Current Affairs 27 March 2019 Digest 3: India becomes 4th largest space power; Niti Aayog, ABB organise AI workshop for MSMEs

Under Mission Shakti, India successfully targeted and shot down a live satellite on a Low Earth Orbit with an anti-satellite missile (A-SAT) within a matter of just three minutes.


Created On: Mar 27, 2019 14:20 ISTModified On: Mar 28, 2019 15:13 IST
Current Affairs 27 March 2019 Digest 3: India becomes 4th largest space super power

Story 1- PM Modi’s address: India becomes 4th largest space power!

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 27, 2019 announced that India has established itself as the world's 4th largest space super power. The Prime Minister stated that the feat is historic, as till now, only three countries in the world – United States of America, Russia and China have achieved this.

The information of the address was shared by the Prime Minister through a tweet where he asked all the citizens to stay tuned to television, radio or social media. The announcement follows a meeting of the cabinet committee and the cabinet committee on security (CCS).

Key Highlights

The Prime Minister announced the success of ‘Mission Shakti’, in which Indian scientists successfully targeted and shot down a live satellite on a Low Earth Orbit with an anti-satellite missile (A-SAT) within a matter of just three minutes.

He announced that India has joined the elite league of space powers and the whole mission required a lot of complex scientific maneuvers and techniques, which India was able to see through successfully.

At the same time, the Prime Minister assured that the newly acquired capability will not be used against anyone and that it was purely for India's security.

The Prime Minister claimed that the entire operation, called 'Mission Shakti' was entirely indigenous.

Mission Shakti: Significance

1. India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised and modern capability.

2. The entire mission was indigenous, signifying India's scientific, security and economic progress.

3. The anti-satellite missile, A-SAT, is expected to give a sound, solid footing to India's space security.

4. The mission is an important step towards securing India's safety, economic growth and technological advancement.

What is Low Earth Orbit?

A Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is an Earth-centered orbit with an altitude of 2,000 km or less.

Most of the manmade objects in space are situated in the LEO. The altitude of an object in an elliptic orbit can vary significantly along the orbit.

A low Earth orbit requires the lowest amount of energy for satellite placement. It provides high bandwidth and low communication latency.

The satellites and space stations in the LEO are more accessible for crew and servicing.

What are Anti-satellite weapons?

The anti-satellite weapons (A-SAT) are designed to incapacitate or destroy satellites for strategic military purposes.

Several nations possess operational ASAT systems, with others in development or design.

Although no A-SAT system has yet been utilised in warfare, several nations have shot down their own defunct satellites to demonstrate their ASAT capabilities in a show of force.

Including the current development, only the United States of America, Russia, China and India have demonstrated this capability successfully.

Story 2- Niti Aayog, ABB organise workshop on Artificial Intelligence

Niti Aayog and ABB India on March 26, 2019 organised a workshop to discuss regulatory and financial concerns relating to the adoption of Artificial Intelligence and automation technology by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

The workshop on manufacturing in the age of Artificial Intelligence was held at the ABB Ability Innovation Center in Bengaluru where industry and policymakers discussed various aspects of AI and automation adoption.

Key Highlights

During the workshop, all stakeholders of the MSME value chain were brought together on a common platform to identify the roadblocks they face in growth, be it in business models, financing or skilled labour.

The event aims to address the issues faced by the MSMEs using tools ranging from policy to technology.

The workshop deliberated upon exploring innovative business and economic models to accelerate technology adoption by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), while optimising costs.


In 2018, Niti Aayog and ABB had signed a statement of intent to support the government to realise its 'Make in India' vision through advanced manufacturing technologies that incorporate the latest developments in robotics and artificial intelligence.

As India gets recognised as a global hub for AI technologies and Industry 4.0 reshapes global manufacturing in the coming decades, companies like ABB with a legacy of global technology leadership are expected to lead the revolution by enabling India’s vibrant MSME base.

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