Why in news?
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted the flight test of 'Abhyas'.
About the news
The flight test was conducted at the Interim Test Range, Chandipur, in Odisha.
- It is a high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT).
- The configuration of 'Abhyas' is designed on an in-line small gas turbine engine.
- It uses indigenously developed micro-electro-mechanical systems-based system for navigation and
- 'Abhyas' is designed for autonomous flying with the help of an autopilot.
- It offers a realistic threat scenario for practice of weapon systems.
- A Luneburg lens in the nose cone improves the radar cross-section of the target for weapons practice.
- It also has an acoustic miss distance indicator (AMDI) to indicate the missed distance.
- The GPS enabled Abhyas has an endurance of 25-30 minutes and is fitted with sensors.
- Abhyas has augmentation system for Radar Cross Section (RCS), visual and IR for weapon prative and can also play the role of a jammer and decoy.
ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus
Why in news?
The ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise (MS FTX) in the South China Sea concluded at RSS Singapura (also known as Changi Naval Base) in Singapore.
About ADMM Plus
- The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN and its eight Dialogue Partners to strengthen security and defence cooperation for peace, stability, and development in the region.
- The 2ndADMM in Singapore in 2007 adopted the Concept Paper to establish the ADMM-Plus.
- The Inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, on 12 October 2010.
- The Defence Ministers agreed on five areas of practical operation
- Maritime security
- Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief
- Oeacekeeping operations
- Military medicine
- The ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) is the highest defence consultative and cooperative mechanism in ASEAN.
- The ADMM aims to promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness.
- It was established in 2006 and meets annually.
- The Inaugural meeting of the ADMM was held in Kuala Lumpur on 9 May 2006.
- The ASEAN Security Community (ASC) Plan of Action, adopted at the 10th ASEAN Summit, stipulates that ASEAN shall work towards the convening of an annual ADMM.
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
Why in news?
The executive secretary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has invited India to be an observer in the CTBT.
What is the CTBT?
- The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) is an international organization.
- It will be established upon the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, a Convention that outlaws nuclear test explosions.
- Its seat will be Vienna, Austria.
- The Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO, and its Provisional Technical Secretariat, were established in 1997 and are headquartered in Vienna, Austria.
What they do?
- The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth's surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground.
- The organization will be tasked with verifying the ban on nuclear tests and will operate therefore a worldwide monitoring system and may conduct onsite inspections.
Why it is not ratified yet?
- Eight ratifications missing for entry of treaty into force and to become law.
- The CTBT was negotiated in Geneva between 1994 and 1996.
- 184 countries have signed the Treaty, of which 168 have also ratified it, including three of the nuclear weapon States: France, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom.
- But 44 specific nuclear technology holder countries must sign and ratify before the CTBT can enter into force.
- Of these, eight are still missing: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the USA.
- India, North Korea and Pakistan have yet to sign the CTBT.
- The last Annex 2 State to ratify the Treaty was Indonesia on 6 February 2012.
- Since the Treaty is not yet in force, the organization is called the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
- It was founded in 1996 and is based in Vienna.
- It is headed by the Executive Secretary.
- The CTBTO’s main tasks are the promotion of the Treaty and the build-up of the verification regime so that it is operational when the Treaty enters into force.
Polity and Governance
Why in news?
The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended names of four High Court judges for their appointment as Chief Justices of the High Courts of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Telangana.
About Collegium System
- It is the system of appointment and transfer of judgesthat has evolved through judgments of the Supreme Court.
- It is not by an Act of Parliamentor by a provision of the Constitution.
- The Supreme Court collegium is headed by the Chief Justice of Indiaand comprises four other seniormost judges of the court.
- The collegium system has its genesis in a series of judgments called “Judges Cases”.
- The collegium came into being through interpretations of pertinent constitutional provisions by the Supreme Court in the Judges Cases.
More about the system
- Judges of the higher judiciary are appointed only through the collegium system and the government has a role only after names have been decided by the collegium.
- The government’s role is limited to getting an inquiry conducted by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) if a lawyer is to be elevated as a judge in a High Court or the Supreme Court.
- It can also raise objections and seek clarifications regarding the collegium’s choices, but if the collegium reiterates the same names, the government is bound, under Constitution Bench judgments, to appoint them as judges.
- A High Court collegiumis led by its Chief Justice and four other seniormost judges of that court.
- Names recommended for appointment by a High Court collegium reaches the government only after approval by the CJI and the Supreme Court collegium.
What does the Constitution say regarding the appointments of judges?
- There is no mention of the collegium either in the original constitution or successive amendments.
- Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts are appointed by the President under Articles 124(2) and 217 of the Constitution.
- The President is required to hold consultations with such of the judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts as he may deem necessary.
Coastal Regulation Zone
Why in news?
The Supreme Court ordered the demolition, within a month, of five apartment complexes in Maradu municipality in Ernakulam, Kerala, for violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.
About the news
- The order came on a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA).
About CRZ Rules
- CRZ Rules govern human and industrial activity close to the coastline, in order to protect the fragile ecosystems near the sea.
- The Rules, mandated under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, were first framed in 1991.
- They sought to restrict certain kinds of activities, like large constructions, setting up of new industries, storage or disposal of hazardous material, mining, or reclamation and bunding, within a certain distance from the coastline.
- In all CRZ Rules, the regulation zone has been defined as the area up to 500 m from the high-tide line.
- The basic idea is because areas immediately next to the sea are extremely delicate, home to many marine and aquatic life forms, both animals and plants, and are also threatened by climate change, they need to be protected against unregulated development.
- Several kinds of restrictions apply, depending on criteria such as the population of the area, the ecological sensitivity, the distance from the shore, and whether the area had been designated as a natural park or wildlife zone.
- Despite several amendments, states found the 1991 Rules to be extremely restrictive.
The current situation
- The government notified new CRZ Rules with the stated objectives of promoting sustainable development and conserving coastal environments in January 2019.
- Only such projects/activities, which are located in the CRZ-I and CRZ IV shall be dealt with for CRZ clearance by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
- CRZ-I is the Ecologically Sensitive Areas and CRZ IV is the area covered between Low Tide Line and 12 Nautical Miles seaward.
- The powers for clearances with respect to CRZ-II and III have been delegated at the State level with necessary guidance.
- For the CRZ-III (Rural) areas, two separate categories have been stipulated.
- In the densely populated rural areas (CRZ-IIIA) with a population density of 2,161 per sq km as per the 2011 Census, the no-development zone is now 50 m from the high-tide level, as against the 200 m stipulated earlier.
- In the CRZ-IIIB category (rural areas with population density below 2,161 per sq km) continue to have a no-development zone extending up to 200 m from the high-tide line.
- The new Rules have a no-development zone of 20 m for all islands close to the mainland coast, and for all backwater islands in the mainland.
- While the CRZ Rules are made by the Union Environment Ministry, implementation is supposed to be done by state governments through their Coastal Zone Management Authorities.
- The states are also supposed to frame their own coastal zone management plans in accordance with the central Rules.
Map Aided Programme
COPPER MINES IN INDIA
- Hazaribagh : Jharkhand
- Singhbhum : Jharkhand
- Khetri : Rajasthan
- Udaipur : Rajasthan
- Sundergarh : Odisha
- Malanjkhand : Madhya Pradesh
Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)-(2018)
- Which of Very recently, in which of the following countries have lakhs of people either suffered from severe famine / acute malnutrition or died due to starvation caused by war / ethnic conflicts
- Angola and Zambia
- Morocco and Tunisia
- Venezuela and Colombia
- Yemen and South Sudan