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- Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced new measure to make facial recognition mandatory for every authentication that requires Aadhaar. It will be an additional feature along with the regular authentication process that includes identification of an individual based on fingerprints or eye scans. The significance of this feature is that is will help include those people whose fingerprints were worn out due to old age or because of being involved in manual labour or agriculture.
- Tejinder Pal Singh Toor won the gold medal in men’s shot put final at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games held in Indonesia. He set a new record at 20.75 metres in his 5th attempt, thereby getting India its first gold medal in Athletics event. Tejinder is from Punjab and has previously won the silver medal at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships.
- The procurement of 14 Vertically Launched Short Range Missile Systems has been approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC). Ten of these missile systems will be developed indigenously while the remaining shall be imported. These systems are set to boost self-defence capability of ships against anti-ship missiles. VLS is an advanced system for holding and firing missiles on mobile naval platforms like surface ships and submarines.
- The DAC has also approved the procurement of 24 anti-submarine capable multi role helicopters to enhance capability of Indian Navy at sea. The Government will now be allowed to sign contract with the US based aviation giant Lockheed Martin for purchasing these helicopters. This deal with the US was worth approximately $1.8 billion. The MH-60R helicopter, also known as Seahawk multi-mission helicopters, are anti-submarine helicopters.
- 150 indigenously designed and developed 155 mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems for Indian Army have been procured after the DAC gave its approval. The procurement was approved at a cost of Rs. 3,364.78 crores approximately. This will lead to further modernisation of the Armed Forces of the nation. The guns have been designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and will provide major support to the Make in India programme of the Government.
- The DAC has approved the procurement of 111 utility helicopters for the Indian Navy at a cost of around Rs. 21,000 crore. Under the Defence Ministry’s prestigious Strategic Partnership Model, this procurement will be the first project to provide the much needed fillip to the Make in India programme of the Government of India.
- India’s first inter-state transmission system (ISTS) was commissioned in Bhuj, Gujarat. The 126MW wind power capacity – a part of the ISTS auction – was commissioned through an auction conducted by state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd (SECI) in February 2017. The states purchasing the renewable resources from the state in this project are Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
- Dr. G Satheesh Reddy, a distinguished missile scientist, has been appointed by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet as the Secretary of Department of Defence R&D (DDR&D) and Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Earlier, Mr. Reddy served as the scientific adviser to the defence minister and is taking over the mantle from Dr. S Christopher who retired from office three months ago.
- A wind-sensing satellite named Aeolus was successfully launched into orbit on board of the Vega rocket by the European Space Agency (ESA). It is the world’s first wind-sensing satellite dedicated to map Earth’s wind on global scale, particularly tropical winds which are very poorly mapped because of almost complete absence of direct observations.
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