SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

Gripen running the extra mile to bag IAF’s Rs 45,000 crore deal
Bangalore, February 3
The Swedish aero-space major, Saab-Gripen, has indicated it is ready to go the extra mile to bag the proposed Rs 45,000 crore Indian Air Force (IAF) purchase order by increasing both the range and the payload of the fourth generation JAS-39 Gripen aircraft it is offering to India.

Biharis in Nepal under attack
Patna, February 3
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today urged the people of the state to maintain calm in the wake of the recent violence in Nepal involving Madhesis. Madhesis are Nepalis of Indian origin from Bihar and contribute 80 per cent to Nepalese economy.

Nepali Maoist leader meets Indian official
New Delhi, February 3
In a significant development, senior Nepali Maoist leader C.P. Gajurel today met a senor official of the External Affairs Ministry here. He is believed to have discussed the roadmap for the implementation of the peace accord in Nepal.


EARLIER STORIES




UP Govt for poll in Feb
Kanpur, February 3
The state government has asked the Election Commission to conduct Assembly elections in February, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said here today. The state had sent a letter in this regard to the commission. — PTI

Godhra carnage 
Gujarat Govt counsel points to conspiracy

Ahmedabad, February 3
Seeking to debunk the defence counsel’s suggestion that the fire on the Sabarmati Express train in February 2002 was not the result of a conspiracy, a Gujarat Government lawyer said today the burning pattern in the S-6 coach clearly pointed to the conspiracy angle.

A matrimonial site opposed to dowry
Hyderabad, February 3
This is a matrimonial site with a pleasant twist. It serves as a platform for eligible bachelors and brides who don't want to accept dowry. And this is where they can proudly make their intentions public.

Budget session from Feb 23
New Delhi, February 3
The three-month long Budget session of Parliament would begin on February 23 and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram would present the general Budget on February 28. Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav would present the Rail Budget on February 26, which would be followed by the tabling of the economic survey the next day.

Bardhan discusses UP with Sonia
New Delhi, February 3
Concerned over the prevailing situation in Uttar Pradesh in the wake of Gorakhpur communal violence, CPI leader A.B. Bardhan today met UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to impress upon the Congress-led government to take stern action on the issue.

Punish guilty of fake encounters: CPM
New Delhi, February 3
Expressing shock over incidents of “fake encounters” in Jammu and Kashmir, the CPM today asked the Centre and state governments to punish the guilty so that such human rights violations are not repeated.

19 killed in building collapse
Mumbai, February 3
Nineteen persons are feared killed and several others believed to be trapped beneath rubble when an under-construction building collapsed at Taloja in Navi Mumbai, here today.

Jitendra new Gorakhpur Commissioner
Lucknow, February 3
Even as Gorakhpur was limping back to normalcy the state government decided to appoint Mr Jitendra Kumar as the new Commissioner of Gorakhpur division, exactly a week after violence shook the district and rapidly spread to many areas of ‘Purvanchal’.
In video: Curfew relaxed in Gorakhpur. (56k)

India, China Foreign Ministers to have hotline
New Delhi, February 3
There will be a hotline between External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing. This is expected to be put in place when Mr Li arrives here on a four-day visit on February 11. The two leaders will work out the modalities for implementing the 10-point action plan aimed at enhancing strategic cooperation.

Let’s see what happens to Shah Rukh in 35 years: Amitabh
New Delhi, February 3
“Let’s see what happens to him after 35 years,” was mega star Amitabh Bachchan’s reply to Bollywood Badshah Shahrukh Khan’s provocative posers that his time was over and he was old.

Cessna crashes, pilot, trainee hurt
Hyderabad, February 3
A trainer aircraft of a private aviation company crashed on the city’s outskirts today, injuring its pilot and a trainee. According to the police, the small Cessna aircraft of city-based Rajiv Aviation Academy crashed into the wall of a private house at B N Reddy colony, about 30 km from here, after it was hit by a bird.

Videos
Shibu Soren to appear in court today.
(56k)
Thousands evacuated in flood hit Jakarta.
(56k)
Ramayana in a unique medium.
(56k)

Hollywood films gain popularity in India.
(56k)

 

Top









 

Gripen running the extra mile to bag IAF’s Rs 45,000 crore deal
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, February 3
The Swedish aero-space major, Saab-Gripen, has indicated it is ready to go the extra mile to bag the proposed Rs 45,000 crore Indian Air Force (IAF) purchase order by increasing both the range and the payload of the fourth generation JAS-39 Gripen aircraft it is offering to India.

This is a significant development because the only drawback the ultra-modern Gripen had in comparison to its rivals-the F-16, F/A- 18 Super Hornet and the MIG-35-is its limited range and lesser weapon-carrying capacity. This development will field the JAS-39 Gripen as a strong contender for the contract, besides being the most cost-effective.

In an exclusive interview with the Tribune News Service, Gripen International India Director Tony Ogilvy said, "The Gripen will be a perfect force mix with the powerful Sukhoi-30 MKI and is an apt replacement for the MIG-21.

"We can say with confidence that the Gripen will be the lowest-cost aircraft, both in acquisition as well as the 40-year life cycle," Mr Ogilvy said.

Mr Ogilvy, while answering a question about the absence of adequate combat experience of the aircraft, said this was true but added the aircraft had proved highly successful over the last five years of entering service.

The director added the aircraft has an edge on the weapons front also as it is the only one selected for the trial of the PVR-Meteor missile produced in Europe.

The Gripen, Mr Ogilvy said, can source weapons from across the globe to meet the customer requirements. "This ensures the customer will never be held ransom by a sole source of supply". When asked whether India could suffer as the JAS-39 has an American engine, he said the company will satisfactorily guarantee the supply of all parts of the aircraft, including the engine, which is off-shored.

Saab does not feel it has arrived late to join the race for the IAF order. "You have to understand we are just the latest and the newest fighter there is", Mr Ogilvy says, adding, that in recent global competitions, Gripen won three of the most significant contracts in South Africa, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Saab has flown in three air-craft for the forthcoming Aero India show. It will organise a demonstration of its cockpit simulator for the IAF as well as will give an opportunity to IAF pilots to fly a twin-seat aircraft. 

Top

 

Biharis in Nepal under attack
Tribune News Service

Patna, February 3
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today urged the people of the state to maintain calm in the wake of the recent violence in Nepal involving Madhesis. Madhesis are Nepalis of Indian origin from Bihar and contribute 80 per cent to Nepalese economy.

The entire conflict, reportedly, has been triggered with Madhesis demanding greater political representation in various aspects of public life in Nepal.

Reports reaching here indicated that the Nepalese army resorted to firing at Birganj near Jogbani on the Indo-Nepal border two days back to disperse protesting Madhesis.

Sources in the state Home Department said that the situation in the Indo-Nepal border was tense as Madhesis were allegedly facing racist attacks in the country. The impact of the violence was being felt along the border in Bihar. The Terai belt bordering India was tense as Nepali paharis and Madhesis were at loggerheads on the issue of sharing power.

According to reports from the districts bordering Nepal, about 10,000 Nepali citizens of Indian origin have already crossed the border into Bihar in the past three days due to continuous violence at home.

Araria, Jogbani, Kishanganj, Sitamari are some of the areas of the state which were experiencing the heat of the violence in the Terai region of Nepal.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Kumar advised people living on the Bihar-Nepal border not to get infuriated with the disturbances in the neighbouring country. He said,"Whatever is happening in Nepal is their internal matter."

Additional forces have been deployed in the border districts of the state. The state auxiliary police (SAP) has also been posted in sensitive districts, besides the deployment of Shasastra Seema Bal(SSB) which usually guards the Indo-Nepal border.

Top

 

Nepali Maoist leader meets Indian official

New Delhi, February 3
In a significant development, senior Nepali Maoist leader C.P. Gajurel today met a senor official of the External Affairs Ministry here.
He is believed to have discussed the roadmap for the implementation of the peace accord in Nepal.

Mr Gajurel, Chief of the CPN-M’s foreign cell, who was released from an Indian jail in December after about four months, left for Kathmandu after about hour-long meeting, sources said.

This is only the second time that a senior Indian official met a Maoist leader.

During the meeting between Mr Gajurel and the official, the two are understood to have discussed the proposed amendments to be made in the 1950 Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty. Amendment to the treaty has been one of the key demands of Maoists and India has agreed in principle to do it. Details are being worked out. — PTI

Top

 

Godhra carnage 
Gujarat Govt counsel points to conspiracy

Ahmedabad, February 3
Seeking to debunk the defence counsel’s suggestion that the fire on the Sabarmati Express train in February 2002 was not the result of a conspiracy, a Gujarat Government lawyer said today the burning pattern in the S-6 coach clearly pointed to the conspiracy angle.

Attempting to rubbish the “flash over fire” theory that could have caused the blaze inside the coach on February 27, 2002, as suggested by an advocate, lawyer Sumit Shah made a slide-show presentation to the Nanavati-Shah Commission that is probing the case.

Shah, one of the battery of lawyers conducting the matter for the state government, began by stating that he would explain “several facets about fire, its behaviour and burning pattern that will demonstrate how the S-6 blaze could not have been a flash over fire”.

Explaining the complex topic to the commission, Shah said there were crucial aspects like the different stages of a fire, and explained the concept of “flash over fire and certain misconceptions of it”.

Shah said fire had three zones -- the lower one is the combustible zone (which has flames and where fuel is burning), the middle zone is the plume (a column of hot air) and the upper zone is the smoke zone and sludge layer.

He was trying to counter the “flash over fire” theory presented by advocate Mukul Sinha of the Jan Sangarsh Manch, which claimed that “given certain conditions, a small fire can spread very rapidly”. — PTI 

Top

 

A matrimonial site opposed to dowry
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, February 3
This is a matrimonial site with a pleasant twist. It serves as a platform for eligible bachelors and brides who don't want to accept dowry. And this is where they can proudly make their intentions public.

www.idontwantdowry.com is a website where the gen-next, opposed to the practice of dowry, can post their profiles.

Ten months into its existence, this Hyderabad-based portal with a cause has been doing well, indicating the overwhelming sentiment of the would-be brides and grooms against the role of money in marriage.

"The idea was to bring together like-minded youngsters who want to fight against the social evil. While a lot of them have a stand on the issue, they don't have a forum to express it. This site provides a ground for action," says Satya N., the brain behind the novel effort.

The site has to date attracted as many as 4,500 profiles. Interestingly, a majority of the profiles, 2970 to be intact, are of boys who are actually the beneficiaries of the practice. Girls, who don't want to pay dowry are not too far behind with 1,499 of them posting their profiles.

Top

 

Budget session from Feb 23
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 3
The three-month long Budget session of Parliament would begin on February 23 and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram would present the general Budget on February 28. Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav would present the Rail Budget on February 26, which would be followed by the tabling of the economic survey the next day.

The first phase of the session would continue till March 21, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.R. Dasmunshi told newspersons here.

There would be a recess between March 22 and April 17. The session would resume on April 18 and continue till May 22, he said.

The government’s recommendation had been sent to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, he said.

Remaining non-committal on whether the much-delayed Women’s Bill would be introduced in the upcoming session, which would have 42 sittings, Mr Dasmunshi said there were more than 60 bills pending and some new ones were also to be tabled.

The Budget session this time would have seven more sittings compared to 35 last time.

Top

 

Bardhan discusses UP with Sonia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 3
Concerned over the prevailing situation in Uttar Pradesh in the wake of Gorakhpur communal violence, CPI leader A.B. Bardhan today met UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to impress upon the Congress-led government to take stern action on the issue.

Mr Bardhan, accompanied by the party's national secretary D. Raja, also discussed with Ms Gandhi the upcoming Assembly polls in the state, party sources said.

The CPI leaders also met Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and expressed concern over the rising prices of essential commodities, particularly ‘atta’, pulses and edible oils and demanded the government to take immediate steps to control the prices.

Mr Chidambaram told them that the government had already initiated measures to monitor and check the prices of essential commodities.

Top

 

Punish guilty of fake encounters: CPM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 3
Expressing shock over incidents of “fake encounters” in Jammu and Kashmir, the CPM today asked the Centre and state governments to punish the guilty so that such human rights violations are not repeated.

“The people of Kashmir valley have every reason to feel outraged. Every single officer and personnel of the police and the Army responsible for these atrocities must be arrested and tried for murder and abetment of murder,” the Politburo of the CPM said in a statement here.

The fact that such “killings” were motivated by greed for reward and promotions shows the “degeneration” which has set in among some sections of the security forces, the party said.

“The state and the Central Government must show by firm action that they will not tolerate any extra-legal actions and violations of human rights by the security forces," it added.

“The Army units involved in false encounters must be withdrawn,” it demanded.

Top

 

19 killed in building collapse

Mumbai, February 3
Nineteen persons are feared killed and several others believed to be trapped beneath rubble when an under-construction building collapsed at Taloja in Navi Mumbai, here today.

Fire tenders from Karamboli and Panvel stations have also been pressed into service to facilitate the search and rescue operations, Navi Mumbai fire sources said.

Meanwhile, the administration has sought the assistance of Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel for speedy clearance of the debris.

The building, at the time of collapse, had a large number of labourers working on it, making it difficult to ascertain the exact number of people trapped, added the sources. — UNI

Top

 

Jitendra new Gorakhpur Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, February 3
Even as Gorakhpur was limping back to normalcy the state government decided to appoint Mr Jitendra Kumar as the new Commissioner of Gorakhpur division, exactly a week after violence shook the district and rapidly spread to many areas of ‘Purvanchal’.

While curfew was relaxed in all four police station areas in Gorakhpur district today, the city still remained tense with supporters of locked-up BJP MP Yogi Adityanath’s disrupting normal life and protesting in various parts of the city for his release.

Members of the woman wing of the BJP held a demonstration at the district jail demanding the immediate release of the MP.

Meanwhile, a comprehensive report sent by the state government to the Centre has questioned the role of BJP MP in instigating the communal violence in Gorakhpur.

Top

 

India, China Foreign Ministers to have hotline
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 3
There will be a hotline between External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing.
This is expected to be put in place when Mr Li arrives here on a four-day visit on February 11. The two leaders will work out the modalities for implementing the 10-point action plan aimed at enhancing strategic cooperation.

Mr Mukherjee and Mr Li will hold talks on the entire range of bilateral relations. The latter’s visit assumes importance as it is being viewed as a follow up to Chinese President Hu Jintao's sojourn to this country in November last year.

The two sides are also expected to enlarge the basket of items for trade through the Nathu La border and take steps for achieving a bilateral trade target of $ 40 billion by 2010. Bilateral trade between India and China had spiralled to $ 24 billion last year compared to a mere $ 2.7 billion in 2000.

Top

 

Let’s see what happens to Shah Rukh in 35 years: Amitabh

New Delhi, February 3
“Let’s see what happens to him after 35 years,” was mega star Amitabh Bachchan’s reply to Bollywood Badshah Shahrukh Khan’s provocative posers that his time was over and he was old.

“Whatever he says is correct. I am old and he is young and I agree that he is smart and sexy,” the Big B said. For good effect, he added that he was “sexy Sam,” the character he had portrayed in the hit film “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna”.

But Bachchan accepted that Khan was the “reigning king of Bollywood”.

Khan, who recently replaced Bachchan as host of the hit TV game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati”, had said, “I am sexy, smart and young, that was his century, this is mine.”

While the two Bollywood biggies appeared to be engaged in a clash of titans, Bachchan told Times Now channel that all the hype about the competition between them was just a media creation.

“It makes good copy so you people keep on writing about it in beautiful words,” he said.

Khan, who is said to be trying to step into the Big B’s shoes with projects like “Kaun Banega Crorepati” and the remake of “Don”, had said, “I have never imitated anyone. I am quite good at what I do.”

Bachchan recently said he wanted to do more good work so that people could imitate him. — PTI

Top

 

Cessna crashes, pilot, trainee hurt

Hyderabad, February 3
A trainer aircraft of a private aviation company crashed on the city’s outskirts today, injuring its pilot and a trainee.
According to the police, the small Cessna aircraft of city-based Rajiv Aviation Academy crashed into the wall of a private house at B N Reddy colony, about 30 km from here, after it was hit by a bird.

Pilot Mandi Sharma and 22-year-old trainee Jasmine Mercy were admitted to a private hospital at L B Nagar, the police said. — PTI

Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |