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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.




India starts dispatching Covid-19 shots to neighbouring countries


An AN-32 aircraft carrying Indian shots arrived in Thimphu in the afternoon to deliver 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccine.

India today set in motion the process of delivering Coronavirus shots to neighbouring countries and key partners with shipments of the vaccine reaching the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan and the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives.

An AN-32 aircraft carrying Indian shots arrived in Thimphu in the afternoon to deliver 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccine. Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and Indian Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj were present at the ceremony at which the consignment was handed over to Bhutanese officials. Another consignment arrived at Male where it was received by Maldivian officials and Indian High Commissioner Sunjay Sudhir.

The MEA said “supplies under grant assistance” would be shipped to Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles while Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius await regulatory clearances to receive the vaccines.

Bangladesh said it expected to receive a gift of two million doses of Covishield tomorrow. Dhaka is yet to start its vaccination programme and has ordered a further 30 million doses of the shot.

“The Pharmacy of the World will deliver to overcome the Covid challenge,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Twitter.

Prior to the delivery of vaccines to other countries, India also conducted a training programme, covering administrative and operational aspects, for immunization managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers of the recipient nations, both at national and provincial levels.




Bomb disposal squad, SOG declared classified category of J&K Police


Meanwhile, DGP Dilbag Singh has welcomed the decision regarding SOG and BDS that will provide promotional avenues to officers and jawans.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has declared the Special Operation Group (SOG) and Bomb Disposal Squads (BDS) as a classified category of the J&K Police.

The decision will benefit 2288 officers and Jawans working on the anti-terror front and 179 Bomb Disposal Squad personnel of the Police.

Meanwhile, the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) which met under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary J&K BVR Subrahmanyam, Advisor to Lt Governor Ladakh Umang Narula, Home secretary J&K Shaleen Kabra and DGP J&K Dilbag Singh has cleared promotion of 1996 batch IPS officers to the rank of ADGP which includes IGP Jammu Zone Mukesh Singh, IGP Crime MK Sinha, and IGP Armed Police, Jammu Zone Danesh Rana.

The DPC also cleared three DIGs of 2007 IPS batch, Sujit Kumar, Vivek Gupta and M Suleman Choudhary for confirmation as DIG and DIG Doda-Kishtwar- Ramban Range Abdul Jabbar for selection grade level 13 (IPS, 2008 Batch).
2017 IPS batch officers Nikhil Borkar, Ms. Mohita Sharma, Ms. Tanushree and Anayat Choudhary have been cleared for promotion as SP.

Meanwhile, DGP Dilbag Singh has welcomed the decision regarding SOG and BDS that will provide promotional avenues to officers and jawans.




PM Modi, CM Banerjee condole loss of lives due to road accident in Jalpaiguri, announce compensation


The Prime Minister announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives and Rs 50,000 each to those injured from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have expressed their condolences over the loss of lives and announced ex gratia due to a road accident in Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal.

The Prime Minister announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives and Rs 50,000 each to those injured from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister said, “The road accident in Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri (West Bengal) is extremely anguishing. In this time of sadness, prayers with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon.

From the PMNRF, Ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the accident in West Bengal. Rs. 50,000 each would be given to those injured.”

The road accident in Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri (West Bengal) is extremely anguishing. In this time of sadness, prayers with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon: PM @narendramodi

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 20, 2021

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh each to the next of kin of those who were killed in the accident and Rs 50,000 each to those who were seriously injured.

The CM also said Rs 25,000 would be given to those whose injuries are not serious.

“The loss cannot be compensated. But we would like to tell the families that the government is with them. We are providing compensation to the next of kin of the deceased and the injured persons. Our local MLA Sourav Chakraborty is already there and state minister Aroop Biswas is rushing to the spot,” said Mamata Banerjee.

Fourteen members, including four children, of a marriage party were killed and 10 others injured due to a collision between a stone-laden truck and their three vehicles in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri on Tuesday, officials said.

The cars of the marriage party were going towards Dhupguri on the wrong side of the road and the collision took place due to dense fog, a senior police officer said.

All the injured are being treated at a hospital.

Police said that a vehicle collided head-on with a boulder-loaded truck whose driver lost control of the vehicle, hit the divider, and slipped towards its right side. Two other vehicles coming from the wrong side collided with the truck due to which boulders loaded in the vehicle fell on the vehicles. In all, four vehicles were damaged.

Police said that the accident happened due to low visibility and that the driver of the truck has survived and has been taken into custody for negligent driving.

(With agency inputs)




Donald Trump leaves White House for last time, might float own political party


According to the reports pouring in from the USA, he is “very seriously” contemplating over the idea of floating Patriot Party, his own political outfit.

US President Donald Trump left the White House for the last time early on Wednesday morning.

Donald Trump is skipping the inauguration of his successor, Joe Biden, thus breaking a century-old tradition.

His term ends at 12 noon (US time).

Accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, Donald Trump flew from the White House lawn on Marine One, a presidential chopper, to the Joint Base Andrews where a small farewell ceremony has been planned before he uses the presidential jet for one final time – to fly home to Florida’s Palm Beach.

He paused to speak to a small group of reporters before boarding the chopper.

Invitations have been sent to several Trump aides, present and former, to attend the farewell ceremony, with each guest allowed to bring five guests in a bid to gather a sizeable crowd. However, with the list comprising many with whom the parting had been acrimonious, it seemed not much attention had been given to vetting it.

Several people, said to be invited, had expressed their reluctance to attend the event.

Top leaders, including Vice President Mike Pence, and leaders of the Republican Party in the Congress, were also slated to give the event a miss. They are supposed to join Biden at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle for morning mass.

Donald Trump had, on January 8, announced that he will not attend his successor Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony. The announcement was widely expected.

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump had tweeted.

Twitter and Facebook had suspended Donald Trump over posts accused of inflaming violence in the US Capitol.

The unprecedented sanctions came after the president took to social media to repeat his numerous false claims about fraud and other impropriety in the election he lost to Joe Biden.

According to the reports pouring in from the USA, he is “very seriously” contemplating over the idea of floating Patriot Party, his own political outfit.

(With IANS inputs)




‘Farm law panel has no power, no question of bias’: Supreme Court


Chief Justice SA Bobde said, “We gave power to hear everyone and submit report to us. Where is the question of bias? No need to brand people and malign them, and on top of it cast aspersion on court.”

The Supreme Court on Wednesday took ‘serious objections’ to criticism by farmers for the committee that the court formed to resolve the impasse over the farm laws, for which thousands of farmers are protesting at Delhi borders.

Chief Justice SA Bobde said, “We gave power to hear everyone and submit report to us. Where is the question of bias? No need to brand people and malign them, and on top of it cast aspersion on court.”

The apex court has asked the government to respond to the petitions seeking reconstitution of the committee formed. The top court observed that a person will not be disqualified from the committee only because the member had an opinion on the subject.

The protesting farmers and several opposition parties have raised objections over the four-member panel formed by the court as members had expressed views in the favour of the farm laws. A member of the panel, Bhupinder Singh Mann, president of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) had recused himself from the committee.

Chief Justice SA Bobde while stressing that the experts ‘are brilliant minds in the agricultural field’ said, “You unthinkingly cast aspersions. Someone expressed opinion… he becomes disqualified? Mann had asked for modification of laws you are saying he is for laws.”

He further added, “You cannot brand people like this. People should have opinion. Even the best judges have certain opinion even they delivered judgments on the other side.”

The top court in the hearing noted, “We entertained the issue in the interest of public and farmers. If you do not want to appear don’t appear. Do not brand people. We are finding solution to this problem. Public opinion is important and it will not determine the outcome.”

The committee constitutes of Pramod Kumar Joshi, an agricultural economist, Anil Ghanwat, the chief of Shetkari Sanghatana, Ashok Gulati, agricultural economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices apart from BKU president Bhupinder Singh Mann.

Thousands of farmers are protesting at Delhi borders as they want the government to repeal the three farm laws. The protesting farmers fear that the farm laws leave them vulnerable in the hands of big corporate houses.

The Supreme Court on January 12 had stayed the implementation of the three farm laws. So far, the government has held nine rounds of talks with 40 farmer unions have but have failed to end the deadlock.

The tenth round of discussion is taking place today.




Centre, farmers to hold 10th round of talks even as protests enter 56th day


Apart from revoking the farm laws, the farmers are demanding a legal guarantee for the procurement of crops at Minimum Support Price (MSP) but the government says it is ready to bring about amendments in these laws.

The tenth round of talks between protesting farmers and the Centre would be held today even as the protests on the Delhi borders continued for the 56th day on Wednesday.

The ninth round of talks between farmers demanding revocation of the three farm laws and the centre held on January 15 had ended with no progress towards ending the stalemate.

Apart from revoking the farm laws, the farmers are demanding a legal guarantee for the procurement of crops at Minimum Support Price (MSP) but the government says it is ready to bring about amendments in these laws.

Over 40 representatives of farmer organisations present in the previous rounds of talks would meet with three Union Ministers at 2 pm at the Vigyan Bhavan. The meeting was earlier scheduled to be held on January 19 but was postponed by a day.

Kirpa Singh, a farmer leader from Punjab said that farmer leaders would first like to deliberate on their core demand for the repeal of the three laws during the latest talks.

Harinder Singh Lakhowal, Punjab-based farmer leader and Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) General Secretary said, “In the previous talks, we urged the Union government to discuss the MSP issue. We will again discuss it in this meeting as well.”

He also said that the issue of “harassment” of those supporting the farmers’ agitation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would again be brought up in Wednesday’s meeting.

He also asserted that all farmer unions and others spearheading the farmers’ movement were united and would continue the agitation till their demands were not accepted.

As for Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar’s remark that the farmer unions should discuss the new farm laws clause-wise, farmer leaders said that much discussion has been done on this issue for many days and they would rather like to discuss their core demand on the repeal of the laws.

The farmers are demanding the repeal of The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020, and law on procurement of crops at MSP.

The farmers have been sitting on Delhi’s borders since November 26, 2020.

(With IANS inputs)





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