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In news:

  • 11 Indian Navy personnel were caught leaking sensitive information via social media to Pakistani intelligence operatives.
    The police have arrested these people from several naval bases of the country including Mumbai, Karwar, and Visakhapatnam.

About National Investigation Agency:

  • NIA came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008.
  • It acts as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency. The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states.
  • Headquartered in New Delhi, the NIA has branches in Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur and Jammu.
  • The 2019 NIA Amendment Act expanded the type of offences that the investigative body could investigate and prosecute.
  • The agency can now investigate offences related to human trafficking, counterfeit currency, manufacture or sale of prohibited arms, cyber-terrorism, and offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.
  • The amendment also enables the central government to designate sessions courts as special courts for NIA trials.
  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA), also passed in 2019, allows an NIA officer to conduct raids, and seize properties that are suspected to be linked to terrorist activities without taking prior permission of the Director General of Police of a state. The investigating officer only requires sanction from the Director General of NIA.

Income Scheme To Cover Fewer Farmers

In News:

One year after the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, the Centre has revised the farmer income support scheme’s beneficiary target down to just under 12 crore from 14 crore.

About Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi :

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is a Central Sector scheme with 100% funding from Government of India.
  • The Scheme is an income support of Rs.6000/- per year is provided to all farmer families across the country in three equal installments of Rs.2000/- each every four months
  • Definition of family for the Scheme is husband, wife and minor children.
  • The fund is directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

Most Feared Military Equipment On Offer

In News:

The U.S President, while announcing that defence deals worth around $3 billion would be signed during his visit, offered a range of high-tech defense equipment to India.

In brief:

  • The deals are for 24 MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters for the Navy worth $2.2 billion and six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Army worth $800 million.
  • Deals in the pipeline are for armed drones, air defence system, MK-45 127mm naval guns and six more P-8I long range maritime patrol aircraft.
  • While these are at various stages of procurement, the U.S. State Department has recently notified the sale of an air defence system to Delhi in a deal worth $1.8 billion.
  • The long-pending proposal to procure armed Predator drones from the U.S. for the three services is back on the table and the Qualitative Requirements are currently being finalised