|Friday, January 28, 2000,
motivated, says Congress
Presidents Secy gets AVSM
Tight security marks
millenniums first R-Day
PM: NCC to be made compulsory if
IED found near Red Fort
ALH, Lancer ready for induction
Award for Bharatiya Vidya
Steps for safer air travel
DDs education channel
Exercise motivated, says Congress
NEW DELHI, Jan 27 Reactions of political parties on the governments decision to set up a commission to review the Constitution was on expected lines today with the BJP welcoming the move and the Congress criticising it.
The BJP said the measure had the peoples approval and the endorsement of Parliament.
The Congress said the Constitution had stood the test of time and there was no need to review or revise it.
The President of the Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, said the Constitution should be redrafted on federal lines as it did not fulfil regional aspirations and denied adequate safeguards to minorities.
The BJP spokesman, Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu said the proposal was part of the National Agenda of Governance of the National Democratic Alliance released before the elections.
The manifesto clearly stated that "we shall appoint a commission to review the Constitution not only in the light of experiences and developments since 1996 but, indeed, of the entire post-Independence period, and to make suitable recommendations", Mr Naidu pointed out.
He pointed out that the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, in his joint address to Parliament on October 25, 1999, had also stated that the government proposed to set up such a commission to review the Constitution and the presidential address had been voted affirmatively by both Houses of Parliament.
The Congress said it was "tragic" that the Prime Minister had announced the decision to set up a commission to review the Constitution at a time when the country was celebrating its 50 years of Republic.
Party spokesman Mr Ajit Jogi said the move was motivated aimed at changing the basic structure of the Constitution. "If the need arises, in the interest of the nation, we can amend the Constitution", he said.
Presidents Secy gets AVSM
NEW DELHI, JAN 27 Major-Gen Bhopinder Singh, Military Secretary to the President of India was awarded Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM) on the Republic Day.
Commissioned in the Rajput Regiment in June 1965, Major-Gen Bhopinder Singh is a graduate from Defence Services Staff College. He has held a number of prestigious instructional, staff and command appointments which include a tenure at the Indian Military Academy, Military, Naval and Air attache in Ethopia from 1984 - 1987 and General Staff appointments at a Crops HQ involved in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir.
After commanding the 17 Rajput, Major-Gen Bhopinder Singh commanded a brigade in the Kashmir valley during mid-90s.
He has also been the Commandant of the Rajput Regimental Centre.
Tight security marks millenniums first R-Day
NEW DELHI, Jan 27 (PTI) Unfurling of the Tricolour, march pasts, cultural programmes and floats depicting achievements in various spheres and the launching of new schemes marked the golden jublee Republic Day celebrations amidst tight security in the country yesterday.
In their address, governors and chief ministers of various states and union territories called upon people to work unitedly for the nations progress and development.
The main function was held in New Delhi, where a grand ceremonial parade showcasing the nations military prowess, cultural diversity and remarkable progress marked the celebrations of the first Republic Day of the new millennium.
Thousands of people lined up on both sides of the majestic Rajpath to witness the spectacle, which featured for the first time the elite paratroopers, Marine and Para Commandos and Agni-II, the indigenously developed long-range missile, besides colourful tableaux, cultural programmes by students and a breathtaking flypast led by Sukhoi-30 fighter jets, the most sophisticated warplane in Indias inventory.
The 51st Republic Day parade, held amidst unprecedented security, got off to a flying start with the showering of rose petals over spectators by four MI-8 helicopters which was preceded by a 21-gun salute to President K.R. Narayanan, who arrived at the saluting base escorted by his 46 bodyguards.
Earlier, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate.
Madhya Pradesh Governor Bhai Mahavir took the salute at an impressive march past by contingents of various security forces at the state-level function in Bhopal.
Tableaux representing the development work undertaken by various departments were displayed, while schoolchildren presented a cultural show.
In Pondicherry, Lt Governor Dr Rajani Rai unfurled the National Flag, inspected a guard of honour and witnessed a march past held by contingents of the NCC, the Police, the Home Guard and school children.
Mizoram Governor A.Padmanaban said in Aizawl the site for setting up the proposed central university in the state had been finalised and the construction would begin soon. Besides, an engineering college was also proposed to be set up.
Unfurling the Tricolour, he said the government had chalked out developmental programmes giving priority to self-sufficiency in food, growth of the agro-horticulture sector, the promotion of agro-based industries, power generation and the removal of rural poverty.
In Jaipur, Rajasthan Governor Anshuman Singh unfurled the National Flag and took the salute at a parade and presented medals and awards to civil and police personnel.
In Uttar Pradesh, Governor Suraj Bhan took the salute at an impressive march past in front of the Vidhan Sabha and exhorted people to maintain national unity and contribute towards the development of the state. Chief Minister Ram Prakash Gupta and his cabinet colleagues were present.
The celebrations were on a low key throughout Orissa in view of the recent supercyclone in the state. Governor M.M. Rajendran took the salute at the state-level ceremonial parade at Bhubaneswar.
He called upon people to extend their cooperation in the reconstruction of the states economy shattered by the recent cyclone. Every effort should be made to instill confidence in the traumatised people, he added.
Chief Minister Hemananda Biswal took the salute at the Republic Day parade at Cuttack.
Unfurling the Tricolour in Patna, Bihar Governor Vinod Chandra Pandey expressed concern over growing population in the state and said there was a need for taking immediate steps to arrest it. He took the salute of the march past by policemen, Home Guard jawans and NCC cadets at the parade.
At another state-level function in Ranchi, Chief Minister Rabri Devi cautioned people against forces advocating the carving out of another state from Bihar and asked them to dedicate themselves to the uplift of the exploited.
In Chennai, Tamil Nadu Governor Fatima Beevi hoisted the National Flag at a well-attended function organised alongside the famous Marina Beach.
Manipur Governor Ved Prakash Marwah took the salute at the ceremonial marchpast amid tight security in Imphal after unfurling the National Flag.
Two blasts were reported this morning from different places in the city, but there was no report of any casualty or damage, official sources said.
Tight security was maintained throughout Imphal in view of the Republic Day boycott call given by some underground organisations in the region.
In Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh Governor C.Rangarajan said there should be a determined effort to eschew violence in all forms so that the path of economic progress could be laid in an atmosphere of peace.
PM: NCC to be made
compulsory if desired
NEW DELHI, Jan 27 The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, today said NCC training could be made compulsory. There was a general consensus in the country. Addressing the NCC Rally at the Army Parade Ground here, Mr Vajpayee, however, clarified that voluntary recruitment to the NCC had been satisfactory.
The Prime Minister described the NCC as a mini-India with cadets drawn from all parts of the country cutting across all boundaries of caste, creed and religion. He urged the NCC cadets to take a leading role in nation-building.
Mr Vajpayee observed that there was a strong determination in the country in the matter of national security. He recalled that during the Kargil conflict the enemy was defeated and wanted to withdraw but still tried to postpone the withdrawal by suggesting talks. However, "we were firm that the enemy had to vacate first" and the enemy had to agree finally, he added.
The Prime Minister also gave away prizes to the NCC cadets. A march past, and displays by various wings of the NCC were the highlights of the function.
The Defence Minister, Mr
George Fernandes, the Army Chief, Gen V.P. Malik, the Air
Chief, Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis and the Navy Vice
Chief, Vice Admiral P.J. Jacob were among those present
on the occasion.
IED found near Red Fort
NEW DELHI, Jan 27 (UNI) The timely detection of an improved explosive device (IED) near the Red Fort by the police yesterday morning averted the disruption of the Republic Day parade.
An anti-sabotage team of the Delhi police led by Sub-Inspector Sanjeev Kumar found the IED in a polythene bag near the Moat Road at the North-East corner of the Red Fort ground around 9 a.m. an hour before the parade was to start, the police said.
A bomb disposal squad, which rushed to the site, immediately defused the device, similar to the one detected near India Gate on Sunday, the police said. The patrol, equipped with a sniffer dog, was combing the area where the parade was to culminate.
The IED was found after the patrol saw an electrical wire protruding out of the ground near the concrete wall along with Moat Road.
It contained pieces of a plastic container, a one-volt Duracell Battery, a spring with a small bolt, a switch with wires and some pieces of cast iron attached to a clip that resembled part of a grenade, the police said.
ALH, Lancer ready for induction
BANGALORE, Jan 27 (ANI) The much-awaited advanced light helicopter (ALH) and another attack helicopter the Lancer, indigenously developed and built by the defence public undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) here, has completed their test parameters and are ready for induction into both defence and civilian use. HAL Chairman C.G. Krishnadas Nair revealed that the ALH had already completed 5000 hrs of flying tests and the same would be inducted into the defence services by the third quarter of this year.
He felt the ALH was a unique helicopter with multipurpose fulfilment in its class. According to him, many countries have already shown interest in buying this copter but he feels HAL should first fulfil the domestic needs.
The ALH project was started in 1990 and took almost 10 years to come to the commercial production stage. ALH weighs 2.5 tonnes with carrying capacity of another 2.5 tonnes. The ALH has flown all modern state-of-the-art avionics indigenously built by HAL.
HAL had also
manufactured 14-seater multipurpose civilian copter as
part of the ALH development. He said this was going to
boost the countrys image in the world aeronautics
map. In another important development, the HAL developed
a low-cost attack helicopter called Lancer for
Award for Bharatiya Vidya
NEW DELHI, Jan 27 The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai, has been selected for the 1999, Communal Harmony Award.
The award, instituted by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony, carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh and is given to an institution/organisation and selected by a jury headed by the Vice President of India, an official release said today.
Steps for safer air travel
NEW DELHI, Jan 27 The Ministry of Civil Aviation, which faced rough weather following the recent hijack of IA plane has adopted various face-saving measures, including anti-hijack training to crew members of aircraft, restricted access to airports and deploying sky marshals on all airlines and flights on a random basis.
According to a summary progress report prepared by the ministry, the crew members of the aircraft will be imparted anti-hijack training to handle situation as per operational requirement. Apart from this, a task force has been constituted under the Commissioner of Security, Civil Aviation (COSCA) to recommend creation of a specialised aviation security force for protecting airports.
Another measure that may sound reassuring to air passengers is that the sky marshals will be part of crew and will handle situations as per operational requirements. They will have the option to use arms as the last resort.
The ministry has also
decided to strengthen up security at all national and
international airports. Frisking of passengers and hand
baggage will be given priority with the introduction of
ladder point frisking, restriction of hand baggage and
sample physical checking of hand baggage upon entry into
the sterile area. The report which spells out policies,
programmes and initiatives of the government in the first
100 days also mentions constitution of a committee to
study various aspects of airport functioning and
recommend improvement in respect of airport maintenance.
NEW DELHI, Jan 27 (UNI) The Centre favoured a review of the Constitution since it wanted the anti-defection law to be made more effective, sources in the Prime Ministers office said here today.
The sources defending the government move to set up a commission to review the Constitution, said: "It is a known fact that the anti-defection law enacted in the late eightees has failed to serve the purpose and the proposed commission will look into it and suggest remedial measures to tone up the Act".
"The NDA is
committed to a fixed tenure for the Lok Sabha considering
the fact the House had to be dissolved at least twice
within two years. The commission will also have a look at
this proposal," the sources added.
DDs education channel launched
NEW DELHI, Dec 27 (UNI) Just over four decades since television was introduced in India, the countrys first dedicated Eduational Television Channel was launched yesterday to coincide with celebrations of 50 years of the Republic.
The Channel was launched
by the push of a button by Human Resource Development
Minister Murli Manohar Joshi in the presence of
Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley and
Minister of State for HRD Jaisingrao Gaikwad Patil in a
nationally-telecast function at The Electronic Media
Production Centre of The Indira Gandhi National Open
University (IGNOU) late this evening.
Sewa Dal workers detained
Verdict in Jaya
beats student to death
music video on Net
Kits to help
kids love animals
Man, child die
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