Current Affairs: January 26, 2012
Kartar Singh Duggal passes away
- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expresses deep grief at the death of his friend and eminent writer Kartar Singh Duggal.
- Mr Duggal was not only a versatile writer who wrote in four languages–Hindi, Punjabi, English and Urdu-but also excelled in public service and as an institution builder.
- Kartar Singh Duggal, born in 1917 was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1988.
Kerala Governor M.O.H. Farook passed away
- Kerala Governor and former Puducherry Chief Minister M O H Farook (75) passed away.
Ellora-Ajanta festival begins
- The four-day Ellora-Ajanta festival began at Soneri Mahal in Aurangabad on the occasion of Republic Day. The festival, being held after a gap of 3 years, is organized at the same time at Sonerai Mahal and Kalagarm, for the first time.
Nagaland Govt declares 2012-13 as ‘Year of Youths-cum-Tribal Festival’
- In order to promote tribal festivals and also to showcase various measures taken to nurture and harness the talents of the youths, the Nagaland Government has declared the year 2012-2013 as the Year of Youth-cum-Tribal Festivals.
- A year-long string of festivals will be organised to be jointly hosted by the respective Tribal Hohos and the District Planning and Development Board in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
63rd Republic Day celebrated in INDIA
- India celebrated its 63rd Republic Day on January 26, 2012
- This year’s Chief Guest in the parade was Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Nineteen of the 24 children selected for the National Bravery Award – 2011 also participated in the parade.
- The highlight of this year’s Parade was the 3,000 kilometer range Agni-IV missile, 150 kms range Prahaar tactical battlefield support missile and the Rustom-1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
- The weaponary put on display by the Indian Army included the T-72 tank, Carrier Mortar Tracked, SMERCH Multiple Launch Rocket System, Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket System.
- The grand finale of the parade was a spectacular flypast by the IAF, with the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft participating in the Parade for the first time.
Quick Facts: Lakshya II
- Lakshya-II – the advanced version of DRDO s Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA).
- Can fly at sea skimming height and can dive down from an altitude of around 800 meters to just 12 m
- Can fly for about 30 minutes.
- It was again successfully flight- tested at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) of Chandipur-on-Sea in Balasore district of Odisha.
- The entire flight was pre-programmed and was totally successful. It demonstrated various technologies and sub-systems including software correction to auto rudder scheme done to prevent loss of mission, engaging and flying in way point navigation mode.
- Designed and developed by the Bangalore based Aeronautical Development Establishment, a premier DRDO laboratory specializing in UAVs and flight control systems.
Quick Facts: Republic Day Chief Guest →Ms Yingluck Shinawatra
- Thailand’s PM
- First woman Prime Minister of Thailand
- At 44 she is the youngest Prime Minister of Thailand
- 28th Prime Minister of Thailand
- Thai businesswoman and politician, member of the Pheu Thai Party
- Third woman chief guest at the Republic Day parade in India
- First Prime Minister of Thailand to attend the Republic Day parade as the chief guest
- Yingluck’s magic: In May 2011, the Pheu Thai Party nominated Yingluck as their candidate for Prime Minister in the 2011 general election. As a Result: The Pheu Thai Party won a landslide victory, winning 265/500 seats House of Representatives of Thailand. This was only the second time in Thai political history that a single party won a parliamentary majority.
Important Facts about Republic Day Guests of India:
- United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II was the first women chief guest at Republic Day parade in 1961, while Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike was the second woman chief guest.
- France has the distinction of being the guest of honour for the maximum four times followed by three times each from Bhutan, Mauritius and USSR/Russia.
Sneha Shekhawat becomes first woman to lead IAF contingent at Republic Day
- Flight Lieutenant Sneha Shekhawat
- First woman to lead an Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent at the 63rd Republic Day parade
- Led the 144-strong IAF contingent at the parade at Rajpath.
- She was assisted by 3 other women Flying Officers Heena Pore, Anupam Chaudhary and Pooja Negi.
Important Firsts on Republic Day 2012
- The latest nuclear capable Agni-IV missile
- C-130J Super Hercules, special operations plane
- A woman officer leading the IAF unit
Quick Facts: C-130J Super Hercules aircraft
- Bought recently from the United States.
- World’s most advanced and tactical aircraft.
- Primarily designed to support India’s special operations requirement.
- Equipped with an Infrared Detection Set (IDS), the aircraft can perform precision low-level flying, airdrops and landing in blackout conditions.
- Self-protection systems and other features are included to ensure aircraft survivability in hostile air defense environments. The aircraft also is equipped with air-to-air receiver refueling capability for extended range operations.
- Ideally suited to India’s mission environment, which often involves operating out of austere, high-elevation airstrips in hot conditions.
- Powered by four Rolls Royce AE2100 engines and Dowty six bladed props which provide the aircraft with tremendous power.
- The aircraft has already demonstrated its responsiveness during the recent Sikkim earthquake where it undertook relief operations within three hours.