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PIB Summary for UPSC

19-February -2024

1. IAF CONDUCTS 'EXERCISE - VAYU SHAKTI-24' IN RAJASTHAN

Topic: Important topics for Prelims
Relevant for UPSC as it highlights Indian Air Force’s advanced capabilities, strategic advancements, and commitment to self-reliance.
Context
  • Indian Air Force showcased offensive prowess at Pokhran on 17 Feb 2024, with 120+ aircraft demonstrating precision strikes, including indigenous Tejas, Apache, and Light Combat Helicopter.
 Additional information on this news:
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) showcased offensive capabilities at Pokhran range on 17 February 2024.
  • Chief of Defence Staff, General Anil Chauhan, was the Chief Guest.
  • Event featured Chetak helicopters trooping National Flag, Rafale creating a ‘Sonic Boom,’ and Jaguar aircraft capturing reconnaissance images.
  • Theme: ‘Lightning Strike from the Sky.’ Over 120 aircraft displayed offensive capabilities day and night.
  • Aircraft included Rafale, Su-30 MKI, MiG-29, Mirage-2000, Tejas, Hawk, showcasing precision-guided munitions and conventional attacks.
  • Tejas exhibited swing-role capability, destroying aerial and ground targets. Unmanned drone destroyed simulated enemy radar.
  • Apache attack helicopter, Mi-17, and Chinook demonstrated firepower and rapid deployment.
  • Night events featured indigenous Light Combat Helicopter ‘Prachand,’ strategic bombing, bomb damage assessment, free fall drop, and flare dispensing.
  • Approximately 50 tonnes of ordnance dropped, showcasing IAF’s offensive lethality and precision targeting.
Significance of Military Exercises
  • Enhance combat readiness: Troops practice real-world scenarios, test tactics, and refine skills for actual operations.
  • Improve interoperability: Joint exercises with allies foster communication, understanding of different procedures, and smooth collaboration in future missions.
  • Develop new strategies: Simulated situations allow testing new equipment, exploring innovative tactics, and adapting to evolving threats.
  • Deter potential adversaries: Public displays of military strength and cooperation between nations can discourage aggression and maintain regional stability.
  • Build strategic partnerships: Exercises strengthen diplomatic ties, foster trust, and promote shared security interests among participating countries.
Practice Question:  Critically evaluate the potential benefits and drawbacks of large-scale military exercises in maintaining regional stability. (150 words/10 m)

2. ISRO Announces Young Scientist Programme 2024 (YUVIKA)

Topic: GS2 –  Governance – Government Policies – Interventions for development in various sectors
Enhancing STEM interest in youth, ISRO’s YUVIKA program fosters future space scientists, crucial for India’s technological advancement (UPSC perspective)
Context
  • ISRO’s YUVIKA program imparts space science knowledge to school children, attracting over 1.25 lakh applicants in 2023.
 Additional information on this news:
  • Objective: Impart basic knowledge of space science, technology, and applications to young students.
  • Target audience: School children, with a focus on rural areas.
  • Duration: Two weeks.
  • Activities:
    • Classroom training
    • Practical demonstrations (CANSAT, robotics, model rocketry)
    • Interactions with ISRO scientists
    • Field visits
  • Benefits:
    • Increased awareness of space science and technology
    • Encouragement for STEM careers
    • Development of practical skills
  • Past success: Conducted in 2019, 2022, and 2023 with increasing participation.
  • Selection process: Based on academic performance, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
  • Course content:
    • Lectures
    • Hands-on activities (robotics, rocket/satellite assembly, sky gazing)
    • Technical facility visits
    • Interactions with space scientists.

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