“Engineers can establish these stations, technicians can run it, but you need people who understand atmospheric science, to understand the data,” said Jakhwal. Hence, CPCB regularly absorbs students from various universities training them in their special sets of skills.With two more automatic stations being set up, their biggest asset to maintain air quality, is knowledge, said Jakhwal, which has finally made people take note of the state of affairs.Meanwhile, the honour of ‘severe’ air went to Muzaffarpur, Bihar, on Tuesday.White elephants
Scientist at the Air Laboratory for 29 years, DC Jakhwal, calls these stations the CPCB’s white elephants. Necessary as they are, each costs 1.1 crore to set up, roughly 12 per cent of that to maintain the sensitive equipment annually – eight machines for eight parameters – and depend heavily on connectivity to monitor remote areas. For now, the lab has 39 such stations across India connected to it, with Gaya joining on Tuesday itself.
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It will be first cable-stayed bridge in north India and fourth in the country, after Rajeev Gandhi Sea Link in Mumbai, Hooghly Bridge in Kolkata and Naini Bridge in Allahabad.
Considered to be an engineering marvel, the Ravi bridge has a tower height of about 88 meters above deck level
Forget terror, Jammu and Kashmir is all set to create a history by becoming only the fourth state in the country to house the state-of-the-art cable-stayed bridge connecting three strategically-important north Indian states.Constructed by Border Roads Organization (BRO) at an estimated cost of Rs 145 crore, the 592 meter span bridge on river Ravi will be dedicated to the nation by the defence minister Manohar Parrikar at Basohli on Thursday.It will be first cable-stayed bridge in north India and fourth in the country, after Rajeev Gandhi Sea Link in Mumbai, Hooghly Bridge in Kolkata and Naini Bridge in Allahabad.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The work on the maiden cable stayed bridge of the state was started in September 2010 on the persistent demand of people of Basohli Twenty two villages got submerged and had to be evacuated to other places after the construction of Ranjit Sagar dam,” said an official spokesman.Designed by Canadian Company `Infinity Engineers’, the peculiarity of this bridge is that the main span and back span are balanced by cable. Nearly 300 ton specially designed cables were needed for this bridge which has been procured from Japan and Spain.”Not only the Indian engineers and consultants, the agencies from Canada, Japan, Spain and Switzerland were engaged for the completion of this prestigious project by the BRO,” said the spokesman.Considered to be an engineering marvel, the Ravi bridge has a tower height of about 88 meters above deck level. The decking and the span regions will only be supported by cables. There will be 1.5 meter wide footpaths on both sides.”Out of 592 meter Span bridge 350 meter is cable stayed while rest is plain. Cable stayed-bridges have a low-center of gravity, which makes them efficient in resisting earthquakes. Cable stayed bridges provide outstanding architectural appearance due to their small diameter cables and unique overhead structure,” said the spokesman.It took five years to complete the strategically important cable-stayed bridge which will connect Jammu and Kashmir with Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. Once commissioned, the Ravi bridge will help the armed forces to cut the reaction time in rushing troops to the forward areas in case of exigencies.”This bridge is strategically important from defence point of view also. It is first of its kind in north India having second longest span in India,” said the spokesman.The strategically important bridge will also help in bringing far flung areas of Kathua and Doda districts on the tourism map, which otherwise had been left out in Jammu and Kashmir.Specially designed cables used Designed by Canadian Company `Infinity Engineers’, the peculiarity of this bridge is that the main span and back span are balanced by cable. Nearly 300 ton specially designed cables were needed for this bridge which has been procured from Japan and Spain. “The work on the maiden cable stayed bridge of the state was started in September 2010 on the persistent demand of people of Basohli Twenty two villages got submerged and had to be evacuated to other places after the construction of Ranjit Sagar dam,” said an official spokesman.
As Irshad Ansari’s educational qualification and proficiency in understanding technical things were not up to the mark, his son Asfaq Ansari helped him in this, the officer said. In fact, Asfaq’s passport details showed that he had been to Bangladesh twice in the recent past, he said.
Suspeceted ISI agent Irshad Ansari being produced at a court by STF in Kolkata on Monday.
The Special Task Force of Kolkata Police has seized mobile phone SIM card which, it believes, was used by the three arrested suspected ISI agents to pass on information to the ISI of Pakistan.”They passed on information electronically and also through other means which could be manual. There can be others involved who acted as messengers,” a senior STF officer said.As Irshad Ansari’s educational qualification and proficiency in understanding technical things were not up to the mark, his son Asfaq Ansari helped him in this, the officer said. In fact, Asfaq’s passport details showed that he had been to Bangladesh twice in the recent past, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”But the exact purpose of his visit is still unknown… We are looking into it.”According to another STF officer dealing with the case, Asfaq met Iqbal, his father’s elder brother in Dhaka during his visits there.”Whether the meeting was to pass on the information or to get some trainings was still not known,” he said.Irshad’s family, hailing from Bihar, consists of five brothers and sisters, the STF officer said.”His elder sister got married in then then East Pakistan and after the partition of Pakistan and Bangladesh, she and her in-laws went to Karachi and settled there after 1971. In 1976 Irshad’s elder brother Iqbal went to Pakistan, got married and settled there followed by his another brother Irfan who also started his own business there,” he said.Irshad went to Pakistan in 1985 to visit them and stayed there for about three months, the Kolkata Police STF officer said.”After that Irshad went to Pakistan in 2005 and that was when he was picked up by Pakistani agency to work for them as informer,” he said.Irshad, a contract labourer with Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE) along with his son Asfaq and brother-in-law Mohammed Jahangir were arrested yesterday for their alleged links to the ISI. Several documents revealing their links to the ISI, Fake Indian Currency Notes with a face value totalling Rs five lakh were seized from the three besides a hand-drawn map of the GRSE and the Netaji Subhas Dock in the city.The trio have been booked under the Indian Penal Code sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the Government of India), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by section 121), 489B (using as genuine forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes) and 489C (possession of forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-note.Meanwhile, the arrested three were today produced in a court which remanded them to 14 days’ police custody till December 14. Authorities at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) has beefed up security at the PSU facility after the arrest of Irshad, who was working there as a contract labourer.
The government move follows IAF chief Arup Raha’s announcement on October 8 that women may be considered for combat flying roles.
Sky may not necessarily be the limit for the women in armed forces
In a giant leap forward, the government on Saturday approved induction of women in fighter pilot role in the Indian Air Force (IAF) setting the tone for the Army and the Navy to follow suit in line with the armed forces of some of the developed countries.”The first women pilots would be selected from the batch which is presently undergoing flying training at Air Force Academy. After successful completion of ab initio training, they would be commissioned in the fighter stream in June 2016. Thereafter, they would undergo advanced training for one year and would enter a fighter cockpit by June 2017,” the ministry of defence (MoD) said in a statement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government move follows IAF chief Arup Raha’s announcement on October 8 that women may be considered for combat flying roles. Subsequently, defence minister Manohar Parrikar had a meeting with the three services chiefs earlier this week here to take the proposal forward, sources said.Since their induction into the transport and helicopter streams of the IAF, the women pilots’ performance has been praiseworthy and on a par with their male counterparts, MoD further said.Neither the Army nor the Navy has so far shown inclination for allowing women in combat roles. Their role currently in all the three services is restricted to administrative, medical and education branches.”The three services have been asked by Parrikar to separately list out a detailed roadmap over the issue,” a defence source said.The IAF currently has about 1,500 women on its rolls of which 94 are pilots and 14 navigators assigned to transport aircraft fleet.In the past the IAF showed reservations about inducting women in front-line combat roles over apprehensions of rape and torture on being held in enemy territory. It also raised reservations over ‘limitations’ that may come due to marriage and conceiving of a child.The Navy has largely maintained that its warships are not designed to accommodate women’s privacy in a male-dominated crew. Current roles in armed forces The IAF presently inducts women in the Transport and Helicopter stream of the flying branch, Navigation, Aeronautical Engineering, Administration, Logistics, Accounts, Education and Meteorology branches. The Army inducts women into the Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation (Air Traffic Control), Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordinance Corps, Intelligence Corps, Army Education Corps and Judge Advocate Generals Branches/Cadres. The Indian Navy is inducting women in the Judge Advocate Generals, Logistics, Observer, Air Traffic Controller, Naval Constructor and Education branches/cadres.
New Delhi: Women members of the Indian Air Force today broke another grass ceiling with the government approving induction of female fighter pilots, the first time when women would be in combat role in the country’s armed forces.
Ready for women pilots. Reuters
The first women fighter pilots would be selected from the batch which is presently undergoing training at the Air Force Academy, the defence ministry said in a statement.
The news first came in with the Ministry of Defence spokesperson Sitanshu Kar tweeting out:
“This progressive step is in keeping with the aspirations of Indian women and is in line with contemporary trends in armed forces of developed nations,” the ministry said.
It said that the performance of women, inducted into transport and helicopter streams of the IAF, has been “praiseworthy” and at par with their male colleagues.
“Inducting women into the fighter stream would provide them with an equal opportunity to prove their mettle in combat roles as well,” the ministry said.
As per the plan, the first women pilots would be selected from the batch which is presently undergoing flying training at Air Force Academy.
After successful completion of ab-initio training, they would be commissioned in the fighter stream in June 2016.
Thereafter, they would undergo advanced training for one year and would enter a fighter cockpit by June 2017.
Presently, the Indian Army is inducting women into the Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation (Air Traffic Control), Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordinance Corps, Intelligence Corps, Army Education Corps and Judge Advocate Generals Branches/Cadres.
The Indian Navy is inducting women in the Judge Advocate Generals, Logistics, Observer, Air Traffic Controller, Naval Constructor and Education branches/cadres.
However, it has moved a proposal to induct women as pilots for its fleet of surveillance aircraft.
With this decision to open up induction of women in the fighter stream, women have become eligible for induction in all branches and streams of the IAF.
The IAF is presently inducting women in the Transport and Helicopter stream of the flying branch, Navigation, Aeronautical Engineering, Administration, Logistics, Accounts, Education and Meteorology branches.
The Ministry of Defence has also taken up a comprehensive review pertaining to induction of women in Armed Forces, both in short service commission and permanent commission, and once finalised, more branches would be opened up for induction of women to give them the space which they deserve in the Armed Forces of the country, the statement said.
The air force currently has about 1,500 women on its rolls of which 94 are pilots and 14 navigators.
The move is in sync with global trends and will help IAF overcome shortage of officers in the fighter aircraft stream.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had been batting for increased role of women in the armed forces but had said that it will take some time.
“It has to be done in a phase-wise manner. It won’t happen immediately,” Parrikar had said on 12 October, adding that the final notification on inducting women as fighter aircraft pilots would also take sometime.
He also cited that the United Arab Emirates Air Force has women fighter-plane pilots who had carried out strikes on ISIS targets.
CRISIL, KPMG, McKinsey and Mott MacDonald are among the 37 consulting firms which have been assigned for preparing action plans for the 88 cities proposed to be developed as Smart Cities.
CRISIL, KPMG, McKinsey and Mott MacDonald are among the 37 consulting firms which have been assigned for preparing action plans for the 88 cities proposed to be developed as Smart Cities.The remaining 10 cities in north-eastern states and Union Territories will do so by this week end.Urban Development Ministry has announced the names of 98 cities which would be developed into smart cities having core infrastructure needed to enhance urban living.Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are still to nominate a city each under the smart city development programme.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While KPMG will prepare the action plan for New Delhi Municipal Council area to be developed as a smart city, McKinsey will do it for Pune.Foreign companies or their Indian associates are working in connection with the preparation of smart city plans for most of the cities, according to a release.Meanwhile, a two-day ‘Ideas Camp’ has begun here to prepare these cities for the second stage of the City Challenge competition. 20 Cities will be selected in the first lot through competition to be developed as Smart Cities.CRISIL Risk and Infrastructure Solutions Limited in association with Pri Move Infrastructure Development Consultants Private Ltd and Probity Soft Private Limited has bagged the contract for six cities followed by Jones Lang La Salle Property Consultants India Pvt Ltd in association with Townland Consultants Pvt Ltd and Tata Consulting Engineers, ICRA Management Consulting Private Limited in association with NJS Engineers India Private Limited and All-India Institute of Local Self-Government for five cities each.Urban Development Ministry would provide Rs 100 crore to each city over the next five years.The Centre has set aside Rs 48,000 crore for the Mission and the money will be released to urban local bodies at frequent intervals in the next five years.The Centre has also asked the state governments to generate the equal matching amount as the grand total of the Smart City Mission is estimated at Rs 96,000 crore.Quick selection of consultants through tendering by the Mission cities has been enabled by the Ministry of Urban Development drawing up a panel of consultants for each region.
Handing out the quantum of sentence after the first conviction in the infamous Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam case, a Delhi court on Wednesday punished one of the main convicts TP Singh with six years in jail.
The court also sentenced five other convicts, including four Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) officials, to four-year jail term each.
Representational image. IBNLive
The CBI on Tuesday had sought stringent punishment for the convicts. Special CBI Judge Brijesh Garg had said he would on Wednesday pronounce the sentence for conspiring to cause a loss of Rs 1.4 crore to the exchequer in the 2010 Commonwealth Games street lighting scam.
This is the first case relating to the CWG scam which has been decided by the court.
During the arguments, CBI prosecutor Praneet Sharma had contended that the convicts had caused a loss of over Rs 1.42 crore to the MCD and maximum punishment of seven years should be awarded to them.
Citing Supreme Court judgments, Sharma had argued that a lenient view should not be taken by the court towards convicts, especially in corruption cases.
The court had convicted MCD Superintendent Engineer DK Sugan, Executive Engineer OP Mahla, Accountant Raju V and the civic body’s tender clerk Gurcharan Singh, besides private firm Sweska Powertech Engineering Pvt Ltd, its Managing Director TP Singh and Director JP Singh who were illegally favoured in the award of street-lighting contract during the games.
They were held guilty for various offences including criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery of valuable security, forgery for purpose of cheating, using forged documents as genuine under the IPC and Section 13(1)(d)(criminal misconduct by public servant by corrupt means and abusing position) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Counsel for the six convicted persons had sought leniency in punishment, saying they had no criminal antecedents and have already spent around 11 months in jail during the trial.
The 52-year-old Sugan’s counsel had said he was suffering from diabetes and has to support his family including a college-going daughter and a paralytic father. He had said Sugan had bagged an award for constructing building in civic centre.
The counsel had added that no departmental enquiry was pending against Sugan and he be given a lighter punishment.
Similarly, advocate for Mahla had said that no departmental enquiry and blame record was there against his client and he had received appreciation award in a slaughter house project.
Advocate PK Dubey, appearing for 53-year-old TP Singh and 48-year-old JP Singh, had prayed that they be released on the period already spent by them behind bars, claiming it was they who had suffered loss and not the MCD.
The court, in its 124-page judgment holding the accused guilty, had said the testimonies of CBI witnesses successfully proved the prosecution case beyond a shadow of doubt, establishing that “all the accused persons had connived together and in pursuance to the common object of the criminal conspiracy, various illegal acts, were committed by them.”
“The testimonies of these witnesses and the documentary evidence on record has established, beyond a shadow of doubt that all the accused persons have willfully participated in the criminal conspiracy with a common object to increase the quoted amount in the tender document of accused M/s Sweska Powertech Engineers Pvt Ltd, with an object to avail the difference between the next higher amount…
“The amount was quoted by the second company M/s Spaceage Switchgears Ltd, without changing the overall status of accused M/s Sweska Powertech Engineers Pvt Ltd, as L1 and thereby causing undue pecuniary loss to MCD and corresponding pecuniary gain to accused M/s Sweska Powertech Engineers Pvt Ltd, and its directors,” the court had said.
The street lighting scam is one of the ten corruption cases in the run up to the holding of the October 2010 mega sports event.
The CBI had said in the charge sheet that tenders were invited by the civic agency in 2008 and various companies, including Sweska Powertech applied for it, while the MCD commissioner had approved only four companies.
As per the charge sheet, after opening of the tender and announcing of the rates by accused Sugan, certain cuttings and interpolations in the tender papers of Sweska were made and amount quoted by it was increased, which led to a loss of about Rs 1.43 crore to the state exchequer and corresponding wrongful gain to the accused.
The court had earlier termed Sugan, the senior-most official, as the “kingpin” of the conspiracy and had said the tenders were opened in his office on 14 May, 2008, and he had allowed fudging of Sweska’s tender papers.
It, however, had discharged Philips India officer Mehul Karnik, as it noted that the company initially participated in the tender process but ultimately did not submit the tender.
The prosecutor had argued that all circumstances clearly indicate that the accused persons were hand in glove with each other and had conspired together to cause a pecuniary loss of Rs 1,42,83,000 to the MCD.
During the trial, the four MCD officials had claimed that the sanction granted by the then MCD commissioner to prosecute them was not valid in the eyes of law.
They had argued that the sanction was invalid due to the incompetency of the commissioner and his involvement in the entire tender process.
The court, however, had rejected their contention saying the sanction was valid and “no failure of justice” has been caused to them and the MCD commissioner had not participated in the tender opening process, when all the offences were committed by the accused persons.
“MCD commissioner was never a party to the actual tender opening process on May 14, 2008. Since the ommissioner has never participated himself in actual tender opening process on May 14, 2008, it cannot be said that he was aware about the various illegalities committed by the accused persons, which were finally approved by him and the ‘Corporation’.
“Therefore, no ground for ‘bias’, against the commissioner in granting sanction for prosecution of his subordinates, is made out, in the facts and circumstances of the present case,” the judge had said.
Srinagar: Fear of floods resurfaced after fresh rainfall on Wednesday in the Kashmir Valley. Although, officials said there was nothing alarming about the water levels of Jhelum which had receded.
Rainfall which began on Tuesday night and is expected to continue for next two days, can again cause surge in the water of level of River Jhelum and its tributaries, officials said.
Vehicles along a flooded road in Srinagar after heavy rainfall on Wednesday. AFP
The flood situation had started showing improvement on Tuesday afternoon after 17 people died in Srinagar.
Jhelum was flowing at 11.70 feet at Sangam in south Kashmir, way below the flood level of 21 feet while the level at Ram Munshi Bagh was 15.35 feet against the flood level of 19 feet, officials added.
“The water level has decreased considerably since Tuesday morning. All the contingency plans are in place… temporary shelters have been set up for people evacuated from flood prone areas,” an official said.
The official also added that the NDRF and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams have been put on a standby to meet any eventuality. Army has also taken steps to help the people in affected areas of the Valley in dealing with the situation.
“We have earmarked one column (75 to 100 troops) in each Company Operating Base (COB) ready to respond to any eventuality,” an army official said.
He said three composite rescue groups constituting of Infantry, Engineers, EME and Army Medical Corps have been set up at Badamibagh Cantonment, Old Airfield and Zainakot.
“All dewatering pumps held with Army are deployed in the low lying areas,” he added.
Heavy rainfall since Saturday has resulted in death of 15 people so far in Chadoora area of Budgam district.One person trapped in the landslide was also feared dead but there was no confirmation. One person had died in flash floods in Udhampur area of Jammu region.
The deaths took place when a house at village Laden collapsed due to caving in of earth caused by heavy rains.