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First M777 ultra light artillery gun to reach India this weekend

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New Delhi, May 17, 2017: After three decades, the Indian Army will receive its first heavy ordnance as the first two guns out of the 145 M777 ultra light artillery guns it ordered from the US are expected to arrive, a month ahead of schedule, over this weekend, said a company statement.

A BAE Systems spokesman said in a statement that “In fulfilment of the United States’ Foreign Military Sale of 145 M777 ultra light weight howitzer to India, we are pleased to confirm that the first two weapon systems will land in India ahead of schedule over this weekend.”

“We continue to support the US government in integrating this new weapon system with the Indian Army’s artillery modernisation program,” he added.

The guns were expected to arrive in June.

On November 30, India signed the Letter of Agreement and Acceptance (LOA) with the US to purchase 145 M777 ultra-light artillery guns, through the foreign military sale (FMS) route.

The Union Cabinet on November 17 approved the much-awaited deal, which would add tremendous firepower to the Indian Army, especially against China in the eastern front.

The air portable 155mm/39 calibre gun, with a maximum range of 30 km, is manufactured by BAE Systems.

The $737 million contract has a 30 per cent offset clause worth around $200 million.

Out of 145 guns, BAE will deliver 25 guns and rest 120 will be assembled in India by Mahindra.

The ultra light howitzer is being purchased primarily to deploy on mountains in eastern border with China to provide the much-needed fire power to the Indian Army in the region.

The last artillery guns that India purchased were the much-controversial Swedish Bofors guns in the mid-1980s.

Wefornews Bureau

India

JNU students take out rally to demand VC’s removal

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JNU Student protesting against Vice Chancellor

New Delhi, Feb 20: At least 1,000 students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) embarked on a march towards the Human Resource Development Ministry on Tuesday, demanding the removal of their Vice Chancellor.

The students began their march from Mandi House with slogans, banners, and placards denouncing Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar for his “autocratic” ways in bringing an attendance rule into force which the students alleged was never passed in the Academic Council meeting.

More than 150 Delhi Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were deployed along with a water cannon truck at the Shastri Bhavan which houses several ministries.

IANS

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Soon, Parliament House to have a creche

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Parliament Of India

New Delhi, Feb 20: The Parliament House will soon open a creche facility on its premises so as to have an inclusive work environment for its women employees.

A 1,500 square-feet creche in the House will be guarded by professionals, ensuring all-round development of children and will also have a separate feeding room for mothers, a statement by the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry said on Tuesday.

The work is in progress and a senior official has also been deputed to oversee the work under the direct supervision of Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

The statement said this development will bring an impact by pushing other private establishments, Central and state-owned organisations to set up same facilities.

IANS

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Spell out stand on MPs’ salaries, allowances: SC to Central Government

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Feb 20: The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave a “last opportunity” to the Central government to spell out its stand on constituting a permanent mechanism for determining sitting parliamentarians’ salaries and allowances.

Giving a seven days time to the Centre, a bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul stated the affidavit filed by the union government on September 1, 2017, had not made its position clear,  news IANS quoted.

“Government of India policy is dynamic. However, you can’t modify it every day,” Justice Chelameswar said to senior advocate Ajit Sinha, who appeared for the Centre and told the bench that the issue was under the consideration of the government.

“You have not stated your position. Your affidavit in September 2017 was not clear about a permanent mechanism. When are you going to do it,” Justice Kaul asked, as Sinha sought a week, for the last time, for the Centre to firm up its stand.

“What is the government’s view on it? You want it or don’t want it? Your counter-affidavit (response) does not disclose anything,” Justice Kaul observed.

Apparently not happy about the delaying by the Centre on the issue, the apex said: “You may not have a last word, but you may have a last opportunity” to state your position.

Appearing for the NGO Lok Prahari, its General Secretary S.N. Shukla said that it has been 11 years since all parties in a meeting convened by the Lok Sabha Speaker had unanimously decided to have a mechanism for fixing the salaries and allowances of the members of Parliament but nothing has moved so far.

The court is hearing a plea by Lok Prahari demanding a permanent mechanism for fixing salaries and allowances of MPs. It has contended that lawmakers can’t decide on their own.

The Plea has also sought direction that former MPs can’t be given pension and other benefits after they have ceased to be the representatives of the people.

Further proceedings will take place on March 5.

WeForNews 

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