SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Siddaramaiah inducted into Congress
Massive show of strength at Sonia’s rally
Bangalore, September 3
The Karuba community today flocked to the Congress party in a massive show of strength to mark the induction of its undisputed leader Siddaramaiah into the Congress party in the presence of its President Sonia Gandhi.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, takes off a garland during a party convention in Bangalore on Sunday. — Reuters photo

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, takes off a garland during a party convention in Bangalore

BJP, SAD hold talks on seat sharing
New Delhi, September 3
The BJP and SAD have held the first round of talks on seat sharing arrangement for the coming Assembly elections in Punjab to assess how many seats should actually go to each party.


EARLIER STORIES


3 BJP MLAs join SP
Lucknow, September 3
Three sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs, including two former ministers, today joined the Samajwadi Party bringing down the number of BJP MLAs in the house from 83 to 80.

Hair cutting case transferred to Crime Branch
New Delhi, September 3
To prevent the incident from escalating into a major political and communal issue, the Delhi police today transferred the case of a Sikh youth, who had alleged that his hair was cut forcibly, to the Crime Branch even as it appealed to the public to remain calm and not to play into the hands of vested interests.
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Draft law on witness protection: says panel
New Delhi, September 3
In the wake of several high profile cases falling flat in courts due to witnesses turning hostile under threat and trial proceedings delayed in others with witnesses not daring to come forward to depose, the Law Commission has recommended to the government a draft legislation on witness protection on the lines of the US and other countries.

Panel for minimum 2-year tenure for DGPs
New Delhi, September 3
A committee constituted to draft a new police Act has suggested, among others, minimum tenure of two years of the DGPs, one police service for each state and replacement of the “controversial” state police commission by a state police board having limited role and firm framework.

Arjun sees no opposition to quota implementation
Chennai, September 3
Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh today said he did not foresee opposition from any of the UPA allies while implementing the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions in the country.

Rabri for CBI probe into aircraft deal
Patna, September 3
The former Chief Minister, Ms Rabri Devi, today demanded a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the purchase of Kingair C 90B aircraft at a cost of Rs 13.5 crore during President’s rule last year.
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Delhi tops in crime against women
New Delhi, September 3
Delhi continued to maintain its dubious distinction of being unsafe for women recording highest rate of crime against the fair sex at 27.6 per cent as against the national average of 14.1 per cent.

Ban websites advertising sex determination kits: NCW
New Delhi, September 3
The National Commission for Women has written to the health and information technology ministries to ban the websites promoting the sale of a pregnancy kit to facilitate fetal sex determination.

NCW team to probe gang-rape case
Patna, September 3
The National Commission for Women today sent a team to Bihar to investigate into Lakhi Sarai gang rape case. The heated exchanges on this issue at the just concluded monsoon session of Parliament even had led to a near scuffle between members of the JD (U) and the RJD, involving Lalu Prasad’s brother-in-law,Sadhu Yadav, and the JD (U) parliamentary party leader, Prabhunath Singh.

EADS to start technical campus in India
Bangalore, September 3
The European Aeronautics Defence and Space company on Friday announced that it would commit $ 2 billion for establishment of a technical campus in India. Announcing this here, the company CEO, Dr Thomas Enders, said the company was in negotiations with various state governments to finalize the location of the campus.

Sukhoi programme on schedule: HAL
Bangalore, September 3
Defence aviation major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited today asserted that the Sukhoi-30 MKI programme was on schedule. Denying media reports citing a Russian newspaper as “completely incorrect”, HAL, in a press note here, said that the total technology for Sukhoi was getting established in HAL as planned.

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Siddaramaiah inducted into Congress
Massive show of strength at Sonia’s rally
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, September 3
The Karuba community today flocked to the Congress party in a massive show of strength to mark the induction of its undisputed leader Siddaramaiah into the Congress party in the presence of its President Sonia Gandhi.

With the official induction of Siddaramaiah and his All India Progressive Janata Dal (AIPJD) into the party, the Congress has put together a powerful Lingayat-Vokkaliga-Karuba caste combination for what its leader's call an eminent Assembly election. The Karuba caste is the third most influential caste in the state and has the most numbers among the backward castes.

Party President Sonia Gandhi struck the right note for Mr Siddaramaiah and his supporters while claiming that the leader had single handedly strengthened the party. The remark was met with cheers signaling the effort taken by Siddaramaiah to gather his supporters for a show of strength.

While the Congress has been strengthened with the induction of former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, it has also made the party more top heavy and the coming months will prove how the other top leaders will adjust to the Karuba leader. The days preceding the rally itself saw top leaders vying with each other to occupy the stage with Ms Gandhi. Former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh even rebuked Siddaramaiah two days back during a press conference held to announce preparations for the rally by urging him to talk about the rally only. Siddaramaiah had started doing what he is best at nowadays — Gowda bashing.

However, Siddaramaiah is set to become the focal point of the Congress attack on the Janata Dal (Secular) and its head H. D. Deve Gowda. During his speech, Siddaramaiah highlighted how the secular nature of the earlier Congress-JD (S) government had been finished when he was ousted from the government at the instance of the former Prime Minister. "Gowda wanted me out of the government to ensure his son could take over as Chief Minister and this was done by casting away the much touted secular philosophy of the JD(S)," he added.

Ms Gandhi during her speech said "political compulsions" had forced the Congress to align with the JD(S) after the last assembly elections. She said the Congress only accepted the offer of the JD(S) to form a government to keep the communal forces away from power. However, the JD(S) managed to "accidentally" sever links with the Congress to form a government with the BJP signaling its "opportunistic" philosophy, she added.

The Congress President also claimed that the JD(S)-BJP government had not implemented the rural employment guarantee scheme effectively and that state Congress men should keep vigil to ensure funds were not diverted from this scheme by the state government. She also disclosed that the state government had not submitted any proposal to include Bangalore under the Urban Renewal Mission Programme.

The function was attended by AICC leader incharge of Karnataka, A. K. Antony, former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, KPCC President Mallikarjun Kharge and H. K. Patil.

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BJP, SAD hold talks on seat sharing
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 3
The BJP and SAD have held the first round of talks on seat sharing arrangement for the coming Assembly elections in Punjab to assess how many seats should actually go to each party. The talks, which went on till midnight last night at a Gurgaon hotel, were the first real discussion between the two parties in the preparedness for the elections due in February next year.

The SAD was represented by Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Mr Sukhbir Badal and Mr Baldev Singh Bhundar, while the senior BJP leader, Mr Arun Jaitley, led his party in the talks. Other BJP leaders, including Mr R.P. Singh and Mr Harjit Singh Garewal, were also present.

The discussions revolved around finalising the seat sharing arrangement with focus on how many seats should be allotted to the BJP, which is junior partner in Punjab so far as its sphere of influence is concerned.

Mr Dhindsa told The Tribune, “BJP has demanded additional seats as against 23 seats it contested in the last elections, seeking more representation in other districts. However, we have urged them to identify the seats where the party would have high probability of winning, instead of representation”.

He said the talks remained inconclusive and the next round would be held after a fortnight or so.

Leaders of both parties also discussed the issues to be raised during the elections with special emphasis on the alleged corruption under the Congress rule and the role of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and some of his Cabinet colleagues in “shielding” corrupt officials besides increase in unemployment, farmers’ suicides and the failure of the state government to get sufficient financial package from the Centre.

Mr Dhindsa indicated that BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu could be given ticket from Patiala to fight against Amarinder Singh, if he agreed to the proposal. “The final decision can be taken in the next round of meeting in this regard,” he said.

Meanwhile, the BJP had a separate meeting with its leaders from Punjab to get firsthand assessment report on the situation so that the negotiations with the SAD could take place accordingly as the party was aiming at getting at least 31 seats.

On the other hand, according to sources, the SAD was under pressure from its cadre to reduce the share of BJP seats specially highlighting that the party was raising a high-pitch campaign on Vande Mataram issue.

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3 BJP MLAs join SP
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, September 3
Three sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs, including two former ministers, today joined the Samajwadi Party bringing down the number of BJP MLAs in the house from 83 to 80.

Samajwadi Party general secretary Shivpal Singh Yadav said that those who joined the party were former ministers Mahendra Singh Yadav MLA from Bulanshahr, Amarjeet Singh Jansevak who represents Binki in Fatehpur district and Shyam Singh Ahirya from Gobardhan in Mathur.

The SP’s parliamentary board would take a decision regarding allotment of party tickets to these newly entered members for the coming assembly elections.

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Hair cutting case transferred to Crime Branch
Ravi Bhatia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 3
To prevent the incident from escalating into a major political and communal issue, the Delhi police today transferred the case of a Sikh youth, who had alleged that his hair was cut forcibly, to the Crime Branch even as it appealed to the public to remain calm and not to play into the hands of vested interests.

Twenty four-year-old Harpreet Singh had alleged yesterday that his hair was cut forcibly by some persons who had barged into his Tilak Nagar residence late on Friday night. However, the police described the entire episode as a case of robbery and denied any religious overtones in the matter.

A police spokesperson said the case had been transferred to the Crime Branch for further investigation in deference to the wishes of the leaders of the community as the local police had initially expressed skepticism over the claim of the youth. One person has been arrested in the case.

Coming close on the heels of a similar incident in Jaipur recently, which evoked considerable criticism and public outcry, the authorities here were prompt in issuing an appeal to Delhiites “not to fall into the trap of people who are trying to communalise the issue”. The National Capital territory of Delhi boasts of the highest number of Sikhs outside Punjab.

Protests over the incident were held in several parts of the city, particularly in the Sikh-dominated areas of West, North and South Delhi yesterday. Additional police forces have been deployed in Tilak Nagar area as a precautionary measure, a police official said adding there was no tension in the area.

Hundreds of Sikhs had marched to the Tilak Nagar police station last night alleging that the authorities had not arrested the culprits despite Harpreet naming them. Some vehicles were also damaged and the police used teargas to disperse the crowd.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Delhi) Robin Hibu had claimed that the police had not received any complaint of a forcible hair cut but instead had got a complaint that the youth had been robbed of Rs 2,500 by two persons. Sonu, a known bad character of the area, was arrested in this connection.

Harpreet, who went to Ludhiana soon after the incident, met SGPC leaders and told reporters there that despite his identifying the persons, the Delhi police had not registered a case. Harpreet, who runs a turban tying training centre here, said that the police had recorded his statement.

Meanwhile, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar announced the setting up of a three-member committee to probe the alleged attack. Senior police officers were monitoring the situation.

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Draft law on witness protection: says panel
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 3
In the wake of several high profile cases falling flat in courts due to witnesses turning hostile under threat and trial proceedings delayed in others with witnesses not daring to come forward to depose, the Law Commission has recommended to the government a draft legislation on witness protection on the lines of the US and other countries.

Though the commission in its report submitted to the Law Minister has made two-pronged proposal for witness identity protection and witness protection programme, it has sent the draft Bill only for enactment of a comprehensive law on protection of identity of witnesses.

Regarding the witness protection programme, the panel said: “We are not providing a Bill on this subject in as much as the question of funding is an important issue. We have recommended that the Central and state governments must bear the expenditure equally.”

The panel has put the witnesses in three categories: those who were victims of the crime and known to the accused, victims not known to the accused and non-victims whose identity was also unknown to the accused for providing protection.

The solution for their protection during investigation and trial had been devised according to their category.

While asking the government to take immediate steps to see that the Bill becomes an Act, its Chairman Justice M.J. Rao was of the view that the protection had become very necessary in all cases of serious offences where there was a danger to them as it was not confined only to the cases of terrorism and sexual assaults.

According to the commission, the protection had all the more become necessary because of the right of “open trial” to the accused in our constitution at it was virtually not possible to conceal the witness from the glare of hardened criminals unless special provisions under the law were made.

In the draft Bill for protection during investigation, the magistrate of the area concerned would consider the material relied upon by the prosecuting agencies for substantiating the danger to the witnesses, their families and relatives and properties and if necessary he could examine a witness at the inquiry stage and record his statement.

Since a suspect of the crime was not entitled to be heard during the investigation stage, the inquiry magistrate could order to keep the identity of a witness secret, not to disclose it to the lawyer of the accused and even keep it out of the court records till the commencement of trial when it becomes necessary to reveal it to the trial judge.

For protection during the trial, the commission has recommended recording of evidence and cross-examination of a witness through two-way video conferencing on closed-circuit TV by making arrangement for his sittings in adjacent room to the court where he could see the accused on the TV but the accused could not see him.

Under the proposed Act, the commission has made provision for punishment to those who violated the identity protection, which could be suitably laid during discussion on the Bill.

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Panel for minimum 2-year tenure for DGPs
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 3
A committee constituted to draft a new police Act has suggested, among others, minimum tenure of two years of the DGPs, one police service for each state and replacement of the “controversial” state police commission by a state police board having limited role and firm framework.

“The DGP so appointed shall have a minimum tenure of two years irrespective of his/her normal date of superannuation,” the committee, comprising former Attorney-General of India Soli Sorabjee, has suggested in its “Draft Outline for a New Police Act”.

To ensure that the unit of command is at all times maintained, the panel has suggested that the post of DGP shall be the seniormost position in the hierarchy of the police service of a state and no officer senior or equivalent in rank to the DGP shall be posted to any position within the police organisation.

The state government shall appoint the DGP from amongst three seniormost officers in the police service empanelled for the rank. The empanelment shall be done through the Union Public Service Commission, it said.

In case of any officer against whom a prima facie criminal or disciplinary charge or a charge of lack of integrity has been made out and a trial/inquiry relating thereto is pending, shall be subject to sealed cover proceedings and be considered only after the disposal of such proceedings.

The committee has favoured a minimum tenure of two years and a maximum of three years for an officer posted as Station House Office in a police station.

It has also suggested that the police be referred to as a “service” instead of “force”. There shall be one police service for each state. Members of the police service shall be liable for posting to any branch of the service, including the armed police or any of the specialised wings.

It has also called for the need to establish a state police board to exercise the functions assigned to it under the Act.

The composition of the board will be: the minister in-charge of the police, who shall also be its ex officio Chairperson, and the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, the state Chief Secretary as an ex officio member, the DGP and five independent members (persons of integrity and competence).

The composition of the board shall reflect adequate gender representation, but will not have less than two women members.

The functions of the state police board shall be to frame broad policy guidelines for promoting efficient, effective, responsive and accountable policing in accordance with the law; identify performance indicators to evaluate the functioning of the police service; review and evaluate organisational performance of the state police; and accept and examine grievances from police officers about being subjected to illegal orders.

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Arjun sees no opposition to quota implementation

Chennai, September 3
Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh today said he did not foresee opposition from any of the UPA allies while implementing the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions in the country.

In a brief interaction with newspersons after participating in a function at the IIT (Madras) here, Mr Singh said the quota would be implemented after receiving approval from the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC).

Asked about UPA ally and PMK founder-leader S Ramadoss’ demand for implementing the reservation at one go and not in a phased manner, Mr Singh said the Union Cabinet took the decision and all the parties in the UPA Government accepted it.

“Based on the decision, we will implement it.

“The decison is taken by the process well-known. The matter is before the PSC. Once it approves it, the quota will be implemented,” he said.

Asked about any dissent among the UPA partners when the issue was discussed at the Coordination Committee Meeting of the UPA, he said there was no noticeable dissent.

“If the issue comes to Parliament, I do not anticipate any opposition from any of the allies,” he said. — UNI

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Rabri for CBI probe into aircraft deal
Tribune News Service

Patna, September 3
The former Chief Minister, Ms Rabri Devi, today demanded a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the purchase of Kingair C 90B aircraft at a cost of Rs 13.5 crore during President’s rule last year.

Referring to the objections raised by the Principal Accountant-General with regard to the purchase of the aircraft, she said she had refused to sign the file on the purchase of the aircraft as placed before her by the then Chief Secretary, Mr G.S. Kang.

Besides his tenure as Chief Secretary under the new NDA regime, Mr Kang had served as Chief Secretary under both Ms Rabri Devi and Mr Buta Singh during President’s rule.

Meanwhile, a day after the state government decided to probe the alleged irregularities in the purchase of the aircraft, Mr Kang rubbished all such charges as “baseless”.

Claiming that no rules or procedures were flouted, including waiving of tender, Mr Kang rather questioned the right of the Principal Accountant-General to decide which aircraft the government should purchase and which not.

Mr Kang said: “If the government had bought Kingair C90GT instead of C90b, the government would have had to spend around Rs 100 lakh for 100 hours of minimum required training for pilots and engineers. In case of C90b, only Rs 5 lakh was spent towards the training as only five hours of it was required.”

Moreover, he said the C90GT aircraft did not have the capacity to land at small airstrips in Bihar and so was not suited to the state’s needs.

The Principal Accountant-General had observed that the purchase was not in conformity with established procedure and also did not take into account other aspects of civil aviation rules, including the aircraft’s technical viability and availability of spare parts as it was a second hand one.

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Delhi tops in crime against women

New Delhi, September 3
Delhi continued to maintain its dubious distinction of being unsafe for women recording highest rate of crime against the fair sex at 27.6 per cent as against the national average of 14.1 per cent.

The alarming data, part of a report by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), include crimes such as rape, dowry deaths, molestation and incest. Delhi is followed by Andhra Pradesh which reported 26.1 per cent of such crimes.

Among the 35 mega cities in the country, those having more than 10 lakh of population and above, Delhi alone reported 33.2 per cent (562) of the total 1,693 rape cases.

The report further added that out of total number of 2,409 cases of kidnapping and abduction of women, Delhi recorded 37.4 per cent or 900 cases.

Delhi has also topped the list of crime against children with 6.5 per cent as compared to national average of 1.4 per cent, NCRB said.

Pointing out that one case of IPC crime was reported every 17 seconds, the NCRB in its ‘crime clock-2005’ said one crime was committed against women every three minutes while one molestation case every 15 minutes.

In every 29 minutes, one rape case was reported even as one sexual harassment case was recorded every 53 minutes, the report said.

A total of 1,55,553 incidents of crime against women, both inder IPC and Special & Local Laws (SLL), were reported in the country during 2005 as compared to 1,54,333 during 2004 recording marginal increase of 0.8 per cent.

About other crimes, while one murder case was reported every 16 minutes, one crime was committed against children every 35 minutes, it said adding one burglary case was recorded every six minutes and one theft was done every two minutes.

According to the report, released recently, said as many as 50,26,337 cognizable crimes comprising 18,22,602 IPC crimes and 32,03,735 SLL crimes were reported in 2005, showing a decline of 16.6 per cent over 2004 figure of 60,28,781 cases. — PTI

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Ban websites advertising sex determination kits: NCW
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 3
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has written to the health and information technology ministries to ban the websites promoting the sale of a pregnancy kit to facilitate fetal sex determination.

The product 'baby gender mentor home DNA gender testing kit' has been introduced to gullible net surfers as a product that assures "unsurpassed accuracy", comes with a 100 per cent money back guarantee and delivers results within 48 hours. The product profile claims, "With a few drops of your maternal blood, you can find out the sex of your baby as early as five weeks after conception with the new baby gender mentor home DNA testing kit".

To ward off any suspicions on its claim, the website has testimonials from couples who have used the test and found the technology wonderful.

The website says that the gender testing kit is priced at $ 25. An additional laboratory fee of $ 250 is required for the laboratory to process the sample and make available the gender of the unborn baby.

NCW Chairperson Girija Vyas is of the view that accessibility to such a website in India has serious ramifications. She has sought the intervention of Health Minister Anbhumani Ramadoss to "explore the possibility of banning the website in India on account of its contents being inconsistent with the provisions of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act."

Vyas has further suggested that the postal departments may be alerted on screening packets containing such imported kits. "Similarly, the Customs Department may also be sensitised on this issue for detecting and forfeiting such sex determination kit imported from abroad."

Sabu M. George, activist who had petitioned the Supreme Court on proper implementation of the then Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act said, "Our priority should be to put an end to genocide and not to police fraud. About 50 lakh sex selective abortions have taken place in the past two decades, according to a study done by Professor Maribhat, Director of the Indian Institute of Population studies, Mumbai." He said that the commission is diverting focus from the real problem where lakhs of girls are eliminated before birth. "We hope the NCW Chairperson will take cognisance of inaction on the part of district health authorities starting with her home district from Udaipur." On the availability of the pregnancy kit, Sabu said, "First of all, there is no product available today which can detect the sex of the foetus at five weeks of pregnancy by using dry blood. All such products, including gender mentor are fraudulent and therefore what is important for the commission is not to go after such fraudulent claims but to focus on misuse of ultrasound for determination of fetal sex."

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NCW team to probe gang-rape case
Tribune News Service

Patna, September 3
The National Commission for Women (NCW) today sent a team to Bihar to investigate into Lakhi Sarai gang rape case.

The heated exchanges on this issue at the just concluded monsoon session of Parliament even had led to a near scuffle between members of the JD (U) and the RJD, involving Lalu Prasad’s brother-in-law,Sadhu Yadav, and the JD (U) parliamentary party leader, Prabhunath Singh.

The JD (U) had alleged that an RJD member was involved in the incident.

The four-member team of the NCW had “in-camera” interaction with the victim at Ramnagar village in Lakhi Sarai.

The NCW Chairperson and senior Congress leader, Ms Girija Vyas, has reportedly communicated to the Nitish government and also to the RJD supremo, Mr Lalu Prasad, that instead of politicising the issue, political parties and NGOs should insist on taking to task those involved in the crime.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of Police, Mr Ashish Sinha, said already six persons had been arrested in connection with the Lakhi Sarai incident. “We will book other culprits too who are found guilty for this crime, ” he said.

Mr Sinha further said the state government had also decided to send a detailed report to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on this issue.

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EADS to start technical campus in India
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, September 3
The European Aeronautics Defence and Space (EADS) company on Friday announced that it would commit $ 2 billion for establishment of a technical campus in India.

Announcing this here, the company CEO, Dr Thomas Enders, said the company was in negotiations with various state governments to finalize the location of the campus. He said the campus, which would begin operations by the second quarter of 2007, would be much more comprehensive than the one established by the company in China.

EADS expects the campus to be a win-win situation for itself as well as its partners. The campus, which will focus on engineering, IT, technical publications and production, will invite local partners to collaborate with EADS teams in engineering services and design.

The EADS CEO also met ISRO Director G Madhavan Nair. He said the tie-up with ISRO was progressing well with EADS managing to sell two telecommunication satellites built by ISRO with European payloads. One was Eutelsat - W2M and the other was Hylas. The integration of the ISRO satellites built with European payloads had opened the way for further expansion in this field, he added.

The company also signed a memorandum of understanding with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) aimed at developing long-term cooperation and defining joint strategies on different market segments yesterday. HAL Chairman Ashok K Baweja signed the memorandum on behalf of HAL. Mr Enders also announced that cooperation with HAL had led to subcontracting the airframe production of EADS’s Eurocopter to HAL. The first airframe will be delivered by HAL by the end of this year. The HAL Chairman disclosed that Eurocopter was willing to team up with HAL for the development of 10T helicopter which HAL planned to co-develop with a foreign partner to meet the requirements of the Indian armed forces.

Speaking about expansion of business in India, the EADS CEO disclosed that the EADS turnover for the Asia Pacific region in 2005 was $ 7.7 billion. He said business in India was expanding at a fast pace with the company selling 229 Airbus planes to India in 2005. He said 58 Airbus planes had been sold in India this year. As far as military deals were concerned, Mr Enders said the deal for 126 fighter aircraft was at an advanced stage.

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Sukhoi programme on schedule: HAL

Bangalore, September 3
Defence aviation major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited today asserted that the Sukhoi-30 MKI programme was on schedule.

Denying media reports citing a Russian newspaper as “completely incorrect”, HAL, in a press note here, said that the total technology for Sukhoi was getting established in HAL as planned. The production of the fighter aircraft continued in HAL, it added.

The release said that to optimise investment and complete the programme of producing aircraft three years ahead of the scheduled year of 2018, as required by the IAF, HAL was sourcing certain components and systems from Russia.

The programme of indigenous production of Su-30 MKI in HAL was continuing at an accelerated pace as compared to the earlier plan, the release added. — UNI

 

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