Current Affairs

Morning Brief: India To Break Bofors Jinx After 30 Years With Induction Of  K9, M777 Howitzers; Over 1,000 Arrested For Defying SC’s Firecracker Order; And More

K9 Vajra (left) and M777 (right) artillery guns to be inducted by the army today. (@rahulsinghx/Twitter) 

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news brief for today.

Indian Army To Induct K9 Vajra And M777 Artillery Guns

The Indian Army will break the Bofors jinx today with the induction of first new artillery guns to its armoury in 30 years, The Tribune has reported. According to the daily, two guns, K9 Vajra and M777, will be formally handed over to the Army later today at the Artillery Centre located in Maharashtra’s Deolali. According to the Economic Times, the first regiments of the two systems, each comprising of about 18 guns, will be in place by the end of the next year. Compact gun tractor to tow 130 MM and 155 MM artillery guns will also be inducted.

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India had contracted for 100 K9s and 145 M777s. The first 10 K9s were built in South Korea and the remaining 90 in India by Larsen & Toubro and Hanwa Techwin. The deal for the K9s was signed in 2017 and all the guns will be delivered by November 2020. Of the 145 M777s, BAE Systems will manufacture the first 25 guns in the US and the remaining 120 will be assembled in India by Mahindra. Because of their low weight, the M777s will primarily be used in mountainous terrain. The K9s, given their high mobility, will be used in the desert and plains. While the M777s have a range of 30 km, the K9s can fire up to 40 km.

Over 1,000 Arrested For Violating SC’s Firecracker Order

The Delhi Police have arrested at least 323 people for defying the Supreme Court’s order on firecrackers, The Pioneer has reported. A total of 562 cases were registered under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, the report said. The apex court had imposed a partial ban on crackers during Diwali except for a two-hour window between 8 and 10 pm. The ban had upset many and the arrests reported from different parts of the country have only added to the anger.

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At least 650 were arrested in 2,100 cases in Tamil Nadu. People have argued that the apex court did not take into account the tradition of bursting crackers before and after the Lakshmi Pooja. Social media is flooded with memes and jokes about "improved" and "green" crackers, which had been cleared for sale.

Cabinet Nod For Private Management Of Six More Airports

The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal for the management of six more airports in the country by private players, Mint has reported. According to the daily, the operation, management and development of airports in Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru will now be under public-private partnership. The decision of the Cabinet is based on the government’s experience of managing five airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kochi and Hyderabad through participation of private players.

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The government has said that private management has helped it raise revenue. It is expecting to attract more foreign investment into airport infrastructure through this model. An empowered committee of secretaries has been set up by the government to oversee the implementation of the process.

Government To Start Sale Of Enemy Shares Valued At Rs 3,000 Crore

The procedure proposed for the to sale of enemy shares, belonging to individuals and entities who left India at the time of Partition, now worth more than Rs 3,000 crore, has been approved by the cabinet, The Indian Express has reported. The process of disposal, based on the Enemy Property Act of 1968, is set to start soon. The revenue will be deposited as disinvestment proceeds.

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The government is said to have identified over 6,50,75,870 shares of at least 996 companies belonging to 20,232 shareholders. These shares remain in the custody of Ministry of Home Affairs and Custodian of Enemy Property of India. Department of Investment and Public Asset Management will sell them.

Earth's Ozone Layer Is Healing

The ozone layer, which protects the Earth from ultraviolet rays, is successfully healing after holes appeared in it the 1980s. According to the United Nations, the damage in the Northern Hemisphere could be fully fixed by the 2030s and Antarctica by the 2060s. This damage was caused by man-made chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons, used in refrigerators and other cooling devices.

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The damage was at its worst in the 1990s, when around 10 percent of the upper ozone layer was depleted. In 1987, countries around the world had agreed in the Montreal Protocol to curb the use of chlorofluorocarbons and find alternatives to the chemical. The ozone layer starts at about 10 km above the surface of the Earth and stretches for nearly 40 km.

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We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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