In a move which has no precedence in Indian politics, Andhra Pradesh became the first State to appoint five Deputy Chief Ministers in the State cabinet. Chief Minister Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who alone took the oath of the office after securing a historic mandate to form the government with more than two-thirds majority, inducted 5 Deputy Chief Ministers, each of them representing a different caste or social group. A total of 25 Ministers were sworn in on June 8, 2019, including Ms. Mekathoti Sucharitha, belonging to the Dalit community, who has been appointed Home Miniter in the State Cabinet. She is only the second Dalit Home Minister in the political history of the State.
Mr. Reddy picked up five communities-scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, backward classes, high caste Kapu community and minority to give representation through the Deputy Chief Ministers in his Cabinet. Newly appointed Deputy Chief Ministers Mr. Pilli Subhash Chandrabose, Ms. Pamula Pushpa Sreevani, Mr. Alia Kali Krishna Srinivas, Mr. K. Narayan Swami and Mr. Arnzath Basha represent backward classes, SC, Kapus, ST and minority, respectively. With five Deputy Chief Ministers representing different communities in his Cabinet, CM Mr. Reddy hopes to please five major social groups. Previously Chandrababu Naidu government had two Deputy Chief Ministers representing Kapus and backward classes in his Cabinet. Presently, State government of Uttar Pradesh has two Deputy Chief Ministers while Rajasthan, Delhi, Bihar and Karnataka state governments have one Deputy Chief Minister each.
Powered by scramjet engine, it can cruise at fluid dynamics of Mach 6 and has multiple civilian applications, including the launch of satellites at low cost besides long-range cruise missiles. The Defence authorities claimed that the vehicle was launched successfully and India became the second country in the world after the US to have developed the hypersonic technology.
“The maiden launch of the technology demonstrator vehicle has been successful. Data generated during the mission is being analysed. We are trying to achieve what no country has attained. The vehicle will help prove a number of technologies for futuristic missions,” an official told the media. The six-metre long air vehicle with a launch weight of around one tonne features a flattened octagonal cross-section with wings on mid-body and tail fins. The scramjet engine is placed at the midbody while the portion towards the tail serves as exhaust nozzle. In between, there is a rectangular component of about 12-foot for air intake.
The technology was under development for the last decade or so as part of an ambitious plan for the hypersonic cruise missile. Though Indi.an missile arsenal boasts of BrahMos cruise system developed jointly with Russia, it is supersonic in nature and can travel at a speed of Mach 2.8. A long-range missile with hypersonic technology could be a strategic killer. The hydrocarbon-fuelled scramjet engine developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had already completed ground-based tests using moderate size hypersonic wind tunnel and conventional shock tunnel. After a couple of laboratory tests, the initial flight of the vehicle was aimed at validating the aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics of the air vehicle and performance of the scramjet engine along with the audience system. The mission involved the launching of the hypersonic air-breathing cruise vehicle with the help of a rocket at an altitude of 25 km.