India has concluded price negotiations with Russia for a nearly Rs 40,000 crore deal to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for the Indian Air Force.
Background of the deal:
In 2016, India and Russia had signed an agreement on the ‘Triumf’ interceptor-based missile system which can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km.
S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.
China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014 to procure the lethal missile system and Moscow has already started delivery of unknown number of the S-400 missile systems to Beijing.
The S-400 is an upgraded version of the S-300 systems. The missile system, manufactured by Almaz-Antey, has been in service in Russia since 2007.
Why India needs s-400 Triumf air defence missile system?
India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the nearly 4,000-km-long Sino-India border.
What is the issue with the USA?
It is said that the two countries are now trying insulate the deal from the sanctions announced by the US against Russia under its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
The U.S. had announced sanctions against Russia under the stringent law for its alleged meddling in the American presidential election in 2016.
There has been mounting concerns in India over the U.S. sanctions against Russian defence majors including Rosoboronexport as billions of dollars of military purchases may be impacted because of the punitive measure.
Thus, the deal has landed New Delhi right in the middle of global strategic complexities.
The deal may adversely affect transfer of U.S. military technology.
There may arise some security concerns also. The S-400 system requires integration with the radar system of the purchasing country.
As India has radars from the USA, there may be trouble integrating the technologies from different countries. Third party access to the US technology may be required, which the US is not ready to share.
What are the specifications of S-400 Triumf system?
Are other countries also bidding for S-400?
Saudi Arabia has also threatened military action if its neighbour Qatar goes ahead with the proposal to acquire S-400 from Russia.
Qatar already under various sanctions by other Gulf states, because of its alleged funding of terrorism.
S-400 deployment in the Syrian theatre and Turkey’s move to acquire them have all added new dimensions to the already complex global scenario.
The US should soon withdraw the threat on India, as the S-400 Triumf system may contribute the regional capabilities to deter the Chinese aggression.
GS Prelims 2019, GS Mains paper III
Environment, Economy, Green GDP
Why in News?
The Centre government has announced a five-year exercise to compute district-level data of the country’s environmental wealth.
The numbers will eventually be used to calculate every State’s ‘green’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Understanding Green GDP:
The green gross domestic product (green GDP or GGDP) is an index of economic growth with the environmental consequences of that growth factored into a country’s conventional GDP.
Green GDP monetizes the loss of biodiversity, and accounts for costs caused by climate change.
Some environmental experts prefer physical indicators (such as “waste per capita” or “carbon dioxide emissions per year”), which may be aggregated to indices such as the “Sustainable Development Index”.
What is the need to calculate green GDP?
Natural capital is poorly represented in GDP; resources are not adequately considered as economic assets.
The impact that the depletion of natural resources or increase in pollution can have on the future productive capacity of a nation are unaccounted for in traditional GDP estimates.
The metric will help with a range of policy decisions, such as compensation to be paid during land acquisition, calculation of funds required for climate mitigation, and so on.
Green GDP would be a more accurate indicator or measure of societal well-being.
Therefore, the integration of environmental statistics into national accounts, and by extension, the generation of a green GDP figure, would improve countries’ abilities to manage their economies and resources
What kind of data will be captured for calculating Green GDP?
The data will include: the diversity in the State’s geography, farmland, wildlife, and emissions pattern
Calculating green GDP requires that net natural capital consumption, including resource depletion, environmental degradation, and protective and restorative environmental initiatives, be subtracted from traditional GDP.
But the major challenge in calculating the Green GDP is- assigning monetary value to the natural assets of the country.
Environmental assets do not exist in the traditional market and thus are not tradable.
Using Green Skilled workforce:
The government has also launched a ‘green skilling’ programme under which youth, particularly school dropouts, would be trained in a range of ‘green jobs’— as operators of scientific instruments used to measure environmental quality, as field staff in nature parks, and as tourist guides.
Some of the labour required for the survey would also be sourced from the green-skilled workforce.