4.1. NEW INITI A TIVES TO CURB L EFT WING EXTR E MISM
Why in news?
Recently MHA has taken various measures to tackle Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in India.
• Black Panther combat force – A specialised anti-Naxal combat force for Chhattisgarh on the lines of Greyhounds unit. The Greyhounds are a special force that specialize in Jungle warfare and anti-insurgency operations against Naxalites with jurisdiction limited to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
• Bastariya Batallion - It is newly formed batallion of CRPF with more than 534 tribal youth from four highly naxal infested districts of Chhattisgarh. Another remarkable feature of it is its adequate female representation which is in sync with the Government’s policy of 33% reservation for women making it the first composite battalion in any of paramilitary forces.
• Approval of Projects under USOF - Union cabinet has approved the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) supported scheme to provide mobile services in 96 districts of LWE-affected states. The project will help not only in communication with the security personnel but also, for the residents of these areas.
• Multi-disciplinary groups to check funding of Naxalites - Union ministry of home affairs has formed multi-disciplinary groups with officers from central agencies, including from the IB, NIA, CBI, ED and DRI, and state police to choke the financial flow to Maoists.
• A process has also been initiated to create a separate vertical in the NIA for investigating important cases relating to Left Wing Extremism (LWE)
Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)
• USOF was established in 2002 in pursuance of objective of Universal service to all uncovered areas, including the rural areas, and encourage development of telecommunication facilities in remote, hilly and tribal areas of the country
• It derives its funding from Universal Service Levy (USL) of 5% charged from all the telecom operators on their Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) which are then deposited into the Consolidated Fund of India, and require prior parliamentary approval to be dispatched.
4.2. JOINT LOGISTICS NODE AT ANDAMAN
Why in news?
Government has decided to set a joint logistic node at the India’s only tri-services command in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
More about the news
• It will provide logistical support to all three defence services and will improve utilisation of resources, manpower and remove duplication.
• The joint logistics node comprises of three elements:
o Joint Logistics Command & Control Centre (JLC&CC), which is the overall command organisation,
o Tri-services Detachment at Material Organisation (TRIDAMO), which will meet logistical needs of the armed forces and
o Tri-services Advanced Detachment (TRISAD), based on mainland and responsible for sending troops and equipment to the nodes.
• There are plans to set up similar nodes at 12 or 13 locations in the western and north-eastern sectors and they are important in areas where two or more services are located.
4.3. PROJECT “NETWORK FOR SPECTRUM”
Why in news?
• The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved substantial hike in the budget for the Network for Spectrum (NFS) project.
About Project Network for Spectrum (NFS)
• It was launched to establish the alternative communication network for exclusive use by defence services to boost the communication capabilities of defence forces.
• The project is result of an agreement reached in 2010 between Defence ministry and Dept. of Telecom (DoT) in which DoT agreed to vacate 25 MHz of 3G spectrum and 20 MHz of 2G spectrum in phases solely for defence communication purpose
• The project is being implemented by state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
4.4. PINAKA ROCKET
Why in news?
An upgraded version of Pinaka rocket was recently successfully test-fired from Chandipur in Odisha.
About the rocket
• The upgraded Pinaka system, Pinaka mark-II, is a guided one unlike the earlier version and has navigation, guidance and control kit.
• The range of new version is more than 70 kilometre which was earlier only 40km.
• It is a multi-barrel rocket launcher which can fire a salvo of 12 rockets in 44 seconds.
4.5. MILITARY EXERCISES
• Recently, 13th edition of the Joint Military Exercise SURYA KIRAN between India and Nepal was held. It is a biannual event which is conducted alternatively in Nepal and India.
• Recently, Indian Army and Air Force conducted exercise 'Vijay Prahar' to finetune Joint manship to maximize the impact of Joint Operations.