BrahMos Supersonic Missile Test
Why in news?
- The Indian Navy showcased its formidable naval capabilities by successfully launching a BrahMos supersonic missile from the INS Mormugao warship at the Mormugao Port in Goa.
Date: May 14, 2023
Location: Mormugao Port, Goa
Missile: BrahMos supersonic cruise missile
Warship: INS Mormugao, a Visakhapatnam-class destroyer
Objective: Test the firing capabilities of the indigenous missile system
Significance: Showcasing the firepower and self-reliance of the Indian Navy
Indian Navy’s Military Strength
- The successful launch from INS Mormugao highlights the Indian Navy’s growing military prowess and its commitment to modernization.
- The country has been actively developing indigenous defense systems, including the BrahMos missile, Indigenous Air Carrier, and Light Combat Aircraft. These advancements signify India’s progress towards achieving self-reliance in defense technology.
BrahMos Missile Overview
- It is World’s fastest supersonic cruise missile, Jointly developed by the Indian Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia-based Rocket Design Bureau, NPO Mashinostroyeniya.
- Features a two-stage design with a solid propellant booster engine for high-speed performance
- Incorporates innovative technology and advanced guidance system with cutting-edge software
Missile Flight Range and Capabilities
- It has a flight range of approximately 290 km with supersonic speed.
- Unique features include quick engagement time, non-interception by any existing weapon system, and efficient fuel management.
- Operates on the “Fire and Forget Principle” and can engage multiple targets.
- Exhibits high kinetic energy upon impact, enhancing its destructive power.
- This is the second warship of the Visakhapatnam-class stealth guided missile destroyers.
- It has constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai.
- It was commissioned on December 18, 2022.
- It has been named after Mormugao Port City in Goa.
- It plays a vital role in the Indian Navy’s crucial missions and defense operations.
- The successful test firing of the BrahMos supersonic missile from INS Mormugao underscores the Indian Navy’s growing military strength and commitment to self-reliance in defense technology. This achievement reflects India’s progress in indigenous defense systems and showcases its maritime forces’ firepower. The event signifies a significant step towards fulfilling the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative in the defense sector.
NASA Partners with IBM’s AI
Why in news?
- NASA and IBM have joined forces to create a geospatial model powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. This collaboration aims to conduct environmental research, analyze satellite data, and generate detailed maps to address Earth’s climate crisis.
NASA and IBM Collaborate for a Sustainable Foundation Model
- NASA and IBM have formed an alliance to collect geospatial data and develop a sustainable foundation model.
- With the ever-changing atmospheric conditions on Earth, this partnership aims to identify areas prone to fire, floods, and other landscape formations.
Understanding the Geospatial Foundation Model
- The geospatial foundation model, based on geospatial modeling or Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques, enables the detection of patterns in map-related data. By analyzing these patterns, future conditions can be predicted and identified.
- IBM’s geospatial AI model, known as ‘watsonx.ai,’ will be leveraged to generate valuable information for businesses and research on the impact of climate change.
Introducing Watson AI
- Watson AI is an advanced-level computer system developed by IBM’s research team. Named after IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson, this supercomputer combines AI and software to provide natural language answers to complex questions.
- It will assist NASA’s project by handling visual scientific data and facilitating efficient data processing.
Converting Satellite Observations into Customized Maps
- IBM’s geospatial foundation model will transform NASA’s satellite observations into customized maps of natural disasters and environmental changes.
- These maps will aid in evaluating climate-related risks to buildings, crops, and infrastructure. The goal is to develop strategies for controlling climate change and protecting people and property from its adverse effects.
AI-Based Visualizations and Disaster Management
- IBM’s AI-based visualizations will enhance future projects and disaster management. These visualizations can help reduce the impacts of floods, plan infrastructure, inform insurance and risk management decisions, and protect the environment.
- By training the model using thousands of GPU hours and processing satellite data in smaller chunks, the model’s efficiency has been improved.
Insights for Climate Conditions and Environmental Impact
- The geospatial model will provide insights into different climate conditions and help businesses understand the effects of farming practices on local environments.
- It will serve as the basis for predictive models and programs aimed at improving the environment on a global scale.
- The collaboration between NASA and IBM, powered by AI and machine learning, will enable the development of a geospatial model to study climate data. This initiative aims to address Earth’s climate crisis, identify areas prone to natural disasters, and develop strategies for climate change mitigation and environmental protection.
GSII & GS III
Prime Minister Modi Inaugurates New Parliament Building
Why in news?
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s new parliament building on Sunday, marking a significant step in the government’s plan to modernize the nation’s capital.
Inauguration Ceremony Highlights
- Prime Minister Modi participated in religious ceremonies dressed in traditional attire. He performed Ganapati Homam and paid homage to the ceremonial sceptre called “Sengol,” which holds historical significance tracing back to the Chola dynasty.
- However, the event was marred by a boycott from several opposition parties who argued that President Draupadi Murmu should have been responsible for the inauguration.
- Despite the controversy, the new parliament building boasts state-of-the-art technology and increased seating capacity.
- Twenty opposition parties boycotted the event, insisting that the President, as the head of the state, should have performed the inauguration.
Spiritual Ceremonies and Symbolic Gestures:
- All-religion prayers and Shaivite hymns set the tone for the inauguration ceremony. High priests from Tamil Nadu consecrated the “Sengol” and presented it to Prime Minister Modi.
- He carried the sceptre in a ceremonial procession to the new parliament building and installed it beside the Lok Sabha Speaker’s chair.
- The sceptre symbolizes the transfer of power from British rule to India.
New Parliament Building Features
- The new parliament building, completed in a record time of two and a half years, covers an area of 64,500 sqm.
- It has increased seating capacity, with the Lok Sabha chamber accommodating 888 seats and the Rajya Sabha chamber having 384 seats.
- The building also includes six committee rooms and 92 offices for the Council of Ministers.
- Additionally, it features three galleries highlighting India’s dance, song, architecture, and handicraft traditions.
Vision for a Developed India
- During the inauguration, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the upcoming 100 years of Indian independence and urged citizens to work towards a developed India during this “Azadi ka Amrit Kaal” (era of independence).
- He released a commemorative postal stamp and a special Rs 75 coin to mark the occasion.
Opposition Boycott and Controversy
- Opposition parties expressed their dissatisfaction with the manner in which the inauguration took place, criticizing the exclusion of President Murmu from the event.
- Several Chief Ministers from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) attended the ceremony, while Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy was the only non-NDA leader present.
- Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described the ceremony as unbecoming for the nation.
Despite the opposition boycott, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated India’s new parliament building, symbolizing a shift towards modernization. The event featured religious ceremonies, the installation of the ceremonial sceptre, and the unveiling of a technologically advanced structure. The controversy surrounding the absence of President Murmu during the ceremony added a political dimension to the inauguration.