Archive | May, 2015

Round-the-world solar plane departs from China to Hawaii

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Round-the-world solar plane departs from China to Hawaii

Posted on 31 May 2015 by GGS News

Beijing, 31 May :  (IANS) Swiss Pilot Andre Borschberg took off in the single seater aircraft from Nanjing Lukou Airport in eastern China early on Sunday morning, local time.
The 62-year-old will spend the next six days and five nights flying at speeds of up to 140 kilometers per hour to cover the 8,172 km (5,078 miles) over the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. “We have a good weather window, which means we have a stable corridor to reach Hawaii,” Borschberg said, just before climbing into the cockpit to test the instruments.If successful, it will be the longest flight (about 130 hours) for a single pilot airplane in duration, ever flown with any type of airplane.
Borschberg will spend the next days in a 3.8 square meter cockpit, sleeping for just 20 minute periods in order to monitor the flight controls. The flight had been delayed for several weeks because of difficult flight and weather conditions.A Mission Control Center in Monaco is constantly monitoring Solar Impulse and analyzing its route. The challenge for the flight applies to both pilot and aircraft. In its first ocean crossing, the aircraft will prove if it has the technological capacity to complete the rest of the journey around the world. It started out in Abu Dhabi (UAE) last March and is due to return there in July or early August.
Ahead of his departure, Borschberg said it was a key point for the project and for his co-pilot for the other legs, Bertrand Piccard: “This is the moment of truth. If successful, this flight to Hawaii will demonstrate the credibility of the vision Bertrand had 16 years ago of an airplane flying for days without fuel to change our mindset regarding the enormous potential of clean technologies and renewable energies.”Piccard, Solar Impulse Initiator, Chairman and pilot, echoed the remarks: “This is the exploration leg of the flight around the world. It will be an important milestone for aviation with an airplane capable for the first time ever to fly with unlimited endurance. This represents an extraordinary illustration of technological innovation which André initiated and led during the last 12 years.”
If all goes well, Piccard is due to take over the controls for the next leg from Hawaii to Phoenix. The round-the-world journey is scheduled for 12 legs, with a total flight time of around 25 days.
Solar Impulse 2 is powered by four propellers with more than 17,000 solar cells installed on its wings which, at 72 meters, are longer than those of a Boeing 747.
Piccard made the world’s first non-stop trip around the world in a hot air balloon in 1999.

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Army foils infiltration bid in Kashmir’s Kupwara district, gunbattle on

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Army foils infiltration bid in Kashmir’s Kupwara district, gunbattle on

Posted on 31 May 2015 by GGS News

A FILE PHOTO.

SRINAGAR, (GGS NEWS) 31 May :  The Army today intercepted a group of heavily-armed infiltrators near the Line of Control in Tangdhar sector in Jammu and Kashmir in the early hours today, triggering a fierce gunbattle.

No casualties have been reported so far.

Last week, three soldiers and a terrorist were killed when an infiltration attempt was foiled by the Army in the same area in Kupwara district.

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Ban row: NCSC sends notice to IIT Madras, DMK seeks PM Modi’s “direct intervention”

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Ban row: NCSC sends notice to IIT Madras, DMK seeks PM Modi’s “direct intervention”

Posted on 31 May 2015 by GGS News

New Delhi/Chennai, 31 May : (PTI) Slamming IIT-Madras for its decision to derecognise a students’ body for alleged violation of code of conduct, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Sunday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “direct intervention” in revoking the order to ensure that “peace” returned in the premier technical institute.

Party chief M. Karunanidhi said that based on an “anonymous” letter, the HRD Ministry had “sidestepped natural justice” of seeking explanation from persons concerned and banned the group which amounts to “stifling” freedom of expression.

Without naming Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani, he said that “unilateral” and “authoritarian” interference by ministers on such issues will impact both the youth of the country and the nation’s peace.

“Though it seems that Prime Minister Modi doesn’t place importance on needless issues like banning a democratic group, his ministers interfering unilaterally and in an authoritarian manner in such issues will impede youth’s thought process and affect the nation’s peace,” he said.

In a statement, he called for PM’s “direct intervention” to ensure that the derecognition of Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle by IIT-Madras authorities was revoked immediately to ensure that peace and a healthy atmosphere prevailed in the institute.

“Because of this incident, the otherwise peacefully functioning institute has turned into a war zone,” he said.

Mr. Karunanidhi also asked if the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government, “by not making any explicit statement against the ban and remaining silent,” was supporting the Centre on this issue.

He said members of the derecognised Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle had claimed that they were working on progressive issues and those which affected the society.

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Hizbul Mujahideen behind attacks on telecom employees: Jammu and Kashmir Police

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Hizbul Mujahideen behind attacks on telecom employees: Jammu and Kashmir Police

Posted on 31 May 2015 by GGS News

Srinagar,31 May : (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir police on Saturday said terror outfit Hizbul Mujhahideen was behind the recent string of attacks on mobile service providers in the Valley.

Director General of Police K Rajendra Kumar, on the sidelines of a sports tournament here, told reporters that the banned terror outfit was behind the spate of attacks that left two persons dead.

“According to our information, it is Hizbul Mujhahideen. Undoubtedly it is their doing,” he said.

Suspected militants on Monday had shot dead an employee of a BSNL franchisee and injured two others in Sopore town.

The father of a sarpanch, who had a mobile transmission tower installed inside his residential compound, was on Tuesday shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Sopore town.

Meanwhile, the DGP said telecom services that were disrupted during the attacks would be restored soon.

“Yesterday we visited Sopore and had a meeting with our officers and other stakeholders, including the civilians, who have been calling us and saying they were facing difficulties. Their businesses have been affected and also the students studying outside were also facing difficulties contacting their families.

“There will be appropriate action in this. We have chalked out a strategy. It may take some time, but things will be restored back to normal,” he said.

“I want to assure you that we will restore the telecom services as soon as possible,” Kumar said.

Kumar said the police was investigating the matter and would ensure that the law shall prevail.

“Let me assure all of you… we will take action and we have taken action. We will ensure that the law shall prevail. We cannot allow this to continue further. We are investigating into the matter,” the DGP said.

Image: Jammu and Kashmir police personnel search for militants who attacked a BSNL telecome franchise at Sopore on Monday. Photograph: PTI

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Punjab minister opens solar power plant on India-Pakistan border

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Punjab minister opens solar power plant on India-Pakistan border

Posted on 31 May 2015 by GGS News

Tarn Taran, 31 May  (IANS) Punjab’s New and Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia on Saturday inaugurated a 2.10 MW solar power plant in a village near the India-Pakistan border.
NRI Ranbir Singh Chhina of Abundant Energy Private Ltd has set up the plant, the state’s first, in Chhina Bidhi Chand village at an investment of Rs.16.40 crore.
Majithia said the solar energy was one of the most abundant energy sources in the state and the state’s farmers who made India self-reliant in foodgrains were now all set to become entrepreneurs by harnessing solar power from their fields.
He said keeping in view the ever-increasing response to government’s efforts to promote renewable energy, a new “land on lease” scheme has been launched.
In just two weeks, around 5,000 acres has been offered by farmers and NRIs, which would be further given to investors on a 30 year lease at an annual lease amount ranging from Rs.35,000 to 50,000 per acre.
Majithia said in just two years, the solar power generation in the state has been enhanced to 225 MW from nine MW. He said 24 new projects of 229 MW capacity in the fields plus 65 MW rooftop projects with an investment of Rs.2,100 crore would be commissioned soon.

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Govt committed to One Rank, One Pension: PM Narendra Modi

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Govt committed to One Rank, One Pension: PM Narendra Modi

Posted on 30 May 2015 by GGS News

New Delhi, 30 May : (HT) Prime Minister Narendra Modi has defended the contentious land acquisition bill and stressed his government’s commitment to implementing the “one rank one pension” (OROP) scheme for retired military personnel.

Modi accused the Congress of politicising OROP and said previous governments did not have the right to speak about the issue because they did nothing when they were in power.

The government is “in constant discussions with the armed forces personnel to arrive at a please-all definition of OROP of which there are varied versions”, he said in an interview to The Tribune newspaper.

“No one should have any doubts about OROP’s implementation…But there are varied versions about what the definition of OROP should be. Would it be proper for me to take a decision without keeping the armed forces personnel in the loop? So we are trying to arrive at a please-all decision,” he said.

In an apparent dig at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who recently threatened protests if OROP is not implemented soon, Modi said, “OROP for me is not a political programme. For 57 years the jawans have been demanding OROP, but the past governments did nothing. Those who were part of then governments must realise they don’t have the right to speak on this issue. They should be told this in their face.”

On the land acquisition bill, opposed by the opposition in parliament, Modi attacked the Congress for describing the bill as anti-farmer. He said, “What about the law which has been in existence since 1893 and which the Congress used to acquire land for 60 years? How can those who used an archaic, bad law for 60 years, talk about another law being anti-farmer?

“Those who used the old law and forced three lakh farmers to commit suicides don’t have even one per cent moral right to talk about farmers.”

Asked if the government is confident about the bill’s passage after it was referred to a joint parliamentary committee in the recently concluded budget session, he said: “This is not for me a question of life and death, nor was it the agenda of my party or my government.

“State chief ministers insisted for a change saying the old bill would not help them. I, as the head of the federal government, thought of addressing their anxieties…Not one decision taken in respect of the law is anti-farmer.”

Modi spoke on a range of issues, from politics to foreign policy, and about the need for a dedicated Central cadre of officers for the Union government to ensure continuity and homogeneity in service.

He targeted the Congress for constantly mocking his “achhe din” slogan. Saying that the opposition had targeted him for promising “achhe din” from day one, Modi subtly attacked the Gandhi family.

“They have the right to ridicule us, but it would have been good to ask the Congress which has been talking about ‘garibi hatao’ since 1970 as to what happened to that promise. They had 440 people in parliament. Four people from one family ran this country for all these years. So what happened?”

Asked for his definition of good days, Modi said: “The promise of good days is always in relation to the previously existing bad days…bad days of corruption, of scams, of policy paralysis, of coal and spectrum have ended. These were the issues bothering the country.”

Modi also reacted to Rahul Gandhi’s “suit boot ki sarkar” jibe, describing the remark as a reflection of opposition’s bankruptcy of ideas.

“They could not find one concrete issue to criticise the government in this one year. This is our most important success. All they can accuse us of is – the PMO has gained strength. The second charge is that Modi is arrogant; the third is about the clothes he wears,” he said, recalling a familiar Congress accusation from his days as the Gujarat chief minister.

The BJP government has moved forward in ensuring good days by ending the existing bad days of corruption, he said: “There is now no question of corruption.”

Citing the example of coal block auctions, Modi made an oblique reference to his predecessor Manmohan Singh who continues to be questioned for his silence during the coal and spectrum scams.

“To end corruption you have to exhibit zero tolerance to it. It is not enough for me alone to be honest. I must display zero tolerance to corruption every moment through my tone, tenor, policy, practice…I can’t run the country satisfied that I am myself non-corrupt.”

Manmohan Singh said earlier this week he never used his office to enrich himself or his family.

Modi said there would be strict implementation of anti-black money laws and criticised the Congress for repeatedly questioning his government’s intention.

“No one who has ever been in power at the Centre has the right to question our government on black money because black money was generated during their terms and they are responsible for not checking its generation. Secondly, they didn’t constitute the SIT (Special Investigation Team) even three years after the Supreme Court asked them to. They gave an escape route to black money holders. Had they acted on Supreme Court orders, the treasury would have been richer by trillions,” he said.

Names of black money holders could not be disclosed except to the SC due to international legal obligations, he said. “The government will not spare anyone holding black money.”

Asked what the thrust of his foreign policy was considering he had travelled several nations in his first year in power, Modi first sought to set the record straight on his much talked about foreign trips.

“All PMs in this country have travelled as much as I have. Facts must be placed before the people about how much past PMs travelled, how many cities they toured and how many meetings they held,” he said.

On his foreign policy thrust, Modi said he saw India as a “global player and not a balancing power”.

“I am clear in my mind. We are no more a balancing power. India is a global player. We will engage on an equal footing with China and America,” he said.

On foreign policy in respect of neighbours, Modi said he would keep humanism at the core of his relations with neighbouring countries as displayed in respect of the Nepal disaster, the Yemen evacuation, the successful negotiation to save five Indian fishermen on death row in Sri Lanka and the supply of drinking water to the Maldives.

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Breaking News : Magnitude 7.8 earthquake strikes off eastern Japan; tremors felt in Delhi, NCR

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Breaking News : Magnitude 7.8 earthquake strikes off eastern Japan; tremors felt in Delhi, NCR

Posted on 30 May 2015 by GGS News

New Delhi, 30 May : Mild tremors were felt in the national capital and neighbouring areas this evening triggering panic as people living in high-rises rushed out of the buildings.
Mild tremors were felt in the national capital and neighbouring areas this evening triggering panic as people living in high-rises rushed out of the buildings.

According to IMD, the earthquake was epicentred in Japan and measured 7.9 on the Richter Scale, whose mild shocks were felt in Delhi.

No immediate loss of life and property were immediately reported from anywhere in the city.

On May 12, a 7.3-magnitude quake epicentred in Nepal had sent strong tremors through several eastern and northern parts of India causing loss of lives.

The quake had followed the killer April 25 calamity in Nepal that has claimed several thousands of lives in the Himalayan nation, besides having casualties in India.

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Centre moves SC against Delhi HC order on LG’s powers; hearing tomorrow

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Centre moves SC against Delhi HC order on LG’s powers; hearing tomorrow

Posted on 28 May 2015 by GGS News

New Delhi, 28 May : The Supreme Court will hear on Friday an appeal by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) against the Delhi High Court order that termed as “suspect” a Centre’s notification, barring the Anti-corruption Branch (ACB) of Delhi government from acting against its officials.
On Thursday, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh mentioned the matter before the court and sought an urgent hearing on the contentions that everyday administration has become  difficult in Delhi after the HC order. “Total uncertainty prevails,” the ASG told a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Uday U Lalit. The bench then agreed to hear it on Friday.The MHA’s petition appeals against the May 25-order of the High Court, which was hearing bail application of a Delhi Police constable arrested by ACB of Delhi Government on bribery charges.
READ: Notification unlikely to get past SC, says Constitution expert
The petition questions the proprietary of the HC order in commenting against the May 21 notification although the arguments had been concluded on the bail plea on May 20.
It pointed out there was no occasion for the Single Judge-bench to pass remarks against the notification when the notification was neither on record nor was it even argued, and the order had also been reserved a day before the notification came into being.
The MHA complained the HC passed the judgement and made observations against the May 21 notification without hearing it on this aspect at all.
In a gazette notification issued on May 21, the MHA had stated that the ACB police station shall not take cognizance of offences against officials, employees and functionaries of the central government services. It also gave the Delhi LG absolute powers on transfers and postings of senior officers.
However, while dismissing the bail application of the constable, the High Court termed as “suspect” the Centre’s notification and held that the L-G cannot act on his discretion.
It noted that L-G is bound to act upon the aid and advice of the council of ministers, who are directly elected by the citizens of Delhi, and that the Centre’s “executive fiat” siding with him is “suspect”.
It observed that mandate of the people “must” be respected by the LG of GNCTD if there was no other “constitutional or legal fetter”.
The petition has now raised questions if the HC was at all required to examine the notification and its implications when the issue pending before it pertained to a bail plea. As per the MHA, the HC unreasonably expanded the scope of the controversy and delved upon the notification even as it was moved only for bail.

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Gujjar agitation: Centre sending additional forces to vacate rail tracks, say sources

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Gujjar agitation: Centre sending additional forces to vacate rail tracks, say sources

Posted on 28 May 2015 by GGS News

Jaipur, 28 May : The Rajasthan government on Wednesday told agitating Gujjars that it was committed to provide five percent reservation to the community under the special backward class category.

In a letter to Gujjar Aarkshan Sangarsh Samiti convener Col. (retd) Kirori Singh Bainsla, the government, however, said: “It will be difficult to provide 4 percent reservation from 21 percent reservation provided to other backward class as it will adversely affect social harmony.”

The letter was sent to Bainsla after three rounds of talks between a ministerial committee and a delegation of protesting Gujjars failed to make headway.

The letter said that as per a Supreme Court judgement, the state government can provide reservation in excess of 50 percent.

The Gujjars are demanding, among others, five percent reservation in state government jobs under the special backward class category and that too according to them in the maximum permissible limit of 50 percent reservation.

The agitating Gujjars have been squatting on railway tracks in Pilu Ka Pura near Bayana town since May 21. The agitation has affected the movement of trains, including that on Delhi-Mumbai sector.

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The protest has also affected movement of vehicles on the Jaipur-Agra highway.

Sources close to Bainsla told IANS that he was likely to attend a meeting with the three-member ministerial panel on Thursday in Jaipur.

Earlier in the day, the Rajasthan High Court directed the state government to remove protesting Gujjars from railway tracks and clear blockades on roads.

Justice R.S. Rathore, while hearing a contempt petition filed against Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, asked police to get vacated the railway tracks and clear Jaipur-Agra national highway by Wednesday.

“It seems that law and order situation has derailed,” the court observed.

Besides, the court asked collectors of the five affected districts, Rajasthan’s chief secretary and director general of police and divisional railway manager to be present before it on Thursday.

Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria appealed to agitating Gujjars to vacate rail tracks and also to allow plying of vehicles on Jaipur-Agra highway.

“We will first try to make them understand the court order. If they do not vacate, then we will have to resort to different methods, including using police force, to remove them,” said Kataria.

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Punjab seeks restoration of Maryada in gurdwaras in Sikkim

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Punjab seeks restoration of Maryada in gurdwaras in Sikkim

Posted on 28 May 2015 by GGS News

Chandigarh, 28 May  (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister ParkashSingh Badal today sought the intervention of his Sikkimcounterpart Pawan Kumar Chamling for immediate restoration ofMaryada (Sikh religious code of conduct) in historicalgurdwaras in the north eastern state.

In a letter to Chamling, the Chief Minister apprised himthat there were a number of historical Sikh gurdwaras inSikkim which were related to the visits of the first SikhGuru, Guru Nanak Dev, to the state.

He said these gurdwaras were located in Gurudongmar,Thanggu, Lachen, Chungthang, Tumthang and Lachung and addedthat a large number of devotees visit them every year.

However, Badal said the Shiromani Gurdwara ParbandhakCommittee (SGPC), Amritsar, which was the apex religiousrepresentative body of the Sikhs, had brought to his noticethat the Maryada has been discontinued in above said gurdwarassince last few years.

The Chief Minister bemoaned that the ‘Sewa-Sambhal’ ofthe sacred Guru Granth Sahib (holy book for Sikhs)and also ofthe Gurdwaras has been taken away from the local Sikhs and theboards indicating Guru Nanak Dev’s visits at these places havebeen removed.

He further said the historical symbols related to GuruNanak Dev in Chungthang have been given Bodhi form by erectingwalls around them. He said even Guru’s belongings were alsonot being displayed for visitors at Lachen and lamented thateven the ‘Nishan Sahibs’ have been removed from these places.

The Chief Minister said all this has deeply hurt thereligious sentiments of the Sikh community and has causedresentment amongst the members.

Seeking personal intervention of the Sikkim chiefminister, Badal urged him to give an audience and support tothe five members delegation formed by SGPC under theleadership of its General Secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, whichhas been specially deputed to visit Sikkim regarding theissues of restoration of Maryada in gurdwaras of the state.

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