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    Current Affairs – 18th October 2021


    • News: The Army Aviation has recently got control of Heron-I unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in the eastern sector — these were earlier with the Artillery — bringing all aviation assets under one roof and augmenting its ability to keep an eye on Chinese activities across the border.
    • Details:
      • The move comes just months after the raising of a new Aviation Brigade at Missamari in Assam.
    • About New Army Aviation Brigade:
      • The brigade is mandated with the task of increasing surveillance along the LAC in the eastern sector..
      • The new brigade was raised in March at Missamari in Assam, close to Tezpur, and has capabilities such as Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), Cheetah helicopters and Heron drones.
      • The deployment of Army’s aviation wing also includes weaponised ALH not far from the LAC in Assam. While the function of the new brigade is largely for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) activities of the Army, it has the capability to support the Army for other objectives as well on the LAC.
      • Lt Col Amit Dadhwal said the Army Aviation Corps has evolved from simple fixed wing aircraft with basic avionics to state-of-the-art equipment today, including the ALH Weaponised System Integrated and Light Combat Helicopters.
      • These Rotary Wing platforms provide us and our leaders and commanders a plethora of capabilities so that we can achieve success in all kinds of operations.
      • The helicopters, he said, carry troops in full battle loads in any kind of treacherous terrain and weather conditions, and are used for casualty evacuations, induction and de-induction.


    • News: The death toll in rain-related incidents in Kerala rose to 27 on Sunday, with the recovery of more bodies from the landslip-ravaged areas of Kottayam and Idukki districts.
    • About National Disaster Response Force (NDRF):
      • The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is an Indian specialized force constituted “for the purpose of special response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster” under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
      • The “Apex Body for Disaster Management” in India is the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
      • The Chairman of the NDMA is the Prime Minister.
      • The responsibility of managing disasters in India is that of the State Government. The ‘Nodal Ministry’ in the central government for management of natural disasters is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
      • When ‘calamities of severe nature’ occur, the Central Government is responsible for providing aid and assistance to the affected state, including deploying, at the State’s request, of Armed Forces, Central Paramilitary Forces, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and such communication, air and other assets, as are available and needed.
      • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is under the National Disaster Management Authority.
      • The head of the NDRF is designated as Director General. The Director Generals of NDRF are IPS officers on deputation from Indian police organizations. Director General is a three-star officer.
      • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a force of 13 battalions, organized on para-military lines, and manned by persons on deputation from the para-military forces of India: three Border Security Force, three Central Reserve Police Force, two Central Industrial Security Force, two Indo-Tibetan Border Police and two Sashastra Seema Bal.
      • The total strength of each battalion is approximately 1149.
      • Each battalion is capable of providing 18 self-contained specialist search and rescue teams of 45 personnel each including engineers, technicians, electricians, dog squads and medical/paramedics.
      • These NDRF battalions are located at twelve different locations in the country based on the vulnerability profile to cut down the response time for their deployment.
      • The aim of the National Disaster Management Authority is to build a safer and disaster resilient India by developing a holistic, proactive, multi-disaster and technology driven strategy for disaster management.

    3.    YUDH ABHYAS 2021

    • News: The 17th edition of the India-U.S. bilateral exercise, Yudh Abhyas 2021, got under way at the Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska, U.S., with the two sides set to hone their skills in counter-terror operations in mountainous terrain and cold climate conditions.
    • Details:
      • Interestingly, this is the only India-U.S. service exercise continuing in bilateral format.
      • The India-U.S. Malabar naval exercise became trilateral with the addition of Japan in 2015 and further brought in all the Quad partners together with the inclusion of Australia in 2020.
      • Similarly, Japan joined the India-U.S. bilateral air exercise, Cope India, as an observer in 2018 and the plan is to make it trilateral in phases. India and the U.S. also hold a tri-service exercise.
      • Exercise Yudh Abhyas is the largest running joint military training and defence cooperation endeavour between the two countries.


    • News: The value of a key indicator used in the Global Hunger Index is ‘inflated’ as only 3.9% of the anganwadi children were found to be undernourished.
    • About Global Hunger Index:
      • The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool that measures and tracks hunger globally as well as by region and by country, prepared by European NGOs of Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
      • The GHI is calculated annually, and its results appear in a report issued in October each year.
      • After declining since 2000, hunger at the global level is classified as moderate, according to the 2020 report.
      • Created in 2006, the GHI was initially published by the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Germany-based Welthungerhilfe. In 2007, the Irish NGO Concern Worldwide also became a co-publisher.
      • In 2018, IFPRI stepped aside from its involvement in the project and the GHI became a joint project of Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide.
      • The Global Hunger Index measures hunger on a 100-point scale, with 0 being the best score (no hunger) and 100 being the worst, although neither of these extremes is reached in practice.
      • The severity of hunger associated with the range of possible GHI scores is as follows: 
    Level Value
    Low 9.9
    Moderate 10.0-19.9
    Serious 20.0-34.9
    Alarming 35.0-49.9
    Extremely alarming ≥ 50.0
    • The GHI combines 4 component indicators: 
      • the proportion of the undernourished as a percentage of the population;
      • the proportion of children under the age of five suffering from wasting, a sign of acute undernutrition;
      • the proportion of children under the age of five suffering from stunting, a sign of chronic undernutrition; and
      • the mortality rate of children under the age of five.


    • News: China’s military has carried out its first-ever test of a “nuclear capable hypersonic missile”
    • About Hypersonic Missile:
      • Along with China, the United States, Russia and at least five other countries are working on hypersonic technology.
      • Hypersonic missiles, like traditional ballistic missiles which can deliver nuclear weapons, can fly at more than five times the speed of sound.
      • But ballistic missiles fly high into space in an arc to reach their target, while a hypersonic flies on a trajectory low in the atmosphere, potentially reaching a target more quickly.
      • Crucially, a hypersonic missile is manoeuvrable, making it harder to track and defend against.
      • While countries like the US have developed systems designed to defend against cruise and ballistic missiles, the ability to track and take down a hypersonic missile remains questionable.


    • First movie shot in Space: It has been shot by the Russians over a period of 12 days in International Space Station (ISS). Actress of the movie is Yulia Peresild and director of the movie is Klim Shipenko.