously developed for administration and monitoring of platform.

About Government Instant Messaging System (GIMS)

Objective: To develop a secure Indian alternative without security concerns attached with apps hosted abroad or those owned by foreign entities like WhatsApp, Telegram etc.

Key Features:

GIMS is designed and developed by Kerala unit of National Informatics Centre (NIC). As the platform has been developed in India, it is being touted as a safer bet.

Unlike these popular messaging application, GIMS employs end-to-end encryption for one-to-one messaging. Besides one-to-one messaging and group messaging, GIMS has a specific provision for documents and media sharing in keeping with the hierarchies in government system.

Servers Based in India: The server hosting GIMS is installed within India and the information stored would be in government-based cloud – NIC (National Informatics Centre) -operated data centres that are only meant for captive use by government and its departments.

Brahmos missile test fire successful in Odisha’s Chandipur base

The DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) test fired the supersonic Cruise missile Brahmos successfully from Odisha’s Chandipur on December 17, 2019. The medium range missile is capable of being launched from warships, submarines, land or fighter jets.

Highlights

The missile was test fired from the autonomous launcher of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur. The missile is operational with Indian Navy, Army and Air Force. The missile has gained its importance in modern warfare for its anti-ship capabilities and land-attack capabilities.

Brahmos Missile

Brahmos is a joint venture between DRDO of India and NPOM of Russia. It features Indian propulsion system, power supply, airframe and power supply. The rest of the technology was transferred to India. After India entered into MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) India extended the range of BRAHMOS missile to 600 km. It is also one of the fastest cruise missiles that operates at the speed of 2.8 Mach, which is three times the speed of sound.

Recent Brahmos tests

The GoI in 2019 has tested Brahmos in more than three scenarios. In May 2019, DRDO test fired Brahmos by launching it in the air from Su-30MKI aircraft. Later the eastern command unit test-fired Brahmos from Car Nicobar islands. In August 2019, the Defence Acquisition Council cleared the next generation maritime mobile coastal batteries (NGMMCB) to be fitted with surface-to-surface supersonic Brahmos missiles. The NGMMCB was developed by joint venture of India and Russia, the Brahmos Aerospace Private Limited. In September 2019, DRDO conducted the Brahmos full range test of 290 km in Chandipur, Odisha.

Philippines to sign Brahmos deal with India in 2020

On December 16, 2019, Philippines confirmed that signing contract with India for medium range Brahmos Cruise Missiles. The agreement will be signed in 2020. When PM Modi visited Philippines, he signed 4 agreements on defence cooperation. Philippines is interested in acquiring the missile as it will strengthen its coastal defence operations.