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Post Cyclone Ockhi relief work, 845 lives saved, but 661 fishermen missing

The defence forces and other agencies involved in rescue operations when Cyclone Ockhi battered southern India saved 845 lives, but 661 fishermen still remain missing, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha today.In a written response to a question, Sitharaman said the Navy, the Air Force and the Coast Guard saved the lives of 821 people until December 20.Another 24 lives were saved by other agencies, including merchant navy vessels.Of the total 845 people rescued, 453 were from Tamil Nadu, 362 from Kerala, and 30 from Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands.However, Sitharaman said 661 fishermen were still missing.The majority of those untraceable are from Tamil Nadu (400) and Kerala (261), the worst hit states when Cyclone Ockhi swept through the coastlines of southern India.The cyclone had caught many fishermen off guard after it formed quickly in the Arabian Sea in early December.Replying to another question, Sitharaman’s deputy and minister of state in the defence ministry, Subhash Bhamre, said admission of girl child has been approved in Sainik School in Chhingchhip, Mizoram, from academic session 2018- 2019.On another question, Bhamre sought to allay the fears of defence personnel, and said there has been no downgrading or change in the exisiting equivalance of the service ranks vis- a-vis their civilian counterparts.

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BJP MP Kirron Kher urges govt to remove cap on educational reimbursement to martyred soldiers’ kids

A BJP member in the Lok Sabha today urged the government to reverse its order which seeks to limit the educational reimbursement for the children of martyred and disabled soldiers.Kirron Kher raised the issue during the Zero Hour, saying that by limiting the educational reimbursement, the government would save a mere Rs 5 crore.She said as per the order, the reimbursement, which was unlimited, has been restricted to Rs 10,000 which was not sufficient.Recently, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had appealed to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to reverse the order.Admiral Lanba, who is also the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, had written that “this small gesture would assure the families of our brave women and men that the nation cares for them and their sacrifices are truly appreciated by the government.”P K Biju (CPI-M) said while the government is consolidating the banks, it was leading to a situation where the number of branches and ATMs were going down.Bhawna Gawli (Shiv Sena) said Bt cotton crop in Maharashtra has failed to resist pest attack and demanded action against Monsanto, the firm which had developed the Bt cotton seed.There were sharp exchanges between Shobha Karandlage (BJP) and some Left members when the former alleged that some “jihadis” were stabbing Hindu youths in coastal Kerala and Karnataka. She also displayed some photographs.Vinod Sonkar (BJP) referred to the reported killing of a Sikh in Pakistan who allegedly refused to get converted.Taking a dig at the Congress, he said the party of those who had visited temples and worn the sacred thread should move a resolution condemning the incident and the entire House should adopt it.Congress members were not present in the House as they had staged a walk-out a few minutes before Sonkar spoke.

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Rafale deal: Controversy baseless, govt bought at better terms, says Nirmala Sitharaman

The government today termed as “motivated” and “baseless” the controversy over the Rafale deal and asserted that the fighter jets have been bought at better terms.In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said all the provisions of Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) have been followed and an inter-governmental agreement was signed on September 23, 2016 after the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). “The allegations are motivated and baseless. The government has bought the Rafale aircraft at better terms,” she said. The question was asked by six MPs, including three from the BJP, BJD member Bhartruhari Mahtab, Samajwadi Party member Tej Pratap Singh Yadav and Shiv Sena’s Rahul Shewale.The Congress had alleged a “huge scam” in the deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter aircraft saying this was done unilaterally without following the DPP, without any inter-governmental agreement and in the absence of the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The Congress had also made it an election issue in the Gujarat polls. In response to a question on the number of surgical strikes made by the Army in the last three years, the defence minister did not given any direct answer.Also readA shake up has been given to the defence ministry to speed up acquisitions: Nirmala Sitharaman”Based on specific and credible inputs, Indian Army strikes at terrorists/ infiltrators at the borders from time to time, in order to preserve the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation,” she held. In response to another question on whether the government foresees a two-front war at western and northern borders and initiatives taken by the government to deal with situation like Dokalam and proxy war by Pakistan, Sitharaman said the government is fully seized of the security threats and remains prepared to deal with all kinds of security challenges.”Appropriate measures are taken from time to time to maintain/ upgrade the country’s defence preparedness to safeguard the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of India,” she said, adding that the government regularly reviews the threat perception to secure borders. Replying to another question, her deputy Subhash Bhamre said 103 defence personnel lost their lives in encounters with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir from 2014-16.On whether military expenditure as a percentage of GDP has reduced over a period of time, Bhamre said the defence budget was 1.54 per cent of the GDP. “Defence expenditure as a percentage of GDP may appear to be decreasing due to increasing trend in the growth of GDP. However, defence expenditure is increasing every year in absolute terms,” Bhamre said.

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Assembly Elections 2017 results: BJP non-committal about CM nominees, top leaders to visit Guj and HP

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda on Monday said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and General Secreatary of the BJP Saroj Pandey would go as observers to Gujarat and discuss the party’s leadership in that state.“Similarly, Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Tomar will visit Himachal Pradesh and assess the situation there,” Nadda told news agency ANI.Earlier in the day, the BJP high command has called in Jairam Thakur to Delhi this evening. He’s likely to take over as Himachal Pradesh CM since the party’s CM candidate PK Dhumal and state chief Satpal Singh Satti have lost, say party sources.Dhumal, the original chief ministerial candidate, lost to Congress’ Rajinder Rana, said he had expected to win the seat in Sujanpur. He won 18,559 votes as opposed to Rana who won 21,492.“Personal loss is not of much importance. The gain that victory has brought to state BJP is important. Thankful to people of the state for voting for BJP. In politics, sometimes one wins, sometimes one loses. I was not expecting to lose, I will do an analysis,” Dhumal was quoted speaking to ANI.In Gujarat, the Congress won 80 seats, while the BJP won 99 in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly. 1.8% of the voters did a NOTA, while 32% of the voters – reportedly BJP supporters – did not turn up to cast their vote, saying that they would rather not vote than vote for the Congress.Also readGujarat Election Results: No matter who wins, when will a villager reap benefits of development?Cities like Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot which were major centers of protests by businessmen have voted for BJP as the party won most seats in these cities. BJP’s tally dropped marginally in these trader-dominated cities as Congress made some token inroads in urban areas but failed to make substantial gain in these BJP strongholds.The issue of GST cropped up in Gujarat, right from its rollout in July 2016. High rates of taxation and issues related to compliance caused anger in businessmen and tax practitioner communities.

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A shake up has been given to the defence ministry to speed up acquisitions: Nirmala Sitharaman

A “shake up” is being given to the defence ministry to speed up various acquisition projects, ensure transparency and clear backlogs for key programmes, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said.In an address at a industry chamber, she also said the government is seriously examining functioning of around 39 ordnance factories and possible ways to boost their productivity including through joining of hands by the private sector.She said the efforts are on to ensure that the defence acquisition council (DAC) clears all the backlog relating to various procurement by December 31, emphasising that speeding up of decision making process has been one of her focus areas.The DAC is defence ministry’s highest decision making body on procurement. “There is a sense of making sure that every aspect of this large ministry is given a shake up,” Sitharaman said, adding the aim is to make a difference so that the ministry, which was sort of a cocooned, do things in a faster and transparent way.On various acquisition projects, she said, “I may be confident enough to say that by December 31, at least DAC would be on the top of it in the sense that no more waiting list would be with me.” She was addressing a FICCI event. Sitharaman, who assumed charge of the ministry in September, also said ensuring transparency is a major priority area for her.”The biggest compliance issue which we are definitely 100 per cent following is to have greater transparency, put everything in the public domain and make sure that every decision stands up to the principle of accountability,” she said.Her comments came in the backdrop of the Congress accusing the government of flouting laid down norms in sealing a deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.The party had recently raised several questions about the deal including the rates, and accused the government of compromising national interest and security while promoting “crony capitalism” and causing a loss to the public exchequer.The government had rejected the allegations.Asked about handing over of the strategically located Hambantota port to China on a 99-year lease by the Sri Lankan government, she only said India has been watchful of all the developments in the neighbourhood.On ordnance factories, she said government was doing a major review of their work and examine whether they can have joint venture or benefit benefit from technology transfer.Talking about the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Sitharaman said it should identify the patentable products so that they can be used commercially.Referring to the strategic partnership model, she said it was brought to support the domestic defence industry and to ensure that India, which is now a leading importer of military hardware, becomes a defence exporter.The strategic partnership was unveiled nearly four months back under which domestic defence manufacturers can tie up with leading global defence majors to manufacture specific military platforms like fighter jets.Sitharaman also said the government was in the process of identifying “organically grown” defence industry clusters in various parts of the country so that they can be supported.”We are planning to tell them about the requirement of the armed forces for the next 40-50 years so that they can lay a roadmap for their capacity building,” she said.She also said start-ups in the defence sector will be given encouragement.

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You loved it when same EC declared Ahmed Patel a winner: BJP slams Congress over ‘puppet’ comment

The BJP today lashed out at the Congress after it accused the Election Commission of acting like a “puppet” of the government, and said the opposition party was looking for excuses before its impending defeat in the Gujarat polls.A party delegation, which included Cabinet ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi among others, also met the Election Commission to refute the charges levelled by the Congress against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders.Though the delegation members did not speak to media on record, sources said they submitted a memorandum to the EC where they accused the opposition party of misleading the poll watchdog and called the attack on it “unfortunate”. Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Congress files anticipatory complaint with EC against PM Modi’s ‘roadshow’BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimhra Rao launched a sharp attack on the Congress, saying its “dynastic arrogance” was on display in its attack on the EC.The party should find better excuses for its “impending defeat”, he said and deprecated “verbal abuse” by the Congress.The Congress was upset because the EC dared to serve notice to “King Rahul”, Rao claimed.Also readGujarat elections 2017: ‘Modi, Modi’ chants and 500-metre walk – When PM Narendra Modi stood in queue to cast his vote “Sheer pettiness of the Congress to call the EC names is glaring. You loved it when the same EC declared Ahmed Patel a winner in the Rajya Sabha poll. Why are you taking out your anger now on it for the (people) spontaneous support to the PM?”Isn’t it too much to expect the EC to act as Parivar’s Darbaris (courtiers of the family)?” he tweeted.Also readGujarat elections 2017: PM Modi’s mother Heeraben casts her vote in GandhinagarThe Congress today said the Election Commission was a BJP “puppet” as the party criticsed it for not acting against Modi after he hed a “roadshow” in Gujarat. After casting his vote at Sabarmati in Ahmedabad district, the prime minister was seen walking some distance and greeting people standing on both sides of the road outside the polling booth. Later, he stood on the foot-board of his car and waved to the crowd.

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INS Kalvari, first Scorpene-class submarine, to be commissioned by PM Modi tomorrow

Kalvari, the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines handed over by shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited, will be commissioned into the Navy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here tomorrow.The prime minister will unveil its plaque at the commissioning ceremony tomorrow, an official told PTI.This will be preceded by reading out the commissioning warrant, hoisting of colours and breaking of commissioning pennant with national anthem, the official said.Pennant is a tapering flag on a ship, especially one flown at the masthead of a vessel in commission.Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding of the Western Naval Command, and top defence officials will attend the commissioning ceremony.”Kalvari underwent around 120 days of extensive sea trials and tests for various equipment,” the official said, adding the vessel is expected to bolster Indias maritime prowess.The submarines, designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS, are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai as part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy.”The technology utilised in the Scorpene has ensured superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons,” an official of the MDL said.Kalvari is named after the dreaded tiger shark, a deadly deep sea predator of the Indian Ocean.The first Kalvari, commissioned on December 8, 1967, was also the first submarine of the Indian Navy. It was decommissioned on May 31, 1996 after nearly three decades of service.

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Punjab can fund education of children of soldiers killed in action if Centre can’t: Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today said his government was willing to pay for educational expenses of the children of those killed or disabled in the line of duty.Speaking at a panel discussion at the Military Literature Festival here, the chief minister said the Congress would do everything in its power for defence veterans if it came to power at the Centre.Amarinder had on December 1 written to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeking reversal of the ministry’s decision to cap educational expenses paid to children of personnel killed or disabled in the line of duty.”It is the government’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of the soldiers and veterans, as well as their families,” the chief minister said.Terming the decision “immoral” and “unprincipled”, Singh said it would impact around 32,000 students in various institutions while saving the central government a mere Rs 3 crore per annum. He called for an immediate review and revocation of the decision.”If the Centre can’t pay such a meagre amount for the education of the soldiers’ and martyrs’ children, the Punjab government is ready to do it,” he said, adding that he had conveyed the same to the Defence Minister but she was yet to respond.”It is important to look after the interests of the defence personnel and their families in order to keep their morale high,” he added.

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Facing heat for limiting education aid to martyrs’ kids, MoD doubles gallantry award money

The government has doubled the monthly allowance for gallantry award winners at a time the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is under pressure to rollback its order on putting a cap of Rs 10,000 per month on education fees for children of soldiers killed or disabled in action.Those awarded Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry award will be entitled to a monthly allowance of Rs. 20,000 now.Also readArmed forces are well prepared for any situation: Defence Minister Nirmala SitharamanAshoka Chakra, the highest peacetime gallantry award winners will now get Rs 12,000. The revised amounts include Rs 10,000 for Mahavir Chakra, Rs. 9000 for Kirti Chakra, Rs 7000 for Vir Chakra, Rs 6000 for Shaurya Chakra and Rs. 2000 for Sena Medal.The notification issued on December 4 said that the amount will be given to the recipients’ widow at the time of his death and she will continue to get the benefit till her death.Also readUnder fire, MoD rethinks cap on expenses of soldiers’ kidsIn case the awardee is a bachelor his parents will be entitled to get the money. According to the notification, the amount will be paid with effect from August 1, 2017.The timing of the decision is significant as the Ministry of Defence has come under criticism for restricting the education waiver to children of war heroes to Rs 10,000 per month which is considered a paltry sum for professional courses.Also readThe Indian Army needs more leeway in internal conflicts
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Cyclone Ockhi: Kerala govt intensifies search to find 92 missing fishermen

The Kerala government said intensified search and rescue operations are on to trace 92 fishermen, still missing in high seas after cyclone Ockhi hit the state coast on November 29 and 30.The state control room, that monitors rescue operations, has put the death toll in the cyclone related incidents at 29.The Government Medical College authorities here said as many as 10 dead bodies are yet to be identified.Since the bodies are beyond recognition, DNA samples have been collected to identify them, authorities added.Also readCyclone Ockhi: Schools in Mumbai, other parts of Maharashtra to remain open on Wednesday So far, 2,664 people, including fishermen, have been rescued off the sea from various parts of the state, the state control room said.A total of 292 fishermen had gone fishing on November 29 from Thiruvananthapuram coastal region,of whom 200 had already been rescued, Fisheries minister J Mercykutty, told PTI.The 200 fishermen were part of the 2,664 people rescued.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Cyclone Ockhi pours cold water on poll campaign”Officially 92 fishermen are still missing…Rescue work is going with more intensity and by widening the area for search,” she said adding, that local people have however put the number of missing persons at more than 100.According to Government Medical College sources here, as many as 34 fishermen, who were rescued, are now undergoing treatment.Yesterday Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had visited cyclone-hit areas here and assured the state all help.She had also asserted that rescue operations would continue till every missing fishermen was brought back safely.With no news of their dear ones, families of the missing fishermen are waiting with prayers and not giving up hope.Meanwhile a defence press release in Kochi said that local fishermen will join naval teams to carry out search and rescue operations of fishermen trapped in high seas.Also readCyclone Ockhi: 39 dead in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, 167 fishermen missing
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Armed forces week: Ultramarathoner to run 15,000 km to raise funds for families of martyred jawans

An ultra marathon runner Samir Singh started a 15,000 km run from Attari-Wagah border to raise funds for the families of jawans who lost their lives fighting at the border, news agency ANI reported on Saturday.Singh and his team of six runners started their Run from JCP Atari to cover 15,663 km through 24 states & 7 UTs spreading the word in 1000 cities & Villages. They are expected to finish their run in April 2017. Singh is not new to long runs. Also known as the faith runner, the ultramarathoner had completed nearly 10,000 kilometres in 100 days running through Mumbai in the sun and in the monsoon. His run eventually ended, thanks to a gastrointestinal infection and viral fever.Earlier on Friday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman formally kickstarted the Armed forces Week (December 1-7) on Friday. She posted a video message in this occasion on social media. She said that 7th December is marked as the Armed Forces Flag Day. She reminded Indians that fund collected on that day is used for welfare and protection of families of war heroes, disabled soldiers.This year the Army is celebrating this entire week as Armed Forces Week. To mark this occasion, Sitharaman urged all Indians to wear the Armed Forces flag with pride and to contribute for the welfare of the troops.Also readArmed Forces Week: Defence Minister urges civilians to wear Armed Forces Flag with prideIn the past three years, nearly 200 security personnel have been martyred while protecting India’s borders.The Defence Ministry has launched a campaign to spread awareness about the valour of armed forces. The objective is to encourage citizens to make financial contributions to the families of war heroes and promote welfare activities. While there will be a big push on social media, events in schools and colleges are also planned starting December 1 and ending on December 7, which also happens to be Armed Forces Flag Day. A sticker of the armed forces flag will be distributed at various public places including educational institutes.“The main objective of the campaign is to get people to make financial contributions to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFD) which is used for the welfare of disabled ex-servicemen, war widows, and children of martyrs,” officials said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is his last ‘Mann ki Baat’ addressing the nation on the eve of Mumbai 26/11 attacks anniversary welcomed the idea to instill respect for armed forces as part of a campaign. “I am happy that the Ministry of Defence has decided to run a campaign from December 1 to December 7 during which they will reach out to the people of the country to disseminate information about our armed forces and to make them aware,” he said.
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Armed Forces Week: Defence Minister urges civilians to wear Armed Forces Flag with pride

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman formally kickstarted the Armed forces Week (December 1-7) on Friday. She posted a video message in this occasion on social media. Defence Minister said that 7th December is marked as the Armed Forces Flag Day. She reminded Indians that fund collected on that day is used for welfare and protection of families of war heroes, disabled soldiers. This year the Army is celebrating this entire week as Armed Forces Week. To mark this occasion, Sitharaman urged all Indians to wear the Armed Forces flag with pride and to contribute for the welfare of the troops. Later she mentioned several tweets applauding people for contributing for armed forces. Two of them were from Bollywood actods Aamir Khan and Varun Dhawan. The Defence Ministry has launched a campaign to spread awareness about the valour of armed forces. The objective is to encourage citizens to make financial contributions to the families of war heroes and promote welfare activities. While there will be a big push on social media, events in schools and colleges are also planned starting December 1 and ending on December 7, which also happens to be Armed Forces Flag Day. A sticker of the armed forces flag will be distributed at various public places including educational institutes. “The main objective of the campaign is to get people to make financial contributions to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFD) which is used for the welfare of disabled ex-servicemen, war widows, and children of martyrs,” officials said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is his last ‘Mann ki Baat’ addressing the nation on the eve of Mumbai 26/11 attacks anniversary welcomed the idea to instil respect for armed forces as part of a campaign. “I am happy that the Ministry of Defence has decided to run a campaign from December 1 to December 7 during which they will reach out to the people of the country to disseminate information about our armed forces and to make them aware,” he said. With inputs from DNA Correspondent
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Full Schedule: PM Modi, Ivanka Trump to address Global Entrepreneurship Summit today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Tuesday inaugurate the 8th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad which is being attended by the US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.Ivanka is leading a delegation of senior Trump administration officials and entrepreneurs at the three-day event.After the inauguration, Ivanka and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are slated to participate in a panel discussion on opening up of opportunities for women entrepreneurs.In her keynote address to the 8th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit later in the day, she is likely to stress on ensuring women entrepreneurs have access to capital, access to networks and mentors, and access to equitable laws.► Theme of the event
ALSO READ Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017, a testament to ‘strong’ India-US friendship: Ivanka Trump’Women First, Prosperity for All’, this will be the first GES in which women are expected to be a majority (52.5%) of the participants► Four innovative industriesThe summit will primarily focus on four thematic sectors — energy and infrastructure; healthcare and life sciences; financial technology and digital economy; and media and entertainment sectors►Date: November 28-30, 2017► Venue: Hyderabad International Convention Centre►Today’s ScheduleBe the Change: Women’s Entrepreneurial LeadershipRemarks by Prime Minister of India Narendra ModiRemarks by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar RaoRemarks by Advisor to the President of the United States Ivanka TrumpRemarks will be followed by a panel session on opening up opportunities for women entrepreneurs in their countries and communities.Moderated by John Chambers, Chairman Emeritus, Cisco ​ Panelists:Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President of the United StatesNirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Defense, Government of IndiaSibongile Sambo, Managing Director, SRS Aviation and SRS PetroleumMarcus Wallenberg, Chairman, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) Wednesday, November 29, 9:00 am► We Can Do It! Innovations in Workforce Development and Skills TrainingA discussion on increasing women’s participation in the workforce through access to skills training, education, and mentorship. Innovators in workforce development and training will discuss what works and what more can be done to open doors for women in the workplace. Moderated by KT Rama Rao; Minister for IT E&C, MAUD, Industries and Commerce, Mines and Geology Public Enterprises, and NRI Affairs; Government of Telangana, IndiaThursday, November 30, 4:00 pm► When Women Win, We All Win: Promoting Inclusive Environments for Women EntrepreneursThe closing session of GES will bring together key influencers that support, promote, and fund women entrepreneurs. Panelists will share efforts to advance women in leadership positions and ensure that women have “seats at the table” while breaking down the barriers that disproportionately affect women’s ability to start and grow businesses.Moderated by Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India

Congress wants to break Army’s morale, its leaders speak language of separatists: Sitharaman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Launching an all-out attack on the Congress, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the party leaders often speak the language of separatists and regularly make statements that seek to “break the Army’s morale and reduce its stature”.”Today, the Congress talks in separatists’ voice and enthusiastically joins them. The Congress vice president supports those misdirected youths of the JNU who talk about break-up of the country (desh ke tukde karenge),” Sitharaman said. She is in Gujarat to campaign for the BJP in the assembly polls.
ALSO READ ‘Chai-Wala versus Bar-Wala’: All out war on social media between Congress-BJP over Meme-Tweet”A senior Congress leader advocates autonomy (for Jammu & Kashmir) and says separatists talk about autonomy and not independence. He gives different definitions of ‘azadi’. When he was the home minister (in the Congress-led UPA government), he said the Army is against peace process,” she said, referring to reported statements of Congress leader P Chidambaram.Referring to former MP Sandeep Dikshit’s statement, she said a “Congress leader likened the Army chief to a ‘goon on the street’.” The Congress is always ready to break the morale of the Army and reduce the Army’s stature, she said.Talking to reporters here, the Union Minister also slammed the opposition party over the “chai-wala” meme directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it has failed to learn from its past mistakes.Sitharaman said Modi is needlessly targeted by the main opposition party. “Our prime minister, who works for the benefit of the country, was accused of ‘khoon ki dalali’ and described as a ‘chai-wala’ (tea seller).” The Congress has damaged itself with such statements, Sitharaman said.”Before every election, the Congress has the habit of inflicting damage to itself (by making statements against Modi),” the she said.She referred to Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s “chai-wala” remark and said his jibe against Modi ahead of the 2014 polls “changed the course of election”.”Who had said Modiji, ‘I will offer you a stall to sell tea’?…The Congress is again daring to insult the prime minister with ‘tu chai bech (go sell tea) meme,” she said.The Congress comes up with such select comments before every election and does not even learn from its mistakes, she said, adding the party did not even spare the Army.”They (Congress leaders) said surgical strike was ‘khoon ki dalali’. The party should introspect before making such comments,” Sitharaman added, referring to the Army’s surgical strike on terrorist launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.(With PTI inputs)

Army begins preliminary work for Elphinstone Road station FOB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Western Railway (WR) on Thursday said that the Indian Army has started preliminary works for the construction of a foot overbridge (FOB) at Elphinstone Road railway station connecting Parel. Jawans have started works like earmarking and soil testing.According to WR, the actual construction work will start only after getting a nod from the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS). “We are still awaiting CRS clearance, and it is only after that the Army will start the actual work,” said Ravindar Bhakar, Chief Public Relation Officer, WR.”What we see today is just the preliminary works like soil testing and other activities that are to be conducted before starting the actual work,” he added.On September 29, at least 23 people were killed and over 30 others injured following a stampede on a foot overbridge (FOB) linking Elphinstone Road and Parel railway stations.After the accident, the parliamentary panel had summoned top railway officials, and the WR conducted a detailed audit of all the stations in the Mumbai suburban section. The audit detected loopholes in the system and development works at each and every station was proposed.However, in the last week of October, the Indian Army was roped in to build a foot overbridge at the Elphinstone Road station. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis along with Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the station and Fadnavis announced that the new FOB would be completed by January 31 next year.THE STORY SO FAROn September 29, at least 23 people were killed and over 30 others injured following a stampede on an FOB at Elphinstone Road In October, the Indian Army was roped in to build a foot overbridge

Rafale deal | ‘What’s shameful is your boss silencing you,’ Rahul Gandhi takes down Nirmala Sitharaman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman slammed the Congress over scam allegations in the Rafale deal, calling it ‘shameful’, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi hit out at the minister with a brutal tweet.In his takedown, Gandhi tweeted, “Dear RM (Raksha Mantri), what’s shameful is your boss silencing you (sic).”In a point-by-point rebuttal, the Gandhi scion questioned the government on a: Final price of each Rafale jet; b: Did PM take CCS permission before announcing purchase in Paris and c: Why PM bypassed experienced HAL & gave the deal to AA rated businessman with no defence experience.The Congress has been questioning the Dassault Aviation deal with Anil Amabani led company Reliance Defence Limited. The Opposition party asserts that its UPA-led government had negotiated a $10.2 billion deal for 126 Rafale jets, as opposed to the current government’s $8.7 billion contract for just 36 fighters without any provision for technology transfer.On Friday, Sitharaman defended the government over the Rafale deal and said that there was no overpricing as alleged by the Congress.”These allegations are shameful…The deal was finalised following a transparent procedure,” Sitharaman told reporters.The defence minister also called the bickering against the deal as “disservice” to the armed forces, asserting that urgent requirement of the Indian Air Force was the main reason for sealing it.The defence minister said the final agreement for 36 Rafale jets was signed in September, 2016, after five rounds of lengthy discussions between Indian and French sides and approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security.She said the UPA government had sat over the proposed procurement of jets for 10 years.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman misleading nation on Rafale deal, alleges Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Friday accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of “misleading” the nation on the Rafale fighter aircraft deal by not making public the price of the aircraft, and alleged a “cover-up”.Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said defence preparedness cannot be a subject for politicising, and accused Sitharaman of using the defence ministry premises for “political mudslinging”.”Repeated attempts at shoddy cover-up and complete non- transparency in purchase of Rafale aircraft have raised serious questions on national interests and national security by the Modi government.”You hold political press conferences in BJP offices where you indulge in political mudslinging but you can’t violate the sanctity, the integrity of the defence ministry by making its premises an occasion or a platform for political mudslinging and I think that is most unfortunate,” he said.Asking why the defence minister or the Modi government are hiding from disclosing the aircraft price, Surjewala said, “The question is rather simple. What is the price per aircraft of the 36 Rafale aircraft being purchased by the Modi government?”He asked whether it is correct that per aircraft price of Rafale as per the UPA government’s negotiations was USD 80.95 million or Rs 526 crore as against the purchase price by Modi government of Rs 1,570.80 crore per aircraft.”Why has the price gone up then? From Rs 570 crore to Rs 1,570.80 crore? And does it mean that there is clear cut loss to the exchequer? And who is responsible for the same?” he asked.The defence minister said that Anil Ambani did not go to France, but his company itself has issued a statement saying he was there in France, Surjewala claimed.”So, who is lying? And who is misleading the country? The day when Modiji announced purchase of Rafale aircraft on April 10, 2015, in France, Anil Ambaniji was present there.”Why is the minister misleading the country? The country is seeking answers for the questions and she will have to answer it,” he said.It is surprising that Sitharaman said India does not require transfer of technology and that the “transfer of technology of manufacturing aircraft does not make any sense”, according to the Congress leader.”Whether she will tell the country why ‘Make in India’ does not make sense? Why the defence minister and Modi government find ‘Make in India’ as non-sensical? “What objection does Modi government have if technology is transferred to a public undertaking so that it can manufacture the aircraft with licence? Whether the minister wants to say that theModi government will not purchase aircraft from Rafale (in future) after the buying these 36 aircraft?” he asked.Surjewala asked how the prime minister took a “unilateral decision” on buying 36 aircraft of Dassault, bypassing the mandatory defence procurement procedure and in the absence of an inter-governmental agreement with France at that time.He also questioned why public sector undertaking HAL was bypassed for getting the offset contract of Rs 30,000 crore despite the work share agreement of March 13, 2014, between HAL and Dassault Aviation.”Why did the prime minister promote the interests of a private corporate entity over a public sector undertaking? “Is it not correct that HAL is the only Indian entity which has decades of experience of building aircrafts? How was HAL by-passed in favour of Reliance, when Reliance had zero experience of building fighter aircraft?” he questioned.On the defence minister’s remark that emergency purchase was made as the UPA did not buy it for 10 years, Surjewala said, “Truth is they are not going to purchase even a single aircraft during five-year rule of Modiji. So what is the consequence of the emergent purchase? Hence, instead of misleading the country, they should give direct answers to the questions asked.”He also said that it was the Congress that initiated internal bidding process and if there was delay in it, the BJP should tell how many aircraft they bought in last 41 months.”When she is not telling purchase price of the aircraft, how would you know the aircraft price has gone up? At least, she should tell what is the price of the aircraft?” he said.

Mantra for fit women: Chakki pissing?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For some things, controversy is the USP. The November issue of the Education Department’s Shivra Magazine has advised women to use the grind-mill (remember Dharmendra’s chakki pissing reference in Sholay), sweeping/mopping the floor and filling water in pots. And ask WHY? Sample the answer… TO STAY FIT.In the 21st century, where women like Jhulan Goswami and Dipa Karmakar, PV Sindhu, Nirmala Sitharaman have displayed their skills, such advises can easily put off the fuse and create furore.In the said issue, Dinkar Sharma has written this article. There is a highlighted part in the article which goes on to say, “women have been advised to grind the mill, use the Jhadoo, mop the floors (in Shanta Bai style), fill water from wells and conduct other household chores to stay work to fit and stay healthy.”And after this… what do you expect? Yes, correct… the fireworks! Teacher leaders have objected to these measures for women fitness. Chairperson of the Rajasthan Women’s Commission, Suman Sharma, expressing her objection to this article in Shivira. She told DNA, “Men and women are equal. Women are themselves aware of their fitness. There should not be any discrmination with women in this regard. Just as men go to gym, yoga and walking to stay fit, women can also keep themselves in shape in the same manner.”

On door-to-door drive, min urges voters to choose BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman was on a door-to-door campaign at Ahmedabad’s Khokhara area on Saturday, urgin people to vote for the BJP. Khokhara is part of Maninagar constituency — from where Narendra Modi was elected.She garlanded Shahid Bhagatsingh’s Statue at Maninagar. A BJP team was already on the spot, waving BJP flags and distributing pamphlets to the crowd.While connecting with people, she urged everyone to vote for the BJP. She talked to shopkeepers, housewives, the elderly and passers-by on her way. “She was very soft spoken and asked in a very polite manner to vote for BJP. She told me that ‘aap BJP ko vote dena’. But then, we have many trust issues with political people. They come here only when there are elections,” said Kanta Prajapati, a resident of Khokhara.Some people claimed that Sitharaman, being a Tamilian, was roped in for an area where the Tamil community is in majority. Also, a Patidar youth was part of the crowd, waving a black cloth as a protest.Some others said no political leader has showed their face in the last five years after getting elected. “We have suffered many things over the last five years, many a times we don’t even have pure drinking water. Now, just before elections, they are asking us to vote for them for development,” said Hiren Patel, a resident of Maninagar.

BJP made Narmada dam project happen: Nirmala Sitharaman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lambasting opposition Congress for creating hurdles in the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Yojana, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said major work on the project was carried out during the Morarji Desai and BJP-led governments at the Centre.Addressing a press conference here, Sitharaman, who is BJP’s election in-charge for Gujarat, said, “When the UPA was in power, none of the Congress MPs from Gujarat ever raised Narmada Yojana at the central level. The water resource minister in the UPA government gave a negative report on the project, citing environmental reasons. So, the project gained momentum under the central regimes of Morarji Desai, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi.”Sitharaman, who was in the city to campaign for the party ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled for next month, did not answer why the scheme could not get the status of a national irrigation project. It may be recalled that when he was Gujarat CM, Modi had demanded national project status for the yojana and pushed BJP MPs from the state to raise the issue in Parliament.”That was a separate demand by the Gujarat government and not part of pending issues with the central government,” Sitharaman said.Talking about the GST, the minister said, “Congress has been trying to take credit for GST rates revision, claiming that the rates have been revised after they demanded. The Congress took 10 years to just prepare a draft of the GST, while it’s the NDA government that implemented it.”Sitharaman also said the international border with Pakistan, especially Sir Creek, will be sealed to ensure the social, financial and political security of Gujarat. She noted that the work on fencing, setting up of immigration check posts and construction of roads at border areas in the state had ran into technical issues, but they would be solved soon.

Government marred by adhocism: Congress on GST changes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress, which is seeking to make Goods and Services Tax (GST) a huge issue ahead of the Gujarat polls, on Saturday dismissed the changes made by the GST Council a day earlier as BJP’s “reaction to electoral compulsions” and “installment-based tinkerism”.BJP also hit back, with a number of Union ministers targeting Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and questioning the party’s intent regarding GST.Addressing a rally in Sabarkantha, Gujarat, Gandhi said the aim of Centre’s GST decision was to “break the backbone of India” and “strengthen the backbones of a selected five or six industrialists”. He said the Congress would continue to fight for a 18-per cent cap on the GST slab, instead of the current 28 per cent, and vowed that the party would get the job done, “if the ruling BJP doesn’t”. He also reiterated that India needed a simple tax and not the ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’.Goa Congress chief Shantaram Naik demanded that cases of criminal negligence of breach of trust should be filed against GST Council members, including the finance minister and the revenue secretary, for first having recommended GST of up to 28 per cent on certain items.AICC general secretary in-charge of Gujarat, Ashok Gehlot, said the GST Council decided to cut the tax rates due to the pressure mounted by Gandhi.In New Delhi, AICC communication department chief Randeep Singh Surjewala said the spirit, architecture, design ,and rates of GST needed to be overhauled but BJP was only reacting to the electoral compulsions. He said the “installment-based tinkering” of GST rates reflected the “chaos and adhocism” of the BJP government.”The BJP government, marred by amateurishness and adhocism, relented to roll back GST on a few items on Friday. The principal defects in design and architecture, however, remain unaddressed,” Surjewala said.Ridiculing the government, former finance minister P Chidambaram said on Twitter that the ministry of finance must be complimented for “improving” the macro-economic situation in four months and 10 days. “This is the time taken for common sense to germinate, flower, and ripen into a fruit,” he said in another tweet.As the Congress went hammer and tongs, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar hailed the the GST Council’s decision to cut tax rates on 178 items of daily use and asserted that “people have welcomed the changes”.Hitting back at Gandhi for criticising the GST, information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani said: “The Congress was also included in the GST Council meeting. All decisions have been taken on the basis of consensus.During the Congress rule, the GST was not passed as the state governments did not have faith in the party. Under GST, someone whose annual income is below Rs 20 lakh is already exempted. That means the poor are exempted from GST.”Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Modi government listens to the public and responds to the people. “The GST was implemented with the agreement of all political parties,” she said.

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: After Pakistan blinks, Nirmala Sitharaman says, ‘his meeting with wife will be morale booster’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Pakistan allowed former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his wife in jail across border, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that India is continuously trying for his release and that in case this meeting happens, it would help Jadhav to stay strong.Sitharaman, who is in Gujarat for BJP’s election campaign, said that ‘we are trying our best for his release.’When asked about the Pakistan’s offer, the Defence Minister said that while we are trying for his release, in case the meeting happen, it will be a morale booster for Jadhav.The 46-year-old was arrested in March last year on charges on espionage. The Pakistan authorities alleged that Jadhav was working with RA&W and was involved in terrorist activities in strife-torn Balochistan region.After nearly four months of trail termed as ‘farcical’ trial, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court. But, India moved to International Court of Justice and in major victory, the ICJ stayed Jadhav’s death sentence in May this year.

Will neutralise terrorists in J&K: Bipin Rawat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said the force is ready to eliminate terrorists infiltrating Kashmir from across the border a day after Indian forces killed Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar’s nephew in Pulwama district.General Rawat said security forces also seized an assault rifle which NATO forces use in Afghanistan from the three terrorists which indicated Pakistan was aiding terror operations in Kashmir.Rawat said it is clear that terrorists are getting support from across the border.Based on ground intelligence, agencies have warned security forces that Pakistan army along with terror groups and ISI has stepped up attempts to infiltrate and carry out attacks in Kashmir to derail efforts of special representative Dineshwar Sharma.”It doesn’t matter if he is Masood Azhar’s nephew or anyone else,” he said.Talha Rashid, was killed along with two other terrorists in the gun fight which also claimed the life of one Indian soldier.He added that the aim of the forces was to neutralise terrorists irrespective of where they came from.”If any terrorists carry out activities that put the life and property of our citizens at risk, if they target any building, police station or Army, they are troubling the citizens. Our attempt is to neutralise whoever is involved in terror activities,” he said.While there has been an escalation of violence in the last one year, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that the number of stone pelting incidents have come down as a result of choking of funds after demonetisation.DNA reported on Monday that intelligence inputs indicate that two days after the announcement of Sharma’s appointment on October 23, Syed Salauddin who heads the United Jihad Council, an umbrella group of terror organisations active in Kashmir in a meeting on October 25 gave instructions to plan a massive infiltration with the help of Pakistani army.According to the intelligence inputs his instructions were that 45-50 terrorists should infiltrate India and carry out strikes aiming to disrupt any efforts for a dialogue.

One year of demonetization: BJP-Opposition face-off expected

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The BJP and the Congress-led opposition will face off over demonetization on Wednesday when the ruling party observes ‘anti-black money day’ and the latter a ‘black day’ to mark the first anniversary of the announcement of the exercise by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.BJP leaders, including many Union ministers, will fan out across the country to highlight the “benefits” of demonetization. On the first anniversary of the exercise. Calling the measure “anti-people”, the Congress and several opposition parties will hold protests against note ban in several parts of the country. Unfazed by the opposition criticism, the BJP has claimed demonetization led to a cleaner economy.Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar, Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Suresh Prabhu and Smriti Irani will speak to the media in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Lucknow respectively on Wednesday. Prakash Javadekar will address a press conference in Bengaluru and Piyush Goyal in Ahmedabad. Union minister Jayant Sinha has also been drafted for the exercise, sources said. BJP chief Amit Shah will be in Gujarat. Turning up the heat on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government hit corruption and black money hard, making the opposition party angry.

Amit Shah to start door-to-door campaign today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP’s national leader Amit Shah will kick start the party’s Gujarat Gaurav Maha 1Sampark Abhiyan from Tuesday. He will begin a door-to-door campaign from Naranpura constituency. Shah was elected as Naranpura MLA in the last Assembly polls in 2012. Besides Shah, a large array of BJP leaders from Gujarat and central ministers will join the six-day campaign from November 7 to 12.Vice president and senior spokesperson of Gujarat BJP IK Jadeja said, “Amitbhai will start this campaign at 9 am from Naranpura. Leaders will participate in the door-to-door approach. They will seek blessings for a BJP victory.””Gujarat Gaurav Maha Sampark Abhiyan will be the fourth campaign this polls. Our door-to-door campaign is our strength. Thousands of workers will then follow the footsteps of the leaders and would join them. The workers would stick the stickers on the main door of all the households in state and will approach all the voters before the polls,” Jadeja added.The leaders who are to join this campaign are, Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, Dharmendra Pradhan, Prakash Javadekar, JP Nadda, Dharmendra Pradhan and other ministers from central government. The Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, BJP chief Jitu Vaghani, Dy CM Nitin Patel, former CM Anandiben Patel and other state leaders also will hold door to door campaign in their own constituencies.

Amid controversy, Bipin Rawat says agreed to build Railway’s bridges to boost Army’s image

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid ongoing controversy over the Indian Army helping in the construction of three foot-over bridges of Railways, Army Chief Bipin Rawat said that he agreed to it to boost Army’s image.On Tuesday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Elphinstone Road station along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal where it was announced that Army will help build foot overbridge at three stations including Elphinstone.On September 29, 23 people were killed in the rush hour stampede on a narrow overbridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban stations during heavy rain.
ALSO READ Is this Indian Army’s job? Angry reactions on Twitter after plan to construct new FoB at Elphinstone RoadThe government’s decision invited criticism from several political leaders who said that the Army’s job is to train for war and there was no need divert defence resources.However, Bipin Rawat told Business Standard that he has directed the army to build three railway bridges in Mumbai to boost the army’s image.
ALSO READ Amidst outrage, Army to build three FOBs at stations by Jan 31He also said that army was the first responder in almost every natural disaster, and whenever the civil administration needed help.“We often hold camps in various towns and cities on the theme of ‘Know your Army’. I would prefer that our citizens get to know their army by seeing us come to their assistance with the efficiency and capability we are known for,” Rawat said.Senior Congress leader and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had hit out at Nirmala Sitharaman saying, Army’s job is to train for war and not to be used for civilian works.”The @adgpi job is to train for war, not to be used for civilian works @nsitharaman ji. Don’t divert defence resources to civilian jobs. You’re doing what General Kaul did with the 4th Div before 1962 war with China. It will set a very bad precedent. Please avoid,” Amarinder Singh tweeted.Nirmala Sitharaman has said that a call was taken to cooperate seeing the urgency of the matter as Army has its role at the borders.”Probably first time Army has been asked to come in to build what could otherwise be called civil work. But Elphinstone tragedy was so big, a call was taken to cooperate seeing the urgency of the matter,” she had said.An inquiry report has blamed the heavy rain for the tragedy. The panel, headed by the Western Railway chief security officer, submitted its report to WR General Manager Anil Kumar today after recording statements of 30 commuters who were injured.The report said people with heavy luggage lost their balance because of which the stampede may have occurred.

BMC-Railways hold joint meet, plan for subways

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta on Tuesday called for a review meeting of the Bridges department and Removal of Encroachments department of BMC, which was also attended by Railway officials. The meeting took place on a day when Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Elphinstone Road station and announced that the Indian Army will build foot-overbridges (FOB).Member of Parliament of BJP Kirit Somaiya, who was also present at the meeting, proposed to build pedestrian subways at three railway stations — Ghatkopar, Bhandup and Mulund — instead of building additional FOBs.”BMC chief and railway officials have sanctioned the proposals and Ghatkopar station’s survey plan will be made soon. The subway at the three stations connect all the platforms. The cost will be borne 50-50 by railways and BMC, but work will be carried out by Railways”.”The proposed idea is to build subways at railway stations instead of FOBs like in the case of stations in Navi Mumbai. The additional FOBs and escalators are expensive, and wherever it is feasible, subways can be built which will play a role in diverting the crowd,” a senior BMC officer said.On removal of encroachments, especially hawkers at exits of railway stations, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Nidhi Chaudhari said, “We have already allotted tenders for deploying additional pick-up vans outside railway stations in city. Plus, I have a review meeting with concerned staff on Wednesday to take decisions on provision of logistics for taking strict action against hawkers. Whatever heavy logistics the staff needs for removing hawkers and other unauthorised structures at exits of railway stations, will be achieved”.

Indian Navy to soon have 12 mine countermeasure vessels to ensure submarine safety

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Navy will soon have 12 Mines Countermeasure Vessels (MCSV) in its fleet. The expansion in fleet is thanks to talks between Goa Ship Yard (GSY), a public centre undertaking under the Ministry of Defence, and a South Korean firm.The MCSV are naval ships used to destroy naval mines. The project cost, which is estimated at Rs 32,000 crore, will help the Indian Navy detect and destroy mines that are a constant threat to submarines.“We are in talks with a South Korean company and our company is also boosting its capacities and mordernising its yard to design and manufacture vessels for the Indian Navy, as well as allies of India,” said SP Raikar, the director of operations with GSY.A Russian delegation recently visited the shipyard to hold talks on frigates which will boost capabilities of Indian navy. “The talk is on with Russia over frigates and we are hopeful,” said a source while speaking to DNA.The source added that talks with the South Korean firm regarding the manufacture of MCSVs has been dragging for the past one year. “There is some price quoting issue as many companies within the country are in fray. However, we are hopeful to bag the order,” the source said. GSY has supplied naval vessels to Myanmar, Oman and Mauritius. In July this year, an offshore petrol vehicle was sold to Sri Lanka. “We will supply one move vehicle in February 2018. In a separate ceremony, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hand over an OPV to the Indian Navy,” Raikar added.

Army’s job is to train for war, don’t divert defence resources: Amarinder Singh hits out at Nirmala Sitharaman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Congress leader and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday hit out at Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying, Army’s job is to train for war and not to be used for civilian works.The Congress leader lashed out at Defence Minister after she visited Elphinstone Road station along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal where it was announced that Army will help build foot overbridge at three stations including Elphinstone.”The @adgpi job is to train for war, not to be used for civilian works @nsitharaman ji. Don’t divert defence resources to civilian jobs,” Amarinder Singh said.”You’re doing what General Kaul did with the 4th Div before 1962 war with China. It will set a very bad precedent. Please avoid,” he said in another tweet.Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also criticised the move.”The army was to be a measure of last resort to be called upon in extreme emergency. Now it seems like it’s the 1st number on the speed dial,” he said.Nirmala Sitharaman said that a call was taken to cooperate seeing the urgency of the matter as Army has its role at the borders.”Probably first time Army has been asked to come in to build what could otherwise be called civil work. But Elphinstone tragedy was so big, a call was taken to cooperate seeing the urgency of the matter,” she said.”I have been informed that the work on these bridges will be completed by January 31,” Fadnavis said.23 people were killed in a stampede on the Elphinstone Road station foot overbridge (FOB) last month.

Maritime security top agenda for French minister visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maritime security and technological partnership under the Make In India programme while keeping the Rafale fighter jets deal in mind will top the agenda during the two-day visit of French Defence Minister Florence Parly starting Friday. She will meet her counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.The possibility of selling more Rafale fighter jets to the Indian Air Force could also come up in the deliberations.Significantly, the French Minister will visit Mihan near Nagpur where she will participate in the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Dassault-Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL), a joint venture between the two companies that will carry out offset requirements as part of the Rafale deal.India has already finalised a deal for purchase of 36 French Rafale fighter jets, but with the Indian Air Force expressing the need for more, the facility can be used for future manufacturing.”DRAL will be part of the upcoming Aerospace Park in Nagpur and plans to develop an indigenous value-added supply chain, thereby building a strong base for the success of the Rafale programme under the Make In India initiative,” a statement from the French Embassy said.Cooperation on maritime security is crucial in wake of increasing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region.The French Minister will also visit Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) and the Western Naval Command in Mumbai. At MDL shipyard, she will visit the yard where Scorpene submarines are being made in India with transfer of technology under the P75 project by MDL. She will also board the INS Kalvari, the first of these six Scorpene submarines delivered to the Indian Navy.Joint exercises between armed armed forces of the two countries counter-terrorism will also be part of the defence cooperation initiatives that will be discussed.

Radicalisation through social media pose ‘serious’ security threat: Nirmala Sitharaman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Terrorism and radicalisation through social media pose a “serious” security challenge to all countries and a strong collective action is required to fight the “scourge”, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.Speaking at the 4th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ meeting in the Philippines, Sitharaman said the global strategic and security situation was constantly evolving and had thrown up fresh and serious challenges. “The defence and security scenario in our shared region has also witnessed significant changes recently. Our countries now need to simultaneously prepare for traditional (military) and non-traditional threats,” she said. Terming terrorism a “trans-national phenomena” which needed strong collective action, Sitharaman praised the Philippines for resolutely addressing the threat posed by terrorists in the southern part of the country.”New developments in social media and cyberspace have expanded the threat, as these are exploited by terrorists to develop less visible but lethal ways and means of manipulating minds of the people,” she said in a statement.”I wish to commend the Philippines for reiterating India’s zero tolerance for terrorism anywhere and under any circumstances. There are no good terrorists,” she said. Sitharaman said the transnational activism of terrorist groups and the “spectre” of returning foreign fighters as well as the conduct of irresponsible states that provide safe havens, funding and even encouragement to terrorist groups all needed to be addressed jointly and comprehensively.”Terrorism anywhere is a threat everywhere,” she said.”India has taken resolute measures to fight the scourge of terrorism from across its borders. We fully recognise the role of joint mechanisms with our partners and the role of international and regional forums in fighting this menace. “The recent, BRICS Summit Declaration condemning all forms of terrorism and identifying a number of terrorist organisations engaged in dastardly acts was a positive step… We should be clear and unequivocal in our condemnation of terrorism,” she was quoted as saying in the statement.Sitharaman said the maritime security was another key concern and India supports freedom of navigation, overflight and commerce throughout the region. “Nations should resolve maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law. We support a rules based order for oceans and sea that is critical for the continued growth and development of the Indo-Pacific region,” she said. Sitharaman also said that the nuclear and missile tests conducted by North Korea were in violation of its international commitments and have triggered serious concern.”India has deplored these tests. We remain concerned about the proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies which has adversely impacted India’s national security and that of the entire region. “It is important that North Korea’s proliferation linkages are investigated and those who have supported its nuclear and missile programme are held accountable,” she said.

Vasudhara Raje assures Rajasthan a brighter Diwali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Scarcity of coal supplies will not be allowed to dampen the Diwali spirit. Chief minister Vasudhara Raje has ordered officials to purchase electricity irrespective of cost calculations. The chief minister though also appealed to people to help reduce undue wastage of electricity.A drop in coal supply at national level has created challenge for power generations across the country and has also impacted the electricity production at state. The resultant load shredding has been a cause of public concern that got addressed by the chief minister.”I share the concern of state residents relating to scarcity of electricity, especially during festival of light people should not struggle for power,” said the chief minister addressing a “Mukhymantri Jansamvad” on her visit to Kekri in Ajmer district.The Jansamwad remains a platform for general public to connect with the chief minister. The event held at Kekri on Saturday also is being seen as a boost for the party ahead of the parliamentary by-elections due in Ajmer constituency. The public connect program was also accompanied with several assurance of development for these areas.”Our government is not limited to making announcement but also bring them under implementation,” said the CM. “It’s our approach of inclusive development that has helped us understand the complexities faced at ground level and has earned trust of people from all sections and communities,” she added.This support was also reflected by representatives of various communities to meet the chief minister during her visit. Her convoy on its way from helipad to the public meeting venue at Kerkri was received with overwhelming welcome by locals at more than a dozen places. Representatives of Rajput and Ravna Rajput communities met her separately to assure support of their communities.At the Jansamwad, the chief minister also invoked people towards the cause of girl child and environment conservation. The CM asked people to come forth and plant trees to celebrate being parent of a girl child.Nasirabad four wards de-notifiedThe efforts of chief minister have finally paid as relief for nearly 36000 residents of four wards in Nasirabad. These wards till now falling under the army cantonment will soon be de-notified. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has recently approved the process following the letters written by chief minister requesting action in this direction. These wards so far included in the army cantonment limits were devoid of development schemes of the local urban bodies.Funds assured for CHC at Sarwad.Chief minister sanctioned release of Rs 5.25 crore for development of Community Health Center (CHC) building at Sarwad. The local representatives of the area met the CM with the demand which was immediately addressed by her. The CHC in the area is presently operational from its old building despite new land sanctioned for its development.Second phase of Annapurna KitchenSecond phase of the chief minister’s flagship community kitchen program, Annapurna Rasoi will be launched on Monday. Raje is expected to officially launch the second phase at a ceremony scheduled at Vijayalakshmi Park in Ajmer. The scheme to provide affordable food through mobile kitchen vans is presently operational in 12 cities and is expected to extend to all cities by end of this year. In the second phase, 500 more mobile kitchen vans will be put.

Work around budget, says Nirmala Sitharaman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Integration of Armed Forces in areas like training, communication, logistics and cyber is essential to prepare for any future conflict, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said speaking to top army commanders on Tuesday.Sitharaman said that integration was her top priority, as she promised close monitoring of improvement in strategic infrastructure, long-pending force modification requests, welfare of serving, retired and families, the Army said in a statement.The Army statement also said that during her address, the Minister referred to her visits to the forward areas and said that meeting the troops was eye-opening.”She conveyed the Nation’s admiration for the professionalism of the Indian Army during events like Doklam standoff, response to natural disasters and keeping the situation of insurgency in the North East states fairly under control,” the statement said.Also speaking to Air Force Commanders separately, she said that lack of timely decision-making in the last decade had resulted in gaps in the Indian Air Force and that the government is committed to filling them.”The budgetary allocations should not be viewed as a constraint and should be looked at to acquire what is absolutely necessary,” the Indian Air Force said.She also said that the powers given to the service chiefs should be “fully utilised” in achieving required capabilities of the forces.”She said that the government is committed to fill the gaps which have arisen due to lack of timely decision making in the last decade,” the IAF said in a statement.Currently, the IAF has 33 fighter squadrons against the authorised strength of 42 squadrons. The IAF has been pressing the government to expedite acquisition of combat jets to overcome the shortage.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ‘acknowledges’ Chinese soldiers taking her pic at Nathu La

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today visited Nathu La area on the Sino-India border and interacted with Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police officials.However, her scheduled aerial survey of Dokalam and forward posts in the border areas of Sikkim was cancelled due to inclement weather, a statement issued by the Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Sikkim, said.Earlier in the day, state government officials had said the defence minister made an aerial survey of the Doklam-Nathu La area. She interacted with officials, was given a guard of honour on her arrival and even handed out sweets to our brethren who bravely guard the border.She also had some time for Chinese soldiers across the border, as she appeared in a picture waving at them from across the border. Nirmala Sitharaman wrote on Twitter: “Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La.”Sitharaman, on a day’s visit to Sikkim, travelled by road to Nathu La, 52 km from Gangtok, and interacted with Army and ITBP officials posted there.”The Union Minister who was scheduled to make her aerial survey of Doklam and forward posts along the Indo-Sino border in Sikkim was cancelled due to inclement weather. However, she made her aerial survey of Gangtok and surrounding areas from the new Greenfield Pakyong Airport in east Sikkim after her return from the Nathu-la Border during the afternoon,” the statement said.Sitharaman was accorded a guard of honour on her arrival at Nathu La.She was also briefed about the security preparedness along the China-India border in the Sikkim sector by the Chief of Eastern Command Lt Gen Abhay Krishna. Vice-Chief of Army Lt Gen Sarath Chandra was also present there.The defence minister’s visit to the border area comes more than a month since Indian and Chinese troops disengaged after nearly a 70-day standoff at Dokalam.On her twitter handle, she said Chinese soldiers from across the border took pictures of hers when she reached Nathu La. “Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La,” she tweeted.She later met Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at his official residence and sought the state government’s intervention in sorting out issues, mostly concerning land, between the Army and the state’s forest department.Chamling assured all intervention from the government, the release said.The chief minister apprised Sitharaman of the hardships being faced by Sikkim due to the ongoing agitation in the neighbouring Darjeeling hills of West Bengal.He said that due to blockades on NH-10, the only national highway that connects the landlocked mountain state, Sikkim has incurred huge economic losses.He reiterated his request to the Centre for speeding up the construction of an new highway to Sikkim.With inputs from PTI

Nirmala Sitharaman to visit Nathu La along with Army chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid reports of Chinese forces being present in high numbers in the region close to Doklam, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will visit the China border at Nathu La in Sikkim and interact with troops guarding the frontier.Vice Chief of Army Sarath Chand will also be accompanying the Defence Minister. They will visit Tezpur in Assam during the two-day visit beginning Saturday. Sitharaman was earlier scheduled to visit Arunachal Pradesh, too, but it was cancelled later, a source said.Her visit to Nathu La is particularly significant as it shares the border with Chumi Valley in Tibet adjoining Doklam, where the standoff took place.Even though the standoff was resolved more than a month ago, the increasing presence of Chinese troops close to the point of standoff between Indian and Chinese troops, has alarmed India.Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa confirmed the existence of Chinese troops in the region on Thursday.There are also reports of road expansion activity in the nearby zones of Doklam where the standoff took place, but sources in the security establishment said it does not affect India’s strategic interest as it is 10 km from the point of standoff. “There increased presence in the region does not affect us at this point of time. It’s matter of few weeks,” said a source.

Govt is with you always: Nirmala Sitharaman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Spending Dussehra festival with the troops at Siachen and other forward locations in the Ladakh region, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday conveyed to them the government’s commitment to support them in all circumstances.During the visit, she also reviewed the security situation in the border region.Sitharaman, who is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir told the soldiers that the government is committed to spending time with the jawans and do whatever is possible for them.She also recalled to them the prime minister’s visit to Siachen in 2014 when he spent time with soldiers on Diwali and said the goverment wanted to understand the conditions in which the jawans live.”Jawans from different states, which have varied weather conditions, come and serve the nation in such high-altitudes and it is laudable. I assure you that the government is with you all the time and in all circumstances. We are not only sensitive to your needs and demands but also to those of your families,” Sitharaman said addressing the troops.She was accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D Anbu and GoC 14 Corps Lt Gen S K Upadhyay.The defence minister also inaugurated Pratham-Shyok bridge, first major construction on the Shyok Gong river, which will link Leh to Karakoram, providing connectivity on the strategically important Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Olde axis for military transport.She said it is nothing short of a miracle to construct roads and bridges in such a rough terrain and in such trying circumstances where even breathing is difficult and lauded the BRO and its men for working in difficult terrains and hostile conditions. She said that constructing roads and bridges in difficult terrains will help in development and progress of the nation and its people.WHAT DEF MIN SAIDJawans from different states, which have varied weather conditions, come and serve the nation in such high-altitudes and it is laudable. I assure you that the government is with you all the time and in all circumstances. We are sensitive to demands of your families as well

Nirmala Sitharaman visits troops at the border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the first anniversary of the surgical strikes, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the sensitive Line of Control (LoC) and commended the troops for excellent operational successes.In her first visit to Jammu and Kashmir since assuming charge, Sitharaman went to the forward areas along the LoC in North Kashmir and interacted with the troops and field commanders at Badami Bagh Cantonment for over an hour. “The defence minister was briefed about the robust counter infiltration posture along the LoC,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.

India-US discuss menace of cross-border terrorism; James Mattis says ‘there can be no safe havens’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>US Defence Secretary James Mattis who is on a two-day India visited, on Tuesday held bilateral talks with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the national capital, and said that there can be no safe havens for terrorists.Sitharaman and Mattis discussed the situation in the neighborhood and menace of cross-border terrorism in depth.”Our two countries recognise the threat that global terrorism poses to people throughout the world. There can be no tolerance of terrorists safe heavens,” Jim Mattis said in a joint statement.”As a global leader, India and US resolve to work together to eradicate this scourge,” he added.Stating that the US values India’s invaluable contribution to Afghanistan, Mattis said, “We welcome further efforts to promote democracy, safety, and security in Afghanistan.””India-US share strong and vibrant strategic partnership as world’s largest democracies also share fundamental values and interests,” he said.Mattis also appreciated India’s leadership in the Indian Ocean and sought to work together to build a resilient regional architecture.Mattis is the first cabinet rank official to visit India under the Donald Trump administration.Earlier in the day, Mattis laid a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate and inspected tri-service guard of honour at the South Block lawns.

Indo-US defense relationship not at exclusion of others: US Defence Secretary Mattis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday said the strengthening of strategic relationship with India is not at the expense of others as he praised New Delhi for supporting the fight against terrorists in Afghanistan.”The relationship that we are building with India is not to the exclusion of other countries,” Mattis told reporters. “It is specifically designed for inclusion using a rules- based order that any nation that is living by the traditional rules of non-interference in other states in today’s age of anti-terrorism, they will not find this relationship in any way adversarial,” Mattis said in response to question. India, he said, has been a constant supporter of the fight against terrorists in Afghanistan.He lauded India for contributing tens of thousands of dollars for building infrastructure in Afghanistan and training Afghan officers. “They’ve been a great asset, and we would see them continuing along the lines they have already chosen, and looking for any other areas that they may believe appropriate to the relationship with Afghanistan,” he added. In the security sphere, India has been providing training to the Afghan security forces.”It’s building the underpinnings of the government that actually builds the affection and respect of the people of Afghanistan to a government that delivers. It’s absolutely critical to security that the people of Afghanistan feel hope for the future. No nation has probably contributed more bilaterally than India in building that hope,” he said.During his India visit from September 26-27, the defence secretary will hold talks with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Responding to a question on Pakistan, Mattis said it has come out recently again saying that they are fighting the terrorists. “I think Pakistan will find nothing out of line with India and the US alignment in the same fight,” he said.Mattis said the new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy started from a regional point of view. “We did not start it with Afghanistan and work out. We actually started with South Asia, as a region, and worked to refine how we would deal with the terrorists problem in Afghanistan,” he explained.”So, the message would be that we continue to work the regional aspect as we come up with a mutual, wide-ranging counter-terrorism campaign, because terrorism is a bane to any country out here, and a lot of countries have paid a stiff price to the terrorists,” he said. “So, that is the message, one of inclusion, not one of exclusion, of rules-based order, of a broad mutual cooperation against terrorists, and certainly of strategic convergence right now with India, between India and the United States,” the top American defense official said.

Sitharaman visits forward bases in Raj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday visited the field firing range in Khetolai area in Pokhran and met senior Army officers stationed there.This was her second visit to Rajasthan after she took charge of the defence ministry earlier this month, becoming the first full-time woman defence minister of the country.At display were the capabilities of ingeniously developed battle tank Arjun MK-2 during a field exercise by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at the firing range.Earlier, Sitharaman visited the forward airbase at Uttarlai Barmer, which was her first field visit after being appointed defence minister. In less than a month of her appointment, Sitharaman has visited a number of armed force bases across the country and held discussions with senior officials, something that is also seen as a confidence building exercise among the ground troops.Even as her official schedule of Saturday remained restricted to visiting the DRDO exercise, she is also reported to have visited a defence lab and held discussions with officers stationed at the local bases. Her presence and meeting with the Army officials is expected to further boost morals of troops deployed in the bordering areas.However, unlike her last visit, the Defence minister on Saturday evening returned to Delhi without making a public or press appearance. She arrived at Jaisalmer in morning from a special flight and was received by senior officers of the Army and the Air Force, and flew to Jodhpur from Pakhran to take a flight back to the national capital.

Nirmala Sitharaman visits field firing range in Pokhran

Updated: Sep 23, 2017, 08:05 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday visited the field firing range in Khetolai area in Pokhran and met senior Army officers stationed there.This was her second visit to Rajasthan after she took charge of the defence ministry earlier this month, becoming the first full-time woman defence minister of the country.She reached Jaisalmer this morning in a special aircraft and then headed to the firing range, official sources said.She has been visiting various military installations after taking charge

Union ministers take part in ‘Swachhta hi Sewa’ campaign

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union ministers took part in the ‘Swachhta hi Sewa’ campaign on Sunday and underscored the Modi government’s commitment towards a “clean, healthy and strong” India. The campaign has been carried out by various government departments, on a day which marked PM Narendra Modi’s 67th birthday.Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Mahesh Sharma, Hardeep Singh Puri and Alphons Kannanthanam took part in the campaign, which coincides with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday, in different parts of the country, and stressed on the importance of cleanliness.Taking part in the campaign organised at Delhi Cantonment here, Defence Minister Sitharaman said her ministry will carry out a drive to remove garbage from high altitude areas and glaciers.She said, “(If) we can send Mangalyaan to Mars and provide services to the world through our IT sector then why cannot we keep our environment clean?”Interestingly, Union Minister of State (Independent) for Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam went to the India Gate on Sunday to kick off a campaign to clean prominent religious and tourist sites across the country, little did he expect it to be so clean.In order to flag off the campaign, volunteers at the event then went about collecting things to be strewn across the area so that the minister could clean it.Once the event was flagged off, Kannanthanam said, “This cannot be a campaign for only one day in a year. It cannot be an event that only the government carries out. Cleanliness is a virtue everyone must adopt in their everyday lives,” he said.Across 15 prominent locations, which has been divided five regions, celebrities will be roped in to popularise the campaign. These include Mumbai’s Juhu Beach, the ghats at Rishikesh, Kolkata’s Dakshineshwar Temple and Belur Math, the Charminar, Guwahati’s Kamakhya Temple, the Loktak Lake in Manipur, the Kovalam beach, Pushkar Temple, etc.THE MISSIONCelebrities to be roped in to popularise the campaign across the country.
The campaign will be carried out in 45 locations and will culminate on October 2.
Mumbai’s Juhu Beach, the ghats at Rishikesh, Kolkata’s Dakshineshwar are among the places shortlisted.

Air Marshal Arjan Singh passes away at 98

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Marshal Arjan Singh, who led the India Air Force during the 1965 India-Pakistan war, has passed away, reported news agency ANI. The Indian Air Force confirmed his death stating that he passed away at 7:47 PM on 16 September. Ninety-eight-year-old Singh, the only officer of the IAF to be promoted to five-star rank, equal to a field marshal in the Army, was admitted to the Army’s Research and Referral hospital this morning after he suffered a cardiac arrest. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had visited Singh at the hospital.”Went to R&R Hospital to see Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, who is critically ill. I also met his family members,” Modi had tweeted earlier.An icon in the country’s military history, Singh had led a fledgling IAF in the 1965 Indo-Pak when he was just a 44- year-old.As Pakistan had launched its Operation Grand Slam with an armoured thrust targeted at the vital town of Akhnoor in Jammu and Kashmir, Singh led the Indian Air Force through the war with courage, determination and professional skill. He inspired the IAF, despite the constraints imposed on a full-scale use of air force combat power.

India’s borders are fully secure:Nirmala Sitharaman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The borders of the country were “fully secure” and the armed forces were capable of dealing with all kinds of situations, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here today, while assuring the citizens that the NDA government guaranteed their security.Commenting on repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan, she said the armed forces were fully alert and prepared to deal with “any situation” and added that action would be taken. Sitharaman was speaking at an event organised by the Cantonment Board here at the Banaras Hindu University’s (BHU) Swatantrata Bhawan. On the occasion, she gave open defecation-free (ODF) certificates to 10 cantonments of the Central Command of the Indian Army, including Lucknow, Bareilly, Jabalpur, Danapur, Dehradun, Meerut, Ranikhet and Varanasi.The defence minister urged the people to support the Centre’s cleanliness mission, adding that after Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken forward the initiative to encourage the citizens to keep their surroundings clean. She appealed to the people to ensure cleanliness at the places of tourist attraction and said her ministry would carry out a special cleanliness drive from September 15 to October 2 across the country.Sitharaman said to support the Swachh Bharat mission, the defence ministry had recently sanctioned Rs 50 crore to the cantonment boards, which would be spent on recycling waste and other cleanliness measures.

Def min rejects shortage report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has rejected reports about shortage of ammunition and its quality at Uttarlai air base.She was reacting to reports published a few days ago that indigenous cannonballs exploded in the barrel of US-made Howitzer during an exercise at the Pokhran firing range. However, this is not the first time when such incident had happened.There have been two such incidents in the last one and a half years at the firing range of BSF located at Kishangarh in Jaisalmer, when cannonballs exploded at the time of loading them onto a cannon. Two BSF men were killed and about 10 were injured.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds first daily meeting with heads of armed forces

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman met the heads of the Army, Navy and Air Force, as part of her daily morning meeting with the heads of the armd forces on Tuesday.Earlier on Monday, the ministry in a statement announced that it would hold daily meetings. “Daily morning meetings with the three Service Chiefs and a separate daily meeting with the Defence Secretary have been formatted as a new practice for quick decision making,” it said, adding, “Towards ensuring time bound and speedy disposal, it has been decided to hold DAC meetings (defence acquisition council) on a fortnightly basis.”The focus of the daily meetings would include settling all outstanding land related issues for infrastructure projects and matters relating to welfare of defence personnel and their families.

Arun Jaitley, Nirmala Sitharaman to work on innovative campaign for Guj BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP’s election in-charge for Gujarat, Arun Jaitley, and co-in charge Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday met members of the state party’s core group at party’s headquarters in ‘Shri Kamalam’ in Gandhinagar to chalk out strategy for the Assembly polls due later this year.To counter Opposition’s social media campaign ‘Vikas Gando Thayo Che’, which is viral on the Internet, BJP will launch a social media campaign focusing on Centre’s and PM Modi’s contribution in Gujarat’s development ahead of the Assembly polls to be held in December. It will be youth-centric.A senior leader from the party said, “Gujarat BJP has decided to pitch in a positive social media campaign to counter ‘Vikas Gando Thayo Che’. But, it will be designed in such a way that it looks fresh and innovative and people forget ‘Vikas Gando Thayo Che’.””During the Yuva Townhall on Sunday, BJP chief Amit Shah had instructed the party leaders to design a powerful and positive social media campaign on the basis of statistics. We are working towards that,” he added.Addressing mediapersons, Jaitley said, “BJP in Gujarat has started its preparations for Assembly polls. Since I and Nirmalaji have worked for the polls in Gujarat, we are going to make an efficient campaign for social and mainstream media.”He added, “As BJP has been ruling Gujarat for many years and the Gujarat model has remained very popular in other states too, we will focus on it. There is an atmosphere of trust among the voters towards the BJP government and party’s roots are very deep here.”

Ahead of Gujarat assembly elections, Arun Jaitley, Nirmala Sitharaman meet state leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP’s election in-charge for Gujarat, Arun Jaitley, and co-in charge Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday met members of the state party’s core group here today to chalk out strategy for the Assembly polls due later this year. Both the leaders also attended a workshop for the workers associated with state BJP’s media and social media departments.The two leaders visited Gujarat for the first time after their appointment as in-charge and co-in charge last month.After their meeting with the core group, including Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and state BJP chief Jitubhai Vaghani, Jaitley said the party would fight the election on the strength of the state government’s performance and the agenda of development. “The BJP in Gujarat has started its preparations for the forthcoming Assembly polls. I along with Gujarat CM and Sitharamanji sat with the core team of the state to formulate the strategy for the polls. We also attended the workshop for those who handle media and social media,” Jaitley told reporters after the meeting. As many as 500 party workers associated with state BJP’s media and social media operations received guidance from senior leaders at the workshop, said a party release.The workshop was organised at a time when messages critical of the ‘Gujarat model of development’ under the BJP rule were being circulated on social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook. “I will visit Gujarat quite frequently now. The BJP’s roots are very deep in Gujarat and the party contributed a lot to the development of the state. We will fight the election on the basis of the state government’s performance and the agenda of development,” said Jaitley. Sitharaman too lauded the Rupani government for taking ahead Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development agenda. “As a co-in charge for Gujarat polls, I have been particularly given the responsibility of the Saurashtra region. Our party’s campaign will be positive and constructive,” the Sitharaman, the country’s defence minister told journalists.

Nirmala Sitharaman rubbishes claims about India having ammunition to last two days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday reached Uttarlai airbase in Barmer for a ground visit. The newly-appointed Defence Minister in her three-hour visit met jawans and officers at the airbase. Nirmala was given a guard of honour by Sukhoi Fighter crafts on her arrival.Speaking to media, she said she would not comment about (a possibility of) war and added that all efforts towards enhancing the preparedness of the Armed Forces would be dealt with on priority. “Procuring arms and ammunition is a continuous process,” she said.Rubbishing the claims about India having just enough ammunition to last two days, the Defence Minister said that there was no shortage of ammunition in the country.Speaking further on the issue she said, “Discussions are one thing and statements from persons who have the facts is totally another. People who have facts are not making these statements,” she said. The Defence Minister said every asset required to enhance the preparedness of the forces would be procured, and that she would hold immediate meetings with the Prime Minister and the NSA to address all pressing issues related to procurement.Addressing a query related to the country having a part-time defence minister before she took up, Nirmala said, “For two years, Manohar Parrikar was a full-time minister and even though Arun Jaitley had an additional charge, nothing was delayed. Records show that decisions were taken without delay. But there are many matters that have been pending for years.”Pull Quote: I will be available round the clock and take speedy, timely decisions. This is new for me. I have told the three chiefs to meet me for 15 minutes in the morning at 10 am whenever I am in Delhi. The meeting can be extended if pressing issues are at hand. In case a chief is not in town, his deputy should attend the meeting. I will hold a meeting with the Defence Secretary twice a week.”

Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flags off first ever all-women Navy crew attempting to circumnavigate globe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a move that signals a new era of women’s empowerment for the armed forces, newly-appointment Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday flagged off an all-women Navy team in Panaji attempting to circumnavigate the globe.For the first time ever, an all-women crew ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ of the Indian Navy will embark on a global journey on an Indian sailing vessel INSV Tarini.The crew would sail over many oceans to complete the mission. The entire distance will be covered in five legs and the team will stop at four ports for replenishment of ration and repairs, as necessary, a naval spokesperson said. The crew will have stop overs at various ports like: Fremantle (Australia), Lyttelton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands) and Cape Town (South Africa), the spokesperson said.The circumnavigation is likely to be completed around March 2018.Prime Minister Narendra Modi also wished luck to the ladies for the historic journey.Nirmala Sitharaman took charge of the defence ministry on September 7, becoming the first full-time woman Defence Minister of the country.She took charge in the presence of her predecessor Arun Jaitley who was given the additional charge of the key ministry in March after Manohar Parrikar quit the union cabinet to become the chief minister of Goa.Sitharaman was elevated to the cabinet rank on Sunday and given the defence portfolio.A priest held prayers in the defence minister’s chamber before she assumed charge.Senior officials of the ministry were present and she briefly interacted with them after taking over as the minister.She became the first full-time woman defence minister and the second woman to take charge of the key portfolio. Indira Gandhi, as then Prime Minister, had also held the portfolio in the seventies.As the Defence Minister, Sitharaman will be a member of the crucial Cabinet Committee on Security whose members include the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the External Affairs Minister and the Finance Minister.With inputs from PTI

A Dialogue With JC: Achhe Din to New India – Modi reshuffles his cabinet to achieve goal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The cabinet reshuffle has taken everyone by surprise. The unexpected appointment of Nirmala Sitharaman as Defence Minister was the biggest surprise. Then induction of former bureaucrats in the cabinet also raised many an eyebrow. But as a show of Modi and Shah, the reshuffle seems to have gone down well with the party. Jagdeesh Chandra, CEO ZMCL, unravels the theories and parameters behind the reshuffle. He also analyses the challenges which are likely to come up before ministers in their new roles. An excerpt:► What is the vision of Modi and Amit Shah behind cabinet reshuffle and expansion?It’s very difficult to know and understand the mindset of Modi and Amit Shah. But we can say that there were few parameters which formed the basis of cabinet reshuffle. For example non-performers must be replaced with performers and loyalists. Second, there was a specific message to express that at end of the day, delivery counts and third parameter was that balance has to be maintained keeping in mind the 2019 elections. And the fourth parameter probably could be to give a message that country is slowly moving to a presidential form of governance by incorporating retired bureaucrats at very important and key positions… a newspaper wrote that in Narendra Modi government, everything boils down to Modi and Amit Shah… cabinet expansion is just a formality. All decisions are taken by Amit Shah and Modi…. this is not a reshuffle. This is just replacing a mask from one face to another. That’s why Congress said that if every decision has to be taken by Modi and Shah then what’s the need of cabinet expansion. But in my opinion, this reshuffle has a definite strategy, a definite vision, a definite game plan of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.► Will there still be leadership changes in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh governments?I don’t think so… it seems possibilities of any change in leadership of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh governments do not exist anymore. Then focus of Modi has shifted from assembly elections to 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In such a situation, it doesn’t look like there will be change of any chief minister… one interesting discussion is also going on that there is likelihood of conducting both, assembly and Lok Sabha elections together. And there may be Presidential Rule enacted during the gap between these two elections. In totally, it may be inferred that chief ministers will not be changed.► Has Prime Minister changed his poll slogan of Acchhe Din?Some people say that Prime minister has replaced the poll slogan :Acchhe Din Aaayenge” with New India. Modi and Amit Shah are fully confident that they will rule till 2024. Modi will remain as Prime Minister.► Besides Modi and Shah, was there any role of Arun Jaitley in this reshuffle? What are the challenges before Jaitley today?In this government, Arun Jaitley is the third power centre. He had a strategic role in this reshuffle… and it is clearly visible that appointments of Piyush Goyal and Sitharaman are based on Jaitley’s recommendations.As far as his own ministry is concerned, he looks cornered. The biggest challenge is perception… GDP is at 5% which is lowest in last three years… it’s an embarrassment for him. The second challenge is the statement of RBI which says that only 1% black money didn’t return to mainstream. The denominations of currency which were banned are back in banks in one or the other way. The third embarrassment is statement of RBI Governor which says that I (Governor) was not taken into confidence before announcing the demonetisation. So these are the challenges of perceptions which Jaitley has to overcome for Modi and Amit Shah.► What was the biggest surprise in this cabinet reshuffle?Amit Shah and Modi are known to spring surprises. And the biggest surprise in this reshuffle was the appointment of Sitharaman as Defence Minister. Second big surprise was giving key ministerial posts to ex-bureaucrats.► What are the challenges before Nitin Gadkari? Will he be able to deal with fire-brand Uma Bharati?The biggest challenge before Nitin Gadkari is… reviving Ganga Rejuvenation ministry… achieve the incomplete works of Uma Bharti but after the oath taking, it seems that the goal post of the ministry has changed. Initially there were talks of cleaning up of rivers, now people are discussing about linking the rivers. Then it looks difficult to decide whether his priority would be Ganga or linking of rivers.► On the footprints of game-changer schemes like Ujjwala, will Dharmendra Pradhan be able to pull out any miracle in skill development?This is the fact that Ujjwala has been proved as a game-changer scheme. Modi played a master card. He gave responsibility of providing free LPG connection to women to Dharmendra Pradhan. As far as skill is concerned, this is another aspect close to PM’s heart. He had said that 40 crore people should be skilled by 2022. Now it’s to be seen whether Dharmendra Pradhan is able to repeat the miracle he has pulled out in Ujjwala.► Why Arjun Meghwal could not become Lt. Governor of Puducherry eventually? Why Nitin Gadkari demanded for him in Ganga ministry?No one believed that a young (junior) minister like Meghwal could be made Lt. Governor of Puducherry … people of Meghwal camp, however, say that Nitin Gadkari demanded for him in Ganga ministry. Only Nitin Gadkari can give answer to this question.

Women to be enlisted in military police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a big step towards addressing gender biases in the armed forces, the Army has decided to induct women into military police. Currently, women are recruited for selected roles in medical, education, legal, signals and engineering wings, and only as officers.The decision could be the first step before including women for combat duties.The increasing need for investigating gender specific allegations and crimes has prompted the need for women to be included in the military police, the Army said on Friday.During operations in Kashmir, the Army has often confronted women protesters and women soldiers as part of military police could with this situation.Army chief Bipin Rawat had also hinted at women being deployed in such situation when he announced that as a first step, women will be inducted into the military police before being sent for combat.Initially, a batch of 800 women will be inducted, targeting 52 recruitments a year.The decision was taken a day after Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s first women full-time Defence Minister, assumed office.The subject of women donning the battle fatigues has been a sticky one, with a section of the Army opposed to it in the past.Last year, the Air Force commissioned three women as fighter pilots for the first time. It’s gonna be bye-bye gender biasThe increasing need for investigating gender specific allegations and crimes has prompted the need for women to be included in the military police. The Army decision to induct women into military police is a big step towards addressing gender bias.

Army Chief Gen Rawat calls on new Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over prepardness along borders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today called on newly-appointed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and apprised her of the overall security preparedness of the Army and the situation along the borders with China and Pakistan.The Army chief met the defence minister hours after she assumed charge.Sources said issues related to the security challenges the country was facing on the northern and western borders figured at the meeting between the two.The Army chief had yesterday said the country should be prepared for a two-front war, noting that China had started “flexing its muscles” and there seemed no scope for any reconciliation with Pakistan.Chief of the Naval Staff and Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee Admiral Sunil Lanba also called on Nirmala and briefed her on various key issues, including the security challenges at the high seas.A number of senior officials, including DRDO chief S Christopher and Defence Production Secretary A K Gupta, also briefed the defence minister on key issues.Nirmala also called on former president Pranab Mukherjee at his residence.Mukherjee had held the defence portfolio from May, 2004 to October, 2006 in the UPA-I government.

Arun Jaitley holds talks with Japan Defence Min to boost military ties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India and Japan on Tuesday resolved to further strengthen military cooperation as the two countries held wide-ranging talks on bilateral defence and security ties amid escalating tension in the region in the wake of the powerful nuclear test by North Korea.A range of bilateral and regional issues relating to security and defence were deliberated at length during talks between Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera here, officials said.Jaitley also called on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and discussed ways to deepening defence and security co- operation. In the meeting, Jaitley conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s greetings to Abe, Indian envoy to Japan Sujan Chinoy said. The annual Indo-Japan Ministerial Defence dialogue took place at a time when tension was mounting in the region due to North Korea’s nuclear pursuits and China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea.Jaitley and Onodera also launched a business-to-business meeting of Indian and Japanese industries to promote defence production Prior to the annual defence ministerial meeting, Jaitley was given a guard of honour. The defence and security cooperation between India and Japan is on an upswing and both countries are exploring ways to further deepen it. Prime Minister Modi had visited Japan in November last year during which both sides had decided to ramp up bilateral defence and security cooperation.Jaitley, who was holding the additional charge of defence, has attended the security dialogue though Nirmala Sitharaman was appointed defence minister in Sunday’s cabinet reshuffle. Jaitley had said on Sunday that he is attending the dialogue with Japan as there were logistical constraints for Sitharaman to go for it. Sitharaman is likely to take charge of the ministry on Thursday.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy says he failed to communicate work done to PM and people

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after Cabinet reshuffle, former minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that he failed to communicate about the work he has done to the Prime Minister and people.Rudy, Minister with independent charge of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and other five ministers were asked to step down after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah conducted a performance review.Rudy has been replaced by Dharmendra Pradhan, who has been promoted to the cabinet rank and also retained his Petroleum Ministry portfolio.”I tried my best – but even my successor (and critics will vouch for this) will need some time to deliver visible changes,” he told NDTV. ALSO READ Cabinet Reshuffle | People still waiting for ‘achhe din’: Shiv Sena hits out at BJPThe former minister also said that he can’t take his certificate if the boss thinks that he failed. “The boss is always right,” he added.However, Rudy defended his term saying, “When I was made minister in 2014, I had to look for officers, create a road map and structure…all that is there now.”Earlier, when asked about his future role leading up to Lok Sabha elections 2019 he had said: “I don’t know what role I am going to play, whatever role party assigns me, I will accept it”. Four junior ministers — Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Dharmendra Pradhan, Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal were elevated to the cabinet rank and nine fresh faces inducted as Ministers of State in a major rejig of his team by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ALSO READ Narendra Modi cabinet reshuffle 2017: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has to combat many challengesNine of the ministers, who have joined the cabinet include Shiv Pratap Shukla from UP, Ashwini Choubey and RK Singh from Bihar, Virendra Kumar from Madhya Pradesh, Ananthkumar Hegde from Karnataka, former IFS officer Hardeep Singh Puri, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Rajasthan, Satya Pal Singh, who was the former commissioner of the Mumbai police, and Kerala’s Alphons Kallnanthanan.

Nirmala Sitharaman joins elite club, becomes one of two women Defence Ministers of nuclear-armed nations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nirmala Sitharaman, like France’s Florence Parly, will head the defence forces of a nuclear- armed nation, but unlike the European country, India does not allow women in combat roles in the Army.Her appointment as the defence minister has put Sitharaman in a select group of female leaders, 16 to be precise, who lead the armed forces of their respective nations.But Sitharaman and Parly have the added distinction of leading the forces of nuclear-armed nations.France allows women in combat roles, except on submarines and in riot-control. The other countries in this club include Germany, Australia, Canada, the US, Britain, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Israel.Army chief General Bipin Rawat had told PTI in June that the Indian Army was all set to open up combat positions for women and that initially women would be recruited for positions in military police.The Indian Air Force had last year inducted three women as fighter pilots, less than a year after the government decided to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis.Bangladesh, India’s eastern neighbour, is a part of the exclusive club of nations having women defence ministers.Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina also holds the defence portfolio like former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who helmed the defence ministry in 1975 and again between 1980 and 1982. The other countries in this league include Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Spain, Nicaragua, South Africa, Norway, Kenya, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and the Republic of Macedonia.

Madam Raksha Mantri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nirmala Sitharaman became the first full-time Defence Minster on Sunday, adding to the list of 15 other women holding the critical portfolio in their respective countries.Sitharaman was a surprise pick as Defence Minister; she takes over from Arun Jaitley, who had been handling the portfolio for five months, along with the Finance Ministry, after Manohar Parrikar was sent to Goa to be its chief minister in March.Indira Gandhi held additional charge of the Defence Ministry twice – once when was the Prime Minister in 1975, and then between 1980 and 1982.This will also be the first time when the all important Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will have two women — External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is the other member. The CCS is headed by the Prime Minister and comprises Ministers of Home, Finance, Defence and External Affairs.Sitharaman called the move “cosmic grace” and credited the support of party leadership that for her new role. “I am overwhelmed and humbled and I can serve the country with something which is constantly on the top of my mind,” she said.Till now, she was the Minister of State for Commerce. Sitharaman will now have to address the call for a larger role for women in the armed forces.OTHER WOMEN IN COMMANDMaría Dolores de Cospedal: Spain
Andreja Kati: Slovenia
Marise Payne: Australia
Mimi Kodheli: Albania
Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide: Norway
Ursula von der Leyen: Germany
Roberta Pinotti: Italy
Martha Elena Ruiz Sevilla: Nicaragua
Raychelle Omamo: Kenya
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert: Netherlands
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula: South Africa

JNU students react to Sitharaman as defence minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nirmala Sitharaman’s appointment as Union Defence Minister, on Sunday, was the subject for much discussion among student political parties in JNU. The discussion was especially heated, as Sitharaman herself is a JNU alumni.Reacting to Sitharaman’s appointment, Saurabh Sharma, president RSS-backed ABVP JNU said, “We really welcome the appointment of JNU alumni Nirmala Sitharaman ji as India’s first woman defence minister. We are hoping that the communist forces of JNU will start respecting the Indian Army now,” Saurabh Sharma, President ABVP JNU.Sharma was referring to an issue which has sharply divided students here — the installation of an army tank on campus. Students who have opposed the installation of the tank have been dubbed as “anti-national,” a debate that many are getting tired of.Shikha Singh, a first year MPhil student summed up the views of many when she commented on Sitharaman’s appointment. “It’s a proud moment for all JNUites to have her as our defence minister. And it is all the more welcoming to have a woman defence minister. We are hoping that she will do something to change the ongoing ‘anti-national’ rhetoric against our University,” she said.But while everyone here has welcomed the idea of woman defence minister, some left-wing students still criticise Sitharaman for being a part of the BJP-led government.”Her being a JNU alumni does not make any difference as she will continue to remain a political opponent for us. The BJP government at the Centre considers JNU students as anti-national. They should first install a tank in her home now,” said Geeta Kumari, AISA’s (All India Students Association) presidential candidate for JNUSU.Political rhetoric is especially high as JNU goes to the polls on September 8.

RSS welcomes Nirmala Sitharaman’s elevation as Defence Minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The RSS hailed the elevation of Nirmala Sitharaman as the Defence Minister on Sunday, saying it was a “great and remarkable” thing that a woman has been appointed to the top-most post.Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya congratulated all those who were inducted or elevated in the Cabinet after the reshuffle today.”We congratulate all those ministers who took oath today and our wishes are with them.”It is a great and remarkable thing that a woman has been appointed as the defence minister and now there will be two female ministers in the cabinet committee on security,” Vaidya said.The other members of the crucial cabinet committee are Home Minister, Finance Minister and External Affairs Minister, under the Prime Minister.Sitharaman is the first woman to become a full-time Defence Minister of the country in a major rejig of the Modi Cabinet.She is among the four junior ministers who were given a Cabinet berth in today’s reshuffle. the elevation of Nirmala Sitharaman as the Defence Minister on Sunday, saying it was a “great and remarkable” thing that a woman has been appointed to the top-most post.Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya congratulated all those who were inducted or elevated in the Cabinet after the reshuffle on Sunday.”We congratulate all those ministers who took oath today and our wishes are with them.”It is a great and remarkable thing that a woman has been appointed as the defence minister and now there will be two female ministers in the cabinet committee on security,” Vaidya said.The other members of the crucial cabinet committee are Home Minister, Finance Minister and External Affairs Minister, under the Prime Minister.Sitharaman is the first woman to become a full-time Defence Minister of the country in a major rejig of the Modi Cabinet.She is among the four junior ministers who were given a Cabinet berth in today’s reshuffle.

Uttar Pradesh has largest share of ministers in PM Modi-led govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite losing one berth in the Union Council of Ministers following today’s reshuffle, Uttar Pradesh has the largest share of ministers in the Modi government.While three ministers from UP — Kalraj Mishra, Mahendra Nath Pandey and Sanjeev Balyan — had resigned ahead of the reshuffle, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inducted Satyapal Singh and Shiv Pratap Shukla in his ministry.Uttar Pradesh has 12 ministers in the government, including Modi.The total number of ministers now stands at 76 including the Prime Minister with 27 having cabinet rank, 11 ministers of state with independent charge and 37 ministers of state.There are 57 ministers from the Lok Sabha and 18 from the Rajya Sabha.Following the elevation of Nirmala Sitharaman as a cabinet minister, the number of women in the cabinet has risen to six. With three women ministers of state, the total number of women in the 76 member council of ministers comes to nine.With Sitharaman getting the heavyweight Defence portfolio, the cabinet committee on security headed by Modi now has two women members. Besides the PM, the others in the key panel are the Defence minister, External Affairs minister, Home minister and the Finance minister.

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