Indian Army plans to reduce force strength, decides to cut 1.5 lakh jobs
Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on September 11, 2018 reviewed the ongoing studies to restructure the force.
The four studies demand reducing the 13-lakh strong Army force by at least 150000 over the next few years and revamping the cadre to optimise the functioning at various levels and to make the Army "lean and mean" to fight a modern-day war. The reduction in force strength will save Rs 5000 to 7000 crore annually in revenue expenditure.
Government sets up panel of secretaries to look into e-Commerce issues
The Union Government on September 10, 2018 constituted a group of secretaries to look into the e-Commerce issues. The group will be chaired by the Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
The booming online shopping space has largely been functioning without government regulations until a task force led by then Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia had put together the draft policy. However, the policy faced criticism over its suggestions dealing with data localisation, curbing deep discounting which has been the mainstay of online retailers, and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms.
BARC’s Apsara Reactor recommissioned after 9 years
India’s oldest research reactor 'Apsara', which was shut down permanently in 2009 for repair, was recommissioned with a higher capacity on September 10, 2018 at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay. The refurbished version of the reactor is named as ‘Apsara-upgraded’ (Apsara-U).
Apsara, the first research reactor of Asia, became operational in Trombay campus of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in August 1956. Apsara is a light water swimming pool-type reactor with a maximum power output of one megawatt thermal (MWt).
India’s combat aircraft Tejas successfully completes first-ever mid-air refuelling trial
In a first, Tejas, the advanced version of India’s indigenously produced Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) was successfully refuelled mid-air by a Russian-origin Ilyushin-78 tanker on September 10, 2018.
The mid-air refuelling was a part of a ‘wet contact’ trial for LCA Tejas MK-1. The Russian-origin tanker refuelled the fighter plane, piloted by Wing Commander Siddarth Singh, with 1,900 litres of fuel at an altitude of 20,000 ft. The move demonstrates a key capability sought by the Indian Air Force.
United States announces closure of Palestinian mission in Washington
The United States on September 10, 2018 announced the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) mission in Washington DC.
Explaining the move, the US state department said that the PLO leaders had failed to engage with US efforts to bring about peace with Israel and attempted to prompt an investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court. The move is the latest in a series of measures by the Trump administration against the Palestinian leadership.
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