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Important CurrentAffairs for CLAT-21st December 2022

Fifth Scorpene Submarine ‘Vagir’ Delivered to Indian Navy

The fifth Scorpène submarine, Vagir of Project – 75 Kalvari Class submarines has been delivered to the Indian Navy by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai. Defence Ministry said, the submarine would shortly be commissioned into the Navy and enhance its capability. Project-75 includes the indigenous construction of six submarines of Scorpene design. These submarines are being constructed at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai, under collaboration with Naval Group, France.

About INS Vagir:

Launched on the 12th of November 2020, Vagir commenced the sea trials on the Ist of February 2022 and it has completed all major trials including the weapon and sensor trials in the shortest time in comparison to the earlier submarines. Construction of these submarines in an Indian yard is another step towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat and a notable achievement is that this is the third submarine delivered to the Navy in a span of 24 months. In all, six submarines of the Kalvari class, based on the Scorpene design of the Naval Group of France, are being constructed at the MDL in collaboration with the Naval Group of France.

6th one is undergoing trials:

  • The first of the Kalvari-class sub was commissioned into the Navy in December 2017

  • Vagir, which has been delivered to the Navy, will shortly be commissioned into the force

  • Vagsheer, the 6th & last sub, undergoing sea trials and is likely to be delivered next year.

Significance of this :

India has been focusing on shoring up its maritime capability with a focus on the Indian Ocean in the backdrop of concerns over China’s growing foray into the region, considered the backyard of the Indian Navy.

About Project 75:

  • This project envisages indigenous construction of submarines equipped with the state-of-the-art Air Independent Propulsion system at an estimated cost of Rs. 43,000 crore.

  • Project 75 (I), approved in 2007, is part of the Indian Navy’s 30 year Plan for indigenous submarine construction.

  • It will be the first under the strategic partnership model which was promulgated in 2017 to boost indigenous defence manufacturing.

About 30-year Submarine Plan:

  • The Cabinet Committee on Security, in June 1999, had approved a 30-year submarine-building plan which included construction of 24 conventional submarines indigenously by 2030.

  • P75I succeeded the P75 under which six diesel-electric attack submarines of the Kalvari class, based on the Scorpene class, were being built at MDL (Mazagon Dock Limited) – the third submarine, INS Karanj, was commissioned in March 2021.

  • Of the total 24 submarines to be built in India, six will be nuclear-powered.

  • India has only one nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, at the moment. The INS Arighat, also a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, is to be commissioned soon.

  • INS Chakra, a nuclear submarine, which is taken on lease from Russia, is believed to be on its way back to the country of origin.

Nitin Gadkari Launches First-ever ‘Surety Bond Insurance’ for Infrastructure Projects

Road, transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari launched the country’s first-ever surety bond insurance product, a move that would reduce the dependence of infra developers of bank guarantee. Surety Bond Insurance will act as a security arrangement for infrastructure projects and will insulate the contractor as well as the principal. The product will cater to the requirements of a diversified group of contractors, many of whom are operating in today’s increasingly volatile environment.

What is a Surety Bond :Significance of this:

  • The Surety Bond Insurance is a risk transfer tool for the Principal and shields the Principal from the losses that may arise in case the contractor fails to perform their contractual obligation.

  • The product gives the principal a contract of guarantee that contractual terms and other business deals will be concluded in accordance with the mutually agreed terms. In case the contractor doesn’t fulfil the contractual terms, the Principal can raise a claim on the surety bond and recover the losses they have incurred.

  • Unlike a bank guarantee, the Surety Bond Insurance does not require large collateral from the contractor thus freeing up significant funds for the contractor, which they can utilize for the growth of the business. The product will also help in reducing the contractors’ debts to a large extent thus addressing their financial worries. The product will facilitate the growth of upcoming infrastructure projects in the country.

Jyotiraditya Scindia launched country’s first Green Steel Brand “KALYANI FeRRESTA”


Union Steel Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia has launched India’s first Green Steel Brand “KALYANI FeRRESTA” in New Delhi. This first-of-its-kind steel has been manufactured by a Pune-based Steel company, Kalyani group by using renewable energy resources, leaving zero carbon footprints in the environment.

How this initiative helps?

  • The Kalyani Group initiative will help transform the steel sector’s long-standing identity as a carbon-emitting ‘hard to abate sector’ to a reduced carbon emitting-green steel-producing industry.

  • The steel industry produces 7 per cent of CO2 emissions internationally, while the Indian steel industry accounts for 12 per cent of such emissions. Green steel is manufactured using low-carbon energy sources such as hydrogen, coal gasification and electricity instead the widely used coking coal. The company avoided 76,484 total carbon dioxide (tCO2) emissions, reduced water consumption by 10 per cent and recycled 99.4 per cent of its waste.

What is Green steel?

Green steel is the manufacturing of steel without the use of fossil fuels. This new phenomenon is about producing steel by using low-carbon energy sources such as hydrogen, coal gasification, or electricity instead of the traditional carbon-intensive manufacturing route of coal-fired plants.

Green steel: FAQ

Q1. Which country made green steel?

Answer: Sweden has become the first country in the world to manufacture fossil-free steel which is also known as green steel. Green steel has been developed by HYBRIT Technology and the first delivery was done to Volvo AB as a trial run.

Q2. Who makes the best steel in the world?

Answer: Nippon Steel touts: 1,000-N grade steel is the world’s strongest ultra high strength steel for building structures that was developed to improve the earthquake resistance of buildings.

Digital India Awards 2022: India’s Smart Cities Mission wins Platinum Icon

Digital India Awards 2022:

Under Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has won the Platinum Icon in the Digital India Awards 2022 for their initiative “DataSmart Cities: Empowering Cities through Data”. The award was announced under the ‘Data Sharing and Use for Socio-Economic Development’ category. The DataSmart Cities Initiative is a key step in creating a robust data ecosystem that enables evidence-based decision-making in cities.

What is DataSmart Cities Initiative?

  • The DataSmart Cities Initiative is a key step in creating a robust data ecosystem that enables evidence-based decision-making in cities. It aims to harness the power of data for better governance in India’s 100 Smart Cities.

  • Digital India Awards presents an opportunity to bring to the fore digital initiatives being adopted to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. It is a prestigious National competition that seeks to encourage and honour innovative digital solutions by government entities in realising the Digital India vision.

  • The program has institutionalised a Data Ecosystem in cities through 100 City Data Offices and more than 50 Data Policies.

  • The Smart Cities Open Data Portal has transformed from zero to all 100 Smart Cities now publishing open datasets and contributing to data blogs and visualizations, leading to 1.2+ lakh downloads and 6 lakh views.

  • This initiative has led to generation of more than 180 innovative, scalable, and replicable use cases in collaboration with various stakeholders that are being utilized by cities for better functioning and citizen engagement vis.

About the Digital India Awards:

The Digital India awards instituted in 2009 are one of a kind in India for honouring the efforts of different Government entities in the digital realm. These are conducted by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY). The seventh edition of Digital India Awards (DIA) is being held in 2022.

Digital India Awards (DIA) presents an opportunity to bring to the fore digital initiatives being adopted to transform India into a digitally empowered society & knowledge economy. These awards are instituted under the aegis of National Portal of India to encourage and honour innovative digital solutions by government entities at all levels. DIA 2022 aims to inspire and motivate not only government entities but also start-ups in fulfilling the Digital India vision.

Smart Cities Mission: FAQ

Q1. What is the purpose of the Smart Cities Mission?

Answer: The objective of SCM is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment through the application of ‘Smart’ solutions.

Q2. When was the Smart Cities Mission launched in India? Answer: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Smart Cities Mission in India on June 25, 2015. The project aims to improve the quality of life for people living in India and drive economic growth.

Q3. Who is no 1 smart city in India?

Answer: The smart town Bhopal was given the top spot in the most recent assessment for 2022 by the Union Ministry of Housing and Concrete Affairs.

599th Meeting of Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India

The 599th meeting of the board was held in Kolkata on December 16. The meeting was chaired by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.

Attendees Of The Meeting:

Directors of the Central Board, Satish K. Marathe, Revathy Iyer, Sachin Chaturvedi, Venu Srinivasan, Pankaj Ramanbhai Patel and Dr Ravindra H. Dholakia attended the meeting. RBI deputy governors Mahesh Kumar Jain, Dr Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, and T. Rabi Sankar too attended the meeting.

The Focus Area:

The Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reviewed the current economic situation, and global and domestic challenges including the overall geopolitical developments, finance, and trade. The Board also discussed the activities of select Central Office Departments and the draft Report on the Trend and Progress of Banking in India, 2021-22.

About The Meetings of the Central Board:

(1) Meetings of the Central Board shall be convened by the Governor at least six times in each year and at least once in each quarter.

(2) Any four Directors may require the Governor to convene a meeting of the Central Board at any time and the Governor shall forthwith convene a meeting accordingly.

(3) The Governor or if for any reason, he is unable to attend, the Deputy Governor authorized by the Governor under the proviso to sub-section (3) of Section 8 to vote for him, shall preside at meetings of the Central Board, and, in the event of an equality of voter, shall have a second or casting vote.

70 Years Of India-Japan Relationship: History, Economic ,Defence & Trade Developments

On the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Japan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the ties between the two countries have deepened in every sphere, be it strategic, economic or people-to-people contacts.

Its Background:

  • Formal relations between Japan and India began in 1952.

  • After the Second World War, instead of signing the multilateral San Francisco Peace Treaty, India opted for concluding a bilateral peace treaty with Japan, considering that honour and equality should be ensured for Japan to rejoin the international community. This is the cornerstone of our long-standing friendship.

  • But even before the establishment of diplomatic relations, the goodwill between the people of the two countries was deeply rooted through business, academic and cultural exchanges.

  • In 1951, when India hosted the first Asian Games in New Delhi, it invited Japanese athletes. This was one of the first occasions where the Japanese flag was hoisted after WWII. This experience soothed the minds of Japanese people who were struggling to rebuild their country.

  • After 70 years of multi-layered exchanges, the relationship between our two countries grew into a “Special Strategic and Global Partnership”.

Relations between the two countries:


  • The friendship between India and Japan has a long history rooted in spiritual affinity and strong cultural and civilization ties dating back to the visit of Indian monk Bodhisena in 752 AD.

  • In contemporary times, among prominent Indians associated with Japan were Swami Vivekananda, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, JRD Tata, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Judge Radha Binod Pal.

Strategic Components:

  • Convergence on free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific,

  • Progress in defense and security and in the regional context.

  • India and Japan signed a Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services Agreement (RPSS).

  • The inaugural 2+2 ministerial meeting was held in November 2019.

  • Act East Forum: A decision was taken in the 2017 Summit to establish the India-Japan Act East Forum. The objective is to coordinate developmental projects in North-East India in areas of connectivity, forest management, disaster risk reduction and capacity building.

  • Several projects including upgradation of highways in Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram are underway. The PM had last year laid the foundation stone of a 20 km-long bridge over the Brahmaputra River between Assam and Meghalaya.

  • Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) – The Trade and Economy Ministers of India, Japan and Australia launched the (SCRI) on 27 April 2021. The initiative seeks to enhance the resilience of supply chains in the Indo-Pacific Region and to develop dependable sources of supply and to attract investment. As initial projects (i) sharing of best practices on supply chain resilience; and (ii) holding of a matching event have been completed.

Economic and Commercial relations:

  • Economic relations between India and Japan have vast potential for growth, given the complementarities that exist between the two Asian economies.

  • Japan’s interest in India is increasing due to a variety of reasons including India’s large and growing market and its resources, especially the human resources.

  • The India Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) came into force in August 2011.

    • It is the most comprehensive of all such agreements concluded by India and covers not only trade in goods but also Services, Movement of Natural Persons, Investments, Intellectual Property Rights, Custom Procedures and other trade related issues.

  • Japan has been extending bilateral loan and grant assistance to India since 1958, and is the largest bilateral donor for India

  • The bilateral trade between India and Japan for FY 2019-20 (April – December) totalled US$ 11.87 billion.

Japan’s Investments:

  • India and Japan signed four agreements under which Tokyo is to support health care projects funded under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP) scheme in India.

    • The “Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP)” supports development projects designed to meet the diverse basic human needs of the people in developing countries.

  • Japan has invested ?1,600 crores in development projects across India’s northeastern states and is also working closely with India on infrastructure projects in third countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

  • India and Japan also signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) last September for reciprocal provision of supplies and services between their defence forces.

  • Recently, both nations laid out a roadmap for deepening our Special Strategic and Global Partnership in a post-COVID world.

  • In the recent visit, the Japanese PM had announced an investment target of $42 billion (Rs 3,20,000 crore) in India over the next five years as the two sides concluded a raft of agreements and collaborations to further expand their partnership.


  • India-Japan Defence and Security partnership has evolved over the years and forms an integral pillar of the bilateral ties.

  • Our exchanges have strengthened due to growing convergence on strategic matters and its significance is growing from the common outlook on issues of peace, security and stability of the Indo-Pacific Region.

  • During Prime Minister Singh’s visit to Japan in October 2008, two leaders issued “the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation between Japan and India”.

  • There are also various frameworks of security and defence dialogue between Japan and India including the “2+2” meeting, annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue and Coast Guard-to-Coast Guard dialogue.

  • India and Japan defence forces organise a series of bilateral exercises namely, JIMEX, SHINYUU Maitri, and Dharma Guardian. Both countries also participate in the Malabar exercise with the USA.

Emerging Quad alliance:

  • Both India and Japan have been expanding cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region bilaterally as well as under the framework of the Quad grouping.

    • Quad is an informal strategic dialogue between India, the USA, Japan and Australia with a shared objective to ensure and support a “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.

Enormous possibilities that exists:

  • Plethora of fields to cooperate in, security issues including cyber security, outer space and economic security.

  • Our economic relations can be further augmented: For long, Japan has been the largest ODA (Official Development Assistance) donor to India. One of the most recent and ongoing examples of our collaboration is the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project. Japan is also one of the largest investors in India. Both countries have also promoted economic cooperation in other countries to enhance social infrastructure and connectivity. Our economic partnership can further strengthen the economy of the Indo-Pacific, as well as the world economy.

  • Cultural exchanges including literature, movies, music, sports and academics are essential for our relations, enabling a better understanding.

Indian Forces Acquiring ‘Pralay’ Ballistic Missile for Striking Targets at 150-500 Km

As the conflicts in the border region with China increase, the Indian armed forces are now set to procure the ‘Pralay’ ballistic missile that can hit the target from 150 to 500 km. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had successfully conducted the maiden flight test of the indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile ‘Pralay’, from Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha in December 2021.

About Pralay Capabilities:

  • “The new missile followed the desired quasi ballistic trajectory and reached the designated target with high degree accuracy, validating the control, guidance and mission algorithms. All the sub-systems performed satisfactorily. All the sensors deployed near the impact point across the eastern coast, including the down range ships, tracked the missile trajectory and captured all the events,” the statement read.

  • The Pralay missiles combined with the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles would be the longest-range tactical weapon system in the defence forces as the long-range strategic weapons are controlled by the strategic forces command. The missile can help the troops to completely destroy or take out enemy air defence sites or similar high-value targets.

  • ‘Pralay’ is powered with a solid propellant rocket motor and many new technologies. The missile has a range of 150-500 kilometres and can be launched from a mobile launcher. The missile guidance system includes a state-of-the-art navigation system and integrated avionics.


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