Global Firepower ranks India’s military as fourth strongest :-
- India’s military is placed fourth on a global index that has ranked 133 countries on the basis of their global military prowess, trailing behind only the US, Russia and China in that order.
- India’s neighbour Pakistan ranks 13 on the Global Firepower (GFP) list 2017.
- Major military powers, France, the UK, Japan, Turkey and Germany, complete the top 10.
How Global Fire Power Index rank the countries ?
- The rankings for the index are reached after judging the countries on 50 parameters including military resources, natural resources, industry and geographical features and available manpower.
India Vs China :-
- Total Armed Personnel :-
According to GFP’s assessment, India leads China in terms of total armed personnel with India’s 4,207,250 personnel against China’s 3,712,500.
- Active Personnel :-
China, however, leads in terms of active personnel with 2,260,000 troops compared to India’s 1,362,500.
- Reserve Components :-
India’s reserve components were assessed to be 2,844,750 while China trailed with 1,452,500.
- Defence Budget :-
The defence budget allocation with China allocating over three times the amount India set aside for its military.
India vs Pakistan :-
- India led the way on all aspects except the number of attack helicopters, self-propelled artillery and waterway coverage as compared to Pakistan.
More than Rs.240 Crore released under HRIDAY Scheme :-
National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) with a total outlay of Rs. 500 Cr. was launched on 21st January, 2015.
About HRIDAY Scheme :-
- HRIDAY scheme aims at preserving and revitalising the soul and the unique character of the heritage cities in lndia.
- Under the Scheme, twelve cities namely, Ajmer, Amritsar, Amaravati, Badami, Dwarka, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Mathura, Puri, Varanasi, Velankanni, and Warangal have been identified for development.
- The mission period of HRIDAY Scheme is till November, 2018.
- So far, 63 projects amounting to Rs. 421.47 cr. for the 12 HRIDAY Cities have been approved under the Scheme out of which 241.26 cr. has been released.
HRIDAY Scheme Supports :-
- The development of core heritage linked civic infrastructure projects which includes revitalisation of urban infrastructure for areas around heritage, religious, cultural and tourism assets of the cities.
- These initiatives include development of water supply, sanitation, drainage, waste management, approach roads, footpaths, street lights, tourist conveniences, electricity wiring, landscaping etc.
Govt to constitute group for charges in SEZ Policy :-
The government will constitute a group to suggest necessary changes in the policy for special economic zones (SEZs).
What are SEZs ?
SEZs are export hubs and contribute significantly to the country’s total outbound shipments. The developers and units of these zones enjoy certain fiscal and non-fiscal incentives such as :-
- No licence required for import.
- Full freedom for subcontracting.
- No routine examination by customs authorities of export/import cargo.
- They also enjoy direct and indirect tax benefits.
What steps have been taken to address concerns of rubber sector ?
- The government has decided to constitute a task force on the commodity for finding out short term solutions and formulating long term strategies to tackle the problems.
- The members of the task force includes representatives of state and central government.
- Several issues related to rubber were discussed including minimum support price, restrictions on import, minimum import price, categorisation of natural rubber as an agricultural product, issue of import of cup lumps, safeguard duty on import and formulation of rubber policy.
China hikes military budget by 8.1% :-
- Le Keqiang highlighted that Beijing will raise its defence budget by a hefty 8.1% over the previous year, signalling the country’s intent to build world-class armed forces.
- The total amount of spending would be $175 billion.
- China has been steadily increasing its military spending. From a budget of $132 billion in 2014, spending rose by 10%, 7.6% and 7% respectively in the following years.
Why China is increasing its defence budget ?
- For building strong naval and air defences, bolstered by the infusion of high technology, derived though greater collaboration between domestic military and civilian industry.
- Further concerns about a spiralling trade war with the United States, Mr. Li said China’s national security environment was undergoing fundamental changes.
Cutting troop numbers
- China had cut out troop numbers by 3,00,000, as part of a road map to build a modern technology driven military force.
Made in China 2025 :-
- New budgetary allocations are made to make China’s a innovation-based economy that would leverage Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Internet of Things to produce world-class products under the ‘Made in- China 2025’ plan.
Shooting World Cup: Manu Bhaker wins 10m Air Pistol gold :-
- 16 years old Manu Bhaker won a sensational gold in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol, to put India firmly on top of the medals tally in the year’s first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup stage in Mexico’s Guadalajara on Sunday.
- Manu beat the host country’s Alejandra Zavala, a two-time World Cup Finals winner, with a 10.8 in the last shot of the 24-shot final, to come out on top with a score of 237.5. Zavala ended at 237.1.
- At the end of day, India’s medal tally now stands at five and their two golds and three bronzes have perched them on the very top with no country managing to win more than one medal so far.