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DDCA scam: RSS unhappy with way BJP dealt with Kirti Azad vs Arun Jaitley row

The RSS is not happy with the way the BJP government handled the DDCA row where Kirti Azad targeted Arun Jaitley, says an India Today report. Citing sources, the report says that RSS is unhappy with Azad’s suspension over the matter and believes the government should not have dealt with the issue in such a haste.According to the source, RSS has said that the move to suspend Kirti Azad was a big political mistake on the part of BJP as the issue will give impetus to the Aam Aadmi Party which is gunning against the Centre and Jaitley over the issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kirti Azad who was supposed to meet BJP veterans LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Yashwant Sinha will not meet them but instead will write to BJP President Amit Shah about the issue

Panchkula industrial plot case: Vigilance department registers FIR against former CM Bhupinder Hooda

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The FIR was lodged even as Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar recommended CBI probe into the alleged irregularities during the previous Congress government.

Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda
File Photo

An FIR was lodged on Saturday by the Haryana Vigilance Bureau against the then Chairman and Chief Administrator of HUDA for alleged irregularities in allotment of industrial plots in Panchkula three years ago when the then Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was at the body’s helm.The FIR was lodged even as Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar recommended CBI probe into the alleged irregularities during the previous Congress government. The Vigilance Bureau registered the case under relevant sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act against the then Chairman of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), a post held by Hooda, as also former IAS officer DPS Nagal and two other officials of the authority. The FIR does not mention Hooda by name but names of others — Nagal, then HUDA chief finance officer S C Kansal and another official B B Taneja, besides 13 beneficiaries, figure in it, a senior Vigilance Bureau official told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hooda dubbed the move as “political vendetta” unleashed by the BJP government. “They (BJP) have unleashed political vendetta against us (the Congress leaders),” the former Chief Minister told PTI while reacting to the development. He alleged that Khattar government had failed on all fronts and was desperate to divert public attention from its own alleged failures. With the Vigilance Department registering an FIR in the case, the matter would be referred to CBI, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s OSD Jawahar Yadav said.Talking to reporters at Ludhiana today, Khattar said, “…The Vigilance report says that norms were not followed and the plots were alloted to favourites and close ones.” He rejected the allegation of “political vendetta”, saying “Wherever wrongs have taken place, we are duty-bound to take action. We don’t initiate any action by targeting anyone.” Khattar said the state’s advocate-general has favoured a probe by an independent agency and added the matter will be referred for a CBI probe.Outspoken Haryana Minister Anil Vij also said, “This matter will be probed by CBI. Large-scale irregularities have taken place in plot allotments, which were distributed to favourites by the previous regime.”Senior Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad hit out at the BJP government for targeting political opponents.

Over 6,600 posts for SC/STs lying vacant in Defence: Manohar Parrikar

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Parrikar said that the defence establishments have been instructed to put up their backlog vacancies of SC/ST on their respective websites.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
File Photo
PTI
Over 6,600 posts reserved for SC/STs are lying vacant in the defence sector, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.As per the data given by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a written reply, there are 3,430 Schedule Caste backlog vacancy in the defence establishment and 3,182 Schedule Tribe posts in the defence establishment. The maximum vacancy was in the Department of Defence Production with 2,572 posts lying unoccupied (as of April 28, 2015). It was followed by the Navy (defence civilians) with 1,971 cases, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parrikar said that the defence establishments have been instructed to put up their backlog vacancies of SC/ST on their respective websites. They have also been advised to form a Committee of Officers to monitor the progress of backlog vacancies meant for SC/ST, he said.De-reservation of SC vacancies is being discouraged and concerned defence establishments are advised to avoid de-reservation of SC/ST vacancies in accordance with the guidelines and provisions of DoPT.

India clears Rs 40,000 crore air defence system purchase from Russia ahead of PM Modi’s meeting with Putin

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar chaired Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting held on Thursday cleared an another estimated Rs 25,000 crore proposal for defence acquisitions under ‘Make in India.

Days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Russian President Vladimir Putin during the former’s Russia visit later this month, India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) gave an approval for purchase of nearly Rs 40,000 crore Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems, government sources said.Defence minister Manohar Parrikar chaired Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting held on Thursday cleared an another estimated Rs 25,000 crore proposal for defence acquisitions under ‘Make in India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The deal of S-400 air defence systems that come with mobile launchers , will entail buying close to 6,000 missiles that can detect and destroy incoming missiles and aircraft up to a range of 400 kilometres.Besides, this, DAC also cleared a demand by the Army for six regiments of the DRDO developed Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher Systems at Rs 14,600 cr. Indian defence manufacturing Tata Power SED, BEML and Larsen & Toubro will manufacture these systems.Other major approvals under Make in India include a Rs 425 crore electronic warfare system, for the Indian Army. This system , to be developed by DRDO and manufactured by state-run Bharat Electronics Limited, are meant for use in mountain regions along the borders with China and Pakistan, said an official source.Further, at an expense of close to Rs 450 crore, 120 trawls for T-72 and T-90 tanks were also approved, the source added. These will also be made indigenously.MoD also appointed state-run Hindustan Shipyard Limited to build fleet support ships for Navy worth Rs 9000 crore , a proposal for which was sanctioned last year by DAC.Over all, close to Rs 65000 crore acquisition were approved that included nearly Rs 25000 crore under Make in India.

Defence Acquisition Council okays purchase of Russian air defence missile systems

Defence Ministry sources said that the step has been taken to enhance the national air defence capacity.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar
File Photo
AFP photo
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia, Defence Ministry’s top acquisition council on Thursday cleared the purchase of an estimated Rs 40,000 crore Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems, besides giving the go-ahead to other projects worth over Rs 25,000 crore. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, has decided to buy 5 units of the S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems that are capable of destroying incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones within a range of up to 400 km.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Ministry sources said that the step has been taken to enhance the national air defence capacity. “The price discovery will happen hereafter,” a source said when asked how much would the system cost.Industry estimates have suggested that the missile system will cost about Rs 40,000 crore. India will be the second buyer of the missile system after China if the deal goes through. It is expected that the deal would be a government-to- government one and could see a forward movement during Modi’s visit to Russia next week.The S400 Triumf is designed to knock down flying targets including those equipped with stealth technologies, at a distance of about 400 kms. It is also capable of taking out ballistic missiles and hypersonic targets.Compared with its predecessor, the S-300, the new S-400 has a 2.5 times faster firing rate. This is the most modern, air defence system in the Russian arsenal. The DAC also gave the Acceptance of Necessity to Army’s proposal for the purchase of six regiments of the Pinaka rocket system under the ‘Make in India’ category for Rs 14,600 crore. Each regiment of the Pinaka comes with 18 launchers and every launcher has the capability of firing 12 rockets at the same time.Tata Power SED, Larsen & Toubro and state-run BEML will be providing the system. The DAC also directed the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to continue with its process of making improved Pinaka system as it has proved to be a potent and proud indigenous product.Army’s demand for 571 light bullet-proof vehicles to be used in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations was also cleared at a cost of Rs 310 crore. The army currently uses Mahindra jeeps. The DAC also gave the go-ahead for the purchase of 120 trawls to be used on Russia-origin T-72 and T-90 tanks under “Buy Global” category for Rs 450 crore.DRDO has been tasked to field four sets of indigenous trawls by June 2017, the sources said.The DAC has also fine-tuned an already cleared proposal to built a five fleet support ships for Rs 9,000 crore. It was cleared in July last year. The DAC today nominated HSL shipyard to build the ships. The DAC also gave the go-ahead for digitisation of 24 Pechora Air Defence system for Rs 1,200 crore.The acquisition council also cleared a Rs 425-crore electronic warfare system, for the Indian Army to be deployed in the mountain region. This would be developed by the DRDO and produced by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). The DAC, set up in 2001 as part of the post-Kargil reforms in defence sector, approves the long-term integrated perspective plan for the forces, accords acceptance of necessity (AON) to begin acquisition proposals, and has to grant its approval to all major deals through all their important phases. It also has the power to approve any deviations in an acquisition, and recommends all big purchases for approval of the Cabinet committee on security.

PM Modi reviews impressive naval exercise after tri-services meet in Kochi

The annual event, held against an operational backdrop of the high seas for the first time, was attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chiefs of Army, Navy and Airforce, secretaries of the government of India besides top tri-services commanders.

PTI
An impressive array of warships, including nuclear capable submarines, and about 8000 men and officers of Indian Navy presented an exquisite display of operational capabilities in an exercise reviewed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi off the Kochi coast in Kerala on Tuesday.Having chaired the Combined Commanders Conference, an annual tri-services event held for the first time outside New Delhi onboard INS Vikramaditya, the Prime Minister reviewed the exercise about 50 km off the coast where the naval guns blazed and fighter jets roared in a dazzling display of India’s military might.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The annual event, held against an operational backdrop of the high seas for the first time, was attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chiefs of Army, Navy and Airforce, secretaries of the government of India besides top tri-services commanders.”Indian Navy displayed its Naval as well as air power capabilities during the approximately 40 to 45 minute (exercise). Ships of the Navy were there including submarines, as also aircraft, and about 8000 plus men of Indian Navy participated as part of the exercise,” a Defence spokesman said. He said it was the Prime Minister’s Office which wanted the tri-services meet to be held in an operational setting.”So it was moved out of the South Block and it is a reality today. It is now going to be from operational backdrops to operational backdrops,” he said.After Prime Minister Modi had chaired the meet onboard INS Vikramaditya which lasted for about an-hour-and-half, he reviewed the exercise that began with firing by naval guns followed by a rocket-fire demonstration.”We had 30 plus ships outside, which included INS Vikramaditya, Virat, Kochi, Delhi, Mysore….,” the Defence spokesman said.”Then we had nuclear submarine INS Chakra… …We had 60 aircraft of the Naval aviation ranging from one end of the spectrum to other end. We also showcased the actual operations of MiG 29 K from INS Vikramaditya. A number of sorties were taken off, one from the larger runway–that is 195 meters and one from the 100 meter runway,” he said.

Pak boat row: Coast Guard DIG BK Loshali sacked for contradicting govt’s stand

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said the “circumstantial evidence” indicated that the Pakistani boat had suspected terror links
File Image
PTI
Coast Guard DIG BK Loshali has been sacked following a Board of Inquiry over his comments that contradicted the government’s stand on the sinking of a Pakistan fishing boat last year.”He was dismissed from services after the Board of Inquiry found him guilty of all the charges on Saturday. The inquiry was conducted by a panel of senior DIG (Deputy Inspector General) rank officers for over three months,” said a senior Coast Guard official. On eve the of New Year last year, a Pakistani fishing boat said to be carrying explosives was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard off the coast of Gujarat, but the vessel exploded and caught fire before sinking along with four occupants.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said the “circumstantial evidence” indicated that the Pakistani boat had suspected terror links. Dismissing claims that the occupants of boat were smugglers, the Minister had said he would classify them as “suspected or possible terrorists” since they had committed suicide after being intercepted and added that they were in touch with Pakistani maritime officials, “army and international contacts”.While the government has claimed that the Pakistani boat had been set on fire by its crew, Loshali told an audience of Coast Guard and Larsen & Toubro officials on February 15 that he had ordered to blow off the boat, which was a major embarrassment for the government as well as the Coast Guard. On “31st December night. I was there at Gandhinagar, and I told at night, blow the boat off. We don’t want to serve them biryani,” Loshali had said.Following this, the government had removed Loshali from the position of Chief of Staff, North West and attached him to the force’s Gandhinagar-based regional headquarters. A Board of Inquiry at Mumbai was also constituted to look into the matter, which probed the matter for over three months and court martialed him.

Soldiers should kill the enemy, not lay down lives: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

The counter-insurgency operation was carried out by commandos in June who destroyed camps of NSCN (Khaplang) militants in Myanmar in retaliation to killing of 18 Army personnel by the ultras in Chandel district of Manipur earlier.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said soldiers should be asked to kill the enemy instead of being told to lay down their own lives.”It was said that soldier is ready to lay down his life for country. I am against it. Why get killed? Don’t get killed. Kill the enemy. See the record of one year and you will see the result (of the instruction),” Parrikar said.He was addressing a reception hosted by the state BJP here on his 60th birthday.Recalling the country’s counter-insurgency operation in Myanmar earlier this year, Parrikar said, “After Indian soldiers were martyred, we called for the meeting within three hours. I have got support of (Home Minister) Rajnath Singh.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”After Myanmar crisis, we held meeting within three hours and the entire operation was kept a secret. As per official statement we conducted the operation on Indo-Myanmar Border. But one should know to read between the lines”.The counter-insurgency operation was carried out by commandos in June who destroyed camps of NSCN (Khaplang) militants in Myanmar in retaliation to killing of 18 Army personnel by the ultras in Chandel district of Manipur earlier.The Defence Minister said he liked to go around without security as “having security might not be safe at times”.”They (police) relay message on wireless giving exact position of the VIP. I ask police to stay away as I don’t want security but I have to take it as attack on Union Defence Minister can make international news,” he added.

Why should a soldier get killed? Should kill the enemy: Manohar Parrikar

The Defence Minister said he liked to go around without security as “having security might not be safe at times”.
File Photo
PTI
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said soldiers should be asked to kill the enemy instead of being told to lay down their own lives.”It was said that soldier is ready to lay down his life for country. I am against it. Why get killed? Don’t get killed. Kill the enemy. See the record of one year and you will see the result (of the instruction),” Parrikar said. He was addressing a reception hosted by the state BJP here on his 60th birthday.Recalling the country’s counter-insurgency operation in Myanmar earlier this year, Parrikar said, “After Indian soldiers were martyred, we called for the meeting within three hours. I have got support of (Home Minister) Rajnath Singh.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”After Myanmar crisis, we held meeting within three hours and the entire operation was kept a secret. As per official statement we conducted the operation on Indo-Myanmar Border. But one should know to read between the lines”.The counter-insurgency operation was carried out by commandos in June who destroyed camps of NSCN (Khaplang) militants in Myanmar in retaliation to killing of 18 Army personnel by the ultras in Chandel district of Manipur earlier. The Defence Minister said he liked to go around without security as “having security might not be safe at times”.”They (police) relay message on wireless giving exact position of the VIP. I ask police to stay away as I don’t want security but I have to take it as attack on Union Defence Minister can make international news,” he added.

PM wishes Manohar Parrikar on his birthday

Parrikar celebrated his 60th birthday with family and friends in the morning ahead of a public reception scheduled this evening.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday wished his Cabinet colleague and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on his 60th birthday.”Wishing Manohar Parrikar & @drharshvardhan on their birthday. They are admired for their simplicity & hardwork. I pray for their long life,” the Prime Minister tweeted. Other leaders, including Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanavis, also tweeted to wish Parrikar on his birthday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parrikar celebrated his 60th birthday with family and friends in the morning ahead of a public reception scheduled this evening. His close family members and friends were seen present at his private residence in Taleigao near here since morning.

Would do anything to bring 2008 Mumbai attackers to justice: US

When told that Headley may provide a great deal of information about the attack, Kirby said, “I don’t have anything specific and it would be inappropriate for me to comment on an ongoing court case like that anyway.”

File Photo

The US on Saturday said it wants to see the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attack brought to justice and will do anything to support India in this regard.”…we want to see the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack brought to justice and obviously continue to want to do anything we can to support Indian authorities in that task,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Friday when asked about David Headley turning approver after being pardoned by a Mumbai court. Headley is currently serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai terror attack.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When told that Headley may provide a great deal of information about the attack, Kirby said, “I don’t have anything specific and it would be inappropriate for me to comment on an ongoing court case like that anyway.” “Again, we share an interest in seeing the Mumbai attackers being brought to justice a terrible, dastardly terrorist attack,” he said. Kirby said India is a very close friend and partner.”I think it’s self-evident in recent years that both our countries have fallen victim to terrorist attacks and continue to need to be on to be vigilant about terrorism perpetrated against our citizens, and so it makes perfect sense that we would look for ways to cooperate more closely and to improve the flow of information between our two countries,” he said.Asked if the State Department was playing any role in intelligence and information sharing on terrorists as mentioned by Indian defence minister Manohar Parikkar after his meeting with US Defence Secretary Ash Carter, he said, “I can’t speak for the Defence Department. As for the State Department, we have we maintain good, strong relations with our counterparts in the Indian Government.”I won’t speak about intelligence matters, but I can tell you that that relationship remains strong, remains vibrant, and the Secretary s interest is very clear in making sure that the relationship continues to strengthen and grow going forward across a wide range of issues, not just security issues,” he added.

Trump Muslim comment: In India, communities are not looked with suspicion, says Parrikar at Pentagon

Parrikar, the first Indian Defence Minister to have addressed the Pentagon correspondents, earlier held talks with his American counterpart Ashton Carter on key defence and regional and global security issues.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter (L) and Indias Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar arrive at a joint press conference after their meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, December 10, 2015.

Reuters
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday ducked a question on US Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s controversial remarks over total shutdown of Muslims entering America but said in India, “we don’t look towards communities with suspicion”.On being asked by an American reporter to respond to Trump’s comments in the aftermath of the California shooting, Parrikar said the question has the “potential of a nuclear bomb” but did not give a clear response to what he thought of the remarks.”I’ll not comment on what has been talked about in the US, but as far as India is concerned, we have the second largest Muslim population in the world and we gel well. We believe that everyone has equal opportunity, equal rights. Yes, maybe there are a few small pockets of extremism, radicalisation, but they are too few to treat the different sections of society differently,” Parrikar said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In India, we have equal rights for everyone, and we don’t look towards communities with suspicion. Those who are radicalised is a different issue. We tackle them separately, but that is – those were terrorists,” Parrikar said in response to a question.On Tuesday, the controversial business tycoon, Trump, called for “a total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the US in the aftermath of the California massacre, in his most divisive remarks yet that drew widespread global condemnation including from his party’s rival candidates and the White House.According to a statement issued by his campaign, Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”Parrikar, the first Indian Defence Minister to have addressed the Pentagon correspondents, earlier held talks with his American counterpart Ashton Carter on key defence and regional and global security issues.

Manohar Parrikar holds talks with US Defence Secretary Carter at Pentagon

Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh and his American counterpart Richard Verma were also present on the occasion.

Manohar Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday held talks with American counterpart Ashton Carter at the Pentagon on ways to deepen bilateral long-term strategic partnership. Earlier on his arrival at the Pentagon, Parrikar was given an enhanced honour cordon by the American military as he was welcomed by the US Defence Secretary. The meeting between the two leaders began soon thereafter. Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh and his American counterpart Richard Verma were also present on the occasion along with other senior officials from both the sides. During the meeting, the two leaders are expected to discuss ways to deepen the long-term strategic partnership between the two countries, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> On Wednesday, Carter hosted an informal dinner for Parrikar at the Pentagon. Soon after their meeting, the two leaders would hold a joint press conference, the first time that an Indian Defence Minister would address the Pentagon correspondents. Thereafter, Carter and Parrikar are scheduled to travel to Norfolk in Virginia where they will fly out to the USS Eisenhower and view flight operations on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Cook said.Parrikar also became the first Indian Defence Minister to visit the headquarters of the US Pacific Command in Hawaii. On Wednesday, Parrikar also held a meeting with the members of the American defense industry at an event organised by the US India Business Council (USIBC) during the leader’s maiden visit to the US. India is wooing American defence industry to establish their manufacturing units in India.

Manohar Parrikar to raise issue of cross-border terrorism by Pakistan with US counterpart Ashton Carter

India’s concern about the US policy in Middle-East relates to the rise of the Islamic State (IS) which recently carried out terror strikes in Paris killing more than 120 people.

Manohar Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is likely to do some ‘plain talking’ on cross border terrorism by Pakistan and articulate India’s stand on the situation in Afghanistan and the Middle East during a crucial meeting with his American counterpart Ashton Carter this week.Top Defence sources said Parrikar, at the meeting on December 9 and 10, will “plainly” tell the US that its policy of engaging Pakistan was not working.Parrikar will also be telling Carter that the American military and foreign policy in the Middle-East and Afghanistan “are not very sound” and not working properly, sources said. Parrikar, who is already in the US on his maiden visit as Defence Minister, will also express his concern over Islamabad’s “threat” to use tactical nuclear weapons against India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parrikar’s visit comes against the backdrop of reported US plans to sell eight F-16 fighters and 15 Bell AH 1Z Viper attack helicopters to Pakistan. He is also likely to articulate India’s stand on this.India’s concern about the US policy in Middle-East relates to the rise of the Islamic State (IS) which recently carried out terror strikes in Paris killing more than 120 people. Besides Pakistan and the security situation, Parrikar will also take forward the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) as both countries work towards greater collaboration in joint development and manufacture of next-gen military technology, sources said.Both Parrikar and Carter will review the functioning of the joint working group on aircraft carrier and identify technologies India could acquire in future. The two are also expected to discuss possible programmes that could be taken up under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.US’ Lockheed Martin has already offered to manufacture its planes here in line with the government’s ‘Make in India’ push. Indicating its growing interest in the Indian market, Lockheed recently entered into a joint venture with the Tatas to manufacture parts of C-130J aircraft at a newly built facility in Hyderabad.A forward movement is also expected in India’s decision to acquire 145 pieces of M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers from the US under a government-to-government deal that would see its manufacturer BAE Systems invest over US $200 million in India as offset.Parrikar is also scheduled to visit the powerful Hawaii-based US Pacific Command, the first by an Indian Defence Minister. Its area of responsibility includes China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and Vietnam.

Government examining whether Muslim NCC cadets can sport beard

“The recommendations were discussed in Rajya Sabha on December 2 by way of answer submitted by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has replied that this matter (recommendations) of the State Minorities Commission is being examined by the Ministry and necessary orders will be passed,” Khan told reporters here.

Defence Ministry is examining the recommendation of Andhra Pradesh State Minorities Commission to allow Muslim cadets in National Cadet Corps (NCC) to sport beard on the lines of the exemption given to Sikh community, Commission chairman Abid Rasool Khan said on Friday.On a petition by some Muslim cadets who were barred from NCC for sporting a beard, the AP State Minorities Commission had asked the Defence Ministry to make the exemption, granted to Sikh community, applicable to Muslims too.”The recommendations were discussed in Rajya Sabha on December 2 by way of answer submitted by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has replied that this matter (recommendations) of the State Minorities Commission is being examined by the Ministry and necessary orders will be passed,” Khan told reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He expressed the hope that the government will pass necessary orders after taking note of the recommendations of the Commission.”It will be a great achievement for the Commission and an important milestone in the history of India, and if orders are passed as per the recommendations of the Commission then any Muslim will get parity with Sikhs to sport beard in para military services,” Khan said.Earlier, the Commission had issued notices to Director General NCC and stated that sporting beard is fundamentally ordained in the tenets of Islam.The Commission had, accordingly, recommended to central government that such a regulation barring the Muslim cadets from undergoing training is deemed as infringing upon their right to freedom and liberty, and had recommended that the Muslims be allowed to sport beard on lines of the exemption given to the Sikh community.Subsequently, officials representing NCC and Ministry of Defence, who appeared before the Commission, cited Defence regulations which prohibited facial hair and said they were applicable to NCC too, Khan said.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar clarifies retirement rumours, says will finish task at Centre

His comment came following media reports which quoted him as saying that he is planning to retire as he will turn 60 on December 13.

Manohar Parrikar

AFP
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, on Monday, said he has no plans of retiring soon and that he will go back to Goa only after finishing the task given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.His comment came following media reports which quoted him as saying that he is planning to retire as he will turn 60 on December 13.”My statement has been misinterpreted and twisted. I did not make any such statement on retirement,” he said.Parrikar, who has served as Goa Chief Minister thrice, tweeted, “At the age of 60, normally people think of retirement and perhaps I would have also. But I had to take bigger responsibilities at Centre & I assure you that I will come back only after finishing the task I am given”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP leader, who completed one year as Defence Minister on November, has an enormous task before him – to carry forward the modernisation programme of the armed forces and to streamline the procurement process in a fast and transparent manner.

Manohar Parrikar to visit US, further defence collaboration expected

Parrikar will leave for the US on December 4 and will return on December 12, ahead of the Combined Commanders’ Conference on board aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on December 15, defence sources said.

Manohar Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will undertake a key visit to the US this week during which he will take forward the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) as both countries work towards greater collaboration in joint development and manufacture of next-gen military tech.Parrikar will leave for the US on December 4 and will return on December 12, ahead of the Combined Commanders’ Conference on board aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on December 15, defence sources said.During his meeting with American counterpart Ashton Carter, both are set to review the joint working group on aircraft carrier under DTTI as well as identify technologies that could be acquired by India on government-to-government basis.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a clear signal of India’s importance, both as a major buyer and potential collaborator in the defence sector, Pentagon has established its first-ever country special cell to speed up defence ties between India and the United States. Established soon after Defence Secretary Carter assumed Pentagon’s leadership in February, India Rapid Reaction Cell (IRRC) is headed by Keith Webster, Director, International Cooperation Office of the Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.India is the only country to have a specific cell of its kind in Pentagon. Currently, seven persons are working on this cell, representing various wings of the US Department of Defense. Both Parrikar and Carter are also expected to discuss possible programmes under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.US’ Lockheed Martin has already offered its planes in line with the government’s push for ‘Make in India’. A forward movement is also expected in India’s decision to acquire 145 pieces of M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers from the US under a government-to-government deal that would see its manufacturer BAE Systems investing over USD 200 million in India as offset.

Haryana minister Anil Vij gets into spat with woman IPS officer, asks her to ‘get out’

Chandigarh: Haryana’s outspoken Health and Sports Minister Anil Vij on Friday ordered a woman police officer to “get out” of a meeting. When she refused, he himself stormed out in a huff.

The outburst came after both were locked in an argument over liquor smuggling in Fatehabad district.

Anil Vij in a fie photo. Screengrab from YouTubeAnil Vij in a fie photo. Screengrab from YouTube

Anil Vij in a fie photo. Screengrab from YouTube

Vij walked out of the meeting after Fatehabad district police chief Sangeeta Kalia, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer whom he ordered to “get out”, refused to leave.

When she was yelled at, Kalia demanded to know “why” she needed to leave, and told him: “I am not leaving.”

The officer, seated next to the infuriated minister, stood her ground over the issue of liquor smuggling and the alleged police role in it.

When the minister alleged that the smuggling was happening with police patronage, Kalia said: “This is wrong. You cannot say this.”

The minister, who was attending a public grievances’ committee meeting of which he is the chairman, had asked the officer what she was doing to curb liquor smuggling in areas bordering Punjab.

“We are taking action. We have registered over 2,500 cases. Many of these people come out on bail and indulge in smuggling again,” Kalia told the minister.

However, the minister kept arguing. He appeared to suggest that she was responsible for the lack of action against the smugglers.

When Kalia objected to this, Vij asked her to leave the meeting.

Vij left the meeting in disgust and later said he would not come to Fatehabad as long as Kalia was stationed there.

“I will not come here again as long as she is the SP here. I will complain to the chief minister.

“Her attitude is not good. I had taken up the matter with her two or three times but her approach was very casual.” Vij told the media.

Deputy Commissioner N.K. Solanki and other district officers were present at the meeting but did not intervene.

Solanki followed the minister till his car and tried to stop him from leaving but the minister was adamant.

Kalia did not say much about the incident and drove away after the meeting.

Asked by the media for her reaction, Kalia said in Hindi: “There is nothing to say… You know everything.”

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said: “I have to get a report (on the incident). After that we will take action.”

IANS

Government to brazen it out in winter session, as Opposition plans ‘intolerance’ offensive

The meeting attended by home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and ministers of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, was held at the residence of Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu.

Anticipating an Opposition onslaught in the winter session of Parliament on the “intolerance” issue, the government appears all set to brazen it out. Senior ministers, who met on Tuesday to discuss strategy for the session, were of the view that there was no reason for the government to go on the defensive, according to sources.The meeting attended by home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and ministers of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, was held at the residence of Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They discussed recent incidents like Dadri and Kalburgi killing, which have triggered a debate on “rising intolerance” with the Opposition targeting the BJP-led NDA government. In an indication that the government tactic would be aimed at turning the tables on Opposition parties, the ministers were of the view that such incidents were strictly in the domain of state governments, the sources said. The ministers said that the NDA government and BJP had nothing to do with it and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already responded in the matter.Further, they decided that if Opposition wanted to discuss the issue, government would agree despite these being state subjects. Government would also be willing to facilitate discussion on any matter of larger concern sought to be raised by opposition, the sources said. The meeting was held even as Aamir Khan’s intolerance comments had sparked off a political row.The strategy for passage of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Real Estate Regulation bills, which top the government agenda for the session, and other legislations, was also discussed at the meeting.A series of meetings will be held on Wednesday, a day before the Parliament session begins on November 26. While an all-party meeting has been convened by the government in the morning, meetings of the NDA floor leaders and BJP parliamentary party, to be chaired by the Prime Minister, will be held in the evening. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will be meeting leaders of parties in Lok Sabha.The government is likely to fine tune its strategy for its counter-offensive after the Prime Minister returns from Singapore on Wednesday.

OROP: Delegation meets Arun Jaitley to provide benefit to those retiring pre-maturely

As per the notification issued on November 7, if someone has taken pre-mature retirement, the person will not be entitled for the benefit of OROP.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
File Photo
PTI
A delegation of ex-servicemen on Tuesday met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and requested him to extend the benefit of One Rank One Pension (OROP) to those who have taken pre-mature retirement.”We gave memorandum with 2-3 issues where we feel notification could have been better if it had covered these issues,” United Front of Ex Servicemen Secretary General Lt Col Dinesh Nain said after the meeting with the Finance Minister. The issues include pre-mature retirement and fixing of the benchmark, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the notification issued on November 7, if someone has taken pre-mature retirement, the person will not be entitled for the benefit of OROP.”Although we will go to judicial commission, it is better that the government resolve it without the need to go to judicial commission,” he said.The long-pending OROP for ex-servicemen was brought into force on November 7 with government issuing a notification to benefit more than 2.5 million veterans and war widows.However, the protesting ex-servicemen rejected the notification, saying their main demands have not been accepted and it has become ‘one-rank-five-pension’. The notification is almost similar to the announcement made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 5 September.

VHP leader Ashok Singhal cremated

The pyre was lit by Singhal’s nephew Salil, son of his elder brother Parmod in the presence of family members, VHP and BJP leaders including L K Advani and Amit Shah and several union ministers including Piyush Goyal, Ravishankar Prasad, J P Nadda and Harsh Vardhan

PM Modi playing last respects to Ashok Singhal

The mortal remains of VHP leader Ashok Singhal were consigned to flames at Nigambodh Ghat in New Delhi on Wednesday amid chanting of vedic hymns in the presence of scores of BJP and VHP leaders.The pyre was lit by Singhal’s nephew Salil, son of his elder brother Parmod in the presence of family members, VHP and BJP leaders including L K Advani and Amit Shah and several union ministers including Piyush Goyal, Ravishankar Prasad, J P Nadda and Harsh Vardhan. Among others present at the cremation were Union Ministers Uma Bharti and Ananth Kumar, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Gujarat Governor O P Kohli and BJP leader from Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and a number of union ministers including Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Radha Mohan Singh, Uma Bharti, Manohar Parrikar and Smriti Irani paid their last respects to Singhal at the RSS office at Jhandewalan here. Modi placed a wreath on Singhal’s body and wrote a condolence message.89-year-old Singhal died yesterday following cardio-vascular failure and septicaemia after he was admitted to a hospital in Gurgaon with complaints of acute breathlessness and pneumonia. “His aim was to build a good society, eliminate wrong traditions and the purity in his work will be followed by RSS and BJP,” said Coal Minister Piyush Goyal.VHP’s International Working President Pravin Togadia said Singhal, who had played a leading role in the Ram Janambhoomi movement, departed without seeing the Ram temple in his lifetime. RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi said that Singhal had guided and paved the way for Hindu society.BJP president Amit shah said that Singhal’s commitment and sacrifaice for Hindu society will always be remembered. Ambassadors of Nepal and Bhutan and MPs Yogi Adityanath and Sakshi Maharaj and Yoga guru Ramdev.

India, Afghanistan discusses key bilateral, regional issues

During foreign office consultations today which were led by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Deputy Afghan Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, the two sides discussed ways to enhance cooperation and various aspects of regional security, particularly the menace of terrorism.

The consultations came close on the heels of a visit by Afghan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar last week during which he had held discussions with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar as well as his counterpart Ajit Doval

Photo courtesy: MEA Twitter handle
India and Afghanistan on Tuesday discussed key bilateral and regional issues including the security situation in the war-torn country amid India’s commitment to strengthen the defence capability of that country.During foreign office consultations today which were led by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Deputy Afghan Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, the two sides discussed ways to enhance cooperation and various aspects of regional security, particularly the menace of terrorism.”A Neighbour & a Friend. Foreign Secretary & Dy FM Hekmat Karzai lead #IndiaAfghanistan Foreign Office Consultations,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The consultations came close on the heels of a visit by Afghan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar last week during which he had held discussions with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar as well as his counterpart Ajit Doval.During Atmar’s visit, the two countries had discussed ways and means to enhance cooperation to strengthen Afghanistan’s defence capability for safeguarding its security and combating all forms of terrorism.

Navy gets indigenous system to decoy under water attack on ships

Indian Navy has got a fully indigenous decoy system that can divert under-water torpedo attacks on ships and submarines. Developed by Vishakapatnam-based Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), two such systems are into production grade now. The Advanced Torpedo Defence System (ATDS), christened as Mareech was handed over by defence minister Manohar Parrikar to the Navy on Saturday. Mareech detects and locate the incoming torpedo and apply countermeasures to protect naval platform against attack. Two production grade MAAREECH systems have been developed even as their user evaluation trials have been completed on board two Indian Navy ships.

Indian Navy has got a fully indigenous decoy system that can divert under-water torpedo attacks on ships and submarines. Developed by Vishakapatnam-based Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), two such systems are into production grade now. The Advanced Torpedo Defence System (ATDS), christened as Mareech was handed over by defence minister Manohar Parrikar to the Navy on Saturday. Mareech detects and locate the incoming torpedo and apply countermeasures to protect naval platform against attack. Two production grade MAAREECH systems have been developed even as their user evaluation trials have been completed on board two Indian Navy ships.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The new ATDS first detects and then confuse and divert the torpedo attacks on ships from under the water. By diverting the torpedoes’ original course, it forces it to lose its energy thus preventing it from being effective on target. Torpedoes are self propelled weapon with a warhead and can be used under or on the water surface. They are one of the mainstay of sea-warfare attack systems.Parrikar also dedicated to the nation the Seakeeping and Maneuvering Basin (SMB)- a one of its kind platform in the country, set up as a joint effort of DRDO and Indian Navy. The facility puts India among the few nations in the world having the capability to undertake comprehensive hydrodynamic model testing of naval platforms and weapon systems. SMB would help to design and build state of the art naval combatants such as submarines, ships, torpedoes.

Government to allow foreign defence firms to appoint agents, but no scope for mischief: Manohar Parrikar

“Agents do not mean middlemen. There will be scope for a company to appoint an agent to represent it or to get over technical difficulties by paying him or her reasonable fees which will have to be mentioned upfront,” Parrikar said.

To ensure transparency, government will soon allow foreign defence firms to appoint agents but the companies will have to upfront mention the “reasonable” remuneration to be paid and won’t be allowed to dole out any bonus or success fees, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said.Drawing a distinction between agents and middlemen, he said the government will not leave room for any “hanky-panky”.”Agents do not mean middlemen. There will be scope for a company to appoint an agent to represent it or to get over technical difficulties by paying him or her reasonable fees which will have to be mentioned upfront,” Parrikar told PTI in an interview.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said that the new Defence Procurement Procedure, which is in final stages of completion, will clearly define the role of agents.He agreed that there is already a provision for agents legally but said, “In short, agent word was there but without clearly defining what his role would be. It was not very well defined. That is being defined properly.”The Defence Minister said that appointment of agents does not mean that defence firms are allowed to give commissions or something like that.”Sometimes you cannot open office because the quantum of business does not justify an office. So how do you deal here? You can’t send a person from foreign country here all the time. So hence this is a provision but it does not allow any hanky-panky,” Parrikar said.He said agents’ fees will have to be mentioned upfront and success fee, bonus or any such payments will not be allowed.”Not even penalty for failure. Sometimes, you give upfront and then get it back through penalty if work is not done,” he said.The government’s move will bring in much-needed transparency, even if limited, in the murky world of multi- billion dollars defence contracts where middlemen have had a field day, defence experts said.

OROP row: Burning medals insult to the nation, says Parrikar; Kejriwal backs veterans

The OROP row escalated with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar terming attempts by veterans to burn medals as an insult to the nation and asked the protesting ex-servicemen to prove there was no political motive behind their stir even as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal voiced support to them.

The OROP row escalated with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar terming attempts by veterans to burn medals as an insult to the nation and asked the protesting ex-servicemen to prove there was no political motive behind their stir even as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal voiced support to them.”If I say something, it will become an allegation. Let them prove that it is not political,” Parrikar told reporters in Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu when asked if he saw a political link to continuing agitation despite the government’s response and notification on One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said the medals are a recognition of the nation for the sacrifice done by the armed forces.”Burning and returning them is an insult to the nation and the defence forces,” Parrikar said.The minister’s comments come in the wake of a section of the ex-service personnel expressing dissatisfaction on the ground that the OROP notification has not fully met their demands.The government had this month formally notified the OROP scheme for over 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows in the country.”Medals are a recognition of bravery, for the service to the nation. It has nothing to do with service conditions whereas OROP is about service conditions. It does not say you are entitled for medals, it talks about service conditions like your pay and entitlement,” Parrikar said.His comments came on a day when Kejriwal visited the protesting ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar wearing a cap and T-shirt with OROP slogans.He asked the Centre to implement OROP for the veterans in its “true spirit” rejecting its recent notification in this regard.Kejriwal, who spoke to the media near the makeshift stage of the protesting veterans, however, he did not address the gathering as he was asked not to make any “political statement” by Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, who is spearheading the movement.”The government notification is a farce because it is not in its true spirit. Please don’t fool the veterans. Implement OROP as per its definition. They are not begging but asking for their rights. It is unfortunate that the country’s soldiers are fighting for their rights on the streets,” Kejriwal said.The Chief Minister also tweeted his support for the ex- servicemen saying all their demands are “logical” and that the BJP-led Centre has been “unjust” to them. “Centre shud immediately accept their demands.”The protesting ex-servicemen had earlier met Kejriwal and briefed him about the “shortcomings” in the OROP notification.

OROP row: Burning medals insult to nation, says Parrikar; Kejriwal backs veterans

His comments came on a day when Kejriwal visited the protesting ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar wearing a cap and T-shirt with OROP slogans.
File Picture

The OROP row escalated on Friday with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar terming attempts by veterans to burn medals as an insult to the nation and asked the protesting ex-servicemen to prove there was no political motive behind their stir even as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal voiced support to them.”If I say something, it will become an allegation. Let them prove that it is not political,” Parrikar told reporters in Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu when asked if he saw a political link to continuing agitation despite the government’s response and notification on One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme. He said the medals are a recognition of the nation for the sacrifice done by the armed forces.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Burning and returning them is an insult to the nation and the defence forces,” Parrikar said. The minister’s comments come in the wake of a section of the ex-service personnel expressing dissatisfaction on the ground that the OROP notification has not fully met their demands. The government had this month formally notified the OROP scheme for over 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows in the country.”Medals are a recognition of bravery, for the service to the nation. It has nothing to do with service conditions whereas OROP is about service conditions. It does not say you are entitled for medals, it talks about service conditions like your pay and entitlement,” Parrikar said. His comments came on a day when Kejriwal visited the protesting ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar wearing a cap and T-shirt with OROP slogans.He asked the Centre to implement OROP for the veterans in its “true spirit” rejecting its recent notification in this regard. Kejriwal, who spoke to the media near the makeshift stage of the protesting veterans, however, he did not address the gathering as he was asked not to make any “political statement” by Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, who is spearheading the movement.”The government notification is a farce because it is not in its true spirit. Please don’t fool the veterans. Implement OROP as per its definition. They are not begging but asking for their rights. It is unfortunate that the country’s soldiers are fighting for their rights on the streets,” Kejriwal said.The Chief Minister also tweeted his support for the ex- servicemen saying all their demands are “logical” and that the BJP-led Centre has been “unjust” to them. “Centre shud immediately accept their demands.”The protesting ex-servicemen had earlier met Kejriwal and briefed him about the “shortcomings” in the OROP notification.

BJP internal turmoil: Yashwant Sinha meets Advani and MM Joshi separately

Yashwant Sinha met L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi separately on Friday while Shanta Kumar, the fourth member of the group of veterans who had issued a strongly-worded statement, welcomed the party’s efforts to reach out to them, saying “dialogue must continue”.

Yashwant Sinha

BJP veterans, who have raised a banner of revolt against the party leadership, on Friday held deliberations among themselves, amidst rumblings in the party over the Bihar assembly poll debacle.Yashwant Sinha met L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi separately on Friday while Shanta Kumar, the fourth member of the group of veterans who had issued a strongly-worded statement, welcomed the party’s efforts to reach out to them, saying “dialogue must continue”. Sinha, a former union minister, declined to divulge details of their talks. “I have nothing else to say except that I met Joshiji and Advaniji,” he said. Kumar said he welcomed the party’s efforts to reach out to veterans.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The party’s response is good, positive. Our leaders have met. Arun Jaitley met Advani and Joshiji. A dialogue has begun and it should continue. I am satisfied,” Kumar told PTI. Senior party leaders M Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari today said the party will listen to the veterans and Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also learnt to have stressed on the need of engaging with them. Gadkari, Naidu and Singh are former party chiefs and had issued a statement on BJP’s behalf soon after the four veterans launched their attack.Advani, Joshi, Sinha and Kumar had said in a statement on the Diwali eve that the party was “emasculated” in one year as they sought accountability to be fixed for the Bihar loss. In its reply, the party said it had practised collective responsibility when Advani and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had headed it.A number of BJP MPs from Bihar have spoken out against the top party brass and faulted their campaign for raking up controversial issues and using “undignified” language. Manoj Tewari, MP from Norh-East Delhi who was one of the leading BJP campaigners, joined other BJP leaders in criticising the party’s campaign in Bihar and lauded the strategy of JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance as “undoubtedly better”.

Goa has been put on sale with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar being the "official broker": Congress

Congress today alleged that the BJP-led Goa government has put the state on sale, with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar being the “official broker of the Goa government”.

Congress today alleged that the BJP-led Goa government has put the state on sale, with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar being the “official broker of the Goa government”.Addressing media here, Shantaram Naik, Rajya Sabha MP from Goa and All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary, said that he had visited Naquerim village in Quepem taluka in South Goa, and inspected the 250 acres of land proposed to be given “practically free” to Defexpo India to organize their defence exhibition shows.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”When the Goa government is not in a position to find 200 acres of land for establishing the proposed All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the state, what is the rationale in squandering away precious land to a purpose which Goa cannot digest?” he said.Naik said that about 250 acres of land was identified for establishing Industrial Estate, with the intention of giving employment to local youth, but the Defence Minister has thrown the interest of Goa and its unemployed youth to winds, and ventured into a project which can be located in any other state where land is available in plenty.”The track record of Defence Ministry with regard to use of Goan land is one of land-grabbing in the name of defence requirement,” he alleged.”They (Defence Ministry) made the state government part with Anjadive island in the name of security, but made a U-turn after few years, by stopping members of Christian community from offering prayers at the church standing there, despite their earlier written agreement of allowing them to do so,” he said.Naik asserted that the Indian Navy is attempting to grab two islands off the coast of Vasco despite public outcry, not for security reasons but to build holiday homes for their personnel.”The Navy is in occupation of 1687.51 acres of land at Dabolim village, where they have succeeded in getting their names recorded in the land records without producing title deeds,” he said.Naik said that the Defence Ministry is evading reply with respect to the question he asked in the Rajya Sabha regarding its officers using residential flats in the airport area.”The Chief Minister of Goa, it is equally shocking, has put the seal of approval of his government without any murmur,” he said.The leader noted that Parrikar, when he was the Leader of Opposition in the Goa Assembly, heavily criticised the then Congress government if it agreed to part with any parcel of land in favour of the Central Government.Naik noted that the former Goa Chief Minister was highly critical of the then Defence Ministry for not considering Goa’s demand for releasing the land in its (Defence Ministry) occupation in favour of the Airport Authority of India (AAI).”However, after becoming the Defence Minister, Parrikar went to the extent of calling those who were demanding shifting of Naval Base in Goa to Karwar as ‘anti-national’, and did nothing to order Indian Navy to part with the much needed land to the AAI, to the utter shock of Goans.” The leader questioned the state government on leasing out the land for Defexpo project, when “Goa does not have any land to waste and when it took the state government three years to identify land for the National Institute of Technology (NIT), which the government has now identified at Cuncolim village”.Naik charged that the Goa government had given 300 acres of land to the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), but not more that 20 per cent of the land granted to them was utilized, and that the employment that Goans got from the ONGC project was negligible.He said that even village panchayats of Betul, Kitol-Fatorpa and Morpilla have opposed the project in the Naquerim village.”I will take up this matter in the Rajya Sabha and write to the President of India, who is the supreme commander of the Indian Air Force,” he added.

No lightweight bullet-proof jackets for Indian Army as political apathy, bureaucracy prevails

These jackets were required to effectively protect the head, neck, chest, groin and sides of soldiers as well as allow them to move with greater agility during counter-insurgency operations.

Indian Army personnel at the border

India’s infantry lacks even lightweight modular bullet-proof jackets a decade after the demand was first made, according to a report in a news daily.So what is the problem? Defence ministry sources on Tuesday told the daily said the procurement for 1,86,138 bullet-proof jackets through the ‘capital procurement route’, which was approved by the defence acquisitions council in October 2009, is now on the verge of being scrapped. These jackets were required to effectively protect the head, neck, chest, groin and sides of soldiers as well as allow them to move with greater agility during counter-insurgency operations. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All these 1.86 lakh jackets, each costing around Rs 50,000, were to be provided by 2012. Another 1.67 lakh jackets were to be ordered in the second round. “But the jackets offered by six vendors have not met the technical parameters or GSQRs (general staff qualitative requirements) laid down by the Army. DRDO laboratory DMSRDE (defence materials research & development establishment), too, has failed to deliver,” said the source. The ’emergency revenue procurement’ of 50,000 jackets, approved as an operational urgency by defence minister Manohar Parrikar however, has gone ahead. Tata Advanced Materials and MKU have been selected and asked to submit ‘advance samples’ for comprehensive ballistic tests. If they pass, then bulk orders of 25,000 each would be placed on the two firms. These jackets should cost around Rs 25,000 apiece.But a fresh tender will have to be issued for the 1.86 lakh jackets.The Indian Army wanted a modular jacket, whose weight could vary depending on the level of protection needed. The jacket was to weigh less than 4-kg for “low threat” missions. For “high threat” missions, the jacket was to weigh up to 11.5 kg with hard armour plates. The project was cleared in 2009, since the Army then had a shortage of 1.86 lakh jackets. Even the old and bulky jackets currently held by the Army, which offer inadequate protection, are now running out of their shelf-life, says the report. The hindrances to modern jackets are many. Revision of technical parameters and re-floating of tenders as well as convoluted defence procurement procedures and political apathy and bureaucratic red tape have hindered several modernisation plans of the Army.

OROP notification row: Ex-servicemen begin collecting medals to be returned

The government had earlier notified the implementation of the OROP scheme that will guarantee equal pension to military personnel retiring at the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of the date of retirement.

Image Courtesy: ANI

The ex-servicemen on Tuesday began the process of returning their gallantry medals to the government in protest against the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.The ex-servicemen, who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar for months now, began collecting the medals to be returned.”We will initiate ‘Medal wapasi’ from all across the nation today, will also hold rallies,” said one of the protesting ex-serviceman.The chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, Major General (Retd.) Satbir Singh, had on Monday accused Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar of turning back on his assurance on OROP.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government had earlier notified the implementation of the OROP scheme that will guarantee equal pension to military personnel retiring at the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of the date of retirement.The notification, however, failed to impress veterans and they are continuing with their agitation.The veterans had also announced that they would return their medals and would observe a ‘black Diwali’. The veterans are also threaten to restart their ‘fast unto death’ at Jantar Mantar beginning next week.Veterans have listed seven deviations in the announcement, including annual equalisation, 2013-2014 financial year as the base year for calculating pension, taking the highest pension scale of 2013 as the base for calculation and not the average as announced by the government, not to link OROP with the seventh pay commission and accept that OROP once implemented continue forever and in perpetuity.

Behaviour of protesting ex-servicemen unlike that of a soldier: Parrikar on OROP protest

Vasco Da Gama: The behaviour of ex-servicemen protesting the notification on OROP scheme is “unlike that of a soldier” and they have been misguided, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday, a day after the war veterans decided to return their medals.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI

He termed one rank, one pension (OROP) decision as his biggest achievement in the last one year and said it was the BJP government that had finalised the measure.

“This is unlike a soldier. Whoever are still protesting despite the announcement are being misguided,” he said.

Parrikar said that if there are any grievances, the ex-servicemen can present their case to the judicial commission that will be set up for this purpose.

He had on Monday said that everyone has a right to make a demand in democracy but not all demands can be fulfilled.

The government had on Saturday formally notified the OROP scheme for over 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows in the country. The notification is more or less in line with what Parrikar had announced on 5 September.

However, it has dropped the contentious proposal to exclude ex-servicemen who had sought premature retirement from the ambit of OROP. But the armed forces personnel who opt to get discharged on their request would henceforth not get OROP benefits.

“It will be effective prospectively,” according to the notification.

The notification does not include the demands for an annual equalisation of revised pension, for pegging the pension to the maximum of the current pensioners, and for appointing an expert commission with serving military personnel and ex-servicemen representatives.

Ex-servicemen who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi since June, have rejected the notification.

PTI

OROP notification row: Behaviour of protesting ex-servicemen unlike that of soldier, says Manohar Parrikar

The behaviour of ex-servicemen protesting the notification on OROP scheme is “unlike that of a soldier” and they have been misguided, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday, a day after the war veterans decided to return their medals.

The behaviour of ex-servicemen protesting the notification on OROP scheme is “unlike that of a soldier” and they have been misguided, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday, a day after the war veterans decided to return their medals.He termed one rank, one pension (OROP) decision as his biggest achievement in the last one year and said it was the BJP government that had finalised the measure.”This is unlike a soldier. Whoever are still protesting despite the announcement are being misguided,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parrikar said that if there are any grievances, the ex-servicemen can present their case to the judicial commission that will be set up for this purpose.He had yesterday said that everyone has a right to make a demand in democracy but not all demands can be fulfilled.The government had on Saturday formally notified the OROP scheme for over 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows in the country. The notification is more or less in line with what Parrikar had announced on September 5.However, it has dropped the contentious proposal to exclude ex-servicemen who had sought premature retirement from the ambit of OROP. But the armed forces personnel who opt to get discharged on their request would henceforth not get OROP benefits.”It will be effective prospectively,” according to the notification. The notification does not include the demands for an annual equalisation of revised pension, for pegging the pension to the maximum of the current pensioners, and for appointing an expert commission with serving military personnel and ex-servicemen representatives.Ex-servicemen who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi since June, have rejected the notification.

Now, protesting OROP leaders to return their medals

The government had on Saturday formally notified the OROP scheme for the over 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows in the country, which was rejected by the protesting ex-servicemen.

Manohar Parrikar on Monday said that everyone has a right to make a demand in democracy but not all demands can be fulfilled.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Protesting ex-servicemen on Monday hit back at Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for his comments that not all demands could be fulfilled saying they only have “one demand” of One- Rank-One-Pension (OROP) and that they will intensify the agitation by returning their medals from tomorrow.”We have one and only demand and that is OROP. It was the government who inserted provisions that has made the issue complicated. We want OROP as per the definition. No junior should get more pension than his senior. In protest against the government notification, we will start returning our medals from tomorrow. And November 10-11, ex-servicemen across the country will start returning their medals. They have already informed the District Magistrates about this,” Group Captain V K Gandhi (retd), who is the general secretary of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement (IESM), said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gandhi said in Delhi the medals will be returned outside Terminal 1 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on Tuesday. He said the move to select crowded places was to educate the common man about the impending issue. The protesting ex-servicemen also met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. They said Kejriwal had asked them to brief him about the government notification on OROP.”He called us today and asked us to brief him about the government notification. He has said in coming days he will take up the issue, address press conference and also visit the protesting ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar,” Gandhi, who met Kejriwal added.Parrikar on Monday said that everyone has a right to make a demand in democracy but not all demands can be fulfilled. Underlining that the “maximum” demands of the veterans have been fulfilled, he said the judicial commission that will be set up, will look into the “problems”.The government had on Saturday formally notified the OROP scheme for the over 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows in the country, which was rejected by the protesting ex-servicemen.

OROP row: Not all demands can be fulfilled, says Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

“This is democracy. Everyone has the right to demand. But the maximum… their main demand for same pension for same rank has been given. Rest is everything that we had declared (on September 5). Out of that, the confusion about VRS has been removed,” Parrikar said on the sidelines of a function here.

With the protesting ex-servicemen dissatisfied with the formal notification of one rank, one pension (OROP) scheme, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said that everyone has a right to make a demand in democracy but not all demands can be fulfilled.Underlining that the “maximum” demands of the veterans have been fulfilled, he said the judicial commission that will be set up, will look into the “problems”.”This is democracy. Everyone has the right to demand. But the maximum… their main demand for same pension for same rank has been given. Rest is everything that we had declared (on September 5). Out of that, the confusion about VRS has been removed,” Parrikar said on the sidelines of a function here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said, “Har ek cheez mangte hai, wohi agar satisfy hone laga to kabhi khatam nahi hoga, aur koi kuchh aur mangega (even if all demands are satifisfied, someone will ask for something else).”The minister said that the “basic core issue” has been addressed and if there is a problem, the judicial commission will look into that.He was replying to questions on veterans being unhappy with the OROP notification issued by the government on Saturday.The notification is more or less in line with what Parrikar had announced on September 5.However, it has dropped the contentious proposal to exclude ex-servicemen who had sought premature retirement from the ambit of OROP.But the armed forces personnel who opt to get discharged on their request would henceforth not get OROP benefits.”It will be effective prospectively,” according to the notification.The notification does not include the demands for an annual equalisation of revised pension, for pegging the pension to the maximum of the current pensioners, and for appointing an expert commission with serving military personnel and ex-servicemen representatives.Ex-servicemen who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi since June, rejected the notification.Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, Chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement spearheading the protest, had said on Saturday, “The notification will not be acceptable to the rank and file. It is not one rank, one pension but one rank, five pension.”He further said that this investment helps the government receive additional money from the equity market and thereby reduces the burden on the state exchequer.In its report, the finance department also recommended that pension should not be extended to newly-recruited employees or cadres and called for the appointment of actuarial firms to estimate the actual annual pensionary burden and set up a special fund on a permanent basis to meet future liabilities.”If we remove the pension facility, nobody will want to work with the government. Also, we have no right to set up a special fund out of the budget, otherwise the importance of Legislature will be over,” Kumar said.The proposal is currently lying with the finance department and is expected to be placed before the Cabinet in the coming days.

OROP official notification to be issued before Diwali: Manohar Parrikar

New Delhi: The official notification for One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme will be issued before Diwali, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday.

File photo of Manohar Parrikar. PTI

File photo of Manohar Parrikar. PTI

The announcement comes on a day when protesting ex-servicemen decided to step up their protests and return their medals across the country starting 9 November.

“As you are aware, it will be issued before Diwali,” Parrikar told reporters in New Delhi in reply to a question when the official notification on OROP will come out.

The government had on 5 September announced the OROP scheme for the veterans but an official notification was awaited. The government has cited the Model Code of Conduct for the Bihar polls as the reason behind the delay.

Even after government had announced OROP scheme, a section of the veterans had continued their protest citing seven lacunae, including annual equalisation, 2013-14 as the base year among others.

PTI

Defence Ministry, Indian Navy file appeal in Supreme Court opposing permanent commission for women officers

The MoD and the Chief of Naval Staff have argued that such commission is ‘something that the law itself bars’ and such an order would ‘annihilate the functional autonomy of the armed forces’.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

AFP photo
The Ministry of Defence under Manohar Parrikar and the Indian Navy have moved the Supreme Court against a Delhi HC order allowing permanent commission for women officers, says Indian Express.The MoD and the Chief of Naval Staff have argued that such commission is ‘something that the law itself bars’ and such an order would ‘annihilate the functional autonomy of the armed forces’.Challenging the order of the Delhi High Court, which said on September 4 that women officers in the Navy should be offered permanent commission after they complete their short service stints, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Chief of Naval Staff have said that it violates the principle of ‘separation of powers’ between different wings. They have said that it severely affects the operational structure and administrative exigencies in the Indian Navy.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Interestingly, the appeal claims that the order would affect the seniority of personnel and their opportunities for promotion in the Navy. But it also believes the order is discriminatory because no male officer who has been recruited under the SSC has been offered permanent commission.Another contention of the appellants is that the Delhi HC has assumed the role of ‘decision maker for the Indian Navy’. The Navy has claimed intrusion into its policies, saying the HC ‘nullified its policy without any cogent reason or basis’.The Delhi HC had observed that since all three arms of the military – Army, Navy and Air Force – come under the government, they cannot have different laws. The Navy opposes this , stating that “there are wide variations between the functions of all three services and each service is given the liberty to choose the policies conducive to meet service-specific standards.”Reacting to the development, women officers said to the Indian Express that it was a ‘betrayal’ by the government. They said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had promised them that he would dissuade the Navy from filing an appeal. “The Navy’s decision to appeal against the reinstatement of lady officers proves what the HC had stated… that the Indian government is proud to showcase women power but in reality, the picture is entirely different,” the officers told The Indian Express.Last month, the Delhi HC had allowed pleas filed by 19 women officers in the education, logistics and ATC branches of the Navy, who had completed the 14 years of their SSC. It had further stated that it believed a ‘sexist bias’ existed in the present rules.The officers had also challenged a 2008 decision of the Navy to grant permanent commission only to women who joined after that year, and that too only in the education, law and naval architecture branches.

LK Advani my ultimate guru and guide, says Shatrughan Sinha

Shatrughan Sinha

Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) Member of Parliament Shatrughan Sinha on Wednesday described the veteran party leader Lal Krishna Advani as his ultimate guide, friend and philosopher.”Mr. Lal Krishna Advani has been my friend, philosopher, guide, guru and ultimate leader. Main sari baate unke samne rakh donga aur kahoonga aap jo hai ap hi hai. (I will keep all my views in front of him and say whatever you are, you are),” Sinha told ANI in an exclusive interview.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On being asked whether he felt he had been sidelined by the BJP, Sinha refused to say much, but referred to Advani as his mentor and ultimate friend. “Whatever happened with Advani ji, Murli Manohar Joshi ji or Jaswant Singh or with Yashwant Sinha ji, I would not like to speak much on that. I only know that Advani ji is my ultimate friend, guide and guru,” he said.

Dalit boy death: SIT formed to investigate case, Khattar maintains boy committed suicide

The move to form the SIT-headed by a DSP came as Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar came under attack for claiming that the boy, Govind, had committed suicide.

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar

PTI
A Special Investigation Team has been formed to probe the death of a 15-year-old Dalit youth in Gohana here, a day after two ASIs were booked on murder charges following allegations from the family that he died in police custody.The move to form the SIT-headed by a DSP came as Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar came under attack for claiming that the boy, Govind, had committed suicide.Police said the postmortem, which was conducted by a board of doctors, showed that the boy died due to hanging.”The SIT has been formed in the case. The report of the postmortem, which was conducted by a board of doctors, says that the boy died due to hanging. There was also a mark on his neck,” the Rohtak Range Inspector General of Police, Shrikant Jadhav, told PTI today. On the directions of Jadhav, a SIT had also been formed to conduct further investigations in the case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The SIT will be headed by Rohtak Police DSP rank officer Amit Bhatia,” Superintendent of Police, Sonipat, Abhishek Garg said on Saturday. He said the situation in Gohana town was peaceful after protests by the boy’s family, which had alleged that he was beaten by police and died in custody after being accused of pigeon theft.The two Assistant Sub-inspectors were booked on murder charges and also under sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act on the direction of National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Commission.On Friday, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had told reporters here that “the post mortem report will throw light on why the suicide took place and for what reasons.” He had said the boy’s family was involved in a dispute with another family over some money and pigeon and that the boy was not questioned and he had himself gone to the police station.Congress had attacked the Chief Minister for claiming that the boy had committed suicide even before the investigation was completed.”When Chief Minister of the state like ML Khattar will pre-judge a case before investigation, may I ask who will punish the guilty in this country. It is shameful, it is condemnable and it is reprehensible,” chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala had said. He alleged that it reflected a mindset which is anti-dalit, anti-poor and anti-backward that is “taught in the school of RSS and BJP.”The Gohana incident had come close on the heels of two Dalit children being burnt alive at Sunped village in Faridabad district.

Beef row reflects ‘intolerance’ of BJP: Jairam Ramesh

Taking the name of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who had reportedly said that Muslims should give up eating beef if they want to live in India, and attacking some BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh for the beef row, Ramesh said the whole controversy reflects the intolerance of BJP leaders and the party’s rank and file.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The current controversy over beef reflects the “intolerance” of some BJP leaders and rank and file, says senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, who feels eating preferences cannot be imposed.”You can’t legislate. You can’t say that you can’t eat beef. Tomorrow, you will say ‘dal makhni’ you can’t eat; ‘matar paneer’ you can’t eat. What is all this nonsense? What is India coming to? People are going to decide what you eat? People are going to decide what you wear, what you speak? This is what I mean by saying that RSS is inherently an anti-democratic organisation,” he told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking the name of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who had reportedly said that Muslims should give up eating beef if they want to live in India, and attacking some BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh for the beef row, Ramesh said the whole controversy reflects the intolerance of BJP leaders and the party’s rank and file.The Congress MP said eating beef or not are personal issues and came out strongly against enforcing eating values.”I think the fact of the matter is there is enough history to show that ancient Indians were beef eaters,” he said.”Whether you eat beef or not, these are personal issues. There are people in my family who eat beef. I happen to be a vegetarian not because I am a Hindu (but) by choice. I lived abroad for five years. I was a vegetarian not because I am a Hindu. But my children are not vegetarians. So, I don’t enforce my own eating values. It is their free choice,” he said.On reservation controversy, Ramesh favoured continuation of the police and saw no need for its review.”I am firmly of the view that reservation policy must continue. Social justice has still not been achieved in substantial measure in our country. The benefits of social justice have to flow to more and more weaker sections of our society. I completely disagree with the notion that reservations must stop”.

Dalit children burnt alive: No problem of law and order in ‘peace loving’ Haryana, says CM Khattar

Khattar, who visited the Sunpedh village to meet the family members of the victims, said the state government has ordered a CBI probe in the case.

Manohar Lal Khattar

Amid sharp criticism from the opposition over the Ballabhgarh incident, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday assured that there was no problem of law and order in ‘peace loving’ Haryana and said that the perpetrators of the Dalit killings would not be spared. Khattar, who visited the Sunpedh village to meet the family members of the victims, said the state government has ordered a CBI probe in the case. “Haryana is a peace loving state and there is no problem of law and order. We have already handed over the case to CBI, the culprits won’t be spared,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Khattar downplayed media posers whether he was confident of the fact that such incidents wouldn’t take place in the near future. “We will make sure that no such incidents take place between these two families,” he said. Asserting that the case has been handed over to the CBI, Khattar assured that the culprits would not be spared. “This is a matter of investigation. We should wait for the enquiry,” he said. The Chief Minister also assured all assistance to the victims. “Ten lakh rupees have been given to the family, we will pay the amount required in the medication of the lady admitted in the hospital,” he added. Khattar had earlier postponed his visit to the village due to the protests by the Dalit families. Two children were charred to death and their parents injured after their house was set afire allegedly by some members of Rajput community at Sunpedh village in Ballabhgarh. The mother of the victims is battling for her life at a hospital.

Dalit children burnt alive "shocking": Congress MP Ahmed Patel

Congress MP Ahmed Patel has dubbed as shocking the caste-based violence in Sunpedh, a village in Faridabad, and asked whether intolerance is competing with itself every day.

Congress MP Ahmed Patel has dubbed as shocking the caste-based violence in Sunpedh, a village in Faridabad, and asked whether intolerance is competing with itself every day.”The manner in which Dalit children are being burnt alive is shocking. Is intolerance competing with it self every day?” Patel tweeted.”Failing to ensure social justice and harmony, Is this how we shall observe the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb?” he added.Two children of a Dalit family died and their parents suffered burn injuries after their home was set on fire, allegedly by upper-caste Rajputs in Sunpedh village yesterday.According to the police, this attack was an act of vengeance that stemmed from a year-long feud between the two communities.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has sought a report from Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on the incident.The incident in Sunpedh village took place on a day when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spoke out firmly against the acts of vandalism in the country. He said all right-thinking sections disapproved of this extremely disturbing trend.

Caste violence in Faridabad: Rahul Gandhi to meet victims’ kin

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has sought a report from Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on the incident.

A day after two children of a Dalit family died and their parents suffered burn injuries after their home was set on fire, allegedly by upper-caste Rajputs in Sunpedh village, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will visit Faridabad today to meet the victims’ kin.Tension gripped the locality yesterday after the incident.The mother of the children is battling for life at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has sought a report from Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on the incident. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Notice to Vadra company not an act of vindictiveness: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday insisted that the notice issued to a company owned by Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra was not any act of vindictiveness, saying such a step has been taken with regard to “all defaulters” and not him alone.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday insisted that the notice issued to a company owned by Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra was not any act of vindictiveness, saying such a step has been taken with regard to “all defaulters” and not him alone.He told reporters here that it is not an issue of “Vadra or no Vadra” but his BJP government would carry out probe wherever any wrongdoing has been committed and set the things right.”Look, it is not just one company. All the defaulters have been sent the notice,” Khattar said when asked about the notice by Haryana government to Vadra’s company Skylight Hospitalities, seeking details of a land deal in Gurgaon with realty major DLF, for the purpose of imposing tax.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There is no question of targeting anyone in particular or act of vindictiveness, the Chief Minister said.”Vadra or no Vadra is not the issue. Our target is to set the things right wherever any wrongdoing has taken place,” he said addressing a press conference here ahead of the completion of one year of his government on October 26.Asserting that his government was committed to provide a transparent and corruption-free administration, Khattar said his regime had proceeded as per law wherever any wrongdoing had come to its fore.He said in all 213 cases had been filed through Vigilance Bureau in past one year that included 25 against the public servants.Various probes pertaining to the alleged acts of omission and commission and wrongdoings which took place during the tenure of the previous government are underway, he said.Asked if the S NDhingra Commission which is mandated to probe all land and other deals in Gurgaon including those involving Robert Vadra’s company has sought any information from the state government, Khattar replied, “we have made available the information which was sought”.The Chief Minister said the Commission was conducting an independent probe and “we don’t interfere in the process. As soon as the state government receives the report, we will act accordingly.”The Justice Dhingra Commission of Inquiry was set up by the Haryana government earlier this year to investigate the conditions under which licenses for the development of colonies in Gurgaon were granted to some entities which resulted in loss of revenue to the public exchequer.The commission probing the grant of licenses to entities in Sector 83 of Gurgaon had recently said its mandate was to probe whether their was any revenue loss during the transactions and that all the deals will be looked into including those involving Robert Vadra’s company.Khattar made a mention of the Vigilance inquiry ordered by him in May this year to look into the allotment of 11 industrial plots by previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government in Industrial Estate, Panchkula, in December 2011 to alleged “undeserving candidates”.”We have received its report..law will take its course in the matter,” he said.He also talked about other probes which his government has ordered into various other alleged scams including a CBI probe into the alleged multi-crore fungicide-RAXIL purchase scandal, MNREGA scam in Ambala district, alleged irregularities in HCS recruitment, besides other land scams which have come to fore in Manesar in Gurgaon and Faridabad.

BJP condemns Shiv Sena protest against PCB, BCCI talks

BCCI secretary and BJP leader Anurag Thakur condemned the demonstration by Shiv Sena activists at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on Monday.

The BJP refused to play ball with its ally, Shiv Sena, on its resistance to talks between Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shahryar Khan and Board of Control for Cricket in BCCI President Shashank Manohar to discuss resumption pf cricketing ties between the neighbouring countries.BCCI secretary and BJP leader Anurag Thakur condemned the demonstration by Shiv Sena activists at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on Monday.”In a democracy everyone has right to protest, but entering the BCCI premises was uncalled for. I condemn it,” he told dna. Thakur, a BJP MP, said there should have been no objection to talks between the PCB and BCCI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The BCCI will take a decision in India’s interests and as per the government’s decision. There are several angles taken into consideration like the team’s security, pending issues between the cricket boards and prevailing sentiments in the country,” Thakur said.Other BJP leaders Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who are both union ministers also castigated the Shiv Sena for attacking the BCCI headquarters. Their advise to Shiv Sena against intolerance comes a day after BJP President Amit Shah summoned BJP leaders– Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, union minister Sanjeev Balyan, MP Sakshi Maharaj and UP MLA Sangeet Som– to warn against making inflammatory remarks.”The way there is a rise in the cases of intolerance, the Shiv Sena must avoid doing this. They should show some tolerance,” Rudy said.Naqvi, who is minister of state for minority affairs, also condemned the agitation saying protests should be in a peaceful manner. Indian Premier League Chairman Rajeev Shukla also expressed his disappointment with the protest at the BCCI headquarters.The BJP and Shiv Sena have been at loggerheads over issues like Ghulam Ali concert in Mumbai and release of book of Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri’s book.

Goa CM Parsekar says beef eaten by comunities part of cuisine, not to offend others

He also said that there can be no controversy created in Goa on the issue of beef consumption and that people in Goa are known to respect all kinds of religions.

Laxmikant Parsekar

The Chief Minister of Goa Laxmikant Parsekar on Friday said that in Goa beef was eaten by certain communities because it was part of their cuisine without intending to offend other people. Parsekar, during an interview, said, “I don’t feel the people of a community eat or use beef to hurt sentiments of others. It is part of their cuisine or preparation and we also accept the fact,” Indian Express reported. He also said that there can be no controversy created in Goa on the issue of beef consumption and that people in Goa are known to respect all kinds of religions. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parsekar’s comments came after Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that if Muslims want to stay in India they must stop eating beef. He also commented on Dadri killing and said that both sides committed mistakes in Dadri.Parsekar said, “This maybe a tiny state, but our speciality is that Hindus, Catholics and Muslims can live together in harmony and peace. We know the importance of respecting each others’ feelings. Therefore, such issues are never blown out of proportion as in other states, ” the report stated.

Beef ban row: Manohar Khattar says his words were twisted, willing to apologise if anyone hurt

Earlier Indian Express reported Khattar as saying that Muslims can stay in India if they are willing to forgo eating beef.

Hours after reports emerged of Manohar Lal Khattar saying Muslims can live in India if they give up eating beef, the Haryana CM has denied making any such comments on Friday.Speaking to news agency ANI, Khattar said that his words were misconstrued and twisted.Following massive social media backlash, veteran leader Khattar said,He further added that their ideals are based on secularism and they divide in united society. Earlier Indian Express reported Khattar as saying that Muslims can stay in India only if they are willing to forgo eating beef. Khattar was asked about the unfortunate Dadri incident, where Mohammad Akhlaq was beaten to death by a group of men over suspicion of cooking beef at home. Haryana CM while calling the incident ‘wrong’ and said that it was due to misunderstanding. According to him, both sides made mistakes in the incident and virtually blamed Akhlaq. Khattar claims that the victim made a loose comment about cows which incited the mob, who subsequently attacked him.According to IE report, Khattar tried to rationalise the lynch mobbing and said that the incident was like that seeing close family member getting hurt or attacked, where one loses their sense of balance and anger gets the better of people.According to Haryana CM, democracy has its limitation and freedom of expression doesn’t mean one can hurt sentiments of other people. He was quoted as saying, “Eating beef hurts the sentiments of another community, even constitutionally you cannot do this. The Constitution says you cannot do something that offends me, I cannot do something that offends you.” The Haryana CM said that Muslims can retain their faith even if they stop eating beef. He said that nowhere is it written that Muslims or Christians have to eat beef.According to the report, Khattar considers steps taken by the government to ban cow slaughter as one of his achievements.

Muslims can stay in India, but have to give up eating beef, says Haryana CM Khattar

Manohar Lal Khattar

In a statement which is likely to create fresh controversy, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar has said that Muslims can live in India if they give up eating beef. He has also said that both sides committed mistakes in Dadri. Speaking to The Indian Express, Khattar who has been associated with RSS for close to four decades said that ‘the cow is an article of faith’ in India. Along with cow, he also added Gita and Saraswati as matter of faith for Indians. Khattar was asked about the unfortunate Dadri incident, where Mohammad Akhlaq was beaten to death by a group of men over suspicion of cooking beef at home. Haryana CM while calling the incident ‘wrong’ and said that it was due to misunderstanding. According to him, both sides made mistakes in the incident and virtually blamed Akhlaq. Khattar claims that the victim made a loose comment about cows which incited the mob, who subsequently attacked him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to IE report, Khattar tried to give a rationale for the lynch mobbing and said that the incident was like that of seeing your close family member getting hurt or attacked, where you lose your sense of balance and anger gets the better of you. According to Haryana CM, democracy has its limitation and freedom of expression doesn’t mean one can hurt sentiments of other people. He was quoted as saying, “Eating beef hurts the sentiments of another community, even constitutionally you cannot do this. The Constitution says you cannot do something that offends me, I cannot do something that offends you.” The Haryana CM said that Muslims can retain their faith even if they stop eating beef. He said that nowhere is it written that Muslims or Christians have to eat beef.According to the report, Khattar considers steps taken by the government to ban cow slaughter as one of his achievements.

India capable of giving befitting reply to Pakistan for its actions: Manohar Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said India is capable of giving a befitting reply to Pakistan for its actions.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said India is capable of giving a befitting reply to Pakistan for its actions.Parrikar, who was speaking at the inauguration of 36th National Archery Championship, said the government is doing everything required to protect the country. He said anti-national elements were trying to break the nation and asked the people to stay alert to thwart their attempts.He said Meerut was the land of revolution and games. The Union Minister said we can only make a place in Olympic games with Arjun-like concentration. Archery improves concentration, he said. Union Minister Kalraj Mishra was also present at the event. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Decision on combat roles for women in armed forces will be made soon, says Parrikar

Mumbai: Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said here that his ministry was examining how a combat role can be assigned to the women in the armed forces, in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s focus on gender sensitivity.

“My ministry is working out (how) to assign combat role for women in the armed forces, and a policy decision will soon be made,” Parrikar said, addressing a gathering of retired army officers at Welingkar Institute of Management here.

File photo. Image courtesy: PTIFile photo. Image courtesy: PTI

File photo. Image courtesy: PTI

Earlier this week, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha had said the Indian Air Force had moved a proposal to induct women as fighter aircraft pilots.

“It is extremely unfortunate that our Prime Minister’s initiatives such as Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and Selfie With Daughter are not being taken seriously by a few people, especially so-called secular minded people,” Parrikar said.

“When our PM emphasises Selfie with Daughter, it does not only address the issue of gender equality but also the disorder of gender insensitivity prevailing in the current form of society in a larger context,” he said.

Parrikar was in the city to pay tribute to late Lt Dilip Gupte on his 50th death anniversary. Gupte died at a young age of 23 in Operation Jura Bridge on October 11, 1965 during the Indo-Pak war.

PTI

Dadri lynching: IAF has provided accommodation to Akhlaq’s son, says Manohar Parrikar

Indian Air Force has provided accommodation to Sartaj, son of Mohammad Akhlaq who was lynched to death last week, in the national capital, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said.

Manohar Parrikar

AFP photo
Indian Air Force has provided accommodation to Sartaj, son of Mohammad Akhlaq who was lynched to death last week, in the national capital, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said.He said, Sartaj, who is a corporal in the Indian Air Force, has been provided accomodation in the national capital as per his entitlement, but out of turn.”He has been provided with an accomodation as per his entitlement, but out of turn, which is also permitted within the power of Indian Air Force.Related Read: Dadri lynching: Meat in Mohammad Akhlaq’s fridge was mutton, not beef<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maneka Gandhi sparks controversy, says two accused are innocent & known to her”So, it is a normal exercise to provide accomodation to our man. Whenever they are in need, we do it. It is our personnel’s family so we have provided accomdation on priority,” Parrikar told reporters here after a parade to mark the 66th anniversary of Territorial Army. Sources said Sartaj’s family has already moved into the Air Force’s accomodation at the Subroto Park in Delhi.When asked whether the Air Force would provide any kind of protection to Akhlaq’s family, Parrikar said, “I don’t think it is required. The police is taking care. We have no role to play in that.”

Delhi police arrest man who shot himself at Rajiv Chowk Metro station

New Delhi: The 22-year-old man who allegedly shot himself at Rajiv Chowk Metro station has been formally arrested by Delhi Police on Sunday.

The accused, identified as Shibesh Adhikari, is suspected to be mentally unstable and has given inconsistent details about the sequence of events, a senior police official said.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

A police team led by the Station House Officer(SHO) of East Delhi’s Yamuna Bank police station has been sent to his native village in Uttar Pradesh to collect more information, which is crucial to the probe, according to the official.

The man claimed that he accidentally shot himself as he was on his way to “assassinate” a person who was about to “blow up” Delhi Metro.

According to police, Sridesh boarded a train from Chandni Chowk station (on Yellow Line) and was on his way to Noida (on Blue Line). While changing train at Rajiv Chowk, he went to a secluded corner and allegedly tried to shoot himself on his head but he missed the target and the bullet grazed past his shoulder.

After the incident, he was admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and was headed for a surgery. He was discharged on Saturday, following which he was formally arrested on Sunday, the officer added.

PTI

Bihar Polls: If grand alliance comes to power, then it will be ‘Jungle Raj 2’: Amit Shah

Though the Muslim-dominated region is going to polls in the last phase on November 5, the BJP is pulling out all stops to put up a strong show here as it seen as a weak link by the party in its quest to capture power in the state where it has never ruled as the dominant partner.

Bihar will see a tsunami of development if NDA comes to power in the state, Amit Shah said at the rally.

PTI
It will be ‘jungle raj 2’ if the grand alliance came to power in Bihar, BJP national President Amit Shah warned on Sunday, asserting that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is the “mascot” of “corrupt” Congress and along with RJD the state will not progress.”The Congress had presided over scam to the tune of Rs 12 lakh crore during the UPA rule at the Centre and the RJD had presided over ‘jungle raj’ during its 15-year rule… how can Nitish Kumar bring development to Bihar by carrying these two allies on his shoulders,” Shah told party workers at Nehru Stadium in Muzaffarpur town.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Urging the electorate of Bihar not to get swayed by the “bluff” of the senior JD(U) leader, Shah warned that Bihar would end up with ‘jungle raj 2′ in the event of the grand secular alliance winning the Assembly elections.Dubbing Nitish as the master of “politics of betrayal”, Shah said she will not remain faithful to Bihar and its people given his penchant of betraying the socialist icons, namely Ram Manohar Lohia and Jai Prakash Narayan, BJP and lastly Jitan Ram Manjhi.Later, addressing a rally in Katihar in Bihar’s Seemanchal region, “Bihar will see a tsunami of development” if NDA comes to power in the state.”On one shoulder of Kumar is (RJD chief) Lalu Prasad who is a symbol of jungle raj while corrupt Congress is on his other shoulder. He is just a mascot for them,” he said.Though the Muslim-dominated region is going to polls in the last phase on November 5, the BJP is pulling out all stops to put up a strong show here as it seen as a weak link by the party in its quest to capture power in the state where it has never ruled as the dominant partner.Kumar broke alliance with the BJP and “betrayed” the peoples’ mandate for his “sheer greed” for the post of prime minister and joined hands with the RJD supremo against whom he had fought all his life and later had no remorse in roping in Congress against whom the socialist icons, Ram Manohar Lohia and Jai Prakash Narayan, had stood for all their lives, Shah said.Shah said Nitish had taken no time in becoming chief minister on the shoulders of the RJD supremo after junking the BJP despite the fact that the BJP workers had toiled hard against the RJD’s ‘jungle raj’ and made him the Chief Minister of Bihar in 2005.Shah held the RJD supremo and the JD(U) leader collectively responsible for backwardness of Bihar by ignoring development in pursuit of caste politics and dynasty rule and promised that the BJP-led coalition will retrieve old glories of the state in the event of being elected to power at the hustings.In Samastipur, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj struck a similar note, asking voters to be wary of the grand secular alliance under which the state will return to “jungle raj”. The NDA government is necessary for the state’s rapid growth as it would work in tandem with the central government, she said, adding BJP has come out with a vision document for the state’s development in the next five years.

dna Must Reads for the evening: Ram Jethmalani slams Modi, Shashank Manohar, fake liberals, Jaitley and more

dna evening Must Reads

dna webdesk
Here are some of the must read stories on dna for the evening:1) I was ‘victim of fraud’ when I was promoting Modi for PM, says Jethmalani: “Today I have come here to do ‘penance’ for what I did by promoting Narendra Modi as the leader of the country (before the Lok Sabha polls). I thought that God has sent him as his ‘Aulia’ (representative) for India’s salvation…How I became the victim of fraud,” Jethmalani said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2) Journalist shot dead in UP, third such incident in four months: In the third such incident in four months in Uttar Pradesh, a local television journalist was allegedly shot dead by motorcycle-borne miscreants in Dheena area.3) BCCI President Shashank Manohar pledges to clean up Indian cricket: Newly-elected BCCI President Shashank Manohar on Sunday announced a slew of reforms, including the appointment of an ombudsman to deal with contentious issues like conflict of interest, as part of a clean-up operation to restore the Cricket Board’s battered image.4) How modern-day ‘liberals’ are destroying the idea of liberalism: Liberalism has betrayed itself by turning back on its own principles. This is extremely harmful to modern society because it plays directly into the hands of the fundamentalists.5) Non-declarants of foreign assets to face consequences, says FM Arun Jaitley: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has warned that those who did not declare overseas black money during compliance window will face the consequences as the government will receive information about their wealth under automatic exchange of information, while others who took advantage of the scheme to come clean can “sleep well”.

Australian envoy Patrick Suckling meets Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar

Khattar apprised Suckling that the state government had recently announced its new Enterprises Promotion Policy-2015.

A three-member delegation led by Australian envoy Patrick Suckling today met Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar here, and expressed keen interest in investing in several sectors including agriculture, animal husbandry, tourism, health and education. During the meeting, the High Commissioner of Australia to India told Khattar that the universities of both the countries could exchange technologies for quantity measurement of carotene in cow milk and improving genetic breeding.Khattar apprised Suckling that the state government had recently announced its new Enterprises Promotion Policy-2015. Under the policy, a provision had been made to give special concession for mega investment projects with its key features of further easing the ease-of-doing business and single-window clearance, the CM told the Australian envoy.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Khattar also said Haryana enjoys locational advantage, as the state surrounds national capital Delhi on three sides. He also invited Suckling for an investment summit to be organised in Gurgaon, and presented a copy of the Bhagwad Gita to the members of delegation, according to a release.Stating that India and Australia have many similar sports including cricket, Suckling said, ‘There are ample possibilities to increase cooperation with Haryana in the areas of sports infrastructure, sports medicine and sports psychology.”

Vice President Hamid Ansari voices concern over attempt to curtail right to dissent

He was addressing the First Ram Manohar Lohia Memorial National Lecture organised by a city university in Gwalior on Wednesday evening.
File Photo
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Vice President Hamid Ansari has expressed concern over attempts to curtail the voice of dissent in democracy, specially of NGOs in the country in last few years.”In the globalising world of today and in most countries having a democratic fabric, role of civil society in the articulation of dissent has been and continues to be comprehensively discussed; so does the question of its marginalisation or suppression,” the Vice President said.He was addressing the First Ram Manohar Lohia Memorial National Lecture organised by a city university in Gwalior on Wednesday evening.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Dissent as a right has been recognised by the Supreme Court of India as one aspect of the Right of Freedom of Speech guaranteed as a fundamental right by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution,” he said.Ansari said the apex court has observed that the restrictions on the freedom of speech must be couched in the narrowest possible terms and that the provision of Article 19 (2) is justiciable in the sense that the restrictions on it have to be ‘reasonable’ and cannot be arbitrary, excessive or disproportionate.Referring to the civil society concerns on the issue, Ansari said, “Despite the unambiguously stated position in law, civil society concerns about constraints on the right of dissent in actual practice have been articulated powerfully.” Referring to the new reporting requirements for NGOs, he said, “Nothing is more fatal for disagreements and dissent than the idea that all of it can be reduced to hidden sub-texts or external agendas. The idea that anyone who disagrees with my views must be the carrier of someone else’s subversive agenda is, in some ways, deeply anti-democratic.”It does away with the possibility of genuinely good faith disagreement. It denies equal respect to citizens because it absolves you of taking their ideas seriously. Once we have impugned the source, we don’t have to pay attention to the contents of the claim.. This has serious consequences for dissent,” he said.”Every citizen of the Republic has the right and the duty to judge. Herein lies the indispensability of dissent,” he said.On to Lohia, the Vice President said for over two decades, he was the ‘stormy petrel’ of the Indian politics.”

SC stays Haryana law on educational bar for panchayat elections

In a setback for the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the state law providing that a candidate aspiring to contest the panchayat elections should have cleared the class 10 examination.

A bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre stayed the operation of the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2015, passed by the state assembly on 7 September, after the petition challenging the amended law was mentioned before the court.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

While staying operation of the amended provision providing for educational qualifications for contesting local body’s elections, the court also issued notice to Haryana government and the Election Commission.

Under the amended law, a person from the general category should have passed the class 10 examinations and a Dalit should have passed class 8 to be eligible to contest local body’s elections.

The court was moved by the Communist Party of India-Marxist”s woman wing, the All India Democratic Women Association, Rajbala and others.

The court order came after senior counsel Sanjay Parikh and Kirti Singh appearing for the petition mentioned the matter before the court.

IANS

PM Modi credits poor people for implementation of OROP

“I had said that we will work on OROP and work began right from the time we assumed office. The credit for implementation of OROP goes to the poor of the nation,” Prime Minister Modi said while addressing a rally in Chandigarh.

Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday credited the poor people for implementation of the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme and said that his government began working on it from the first day in office.”I had said that we will work on OROP and work began right from the time we assumed office. The credit for implementation of OROP goes to the poor of the nation,” Prime Minister Modi said while addressing a rally in Chandigarh.”The previous government had allocated Rs. 500 crore for OROP, but when we looked into the matter further we realised the required amount is Rs. 10,000 crore,” he added. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had last week announced OROP for the veterans.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The scheme announced by the government will take 2013 as the base year to calculate pensions and date of implementation will be July1, 2014. The period for review was five years, something that has been a major sticking point.

Cannot consider one-year pension revision under OROP: Manohar Parrikar

Panaji: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday said the demand of armed forces veterans for annual revision of pension under “One Rank One Pension” (OROP) scheme could not be considered as definition of OROP does not specify any time frame for upgradation of pension.

“Definition of OROP does not specify any period for upgrade of pension. Their (ex-servicemen’s) demand to have annual upgradation of OROP cannot be considered because in the definition (of OROP) it is mentioned that pension should be upgraded but there is no period specified.”

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. AFP

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. AFP

“..The word used is automatic. But what should be the period is not specified. There is no clear-cut period mentioned,” Parrikar told reporters in Panaji.

Explaining government’s interpretation, he said, “We have taken the period as five years (for revision of pension under OROP) as usually ten-year is a period for any wage revision.”

He said OROP will benefit around 22 lakh ex-servicemen.

The timeframe for revision of pension remains one of the sticking points between government and veterans who have been agitating in national capital for over a month.

While government has said it will revise pension every five years, veterans want it to be re-fixed annually or at least every two years.

Parrikar reiterated that unlike civil services the concept of Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) does not exist in military.

He said union government will have to incur a financial liability of Rs 8000 crore per year for implementing OROP.

“Since such a huge amount was involved, it took time to complete all the procedure before announcing OROP,” he said responding to a query.

Parrikar said OROP will not be applicable to paramilitary services.

“It (OROP) is a military pension. The retirement conditions of military are different from paramilitary,” he said.

Responding to a question, the minister said fencing of the India-Bangladesh border is almost completed barring a few places.

“India-Bangladesh border is already fenced except at few places. The dispute around these places would be settled within six months following which it would be fenced,” he added.

Ex-servicemen, who have been agitating in Delhi, had yesterday said they would organise a mega rally this weekend to press for removal of “anomalies” in the OROP announced by government on Saturday.

PTI

Why OROP is a big milestone for the Modi govt in run up to Bihar polls

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday announced the OROP in an extremely short press conference. It made the points ably, but was shorn of the chest beating antics we almost expect to see from this government.

Getty Images
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday announced the OROP in an extremely short press conference. It made the points ably, but was shorn of the chest beating antics we almost expect to see from this government.If there was any doubt about how the government is going to play this out in the upcoming Bihar elections, Narendra Modi made it clear in a public rally on Sunday. PM Modi said that he has kept the promise given in his 2013 pre-election rally at Rewari, Haryana to war veterans and also took great pains to explain why 15 months were needed for its final announcement. In no uncertain words, he said that even though OROP burdens the exchequer to a great extent, respecting ex-armymen was the priority of the government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While there are some sticking points, overall, the veterans seem to be satisfied with the OROP and the lingering protest is also likely to fizzle out in a few days. But the impact of this decision may be significant for the ruling BJP at the Centre, particularly as it comes just before the schedule of the all-important Bihar polls is announced.1. Not merely a ‘jumla’ sarkarOver the past 15 months, the opposition has repeatedly needled the government for hoodwinking the public on several issues. Repeatedly, words like Modi being a package master have been mentioned. But after the historic Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh, this is another big achievement for the government, where a pending issue of the past 40 years has been resolved. It will give the government some breathing space to say that the work is in progress on other lofty promises like cleaning the Ganga and bringing back black money from foreign banks.2. Offsets face-loss for the land ordinance fiascoThe entire land acquisition controversy was like a bad dream for the Modi government. It was not properly managed politically, and from the very beginning, the opposition got a chance to set the agenda. When the government tried to communicate on the issue, it was already too late with the threat perception grown on farmers’ mind. While Jaitley may say that the decision to not repromulgate the land ordinance is not a setback, in reality, it was the government’s way to get out of the logjam.The land ordinance issue exposed the weakness of the government, especially its numbers in the Upper House. OROP on the other hand, amply shows the strength of the government under one firm leader, by taking a historic decision without budging on some key provisions. For many who voted for the BJP, this is precisely the kind of ‘nationalistic’ decisions they would have hoped for. In that respect, the afterglow of the OROP implementation will somewhat make up for the shoddy implementation of the land ordinance.3. Exposes Congress’ hypocrisyThe Congress had dragged its feet on the OROP for a very long time, before allocating a token amount in the last budget of UPA2. Like any true opposition, while it is trying to piggyback on the unrest of veterans, it is very hard to see anyone taking the grand old party seriously. If social media reactions are any indicator, Congress has come across as opportunistic and hypocritical in this entire issue, keeping in mind their earlier position.After hammering the government on Lalitgate and the Vyapam scam, Congress has failed to keep up the momentum on OROP. In Bihar, Congress is a marginal player but it has been allotted only 40 seats by the ‘secular’ alliance. BJP hopes to score big in seats where Congress will be its main opponent.4. Will make Modi’s development pitch in Bihar more believablePM Modi being an astute politician, knows that in Bihar, the anti-BJP forces occupy a greater chunk of the social base. Thus, if elections are held on the basis of traditional caste lines, BJP is likely to fall way short. Hence, BJP wants to make it an election where development is the key mantra and Modi is relying on the ambitious Rs 1.25 lakh crore package to drive home the message.So far, Nitish and Lalu were undermining the generous package as another election stunt, and was focusing on the DNA comment, to make ‘Bihari asmita’ an election plank. But make no mistake, NDA leaders will reach out aggressively to tell people that just like the demands of ex-servicemen have been fulfilled, Bihar, and especially its youth, will also get to finally see light at the end of a long tunnel.Will it help Modi win the Bihar acid test? That remains to be seen. But all the above factors will undoubtedly generate a feel-good push for the NDA after the washout of the Monsoon Session and the capitulation in the land bill. The government is in firm control and Modi is driving the ship ably- this is the message that the PM would like to project through the OROP announcement to the people of Bihar.

OROP: Manohar Parrikar asks ex-servicemen to end agitation on pending issues

“There are some issues remaining, we can discuss about that in future. There is no need to go on an agitation for that,” he added.

According to me the issue is more or less resolved, he added.

File Photo
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said that ex-service men need not go on an agitation for the remaining issues concerning the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, as it can resolved by holding discussions.”OROP as a principle has been accepted, full financial requirements have been fulfilled. There might be a few small issues which over a period of time will get automatically addressed. According to me the issue is more or less resolved, have you ever seen that 100 percent things are fulfilled to everyone’s satisfaction?” Parrikar told media here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “There are some issues remaining, we can discuss about that in future. There is no need to go on an agitation for that,” he added. Ex-servicemen protesting for the implementation of the OROP scheme called off their hunger strike earlier today, after receiving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reassurance on OROP but said they will continue with their agitation. “We are happy to announce that we have called off the hunger strike. The Government should agree to VRS and the other four points. It’s legal and justified. Agitation will continue,” said chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) Major General (Retired) Satbir Singh.