The Hindu: 20th April 2012, Friday

1. Agni V: Frontpage

Relevance: Focus on the factual details like it’s a 3 stage ICBM which uses solid propellants, 5000 km range, India only the 5th country after USA, France, China and Russia to have this technology etc. It’ll enable India to leapfrog into areas of Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles(MIRV), anti satellite weapons and the capability to launch satellites on demand etc.

Clue: Read about the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, Ballistic missiles, Cruise missiles, hypersonic, subsonic and supersonic missiles, Surface to surface missiles (Prithvi, Agni, Surya, Shaurya), Surface to Air(Trishul, Akash), Air to Air(Astra), Nag, Nirbhay, Pinaka, Prahar, Brahmos etc.

Also know about the important technologies used in missile development like Fire and forget, Stealth technology, BVRAAM etc.

Do you know the maximum range of the Brahmos missile was deliberately kept at 290km (10 less than 300km) to avoid any conflict with the norms of Missile Technology Control Regime(MTCR)?

2. An elusive turnaround: Pg10

Relevance: A good read on the Air India issue, know the major initiatives taken to save the national airline.

3. Key report on: Pg12

Relevance: A lot many times I have given reference to the Ashok Chawla Committee on natural resources.

The crux of the report was that it strongly recommended market based pricing for allocation of all natural resources. Its major recommendations for major sectors can be summarised as:

i. Petroleum

–>Open acreage licensing for oil and gas blocks, creation of National Data repository for sharing of exploration data, a separate upstream regulator etc

ii. Coal

–>set up a platform where block owners can sell their excess coal at market price, need for an independent coal regulator etc

iii. Water

–>bring it to concurrent list, a model water law should be enacted,rationalise water prices etc.

iv. Telecom

–> all fresh allocations through competitive auctions, no FCFP, single unified telecom licensing, allow spectrum trading etc.

v. Forest

–> Classify forests according to ecological values to remove delays in giving environment clearances, land users have to pay Net Present Value of forest land, reassessment of valuation of land etc.

4. India can’t be target: Pg13

Clue: Search all the four major export control regimes: MTCR, Australian Group, Wassenar Agreement and NSG, their history, membership criteria, member countries etc.

Which of the above mentioned group was initially known as the ‘London Group’?

5. Sushma Swaraj hands: Pg14

Relevance: Prepare a general literature on the development work carried out by Indian companies or funded by GOI in Sri Lanka like $800 million credit to SL, construction of 50000 houses, development of Kankesanthurai port, proposed NTPC plant at Trincomalee, construction of railway in northern war affected region, 500 tractors given as agricultural aid, humanitarian work done by SEWA etc.

6. Trade deficit: Pg15

Relevance: Mark the important figures, terms etc.

7. Other potential 2 markers and tidbits: Mohd Nasheed, M Abdul Gayoom(Frontpage), C-DAC(Pg7), Majuli Island(Pg9), Ranges of Agni I II III IV V missiles(Pg13).

I found only these items useful in Friday’s paper. If you could spot some thing more which is relevant to CSE please feel free to post in comments section.

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