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News For Aspirants

India’s first civil plane in sky


The 14-seater civil aircraft programme, named after the Indian crane Saras, was conceived in the 1990’s as a joint project between India and Russia.

A prototype of Saras, India’s first civil aeroplane, flew on 24 January 2018 for nearly 40 minutes over the Bengaluru skies for the first time in nearly a decade, kindling hopes of a revival of a homegrown civil aircraft programme in the country.



  1. The Saras (PT-1N) plane was piloted by Wg Cdr U P Singhand Group Captain B Panicker, pilots of the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), the Indian Air Force’s elite school for test pilots, people familiar with the development said.
  2. The 14-seater civil aircraft programme, named after the Indian crane Saras, was conceived in the 1990’s as a joint project between India and Russia.
  3. NAL took it on its own when Myasischev Design Bureau, the Russian state agency for civilian planes backed out due to the financial crisis that emerged after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
  4. It took nearly two decades for scientists at NAL to fly the plane first in May 2004.
  5. In 2009, the second prototype of Saras on a test flight crashed on Bengaluru outskirts killing three Indian Air Force pilots.


News For Aspirants

India ranks ninth in market performance


Despite gaining over six per cent, India is not among the top five best-performing global markets in 2018. BRIC peers Brazil and China are among top performing markets, with a gain of 10.3 per cent and nine per cent, respectively, in dollar terms.

Even developed markets, including Japan and Germany, have gained more than India, gains in the US and other European markets are in line with the gains in the domestic market. Experts say the on-going exuberance in the domestic market is on account of a rising risk appetite among global investors.



  1. The key drivers are improving global growth, strengthening commodities prices and weakening of the dollar. Global liquidity conditions also remain supportive, thanks to the ongoing bond-buying programme by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan.
  2. US-based Goldman Sachs said the risk appetite currently is at its “highest level on record” and is fuelling a rise in risky assets, with world market capitalisation gaining over $4 trillion this year.
  3. Foreign institutional investor (FII) inflows into the Indian markets are nearing $1.5 billion. Asian peers such as Taiwan and South Korea are attracting more FII flows than India Asian peers such as Taiwan and South Korea are attracting more FII flows than India.
  4. While high-risk appetite increases the risk of disappointment, we find historically that the signal from macro data tends to trump the signal from risk appetite.


News For Aspirants

Driver gets second highest award


Gujarati bus driver Sheikh Salim Gafur, who defied terrorists’ bullets and saved 52 Amarnath pilgrims, has been awarded the ‘Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak’, the second highest honour given to civilians for gallantry.

This was announced by the Home Ministry ahead of the Republic Day on 24 January 2018. Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak is the highest honour given to civilians for gallantry.



  1. Gafur has been selected for the honour as he displayed some rare gritand bravery and continued to drive the bus of the Amarnath pilgrims, which came under attack by the militants on July 10, 2017, in Jammu and Kashmir.
  2. Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 14 others injured when terrorists opened fire on the bus Gafur was driving near Batengoo in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir while around 52 other bus passengers escaped unharmed due to the presence of mind and bravery of the driver. Besides, the award, Gafur will also be honoured with Rs one lakh cash at a special function later.
  3. A total of 107 police gallantry medals have been given this year to police personnel with the maximum for Jammu and Kashmir Police (38 medals), followed by CRPF (35 awards), Chhattisgarh (10), Maharashtra (7), Telangana (6) among others. These also include 5 IPS officers. The data shows that the maximum gallantry awards were given to the security personnel involved in counter-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
  4. Police medals for gallantry have been given to 35 personnel serving in Naxal affected areas and three in the Northeastern region. As many as seven police officers were awarded police medal for gallantry posthumously. Among them six were from Chattishgarh Police who laid down their lives in anti-Naxal operations at Chintagufa in Sukma district.
  5. CRPF ASI Nand Kishore Prasad has been decorated with police gallantry medal for showing exemplary courage in counter-operation against terrorist who attacked bus carrying BSF personnel on June 3, 2016. A total of 785 police medals were announced for 2018 of which 616 were for Police Medals for Distinguished Service.



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