Current Affairs

Morning Brief: ISRO To Launch India’s Second Defence Satellite, Will Be Used By IAF And Army; India May Soon Take A Call On Huawei; And More

Communication satellite GSAT-7A on-board GSLV-F11 will begin at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. (ISRO/Twitter)

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

ISRO To Launch Satellite For Indian Air Force Today

The Indian Space Research Organisation is all set to launch a dedicated satellite for the Indian Air Force (IAF) today. The satellite, called GSAT-7A, will boost the communication capabilities of the IAF, reports have said. This will be the IAF’s first satellite. The Indian Navy already has a dedicated satellite which helps it keep an eye on the Indian Ocean region spread across 2,000 nautical miles. It was India’s first dedicated defence satellite and was launched atop an Ariane-5 launch vehicle of Arianespace from French Guiana on 29 September 2013.

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The satellite will connect all IAF assets like planes, air-borne early warning control platforms, drones and ground stations, building a centralised network. According to reports, the Indian Army’s aviation wing will also benefit from the satellite. Nearly 30 per cent of its capacity will be shared by the Army.

Government To Hold Inter-Ministerial Talks To Take Call On Huawei

Before taking a call on Huawei amid network security concerns around the world arising from its links to the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army, India is planning to hold an inter-ministerial consultation, Mint has reported. This development comes just a day after India’s telecom export body raised alarm about the possible dangers the Chinese tech giant presents to the country’s national security. The Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council is planning to write to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval demanding restrictions against the use of Huawei’s 5G telecom equipment on the lines of the bans imposed by New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

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It is feared that Huawei may spy on its users and pilfer information for the Chinese Communist Party. The telecommunications behemoth was set up in 1994 by Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Earlier this month, Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (and the daughter of its founder) was arrested in Canada while in transit over allegations of dodging US sanctions on Iran.

Nageshwara Rao Appointed CBI Additional Director

The government has elevated M Nageswar Rao, who was appointed as the interim chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in October amid a tussle between Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana, to the rank of an additional director. He had taken over as the interim chief after both Verma and Asthana were sent on leave. He had joined the CBI in 2016.

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Before his appointment as the interim chief of the CBI, Rao was number three in the pecking order and was in-charge the agency's Chandigarh branch. Rao is a 1986 batch officer of the Odisha cadre. According to The Indian Express, he was not considered for elevation to the rank of the additional director in November 2016 and when a review of the 1986 batch took place in April.

US May Link IMF’s Pakistan Bailout To Terror, China Debt

The Trump administration is likely to attack conditions for the bailout package Pakistan has sought from the International Monetary Fund. According to the Hindustan Times, the US may ask Pakistan to cooperate in combating terror financing, help Washington find a solution to the Afghan problem and be more transparent about the debt Islamabad owes to Beijing.

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In June, the Financial Action Task Force had put Pakistan on its grey list of countries it monitors closely for failing to curb terror financing. Moreover, the US has vowed to prevent Pakistan from using the bailout to pay off Chinese debt.

Gujarat To Write Off Pending Electricity Bills Worth Rs 625 Crore

The Gujarat government has said that it will write off pending electricity bills of Rs 625 crore in the state. Gujarat’s move comes just days after the Congress-led governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh announced farm loan waivers promised during the assembly elections in these states. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has also promised a nationwide loan waiver if voted to power in 2019.

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The announcement has been made ahead of byelections to the Jasdan assembly seat on in Gujarat on 20 December. The bypoll was necessitated after Bavaliya, a five-time Congress MLA from the seat, quit the party this July to join the BJP. Soon, he was sworn-in as the states new Water Supply Minister.

From Swarajya

Rahul Gandhi, The Economic Saboteur: With his push for loan waivers, Gandhi is instigating farmers to end repayments. Is this not economic sabotage?

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

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