PIB – 23rd Jan 2021

Successful Flight Test of Smart Anti Airfield Weapon

  • DRDO successfully conducted a captive and release trial of indigenously developed Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from Hawk-I of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) off the Odisha coast on 21 January 2021. 
  • The smart weapon was successfully test fired from Indian Hawk-Mk132 of HAL. This was the 9th successful mission of SAAW conducted by DRDO till now. 
  • It was a text book launch, which met all mission objectives. The telemetry and tracking systems installed at Interim Test Range (ITR), Balasore captured all the mission events.
  • SAAW is indigenously designed and developed by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI) Hyderabad. 
  • This is 125 Kg class smart weapon, capable of engaging ground enemy airfield assets such as radars, bunkers, taxi tracks, and runways etc. up to a range of 100 kms. 
  • The high precision guided bomb is light weight as compared to weapon systems of the same class. The weapon was earlier successfully test fired from Jaguar aircraft.

Government utilizes MEITY’s Rapid Assessment System (RAS) for processing feedback on Covid Vaccination

  • Under the Covid Vaccination drive, the Government of India is using ‘Rapid Assessment System (RAS)’, a platform developed by the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) for taking feedback from those who get vaccinated. 
  • This initiative to utilize RAS platform is aimed at improving the vaccination experience for citizens, while ensuring that all norms are being followed during the vaccination process at all vaccination centres.
  • This feedback system will help the Government to make the vaccination process more citizen-friendly. RAS platform has already sent out around 6.2 lakh SMSes to all those who have been vaccinated in a short span of 4 days.

About Rapid Assessment System (RAS):

  1. National e-Governance Division, Ministry of Electronics & IT,  developed Rapid Assessment System (RAS) for online instant feedback for e-services (online as well as offline through counters) delivered by the Government of India and State Governments. 
  2. The main objective of RAS is to continuously assess the quality of eServices, through feedback, under each e-Governance project and realign processes to achieve targeted benefits. 
  3. RAS interface prompts the citizens to provide feedback about the quality of service immediately after the citizen avails an eService of the Government. The analytic features of RAS help integrated departments in system improvement and better delivery of services.

Tripartite agreement signed between MECL, RSMML and DMG for harnessing Potash in Rajasthan

  • A tripartite agreement was signed between Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL), Rajasthan State Mines & Minerals Limited (RSMML) and the Department of Mines & Geology (DMG), Govt. of Rajasthan for taking up feasibility studies of Solution Mining of Potash in the state of Rajasthan.
  • MoU will pave the way to undertake feasibility studies for harnessing sub-surface salt deposits through solution mining, utilise Rajasthan’s rich mineral reserves, boost its economy and establish it as a hub of solution mining of potash, the 1st in the country
  • Rajasthan has huge Potash and Halite resources spread across 50,000 sq. kms in the Nagaur – Ganganagar basin in the northwest. 
  • GSI and MECL have established 2476.58 million tonnes and 21199.38 million tonnes of Potash & Halite respectively. 
  • Bedded Salt formations are strategically useful for underground oil storage, repositories for hydrogen, ammonia and helium gas, storage of compressed gas and nuclear waste. 
  • Potash & Sodium Chloride from the Bedded Salt are extensively used in the Fertiliser Industry and the Chemical Industry respectively.

India’s global position rises both in innovations & publications

  • India’s excellence in science has now been combined with the recognition of its brilliance as an innovative economy.
  • While the country has already attained the third position in terms of publications, it now features among the top 50 innovative economies globally as per the Global Innovation Index (GII), placing it ahead of many developed and developing countries.
  • The combination of scientific excellence and innovation has been possible through encouraging investments in scientific activities, infrastructure as well as manpower development along with boosting of the entire innovation chain in an environment charged with the start-up India movement.
  • India’s national investment in R&D has increased from Rs. 1,13,825.03 crore in 2017-18 to Rs. 1,23,847.71 crore in 2018-19. 
  • At the same time, initiatives of DST like NIDHI have played a crucial role to reach this position. The implementation of NIDHI has nurtured 3681 startups under incubation through the network of around 150 Incubators created by DST, generated 1992 intellectual property. 
  • Among the 13,045 patents sealed in the year 2017-18, 1,937 patents were by Indians. Out of 15,550 patents filed by Indians at Indian Patent Office during 2017-18, 65% were filed from the States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi. 
  • At the same time, the start-up India mission has given a boost to convert these patentable innovative ideas into start-ups levitating India into the country among those with the highest number of start-ups.
  • While the startup India movement and push for patenting has brought a paradigm shift in science and technology, the country has maintained its growth in publications—the traditional indicator of scientific excellence.
  • The number of publications has increased exponentially over the last 10 years.  According to data from the US agency, the National Science Foundation (NSF), India is currently in third place, only behind China and the United States, with 135,788 scientific articles in the year 2018. The NSF database shows that India’s growth rate of scientific publication was 12.9 percent, as against the world average of 4.9 percent. 
  • The country’s per capita R&D expenditure increased to PPP $ 47.2 in 2017-18 from PPP $ 29.2 in 2007-08, as has the R&D manpower to 3.42 lakh in 2018 from 2.83 lakh in 2015. The country now has a stronger manpower base, with India’s researchers per million population increased to 255 in 2017 from 218 in 2015.