Archive | December, 2010

Final Discovery Mission Suffers Yet Another Setback

Posted on 31 December 2010 by GGS News

NASA,(GGS NEWS) 31 Dec 2010 :: NASA officials ordered additional repairs to Space Shuttle Discovery on Friday–a move which could further delay the vehicle’s final mission, according to various news outlets.

According to the U.S. space agency’s website, X-rays taken as part of an ongoing probe into cracks in Discovery’s external fuel tank revealed “four additional small cracks on three stringers on the opposite side of the tank from Discovery, and managers elected to repair those cracks in a similar fashion to repairs made on cracks discovered after the Nov. 5 launch attempt.”

The work, according to NASA officials, is expected to take two to three days, and “any further work will be evaluated thoroughly early next week after additional data is reviewed.” A decision as to whether or not any additional repairs are required could come by Monday, and the next possible launch date for the venerable space shuttle is currently Thursday, February 3.

his is the latest setback for STS-133, which was initially scheduled to begin with a November 1 launch before cracks in the foam surrounding the fuel take forced repeated delays. As part of the mission, Discovery will be delivering a storage module, spare parts, and scientific equipment to the International Space Station (ISS).

According to, “The delay means the final launch of Endeavour, which is also scheduled to be the last launch of the space shuttle program, is likely to be delayed until April 1, said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for space operations.”

“The shuttle fuel tanks have been a top safety issue for NASA since the 2003 Columbia accident, which killed seven astronauts,” Irene Klotz of Reuters reported on Friday. “A piece of foam insulation broke off Columbia’s tank during launch and smashed into the ship’s wing. The damage caused the shuttle to break apart as it flew through the atmosphere for landing 16 days later. NASA redesigned the tanks after the accident and developed new in-flight inspection procedures.”

The space shuttle program is scheduled to end next year, with just two or three additional missions to the ISS scheduled in 2011, said Klotz. Afterwards, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) will temporarily take over the job of transporting astronauts to and from the orbital facility, with NASA hoping that the US commercial spaceflight industry will be able to assume those duties by 2015.

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NASA Kennedy Space Center 2010 Review, Look Ahead

Posted on 31 December 2010 by GGS News

NASA,(GGS NEWS) 31 Dec 2010 ::  NASA’s Kennedy Space Center helped begin a new volume to the agency’s space exploration book as the storied Space Shuttle Program entered into its final chapters.

Kennedy teams were involved in launching five missions this year; two on expendable launch vehicles and three on space shuttles. And on Dec. 8, SpaceX’s successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The flight was the first for NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, which is developing commercial supply services to the International Space Station. It was also the first time a commercial company launched and returned a spacecraft to Earth.

Commercial companies going to low Earth orbit for both cargo and crewed missions was the focus of a new direction for NASA announced in February by the White House. That was followed up by a visit by President Obama to Kennedy on April 15 to outline details of his plans for the future of U.S. leadership in human spaceflight. The president committed NASA to a series of developmental goals leading to new spacecraft for reaching low Earth orbit and new technology for potential missions beyond the moon. The president’s visit preceded NASA’s Conference on the American Space Program for the 21st Century, held at the center’s Operations and Checkout Building and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

NASA’s Launch Services Program based at Kennedy started its year on Feb. 11 by sending the agency’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) into space aboard an Atlas V rocket Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. SDO is a first-of-its-kind mission to reveal the sun’s inner workings in unprecedented detail.

Less than a month later, NASA’s latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, or GOES-P, lifted off aboard a Delta IV rocket from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite joined four other similar spacecraft to improve weather forecasting and monitoring of environmental events.

Just three days before the Launch Services Program’s first flight of 2010, NASA’s Space Shuttle Program launched its first of three missions this year aboard shuttle Endeavour on Feb. 8. STS-130’s six astronauts delivered the Tranquility node and cupola to the International Space Station during the two week flight.

On April 5, space shuttle Discovery launched on its STS-131 mission to deliver science experiments, equipment and supplies to the space station. Discovery and its seven astronaut crew landed at Kennedy 15-days later.

What turned out to be the final shuttle mission of the year, STS-132, lifted off on May 14. Shuttle Atlantis and its six astronauts deliver the Russian-built Mini Research Module, cargo and critical spare parts to the station. Atlantis touched down at Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility after the 12-day mission.

STS-132 was the last scheduled space flight for Atlantis. Currently, it’s planned to be used as the “launch on need,” or potential rescue mission for the final scheduled shuttle flight, Endeavour’s STS-134 mission. Among the new directions in the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 passed by Congress in September and signed by President Obama in October was the approval to turn Atlantis’ planned rescue mission into an actual flight to the space station in the summer of 2011. NASA intends to fly this flight pending resolution of funding considerations.

The last scheduled shuttle mission for the year was supposed to be Discovery’s STS-133 mission to bring the final pressurized module to be added to the U.S. portion of the International Space Station. Now STS-133 will be the first flight of 2011. A hydrogen gas leak on Discovery’s external fuel tank scrubbed a Nov. 5 launch attempt. Then engineers discovered that small cracks on the tops of two support beams, called stringers, on the tank formed during the Nov. 5 fueling process. Engineers spent the next month collecting and analyzing data before performing a tanking test on Dec. 10 where the external tank again was filled with super-cold propellants while sensors recorded its movements and temperatures in an effort to understand why the stringer cracks occurred in the first place.

On Dec. 22, Discovery was rolled off Launch Pad 39A and back into the Vehicle Assembly Building for more tank analysis and possible modifications, if the data indicates that’s needed. Managers are planning to return Discovery to the pad in January to support another launch attempt in February.

Two very visual signs the Space Shuttle Program is retiring came in 2010. In May, the final shuttle solid rocket boosters segments arrived at Kennedy by rail. The segments will be used for Atlantis, whether it’s a potential rescue flight or real mission to the space station. Then in September, the final external tank to be delivered to Kennedy arrived and began being prepared for Endeavour’s STS-134 mission.

Even before the Obama Administration began taking NASA in a new direction for life after space shuttles, Kennedy management already was focusing on bringing new commercial companies to the space center. In June, the official groundbreaking ceremony for NASA and Space Florida’s new technology and commerce park, known as Exploration Park at Kennedy was held outside the Space Life Sciences Laboratory. Exploration Park is designed to be a strategically located complex for servicing diverse tenants and uses that will engage in activities to support the space and space-related activities of NASA, other government agencies and the U.S. commercial space industry, as well as bring new aerospace work to the Space Coast.

Kennedy management also set up a new Center Planning and Development Office to enhance the economic vitality of Kennedy. Last spring, the office created a new web site aimed at making it easier to partner and do business with the space center,

After supporting its last space shuttle in 2009, Kennedy’s Launch Pad 39B began being deconstructed this year to convert it from a shuttle launch pad to a commercial launch site that could host multiple types of spacecraft.

Phase one of NASA’s new mobile launcher was completed this year. The 355 foot tall tower could be converted to support commercial launch vehicles or possibly even large heavy-liftrockets.

Four-years worth of upgrades to Kennedy’s Launch Equipment Test Facility also were completed this summer. The LETF, which has fixtures that can simulate launch conditions, can support the Space Shuttle Program in its final months, as well as the Launch Services Program and commercial companies in the coming years.

To support the agency’s new direction, the space transportation planning office was established at Kennedy to help develop a commercial capability to low-Earth orbit leading to astronaut launch services that NASA could buy to the International Space Station in the 2015 timeframe. The 21st Launch Complex program was established to help modernize Kennedy’s infrastructure and facilities and transform them from a space shuttle launch port into a multi-purpose launch complex that could support many different companies. Kennedy also is working on technology demonstration spaceflight plans that will support NASA’s new long-term exploration goals.

To help employees with the Space Shuttle Program retirement, Kennedy held two large-scale job fairs this year, one in May and the other in September, along with months of career-building courses and other work force support efforts. In June, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced that the U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $15 million grant to assist workers in Florida who will be affected by the end of the shuttle program.

Also this summer, the White House established the Presidential Task Force on Space Industry Work Force and Economic Development, which examined how to use a $40 million, multi-agency initiative for regional economic growth and help prepare space industry workers for future opportunities. The Federal Aviation Administration also began establishing an office at Kennedy this year to help support the commercial human launch services endeavor.

Kennedy also expanded its “green space” efforts in 2010. On April 8, NASA, Florida Power & Light (FPL) and political leaders commissioned FPL’s Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center at Kennedy Space Center. The 10-megawatt solar-power facility will provide electricity to more than 1,000 Florida homes and reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 227,000 tons. In December, Kennedy’s new Propellants North Administration and Maintenance Facility was reopened for business. It will be one of NASA’s “greenest” facility, expected to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Platinum status, the highest rating. And this summer, Kennedy helped with the unprecedented effort to save wildlife from the effects of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Hundreds of endangered sea turtle eggs were brought to a hatchery at Kennedy and then the baby turtles were released into the Atlantic Ocean off Kennedy’s Central Florida coast.

Kennedy also hosted the first two forums for a new initiative designed to identify and support innovative work that will contribute to a sustainable future. Called Launch, NASA along with the other founder partners, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. State Department and Nike, brought experts together in March to focus on “water.” Then in October, Launch turned its attention to “health.” Launch plans other forums in 2011. On the education front, on May 28 NASA’s first Lunabotics Mining Competition, hosted by Kennedy Space Center’s Education Programs and University Research Division, drew more than 20 university teams to design and build remote controlled or autonomous excavators, called lunabots. The 2011 competition is expected to be even bigger.

On July 1, NASA helped welcome more than 100 people as new U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administered the Oath of Allegiance to candidates representing 36 countries. This was the first time a NASA facility hosted a naturalization ceremony.

And as the Space Shuttle Program winds down and new programs start up, Kennedy Space Center looks forward to hosting many new “first time” events and milestones in the coming decade.

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Good Bye 2010 !

Posted on 31 December 2010 by GGS News

India,(GGS NEWS) 31 Dec  2010 :: Another year, gone. And what a year it has been! From the rescue of miners from the bowels of Chilean earth to the spaceship-like aerostat at the Commonwealth Games that rose along with India’s medal tally, the last year of the new millennium’s first decade has been quite an eventful one. Take a look at some of the events that gave us a high.

Take your pic: year of corruption, year of injustice, year of anti-India protests or year of killings by the Maoists. 2010 was a year that had its fair share of lows which will continue to haunt us for years ahead. It is important to remind ourselves of what went wrong so that it may not happen again.

From champions of democracy to crusaders of environment… from the world of tinsel dreams to the euphoria of football fever… and those who made India proud in Delhi and Guangzhou… here’s a look at the towering figures who made news in the year gone by.

From the Raja of corruption and the ‘Goddess of Small Things’ to the tweets of Shashi Tharoor…from the naughty lives of Tiger Woods and Berlusconi to the collapsing bridges of Kalmadi’s ‘Commonwealth’… here’s a look at those who made headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2010.

What did you or/and India obsess upon this year? Was it the brash & naked reality TV shows that refused to lie-low despite government orders or the lawless lawmakers who too refused lie-low in Assemblies and Parliament, breaking pots and microphones on various issues? While revelations from Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks kept the world tense, Lady Gaga didn’t help either! Take a look at Trends 2010

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Aarushi case: CBI raises doubts over role of Rajesh and Nupur

Posted on 31 December 2010 by GGS News

New Delhi,(GGS NEWS) 31 Dec 2010 ::  The sensational Aarushi murder case took a new twist on Friday with CBI raising doubts over the role of Rajesh and Nupur Talwar alleging they had tried to influence the doctor who conducted the post mortem on their 14-year-old daughter in 2008, a charge rubbished by the dentist couple.

In its 30-page closure report submitted to a Ghaziabad court on December 29, the CBI said that Rajesh and Nupur had Aarushi’s room washed up after asking the UP Police to rush to the railway station to nab their domestic help — Hemraj — on May 16th morning.Aarushi was murdered in the intervening night of May 15-16 in 2008 at the Talwar’s residence in Noida near Delhi. The body of Hemraj was found on the terrace the next day.

Aarushi’s parents had tried to “influence” the doctor who conducted the postmortem in a Noida hopsital, the CBI said.

“Its absolutely bizarre and absurd allegation by the CBI. We are the one pushing for the investigations,” Nupur told PTI.

Accusing the CBI of “cover up” of the shoddy probe by the UP police, she said that neither she nor her husband even knew where the postmortem was being conducted and that the UP police had taken over the crime scene early morning when the body of their daughter was found.

CBI said the dimension of the wound on Aarushi’s head was similar to one on the golf club owned by Rajesh, adding it was handed over by the couple after intense grilling, a year after the incident.

However, Nupur claimed that she was the one who produced the golf club on her own and that the CBI had never asked for it.

“The conduct of the parents has been suspicious,” the CBI, which has come under intense criticism in the wake of its closure report, said.

The report said Talwar was named as an accused but could not be chargesheeted becase of “insufficent evidence”.

Asked why the CBI had not proceeded against Rajesh and Nupur on the basis of their findings, senior CBI officials said that they could not zero in on any motive behind the murder. CBI could not proceed on the circumstantial evidence merely on the basis of conjectures.

About the three servants — Krishna, Raj Kumar and Vijay Mandal — the report said that they were found to be innocent during the investigations and hence the case against the trio should be treated as closed.

The report while detailing the case said there were no witnesses in the case other than the parents and Hemraj.

While the crime scene had not been preserved at all, the CBI, which took up the case on June one, 2008, said things were pretty normal at Talwar’s residence till 10.30 PM on the fateful day as suggested in the video camera where some pictures had been clicked.

The father was hooked on the internet till midnight, the report said.

The CBI also highlighted the fact that it was unlikely that the murderer could have killed the victim and then wrapped her body properly in a bed sheet.

The report claimed that the dentist had asked UP police team to rush after Hemraj rather than giving them sufficient time to secure the scene of crime.

It also claimed that Rajesh had failed to immediately identify the body of Hemraj found on the terrace.

It mentioned that there was no forced entry into the house and even the door of Aarushi was like that of a hotel room which could be opened either from inside or with a key from outside. The keys of the room were with the mother of the victim, the report said.

The narco-analysis and polygraph tests of the dentist couple was “inconclusive”, it said. On the role of servants, who have been given clean chit after the investigations, the CBI report said while one of them — Rajkumar (domestic help of family friend Durrani) — was at the railway station from 11:30 PM to receive Durrani’s wife and was accounted for till 1 AM.

Krishna was detained from his residence by the UP police while he was sleeping, the report said, adding their were eyewitnesses to suggest that he was all along at his home on that night.

The narco-tests of the three servants were also of “disputed nature”, the report claimed.

On the missing mobile phones, they said the cell phones which were claimed to have been destroyed by the servants were found activated within three months raising doubts about the tests.

In related developments, Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily met CBI director A P Singh during which the senior police official briefed him about the case. The minister wanted the agency to take the case seriously.

Talwar’s counsel Rebecca John welcomed Moily’s statement saying “if the law minister has made a statement asking for an explanation from the CBI, we welcome that reaction.”

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar also said that she was “worried” about the recent developments. “This is a important issue. We are worried about it…that a child was murdered and why she is not getting justice… we should think seriously,” she said.

The National Commission for Women shot off letters to the Home Minister and the Law Minister seeking a re-look at the case.

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It`s not me in Nityananda sex video: Actress Ranjitha

Posted on 31 December 2010 by GGS News

Bangalore,(GGS NEWS) 31 Dec 2010 :: Tamil actress Ranjitha Friday denied that she was the woman in a sex romp video involving self-styled godman Nityananda Swami.”I am not the woman in the video,” Ranjitha said at a press meet here in her first public appearance after the sex scandal broke out in March.

“What has happened in the last few months has been fabricated,” Ranjita, who Thursday lodged a police complaint against Lenin Karuppan, former driver of Nityananda who caught the swami in the sex act and then released the video clippings.

Ranjitha said she had no knowledge about alleged sexual exploitation by the swami. “I do not know anything about this. I came to know only from media reports.”

She, however, asserted: “I am a devotee of Nityananda and will remain so.”

Ranjitha claimed that media had hounded and maligned her just because she was a public personality.

She denied she had absconded after the video was telecast, first by some Tamil TV channels.

“I was scared. I was threatened. Hence I left for the United States on March 3 and returned on June 14,” Ranjitha said.

“I am an ordinary woman with my own fears. I did not know what will happen to me or to my parents. So I went off. I was not absconding,” she said.

The actress said she decided to come into the open as “I was tired of being hounded and maligned when I had not done any wrong”.

In the complaint she filed with Ramanagaram police Thursday, she accused Lenin and two others of maligning her image.

Ranjitha said she has been a devotee of Nityananda for over a year now as she was interested in social work and spirituality. She said the video episode had harmed her career but she was still getting offers.

“I have been in the film world for 18 years now. This episode did harm my career but I am still getting offers.”

Nityananda has been chargesheeted by the police with rape, unnatural sex, cheating, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy. Four associates, including a woman, have also been chargesheeted.

Nityananda, who has a sprawling ashram complex at Bidadi about 35 km from here, in Ramanagaram district, is on bail.

Hailing from Tamil Nadu, the swami was arrested from Himachal Pradesh April 21 after being on the run since March 3 when the video clip was telecast on several TV channels.

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Winter storms pummel western United States

Posted on 31 December 2010 by GGS News

US,(GGS NEWS) 31 Dec 2010 :: The western United States is bearing the brunt of new winter storms, with heavy snow blanketing an area from New Mexico to Minnesota.

Snow and ice have closed a number of major roads, with Arizona particularly badly hit.

Forecasters have predicted as much as 18in (46cm) of snow in some parts.

The eastern seaboard is just recovering from a winter storm that paralysed transport, bringing an apology from New York’s mayor over clean-up efforts.

Ice and snow forced the temporary closure of Interstates 40 and 17 in northern Arizona, with a traffic hotline in the state taking more than a million calls on Thursday.

Phoenix was braced for rare freezing temperatures.

Many drivers were stranded near the Grand Canyon as all the lanes of Interstate 17 were closed overnight.

In Colorado, the Silverton Mountain resort reported huge snowfall and closures for avalanche control.

Denver was expecting heavy falls – United Airlines cancelled 32 flights from the city on Thursday.

Wyoming, Montana and Nevada suffered serious road closures, while a sudden blizzard combined with winds of up to 65mph (105km/h) caused havoc in southern New Mexico.

“Everything is really, really slick so we are discouraging people from travelling,” Police Captain Terry Thortonberry told local media there.

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Pakistan on strike against bill to amend blasphemy la

Posted on 31 December 2010 by GGS News

Paktisan,(GGS NEWS) 31 Dec 2010 :: A 24-hour strike organised by Sunni Muslim clerics is taking place across Pakistan to protest against possible changes to blasphemy laws.

Rallies were staged in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta after Friday prayers.

The government has distanced itself from a bill to change the law, which carries a mandatory death sentence for anyone who insults Islam.

Rights groups say the law is often used to persecute religious minorities.

The legislation returned to the spotlight in November when a Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi, was sentenced to death.

Although no-one convicted under the law has been executed, more than 30 accused have been killed by lynch mobs.

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Brazil refuses to extradite fugitive Battisti to Italy

Posted on 31 December 2010 by GGS News

Brazil,(GGS NEWS) 31 Dec 2010 :: Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has decided not to extradite an Italian former left-wing militant who has been a fugitive for three decades.

Cesare Battisti was convicted in absentia of murdering four people in Italy in the 1970s during a series of left-wing kidnappings and killings.

Battisti, who was arrested in Brazil in 2007, says he is being persecuted.

Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said it would be “unacceptable” not to extradite him.

The Supreme Court ruled last year that he should be sent back to Italy, but it left the final decision to the president.

Battisti escaped from an Italian jail in 1981 while awaiting trial and has spent the intervening years in France – where he started a career as a novelist – Mexico and finally Brazil.

The 56-year-old denies the murder charges, says he is the victim of persecution in Italy and that he risks being killed if extradited.

The Italian government says the former member of the radical Armed Proletarians for Communism is a terrorist.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Thursday that it would be “incomprehensible and unacceptable” if President Lula were to rule against extradition.

“President Lula will have to explain that choice, not only to the Italian government, but to all Italians and in particular the families of victims,” Mr Berlusoni’s office said in a statement.

Last year, when the Brazilian government declared Battisti a refugee, Italy protested by withdrawing its ambassador.

Brazil’s Supreme Court later ruled that the fugitive should be sent back because of a bilateral extradition treaty with Italy, but it left the final say with President Lula.

The popular leftist president hands over to his elected successor Dilma Rousseff on 1 January.

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Estonia to adopt euro at New Year

Posted on 31 December 2010 by GGS News

EU,(GGS NEWS) 31 Dec 2010 :: Estonia is just hours away from becoming the 17th member of the eurozone – the first ex-Soviet state to adopt the EU’s single currency.

The changeover from the kroon to the euro starts at midnight (2200 GMT) in the small Baltic nation of 1.3m people.

Despite market pressure on the eurozone and the bail-outs of Greece and the Irish Republic this year, polls suggest that most Estonians want the euro.

Estonia’s PM Andrus Ansip will withdraw euros from a cashpoint as 2011 arrives.

For many Estonians, 20 years after breaking away from the Soviet Union, the euro is proof that they have fully arrived in the West, the BBC’s Baltic region correspondent Damien McGuinness reports.

Estonia joined the EU in 2004 – one of eight former Communist countries that did so, including its Baltic neighbours Latvia and Lithuania.

Two other ex-Communist countries – Slovenia and Slovakia – are already in the eurozone.

Estonia’s government says the euro will attract foreign investors because devaluation is then ruled out.

However, poorer Estonians fear that prices will be rounded up, and that food will become even more expensive. And the prospect of having to contribute to bail-outs of richer eurozone countries is hard to stomach, our correspondent reports.

In the past year Europe’s debt crisis has hit Estonia severely. The tough cuts in state spending, necessary to join the eurozone, have pushed unemployment to more than 16%.

To avoid a last-minute rush, Estonians have been able to swap kroons for euros commission-free since 1 December, the AFP news agency reports.

Kroons will be used in parallel with the euro for the first half of January. Banks will swap Estonians’ kroons for euros until the end of 2011 and the central bank will carry on doing so indefinitely.

The kroon has been pegged to the euro for 18 years and will be converted at a rate of 15.65.

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‘PAC will take decision on PM’s offer after consultations’

Posted on 31 December 2010 by GGS News

New Delhi,(GGS NEWS) 31 Dec 2010 : PAC will take a decision on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s offer to appear before it in 2G spectrum issue after consulting legal experts, its Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi said on Friday as he met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar apparently to take her view on the issue.

A day after seeking to clear the doubts about his stand on JPC amid BJP’s unease, Joshi insisted that he was not fast-forwarding the probe by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament in 2G issue.The PAC cannot call a minister. It can call officials, secretaries and individuals. But as I have made clear, the Prime Minister’s case is different as he has himself offered to appear. We will have to discuss the issue with the constitutional experts before taking a decision,” Joshi told PTI.

His comments came even as he met the Speaker apparently to discuss the issue.

According to rules and procedures governing the functioning of Parliamentary committees, no minister can appear before a Lok Sabha committee without prior sanction from of the Speaker.

Asked about his statement expressing full commitment to demand for JPC “as a member of the BJP”, even while pursuing PAC inquiry as its chairman, he maintained that there was no contradiction between the two, saying they were “parallel agencies” which could work simultaneously.

On report that he had been compelled by BJP President Nitin Gadkari to issue a statement yesterday to clear doubts with regard to his stand on JPC, the BJP veteran said nobody had asked him to do so.

“(BJP President) Nitin Gadkari and I keep discussing issues on the phone or when we meet. There is nothing much to it. All these are wild speculations. I have always supported the demand for a JPC probe to deal with the larger issues corruption,” Joshi said.

Joshi maintained that as PAC Chairperson he was only doing his job and not working against the stand of his party.

“When I’m presiding over a committee which is selected by the Parliament and functions as a committee of the Parliament I’m the chairperson of the Committee,” Joshi told a private TV channel in an interview.

He insisted that as PAC Chairperson he has to ensure that a consensus emerges.

“Outside PAC I’m a member of the BJP also,” he said.

He dismissed reports of differences between him and the party on the JPC issue as wild imaginations.

“I’ve not compromised anybody’s position nor embarrassed anybody. The position has been consistent from day one. As PAC Chairperson I’ve been discharging my duties and as the member of the Opposition NDA I’ve been supporting the demand for JPC. These two have no contradictions,” he said.

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