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India’s big defence indigenisation push amid standoff with China

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh clears proposals for Rs 38,900 crore, approves procurement of 21 MiG-29s, along with upgradation of 59 Mig-29s, and 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft.

Ashish Singh

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Amid rising tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, India took a big step on Thursday towards achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat” by giving the green signal to acquisitions of various platforms and equipment required by the three services.

 Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday approved a proposal for procurement of 21 MiG-29 fighter aircraft, along with upgradation of 59 Mig-29s, and 12 more Su-30 MKI aircraft.

To strengthen the armed forces for defending the borders, the Defence Acquisition Council meeting, chaired by Rajnath Singh, accorded approval for capital acquisitions of various platforms and equipment required by the three services.

“Proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore were approved,” a Defence Ministry statement said.

While the MiG-29 procurement and upgradation from Russia is estimated to cost Rs 7,418 crore, the Su-30 MKIs will be procured from HAL at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730 crore.

Focused on indigenous design and development, these approvals include acquisitions, amounting to Rs 31,130 crore, from Indian industry.

These equipment will be manufactured in India by the Indian defence industry with participation of several MSMEs as prime tier vendors.

The indigenous content in some of these projects is up to 80 per cent of the project cost.

 A large number of these projects have been made possible due to transfer of technology by the Defence Research & Development Organisation to indigenous industry.

These include Pinaka missiles, BMP armament upgrades and software defined radios for the Indian Army, and long-range land attack Cruise missile systems and Astra missiles for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

The cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore.

Acquisition of new and additional missile systems will add to the fire power of three services.

While the acquisition of more Pinaka missile systems will enable raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted, addition of long-range land attack missile systems having a firing range of 1,000 km to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the navy and the IAF.

 Similarly, induction of Astra missiles having beyond visual range (BVR) capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of the Indian Navy and IAF.

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Dilip Ghosh’s remarks against TMC’s Sougata Roy kick up controversy: ‘People will beat him up with shoes’

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Dilip Ghosh

Dilip Ghosh, national vice president of the BJP, sparked controversy when he declared that senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) politician Sougata Roy “would be beaten up with shoes” for his remark targeting his party’s detractors.

“Sougata Roy is a veteran politician. He was a professor once upon a time. But we are stunned to hear the language he used to attack the opposition. He is telling his party cadres that shoes will be made by peeling off the skin. The day is not far away when people will beat him up with shoes. The TMC leaders will be beaten up with shoes in various parts of the state,” Ghosh said.

Roy had slammed the opposition parties for “maligning” the ruling party in Bengal after Partha Chatterjee and Anubrata Mondal, two of its leaders, were taken into custody in separate cases. Under the guise of protest, the TMC leader had declared that “shoes will be manufactured by peeling off the skin of those who believe they can get away by maligning the party.”

He later expressed regret over his remark.

Additionally, Ghosh asserted that these remarks demonstrate how TMC officials are now “scared” as two of their top colleagues are in jail.

Roy responded angrily to the BJP leader’s statement, saying the man lacks “formal education.” The TMC leader further asserted that Ghosh was in contact with his party since the saffron camp no longer had faith in him.

Reportedly, he said, “It’s beyond my dignity to comment on what a person with little or no formal education is saying. Dilip Ghosh himself is in touch with our party as he no longer enjoys the confidence of the BJP leadership.”

The CBI detained Mondal for reportedly refusing to cooperate with it in a cattle smuggling case, while the Enforcement Directorate detained Chatterjee in connection with the school employment recruiting fraud.

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J&K: Earthquake of 3.1 magnitudes jolted Hanley

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Earthquake

The National Center for Seismology on Friday said a 3.1 magnitude earthquake jolted South Soutwest of Jammu and Kashmir’s Hanley.

Taking to Twitter, NCS informed, “Earthquake of Magnitude: 3.1, occurred on 19-08-2022, 12:02;14 IST, Lat: 31.89 & Long: 78.67, Depth: 5 Km, Location: 92km SSW of Hanley, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

However further details are awaited.

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PM Narendra Modi, President Droupadi Murmu extend greetings on Janmashtami

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Narendra Modi and Droupadi Murmu

On the occasion of Janmashtami Prime Minister Narendra extended greetings to the people.

Taking to Twitter PM Modi said, “Hearty greetings to all the countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami. May this festival of devotion and gaiety bring happiness, prosperity, and good fortune to everyone’s life. Long live Shri Krishna!”

Earlier in the morning, President Droupadi Murmu also extended a greeting to the people.

“Hearty greetings to all the countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami. From the life of Lord Krishna, we can imbibe the qualities of providing education by doing selfless deeds for the welfare of the people. I wish that this holy festival gives inspiration to all of us to give priority to everyone’s interest with thought, word, and deed,” Murmu tweeted.

Meanwhile, on the eve of Janmashtami President Murmu said, “On the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami, I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to all my fellow citizens living in India and abroad.

“Lord Krishna’s life and teachings included the message of well-being and virtue. He propagated the concept of “Nishkam Karma” and enlightened the people about the attainment of the ultimate truth through the Path of ‘Dharma’. I pray that this festival of Janmashtami inspires us to follow the path of virtue in our thought, words, and actions,” Murmu further said.

Moreover, Janmashtmi is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna throughout the country. Every year Janmashtami falls in August and September.

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IAS officer in ‘disbelief’ at release of Bilkis case convicts

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Bilkis Bano

The release of 11 men convicted in the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her 5-year-old daughter and 13 other people during the Gujarat riots in 2002 shocked an IAS officer from the Telangana cadre. As a woman and a government servant, Smita Sabharwal, also known as The People’s Officer, stated that upon learning of the discharge of the defendants in the Bilkis Bano case, she sat in shock.

“As a woman and a civil servant, I sit in disbelief, on reading the news on the #BilkisBanoCase,” the 2001-batch IAS officer tweeted. “We cannot snuff out her Right to breathe free without fear, again and call ourselves a free nation.”

Additionally, Bilkis Bano’s attorney made a statement on the survivor’s behalf in which she said that the release of the defendants had destroyed her confidence in the legal system and left her feeling numb.

“On August 15, 2022, the trauma of the past 20 years washed over me again when I heard that the 11 convicted men who devastated my family and my life and took from me my three-year-old daughter had walked free,” she said in a statement released by her lawyer Sobha. “I was bereft of words. I am still numb.”

She has pleaded with the Gujarati government to “correct this harm” and restore her right to “live without fear and in peace.”

There has been a widespread outcry about the release of the convicts under the previous 1992 remission regime, and many people are demanding the Supreme Court to get involved. Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Jairam Ramesh, among other senior Congress leaders, criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), claiming that the choice would not have been made without the approval of the national government.

After a BJP MLA who served on the state government panel that recommended the release said that some of the prisoners were “Brahmins” with good “sanskaar,” or morals, the argument heated up. The Godhra-based BJP MLA, C K Raulji, claimed to be unaware of the inmates’ possible involvement in the crime.

“We took the decision on the basis of a Supreme Court order. We were asked to look at their (convicts’) behaviour and decide (on their early release),” Raulji told MoJo, a news portal. “We asked the jailer and learnt that their behaviour was good in the prison…also, some of the convicts) are Brahmins. They have good ‘sanskaar’ (values),” he added.

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35% pollution in the country is due to diesel and petrol, says Nitin Gadkari

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Nitin Gadkari

While speaking on the problem of the import of crude oil and increasing pollution in the country Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that it is necessary to promote alternative fuels to reduce the import of crude oil and reduce pollution.

Meanwhile, Gadkari said that 35% of the pollution in the country is due to diesel and petrol. That’s why we need import-free, cost-effective, pollution-free, and indigenous products. On the launch of the country’s first electric double-decker air-conditioned bus, Gadkari said that electric vehicles are cost-effective as compared to diesel vehicles.

Apart from this, he said that the import of crude oil in India is a big challenge. The way rates are being raised, we are already experiencing this challenge. It is very difficult to even for the common man.

Moreover, Gadkari said the time has come for the automotive sector to switch to alternative fuels like electricity, ethanol, methanol, bio-diesel, bio-CNG, bio-LNG, and hydrogen.

However, the Union Minister said that the current size of the Indian auto industry is Rs 7.5 lakh crore. It has the potential to provide maximum employment along with paying maximum taxes to the Central and State Governments. He said that my wish is to make this industry Rs 15 lakh crore by the end of the year 2024 and it is possible.

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I-Day celebrations were staged for the first time in Canada, hotbed for Khalistanis

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Khalistani

The 76th anniversary of India’s independence was commemorated for the first time in Surrey by the Indian Consulate General in Vancouver. British Columbia’s Surrey is a haven for Khalistani separatists. The Surrey Gurdwaras, Dashmesh Darbar and Guru Nanak Sikh, are opposed to India and in favour of Khalistan. Following the murder of Ripudaman Malik, the man cleared in the 1985 Air India bombing, there were increased concerns about the activities of radicals in Khalistan, which led to the celebrations in the city of British Columbia.

The city of Surrey observed “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav Day” on August 15, 2022, according to a proclamation made by Mayor Dough McCallum. The declaration emphasised the close ties between India and British Columbia, where more than 400,000 people are of Indian heritage.

“[Like] the history of India’s freedom movement, the journey of 75 years after independence is a reflection of the hard work, innovation, and enterprise of ordinary Indians, whether in the country or abroad,” the proclamation read.

There were declarations made by the mayors of Nanaimo, Burnaby, Victoria, and New Westminster that were distinct yet related.

The Indian Consulate General in Vancouver collaborated with the Naad Arts Centre in Surrey to put on the “Amrit Mahotsav Concert” at the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby. The concert’s strong points were Kathak, Laavni, Gidha performances, Bhratnatyam dance, and Indian Classical Fusion.

Over 600 people attended the event, including Councillor Sav Dhaliwal of the City of Burnaby; Raj Chouhan, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia; Randy Weakes, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan; Jinny Sims, Member of the Legislative Assembly, Government of British Columbia; and a number of Members of Parliament.

The Amrit Mahotsav performance, which was held in accordance with the “Jan Bhagidari” (people’s involvement) approach, was a celebration of the rich and varied cultural legacy of India, stated Consul General Manish in his opening remarks.

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