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Andhra may convert INS Viraat into tourist hotspot

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INS Viraat

Mumbai, July 14: Andhra Pradesh hopes to convert the recently decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat into a “dedicated tourist attraction”.

The Andhra government on Friday issued tender notices inviting bids to appoint consultants for preparing a techno-economic feasibility report and detailed cost estimates to refurbish and convert INS Viraat into a tourism hotspot.

The last date for submitting bids is July 26.

Decommissioned formally on March 6, after putting in around four decades of service on the high seas, INS Viraat is presently docked in the Mumbai harbour.

She displaced nearly 28,500 tonnes and was capable of operating Sea Harrier jets, short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) fighter aircraft, and practically all kinds of naval helicopters.

The ship’s most striking feature was the 12-degree ramp on the bow which helped enhance the safety and the radius of operation and payload carrying capacity of her contingent of Sea Harriers.

During her heyday, she was equipped with Close-in Weapons System for self-defence and a Computer-Aided Action Information Systems which gave the command a full picture of the tactical scenario based on information fed to the computer from all onboard sensors.

This afforded rapid decision making and enabled the destruction of hostile platforms before they could threaten her as reaction times on the seas are minimal.

Post-decommissioning, INS Viraat’s condition was described as “very good” and she was manned by a small contingent of Indian Navy sailors for her routine upkeep and maintenance.

Officials said that though the ship was in their custody in Mumbai, all decisions pertaining to her disposal, conversion or any other utility shall be taken only by Ministry of Defence.

Her keel was laid in 1944, she was launched in 1953 and commissioned into the Royal Navy on November 18, 1959 as HMS Hermes.

On May 12, 1987, she was taken over and commissioned under the White Ensign of Indian Navy and rechristened INS Viraat.

In her previous avatar, she served as the flagship of the South Atlantic Task Force during the commencement of the 1982 Falklands War when her aircraft operated round the clock, units from the ship destroyed many enemy aircraft in the air and surface.

Britain’s Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, once served on HMS Hermes, which boasted some of the most modern and intriguing facilities and amenities on board for the officers and sailors manning her.

It may be recalled that her iconic predecessor, India’s first aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant had languished for nearly 17 years with no takers and had become dangerous to maintain.

Finally, despite all efforts to save her, she was broken down and sold off as metal scrap in November 2014 by a Mumbai shipbreaker.

IANS

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Arunachal Pradesh: Army convoy attacked with grenade by militants in Namsai

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Arunachal Pradesh, Jan 24: Militants attacked Army convoy with grenade in Namsai on Wednesday. 

The blast took place at around 7-20 in the morning when the Army team was returning from conducting operation against insurgents, The Shillong Times reported.

“There was an ongoing operation against insurgents in the area which is known for presence of insurgents belonging to the banned ULFA (Independent) and Naga rebel group NSCN-K” Defence source said.

WeForNews

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Uttar Pradesh: Lucknow school where student was knifed to lose recognition

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murder knife

Lucknow, Jan 23: A school in the Uttar Pradesh capital where a Class 1 student was critically injured last week in a knife attack by a senior girl to lose its recognition, an Education Department official said on Tuesday.

Officials stated in the aftermath of the January 16 incident, an inspection was carried out at the Brightland School in Triveni Nagar which found “very many discrepancies” both in terms of education standards and the security of students.

The District Inspector of Schools (DIOS) of Lucknow Mukesh Kumar Singh has recommended to the Education Department that the recognition of the school be cancelled, the official told IANS.

Prima facie, the official said, the management has been found guilty of trying to fudge the matter and hide it from the police.

The DIOS said that various classes in the school were being run without permission and against norms, and the team set up by the government had found serious lapses in the security system.

The school was allowed by the Uttar Pradesh Board to have classes till Class 12 but was running additional certificate courses, which is illegal, the official said.

The management has claimed that it had installed 70 CCTV cameras in the premises, but there were only 64 and many cameras were found dysfunctional during the inspection, he said.

There was no attendant near the toilet, where the incident took place in which Hrithik was slashed with a kitchen knife by the Class 7 girl student.

District officials said the state government has directed them to conduct surprise inspections in various schools here to ensure that children are safe and that the managements were adhering to the norms.

IANS

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After 22 days, UP gets police chief in O.P. Singh

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UP DGP O. P. Singh
UP DGP O. P. Singh, Photo tweeted by ANI

Lucknow, Jan 23: After a gap of 22 days — the longest in the history of the Uttar Pradesh Police — the state got a new Director General of Police (DGP) on Tuesday as O.P. Singh took over the charge in the presence of senior officials of the department.

The 1983-batch IPS officer was relieved by the central government from the post of the Director General (CISF) last week.

Soon after coming from the national capital, Singh met senior Home Department officials and on Tuesday visited the famous Hanuman Setu temple to propitiate the Hindu monkey God before driving to the DGP office at 1, Tilak Marg here.

A new name plate bearing the name of the police chief was quickly put up outside his official residence, adjoining the police headquarters.

His predecessor Sulkhan Singh demitted the office following his retirement and after a three-month extension, on December 31 last year and the post had been lying vacant ever since.

Singh had been named as the new police chief by the Yogi Adityanath government, but he had not been relieved by the Centre, much to the embarrassment of the state government.

While the grapevine blamed the Brahmin lobby in the ruling party as the force behind the delay, there was also speculation that Singh’s appointment was being jettisoned as he was very close to former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and was the SSP of Lucknow when the infamous murderous attack on BSP chief and then Chief Minister Mayawati was perpetrated at the VIP Guest House.

However, it was reliably learnt that Chief Minister Adityanath’s will prevailed over others and O.P. Singh was relieved from the Centre. He has a two-year-plus tenure left and this could give him an edge in controlling crime, old timers feel.

Singh has been police chief in Almora (undivided UP), Lucknow, Allahabad, Moradabad, Lakhimpur Kheri and Bulandshahr before serving in the state Intelligence Department and the CISF and the NDRF at the Centre.

IANS

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