National Affairs October 18-24, 2009

October 18, 2009: US Marine Plane grounded
India cleared the release of a chartered North American aircraft carrying US Marines , a Boeing 767, carrying commandos of the US 205 Marine Unit, was made to land at Mumbai’s Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport, for violating Indian airspace. The pilot of the aircraft failed to ascertain the correct AOR signal when asked for it by the air traffic controller. The aircraft was asked to land after its call sign was not registered.
This is the second instance of a US plane violating Indian airspace, first was landing of a NATO plane bound to Afganistan.

October 19, 2009: Cope India 2009:
Cope India-2009, the sixth in the series of Indo-US air exercise , training the special forces of the two nations in counter-terrorism and anti-piracy operations that began in Agra. It focussed on transport operations, but also insertion and extraction of its special forces in hostile zones, and also searching for pilots, who may have crashed in enemy territory, and rescuing them. USAF’s Cope India Director was Colonel Raymond Lamarche

Agra is the IAF’s major transport base under the Allahabad-headquartered Central Air Command and is said to be the largest air base in South East Asia. It hosted 160 USAF personnel and 250 IAF air warriors during the exercise that closed October 23.

October 22, 2009: 5 New Sites for Nuclear Power Plants:
India has identified five sites in different states for setting up new nuclear power plants with technology and fuel imported from countries with which it has recently signed civil nuclear cooperation agreements. These sites are Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, Haripur in West Bengal, Chhayamithi Virdi in Gujarat and Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh. Light Water Reactors will be set up in these places.

  • Jaitapur reactor would be built in association with Areva company of France,
  • Kudankulam and Haripur reactors would be built with Russian assistance.
  • The reactors in Chhayamithi Virdi and Kovvada would be built with US help.

Please note, India has declared 14 of its 22 existing nuclear reactors to be for civilian purposes and therefore open for international safeguards.

October 24, 2009: New Below Poverty Line (BPL) list by Orissa
The Orissa government has issued directions for Below Poverty Line (BPL) list. The HIV-positive people, tribals, daily labourers, differently abled persons and beggars are included in the new Below Poverty Line (BPL) list. The last BPL census in Orissa was done in 2002 which showed more than 75 lakh families, or 47 per cent of the total population of the state, below the poverty line. The new list has to be prepared in three months. This was done because of the complaints that many well to do people have found place in BPL list. The government has also asked the District colectors to ensure that such unwanted people are ecluded. In Orissa BPL card holder is entitled to 31 different benefits under different schemes.

October 24, 2009: Who is Stewart David Nozette?
Stewart David Nozette is an American scientist who played a key role in India’s Chandrayaan mission in finding evidence of water on the Moon. He was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on charges of spying for Israel with attempting to communicate, deliver and transmit classified information.

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