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Sub-machine gun designed by DRDO successfully completes Defence Ministry’s user trials


The successful completion of trials has paved the way for this 5.56×30 mm gun’s induction into the armed forces, the defence ministry said in a statement.

A sub-machine gun designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully undergone the defence ministry’s user trials, the defence ministry said Thursday.

The successful completion of trials has paved the way for this 5.56×30 mm gun’s induction into the armed forces, the defence ministry said in a statement.

The DRDO-designed joint protective venture carbine (JVPC) is a gas-operated semi automatic weapon and its rate of fire is more than 700 rounds per minute, it added.

The final phase of the user trials completed on Monday meeting all the general staff qualitative requirements (GSQR) set up the Indian Army, it said.

“This was the last leg of trials in a series of user trials which have been carried out in extreme temperature conditions in summer and high altitudes in winter,” the statement mentioned.

The effective range of the carbine is more than 100 m and weighs about three kg with key features like high reliability, low recoil, retractable butt, ergonomic design and single hand firing capability, it said.

“JVPC has successfully met the stringent performance criteria of reliability and accuracy in addition to quality trials conducted by DGQA (Directorate General of Quality Assurance),” the statement noted. The DGQA works under the defence ministry.

The weapon has already passed the trials by the home ministry and procurement action is initiated by central armed police forces and various state police organisations, the ministry’s statement noted.




Chief Minister inaugurates the website of Anti-Corruption Bureau and State Economic Offence Wing, on the occasion of World Anti-Corruption Day


Helpline number 1064 and whatsapp number 8827461064 also launched

Financial irregularities can now be reported online

Information about the activities of Bureau would be easily accessible

Public Awareness Posters Released

Officials-Employees of EOW and ACB handed over cheque of Rs 1.25 lakh to Chief Minister as contribution to CM Relief Fund

 Today, on the occasion of World Anti-Corruption Day, Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel launched the website of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and State Economic Offence Wing i.e. www.acbeow.cg.gov.in , at his residence office. This is the first website of the state in Chhattisgarhi dialect. Any person can log on to this website to file complaint and to check the status of the action taken on the same. Helpline number 1064 and whatsapp number 8827461064 have also been launched to make it convenient for common people to report their complaints against corruption. In this programme, a poster was also release to create public awareness on the subject. This poster will be displayed in all the government offices so that people may get aware and report their complaints about corruption online. On the occasion, officials-employees of EOW and ACB handed over the cheque of Rs 1.25 lakh to Chief Minister as a contribution to CM Relief Fund. 

On the occasion, Chief Minister Mr. Baghel said that now the information about the actions taken by EOW and ACB against economic irregularities and corruption would be easily accessible through the website. People would be able to register their complaints about corruption online. This important step would tighten the administrative works as well. 
It is noteworthy that taking bribe, giving bribe, acquiring asset disproportionate to the known sources of income, misusing one’s designation to embezzle government property are criminal offense. Any complaint regarding aforementioned offenses can be filed via helpline number 1064, Whatsapp number 8827461064 or website www.acbeow.cg.gov.in or on email id compaintacbeow@gmail.com.

On this occasion, Chief Secretary Mr. Amitabh Jain, Additional Chief Secretary of Home Department Mr. Subrat Sahu, Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Siddharth Komal Singh Pardeshi, Secretary of Urban Administration Department Mrs. Alarmalmangai D, Deputy Inspector General of Police and Director EOW and ACB Mr. Arif H. Shaikh, along with senior officials of EOW and Anti Corruption Bureau were present.

 



PM Modi to attend symbolic launch of new parliament building today


The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the government to go ahead with the foundation laying ceremony for the central vista project underlining that no construction or demolition until it disposes of pleas opposing the project.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the symbolic launch of the new parliament building on the Central Vista today.

However, the actual construction of the building cannot begin immediately as a petition challenging the construction is pending in the Supreme Court.

The ceremony will begin at 12:55 pm, bhoomi poojan and the laying of foundation stone will take place at 1 pm. The Prime Minister will address the people at 2.15 pm.

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the government to go ahead with the foundation laying ceremony for the central vista project underlining that no construction or demolition until it disposes of pleas opposing the project.

The government agreed to the conditions put forth by the apex court and the court said the ‘authorities are free to undertake formal process without altering site in question in any manner’.

The bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar had told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, “You can lay the foundation stone, you can carry on paperwork but no construction or demolition, no cutting down any trees.”

The new parliament building is a part of the Rs 20,000-crore Central Vista project, which aims to build and refurbish the government buildings falling on the 13.4-km Rajpath that stretches from the presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhavan to the iconic war memorial India Gate.

The new Parliament building, the Lok Sabha chamber will have 888 seats and the Rajya Sabha will have 384 seats. The building will be earthquake resistant and will have modern digital technology.

The petitions filed question the project on environment grounds.




‘India, Pakistan should settle issue bilaterally’: Boris Johnson’s remarks on farm bills leaves opposition perplexed


The UK government has so far refused to be drawn into the ongoing protests in India, with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) saying the matter of handling protests was an internal one.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson seemed to confuse two separate issues when he reiterated the UK government’s stance that any dispute between India and Pakistan was for the two countries to settle bilaterally.

British Sikh Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, who has been leading a drive to keep the protests by the Indian farmers against the government’s agricultural reforms in the news in Britain, repeated one of his previous Twitter statements on the issue in the House of Commons during the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) session.

“Many constituents, especially those emanating from Punjab and other parts of India, and I were horrified to see footage of water cannons, teargas and brute force being used against peacefully protesting farmers. However, it was heart-warming to see those very farmers feeding those forces who had been ordered to beat or suppress them. What indomitable spirit and it takes a special kind of people to do that,” the Opposition lawmaker said.

“So, will the Prime Minister convey to the Indian Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) our heartfelt anxieties, our hopes for a speedy resolution to the current deadlock and does he agree that everyone has a fundamental right to peaceful protest,” he questioned Mr Johnson.


However, Boris Johnson, in his brief response, went on to address a completely unrelated matter instead.

“Our view is that of course we have serious concerns about what is happening between India and Pakistan but these are pre-eminently matters for those two governments to settle and I know that he appreciates that point,” said Mr Johnson.

Mr Dhesi, who looked visibly perplexed, was quick to take to social media as he posted the exchange on Twitter, adding: “But it might help if our PM actually knew what he was talking about!”

The UK government has so far refused to be drawn into the ongoing protests in India, with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) saying the matter of handling protests was an internal one.

“The police handling of protests is a matter for the government of India,” an FCDO spokesperson said last week, following a letter initiated by Mr Dhesi and signed by 35 other UK MPs over the issue.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and several other states have been protesting on various borders of Delhi since November 26, seeking repeal of the three farm laws enacted in September.

Dubbing these laws as “anti-farmer”, these farmers claim that the newly enacted legislations would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations. However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.




SpaceX rocket Starship crashes in fiery explosion during test launch along Texas coast


The engines were restarted just seconds before landing in an effort to slow the ship, but it crashed hard into the Earth.

A prototype of the future giant SpaceX rocket Starship — which the company hopes will become its go-to for Mars missions — crashed in a fiery explosion during a test launch along the Texas coast Wednesday.

But the company line was upbeat as a livestream of the launch displayed the on-screen message “AWESOME TEST. CONGRATS STARSHIP TEAM!”

“Mars, here we come!!” SpaceX founder Tesla’s Elon Musk tweeted just minutes after the flight, explaining that a too-fast landing speed was to blame for the crash.

He recounted the successful parts of the rocket’s short late afternoon trip: the take-off, the change of position in flight and its (pre-explosion) precise landing trajectory.

“We got all the data we needed! Congrats SpaceX team,” he tweeted.

Wednesday’s test launch took off and ascended properly in a seemingly straight line, before one and then another of its engines went out. After 4 minutes and 45 seconds of flight, its third engine extinguished and the rocket began its descent in its expected position.

The engines were restarted just seconds before landing in an effort to slow the ship, but it crashed hard into the Earth.


Smaller prototypes have already blasted off several hundred yards (meters) into the air for less than a minute as part of a series of tests aimed at developing the next generation of rockets from the company at lightening speed.

“Success”

After several aborted attempts this week, the flight was livestreamed on the @SpaceX Twitter account.

The test flight was planned to check the huge metal body of SN8 (Starship number 8) and its three engines for their aerodynamism, including during the ship’s return to Earth — which happens vertically, in the same vein as SpaceX’s pioneering Falcon 9 rocket.

“With a test such as this, success is not measured by completion of specific objectives but rather how much we can learn, which will inform and improve the probability of success in the future as SpaceX rapidly advances development of Starship,” a statement on the company’s website said, implying even before the launch that an explosion or crash would not mean a failed mission.

Construction on SN9, the next prototype, is already almost finished.

The experimental flights are taking place in a nearly deserted part of southern Texas on the Gulf of Mexico near the US-Mexican border — an area empty enough that any flight malfunction would be unlikely to cause physical or property damage.

Musk recently announced he plans to move to the vast southern US state from California.

Any future completed Starship rocket will be equipped with 37 engines instead of nine, and will measure 120 meters (390 feet) tall and be capable of carrying 100 tons of cargo into orbit around the Earth.

Musk hopes to be able to one day launch several of these space ships to Mars, though they could prove useful even in the short term as NASA eyes re-establishing an ongoing presence on the Moon in 2024.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is currently scheduled to pay an undisclosed sum to take Starship for a spin around the Moon in 2023 — at the earliest.




Covid caseload rises to 97.35 lakh, recovery rate stands at 94.66%


The number of deaths due to the virus stands at 1,41,360 with 402 new fatalities reported.

The active coronavirus caseload rose to 97.35 lakh with the recovery rate pushing to 94.66 per cent as the recovered cases stand past 92 lakh, Union health ministry data said.

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 97,35,850 with 32,080 new infections being reported in the last 24 hours.

The number of deaths due to the virus stands at 1,41,360 with 402 new fatalities reported.

On the positive side, 92,15,581 patients recovered from the disease pushing the national recovery rate to 94.66 per cent.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate stood at 1.45 per cent.

The COVID-19 active caseload remained below four lakh for the third consecutive day.

According to the ministry’s data, with 3,78,909 active coronavirus infections, the country now comprises 3.89 per cent of the total caseload.

India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed 20 lakh on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23 and 40 lakh on September 5. It went past 50 lakh on September 16, 60 lakh on September 28 and 70 lakh on October 11. The figure crossed 80 lakh on October 29 and surpassed 90 lakh on November 20.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 14,98,36,767 samples have been tested up to December 8, with 10,22,712 such examinations being conducted on Tuesday.

The new fatalities include 57 from Delhi, 53 from Maharashtra, 49 from West Bengal, 31 from Kerala, 30 from Punjab, 23 from Uttar Pradesh and 20 from Rajasthan.

The total number of deaths reported so far in the country includes 47,827 from Maharashtra, 11,880 from Karnataka, 11,822 from Tamil Nadu, 9,763 from Delhi, 8,820 from West Bengal, 7,967 from Uttar Pradesh, 7,042 from Andhra Pradesh and 4,964 from Punjab.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

“Our figures are being reconciled with the ICMR,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

(With inputs from PTI)




Farmers to further intensify protest, block Jaipur-Delhi, Delhi-Agra expressways and all roads leading to National Capital


Farmers’ representatives said that their plan includes blocking the Jaipur-Delhi and the Delhi-Agra expressways on or before December 12 and all the roads leading to the National Capital and by December 14 there will be a full-scale protest across the country.

After unanimously rejecting the Centre’s written offer of amendments in farm laws, the protesting farmers have announced that they will further intensify their protest according to a series of plans.

Farmers’ representatives said that their plan includes blocking the Jaipur-Delhi and the Delhi-Agra expressways on or before December 12 and all the roads leading to the National Capital and by December 14 there will be a full-scale protest across the country.

“We reject the government’s proposals,” said Darshan Pal, President of Krantikari Kisan Union announcing the plans of the farmer unions after a meeting this evening adding, “We will block Delhi-Jaipur highway by 12 December. We will sit on dharna at all the toll plazas of country on December 12. We have called for a nationwide protest on 14. We have asked the people to protest against every MP and MLA of the BJP”

This follows the Centre’s move to send a written proposal laying out a series of amendments. The written proposal was turned down by farmers who demand complete repealing of the farm laws.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar on Wednesday evening.

Opposition leaders on Wednesday submitted a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind asking to repeal the contentious farm laws.

A delegation of senior opposition leaders led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi met President Kovind. “We informed the President that it is absolutely critical that these anti-farmer laws are taken back,” said Gandhi.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, “In this cold, the farmers are on the streets protesting peacefully, expressing their unhappiness. It is the duty of the government to resolve this issue. There was a request from all opposition parties for in-depth discussion of farm bills and that it should be sent to select committee, but unfortunately, no suggestion was accepted and bills were passed in hurry,” after meeting of opposition with President Kovind.

“We have given a memorandum to the President. We are asking to repeal agriculture laws and electricity amendment bill that were passed in an anti-democratic manner without proper discussions and consultations,” said Sitaram Yechury of the CPI-M.




No breakthrough in farmers-Amit Shah talks, protest to continue


All India Kisan Sabha leader Hannan Mollah said that the government only offered to carry out certain amendments.

The meeting between a delegation of farmers’ leaders and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday failed to reach any agreement, as the government refused outright to repeal the three farm laws and only offered amendments, according to a participant.

All India Kisan Sabha leader Hannan Mollah said that the government only offered to carry out certain amendments.

“The government said it will give a proposal to the farmers tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. Till the government gives us in writing that the laws will be rolled back, there is no point in coming for the meeting,” he told reporters.

The next round of talks between the farmers’ leaders and the government is scheduled on Wednesday.

A meeting of the farmers’ union leaders would be held on the Singhu border at 12 noon on Wednesday to decide the way ahead.

The meeting on Tuesday was delayed as differences emerged between the farmers’ leaders over the venue.

According to sources, the meeting slated for 7 p.m. at Amit Shah’s residence could not take place as farmers’ leaders, save Rakesh Tikait of the BKU, did not reach there.

Later, sources within the farmers’ unions said that the leaders did not want to go to the Home Minister’s residence and sought another venue, after which they were asked to move to the PUSA Institute.

The farmers, before heading for the meeting, claimed that the nationwide Bharat Bandh called by them on Tuesday was successful and the people supported their cause even as the shutdown evoked a mixed response across the country.




Shah steps in to placate angry farmers


Home minister meets farmers ahead of 6th round of negotiations, Union Cabinet led by Modi to meet before the final round

A day before the government’s crucial sixth round of talks with representatives of protesting farmers, Home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday met a select group of union leaders in a bid to break the deadlock.

Sources said 13 farmer leaders were called for the meeting, which began after 8 pm. The farmer leaders included eight from Punjab and five from various nationwide organisations.

Sources said the participating leaders included Hannan Mollah of the All India Kisan Sabha and Rakesh Tikait of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU).

Some farmer leaders said they first expected the meeting would take place at Shah’s residence here, but the venue was shifted to National Agricultural Science Complex, Pusa.

The meeting came on a day a ‘Bharat Bandh’ observed by farmers to press their demand affected life in some states. The meeting, however, appeared to have created discord among the organisations spearheading the protests on Delhi’s borders for the past 12 days with the head of the BKU (Ugrahan), which is one of the largest outfits in the bloc, questioning the rationale of the talks a day before the scheduled official consultations.

In a social media post, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, who was not invited to the meeting with Shah, said there was no need for the talks before official consultations and hoped that the leaders attending today’s meet would keep in mind the view of the larger group.

Farmer leaders have been firm on their demand for repeal of three new farm laws enacted in September, which they claim will benefit corporates and end the mandi system and the minimum support price (MSP) regime.

“We will demand just a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ from Home Minister Amit Shah,” farmer leader Rudru Singh Mansa told reporters earlier in the day at the Singhu border where thousands of farmers have been protesting for the last 12 days.

The government has maintained that it is committed to the welfare of farmers and have presented these laws as major reforms for their benefits.

The Union cabinet is expected to meet tomorrow at 10.30 am to firm up the government strategy to placate farmers.

Earlier today shops and commercial establishments were closed, transport affected and traffic disrupted as protesters squatted on roads and train tracks in several parts of the country on Tuesday in response to a Bharat Bandh’ called by farmers demanding a repeal of the new agri laws.

Emergency services were exempted and banks, too, continued operations as the pan-India shutdown, backed by most opposition parties and many trade unions, came into effect with the maximum impact in states such as Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, the epicentre of the snowballing protests.

Security was stepped up across the country, noisy demonstrations were held in many places and the numbers swelled at Delhi’s border points where thousands of farmers have been camping for the last 11 days. Protesters blocked railway tracks at several places in West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha.

From the Rajasthan capital Jaipur, where mandis’ were closed but shops were open, there were reports of clashes between workers of the state’s ruling Congress and the BJP.

The protesting farmers fear the new laws will pave the way for eliminating the safety of the Minimum Support Price cushion and do away with ‘mandis’, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

The government maintains the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.

Farmers from Punjab and also Haryana have been the drivers of the movement. In Punjab, shops and commercial establishments were closed as were 3,400 fuel pumps. From morning, farmer leaders appealed to shopkeepers and traders to keep their shutters down.




Andhra mystery illness: Traces of lead, nickel found in blood of afflicted


Earlier 10 blood samples were analysed for heavy metals which have revealed the high presence of lead and nickel. Now, 40 new samples of blood and urine have been sent to AIIMS, New Delhi, for further investigations.

Traces of lead and nickel were found in the blood samples of patients suffering from mysterious illness in Eluru of West Godavari district by doctors of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), prompting Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to order a detailed investigation on how the metals found way into the bloodstream of the afflicted people.

Earlier 10 blood samples were analysed for heavy metals which have revealed the high presence of lead and nickel. Now, 40 new samples of blood and urine have been sent to AIIMS, New Delhi, for further investigations.

Since 5 December, a total of 561 people have been admitted to hospitals out of which 450 have been discharged so far. One person died while 73 people were admitted today. A two member team from the World Health Organisation (WHO) arrived today along with an expert team sent by the Centre.

A four member team from National Institute of Nutrition has been deputed to Eluru. The Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) is also running tests for chemical analysis of blood serum samples and the results are awaited.





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