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PM Modi lays foundation stone of Delhi-Meerut Expressway project

Earlier today, Prime Minister Modi reviewed the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport and Rih-Tedim road project in Myanmar and described the project as one of the cornerstones of India’s ‘Act East’ policy, and urged for its speedy completion.

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Heroin trade strained India-UK relations in 1980s: UK files

India’s reluctance to allow Britain to position British officers in New Delhi and Mumbai to monitor illegal heroin trade in the 1980s strained India-UK relations, according to newly-released UK cabinet files.Then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government believed that “illicit heroin movement from India” was at an “all-time peak” and wanted her Indian counterpart Rajiv Gandhi to agree to two British Drug Liaison Officers (DLOs) to be appointed in India.However, Gandhi resisted until India had received information of its own on offenders seeking refuge in the UK, according to newly declassified documents in the National Archives. In contrast, Pakistan under President Zia-ul-Haq seemed more receptive to Britain’s requests with DLOs placed in Karachi and Islamabad happy with “effective steps to tackle the problem of heroin production”.”The evidence was that Pakistan was getting on top of the drug production problem,” a letter to Downing Street dated December 4, 1985, noted following a visit by then UK health minister David Mellor to Pakistan.It went on to warn of the problem shifting to India, saying “Mr Mellor believed that, as drug controls were increased in Pakistan, and particularly at Karachi Airport, much of the traffic was now taking the land route to India”.”This would inevitably have an impact on the extent of heroin used and production in India itself. India might replace Afghanistan and Pakistan as the major world supplier,” it said. Mellor was concerned about delays in securing India’s agreement to the secondment of two Customs officers. Following a telegram from Thatcher questioning the reason for the delay, Gandhi responded “I feel that there is a communication gap somewhere. We are determined to combat the drug menace with every resource at our command. We had readily agreed, in principle, to British drug liaison presence in India.”We have an equally pressing problem in relation to economic and commercial offenders, who operate from or seek foreign sanctuaries. Our Parliament and people continue to be exercised on what is perceived to be lack of adequate action against such offenders,” Gandhi wrote.Britain finally got its way and Hartley Booth, an adviser to Thatcher, confirmed the success in a memo dated November 28, 1986, “After 31 approaches from officials and FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) ministers during the last 15 months, India relented on November 20 and accepted the appointment of two drugs liaison officers from the United Kingdom to India”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Intolerance Debate 2015: Who is under the radar?

Sundar Pichai, the Indian-American CEO of Google, before his visit to India wrote an essay titled ‘Let’s not let fear defeat our values’. Though he was referring to Donald Trump’s comments on Muslim, he made his stand for tolerance clear, “And it’s not just about opportunity. The open-mindedness, tolerance, and acceptance of new Americans is one of the country’s greatest strengths and most defining characteristics. And that is no coincidence — America, after all, was and is a country of immigrants. That is why it’s so disheartening to see the intolerant discourse playing out in the news these days — statements that our country would be a better place without the voices, ideas and the contributions of certain groups of people, based solely on where they come from, or their religion.”

Yesha Kotak

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Also ReadIndiaCongress issues showcause notice to former Chhattisgarh CM Ajit Jogi’s sonIndiaDear news channel, how does a rape victim’s ‘Facebook lover’ matter?IndiaOdd-even move only to avoid media glare on MLAs’ salary hike, asks CongressIndiaGovernment decides to relax adoption conditions in certain casesIndiaTelangana DGP denies Hyderabad more prone to ISIS radicalisationIndiaIntolerance Debate 2015: Who is under the radar? <!– /.block –>

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Has Separatist Syedah Asiya Andrabi got Islamic State links?

Pro-Pakistan Dukhtaran-e-Milat (DeM) leader Syedah Asiya Andrabi is under fire.Three Hyderabad youths, who were arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) last week at the Nagpur airport, have told the Telangana police that they were on their way to Srinagar to meet Andrabi, who would have facilitated their onward journey to join the Islamic State (IS).The three cousins, Mohammad Abdullah Basit, Syed Omer Farooq Hussaini and Maaz Hasan Farooq, are in their 20s.They told the police that Andrabi was to have helped them cross over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) for their onward journey to the Middle East.The Hyderabad police had said that the youths were motivated by IS propaganda online and were caught and counselled last year. The three were planning to join IS by crossing over to PoK en route to Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.The police have booked the trio under Sections 121 (waging or attempt to wage war against the state), 121-A (conspiracy to wage war), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.The police said the three are related to former Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) president Syed Salahuddin, who was killed in a road accident in Hyderabad last year.Andrabi, however, denied any links with the trio, claiming an attempt is being made to tarnish her image and implicate her in fabricated cases. “My name is being dragged unnecessarily. I do not know any of the persons in Hyderabad. A concerted effort is being made to tarnish my image. I came to know about the arrest of the three youths through newspaper reports,” Andrabi told dna.Andrabi, however, admitted that she knew Syed Salahudin and had attended his programmes.She said if the state government orders a probe, her innocence would be proved. “Let them probe and it will prove that I stand nowhere in the picture,” she saidInspector general of police, Kashmir Zone, Syed Javid Mujtaba Gillani, said that they have officially got no intimation about the arrest of the threes youth and their revelations about Andrabi. “They (Hyderabad police) have not communicated to my office. I am not sure if they have communicated to the director general’s office,” he said.The arrest of the youths come in the backdrop of several incidents of IS flag-hoisting in Srinagar, particularly after Friday prayers in old city.The police had picked up several youths since the hoisting of flags last year, but investigations have not revealed any organisational structure of the outfit in the valley. A top army commander had last month said that the IS was a live threat.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

‘Racy’ China Tagore translation pulled

A Chinese publisher removes a translation of Indian poet Rabindarath Tagore’s works from sale after criticism that its content is too racy.

Mumbai: Minor boy held for demanding Rs 5 lakh from actress

The Bangur Nagar police have booked the accused under section 385 (extortion) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with section 66 of the Information Technology (IT) Act.

dna Correspondent

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I am all for peace: Amarinder Singh on PM Modi’s Lahore visit

“Captain (Amarinder) has rightly said that you need to make a distinction between the desire to normalize relations with Pakistan and the manner in which you want to do. It the manner in which Prime Minister is attempting to do it is undermining India’s national security, it is undermining our strategic interest,” Tewari said. “PM needs to tell people what really has changed between India and Pakistan. Have they (Pakistan) decided to handover Dawood Ibrahim to you… have they decided to expedite 26/11 trial…,” he said.

PTI
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Modi in Pakistan – PM Modi raised dignity of nation by his birthday diplomacy: Rajnath Singh

Prime Minister Modi landed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport on Christmas day, where he was received by his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. PM Modi’s 150-minute visit to Pakistan was first by an Indian Prime Minister in 11 years.

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US deported student reveals airline’s ‘invalid visa’ excuse

“We have seen reports regarding deportation of Indian students from San Francisco,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a statement.

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Nawaz Sharif gets birthday hug from Narendra Modi in Lahore; surprise move stuns even PM’s own party

“Spoke to PM Nawaz Sharif & wished him on his birthday,” came the first tweet. The twitter handle was @narendramodi.Then came the second. “Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi.”It took the world by surprise. Modi was in Kabul then. But at the end of the two-and-a-half hours in Pakistan, the two sides had given trust a big push. The two leaders agreed to increase people-to-people contact and take talks forward.The prime minister’s choice of the day for the visit was also significant. It was not only Christmas day, it was Nawaz Sharif’s birthday as well. It was also the Rasm-e-Heena (a wedding ceremony) of Sharif’s granddaughter Mehr ul Nisa.In fact, Modi was recreating what his mentor A B Vajpayee did in 1999, that too on the latter’s birthday.In his inimitable style, Modi ended 2015 with a unique diplomatic venture, having dinner in Moscow, breakfast and lunch in Kabul and afternoon Kashmiri noon chai (salt tea) at Sharif’s Raiwand residence.The surprise move even caught Modi’s own party, the BJP, off-guard. Its leaders, however, characterised it as one of PM’s “pleasant surprises”.Though official sources here said that the PM himself took this “instantaneous” decision, the sequence of events over the past one week, makes one believe that a window was being explored behind-the-scene for this highly secretive visit.Pakistan’s high commissioner in India, Abdul Basit, had left for Islamabad last Tuesday. The presence of an Indian industrialist in Lahore, who had arranged a one-to-one meeting between Modi and Sharif on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Kathmandu last year, to attend Sharif’s birthday as well as the wedding of his granddaughter, doesn’t seem a coincidence.After the meeting, Pakistani foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said: “The Modi-Sharif meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere… It has been decided that there will be greater interaction, people-to-people contact, and an environment of goodwill will be created.”Pakistani channels reported that both the prime ministers were in a casual mood during the chai pe charcha, which included vegetables, kheer and special Kashmiri salt tea. Sharif later saw off PM Modi at the airport.Chaudhry said that during the brief meeting, the two PMs decided that as part of a comprehensive dialogue, the foreign secretaries of the two countries will meet in mid-January.Attempting to dispel the notion that the visit was pre-planned, Chaudhry said that the Pakistani PM’s adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz and National Security Adviser Nasir Janjua too would have attended the meeting if the Indian PM had informed about his visit earlier.He added that the two sides decided to collectively work towards the common goal of fighting poverty and to open new avenues for peace and mutual cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.Special security arrangements were put in place in and around Lahore. Flights were diverted or grounded, hours before the Indian Air Force plane hit the tarmac of the Alama Iqbal Airport, Lahore. Modi had left for Moscow in Air India One, meant for the PM’s foreign travels, he arrived in Kabul and Lahore in an Indian Air Force plane which was escorted by a decoy plane and was also laced with defence systems.Modi is scheduled to visit Pakistan once again, in September 2016, to attend the SAARC summit.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

PM Modi returns home after concluding his three-nation tour

The third and last leg of his three-nation tour took him to Pakistan’s Lahore. The surprise visit came after he wished his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his 66th birthday today. Modi’s 150-minute visit to Pakistan was first by an Indian Prime Minsiter in nearly 12 years. In Pakistan, he held talks with Sharif during which they decided to open ways for peace for the “larger good” of the people of the two countries.

PTI
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Give me proof of any-party activities: Kirti Azad to Amit Shah

“As you (Shah) have not mentioned DDCA corruption, I believe that the party has nothing to do with this matter and (it) is purely out of its preview,” he added. BJP had on Wednesday suspended Azad from its primary membership three days after his press conference attacking Jaitley and subsequent acts of defiance both inside and outside Parliament, over alleged irregularities in DDCA.

PTI
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Modi in Pakistan – PM Modi visit to take Indo-Pak relations to new height: Ram Madhav

Prime Minister Modi landed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport today on a surprise visit, where he was received by his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. This is the first time an Indian Prime Minister has visited Pakistan in more than a decade.

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Modi in Pakistan: Congress rejects claims that PM Modi’s Pakistan visit was spontaneous

Prime Minister Modi landed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport today on a surprise visit, where he was received by his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. This is the first time an Indian Prime Minister has visited Pakistan in more than a decade.

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Watch: PM Narendra Modi greeted by PM Nawaz Sharif at Lahore airport

A PM House spokesman here said the Indian premier would stay in Lahore for about two hours. A PML-N source told PTI that Sharif had invited Modi to attend the marriage of his granddaughter Mehrun Nisa which is taking place today at the Sharif’s Raiwind palatial residence. “I cannot confirm but there are chances that Modi goes to Raiwind and holds meeting with PM Sharif at his residence,” he said.

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PM Modi gives 500 scholarships for children of slain Afghan forces

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The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, including the ongoing cooperation between the two countries and the Indian aid programme.

Narendra Modi

PTI
India will give 500 scholarships for children of martyrs of Afghan security forces, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today as he met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other leaders and discussed a wide range of issues, including bilateral cooperation and security matters.Modi, who flew in here from Moscow in the wee hours, was received by Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar and Deputy Foreign minister Hekmat Karzai.”From Russia to Afghanistan. A pre-dawn arrival in Kabul begins a day of engagements with another ‘dost’ (friend),” tweeted External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup. Modi was then accorded a ceremonial welcome after which he met Ghani who received him warmly at the Presidential palace.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: LIVE Updates: PM Modi addresses Afghan Parliament, announces 500 scholarships for children; promises everlasting friendship”A meeting between friends…President @ashrafghani warmly welcomes PM @narendramodi as they begin their meeting,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) tweeted. “The embrace of a friend, the strength of a true partner.Prez @ashrafghani welcomes PM @narendramodi in Kabul,” Swarup tweeted.The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, including the ongoing cooperation between the two countries and the Indian aid programme. The two leaders also took stock of the security situation in Afghanistan where the signs of resurgence of Taliban are being witnessed.After the meeting, Modi inaugurated the new Afghan Parliament building which has been constructed by India and addressed the lawmakers of this country. “Today, I announce 500 scholarships for the children of the martyrs of Afghan security forces,” he said in his speech in Afghanistan’s Parliament.Modi said India’s scheme of 1,000 scholarships every year for Afghan students will continue. “We are pleased with the response to our special scholarship scheme in agriculture science,” he added.”Power and water will flow out of Salma Dam soon. The Stor Palace will again stand as a symbol of your priceless heritage,” he said. The Prime Minister also expressed gratitude to the Indian diplomats, officers, engineers and doctors, “who serve here with pride, to the families of our Indian martyrs”.Modi also met other Afghan leaders, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah and former president Hamid Karzai.

Security in Lahore on high alert ahead of PM Modi’s surpise visit

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Earlier, Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said, “Yes, we have been informed by the Indian High Commission that PM Narendra Modi would stop over in Lahore to meet our PM today. Details are being worked out.”

Pakistani authorities on Friday put security on high alert in Lahore especially around the airport area following the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s day-long visit to the city.A PM House spokesman confirmed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will receive his Indian counterpart at the Lahore airport who is expected to reach here around 2.45 PM (local time) from Afghanistan.”PM Modi’s plane is scheduled to arrive at the Lahore airport shortly,” the spokesman said, adding that the Indian premier would stay in Lahore for about two hours. Meanwhile, heavy contingent of police and Pakistan Rangers have reached the Allama Iqbal International Airport and taken charge of the security.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: PM Modi to make sudden visit to Pakistan today after speech at Afghan Parliament”Security in Lahore has been put on high alert,” a senior police official told PTI. He said police have also been deployed on the adjoining areas of the airport. A PML-N source told PTI that Sharif had invited Modi to attend the marriage of his granddaughter Mehrun Nisa which is taking place today at the Sharif’s Raiwind palatial residence of Raiwind.”I cannot confirm but there are chances that Modi goes to Raiwind and holds meeting with PM Sharif at his residence,” he said. Earlier, Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said, “Yes, we have been informed by the Indian High Commission that PM Narendra Modi would stop over in Lahore to meet our PM today. Details are being worked out.”Also Read: LIVE Updates: PM Modi addresses Afghan Parliament, announces 500 scholarships for children; promises everlasting friendship

Be wary of that imported scotch being offered for cheap! It may be fake

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Sources said a huge racket involved in this business exists in and around Mumbai.

Tempted by that offer of a bottle of premium scotch claimed to be sourced from a “duty-free” shop and being offered at a hefty discount for your New Year bash? Do not fall prey to the lure as there are chances that this bottle may be a cheap brand of liquor being passed off as the original.”With December 31 round the corner, bootleggers and counterfeiters are cashing in on the increased demand for liquor by trying to pass off duplicate liquor as the original brew for cheaper by claiming that it has been sourced from duty-free shops. For instance, a bottle of high-end whiskey which costs Rs 5,000 in a wine shop may be sold for around Rs 2,500 by these people with the bottle containing mid-range liquor,” said a senior state excise department official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier this month, the state excise flying squad raided a building in Andheri (West) and arrested six people involved in manufacturing and sale of duplicate Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). They also seized bottles of premium whiskey brands and raw material.The prime target of these rackets, which make a killing due to the margins involved, is the neo-rich class which seeks to shift from low quality liquor to premium brands but is unable to distinguish between original and duplicate versions.Liquor smugglers also try to cash in on the higher demand for liquor by bringing in duty-evaded alcohol from neighbouring states Goa and Daman, which have liberal excise duty regimes than Maharashtra, leading to cheaper goods.The flying squad also intercepted 500 boxes of duty-evaded IMFL and beer, which were brought into Maharashtra from Goa and Madhya Pradesh, and arrested two people. The stash, which is worth Rs18 lakh, includes 350 boxes of whiskey and 150 boxes of a popular brand of strong beer.Sources said a huge racket involved in this business exists in and around Mumbai. The kingpins and foot soldiers of this illegal business rent premises on a temporary basis in Bandra, Santa Cruz, Khar, Vile Parle, Andheri and Goregaon and prepare duplicate liquor.These counterfeiters purchase empty bottles from bhangar (scrap) shops or order original-looking replicas of bottles and caps from other countries which are then brought to Maharashtra via neighbouring states.Though it is mandatory for all retail outlets to smash bottles of premium imported brands, like scotch and single malts, and deface or remove labels from empty IMFL bottles to prevent their misuse, it is difficult to ensure that individual consumers followed suit.”It is necessary for people to purchase liquor from authorised wine shops because there are chances that bootleggers may be bottling cheap quality alcohol in bottles of premium brands and passing them off as originals. Such liquor may also be harmful for health,” said a senior state excise official.

Russia and India hail partnership

Russian and Indian leaders Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi stress the partnership between their two countries as they sign a series of deals.

No Indian casualties in Saudi fire incident: Sushma Swaraj

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Describing the incident as “unfortunate”, Swaraj said all Indians were safe.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said there were no Indian casualties in the fire incident today at a hospital in Saudi Arabia where 30 Indian nurses were on duty. At least 31 people were killed and over 100 injured in the blaze at the hospital in the southwestern port city of Jizan, reports said. The blaze broke out at the intensive care unit and the maternity department of the hospital. Describing the incident as “unfortunate”, Swaraj said all Indians were safe. “Unfortunate fire incident in Jizan Hospital, Saudi Arabia with many casualties. Our Consulate reports from Jeddah that all Indians are safe,” Swaraj tweeted. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also tweeted, saying there were no Indian casualties in the incident. “Update on Fire in Jizan Central Hospital, Saudi Arabia where 30 Indian nurses were on duty. Consulate confirms no Indian casualties,” Swarup tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Car rationing to curb Delhi pollution

The local government in the Indian capital announces major restrictions on private cars to curb “alarming levels” of pollution.

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence, Russian firm to make four frigates for India

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PM Modi is currently on a visit to Russia, where he will hold talks and sign pacts with President Vladimir Putin.

INS Sahyadri

AFP photo
Reliance Defence is set to enter into an agreement with Russian United Shipbuilding Company (USC) to build four frigates for the Indian Navy, according to a report in Hindustan Times. It will be the first time that a major warship will be built at a private sector shipyard in India.This could be a major boost to the Make in India initiative. PM Modi is currently on a visit to Russia, where he will hold talks and sign pacts with President Vladimir Putin. The agreement to build frigates might be signed during this visit.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>These four front-line warships will be built at a cost of nearly Rs 30,000 crore at the Pipavav shipyard in Gujarat, says the report. Currently India has 35 Russian warships.All Indian Navy surface ships of Russian and USSR origin shall be refitted and modernised as well, according to an agreement between Reliance Defence and USC.If the agreement is signed, it will be the first of its kind between a Russian defence OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and an Indian private sector company. The total value of the agreements could exceed Rs 66,000 crores.

Government unveils major changes in defence offset policy

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It has made amendments in the ‘offset’ policy to allow “flexibility to the vendors in offset contracts and reinstatement of services as an avenue for discharge of offset obligations and level playing field to Indian vendors in capital acquisitions”.

The ministry of defence (MoD) on Wednesday introduced significant policy measures that could help in promoting ease of doing business and in pushing the Make in India programme in the defence sector.It has made amendments in the ‘offset’ policy to allow “flexibility to the vendors in offset contracts and reinstatement of services as an avenue for discharge of offset obligations and level playing field to Indian vendors in capital acquisitions”.A 30 per cent offset in contracts valued above Rs 3 billion under “buy” and ‘buy and make” categories is mandatory.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Vendors had been expressing difficulty to upfront provide specific description of products and their work share, supporting documents to establish eligibility of Indian offset partners (IOPs) and yearly discharge schedule. This is primarily due to the time lag between submission of technical offset offers and finalisation and subsequent implementation of offset contracts. As a result there were frequent contract amendment requests from vendors.Accordingly, a two pronged approach for mitigating perceived bottlenecks during pre and post contract stage has been evolved through amendments to offset guidelines,” the ministry said in a statement.At pre-contract stage option has been given to the vendors to submit detailed offset proposals at a later stage. The vendor can finalise his IOPs and offset product details one year prior to the intended offset discharge, or can even undertake the offset activity and submit claims thereafter. This will facilitate vendors to finalise a more realistic offset offer.At the post contract stage, enabling provisions have been made in the offset guidelines for change in IOP or component and re-phasing of offset schedule. The Standard Operating Procedure will now make it possible to address requests from vendors to change their IOP or their offset component as per requirement during the period of the contract.Another major change has been with regards to bringing ‘Services’ back as an eligible Offset which was kept in abeyance since 23 May, 2013 in the light of scandal involving VVIP choppers. This has been done following a persistent demand from the industry (both domestic and foreign) for allowing services as a valid avenue for discharge of offset obligations. A business potential push of an estimated over 3 Million USD can be effected through this new clause. Indian vendors participating in ‘Buy Global’ cases were at a disadvantageous position in terms of fulfilling offset obligations. In order to promote ‘Make in India’, a level playing field has been provided and an Indian vendor has been brought at par with the foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers in terms of fulfilling offset obligations. Notably, on Tuesday, DIPP data showed dismal FDI equity flow in defence at just 0.08 Million USD between Oct 2014 – Sep 2015.

Chargesheet rules out conspiracy angle in Dadri murder

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It names names 15 of the total 19 accused identified by Akhlaq’s daughter Shaista and his son Danish Saifi

Uttar Pradesh police, while filing a chargesheet in Dadri lynching case, ruled out conspiracy angle into the murder of Mohamamad Akhlaq who was beaten to death in Dadri’s Bisara village on September 28 by a mob that accused him of eating beef.The move can prove it difficult for the victim’s counsel or prosecution to establish murder charges (302) against any specific person or persons as the chargesheet has not invoked conspiracy charges giving more precedence to charges of rioting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The chargesheet names 15 of the total 19 accused identified by Akhlaq’s daughter Shaista and his son Danish Saifi, who was also injured grievously in the attack allegedly led by Vishan Rana, the son of a local BJP leader Sanjay Rana.Initially 10 persons were named in the first information report (FIR) which also listed another 5-6 unknown suspects. The accused were booked under section 323, 304, 506, 307, 427 and 458 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 302 (murder), section 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapons and 149 (unlawful assembly) were added to the FIR later leaving out an the important 120 A section which could have established criminal conspiracy.On the night of the incident Vishal and his cousin Shivam Rana, had allegedly asked Hindu residents of Bisara to ‘gather near the electric transformer, as remains of a slaughtered calf had been discovered’. A mob gathered outside Akhlaq’s residence and attacked his family with iron rods and sticks. While Akhlaq succumbed to his injuries, his son Danish survived the attack after receiving medical treatment for more than two months.In a statement to the police, a copy of which is with dna, Vishal was quoted as, “Some people informed us that (Mohamad) Akhlaq, a Muslim, had slaughtered a cow which is considered as mother in Hindu religion. Our feelings were provoked and after that we entered deceased Akhlaq’s home and injured Danish by beating him. We beat up deceased Akhlaq and dragged him towards the transformer and left him there.””I know the people who provoked us to take the step. I don’t know them by their name but I can recognise their faces and can identify them if police takes us to them” the document reads further.When asked why the police has ruled out criminal conspiracy a senior police officer said, “We have taken cognisance of the FIR and the case diary which does not indicate that there was a criminal conspiracy. There is no main accused in the case. In a riot and no one can be sure of the exact role of the accused”. The statement means that Vishal and Shivam, who allegedly instigated the mob, are also not being considered as prime accused.Furthermore while it was believed that there were two juveniles involved in the murder, it has come to fore that one of the juvenile has turned out to be above 18. This was after verifying his school documents.Two more persons, Puneet and Bhim, were arrested on Wednesday while two others, identified by Danish continue to be absconding indicating a chance of a supplementary chargesheet in the case. A total of 19 people are accused in the case.

Jammu and Kashmir: Strategically important state-of-the-art bridge all set to be dedicated to nation

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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
dna photo

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.

Pro-ISIS elements posting messages in regional languages: Government

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Government is closely monitoring the situation, Rajya Sabha was informed.

Some elements, who support the dreaded terrorist group ISIS, have posted messages in Indian regional languages, including Hindi and Tamil, Rajya Sabha was informed today.”As per available intelligence inputs, pro-ISIS elements have posted messages in the social media in Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Gujarati and English,” Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in a written reply.He said the government is closely monitoring the situation and has directed the intelligence and security agencies to identify potential recruits and keep them under surveillance.”The cyber space is also being monitored,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chaudhary said ISIS is one of the 39 organisations which were declared unlawful under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

In Russia, Narendra Modi will regale 3,000 ‘friends of India’

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a two-day visit to Russia on Wednesday for annual summit talks aimed at further expanding the defence ties by signing $1 billion agreement to produce military helicopters in India and focus on nuclear energy, hydrocarbons and trade.

Determined to unveil mystery of the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is set to seek cooperation of Russian President Vladimir Putin to request access to secret Russian files to probe the missing link. Many authors have alleged that under the instructions of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Russian dictator Jospeh Stalin had confined Bose in Siberia’s Yakutsk city, some 6,000km away from Moscow and he could have been buried there.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a two-day visit to Russia on Wednesday for annual summit talks aimed at further expanding the defence ties by signing $1 billion agreement to produce military helicopters in India and focus on nuclear energy, hydrocarbons and trade.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The two events, Modi has specifically included in his itinerary, are a detailed briefing at Emercom, Russia’s emergency response agency during disasters, to get an overview of tackling natural catastrophe, so frequent in India over past few years.The Emercom is world famous dynamic force, known in the field of humanitarian response and emergency relief operations. Further, while there is no significant Indian community in Moscow, to recreate the aura of New York’s Madison Square Garden, UK’s Wembly or Dubai’s cricket stadium buzz, ministry of external affairs has identified 3,000 Russians, whom they describe, ‘friends of India’ to listen to the Prime Minister at the Moscow exhibition ground. Weary about Russia warming up and even having agreed to supply military equipment to Pakistan, officials said the summit will provide an opportunity to both countries to look at regional and global issues. Russian ambassador in India few months ago had publicly expressed concern at India’s growing closeness with the United States and switching to alternative defence markets. But the foreign secretary S. Jaishankar said the envoy’s comments were in a context. “If the Russian ambassador does not promote Russian aircraft, whose aircraft he will promote? He is doing his job,” he said. Major challenge between the two countries is that despite being all-weather friends, trade has remained limited. Foreign Secretary said expanding economic ties would be a ‘very big priority’ Energy-starved India, the third largest oil importer after the United States and China, has been pushing for greater involvement in major gas and oil exploration projects in Russia. India is also likely to push for a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Zone and is sharing details of the study it conducted in this regard.Last week, the defence ministry’s top acquisition council had cleared the purchase of Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems at an estimated cost of Rs 40,000 crore. It will be Modi’s second summit with Putin who was in India last year for the 15th India Russia Summit.On Wednesday, Putin will host a private dinner for the prime minister and the two leaders will interact with a group of Indian and Russian chief executive officers in Kremlin on Thursday.After the summit talks last year, it was announced that Russia will build at least 12 nuclear reactors besides manufacturing advanced dual-use helicopters. The two countries had signed 20 agreements in oil, gas, defence, investment and other key sectors.

BSF plane crash: Biggest ever loss for the force

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As per records, early today at 9:45 am, a call from a satellite-based device was received at the Palam hangar about some “mis-happening” with the now ill-fated plane, registered as VT-BSA, and at 9:50 am the ATC Palam confirmed that the aircraft has “crashed” in Dwarka

Parts of the crashed plane

With ten of its most experienced men being killed in a tragic crash on Tuesday, the elite BSF air wing is staring at one of its biggest losses and a vacuum created in its ranks raised exclusively for air support roles for troops deployed to ensure the internal security of the country.The three officers and other technicians and engineers flying the lone 1995 vintage Superking B-200 of the Border Security Force were also trained to handle the most modern asset the force has inducted recently in its inventory – the Mi-17 V5. This advanced ‘Mi’ chopper is equipped with an all- weather radar that makes it the most reliable machine for extricating troops and inserting commandos for operations in dense jungles and high-altitude any time of the day and during darkness and bad weather.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The six technicians who were killed were trained to take care of the Mi-17 V5’s inducted recently. While two such choppers have just been inducted early this year, six more will come in batches in the BSF airwing. “The choppers are required to cater to the increasing usage and role of security forces deployed along difficult border areas and in the internal security grid,” a senior official said. These men whom we have lost today, the official said, were experienced and had in-depth knowledge of these assets entrusted with the largest border guarding force of the country.”They were going to service a Dhruv chopper stationed in Ranchi,” another official said. The official said the crash in Dwarka has come as the biggest ever hit to this small unit which has about 30 flying machines, including helicopters and fixed wing aircrafts, and about 200 personnel. “There have been crashes of choppers earlier which has not only led to loss of the asset but has also killed pilots and crew in the line of duty but this is a jolt,” the official said. The intake in the air wing is already less, the official said, considering the specialised nature of the job and difficulty in getting talented personnel and officers from other forces and the Indian Air Force.”The crash has come at a time when the BSF is completing 50 years in the service of the nation. It already has a number of challenges to meet vis-a-vis keeping the two most important borders of the country with Pakistan and Bangaldesh secure and this accident is surely a big test of nerves for the top brass and the government,” another official serving in the wing said.As per records, early today at 9:45 am, a call from a satellite-based device was received at the Palam hangar about some “mis-happening” with the now ill-fated plane, registered as VT-BSA, and at 9:50 am the ATC Palam confirmed that the aircraft has “crashed” in Dwarka. The BSF air wing has a fleet of four fixed wing aircraft, one Embraer, two Avros and the crashed Superking (SKA B-200).Besides 15 helicopters consisting of six MI-17 1V, two advanced Mi-17 V5 choppers, six Advance Light Helicopters (Dhruv) and one Cheetah helicopter operate under the command of Home Ministry. The Superking was inducted in 1994-95 in the border guarding force for air support roles

Babbar Khalsa International terrorist nabbed in Portugal

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Paramjeet Singh, alias Pamma, against whom a red corner notice was issued, was arrested from a hotel where he was staying with his wife and four children aged between seven and 11

Portuguese lawyer of Indian allegedly conspirator Paramjeet Singh Pamma, Manuel Luis Ferreira speaks to journalists outside the Evora city appeal court where Pamma was judged on December 21, 2015. Paramjeet Singh Pamma was arrested on December 18, 2015 in Algarve, Southern Portugal, under an InterPol warrant for conspiracy in the 2010 bombings in Patalia and Ambala

AFP
A Babbar Khalsa International terrorist, who is wanted for murder and bombing in Punjab, has been arrested in the southern Portugal town of Evora.Paramjeet Singh, alias Pamma, against whom a red corner notice was issued, was arrested from a hotel where he was staying with his wife and four children aged between seven and 11, sources said. India is likely to send an extradition request to Portugal soon as a court in Evora is awaiting for a formal request from New Delhi.Singh is a leader of the banned Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and wanted for conspiracy in two 2010 bomb attacks in Punjab and the 2009 killing of Rulda Singh, leader of a Hindu group, officials said.Paramjeet Singh lived in Britain, where he obtained political asylum in 2004.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sources said several Sikh groups based in Canada and UK have been trying prevent Singh’s extradition to India. At least 6,000 Euros was collected in France and 20,000 pounds was collected in UK, apparently to fight Singh’s case to prevent him extradited to India, sources said.

India toughens law for juvenile crimes

The Indian parliament passes a bill which allows juveniles between 16 and 18 years of age to be tried as adults for serious crimes like rape or murder.

Govt recommends traditional medicine practitioners for Medical Termination of Pregnancy

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Minister of State for AYUSH, Shripad Yesso Naik maintained that the conditionality regarding place of service delivery, training requirement, gestation limit, technology would be defined in the Rules subsequent to approval of the MTP Amendment Bill by Parliament.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
The Health Ministry has proposed an amendment to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act and recommended inclusion of medical practitioners with degrees in traditional medicine to increase the availability of legal abortion services, Rajya Sabha was told on Tuesday.”The Union Health Ministry has proposed an amendment to the MTP Act, 1971 to increase the availability of safe and legal abortion services wherein it is being recommended to increase the base of legal MTP providers…This is proposed to be done “by including medical practitioners with Bachelor’s degree in Unani, Siddha, Ayurveda or Homeopathy and working in public health sector using medical methods of abortion,” Minister of State for AYUSH, Shripad Yesso Naik said in a written reply.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, he said that the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) have objected to inclusion of new cadres of providers. Naik said that they are opposed to allowing non-allopaths to ‘prescribe’ allopathic medicines and perform allopathic procedures.”The Health Ministry has invited the IMA and FOGSI representatives to provide a solution for ensuring safe abortion services for women in rural remote areas where there is no allopathic doctor to which, however, no solution has been offered,” he said.He said that the ministry has proposed to allow these practitioners in public facilities in the expanded provider base to conduct MTPs using medical methods of abortion.Naik maintained that the conditionality regarding place of service delivery, training requirement, gestation limit, technology would be defined in the Rules subsequent to approval of the MTP Amendment Bill by Parliament.Replying to another question, he said that as per information provided by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TDKL) consists of 2.93 lakh medical formulations of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha available in public domain in five international languages while work on TDKL Yoga is under progress.Naik said that ten international access agreements on TDKL have been concluded with US Patent and Trademark Office, Patent offices of Europe, Canada, Germany, Japan, the UK, Australia, Malaysia and Chile including Indian Patent office. He said that the Russian Patent office has approached India for entering into TDKL access agreement and the negotiations are in advance stage. He said that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has informed that a proposal has been moved for signing access agreement with World Intellectual Property Organisation to include TDKL under Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Minimum Documentation to prevent the misappopriation of traditional knowledge through wrongful grant of patents in other countries.

VIDEO: Ten die in India plane crash

A light aircraft has crashed on take-off near the airport in the Indian capital, Delhi, killing 10 people.

With eye on China, India seeks armed drones from US

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India had requested for the latest Avenger drones, which is basically an unmanned combat air vehicle, and is mainly being sought after with an eye on China. It has also sought Predator XP category which is a surveillance version for internal security issues and terrorist threats.

A representational picture of drone camera Getty Images

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With an objective to bolster its arsenal amid recurring incidents of incursions by Chinese troops, India has sought the latest versions of unmanned aerial vehicles, both the armed and surveillance ones from US.Industry sources familiar with New Delhi’s interest and ongoing talks between the two governments, said that India is looking for about 100 such drones worth USD 2 billion.India had requested for the latest Avenger drones, which is basically an unmanned combat air vehicle, and is mainly being sought after with an eye on China. It has also sought Predator XP category which is a surveillance version for internal security issues and terrorist threats.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, while talks in this regard have accelerated in the past few months, the United States has not made any formal commitment or given a public indication pending India’s application to joining Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).Italy, which is upset with New Delhi’s treatment of its marines, appears to have currently blocked India becoming a member of MTCR.However, both Indian and US officials are confident that they would be able to get through the last hurdle in the next few months, thus making them possible to take the defence trade which would include armed drones to the next level.”Yes, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc is aware of India’s interest in Predator -series Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA),” Vivek Lall, chief executive of the US and International Strategic Development of General Atomics told PTI.General Atomics Aeronautical Systems produces Predator series of remotely piloted aircraft.”Due to US export laws, the US government has to approve the export of a Predator-series RPA to the Indian government.GA-ASI remains very encouraged by the recent India-US bilateral engagements at the highest levels and we are hopeful that we can play an important supporting role in these discussions,” he said.”Predator-series RPA could provide a world-class Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability for India which would include both high-definition radar and Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) coverage along India’s borders,” Lall said in response to a question.Additionally, the RPA can perform humanitarian aid/disaster relief surveillance over both land and sea, said Lall, who had previously played a key role in US sale of high tech military assets to India during his stint at Boeing.Lall gave positive indication of General Atomics’ interest in the path breaking DTTI and Narendra Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.”GA-ASI is very interested in opportunities to work with new international industrial partners. We focus on identifying those opportunities that leverage the strengths and growth capabilities of new partners to enhance the already impressive capabilities delivered by Predator-series RPA,” Lall said.Predator-series RPA provide a highly reliable, cost-effective ISR capability that is fully inter-operable with US forces and US military platforms in the Indian military’s aircraft inventory, he said.The aircraft can perform wide-area surveillance along India’s extensive terrestrial and marine borders, he added.”Extremely safe and reliable, Predator-series RPA have been updated with state-of-the-art technologies, including an automatic takeoff and landing capability, redundant flight control surfaces, enhanced avionics, and triple-redundant flight control computers,” Lall said.Noting that GA-ASI also is committed to developing a Detect and Avoid (DAA) capability for its RPA, Lal said the company is currently developing a DAA system, enabling it to successfully detect and avoid cooperative and non-cooperative aircraft.”It has most recently accomplished the task during a series of flight tests conducted in conjunction with the FAA and NASA,” he said.According to Lall, Predator-series RPA may be integrated with multiple ISR sensors, including state-of-the-art EO / IR cameras and GA-ASI’s Lynx Multi-mode Radar which features a state-of-the-art Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mode that offers all-weather, day/night performance for a wide-area search capability.Its Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) mode provides a quick and easy method for locating moving vehicles, he said.The radar’s Maritime Wide Area Search (MWAS) mode provides the capability to complete a variety of maritime missions successfully, including coastal surveillance, long-range surveillance, small target detection, and search and rescue operations.”Predator-series RPA also are equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for identifying vessels at sea.Other sensors may be integrated at the customer’s request,” Lall said.”Additionally, Predator-series RPA are equipped with both Line-of-Sight (LOS) and Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLOS) data link systems for over-the-horizon operations. The ability to be flown from remote locations precludes the need for a large logistics footprint at forward operating bases,” he said.

PM Modi’s visit to Russia: Are India’s defence eggs still in the Russian basket?

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Since the early 1960s, Soviet Union/Russia has been India’s largest defence weapons supplier. At the height of the Cold war, 85% of Indian Navy, 75% of Indian Air Force and over 50% of Indian Army equipment were of Russian origin.

Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi
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PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Russia on December 23-24 to hold an annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.In addition to inking agreements on furthering the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant beyond stage 1 & 2, they are likely to push forward a plan to assemble Russian Kamov-226T helicopters in India. It is a light multipurpose helicopter and is meant to replace Chetak and Cheetah. The helicopters will be built primarily for the Indian armed forces and also for exports. Russia has reportedly offered full manufacture in India. India’s Ministry of Defence is currently scouting to choose a public or private sector partner company from within India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of the visit, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) also approved purchase of the very potent Russian S-400 air defence missile system with a range of 400 km. Five units would cost Rs 40,000 crores. Only preliminary discussions may take place at this stage. Since the early 1960s, Soviet Union/Russia has been India’s largest defence weapons supplier. At the height of the Cold War, 85% of Indian Navy, 75% of Indian Air Force and over 50% of Indian Army equipment were of Russian origin. Purchase of Jaguar and Mirage-2000 aircraft in 1970-80s was a major departure. There was always a strong desire to move to alternative sources. The rise of China and desire of USA and the West to move closer to India resulted in offers of modern weapons that were hitherto not available.In fact, Russia was somewhat upset when its MiG-35 lost to the French Dassault Rafale in the MMRCA contest; and also when IAF chose to buy the Boeing Chinook CH-47 heavy-lift helicopter over the only competitor Russian Mi-26; and the Boeing Apache-64 D won the attack helicopter competition against the Russian Mi-28 N Night Hunter. Six Airbus A330 tanker aircraft are being inducted in preference to Russian IL-78. Earlier, the India Navy chose the Boeing P-8I Poseidon to replace the ageing Russian TU-142. On the other hand, India was upset with Russia for reportedly agreeing to sell four Mi-35M – very modern attack helicopters – to Pakistan to strengthen their counter terror capability. The Indian Army’s armour has been dominated by Russian T-72 and T-90 tanks. The mechanised infantry uses Russian infantry combat vehicles. Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, the latest fighter aircraft MiG-29K, many of the frigates and most of its submarine fleet are of Russian origin.For years, our Navy has flown variants of Russian Kamov helicopters. BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is an Indo-Russian joint venture for the three services. Indian Air Force (IAF) will soon have all 272 Sukhoi Su-30 MKI already committed. More orders are likely. IAF recently upgraded MiG-29s. IL-76 and An-32 transport aircraft, the AEW&C and Air-refuelling aircraft are all Russian origin. Nearly 200 Russian Mi-17 helicopter variants will dominate IAF’s medium lift helicopter fleet for next two decades. It will also act as the VVIP helicopter till a new one is decided.Nearly 400 Kamov-226T will join the three armed forces. The surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles are mostly Russian. IAF is already committed to many future projects with Russians. A sum of Rs 40,000 crore is committed for just the design and development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). 214 aircrafts are planned to be inducted into IAF at a cost of Rs 670 crores a piece. There are already delays and cost escalation. A joint venture 20-tonne Medium-lift Transport Aircraft (MTA) will finally take-off early next year with both sides agreeing to commit funds. Is the balance still tilted heavily towards the Russians? India’s experience of the last five decades is that the Russian weapon systems are rugged and fairly good operationally. While they are initially relatively inexpensive, over the years, life-cycle costs work-out much higher than Western counterparts. Poor maintenance support often resulted in lower service abilities and sometimes, accidents. With so many defence projects already unfolding, it is an umbilical cord that will stay connected in the 21st century.

Air India stops 19 Indian students from boarding Hyderabad – San Francisco flight

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Air India on Monday night barred 19 Indian students from boarding its flight to San Fransisco so they are not “inconvenienced” after being told by the US authorities that the two universities to which they had secured admission were under “scrutiny”.

Air India on Monday night barred 19 Indian students from boarding its flight to San Fransisco so they are not “inconvenienced” after being told by the US authorities that the two universities to which they had secured admission were under “scrutiny”.The national carrier, which did not allow these students to board the flight at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, has decided not to accept students headed to these universities till the time it got clearance from Air India’s US office for their travel.”Air India received communication on December 19, 2015 from the US Customs and Border Protection agency that two universities namely Silicon Valley, San Jose, California and North Western Polytechnic College, Fremont, CA are under scrutiny and students who arrived into San Francisco were not allowed to enter the US and were deported back to India,” an Air India statement said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In the past, we have witnessed that students who secured admission in those institutions have been deported to India as soon as they land there. To avoid embarrassment to them and save their money, we prevented them from boarding the flight,” an AI official said in Hyderabad.Air India has offered full refund and waived all charges such as cancellation and rescheduling fee.The airliner said it will start accepting students travelling to join these universities, at no additional cost, as soon as clearance is received from Air India’s US office.The statement said so far 14 students who travelled on Air India flights to San Francisco have been deported. Students travel on a one-way ticket to the US and, in the event of deportation, incur huge expenditure to buy a ticket back to India on first available service. Further, seats are often not available on any airlines to travel back,” it said.”Considering the situation, as a precautionary measure and to avoid inconvenience, students booked for travel to take admission to these universities are not being accepted on Air India flights,” the statement said.US Consulate officials in Hyderabad said they are trying to gather information on the episode.”We are indeed aware of the reports that some students were denied entry on the flights to the US. At this time, we don’t have any further information to share with you on this particular issue, but we are seeking clarity on the situation.”As soon as we have new information, we will get back to you immediately,” an email reply from the US Consulate said.When contacted, an immigration official at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport said that clearance for boarding a flight has to be given by the airline concerned through the issuance of boarding pass.”The students were not issued boarding passes. It is the airline’s responsibility to clear passengers. We have nothing to do with the issue,” he said.

Three generations united by the hell of war

Touching tales of Indians who fought in WW1

Indian sought for murder, bomb attacks held in Portugal

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Gujarat HC notices to Gujarat govt and police on Hardik Patel’s bail plea

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Hardik is at present behind the bars in two separate sedition cases.
File Photo
PTI
The Gujarat High Court on Monday issued notices to the state government and police on Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel’s bail plea in a sedition case filed against him by the city crime branch.Justice A J Desai issued the notices and kept the next hearing on January 6.Hardik is at present behind the bars in two separate sedition cases. This particular bail plea was in reference to the second sedition case filed against him and five others by the city crime branch, in which they were charged with inciting people to resort to violence during the quota agitation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bail plea says that the sedition charge against Hardik are politically motivated. It also mentions that charging Hardik and others Patel quota agitation leaders with sedition was an attempt by the state government to suppress a legitimate agitation for reservation.Today when the court proceedings begun, the high court faced a dilemma as two bail applications were filed in the same sedition case. While one application was filed by his old lawyer B M Mangukia, the other one was filed by lawyer Rafiq Lokhandwala and Zubin Bharda. However, Hardik’s family members said they have appointed new lawyers, after which Mangukia withdrew the plea filed by him.The crime branch had charged Hardik and five of his key aides under Indian Penal Code sections 121 (waging war against government), 124 (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity). However, the high court had recently removed section 121, 153-A and 153-B from the FIR, while sedition charge was upheld.Hardik’s bail plea has been rejected by Additional Sessions Judge N G Dave earlier. Hardik has also filed an application in the high court seeking bail in the first sedition case filed against him in Surat. The sessions court in Surat had also rejected his bail plea on December 10.Surat police booked him under sedition charge for allegedly inciting a fellow activist to kill policemen instead of committing suicide.

Nirbhaya case | Juveniles given certificate to rape: Victim’s mother on SC verdict

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Nirbhaya’s mother also insisted that she would not be demoralised by this decision but would continue her fight to make change in the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill.

PTI
Disappointed with Supreme Court’s decision to reject the petition filed by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case, Nirbhaya’s parents on Monday said that the women of this country will never get justice.”I knew that the petition would be dismissed as the Supreme Court had dismissed my petition in 2014 also. By releasing the juvenile convict, all the courts have given encouragement to this heinous crime and have given certificate to all the juveniles that there is no provision in the law which can punish them and therefore they can commit any crime such as rape etc,” Nirbhaya’s mother said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The courts are actually concerned about the convicts and not the victims. The women of this country have always been betrayed and this has happened once again also. Nobody is concerned about women safety and there would never be any change in the Indian laws and women will never get justice,” she added.She also insisted that she would not be demoralised by this decision but would continue her fight to make change in the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill.Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years.The parents of the victim protested in the national capital yesterday. Hundreds of sympathisers joined them at Rajpath near India Gate to show solidarity. The victim’s mother had said that she wanted justice for her daughter and said steps should have been taken long before to not set him free.Six persons, including the juvenile, had assaulted and raped Nirbhaya in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012.The victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital. Four of the accused were awarded death penalty by the trial court which was later confirmed by the Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Another accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in 2013.

The yoga guru turned company boss

Selling consumption in India on the back of spiritualism

Pakistan apprehends 70 fishermen; seizes 11 boats

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The incident took place this morning and the association came to know about it from other fishermen who were fishing nearby
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Pakistani Marine Security Agency (MSA) on Sunday apprehended around 70 fishermen and seized their 11 boats from international waters off Jakhau coast of Gujarat, fishermen association said in Ahmedabad. “Pakistani MSA has today apprehended 70 fishermen from international waters off Jakhau,” National Fishworkers Forum secretary Manish Lodhari said. “The fishermen were in 12 boats, but one of the boats somehow caught fire and drowned during the MSA operation. We don’t know the reason on how it happened. Fishermen of the drowned boat were rescued. They have seized 11 boats and are taking the boats and men towards Karachi,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The incident took place this morning and the association came to know about it from other fishermen who were fishing nearby, Lodhari said. The Indian Coast Guard and police have been informed about the incident, he added.

Actor Orlando Bloom deported, Sushma Swaraj comes to his rescue

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“The Minister asked the Foreign Secretary to speak to the Indian High Commissioner in London to issue a ‘Tatkal’ (urgent) visa to the British actor so that he could attend the state function,” the sources said.

Orlando Bloom

British actor Orlando Bloom was on Sunday deported to the UK soon after his arrival here as his E-visa had been rejected following which External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj came to his help to get a visa.The 38-year-old actor, who was invited by the Uttar Pradesh Government for a state event, was told after he landed here that his e-visa has been rejected and subsequently, he was deported, according to sources.Following this, former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh spoke to Swaraj seeking her intervention in the matter, they said. “The Minister asked the Foreign Secretary to speak to the Indian High Commissioner in London to issue a ‘Tatkal’ (urgent) visa to the British actor so that he could attend the state function,” the sources said. Following the direction, the actor was granted visa.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The British actor rose to fame after his performance in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. His best-known roles include Legolas in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Paris in Troy, and Balian de Ibelin in Kingdom of Heaven.

RSS attempts to reach out to Dalits; asks volunteers to adopt families, slums

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RSS claims this programme is part of a campaign to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of its third sarsanghchalak, the late Madhukar Dattatraya Deoras.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat
Arijit Sen
dna
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is going all out to affirm its pro-Dalit credentials, a few months after its chief Mohan Bhagwat called for a reassessment of the reservation system.According to Indian Express, the RSS has told its volunteers across the country to adopt at least one family each from the community, intermingle with their family members, dine with them and work towards bringing them into the mainstream of society. The volunteers also have to expose the Dalit family to their families and introduce the Sangh ideology.Sangh shakhas in urban areas are to adopt slums and interact with Dalits there. In rural areas, district units of the RSS will adopt Dalit-dominated villages.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RSS claims this programme is part of a campaign to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of its third sarsanghchalak, the late Madhukar Dattatraya Deoras.RSS office-bearers claim Deoras strove against the practice of untouchability. They say that he worked towards emancipation of Dalits as well.The RSS has published a speech of Deoras that he had delivered against untouchability, which they have handed over to volunteers.

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif tells ministers not to make anti-India remarks: Reports

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The ministers and senior officials have been stopped from issuing statements which could damage the peace process, the report said.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
File Photo
Getty Images
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed his ministers and aides not to make anti-India statements that can affect the recently resumed peace dialogue, according to a media report.”There will be statements only that encourage the dialogue process rather than digging out the past. The Prime Minister has asked close aides and cabinet members to promote peace,” a close aide of Sharif was quoted as saying by The Nation.The measure was taken to let peace process move forward after being set in motion this month. The ministers and senior officials have been stopped from issuing statements which could damage the peace process, the report said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sharif’s aide was quoted as saying that the Prime Minister was optimistic about better ties with India which would benefit the whole region. He said Sharif was annoyed by some statements from India but understands this is not the Indian government’s policy. Sharif, the aide said, wanted to give top priority to Kashmir, terrorism and trade when the two sides sit on the table to discuss peace.Another official was quoted as saying that the Prime Minister and the military leadership were on the same page to make peace with India.”There is no difference of opinion and both agree that there should be no compromise on the stated position on key issues,” he said.Analysts say it was a positive development that Pakistan and India agreed to resume comprehensive dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan earlier this month during which she called on Prime Minister Sharif and met his Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.After the meetings, the two countries decided to re-engage under the ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’. The Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet next month to work out the details of the dialogue.

BJP appoints VHP-supported Hindutva hardliner K Rajasekharan as Kerala unit chief

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Rajasekharan’s elevation may trigger a minority wave in the favour of LDF or UDF, feel some BJP leaders.

K Rajasekharan

The BJP on Friday appointed Hindutva hardliner Kummanam Rajasekharan, as the chief of the party’s Kerala unit, reports Indian Express.However, a section of BJP leaders feel that the appointment of Rajasekharan, who is known for his inflammatory speeches, would impede the party’s attempts to emerge as an alternative to the CPM-led LDF and the Congress-led UDF in Kerala.Rajasekharan’s elevation may trigger a minority wave in the favour of LDF or UDF, feel these leaders.The BJP has so far looked to consolidate Nairs, Ezhavas and section of Christians with an eye on the upcoming polls. But with Rajasekharan at the helm, the party may find it tough to get support from Christians.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP is also trying to forge an alliance with Kerala Congress (Mani) which could now be in jeopardy, says the report. The party has a strong Christian base.Rajasekharan was backed by VHP, while R Balashankar, former editor of Organiser, was supported by the RSS.

Mumbai double murder: Hema Upadhyay was warned of threat to life hours before death

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The family members of artist Hema Upadhyay suspect the role of her estranged husband Chintan Upadhyaya in the double murder and want the police to probe it.

Hema Upadhyay

Mumbai artist Hema Upadhyay, who was found murdered last weekend along with her lawyer, had received a call hours before her death warning of a threat to her life, says a report in Indian Express.Upadhyay received a call last Friday evening allegedly from a person working in the studio of absconding accused Vidyadhar Rajbhar. Shankar Lal, who worked with the artist in her studio in Andheri.”Between 4 pm and 5 pm on December 11, Hema received a call from somebody after which she got hold of a screwdriver and removed her name plate from outside her office. When I enquired she said that she had received a call where the caller had asked her to beware as her life was in danger,” Shankar Lal told police, says Indian Express.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The family members of artist Hema Upadhyay suspect the role of her estranged husband Chintan Upadhyaya in the double murder and want the police to probe it.The deceased artist’s cousin brother Deepak Prasad told mediapersons on Thursday that he and his other family members “strongly suspect Chintan’s role behind the conspiracy to kill Hema and her 65-year-old lawyer Harish Bhambhani”. Prasad also said that the motive, as cited, of the prime accused Vidhyadhar Rajbhar and his men to kill Hema and her lawyer for Rs five lakh was not true, as she had financially helped Vidhyadhar in the past and never asked him to return her money. He also alleged that some years back, Chintan had threatened Hema that he would kill her and could go to any extent to do that.Meanwhile, a senior police officer, who is probing the case, told PTI on Friday that, “When a body is recovered and identified, police immediately take the statements of the deceased’s relatives to get their version.””In this case too, we had taken the statements of the deceased’s relatives. Hema’s relatives have accused Chintan of hatching the conspiracy to kill her,” he said.Based on the statements of Hema’s relatives, Chintan was constantly grilled for four days by several police officers in connection with the twin murders, he said. The deceased artist’s husband still remains a “suspect” in the case, he said, adding the motive behind the murder is yet to become clear. However, without proper evidence, police cannot arrest anyone based on mere allegations, he further stated.Only after the arrest of the Vidhyadhar, who is on the run, the police could get a clear picture about involvement of Chintan, if any, the officer said. He also said that Hema’s relatives were trying to build pressure on the investigating team by approaching the media and expressing their views which they have already mentioned in the statements given to police.Bodies of noted installation artist Hema (43) and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani wrapped in plastic and packed in separate cardboard boxes were found dumped in a drain in suburban Kandivali on December 12.So far, police have arrested four persons in the case namely Azad Rajbhar, Pradeep Rajbhar, Vijay Rajbhar and Shivkumar Rajbhar alias Sadhu and booked them for murder and causing disappearance of evidence. Except Sadhu, who was nabbed from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, the remaining three were picked up from Kandivali on Sunday.Three of the accused –Azad, Pradeep and Vijay– were placed under arrest on Tuesday after being booked under IPC sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).The three, who are in police custody till Saturday, are in the business of manufacturing and selling fibre glass used by Hema and Chintan for their installations. Sadhu was earlier remanded in police custody till December 22.Based on leads provided by the accused during their sustained questioning, teams of Mumbai Police has been searching locations in and outside Maharashtra to nab Vidyadhar, who used to make the material required by Hema for her work.

How drought is making it harder to sell in rural India

How drought is making it harder to sell in rural India

Gadar Part 2: When a Sikh man chased away a gun-carrying nutcase in US

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There is dramatic surveillance video from Monday night, when the masked gunman tried to rob Singh’s gas station convenience store in Salt Point in Dutchess County.

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A 58-year-old Indian-American Sikh store owner bravely fought off a gun-wielding masked assailant by using his slipper, thwarting an attempted robbery here in the US. Amrik Singh, who managed to save his hard-earned money from the would-be robber, had a narrow escape in the fight as the assailant opened fire at him but the bullet missed him.”I tell you honestly, I’m not scared,” Singh was quoted as saying by abc7ny.com today.There is dramatic surveillance video from Monday night, when the masked gunman tried to rob Singh’s gas station convenience store in Salt Point in Dutchess County. The suspect handed the store owner a bag and Singh began filling it with cash from the register. There was a scuffle when the gunman demanded the larger bills he thinks are under the tray.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He said ‘Put the hundred dollar bill, the hundred dollar bill, and I said I don’t have a hundred dollar bill,” Singh said.Things took almost a comic turn when Singh flung a slipper at the suspect, hitting him near the face. Then Singh rushed the gunman and forced him out of the store, it reported. An outside camera showed him chasing the gunman as the suspect fired the weapon. The video was uploaded on You Tube.”I fell down, he didn’t get me, but he did shoot it outside in the parking lot,” Singh said.The blast left a hole in the ground. Singh suffered a scraped nose and experienced chest pain, but was not seriously hurt. Singh has owned Route 9 Mini Mart in Staatsburg for 17 years, and has been robbed once before. This time he fought back. He said he couldn’t get a good look at the suspect, but did manage to grab his mask. The New York State Police are hoping the video will generate leads. Watch the video:

LS, RS adjourned abrubtly because of lack of quorum

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There were 19 members in the House at that time, compared to a minimum of 25 needed for quorum.

Parliament

Lack quorum on Friday forced abrupt adjournment of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.Rajya Sabha, which re-convened at 2.30 pm after repeated adjournments caused by Congress protests, was to take up private members’ bills as is the practice on Fridays. Soon after, most BJP and Congress members moved out of the House as the Bill to amend the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950, moved by Vishambhar Prasad Nishad of Samajwadi Party on April 24, came up for voting. At this, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien said “if the members do not want to attend and there is no quorum, what can I do?” He then adjourned the House for the day.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There were 19 members in the House at that time, compared to a minimum of 25 needed for quorum. For quorum, there is a need for presence of 10 per cent of members of the total strength of 250 members of a House. The Lok Sabha was also adjourned for the day, a little past 5.30 PM because of lack of quorum when the discussion on a private member bill on Compulsory Voting was in progress. Hukum Narayan Yadav, who was in the Chair, wanted to extend the sitting by one hour as on Fridays the House timings are only till 5.30 pm.He sought the sense of the House to extend the time of the sitting so that the discussion on the bill could continue. Even as most of the members agreed, N K Premachandran of RSP objected, saying that it is being done so that a bill on the rights of transgenders is not taken up. “This is a black day in Indian Parliament… It is totally unfair,” he said, demanding that the bill on rights of transgenders be taken up.Noisy exchanges ensued between the Treasury benches and him. Premachandran then raised the issue of quorum as only around 20 members were present in the House. As per the rules, the Lower House should have at least 55 members, 10 per cent of the total strength of 545 members, present for quorum. Yadav then rang the ‘quorum bell’ and in the next few minutes, nearly ten members walked into the House.However, the number still was well below the quorum, forcing Yadav to adjourn the House for the day.Amid the protests, BJD’s Tatagatha Satpathy, who was supporting Premachandran, said the matter was not a question of Congress or BJP but of a group of citizens. Countering Premachandran, BJP’s Nishikant Dubey said since it is a private member bill, there is no need for a quorum. The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 has been prepared by N K Premachandran (RSP), Udit Raj (BJP) and Baijayant Panda (BJD). During the discussion on bill for Compulsory Voting, members of BJP differed on the practicality of implementing such a measure. Daddan Mishra (BJP) said participation of people was needed for a vibrant democracy and it was possible to introduce compulsory voting in the country. His party colleague Udit Raj said there was a need to educate people and encourage them to participate in the electoral process, though it may not possible to make in compulsory in the Indian context.Ravindra Kumar Ray (BJP) said it was everyone’s duty to strengthen democracy as “there is no alternative to democracy.” Banshilal Mahto (BJP) demanded that there should be compulsory voting and also there should be restriction on independent candidates. Kamakhya Prasad Tasa (BJP) regretted that those who do not vote often throng the elected representatives to take various kinds of advantages by getting close to them.Restrictions should be imposed on those who do not exercise their voting right, he added.Jugal Kishore Sharma (BJP) suggested that there should be a mechanism whereby people who cannot step out, can vote from their homes while citing that many people do not come out to vote fearing terrorists.Another BJP member Raman Deka said making voting compulsory is not impractical and that everyone should exercise their voting rights. Kaushalendr Kumar (JD-U) opposed the bill.

India’s Gandhis due to appear in court

Indian Congress party leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are due to appear in court on Saturday in connection with a corruption case.

VIDEO: Selling Indian food to new consumers

Some restaurateurs in India and abroad are trying to modernise Indian cuisine.

Shashi Tharoor’s private bill to decriminalise homosexuality defeated in Lok Sabha

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The Congress leader tweeted: “Intro of Pvt.Member’s Bill2decriminalize consensual sex btwn consenting adults defeated in LS 71-24. Surprising to see such intolerance.Notice of intent to oppose introducn of Bill came so late there was no time 2rally support. Will try again in future. We shall overcome!”

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Shashi Tharoor’s Private Bill to decriminalise homosexuality and do away with Section 377 was turned down in Lok Sabha. The Congress leader tweeted: “Intro of Pvt.Member’s Bill2decriminalize consensual sex btwn consenting adults defeated in LS 71-24. Surprising to see such intolerance.Notice of intent to oppose introducn of Bill came so late there was no time 2rally support. Will try again in future. We shall overcome!” Earlier, transgender rights activist Laxmi Tripathi told ANI, “Section 377 must be discussed in the Parliament. It should not be considered on morality value, but as a human and constitutional right. Section 377 should be dismissed.” Hundreds of gay rights activists on Sunday danced to drum beats and held colourful balloons as they marched in the ‘Queer Pride Parade’ in Delhi, celebrating the diversity of gender and sexuality. Speaking at the Times Lit Fest , Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the apex court should not have reversed the Delhi High Court order de-criminalising consensual sex among homosexuals. “When you have millions of people involved in this (homosexuality) you can’t nudge them off,” Jaitley said. In December 2013, the Supreme Court had overturned the Delhi High Court’s July 2009 judgement, which had declared Section 377 as unconstitutional. The apex court had stated that amending or revoking Section 377 should be a matter left to the Parliament and not the judiciary. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises homosexual acts, stating it is ‘against the order of nature’.

5 Indian sailors abducted in Nigeria are safe, says external Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday said all five Indian sailors have been abducted by pirates in Nigeria but are safe.

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday said all five Indian sailors have been abducted by pirates in Nigeria but are safe.A day after Swaraj sought a report on the abduction of the Indian nationals, the minister said, “Our High Commissioner in Nigeria A R Ghanshyam met President of Nigeria on 12 December. He is making all efforts to secure their release.”I have the report on abduction of five Indian sailors in Nigeria. The contact with pirates is established. Indian sailors are safe.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Friday, a request seeking help was made on Twitter about five Indian sailors being kidnapped in Warri, Nigeria on December 11 and that they are still not freed, to which Swaraj had tweeted that, “I have asked for a report on the abduction of 5 Indian sailors in Nigeria.”

India building secret nuclear city in Karnataka, says Foreign Policy journal

The city when completed in 2017 would be “the subcontinent’s largest military-run complex of nuclear centrifuges, atomic-research laboratories, and weapons- and aircraft-testing facilities”, the report said.

Representational Image of a nuclear plant

India is building a top-secret nuclear city to produce thermonuclear weapons and when completed in 2017 the facility would be the subcontinent’s “largest military-run” complex of nuclear centrifuges, a leading American foreign policy journal has claimed.The secret city in Challakere in Karnataka could “upgrade” the country as a nuclear power and unsettle its two major neighbours – Pakistan and China, Foreign Policy magazine said in an investigative report.”But another, more controversial ambition, according to retired Indian government officials and independent experts in London and Washington, is to give India an extra stockpile of enriched uranium fuel that could be used in new hydrogen bombs, also known as thermonuclear weapons, substantially increasing the explosive force of those in its existing nuclear arsenal,” the report said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: Obama-Sharif meet: US President urges Pakistan to avoid raising nuclear tensions with new weaponsThe city when completed in 2017 would be “the subcontinent’s largest military-run complex of nuclear centrifuges, atomic-research laboratories, and weapons- and aircraft-testing facilities”, the report said.”India’s close neighbours, China and Pakistan, would see this move as a provocation: Experts say they might respond by ratcheting up their own nuclear firepower,” the report said.The independent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimates that India already possesses between 90 and 110 nuclear weapons, as compared to Pakistan’s estimated stockpile of up to 120. China, which borders India to the north, has approximately 260 warheads.The report does not contain any official response from either the Indian or the US Government, but has quoted several unnamed officials and retired government officials for the story.”Mysore is being constantly monitored, and we are constantly monitoring progress in Challakere,” a former White House official has been quoted as saying by the report. Challakere is nearly 260 km from Mysore.

Nimboo paani to naankatai: What would be the next Android name?

Readers of dna have offered some of their ideas after Google CEO Sundar Pichai hinted at the possibility of naming the next Android after an Indian sweet.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai

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Born in Madras (now Chennai), Sundar Pichai became the first India-born CEO of Google Incorporated. The 43-year old alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur, during his visit to India in December, hosted an open address to students from all over India, at the Delhi University Campus.It was only natural that questions came pouring in, when he took to the stage. However, the question that stumped the CEO of the tech conglomerate was if the next Android platform can be named after an Indian dessert.Google’s Android OS has the longstanding reputation of being named after different sorts of sweets and desserts that run along the alphabetical order. It started with Android 1.5 being named ‘Cupcake’. With more updates, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jellybean, Lollipop and finally, Marshmallow, were released. It was then, that the proclivity of Indians to sweet, gave them away at the address in Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”When I meet my mom, I will ask for suggestion,”, Pichai said. He added, Google may even put up an online poll to decide the name for the upcoming Android N.But before Google could, dna came up with its own poll from the comments of the readers on its Facebook page.Pichai will ask mom! Any suggestions?
Posted by DNA India on Thursday, December 17, 2015While there were suggestions ranging from Gulab Jamun, Payasam, Rasgulla to Nankhatai and Jalebi but Aanand Rangaramanujam’s suggestion ‘Laddu’ clearly stole the show. However, most of the suggestions did not start with ‘N’. But some creative readers took up the challenge and went the extra mile.Mani Shankar Singh gave an alternative if Google insists on ‘N’. he posted, “Jalebi is good and if N is necessary….then leave sweets and name it “Nimbu-Mirchi”. In my opinion, it is the best. Chatpata Android….kyon??”Jai Mishra also got his creative juices flowing and commented, “Android Samosa… With Hari Chatni update and later with Lal Chatni Update… “Some readers like Sourabh Sharma seemed to be under the impression that ‘M’ is the auspicious letter. He suggested, “The name will be on alphabet “M” and it must be a sweet dish as what androids pattern is…..So the name can be Android makhan or Android malai”. Hemchander thought the new android should break away from the pattern of naming its versions as sweets, “why not Android PaniPoori” he commented.At such a dire situation, it can only be hoped, that Lakshmi Pichai, the mother of Sundar Pichai, comes up with a fitting suggestion.Related read: After Kitkat and Lollipop, Sundar Pichai promises an Indian dessert name for next Android

National Herald case: ‘Naturally’, I will appear in court tomorrow, says Sonia Gandhi

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday confirmed that she will appear in court tomorrow in connection with the hearing of the National Herald case. Replying to media, she said, “Naturally”.The National Herald newspaper was closely associated with India’s freedom struggle and the Indian National Congress till 2008. In January 2008, discussions about its closure began. On 1 April 2008, the paper’s editorial announced that it was temporarily suspending operations. Before its closure, the paper was being run by Associated Journals Limited (AJL).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed the case in a local court in 2012. The trial court then issued summons to the two leaders among others in June 2014, but they approached the Delhi High Court seeking a stay. On Monday this week, the high court refused to stay the summons, and asked all of the accused to appear for a hearing on December 19. The accused face allegations that they illegally acquired property worth Rs. 5,000 crore belonging to the National Herald newspaper.Meanwhile, hitting out at the Congress Party for stalling parliament procedures, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the former was stalling the development works for their own personal interests.”We are still hopeful that the Rajya Sabha will function. It is true that there has been lot of loss; there are many important Bills which are being stalled without any reason. The Congress is hampering development work for its private interest,” Naqvi told ANI.

Mother Teresa edges closer to sainthood

Pope Francis recognises a second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa, clearing the way for the Roman Catholic nun to be made a saint next year.

India to contribute Rs 3.32 crore to UN emergency response fund

India had contributed $500,000 (Rs 3.32 crore) to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in 2014 and announced a similar contribution for the 2015-16 period
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India will contribute $500,000 (Rs ​3.32 crore) to a UN rapid response funding mechanism for the 2015-16 period to support global humanitarian relief operations.India had contributed $500,000 (Rs 3.32 crore) to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in 2014 and announced a similar contribution for the 2015-16 period.”India has been in the forefront of humanitarian action. India has been responding to several global humanitarian relief operations in keeping with our resources and capabilities…India has endeavoured to be the early responders in cases of humanitarian crisis,” First Secretary in the Indian Mission to the UN Abhishek Singh said at the 10th anniversary high-level pledging conference on Thursday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India contributed $10 million (Rs ​66.47 crore) to the Ebola Trust Fund and helped in the evacuation of Indians as well as many foreign nationals from war-torn Yemen in 2015.The relief and rescue work provided by India in the aftermath of earthquake in Nepal this year was done in consultation and coordination with the Nepalese government, Singh said.Reiterating India’s support to the efforts of CERF, Singh said the country would continue to help to alleviate suffering of people resulting from humanitarian emergencies.”Humanitarian emergencies require immediate attention. Any delay in providing assistance can have long term consequences. There is indeed a need for coordination and partnership to meet these challenges,” he said.Noting that CERF provides funding to world’s most neglected and under-funded crises, Singh said the fund extended support in humanitarian emergencies in around 50 countries in 2014.While South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia were the three largest recipients in 2014, CERF also funded efforts in Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Myanmar.The General Assembly set up CERF in December 2005 to bring immediate relief in natural and man-made disasters and save thousands of lives that would otherwise be lost to delay.

Sailors abducted in Nigeria safe: Sushma Swaraj

“Our High Commissioner in Nigeria AR Ghanshyam met President of Nigeria on 12 Dec. He is making all efforts to secure their release,” she wrote further.

Following the reports of abduction of five Indian sailors in Nigeria, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday said that the sailors were safe and efforts were being made to secure their release.”I have the report on abduction of 5 Indian sailors in Nigeria. The contact with pirates is established. Indian sailors are safe,” Swaraj wrote in a tweet.”Our High Commissioner in Nigeria AR Ghanshyam met President of Nigeria on 12 Dec. He is making all efforts to secure their release,” she wrote further.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swaraj had yesterday sought a report on the abduction of the sailors.The request was made seeking help on Twitter, about five Indian sailors being kidnapped in Warri, Nigeria on December 11.

New beginning made by India and Pakistan: Sushma Swaraj

A new beginning has been made by India and Pakistan as the two countries have agreed on a new bilateral comprehensive dialogue to address all outstanding issues through peaceful means, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Thursday.

A new beginning has been made by India and Pakistan as the two countries have agreed on a new bilateral comprehensive dialogue to address all outstanding issues through peaceful means, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Thursday.To a question in Rajya Sabha on whether India has raised the issue of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in international fora, Swaraj replied in affirmative and said government’s principled and consistent position on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir has been that the entire state is an integral part of India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A new beginning has been made in the form of the agreement of the two countries on a new bilateral comprehensive dialogue to address all outstanding issues between them through peaceful means,” she said.During her visit to Islamabad earlier this month to attend a multilateral meet on Afghanistan, both India and Pakistan announced that they have decided to engage in a “comprehensive” dialogue.Replying to a query, she said the Permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN has recently written three letters to the President of the UN Security Council which referred to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and asked the top decision making body to take note of situation along the Line of Control.To a separate question, Swaraj, who is also Overseas Indian Affairs Minister, said it was aware of an Amnesty International report which said that 279 Indian migrant workers died in Qatar in 2014.”The report also states that these figures are of migrant workers deaths from all causes, including fatalities, not directly related to labour conditions,” she said.

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