Brahmos missile achieves rare feat
a) Testing BrahMos in the Andaman and Nicobar islands is a symbolic statement, as it brings the strategic Malacca straits under its range. Precise capabilities of BrahMos missile for quick sea access and denial in the event of a conflict, and its testing in the Andaman Sea is a reflection of the changing dynamics in the Indian Ocean.
b) BrahMos is a product of joint collaboration between India and Russia and is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against surface and sea-based targets. The range of the supersonic missile was initially capped at 290 km as per the obligations of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Since India’s entry into the club, the range has been extended to 450 km and the plan is to increase it to 600km.
2. NITI Aayog for less teaching, more research
a) To ensure that investments in research better translate to more products and bolster “innovation and development” The National Institution for the Transformation of India (NITI) Aayog has recommended that faculty at “world class” institutions prioritise research and be allowed to “reduce their teaching responsibility,” if required.
b) The so-called ‘world class universities’ are part of a government-outlined plan to raise funding for 10 public and 10 private universities and mould them into institutions that rank among the world’s best. The names of these institutions are expected to be made public later this year.
c) The NITI Aayog also pitches for a new ‘National Science, Technology and Innovation Foundation’ headed by a distinguished scientist. This will coordinate with science and technology departments, ministries, governments and private sector bodies and deliberate on national issues and recommend interventions.
3. UID can stall fake PAN
a) Mandatory linking of Aadhaar with PAN cannot be considered discriminatory merely because there are “conscientious objectors” who refuse to take the Aadhaar in the name of freedom of choice, privacy and fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution, the government told the Supreme Court.
b) The government further argued against the absolute right to “informational self-determination”. The state seeks information at various points, including at the time of births, deaths and marriages.