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The Chief of US Air Force, General David L Goldfein flew a sortie in indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas at the Indian Air Force (IAF) station in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. With this he became first foreign military chief to fly Tejas aircraft. He was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal AP Singh as a co-pilot during the short flight.
General Goldfein was on an official visit to India to boost defence ties between the two nations. Earlier in November 2017, Defence Minister of Singapore Ng Eng Hen was flown in a Tejas fighter jet.
The indigenous LCA is a single-seat, single-jet engine, multirole light fighter. It is fourth generation aircraft that can fly at 1,350 km per hour, with a payload capacity of 4,000 kg. It has been indigenously developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency, and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
It has been pegged as world’s smallest and lightest supersonic fighter. It is tailless and has compound delta wing design. It is mounted with inbuilt MultiMode Radar (MMR), Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) systems. The first squadron of LCA Tejas named as ‘Flying Daggers’ based in Sulur, Tamil Nadu was inducted in July 2016.
The Union Government has inked $100 million Loan Agreement with World Bank for Project to Boost Rural Economy of Tamil Nadu. The loan is from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and has a 5-year grace period and maturity of 19 years.
Tamil Nadu Rural Transformation Project
The project aims to promote rural enterprises, facilitate their access to finance and create employment opportunities for youth, particularly women in selected blocks of Tamil Nadu across 26 districts. It will create enabling environment for producer organizations and enterprises to promote businesses across select value chains.
The project will be operational in 120 blocks across 3,994 villages in 26 Districts of Tamil Nadu with 411,620 direct beneficiaries. It will be rolled out in phased manner and in first phase 26 blocks will covered in all project districts, followed by 52 blocks in second phase and remaining 42 blocks in third phase.
Under this project, communities will identify commodities and subsectors in the value chain for preparing business plans based on the analysis. 30% of the financing for these s plans will be through matching grant program from project and remaining 70% will be leveraged from other financial institutions.
The project will work with targeted households that are already part of Self-Help Groups (SHGs). It will also specifically support eligible households from socially and culturally disadvantaged groups to harness their existing assets, skills, and resources.
It will also test selected innovations and start-up ideas or scaled up them under newly created platform known as Tamil Nadu Rural Transformation Marketplace. This platform will identify, showcase and celebrate innovative solutions related to themes that have potential to impact rural economic growth in state.
Moreover, it will have e-governance architecture with use of ICT along with a robust Management Information System (MIS) to monitor and track results real time.