Rustom-2: DRDO’s UAV crashes in Karnataka’s Chitradurga
September 18, 2019

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) called ‘Rustom-2’ belonging to Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) crashed during a trial in an agriculture field in Chitradurga district of Karnataka. No casualties were reported from the crash. According to state government officials, the testing of ‘Rustom-2 UAV was in progress when the incident occurred.

About DRDO Rustom

It is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV. It is being developed by DRDO for Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

Rustom is derived from National Aerospace Laboratory’s (NAL) LCRA (Light Canard Research Aircraft) developed by a team under leadership of late Prof Rustom Damania in 1980s.

DRDO Rustom-2 UAV

It has been designed and developed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) with its production partners being aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL).

It is being developed on lines of predator drones of United States (US) to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles for the 3 Indian armed forces with an endurance of 24 hours.

It is capable of carrying various combinations of payloads like synthetic aperture radar (SAR), electronic intelligence (ELINT) systems and situational awareness payloads (SAP).

Sri Lanka unveils South Asia’s tallest tower in Colombo
September 18, 2019

Sri Lanka unveiled a 350-metre-tall Lotus Tower which is now being dubbed as South Asia’s tallest tower in Colombo city. Though the tower is still under construction President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena decided to open the tower to public. As per the President, Lotus Tower is foreseen to be one of the significant landmarks and an epitome of island country’s culture, economy and development.

About ‘Lotus Tower’

It is the tallest tower in South Asia in the shape of a 356-meter lotus.

The tower costs more than $100 million. The 80% of costs incurred has been funded by China under the controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The 350-metre tall Lotus Tower has 17-storey and is located in Colombo. It comprises a hotel, a TV tower, restaurants, a mall, a telecommunications museum, and auditorium.

Sri Lanka and China signed the Lotus Tower agreement in 2012 to build the tower. As per the agreement China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation (CEIEC) was the general contractor.

Russia holds Center-2019 International Command Exercise
September 18, 2019

Russia is holding its annual Center-2019 International Command Exercise involving six other nations from 16 to 21 September 2019. Center-2019 is an annual strategic and operational military exercises which aren’t aimed at any third-party country rather focus on counterterrorist operations and is purely defensive in nature.

About Center-2019 International Command Exercise

Exercise Objectives:

•To demonstrate readiness of Armed Forces of Russian Federation and the states of Central Asia region to protect national interests

•To increase level of interaction and compatibility of participants in solving joint tasks to protect interests, preserve peace and ensure security in region.

•To train troops for conducting military operations in modern conditions

•To improve interoperability of military command and control units of armed forces of Russia and allied States

Military Forces from India, China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan will join Russia’s Central Joint Strategic Command (JSC) for military exercises.

Some parts of military drills will be held outside Russia in member countries of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) such as Armenia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The annual exercises rotate and this year’s mainly focus on Central Joint Strategic Command (JSC). The other JSCs are East, West, and Caucasus.

The 2019 exercise will be the biggest encompassing nearly 128,000 personnel, 20,000 pieces of equipment and weapons, 600 aircraft and helicopters, and 15 warships.


Ever since Russia started reconstructing its military in 2008, the Central Joint Strategic Command (JSC) has held two exercises- in 2011 and 2015. In the 2015 exercises, nearly 95,000 personnel took part and they were used as a preparation for Russian operations in Syria.

Hyderabad-Karnataka region Renamed ‘Kalyana Karnataka’
September 18, 2019

After completing the official procedure for renaming Hyderabad Karnataka region Chief Minister of Karnataka B.S. Yediyurappa made the official proclamation to rename the region as Kalyana Karnataka. The Hyderabad Karnataka region comprises six north-eastern districts of Karnataka: Bidar, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Ballari, Yadgir and Raichur.

The announcement was made by CM ahead of hosting of national flag in Kalaburagi on occasion of commemoration of ‘Hyderabad-Karnataka Liberation Day’. All other formalities relating to renaming would follow in consultation with Centre.

Key Highlights

The name ‘Kalya’ (in ‘Kalyana Karnataka’) comes from  Kingdom of Kalyana, which was the epicenter of Sharana movement and Vachana Sahitaya preached and followed by several social reformers, including Basvanna.

The renaming of Hyderabad-Karnataka as Kalyana Karnataka has been a long standing demand of people of the region.

CM also announced that a separate secretariat would be set up for the development of Kalyana Karnataka, through which funds would be released for developmental work.

More funds for the all-round development of Kalyana Karnataka region would be allocated in the next budget.


The Hyderabad-Karnataka region was under Nizams of Hyderabad even after independence (1947) as the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, refused to annex his kingdom to Indian Union. Then on 17 September 1948 he merged with Indian Union after Police Action which forced the Nizam and his army to surrender.

Owing to its backwardness, the region, comprising of Bidar, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Ballari, Yadgir and Raichur enjoys special status under Article 371J of Constitution of India.

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