Science and Technology (S&T) Digest 16-30 April 2023, Issue 12
Dr Saroj Bishoyi, Research Fellow, VIF

Defence and Security

  1. DRDO & Indian Navy Conduct Trial of BMD Interceptor from Naval Platform
  2. Industry-Friendly Reforms in AHSP to further Promote Ease of Doing Business
  3. New Specialist Units to Counter Cyber Threats and Challenges
  4. Dynatron Services to Undertake Naval Ships and Submarines MRO
  5. India to Buy More Missile Systems from Russia and US
  6. India Ranks the World’s Fourth Largest Military Spender in 2022

STI in Space Sector

  1. ISRO’s PSLV-C55 Places Two Singaporean Satellites into Orbit
  2. India’s Drive into the Space Shuttle Market
  3. G20 Space Economy Leaders Meeting Held in Shillong
  4. SpaceX Starship Rocket Exploded and Failed To Reach Orbit
  5. Sultan Al Neyadi First Arab Astronaut to Complete Spacewalk on ISS
  6. Dewa launches its second nanosatellite DEWA SAT-2
  7. Threats of Chinese Militarization of Space

Nuclear Technology

  1. Approval for the Installation of Ten Nuclear Reactors of 700 MW Each
  2. NTPC, NPCIL Sign Joint Venture Agreement to Develop Nuclear Power Projects
  3. US Says China’s Nuclear Buildup Deeply Concerning
  4. China Embarking on Its Largest Ever Nuclear Arsenal Expansion
  5. G7 Condemns Russia’s Announcement to Deploy Nuclear Weapons in Belarus
  6. Germany Shut Down Its Three Nuclear Power Plants

Emerging Technologies and Applications

  1. Approval of the National Quantum Mission to Scale-Up R&D in QT
  2. Scientists Identified EMIC Waves in the Indian Antarctic Station
  3. Approval for 5000 Passenger EVs and 1000 Cargo EVs
  4. Developing Around 10,000 km of Digital Highways by FY 2024-25
  5. AI To Improve Predictability of Indian Summer Monsoons
  6. Crop specific SOPs Issued for Use of Pesticides with Farming Drones
  7. G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) Held under India’s Presidency
  8. Making India a Global Leader in Agri-Tech Innovation

International Cooperation

  1. Apple Opens Its First Retail Store in India
  2. Apple’s India Sales Surge Nearly 50 per cent to US $6 Billion
  3. India-Dominican Republic S&T Cooperation
  4. Tech Partnership with French Company, Safran, in Defence and Space
  5. India-UK Space Tech Cooperation

Regional and Global Trends

  1. South Korea, US, Japan Hold Missile Defence Drills in East Sea
  2. US Federal Government Facing Challenges Banning TikTok
  3. China’s Warns of ‘Resolute Countermeasures’ over Japan’s Export Controls
  4. China Pursuing the Netherlands’ Aerospace Technologies
  5. China’s Rocket Launch Sent Debris into a ‘No-Fly Zone’

Defence and Security

DRDO & Indian Navy Conduct Trial of BMD Interceptor from Naval Platform

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Navy successfully conducted a maiden flight trial of sea-based endo-atmospheric interceptor missile off the coast of Odisha in the Bay of Bengal on 21 April 2023. The purpose of the trial was to engage and neutralize a hostile ballistic missile threat thereby elevating India into the elite club of Nations having Naval BMD capability. Prior to this, DRDO has successfully demonstrated land-based BMD system with capability to neutralize ballistic missile threats, emerging from adversaries. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, Indian Navy and Industry involved in successful demonstration of ship based Ballistic Missile defence capabilities. Click here to read...

Industry-Friendly Reforms in AHSP to further Promote Ease of Doing Business

The Ministry of Defence has approved a proposal for bringing in industry-friendly reform related to Authority Holding Sealed Particulars (AHSP). The AHSP is the authority which is responsible for generating, maintaining, updating or declaring obsolete the entire history and technical information of defence products.Under the existing procedure, certain bottlenecks were experienced by the industry to bring timely improvements in their products and technologies in line with changing times. Therefore, the Ministry has decided now to liberalise the AHSP procedures and make it industry-friendly.The Indian defence companies will now be allowed to own and account for their final designs and specification as AHSP. Click here to read...

New Specialist Units to Counter Cyber Threats and Challenges

Amid the rising activities of adversaries China and Pakistan in the online domain to target India, the Indian Army has operationalised new specialist units to counter these threats and challenges under its cyber warfare initiatives. The decision was taken during the Army Commanders Conference held in the third week of this month headed by Army Chief Gen ManojPande. The government sources said that Cyberspace has emerged as an important component of the military domain both in grey zone warfare as well as conventional operations.Specifying the role of these new units, “These organisations will assist the formations to undertake the mandated cyber security functions to strengthen the cyber security posture of the Indian Army." Click here to read...

Dynatron Services to Undertake Naval Ships and Submarines MRO

In keeping with the GoI’s vision of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’, the Marine division of Crown Group, DynatronServices has enhanced its maintenance facilities in Mumbai with state-of-the-art technologies and machinery to undertake repairs, overhaulsand upgradation of naval ships and submarines. Dynatron's Karwar facility has the largest private sector workshop near the Karwar naval base, which is spread over 5 acres with facilities forrepair and overhauling of all marine components, manufacture of sparesalong with Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics workshop. Theworkshop is supporting MRO activities for the aircraft carrier, warshipsand submarines at the Naval base. The Karwar facility is also contributing to the development of India’s indigenous defence manufacturing capabilities. Click here to read...

India to Buy More Missile Systems from Russia and US

India plans to buy missile systems from both the US and Russia worth around US $ 200 million. A proposal by the defence forces is at an advanced stage in the defence ministry as per which the Indian Navy has proposed to acquire over 20 Klub anti-ship cruise missiles from Russia and equipment for the American Harpoon anti-ship missile system, defence sources told ANI. The Klub missile from Russia is equipped on both the surface warships and submarines of the Indian Navy and has been one of the importing weapon systems for it for a long time. The Harpoon missile system acquisition is expected to cost around US $80 million to the Indian Navy under a foreign military sales route. Click here to read...

India Ranks the World’s Fourth Largest Military Spender in 2022

According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report, India was the world’s fourth largest military spender in 2022, with its defence spending increasing by around six percent as compared to 2021. The SIPRI report said around 23 percent of the total spending by India was towards funding equipment and infrastructure, including that along the China border where tension continues. However, a major part of the spending was on expenditures like salaries and pensions. With military expenditure of US$81.4 billion (one billion=100 crore), India’s spending was up by six per cent from 2021 and by 47 per cent as compared 2013. In 2021, India's military spending of US $76.6 billion ranked third highest in the world. Click here to read...

STI in Space Sector

ISRO’s PSLV-C55 Places Two Singaporean Satellites into Orbit

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched the PSLV-C55 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota and placed two Singaporean satellites for Earth observation into the intended orbit. Talking about the launch ISRO chief S Somanath said the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) once again in its 57th flight demonstrated its reliability and suitability for commercial launch. This launch also has significance as far as the Indian space startup ecosystem is concerned as NSIL’S (New Space India Limited) dedicated commercial rocket carried the two Singapore satellites as main payloads and seven non-separating payloads belonging to ISRO, Indian Institute of Astrophysics and startups Bellatrix and Dhruva Space. Click here to read...

India’s Drive into the Space Shuttle Market

In the early hours of April 2nd in Karnataka, an Indian Air Force Chinook helicopter took off on a mission that has never been attempted. The chopper was carrying India's first RLV, short for Reusable Launch Vehicle to conduct a precise, high-speed unmanned landing. The Chinook flew to an altitude of 4.5 Kilometers, shattering records for carrying a winged body to such a height. With its low cost, sustainable space exploration will be possible – Space X now has a rival. As per a report by the Indian Space Association (ISA) and Ernst &Young (EY), the satellite manufacturing sector is expected to grow from $2.1 billion in 2020 to $3.2 billion in 2025, while launch services will grow from $567.4 million in 2020 to $1 billion in 2025. Click here to read...

G20 Space Economy Leaders Meeting Held in Shillong

Under the G20 Presidency of India, the two-day precursor event of the fourth edition of the Space Economy Leaders Meeting (SELM) began at Courtyard Marriot Hotel in Shillong, Meghalaya on 17 April 2023.While addressing the inaugural session of G20 Space Economy Leaders Meeting, Minister of Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh described India as an emerging Space economy. The Minister said that India is one of the very few countries who have built end to end capability in space. Over these years, space technology has penetrated to all walks of life. As a result, there is a huge demand for space based services which have huge commercial potential. Click here to read...

SpaceX Starship Rocket Exploded and Failed To Reach Orbit

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship rocket exploded and failed to reach orbit, moments after it was launched from South Texas on 20 April 2023, The New York Times reported. Minutes after taking off from a launch pad in South Texas, the rocket appears to have exploded above the Gulf of Mexico. Although the spacecraft was unable to enter orbit, this failure was not fatal. Elon Musk, the company’s founder, had tempered expectations prior to the launch stating that it might take several tries for Starship to be successful at this test flight, which was intended to reach speeds high enough to enter orbit before crashing down in the Pacific Ocean close to Hawaii. Recently, the first launch of SpaceX’s Starship was called off at the last minute after a pressurisation issue arose in the first stage, reported CNN. Click here to read...

Sultan Al Neyadi First Arab Astronaut to Complete Spacewalk on ISS

On 28 April 2023, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) achieved a new milestone when astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi ventured out of the International Space Station (ISS) and completed his spacewalk. With the conclusion of the mission task, the UAE commemorates Al Neyadi as the first Arab to undertake a spacewalk during Expedition 69, currently underway on the ISS. This accomplishment marks an important step forward for the Arab world’s participation in space exploration. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said, “After three years of intensive training, today we see Sultan Al Neyadi on his first spacewalk, carrying out several tasks outside the International Space Station. Click here to read...

Dewa launches its second nanosatellite DEWA SAT-2

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has successfully launched its second nanosatellite, DEWA SAT-2, aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA. The launch of DEWA SAT-2 underlines DEWA’s leadership in using space technologies to improve the operations, maintenance and planning of electricity and water networks. The nanosatellite was designed and developed by Emiratis at DEWA’s Research and Development Centre, in collaboration with Nano Avionics in Lithuania. The MD and CEO of DEWA, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, said DEWA is keen to use the latest technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain in exchanging information through satellite communications and earth observation technologies. Click here to read...

Threats of Chinese Militarization of Space

A US national security expert has warned about China’s developing cyber capabilities. This comes after a classified U.S. intelligence leak reportedly exposed the country’s efforts to build weapons to overtake enemy satellites. Former US national security adviser for Vice President Cheney, John Hannah, has issued a warning on China’s aggressive investments in technology, arguing that their strategy is intended to disrupt, degrade and destroy U.S. space capabilities. Hannah on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast”, explained: “The future of warfare, one of the most contested domains, is going to be space. Space, in essence, is the new high ground. [The] country that controls space and the next battlefield is effectively, I think, got the best chance of actually winning the war.” Click here to read...

Nuclear Technology

Approval for the Installation of Ten Nuclear Reactors of 700 MW Each

The Government of India has given bulk approval for the installation of ten nuclear reactors. In a statement laid on the floor of the floor of the Lok Sabha, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the Government has roped in PSUs for the installation of the nuclear reactors or the exercise would be done exclusively by the specialized Government agencies The Government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for 10 indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors of 700 MW each in fleet mode. The Government has amended the Atomic Energy Act in 2015 to enable the Joint Ventures of NPCIL with Public Sector Enterprises to set up nuclear power projects. These reactors are planned to be set up in ‘fleet mode’ progressively by the year 2031 at a cost of Rs. 1,05,000 crores. Click here to read...

NTPC, NPCIL Sign Joint Venture Agreement to Develop Nuclear Power Projects

NTPC signed a supplementary joint venture agreement with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) in New Delhi for the development of nuclear power projects. The joint venture will develop two pressurized heavy-water reactor projects, which include 1,400 MW Chutka in Madhya Pradesh and 2,800 MW Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan, confirmed the Power Ministry. The Ministry said in a statement that “This Supplementary Joint Venture Agreement marks a pivotal step for NTPC Ltd. and NPCIL to collaborate and cooperate in the field of development of Nuclear Power projects which shall help the country in meeting its Clean Energy Commitments to achieve net zero emission target by 2070.” Click here to read...

US Says China’s Nuclear Buildup Deeply Concerning

US Department of State Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said that “The PRC’s nuclear buildup is deeply concerning, and it raises questions about the PRC’s intent and it reinforces the importance of pursuing practical measures to reduce nuclear risks”. Patel said that “The pace at which the PRC is operating will create new stresses on international stability and new challenges for deterrence, assurance, arms control, and risk reduction.” He said the US will continue to press the PRC to engage in substantive bilateral and multilateral engagements to reduce nuclear risk”. Some foreign affairs experts have claimed that China could abandon its “no first use” if it achieves the goal of modernizing its military. Click here to read...

China Embarking on Its Largest Ever Nuclear Arsenal Expansion

China is pushing ahead with the largest-ever expansion of its nuclear arsenal, modernising the atomic deterrent with an eye on any future conflicts with the United States. The SIPRI think tank estimates that China has a stockpile of around 350 nuclear warheads, a small number when compared with the United States and Russia. But it is growing fast, and could have 1,500 warheads by 2035. Since its first nuclear test in 1964, China has been content to maintain a comparatively modest arsenal and has maintained that it will never be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict. But in recent years, under President Xi Jinping, it has begun a massive military modernisation drive that includes upgrading its nuclear weapons to not only deter foes but also be able to counter-attack if deterrence fails. Click here to read...

G7 Condemns Russia’s Announcement to Deploy Nuclear Weapons in Belarus

Condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus, the Group of Seven (G7) called it “unacceptable,” according to the statement released by G7. In the statement, “the G7 Foreign Ministers reaffirmed that Russia’s irresponsible nuclear rhetoric is unacceptable”. It added, “they concurred on reinforcing coordination to prevent and respond to the evasion of sanctions as well as third-party weapon supply to Russia”. Earlier, Putin made a statement about plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in the territory of Russia’s neighbour and ally. Putin has said the construction of storage facilities for tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus will be completed by 1 July 2023, adding that Russia has helped modernise Belarusian warplanes, making them capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Click here to read...

Germany Shut Down Its Three Nuclear Power Plants

Germany has shut down its three nuclear power plants, marking the end of the ‘nuclear era’ that has spanned more than six decades. Germany’s Federal Minister for the Environment and Consumer Protection and a Green Party member, Steffi Lemke, said that the position of the country is ‘clear’. Nuclear energy is not green nor sustainable energy. In Germany, there are debates on closing nuclear energy as there are some who want to end reliance on technology and view it as unsustainable, dangerous and a distraction from speeding up renewable energy. Meanwhile, others see that closing down nuclear plants is short-sighted. They see it as turning off the tap on a reliable source of low-carbon energy at a time when drastic cuts to planet-heating pollution are needed. Click here to read...

Emerging Technologies and Applications

Approval of the National Quantum Mission to Scale-Up R&D in QT

The Indian government has approved the National Quantum Mission (NQM) at a total cost of Rs.6003.65 crore from 2023-24 to 2030-31, aiming to seed, nurture and scale up scientific and industrial R&D and create a vibrant & innovative ecosystem in Quantum Technology (QT). This will accelerate QT led economic growth, nurture the ecosystem in the country and make India one of the leading nations in the development of Quantum Technologies & Applications (QTA). The mission will help develop magnetometers with high sensitivity in atomic systems and Atomic Clocks for precision timing, communications and navigation. It will also support design and synthesis of quantum materials such as superconductors, novel semiconductor structures and topological materials for fabrication of quantum devices. Click here to read...

Scientists Identified EMIC Waves in the Indian Antarctic Station

Scientists have identified Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves, a form of plasma waves in the Indian Antarctic station, Maitri, and studied its characteristics. These waves play an important role in precipitation of killer electrons (electrons having speed close to speed of light, which form the radiation belt of planet Earth), which are hazardous to our space-borne technology/instruments. The study can help understand the impact of energetic particles in the radiation belts on the low orbiting satellites. The study of plasma waves provides us with information on regions inaccessible to us, transport mass and energy across different regions, how they interact with charged particles, and control the overall dynamics of the Earth’s magnetosphere. One such wave is the EMIC, traversing plasma waves observed in the Earth’s magnetosphere. Click here to read...

Approval for 5000 Passenger EVs and 1000 Cargo EVs

Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC), a Maharatna company and the leading NBFC in Indian power sector, has sanctioned a loan of ₹633 crores to Gensol Engineering Ltd (GEL) for purchase of 5000 passenger Electric Vehicles (EVs) and 1000 cargo EVs. The passenger EVs will be leased to Blusmart Mobility Pvt. Ltd (BMPL) to expand its fleet of ride-hailing cabs. The first tranche of the loan has been disbursed, and the first lot of EV cabs has hit the roads of Delhi. The 5000 passenger e4Ws (Electric Four-Wheelers) funded by PFC are being deployed in Delhi and would result in emission savings of over 1,00,000 tons of CO2 equivalent. This is equivalent to the amount of CO2 absorbed by over 5 million fully-grown trees in a year. Click here to read...

Developing Around 10,000 km of Digital Highways by FY 2024-25

NHAI is working towards development of around 10,000 km of Optic Fibre Cables (OFC) infrastructure across the country by FY2024-25. National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML), a fully owned SPV of NHAI, will implement the network of Digital Highways by developing integrated utility corridors along the National Highways to develop OFC infrastructure. Around 1,367 km on Delhi - Mumbai Expressway and 512 km on Hyderabad - Bangalore Corridor have been identified as pilot routes for the Digital Highway development. Providing internet connectivity to remote locations across the country, the OFC network will help to expedite the roll out of new age telecom technologies like 5G & 6G. Click here to read...

AI To Improve Predictability of Indian Summer Monsoons

A newly devised algorithm powered by AI can help increase the predictability of the Indian Summer Monsoons (ISMR) 18 months ahead of the season. The algorithm called predictor discovery algorithm (PDA) made using a single ocean-related variable could facilitate skillful forecast of the ISMR in time for making effective agricultural and other economic plans for the country. The findings published in Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society paves way for long-lead skilful prediction of ISMR in coming years with accelerating improvement of coupled climate models together with the advent of nonlinear machine learning tools. Click here to read...

Crop specific SOPs Issued for Use of Pesticides with Farming Drones

On 20 April 2023, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar released Crop Specific “Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the Application of Pesticides with Drones” in the public domain for the guidance of farmers and other stakeholders. The Minister also released a booklet titled “Machinery for Millets Production, Processing and Value Addition”. There are possibilities of new challenges in the agriculture sector, therefore, along with change in strategy from time to time, change in methodology is necessary. Drone technology has been accepted by the government in the Agriculture sector. Last time when there was an outbreak of locusts, the need for the use of drones was felt at that time, since then drone technology is before us with the full support of the government. Click here to read...

G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) Held under India’s Presidency

The Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) of G20 nations on “Sustainable Agriculture and Food System for Healthy People and Planet” concluded successfully at Varanasi on 19 April 2023. About 80 delegates from G20 Member States; Invited Guest Countries, International Organizations participated in the meeting. The discussions were focused on Innovations and Technological Interventions for Agri-Food Systems Transformation, Frontiers in Science and Technology for Achieving Food Security & Nutrition, etc. The meeting adopted chair summary cum outcome document focusing on major area of cooperation in agricultural research and development for food security and nutrition, digital agriculture, resilient agri food systems and public private partnership in agricultural R&D. Click here to read...

Making India a Global Leader in Agri-Tech Innovation

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) jointly launched a whitepaper aimed at making India a global leader in Agri-Tech innovation and expanding these innovations to the least developed countries in Asia and Africa. The whitepaper, meticulously prepared by experts from AIM, NITI Aayog, and UNCDF, offers actionable steps to overcome challenges faced by Agri-Tech start-ups and facilitate their growth at national and international levels. The whitepaper outlines the significant observations and recommendations required to tackle challenges in the agriculture sector and promote sustainable practices that support smallholder farmers across developing economies. Click here to read...

International Cooperation

Apple Opens Its First Retail Store in India

Apple opened its first retail store in Mumbai, India on 18 April 2023, underscoring the US tech titan’s increasing focus on the South Asian nation as a key sales market and alternative manufacturing hub to China. Apple chief executive Tim Cookpersonally opened the doors to welcome customers, as company employees cheered. The California-based firm is betting big on the nation of 1.4 billion people – home to the second-highest number of smartphone users in the world, after China – with a second store to open in the capital New Delhi on 20 April. The world’s biggest company in terms of market value is also expanding its manufacturing footprint in India, as it seeks to diversify its supply chain away from a heavy dependence on neighbouring China. In a statement, Apple described the new stores in India as “major expansion” of its presence in the country. Click here to read...

Apple’s India Sales Surge Nearly 50 per cent to US$6 Billion

Apple Inc.’s sales in India hit a new high of almost US$6 billion in the year through March, highlighting the market’s increasing importance for the iPhone maker. Revenue in India grew by nearly 50 per cent, from US $4.1 billion a year earlier. With tech demand slowing globally, Apple has identified India’s expanding middle class as an attractive opportunity and it’s also adding local production at an increasing rate. Apple’s India sales surged during the pandemic as customers bought iPhones and iPads to work and study from home. And that momentum has continued, helped by financing and trade-in options. Yet its base is small – just about 4 per cent of India’s nearly 700 million smartphone users have iPhones – as the world’s second-biggest mobile market is led by cheaper local brands as well as Chinese and South Korean manufacturers. Click here to read...

India-Dominican Republic S&T Cooperation

Minister of External Affairs S. Jaisahankar paid an official visit to the Dominican Republic from 27-29 April 2023. At the end of the Minister’s visit, the two sides issued a Joint Declaration where they expressed deep satisfaction with the signing of framework agreements between the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, and Technology (MESCYT) of the Dominican Republic, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Delhi), International Institute of Information Technology (IIT-Bangalore). The framework agreements set the pathway for the inclusion of these Indian institutions in Dominican Republic’s National Scholarship Programme with the objective that Dominican students pursue master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in India. They agreed on the need to expand technical exchanges and good practices in the context of South-South cooperation, in the areas of information and communication technologies, artificial intelligence, biotechnologies, space exploration, and satellite data management, among others. Click here to read...

Tech Partnership with French Company, Safran, in Defence and Space

The group chairman of Safran, Ross McInnes, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss a technological partnership with Safran in defence and space on 20 April 2023. The French firm is a manufacturer of aircraft and rocket engines, among others. In February 2023, Safran Helicopter Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) signed a workshare agreement for the joint development of the engine intended for the future 13-tonne Indian Multi Role Helicopter (IMRH) and its naval version Deck-Based Multi Role Helicopter (DBMRH), according to a joint statement from both companies. Safran is a French multinational company that designs, develops and manufactures aircraft engines, rocket engines as well as various aerospace and defence-related equipment or their components. Click here to read...

India-UK Space Tech Cooperation

Minister of Science & Technology Dr Jitendra Singh undertook a visit to the Satellite Applications Catapult at Oxford and witnessed a technical demonstration by Chief Technical Officer Paul Febvre at Harwell, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. The Satellite Applications Catapult is one of nine Catapults, uniquely established to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas and to help drive future economic growth. The aim of the Catapult Centre is to support UK industry by accelerating the growth of satellite applications and to contribute to capturing a 10 percent share of the global space market by 2030. On his visit to the Catapult Centre, Dr Jitendra Singh described India as a key Global Player in the Space sector and reiterated that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is keen to take its Space cooperation with the UK to newer heights. Click here to read...

Regional and Global Trends

South Korea, US, Japan Hold Missile Defence Drills in East Sea

On 17 May 2023, South Korea, the United States and Japan began a trilateral missile defence exercise in the international waters of the East Sea, Seoul’s Navy said. This comes amid increased efforts to sharpen deterrence against North Korean threats, Yonhap News Agency reported. According to Yonhap News Agency, the three nations have been reinforcing security coordination following Pyongyang’s provocative acts, such as the launch of a purportedly solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile. The exercise focused on practicing procedures to detect and track a computer-simulated ballistic missile target, and share related information. Click here to read...

US Federal Government Facing Challenges Banning TikTok

A few weeks ago it looked like the company’s days in America were numbered. President Joe Biden’s administration had just demanded that the Chinese-owned video app be sold or face an outright ban in the United States. That effort quickly drew support from Capitol Hill, and gained momentum after the remarkably bipartisan grilling of the company’s CEO last month — with lawmakers accusing TikTok of serving as a Trojan horse for Beijing to “manipulate America” and suck up reams of sensitive data on U.S. citizens. But now, interviews with lawmakers, legal and national security experts and former officials in two administrations — including some directly involved in the TikTok effort — suggest that a ban may simply face too many hurdles to ever work. Some insiders are even starting to worry that the government may never be able to meaningfully restrict TikTok’s use. Click here to read...

China’s Warns of ‘Resolute Countermeasures’ over Japan’s Export Controls

A state-backed Chinese semiconductor trade group said that Japan’s recent move to expand restrictions on exports of advanced chip-making technology would “bring even greater uncertainties” to the global chip industry. In a statement published in Chinese and English on 28 April 2023, the China Semiconductor Industry Association (CSIA) said it “opposes the act of interfering with global trade liberalisation” and “distorting the balance of supply and demand”. The group wrote that “CSIA hopes that the Japanese government adheres to the principles of free trade and does not abuse export control measures to the detriment of the cooperative relationship between the semiconductor industries of China and Japan”. Click here to read...

China Pursuing the Netherlands’ Aerospace Technologies

China has sought to circumvent export restrictions and has attempted to procure equipment and know-how from the Netherlands’ aerospace sector, the Dutch military spy agency MIVD has said in a recent report. The MIVD military spy agency’s head Jan Swillens said that “The Netherlands remains an attractive espionage target for China... especially in the domain of semiconductor industry, quantum technology and the aerospace and maritime industry”. Beijing has denied the allegation. Accusations of Chinese companies spying are not based on evidence, untrue and unfair, the Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands said in response to a Dutch intelligence service assessment that hyped “China threats” such as “commercial espionage and covert investments,”reported Global Times. Click here to read...

China’s Rocket Launch Sent Debris into a ‘No-Fly Zone’

China launched a satellite into orbit with some rockets debris falling into a “no-fly zone” off the coast of northern Taiwan, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said adding that it did not pose a safety threat. In a statement, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence said that the forces had monitored the whole process of the rocket launch through joint intelligence and surveillance. Notably, China informed Taiwan that a no-fly zone will be implemented north of the country the following week, NHK Worldreported, citing Taiwan’s transportation ministry on 11 April.Earlier, China reportedly warned Taiwan’s northern flightinformation zone of the upcoming airspace closure, to conductaerospace activities in the area. Click here to read...

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