Current Affairs in Short: 30 September 2020
The Tamil Nadu government has extended the COVID-19 lockdown till October 31, 2020, with certain ease in restrictions.
PM Modi, Bangladesh PM to hold virtual bilateral summit in December
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to hold a virtual bilateral summit with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina in December 2020. The announcement was made by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on September 29, 2020.
• The bilateral relations of the two neighbouring nations were reviewed during the sixth meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission (JCC), which was co-chaired by Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar.
• During the meeting, External Affairs Minister emphasized the importance of Bangladesh in India's 'Neighborhood First' policy and reiterated India’s commitment to prioritize the supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
• The two Ministers also reiterated their commitment to the finalization of the Interim Agreement for the sharing of Teesta River waters. They also jointly unveiled a commemorative postal stamp issued by the Bangladesh Government on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Lt Gen Menon to take over as 14 Corps Commander in mid-October
• Lieutenant General PGK Menon will take over as the next 14 Corps Commander in Leh around mid-October.
The incumbent Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, who completed his one-year tenure, will take over as the commandant of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun.
• The 14 Corps also known as the Fire and Fury Corps is in-charge of looking after the entire Eastern Ladakh area where China transgressed at multiple locations in April-May 2020.
• The 14 Corps Commander is also involved in the military talks that are held with the Chinese to resolve the issue between both countries in that sector. Lt Gen Menon had participated in the Corps Commander level talks on the last occasion and it was made clear by authorities that he would succeed Lt Gen Harinder Singh in Leh.
India successfully test-fires BrahMos supersonic cruise missile
• India successfully test-fired the extended range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on September 30, 2020. The BrahMos missile is capable of hitting targets at over 400 kilometre range.
• DRDO Chairman Dr. G Satheesh Reddy said that the successful test will lead to adding more indigenous content to the supersonic cruise missile. The BrahMos can be launched from submarines, ships, fighter jets or land.
• The test-firing was carried out under the PJ-10 project of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The missile was launched with an indigenous booster from a land-based facility in Odisha.
• This is the second test-firing of the extended range version of the missile that has an indigenously developed airframe and booster. The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile has been developed as a joint venture between the DRDO and Russia’s Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM).
Tamil Nadu extends lockdown till October 31 with certain ease in restrictions
• The Tamil Nadu government on September 29, 2020 has extended the COVID-19 lockdown till October 31, 2020, with certain ease in restrictions. The announcement was made by the state’s Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
• The state has put on hold its earlier order that permitted students of Class X, XI and XII to go to school voluntarily to clear doubts from teachers. The decision on the same will be taken later after discussion with expert committee recommendations.
• As per the new order, restaurants and tea shops will remain open from 6 am to 9 pm and parcel services will be allowed until 10 pm. The cine industry has also been allowed to operate with 100 persons at a time while shooting but no visitors will be allowed.
• The state has also allowed 100 flights from other states to land in Chennai airport daily. No international flights are being allowed except those permitted by the Home Ministry. The operation of the suburban trains continues to be suspended.
HAL rolls out 300th Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv
• Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) rolled out the 300th Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-Dhruv) in Bengaluru on September 29, 2020. This marks a remarkable feat in the indigenous weapon production programme.
• HAL is producing 73 Advanced Light Helicopters, out of which 41 are contracted for Army and 16 each for the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard.
• Among these, 38 ALHs have already been produced and the remaining helicopters will be completed by 2022.