- Uttar Pradesh govt plans to turn Shivalik forest into tiger reserve.
- This decision will reduce the increasing human-animal conflict.
- A proposal has been sent to the State government by Saharanpur Divisional Commissioner regarding the same.
- The state govt is very much interested in the proposal and has planned to send it to the centre for a final call.
- If accepted, it would be the fourth tiger reserve in Uttar Pradesh after Amangarh in Bijnor(1), Pilibhit(2) and Dudhwa in Lakhimpur-Kheri.(3)
- The move would help nurture the rich biodiversity of the region.
- The Shivalik forests have an area of 33,220-hectare, spread over the northern part of the state and located at the foothills of the Shivalik range.
- With its broad extension and favourable habitation it is more likely to facilitate the safe movement of tigers.
- The rising tiger population, increases the chances of human-animal conflict. Thus comes the need of increasing the area for movement of tigers.
- This spot is seen as the best suitable spot for the movement of tigers.
- The topography of the forests is similar to that of the Rajaji National Park from where the Uttarakhand government wants to shift the tigers.
- In fact, the area is rich in biodiversity and could be turned into a hub for eco-tourism.
- No tiger has been sighted in the region for the last 10 years, but at least 50 leopards have been counted in the forests.
33 new fighter jets for IAF
- The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved deals worth ?38,900 crore.
- The meeting was chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Thursday.
- This includes procurement of 21 MiG-29 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF), upgrade of 59 of them and acquirement of 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft.
Vladimir Putin – The President
- Also PM Modi and President Putin had a telephonic conversation on Thursday.
- Mr Modi congratulated Mr. Putin for his Presidential term extension after a nationwide vote on changes to the Russian Constitution.
- Now Vladimir Putin is allowed to serve as President for two more six-year terms after 2024, until 2036.
- Putin’s upcoming trip to India is scheduled in October this year.
- Pinaka ammunition, (a multiple rocket launcher )
- Armoured vehicle BMP armament upgrades
- Software Defined Radio (SDR) for the Army,
- Long range land attack missile (LRLAM) systems of over 1000 km range
- Astra Beyond Visual Range (BVR) (an all weather air-to-air missile)
All of which will be procured domestically and worth an estimated ?31,130 crore.
The Su-30 MKI
- The upgradation cost of Sukhoi Su-30 MKI and procurement cost of Mig-29 from Russia is estimated Rs 7,418 crore.
- The Su-30 MKI is built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under the licence from Russia.
- The 12 Su-30MKIs are meant to replace the aircraft that had crashed over the years.
- India has built 272 Su-30 till now.
Other Big Birds
- The 21 MiG-29s had been partially manufactured by Russia for an unfulfilled order and would now be upgraded and delivered to India.
- The most awaited Rafale is also expected to join IAF by the end of this month.
- Another deal for 83 Light Combat Aircraft Mk-1A, estimated to cost ?38,000 crore, is expected to be signed in the next two months.