Facts Corner-Part-5

What is Nirbhay missile?

  • India successfully conducted a flight test of its state-of-the-art sleek cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’, which is capable of carrying warheads of up to 300 kg.
  • The indigenously designed and developed long-range sub-sonic cruise missile was launched from a test range at Chandipur along the Odisha coast.
  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources told PTI that the missile was launched from a specially designed launcher from the launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha’s Balasore. 
  • This was the fifth experimental test of the homegrown missile system.
  • This is a big feat for India because out of the four earlier trials ever since its debut launch in 2013, only one was successful.

How does it function?

  • ‘Nirbhay’, a two-stage missile, is 6-metre long, 0.52 metre wide and with a wingspan of 2.7 metre.
  • It can carry the designated warhead at a speed of 0.6 -0.7 Mach. Its launch weight is about 1500 kg.
  • With an operational range of 1,000 km, the missile is fueled by a solid rocket motor booster developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL).
  • The missile is guided by a highly-advanced inertial navigation system which is also indigenously designed and developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), DRDO sources had told PTI.
  • ‘Nirbhay’ missile can travel with a turbofan or turbojet engine.
  • The way it functions is this: Soon after the cruise missile is able to achieve its designated altitude and velocity, the booster motor is separated and the engine automatically switches on taking further propulsion.

What is PM 2.5?

  • PM 2.5 is an atmospheric particulate matter of diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres, which is around 3 per cent the diameter of a human hair. It causes respiratory problems and reduces visibility. PM 2.5 particles can only be detected with the help of an electron microscope because they are so small.
  • The last 10 days data of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) shows the city’s PM (Particulate Matter) 2.5 concentration has almost doubled already.

What are its health implications? 

  • As per studies, it could lead to premature death from heart and lung disease. Due to their smaller size, the PM 2.5 particles can easily bypass the nose and throat and can easily enter the circulatory system. The particles can also lead to cause chronic diseases such as asthma, heart attack, bronchitis and other respiratory problems.

How to save yourself from PM 2.5

1. Use air purifier equipped with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter (HEPA) filter, which can remove fine particles from the air.

2. Try to stay as much indoors, closing all windows that allow the entry of polluted air.

3. Avoid burning candles or other things which can emit smoke when you stay indoors.

4. Eat food that can increase your body’s resistance against PM 2.5.

What is the food stockpiling issue at the WTO?

What is MC11?

  • Held in Buenos Aires in Argentina.
  • The MC, chaired by Argentinan Minister Susana Malcorra, is the highest decision-making body of the WTO.
  • Attended by trade ministers and senior officials from the organisation’s 164 member countries, the meet takes place at least once in two years. The last two meetings were held in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2015, and in Bali, Indonesia in 2013.
  • The MC takes decisions on matters related to any multilateral trade agreement.

What is the food stockpiling issue at the WTO?

  • According to global trade norms, a WTO member country’s food subsidy bill is restricted to 10 per cent of the value of production, based on the reference price of 1986-88.
  • However, during the Bali conference, members agreed to an interim ‘Peace Clause,’ under which any breach of the ceiling by a developing nation would not be challenged. The clause was installed until a permanent solution was agreen upon — it was decided that one would be negotiated at Buenos Aires.

What is India’s stance on this?

  • The Indian delegation at MI11 was led by Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu. India had said the credibility of the WTO would be affected without a permanent solution to the issue. “India has emphasised that permanent solution was a must have and should be an improvement over the Peace Clause (agreed at Bali)… If not delivered, it would affect the credibility of the WTO,” J S Deepak, India’s Ambassador to WTO, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
  • In fact, in his plenary address, Prabhu had said, “We cannot envisage any negotiated outcome at MC11, which does not include a permanent solution.”
  • “This is a matter of survival for eight hundred million hungry and undernourished people in the world. A successful resolution of this issue would fulfil our collective commitment to the global community,” he had also said.

What about the other issues at MC11?

  • Without any decision on the food security issue, talks on other issues, including services, fisheries and e-commerce may remain unresolved.

What is INS Kiltan?

  • INS Kiltan is an indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette that will be commissioned into the Indian Navy by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the Naval Dockyard today.
  • This is the third of the four Kamorta-class corvettes being built under Project 28.
  • The ship derives its name from one of the islands in Aminidivi group of the strategically located Lakshadweep and Minicoy group of islands.
  • Designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organisation Directorate of Naval Design and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) in Kolkata, INS Kiltan portrays the growing capability of the Indian Navy, a release by the Ministry of Defence said.
  • INS Kiltan is the latest indigenous warship after Shivalik Class, Kolkata Class and sister ships INS Kamorta and INS Kadmatt to have joined the Indian Navy’s arsenal wherein a plethora of weapons and sensors have been integrated to provide a “common operational picture”.
  • INS Kiltan is India’s first major warship to have a superstructure of carbon fibre composite material resulting in improved stealth features, lower top weight and maintenance costs, the Indian Navy statement added.
  • The ship hosts a predominantly indigenous cutting-edge weapons and sensors suite which includes heavyweight torpedoes, ASW rockets, 76 mm caliber Medium Range gun and two multi-barrel 30 mm guns as close-in-weapon system (CIWS) with dedicated fire control systems, missile decoy rockets (Chaff), advanced ESM (Electronic Support Measure) system, most advanced bow mounted sonar and air surveillance radar.
  • The ship also boasts of the proud legacy of the erstwhile Petya Class ship of same name ‘Kiltan (P79)’ built in the USSR, which had actively participated as Task Force Commander in the ‘Operation Trident’ during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Alauddin Khilji, Queen Padmavati and jauhar:

About Khilji:

  • Alauddin Khilji was one of the most powerful Sultans of Delhi. He captured the throne of Delhi in 1296 AD by killing his uncle and then ruler Jalal-ud-din Khilji. Over the next few years, he carried out expeditions in North India as well as South. He also conquered the kingdoms of Gujarat, Ranthambore, Malwa, Jalore and Devagiri and amassed a large amount of wealth. However, it is his invasion of Chittor kingdom that has piqued curiosity for centuries thanks to his fascination with Padmavati, the queen of this Rajput kingdom.

About Padmavat:

  • Often referred as a tale of lust and valour, the story of Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji finds its mention in the Padmavat, a Awadhi language poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi.
  • The poem deals with the relation between Chittor king Ratansen, Queen Padmavati and the sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khilji.
  • The tale describes Padmavati as a “perfect woman”, of beauty “no such was ever seen upon the Earth.”
  • King Ratansen, who had heard about her charisma longed, to marry her. He finally married Padmavati in a swayamvar and brought her to Chittor.
  • Among Ratansen’s many subjects was musician Raghav Chaitanya. The king banished Chaitanya from the kingdom after he found out about his illegal activities. To take his revenge, Chaitanya reached Khilji’s court in Delhi and informed the Sultan about Queen Padmavati’s unparalleled beauty. Fascinated by Padmavati’s description, Khilji made his way to Chittor in order to acquire her.

Jauhar (self-immolation):

  • Some literature from the period suggests that Khilji’s request to see the queen was turned down as Rajput culture forbade women from meeting strangers. Khilji then waged a war against Chittor but failed to capture the fort. Ratansen, meanwhile was killed. Khilji again invaded Chittor and marched his way inside the fort to look for Padmavati. However, Padmavati and several other women had by then ended her life in jauhar (self-immolation) to get away from Khilji.

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