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Deep Sidhu, Lakha Sidhana named in Red Fort FIR


The Delhi Police on Wednesday issued notice to farmer leader Darshan Pal asking him to explain why legal action should not be initiated against him, post violence during the rogue rally on the Republic Day.

Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu and the gangster-turned-social activist Lakha Sidhana have been named by the Delhi Police in an FIR in connection with the unprecedented violence in the capital on Republic Day and the Red Fort incident on January 26.

The Delhi Police has registered the case at Kotwali police station of North district under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and other legislations.

The premises of the historic monument was vandalized as the protesters went on a rampage destroying checking machines, ticket counters, furniture, and everything that came in their way. Some of the protesters climbed the walls of the fort and installed their flag at the flagstaff.

The Red Fort will remain closed for visitors from January 27 to January 31, according to an order issued by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Delhi Police Commissioner S.N. Shrivastava said that police has taken serious note of the Red Fort violence and everyone found involved would be taken to task. He also said that face recognition system would be used to identify those found involved in the violence.

The Delhi Police have also named 37 farmer leaders, including Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav, social activist Medha Patkar and Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Haryana unit President Gurnam Singh Chanduni, in the FIR filed in connection with the violence during the Republic Day tractor rally on Tuesday.

Avik Saha, Jai Kisan Aandolan and Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait along with Darshan Pal Singh, Satnam Singh Pannu, Boota Singh Burjgil and Joginder Singh Ugraha have also been named in a an FIR filed in Outer North Delhi.

The Delhi Police on Wednesday issued notice to farmer leader Darshan Pal asking him to explain why legal action should not be initiated against him, post violence during the rogue rally on the Republic Day.

More than 25 criminal cases have been registered, 19 people arrested and as many as 50 protesters detained so far.




MHA issues Covid-19 guidelines for Feb


“It is, therefore, emphasised that to fully overcome the pandemic, there is need to maintain caution and to strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy,” the MHA said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today issued Covid- 19 guidelines for the month of February, which focus on Surveillance, Containment and Caution, and seek to consolidate the gains made against the pandemic.

An MHA order said there was a steady decline in the number of active and new cases in the country over the last four months.

“It is, therefore, emphasised that to fully overcome the pandemic, there is need to maintain caution and to strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy,” the MHA said.

Cinema halls and theatres have already been permitted up to 50 per cent of seating capacity. Now they will be permitted to operate at higher seating capacity, for which a revised SOP will be issued by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in consultation with MHA.

Now gatherings for different purposes outside the containment zones will be allowed subject to standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the State/UT concerned.

At present, social/ religious/ sports/ entertainment/ educational/ cultural/ religious gatherings are permitted up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity, with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces. In the open spaces, this is in keeping with the size of the ground.

For further opening up of international air travel of passengers, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) may take a decision in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs based on the assessment of the situation, the order said.

Containment Zones, if required, shall be carefully demarcated by the district authorities at the micro level, taking into consideration guidelines prescribed.

Local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed Containment measures are strictly followed and State/ UT Governments shall ensure the accountability of the officers concerned in this regard, the MHA order said.

State/ UT Governments shall take all necessary measures to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and ensure wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.

Business to Business (B2B) exhibition halls have already been permitted. Now all types of exhibition halls will be permitted, for which a revised SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce in consultation with MHA.

SOPs, as updated from time to time, have been prescribed for various activities. These include: movement by passenger trains; air travel; metro trains; schools; higher educational institutions; hotels and restaurants; shopping malls, multiplexes and entertainment parks; yoga centres and gymnasiums, etc.




Turkey vaccinates over 1.5mn citizens


Turkey reported its first Covid-19 case on March 11, 2020.

More than 15,22,000 people have been vaccinated in Turkey, according to figures on Wednesday, since the country started mass vaccination for Covid-19 on January 14 after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine.

Turkey on Wednesday reported 7,489 new Covid-19 cases, including 675 symptomatic patients, as the total number of positive cases in the country reached 24,49,839, according to its Health Ministry.

The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 132 to 25,476, while the total recoveries climbed to 23,31,314 after 8,803 more cases recovered in the last 24 hours.

The rate of pneumonia in COVID-19 patients stands at 4.7 percent and the number of seriously ill patients is 1,765 in the country, the Xinhua news agency reported..

A total of 1,79,419 tests were conducted over the past day, with the overall number of tests in Turkey reaching 2,90,07,915.

Turkey reported its first Covid-19 case on March 11, 2020.




Indonesian President receives 2nd dose of Covid vaccine


The first period of vaccination from January to April is aimed at inoculating 1.3 million medical workers, 17.4 million public workers, and 21.5 million elderly people.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has received his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta.

“Like two weeks ago, it is no pain,” Xinhua news agency quoted Widodo as saying on Wednesday after he was vaccinated.

The President received his first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine on January 13.

The Indonesian Covid-19 Task Force’s spokesperson Reisa Broto Asmoro said the first dose is aimed at introducing the vaccine to the immune system, while the second is to strengthen the immune response that has been formed beforehand.

“These antibodies will be optimal in 14-28 days after the second injection,” Brotoasmoro added.

Indonesia has set a target of vaccinating 181.5 million people until next year to create a herd immunity and end the pandemic.

The first period of vaccination from January to April is aimed at inoculating 1.3 million medical workers, 17.4 million public workers, and 21.5 million elderly people.

The second period from April 2021 to March 2022 will administer the vaccine to 63.9 million vulnerable people and 77.4 million others.

As of Thursday morning, Indonesia has registered a total of 1,024,298 coronavirus cases and 28,855 deaths.




Pakistani cross-border terror tunnels, drones are new challenge for security forces in J&K


India is also pushing hard to build its anti-drone capacities to check the menace.

Cross-border tunnels on the India–Pakistan boundary for infiltration of terrorists and drones for dropping arms and ammunition on this side of the international border (IB) have become a challenge for the Indian security forces.

Tunnel after tunnel are being detected at the IB by the BSF.

Pakistani security agencies have started building tunnels and using Chinese drones to bypass the border fencing by India that had to a great extent helped curbing infiltration of terrorists and also dumping arms and ammunition for them by the ISI and Pakistani army.

The engineering wings of the Pakistani agencies appear to have professionaly built these tunnels about 30 ft deep from the surface.

BSF and the Army have already installed highly sensitive devises and night vision cameras on the IB and the Line of Control (LoC) to detect infiltration of terrorists. However to bypass such gadgets, the tunneling process has been done by the enemy. Similarly, drones are flown at a low height to just cross the border fence and drop arms and ammunition for terrorists. Several dumps of AK47 rifles, Chinese grenades and other explosives have been recovered along the IB and LoC.

Atleast ten cross-border tunnels have been detected on the IB during past some time in the three districts of Jammu division, Kathua, Samba and Jammu, where the soil is soft and as such digging tunnel is easy.

DG of BSF Rakesh Asthana and the J&K DGP Dilbag Singh had recently said that drones being used by Pakistan to drop arms and ammunition on this side of the border are a new challenge for security forces.

Pakistan and its Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) have started using bigger drones to enhance the capacity to smuggle arms and ammunition across the border in India’s Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

During his tenure as Home Minister, Rajnath Singh inaugurated the pilot project of the laser technology based Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) on the IB in Jammu.

The CIBMS aimed to provide high-tech surveillance system that would even during fog or snow storm create an invisible laser barrier on land, water, air and also underground to help BSF detect and foil infiltration bids even in difficult terrains.

This was expected to plug infiltration through vulnerable patches.
India is also pushing hard to build its anti-drone capacities to check the menace.

Air dropping of arms and ammunition was first reported in Punjab and subsequently extended to Jammu and Kashmir.

BSF shot down a Hexacopter drone with a payload of five-and-a-half kilograms including a sophisticated US-made M4 semi-automatic carbine and seven grenades at Rathua village in Kathua district in June last.

Three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists were arrested few days ago along with a cache of weapons airdropped near the LoC in Rajouri district.

The BSF has launched a massive anti-tunneling drive on the entire IB. Due to its constant search and active domination BSF troops also detected 2 terror tunnels dug by Pakistan in Samba area on 28 August and 22 November last year.




Border stand-off: India, China hold 9th round of Corps commander level talks


India is believed to have insisted on setting in motion at the earliest the process of disengagement and de-escalation of troops by the two countries.

India and China today held the ninth round of senior commanders’ talks in a fresh bid to resolve the military standoff at eastern Ladakh.

India is believed to have insisted on setting in motion at the earliest the process of disengagement and de-escalation of troops by the two countries to restore peace and tranquility in border areas.

The talks were held at Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The Indian delegation was headed by Lt Gen P G K Menon, the General Officer Commanding of the Leh based 14 Corps which is in-charge of the security of Ladakh, sources said.

The last round of talks between the military commanders was held in November last year while senior diplomats of the two countries met on 18 December under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Coordination and Consultation (WMCC) in border areas.

The two sides then were said to be seriously considering the possibility of a phased mutual withdrawal of troops and equipment ranged against each other at eastern Ladakh for the last eight months. But there has been no progress on the proposal since then.

So far, the two sides have agreed to ensure they do not move more troops to the frontline and that they would “refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground.”

Chief of the Army staff, Gen M M Naravane had recently stated that the Indian Army was prepared to hold its positions for as long as it took to achieve “national objec-tives”. He had also indicated some redeployment of troops and strike elements from present positions to the northern border.

Tensions between the two countries began in April-May last year when New Delhi detected incursions by Chinese troops in Ladakh along with a massive deployment of Chinese military personnel. India too quickly moved in its troops to counter further incursions. Previous rounds of military talks have failed to yield any consensus on the pull back of troops, with both sides having some 50,000 personnel each along the LAC.

Relations between the two countries plummeted to a new low following a violent clash between their troops at the Galwan valley on 15 June, resulting in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of casualties on the Chinese side.




DRDO at Republic Day Parade 2021


Light Combat Aircraft Tejas has achieved a major technology capability milestone by landing and taking off from the Aircraft Carrier of IN. The LCA Navy tableau celebrates the successful demonstration of carrier operations of LCA Navy from INS Vikramaditya on the sea.

DRDO has been showcasing advanced defence technology products for tri-services at Rajpath on Republic Day every year. Delivering on its mandate of development of state of the art defence systems, DRDO once again has brought two important tableaux to the prestigious Republic Day parade 2021.

Showcasing the major achievements of the year, are LCA Navy take-off and landing on board the aircraft carrier and the complete family of Anti Tank Guided Missiles.

Light Combat Aircraft Tejas has achieved a major technology capability milestone by landing and taking off from the Aircraft Carrier of IN. The LCA Navy tableau celebrates the successful demonstration of carrier operations of LCA Navy from INS Vikramaditya on the sea.

The tableau of LCA Navy shows landing, takeoff and lift operation, three most important operations required to be met by an aircraft onboard a carrier ship. LCA Navy successfully demonstrated landing on a 90 meters runway and take-off from a short run of 145 meters in 2020.

LCA Navy is India’s first 4+ Generation STOBAR (Ski-Jump Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) fighter aircraft capable of operating from an aircraft carrier. Cdr Abhishek C Gawande of Indian Navy is the commander of the tableau.

Symbolizing India’s strides in anti-tank missile technologies will be the tableau showcasing the full complement of DRDOs Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) Systems. This tableau showcases NAG, HELINA, MPATGM, SANT and Laser Guided ATGM for MBT Arjun. The ATGM tableau will be represented by Shri ShiladityaBhowmick Scientist ’D’, a young scientist of DRDL, Hyderabad.

NAG is a 3rd generation fire and forget missile developed for mechanized formations to engage heavily fortified enemy tanks. HELINA, the Helicopter launched anti-tank missile is a 3rd generation fire and forget missile with a range of 7 km designed and developed for integration on a weaponised version of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).

MPATGM is a Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile with a range of 2.5 km with Fire and Forget and Top Attack capabilities for infantry use. SANT is a smart Stand-off Anti-Tank Missile being developed for launch from Mi-35 Helicopter for Air Force anti-tank operations. ATGM for MBT Arjun is a laser-guided PGM (Precision Guided Munition) which is launched from the 120 mm rifled gun of Arjun tank to engage and defeat Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) protected armoured targets.

LCA Tejas model is also part of IAF Tableau and adorning the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Tableau representing the theme of Vocal for Local. Other DRDO products on Rajpath this year are Akash Surface to Air Missile and Astra Air to Air Missile on IAF Tableau.

DRDO has been a design and development agency for Armed Forces and to reinforce the spirit of AtmaNirbhar Bharat. DRDO is partnering with all stakeholders of the defence ecosystem, including academia, industry and services in developing state of the art defence systems.




SpaceX ridesharing mission launches record 143 satellites


Both records were previously held by Northrop Grumman with 108 satellites launched on the NG-10 Cygnus mission in November 2018.

Much like ridesharing via Uber on Earth, Elon Musk-run SpaceX has successfully launched its new cost-cutting rideshare mission with 143 small satellites — a new record for a single rocket — into space.

Called the Transporter-1 mission, the two-stage Falcon 9 rocket lifted off on Sunday from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

“Falcon 9 launches 143 spacecraft to orbit — the most ever deployed on a single mission — completing SpaceX’s first dedicated SmallSat Rideshare Programme mission,” SpaceX said in a tweet.

According to SpaceX, the rideshare programme offers cheap access to space for small satellite companies, starting at $1 million for a 200-kg satellite.

Much like a “rideshare Uber”, a company’s small satellite can hitch a ride to space with this new mision.

The SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket sent a mix of shoebox-sized CubeSats and much heavier micro-satellites to a 326-mile-high polar orbit.

The 143 satellites include 48 Earth imaging satellites, 17 tiny communications satellites, and 30 small satellites for the US and Europe by Germany-based Exolaunch.

“The sheer number of payloads/satellites was well above the limit needed to break both the U.S. and world records for most satellites launched on a single mission,” NASa said in a statement.

Both records were previously held by Northrop Grumman with 108 satellites launched on the NG-10 Cygnus mission in November 2018.

SpaceX’s previous record is 64 satellites on the SSO-A mission in December 2018, a flight that featured Spaceflight Industries’ Sherpa satellite dispenser.

Transporter-1 was the second mission since 1969 to use the polar corridor route from Florida.




Farmers’ leaders issue guidelines for R-Day tractor parade


The SKM also said that they have done all the preparations for any emergency so nobody should worry about anything.

After getting the permission to organise a tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day, the farmers’ union has issued guidelines so that the parade is carried out in a peaceful manner.

The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said: “We are going to create history. Till date, such a parade has never been carried in the country on Republic Day. We have to keep in mind that this historic parade doesn’t gets maligned. The peaceful parade will mark our victory. We have to remember that we are not going to conquer Delhi, rather we are going to win the hearts of the people of the country.”

The SKM clarified that tractors and other vehicles will be included in the parade but all trolleys will not be part of the parade. Some trolleys with special tableaux will figure and safety arrangements will be made for them.

The farmers’ union also instructed the farmers to keep ration for at least 24 hours and items for cold in case tractors get stuck in traffic. It also appealed the farmers not to carry any political party’s flag, but the national flag along with the flag of the farmers’ unions.

The farmers have been clearly told by the SKM not to carry any kind of weapon and not to use any provocative slogans.

The SKM said that the parade will be led by the vehicles of the farmers’ leaders and everybody has to follow the instructions of the traffic volunteers, who will be deployed at every junction.

“The route of the parade has been decided. Police and traffic volunteers will guide the farmers. Action will be taken against the vehicles which will try to violate the route,” the SKM said.

If any vehicle tries to block the road without any reason, the volunteers will remove the blockade, it said. All the vehicles will return after completing the parade.

“Only five people including the driver will be allowed on a tractor. No one will be allowed to sit on the bonnet, bumper or roof of the tractor. All the tractors will be driving in a line. No one will race with each other and no one will be allowed to go ahead of the vehicles of the farmers’ leaders,” the SKM said in the guidelines.

Apart from this, the drivers won’t be allowed to play music in the tractors so that it will make easy for others to listen to the instructions during the parade. The SKM also said that no one will be allowed to consume any intoxicants and if someone is found doing so, the traffic volunteers should be informed immediately.

The farmers’ leaders said: “We have to grace the Republic Day, win the hearts of the public. Everyone should take care that women are being treated respectfully. The police will be on its duty so no one should fight with them. Apart from this, there should be no misbehaviour with the media, irrespective of the channel and garbage should not be thrown on the roads and rather everyone should carry a separate bag for it.”

The SKM also said that they have done all the preparations for any emergency so nobody should worry about anything.

“Ambulances have been arranged and arrangements with the hospitals have also been made so in case of medical emergency, farmers can call on the helpline number or tell the nearest volunteer,” it said.

“The farmers can also contact the volunteers in case their vehicle or tractor breaks down. The helpline number will be open 24 hours,” the SKM added.




Bull Run: Sensex mounts 50K, global cues power ascent


Around 9.50 a.m., it was trading at 50,062.58, higher by 270.46 points or 0.54 per cent from its previous close of 49,792.12.

Positive global cues along with expectations of healthy quarterly results and a supportive Union Budget FY22 powered the ascent of economic barometer the S&P BSE Sensex to cross the 50,000 points mark on Wednesday.

Coming a day after Joe Biden’s inauguration as US President, the BSE Sensex mirrored its Asian counterparts in having a gap-up opening.

In fact, the positivity sentiment led it to open above the 50,000-mark.

Around 9.50 a.m., it was trading at 50,062.58, higher by 270.46 points or 0.54 per cent from its previous close of 49,792.12.

It opened at 50,096.57 and touched a fresh all-time high of 50,126.73 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also touched a new record high of 14,738.30 points. It was trading at 14,720, higher by 75.30 points or 0.51 per cent from its previous close.

Healthy buying was witnessed in auto and telecom stocks. A positive trend in the global markets also supported the indices on Thursday.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv and HCL Technologies.

Further, rise in the shares of index-heavyweight Reliance Industries also lifted the Sensex. RIL shares were trading at Rs 2,077.50, higher by Rs 22.65 or 1.10 per cent from its previous close.





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