Odisha Current Affairs - 2019
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Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight tested indigenously developed surface-to-surface short-range tactical ballistic missile ‘Prahaar’. It was launched from mobile launcher from Launch Complex-III, Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore off Odisha Coast.
It is solid-fuelled surface-to-surface short-range tactical ballistic missile. It has been indigenously developed by DRDO. It has length of 7.3 meter, diameter of 420 mm and weighs 1,280 kg. It has operational range of 150 km and flight altitude of 35 km.
It is quick-reaction, all-weather, all-terrain, highly accurate battlefield support tactical missile with advance manoeuvring capability. It is capable of carrying multiple types of warheads weighing around 200 kg and neutralizing wide variety of targets.
It is fitted with inertial navigation system. It is also equipped with state-of-the-art navigation, guidance and electromechanical actuation systems with advanced on board computer. It can be launched from road mobile system, which can carry six missiles at time. It can also be fired in salvo mode in all directions from launcher.
Significance: Prahaar missile fills vital gap between Multi Barrel Rocket systems such as ‘Pinaka’ and medium range ballistic missiles such as Prithvi. It also fills short-range tactical battlefield missile role as required by Indian Army to take out strategic and tactical targets. It is comparable to MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System of United States.
Union government (Agriculture and Environment ministries) along with UN body Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched agriculture project that seeks to bring transformative change in farm sector through conservation of biodiversity and forest landscapes. It will be implemented in five states viz. Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
The project is being funded with US $33.5 million grant from Global Environment Facility (GEF). It aims to transform agricultural production to generate global environmental benefits by addressing biodiversity conservation, land degradation, climate change mitigation and sustainable forest management. It strives to bring harmony between conservation and development efforts of the country.
Agriculture along with its allied sectors, is the largest source of livelihoods in India, with 82% of country’s farmers being small and marginal. Existing unsustainable agricultural practices have resulted in depletion of water tables, biodiversity and habitat loss for wild species and land and soil degradation which have contributed to the environmental crisis in India. To overcome it, there is need for alternative paradigm to current extractive methods of agricultural production systems. Scientific research is need of time to focus on achieving greener landscapes along with efficient and effective resource use. Moreover, any effort to increase farmers income and food production must be within the framework of sustainable management of natural resources to avoid environmental degradation.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
It is specialised agency of UN that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its parent organization is UN Economic and Social Council (UNESC). It was established on 16 October 1945 and its headquarters are in Rome, It has 194 member states, along with European Union (member organization).
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
It is multilateral financial mechanism that provides grants to developing countries for projects that benefit global environment and promote sustainable livelihoods in local communities. It was established on the eve of 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. It is based in Washington DC, United States. It addresses six designated focal areas: biodiversity, climate change, international waters, ozone depletion, land degradation and Persistent Organic Pollutants.