SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

DGP’s appointment till 2 weeks after poll: SC
New Delhi, February 9
The Supreme Court today directed that the Election Commission’s order appointing R. S. Gill as the DGP of Punjab, replacing S.S. Virk in the wake of certain controversies pertaining to his position as the chief of the police force in the state during polls, will remain in force till two weeks after the completion of the election process.

IAF to get missile warning system from Europe
Bangalore, February 9
The quest of the Indian Air Force (IAF) for an aero-defence system is on the roll with the European Aviation and Defence System (EADS) in the process of developing a missile warning system for it in collaboration with the Defence Avionics Research Establishment.


EARLIER STORIES



President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam calls on veteran journalist and writer Khushwant Singh (93) at his residence in Sujan Singh Park, New Delhi on Friday.
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam calls on veteran journalist and writer Khushwant Singh (93) at his residence in Sujan Singh Park, New Delhi on Friday. — PTI
A man tends to black partridges on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Friday.
A man tends to black partridges on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Friday. — Reuter

Only CBI must try terror, federal crimes: NHRC
New Delhi, February 9

In an efforts to carry forward the police reforms, the National Human Rights Commission in a report submitted to the Supreme Court has recommended to give the CBI exclusive jurisdiction over federal crimes like terrorism, underworld operations, gun running, cyber and drug trafficking offences to launch investigation in any part of the country without states’ prior permission.

India welcomes Koirala’s gesture
New Delhi, February 9

India today welcomed Nepal Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s recent announcement wherein he extended an olive branch to the agitating Madhesis community.

CBI to expedite Maya case
New Delhi, February 9
Amid reports that the coming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh appear to have put a dampner on efforts to prosecute BSP Supremo Mayawati, CBI Director Vijay Shanker today maintained that the Supreme Court’s directions would be implemented.

Attrition biggest worry of DRDO
Bangalore, February 9

Guess what is the latest worry of the Indian defence industry? Attrition. The defence establishment is losing the battle for engineers to man and take forward its programmes to the burgeoning Information Technology (IT) industry.

Amartya’s help on setting Nalanda varsity to be taken
Patna, February 9
The Nitish government has decided to take help from Nobel laureate Amartya Sen for the setting up of an international university in Nalanda, which is a 2,000-year-old seat of learning.

Yeh father maange more
Patna, February 9
The pleas by the Centre and the state government to have a small family seems to have no effect on Mr Kapil Dev Vishwakarma of Aurungabad.

Clarify stand on Cauvery, Jaya to Karunanidhi
Chennai, February 9
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief Jayaram Jayalalithaa today asked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to clarify his stand on the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

Thakkar takes charge of BJP’s youth wing
New Delhi, February 9
The newly appointed president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Mr Amit Thakkar, today assumed charge of the BJP's youth wing.

‘Sparring’ Gujarat HC judges transferred
New Delhi, February 9
Two Gujarat High Court judges B.J. Shethna and P.B. Majumdar, allegedly involved in an open spat, have been transferred to Sikkim and Rajasthan high courts, respectively, on the recommendation of the Supreme Court Collegium.

 

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DGP’s appointment till 2 weeks after poll: SC
S.S.Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, February 9
The Supreme Court today directed that the Election Commission’s order appointing R. S. Gill as the DGP of Punjab, replacing S.S. Virk in the wake of certain controversies pertaining to his position as the chief of the police force in the state during polls, will remain in force till two weeks after the completion of the election process.

An order to this effect was issued by a Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Mr Justice D.K.Jain after the Punjab Government had moved an application seeking extension of time for implementing the apex court's order on police reforms in respect of the DGP’s appointment by four weeks.

The EC had ordered the removal of Mr Virk on January 19 following a complaint by the Shiromani Akali Dal that there was a deal between him and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh over the Rs 240-crore convention centre proposed to be set up by the top cop’s brother near Chandigarh.

The court, in its January 11 order, had laid down the criterion on how the seven-point directives, issued by a constitution Bench in its judgement of September 22 last year on implementing the police reforms, had to be carried out by the Centre and the states.

Since the court had fixed a deadline of four weeks for states to implement three directives - fixed two years tenure for DGP, minimum fixed tenure for officers from the rank of SHO to IG level and setting up of Police Establishment Board - the Punjab Government sought the extension of time regarding the DGP’s appointment.

The four weeks’ deadline for the filing of affidavits regarding the implementation of these directives came to an end today. The Punjab Government’s stand was that the appointment of Mr Gill by the EC apparently was a stop-gap arrangement for the election period, which would be over with the counting of votes on February 27, hence any decision regarding the appointment of the DGP with a two-year fixed tenure could only be taken by the new government.

It said since the state was bound to implement the orders of both constitutional authorities - the Supreme Court and the Election Commission - the state was not in a position to comply with the court’s directive in the event of latter’s order on the appointment of Mr Gill.

“Till the election process is over this has also led to legally anomalous situation and dilemma for the applicant state,” the government in its application said.

Regarding other three directives - setting up of the State Security Commission, separation of investigation wing from law and order and creating Police Complaint Authority - pertaining to states in the police reforms verdict, the court had given them time till March 31 to implement them.

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IAF to get missile warning system from Europe
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, February 9
The quest of the Indian Air Force (IAF) for an aero-defence system is on the roll with the European Aviation and Defence System (EADS) in the process of developing a missile warning system for it in collaboration with the Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE).

EADS has supplied as many as 24 of a total of 36 sensors needed for integration in the warning system. DARE will also be working on further development of the sensors and integrating them with the existing multi-sensor warning network of the country's armed forces.

The development follows a strategic cooperation agreement signed between the two agencies last year. It is based on a sensor called the MILDS AN/AAR-60. Talking to newsmen at the Aero-India show here, EADS Defence Electronics CEO Berhard Gerwart said the agency would set to deliver 36 sensors to DARE, out of which 24 had been developed. He said the first integration tests conducted in DARE's multi-sensor self-protection suite had been successful.

The MILDS sensor is a passive imaging sensor which detects and tracks ultra-violet emissions of approaching missiles, including those like shoulder-launched missiles. It provides ample time to enable the automatic deployment of counter measures like flares and chaff. Gerwert said the sensor had already been tested successfully after deployment in a large number of aircraft, including both rotary wing and wide-bodied planes.

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Only CBI must try terror, federal crimes: NHRC
S S Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, February 9
In an efforts to carry forward the police reforms, the National Human Rights Commission in a report submitted to the Supreme Court has recommended to give the CBI exclusive jurisdiction over federal crimes like terrorism, underworld operations, gun running, cyber and drug trafficking offences to launch investigation in any part of the country without states’ prior permission.

The commission in its affidavit suggested amendment in the Constitution to facilitate enactment of a central law to this effect with giving CBI concurrent jurisdiction on offences which easily could be put in the list of “federal crimes” as the central probe agency needed to be strengthened in the changed scenario.

The main reason for amending the Constitution to facilitate this, cited by the NHRC was that the states usually showed “reluctant to share the intelligence or any other information with the neighbouring states or even the Centre.”

The resource crunch with the states to deal with such crimes, requiring specialised investigation”, was the other major reason cited by the rights panel.

A five-judge constitution Bench while directing the Centre and states to implement the police reforms in September last year based on reports of various commissions, had deferred the settlement of the issue of federal crimes management and sought the opinion of NHRC and the Soli Sorabjee Committee on it.

The NHRC has culled out serious offences from various legislations, including the Indian Penal Code, Anti-Hijacking Act, Anti-Smuggling Act, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, Information Technology Act, Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, Explosives Substances Act, Arms Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Official Secret Act, Prevention of Corruption Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act and Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, to put them in the list of “federal crimes” to ensure that the CBI’s jurisdiction on them extended automatically.

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India welcomes Koirala’s gesture
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 9
India today welcomed Nepal Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s recent announcement wherein he extended an olive branch to the agitating Madhesis community.

Mr Koirala’s announcement pertaining to the Madhesis is his government’s second major move in three weeks aimed at creating a new Nepal. On January 15, the Koirala government approved a new, temporary Constitution that brought former rebel Maoists into an interim parliament and stripped the King of his executive powers in favour of the Prime Minister. The Koirala government is also mulling over yet another revolutionary move-nationalising all the properties of the King.

The Ministry of External Affairs here issued a brief statement on Mr Koirala’s assurances that address the demands of the Madhesi population of Nepal, noting the fact that the premier’s speech in the Nepalese Parliament reflected “a consensus among the eight political parties” of Nepal.

New Delhi also assured “full support” to Kathmandu in resolving all its issues through dialogue and peaceful negotiations and patted the Koirala government for the good work it has done in its brief tenure so far.

Mr Koirala had announced in the Nepalese Parliament two days ago that ethnic Madhesis would have a greater role in shaping the nation's future and promised to increase electoral seats for the community ahead of this year's polls.

He also said all marginalised groups will be "included in all the organs of state machinery on a proportional basis."

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CBI to expedite Maya case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 9
Amid reports that the coming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh appear to have put a dampner on efforts to prosecute BSP Supremo Mayawati, CBI Director Vijay Shanker today maintained that the Supreme Court’s directions would be implemented.

Replying to a series of uncomfortable questions on the delay in prosecuting the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Shanker maintained that the CBI was examining the matter and the Supreme Court’s directions would be implemented in letter and spirit.

However, when pointed out that the apex court had issued its directions in November last year and that the CBI was sitting on prosecuting her for over two months, Mr Shanker said: “We will be doing it soon.”

While quashing the CBI’s closure report, the Supreme Court had, on November 27 last year, taken strong exception to the fact that the CBI Director preferred to refer the matter to Attorney General Milon K. Banerjee for his opinion despite the entire investigating team favouring Mayawati's prosecution.

Mr Shanker said there were some gaps that needed to be filled in another case against Mayawati for possessing assets disproportionate to her known sources of income and the CBI had extensively questioned her in this regard last year.

Ms Mayawati had then handed over some documents in support of her stand which were being examined, he said.

On the delay in filing an appeal against the acquittal of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi in a disproportionate assets case by a designated CBI court on December 18 last year, CBI Director said the agency was studying the judgment and the matter was in an advanced stage, but a final decision would have to be made by the Union Government.

“As per the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act that governs the CBI, a final decision on whether to file an appeal would have to be made by the Central Government,” Mr Shanker said.

Mr Lalu Prasad and Ms Rabri Devi were acquitted of all charges in a seven-year-old disproportionate assets case by special CBI Judge Muni Lal Paswan.

Mr Lalu was accused by the CBI of amassing property worth Rs 46 lakh above his known sources of income between 1990 and 1997 during his tenure as Bihar Chief Minister, while his wife was charged with abetting him in the alleged crime. The case was an offshoot of Bihar's fodder scam.

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Attrition biggest worry of DRDO
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, February 9
Guess what is the latest worry of the Indian defence industry? Attrition. The defence establishment is losing the battle for engineers to man and take forward its programmes to the burgeoning Information Technology (IT) industry.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is facing a manpower crunch, which is posing a bigger challenge than any financial constraints being encountered by it, said Mr M. Natarajan, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, on the sidelines of the Aero India show today. Though the DRDO offers better job satisfaction, it is losing the race for engineers to IT companies due to salaries involved. We just cannot assure the same jumps in salary, Mr Natarajan said, adding that the attrition caused due to this was resulting in a severe shortage of quality engineers. He said the DRDO engineers could easily shift to the IT sector, as most of the IT industries were located in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune, which were also defence production centres. Mr Natarajan put the attrition level in the DRDO organisations at between 22 to 27 per cent.

The DRDO is trying to cope up with this problem by increasing the number of recruitment for all programmes. In some programmes, the recruitment is nearly double the number of people needed, as the organisation has seen programmes being hampered due to mass exodus of personnel after they have been given requisite training.

In Bangalore, the Hindustan Aeronautics Development (HAL) is also facing a similar problem. Here it is not just IT firms but a number of global aerospace firms which have opened their offices in the city. The momentum is likely to increase further with European Aeronautics Development Agency (EADS) set to establish a manufacturing facility in the city.

HAL Chairman A.K.Baweja said the corporation was trying to limit attrition by going in for a host of incentives as well as promotional schemes so that young engineers could have the sense of moving up the value chain. He said hiring and retention of staff was, however, likely to remain a problem, as everyone was scouting for the same talent. Mr Baweja said the HAL, on its part, was going to technical institutions and also financing the studies of meritorious students so that it could have a first chance at them when they passed out.

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Amartya’s help on setting Nalanda varsity to be taken
Tribune News Service

Patna, February 9
The Nitish government has decided to take help from Nobel laureate Amartya Sen for the setting up of an international university in Nalanda, which is a 2,000-year-old seat of learning.

Sources in the government disclosed that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has already asked concerned officials to approach the Nobel laureate economist.

It was learnt that Mr Kumar has personally requested Lord Meghnad Desai, a Labour peer in the House of Lords, and Jene Dreze to consult Sen. Desai and Dreze, both economists of repute, had met the chief minister when they were in Patna to attend a global meet that concluded on January 21.

The government is also planning to place a bill for the proposed university in the coming budget session of the assembly beginning February 23. "The government is ready with the draft," sources said.

This move by the Nitish government comes soon after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart signed a joint statement recently in Delhi for the setting up of the international university in Nalanda.

The proposed bill on Nalanda reportedly aims to provide a framework for international cooperation and 700 acres of land is in the process of being acquired for the project.

Nalanda’s importance in history is invaluable as it is from here that Buddhism first travelled to China.

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Yeh father maange more
Tribune News Service

Patna, February 9
The pleas by the Centre and the state government to have a small family seems to have no effect on Mr Kapil Dev Vishwakarma of Aurungabad.

As the country struggles to cope with the surging population, Mr Vishwakarma, in his forties, is still not satisfied with fathering 11 children.

He desires more and has set 30 as his target. Soon after the delivery of the 11th baby by his wife Sona Devi at the primary health centre of the district on Wednesday, Kapil Dev was reported to have said the district officials that he would like to be known as the person who fathered 30 babies.

Neither the illiterate Kapil Dev nor his wife is covered by the much-hyped Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan launched by the state government. Defending his stand for more babies, Kapil Dev argued that more children meant more earning for the family.

Kapil Dev,who earns his living by punching cattle shoes, was confident that God was there to provide for his children.

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Clarify stand on Cauvery, Jaya to Karunanidhi
Tribune News Service

Chennai, February 9
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief Jayaram Jayalalithaa today asked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to clarify his stand on the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

"He should say whether he is accepting the award or rejecting it," she said. Mr Karunanidhi had yesterday said that his government would file a review petition on the award.

Ms Jayalalithaa said Mr Karunanidhi's remarks, that he felt relieved after the award, exposed his fear of speaking against Karnataka.

Tamil Nadu would be getting only 185 tmcft of water as it had to give seven tmcft to Puducherry, she added. Reiterating her stand that Tamil Nadu should move the Supreme Court against the award demanding more water, she said, "It is clearly less than the quantum of 205 tmcft allotted to Tamil Nadu in the interim award." 

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Thakkar takes charge of BJP’s youth wing
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 9
The newly appointed president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Mr Amit Thakkar, today assumed charge of the BJP's youth wing.

Before assuming charge, Mr Thakkar, who was the president of the Gujarat BJYM, paid homage at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate in the capital and promised to work for the unity and integrity of the country.

Mr Thakkar held the Congress responsible for giving birth to divisive policies which were ruining the country and society.

A blood-donation camp was organised at the party headquarters by the BJYM in which senior party leaders and youth workers donated blood.

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‘Sparring’ Gujarat HC judges transferred

New Delhi, February 9
Two Gujarat High Court judges B.J. Shethna and P.B. Majumdar, allegedly involved in an open spat, have been transferred to Sikkim and Rajasthan high courts, respectively, on the recommendation of the Supreme Court Collegium.

The collegium had taken a serious view of the matter as such open clash between the judges of a high court had brought down the reputation of judiciary and recommended to the Government to transfer them. — TNS

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