Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh approves decisions regarding re-organisation of Army Headquarters

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has approved certain decisions regarding re-organisation of Army Headquarters. The approval has been given based on a detailed internal study conducted by the Army Headquarters. The decisions are as follows:
  1. A separate Vigilance Cell under COAS with Tri-Services representation - Presently, the vigilance function for the COAS is through multiple agencies and there is no single point interface. An independent vigilance cell will be made functional under COAS. Accordingly, ADG (Vigilance) will be placed directly under the COAS for this purpose. It will have three Colonel-level officers (one each from Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy). This will be done within the existing posts at AHQ.
  2. An umbrella organisation under VCOAS for enhanced focus on human rights issues - To give high priority to observance of human rights convention and values, it has been decided to set up a special Human Rights Section headed by ADG (Major General rank officer) directly under the VCOAS. It will be the nodal point to examine any HR violation reports. To enhance transparency and ensure the best of investigative expertise is available to the section, a Police officer of SSP/SP rank will be taken on deputation.
  3. Re-location of 206 Army Officers from AHQ to Formations/Units of the Field Army - A total of 206 officers will be optimized from AHQ and these officers will be made available additionally to Formations/Units of the Field Army, as per details given below:
Name of Post
Major Gen.
Lt. Colonel/ Major
No. of Posts

Abrogation of the Article 370 is an internal administrative matter: Vice President

India will not allow outside interference in its internal affairs;

Vice President holds wide-ranging talks with Latvian President and Prime Minister

Reiterates the need to enlarge UNSC and thanks Latvia for supporting India’s claim for permanent membership

Addresses the first ever India-Latvia Business Forum

Pays homage to heroes of Latvian Independence at the Freedom Monument

Visits the National History Museum of Latvia

The Vice President today made it clear that the recent measures taken by the Indian Government in regard to the status of Jammu and Kashmir are purely internal administrative matters. “India would not allow any outside interference in its internal affairs”, he said.

On the fourth day of his tri-nation tour to Baltic nations on Tuesday (August 20, 2019), the Vice President held wide ranging discussions with the President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia, Mr. Egils Levits and Mr. Krišjānis Kariņš respectively in Riga, the capital of Latvia.

Addressing media along with the President of Latvia,Shri. Naidu said that India always believed in peaceful co-existence with all nations, including its neighbours and expressed concern over the menace of terrorism. He said that all countries must come together to ensure universal peace and progress.

Shri Naidu said that both the dignitaries have agreed to have very close cooperation on the international stage and stand together in the global fight against terrorism and piracy.

He also sought the support of Latvia to combat climate change challenges through the International Solar Alliance.

During his talks with the Prime Minister,Shri. Naidu expressed gratitude to Latvia for publicly supporting India’s claim for permanent membership at United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC). He said that the UNSC should reflect the aspirations of the world community and pointed out that India represented one-sixth of the global population.

The Vice President said that there is a lot of scope for growth in the bilateral trade between India and Latvia which is currently below its potential.He invited Latvian companies to explore opportunities for investment and collaboration in pharmaceuticals, healthcare, telecommunications, IT and software development, heavy engineering and biotechnology.

He also held a meeting with the Acting Speaker of the Parliament of Latvia, Ms. Inese Lībiņa-Egnere and visited the plenary session hall of the Latvian Parliament (Saeima).

During the talks with the Acting Speaker, the two leaders discussed the need to increase parliamentary exchanges between the two nations and a proposal to establish a joint parliamentary friendship group. Observing that the world has become a global village, the Vice President said that there should be greater exchange of information and adoption of the global best practices to enhance the efficiency of the parliamentary systems.

The Vice President later addressed the first ever India-Latvia Business Forum and called for taking the bilateral trade and economic cooperation to new heights. MoUs were also signed between ASSOCHAM, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to further boost economic partnership between the two countries.

Earlier in the day, Shri Naidu paid homage to the heroes of Latvia’s struggle for independence by laying a wreath upon the Freedom Monument in Riga.

He also visited the National History Museum of Latvia in Riga today(20.08.2019). He said that the museum wonderfully depicted the struggle of the Latvian people for freedom and added that visiting the museum was an inspiring experience.

The Vice President also unveiled the bust of the Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi at the National Library of Latvia. Shri. Naidu expressed hope that the bust of Mahatma Gandhi would be an inspiration to the visitors of the National Library in Riga and said that Gandhi ji’s message of non-violence and peaceful co-existence was universal, eternal and highly relevant for today’s conflict prone world.

He also presented 51 books to the national library called ‘Bharat ek Parichay’ which reflect the heritage and traditions of India.

Earlier the Vice President and the President of Latvia witnessed the signing of an MoU on cultural exchange for 2019-21.

President of India launches tree plantation drive at Rashtrapati Bhavan

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind planted a sapling of Maulsari in the Rashtrapati Bhavan Estate today (August 20, 2019) and launched a plantation drive as part of 'Van Mahotsav' celebrations.

On the occasion, the President met students and urged them to encourage fellow citizens to plant more trees and reaffirm our commitment to a greener and sustainable planet.

As part of Van Mahotsav celebrations, the President's Secretariat, over the next few weeks, will be planting 3,252 trees and 2,962 shrubs in the President's Estate. This will include ornamental and fruit trees like Peepal, Neem, Maulsari, Champa, Gul Mohur, Mango, Chiko, Anjir and Amrud etc.

The President’s Estate spread over 330 acres harbours a rich biodiversity. Noted trees of the Estate include, Sita Ashok, Bistendu, Shisham, Gab, Gourd Trees, Wild Almond, Lemon-Scented Gum, Doon Siris and more.


Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Chandrayaan-2 precisely inserted in defined lunar orbit: ISRO Chairman

ISRO aims for Chandrayaan-2 landing at 1.55 AM on September 07, says Dr K. Sivan

The second moon mission of India, the Chandrayaan-2 has been precisely inserted in defined orbit. It reached in defined lunar orbit at 09.02 am today. This was stated by the Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Dr K. Sivan, while addressing a press conference after the Lunar Orbit Insertion of Chandrayaan-2, in Bengaluru, today. With this, Chandrayaan-2 has crossed a major landmark, he said.
Dr Sivan said that ISRO aims for successful landing at 1.55 AM on 7th September. The soft landing will be near lunar South Pole. He said that the next major event will be on 2nd September when the lander will be separated from the orbiter. The Chairman said that ISRO is confident about its landing mission. ISRO has done enough stimulations of soft landing, he added. Chandrayyan-2 will undergo four more manoeuvres. The first manoeuvre will be tomorrow, followed by subsequent manoeuvres on 28th August, 30th August and 1st September.
This is ISRO’s second moon mission after Chandrayaan-1 in the year 2008. Chandrayaan-2 was launched from Sriharikota on 22nd July this year. It carries an orbiter, ‘Vikram’ lander and ‘Pragyan’ rover. 


High Level Committee chaired by Union Home Minister approves Rs 4432.10 crore of additional Central assistance to Odisha, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh

The High Level Committee (HLC), chaired by the Union Minister for Home Affairs Shri Amit Shah, met in New Delhi on 19th August 2019 to consider additional central assistance to three states, which were affected by drought (rabi) of 2018-19, avalanches, hailstorms, landslides and cyclone ‘Fani’ during 2019.

The HLC approved additional central assistance of Rs. 4432.10 crore to three States from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) - Rs. 3338.22 crore to Odisha for Cyclone Fani, Rs 1029.39 crore to Karnataka for drought and Rs 64.49 crore to Himachal Pradesh for avalanches and hailstorm.

Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar were present in the meeting, along with senior officers of the Ministries of Home Affairs, Finance, Agriculture and NITI Aayog.

This additional assisatance is over and above the funds released by Centre to the States in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) already placed at the disposal of States.

In the case of Odisha at the onset of Cyclone ‘Fani’, Rs 340.87 crore was released in advance on 29th April 2019 from SDRF. Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi visited Odisha on 06.05.2019, and as announced by him, immediate assistance of Rs. 1000 crore was released in advance. In addition, an ex-gratia sum of Rs. 2 lakh were provided to next of the kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to seriously injured in the Cyclone from PM’s Relief Fund.

During Cyclone ‘Fani’, Central Government had deployed 71 teams of NDRF, 

HLC also reviewed the existing practice of deputing an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) after the receipt of Memorandum from the State in the wake of any severe calamity. In a significant decision taken by the Union Home Minister, IMCT will henceforth be constituted immediately in the aftermath of any natural calamity of severe nature, which will visit the affected areas in the State so as to have first hand assessment of damages caused and relief work carried out by the State administration. IMCT will again visit the state after submission of the Memorandum for detailed assessment of the damages and relief operations conducted for making final recommendations for allocation of additional funds. At present IMCT visits the affected state only once after the receipt of memorandum from the state.

In line with this decision, Ministry of Home Affairs will immediately constitute and depute IMCTs to States of Assam, Meghalya, Tripura, Bihar, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala affected by recent floods.

HLC also reviewed the ongoing flood situation in different parts of the country and the logistic support provided by central agencies including deployment of NDRF and Defence forces. In the combined rescue operations in the states affected by floods, landslides etc. during the current monsoon season, NDRF, Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard have evacuated and rescued more than 1,53,000 people. The flood situation in the country has been continuously monitored by Union Home Minister.

Shri Shah directed the senior officers to continue to take every possible measure to deal with the situation arising out of South-West Monsoon in the concerned states and to extend all necessary assistance to the flood affected states.

Union Home Minister reviews issues related to NRC

Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah reviewed the issues related to final publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, on August 19, 2019. The review meeting was attended by the Chief Minister of Assam, Union Home Secretary, Chief Secretary Assam and senior officers. Extensive deliberations have been held on the issue between the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the state government of Assam in recent weeks.

It was decided that in order to facilitate the persons excluded from NRC, adequate arrangements will be made by the state government to provide full opportunity to appeal against their non-inclusion. Every individual, whose name does not figure in the final NRC, can represent his/her case in front of the appellate authority i.e. Foreigner Tribunals (FT). Under the provisions of Foreigners Act 1946 and Foreigners (Tribunals) Order 1964, only Foreigners Tribunals are empowered to declare a person as a foreigner. Thus, non-inclusion of a person’s name in NRC does not by itself amount to him/her being declared as a foreigner.

In order to facilitate the persons excluded from NRC, adequate number of such tribunals is being established at convenient locations. It has been decided that state government would also make arrangements to provide legal aid to the needy people amongst those excluded from NRC.

As it may not be possible for all those excluded from final NRC to file the appeal within the prescribed time, MHA will amend the rules to increase the present time limit of filing of appeals in FTs from 60 days to 120 days regarding exclusion from final NRC. The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 are also being amended accordingly.

In order to maintain law and order situation, central security forces are being provided as per assessment of the state government.


Monday, 19 August 2019

Union Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan reviews fire safety measures at AIIMS

Directs AIIMS to conduct a special fire audit

Hospital area not been affected; no loss or damage to life: Dr Harsh Vardhan

“I reviewed the situation after the fire at AIIMS yesterday. The hospital area has not been affected by the fire and there has been no loss or damage to life.” This was stated by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare after visiting the hospital and taking stock of the situation on site at AIIMS along with Director, AIIMS, New Delhi and senior faculty members today in the morning. Dr Harsh Vardhan also directed the AIIMS for conducting a comprehensive special fire audit at the Institute.

The Union Health Minister personally monitored the efforts on-site towards extinguishing the fire and patient care at AIIMS. Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that as a precautionary measure administration had shifted the patients from AB wing of the hospital to other areas of the hospital. “These patients have now been shifted back to their respective wards in the AB wing. The hospital along with the emergency department and emergency laboratories are fully functional now,” Dr Harsh Vardhan elaborated.

Being a premier specialist tertiary care Institution, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that AIIMS has a regular and well functioning fire prevention system. There are fire personnel deployed round the clock with fire fighting safety systems being regularly tested including clearance of fire exits and corridors. As a measure of abundant caution, awareness of fire fighting systems among staff is conducted regularly, he added.

AIIMS administration has initiated an internal enquiry to look into the cause of the fire and further strengthen preventive measures. The fire which is suspected to have started from the microbiology laboratory area has affected some laboratories and office areas.

Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, New Delhi today held a meeting with Heads of the Departments and administrative staff to review the hospital patient care services. It was decided that outpatient (OPD) and emergency services will continue to run normally. Operation theatres (OTs) will be functional and the scheduled surgeries will be performed. A Committee has been set up to restore full functionality of services affected in PC teaching block. Additional staff has also been deployed for guiding the patients. He also reviewed the existing fire safety arrangements at AIIMS and discussed steps to further strengthen them.

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh approves decisions regarding re-organisation of Army Headquarters

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has approved certain decisions regarding re-organisation of Army Headquarters. The approval has been giv...