12.05.2019 National and International Current Affairs





IAF receives first Apache Guardian attack helicopters

  • The first of the 22 Apache Guardian attack helicopters, often called “tanks in the air” because they are armed with deadly missiles and rockets, has been formally handed over to the IAF at the Boeing production facility in Arizona, US.
  • Apaches, armed with Stinger air-to-air missiles, Hellfire Longbow air-to-ground missiles, guns and rockets, have been customized to suit IAF’s future requirements.
  • The helicopters will have significant capability in mountainous terrain. They will have the capability to carry out precision attacks at stand-off ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from ground.



Mandatory death penalty under SC/ST Act

  • Section 3 (2) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 stipulates mandatory death sentence in a case where an innocent member of a scheduled caste or a scheduled tribe is convicted and is executed in consequence of a false and fabricated evidence given by the concerned accused.
  • PIL filed by advocate Rishi Malhotra who has sought striking down of the mandatory death penalty provision under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
  • The Supreme Court has sought response from the Centre on a petition challenging the provision of mandatory capital punishment under the SC/ST Act.




NHAI strategy for Rs 3 trillion projects under Bharatmala scheme

  • The NHAI has decided to consider only those projects that require minimal land acquisition as it finalises highway contracts worth about Rs 3 trillion under the Bharatmala scheme.
  • Earlier, freight movement and revenue from projects were given precedence over land acquisition.
  • The reason for shifting priority is land compensation costs, which increased after the new Act — the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (LARR) — came into being in January 2
  • The NHAI plans to raise Rs 10,000 crore through Bharatmala Taxable Bonds in 2019-20. Under Phase 1 of the Bharatmala Pariyojana, the government has approved the implementation of 24,800 km of highways and 10,000 km of balance National Highways Development Projects over five years — from 2017-18 to 2021-22.

The total length of projects under Bharatmala is 65,000 km.


  • ISRO to launch RISAT, a radar imaging satellite
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said the PSLV-C46, on its 48th mission, would launch RISAT, a radar imaging earth observation satellite, on May 22.
  • The PSLV-C46 is the 14th flight of PSLV in ‘core-alone’ configuration.
  • The RISAT-2B would be placed in an orbit of 555 km at an inclination of 37 degrees.
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