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PM Modi clinched Rafale deal to benefit Ambani

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Rafale Deal Facts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has been raising his slogan “Na Khanuga Na Khane Dunga” had in 2015 during his visit to Paris, struck the multi-billion-dollar Rafale fighter jets deal between India and France in a suspicion manner that raises some inquisitive questions as it benefits Anil Ambani more than the nation.

What prompted Modi to nullify the previous deal negotiated by UPA regime and undertake a fresh procurement deal with Dassault by -passing the mandatory ‘Defence Procurement Procedure’ in the absence of an inter-governmental agreement with France at that time.

Earlier Indian Air Force was to purchase 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) but Modi government dropped the number to 36 in three years and that too at an exorbitant price.

The deal is important to boost up the Indian Airforce as the Rafale is equipped with a wide range of weapons and is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. The Rafale is referred to as an “omnirole” aircraft by Dassault. Delivery of the Rafale fighter jets is expected to begin in November 2019 and will likely be completed in the middle of 2022.

How prime minister Narendra Modi took a unilateral decision on cancelling and revamping the top class 4+ generation fighter aircraft deal which is closely related to national security and the public exchequer. But the continued silence by the Prime Minister on the controversial deal raises suspicion about the deal.

When the Congress led Opposition alleged that a “huge scam is brewing” in the NDA government’s procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, the BJP led government has tactically shorten the winter session of Parliament to avoid discussions on the mega defence deal.

Both Modi government and Defence Minister are maintaining secrecy in the purchase price as US$ 80.95 million (Rs.526.1 crore) was negotiated during previous UPA government as against to Modi government’s per aircraft negotiated price of US$ 241.66 million (Rs.1570.8 crore) as per current exchange rate.

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has raised questions about the deal and made serious allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly tweaking the deal “without consulting anyone, to favour an industrialist.”

The Congress has accused serious allegations on Prime Minister as why Modi promoted the interests of a private corporate entity of Anil Ambani over a public sector undertaking. Anil Ambani had been one of the major “beneficiaries” of the 2G licensing scam, now comes out to be the key beneficiary of the Rafale Deal. It appears that Modi government is there to benefit the Ambanis to a great extent as Modi unilaterally decided to scrap the original contract for 126 aircraft to benefit Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence Ltd while the agreement dated 13.03.2014 between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Dassault Aviation to share technology and produce the Rafale aircraft was scrapped. Ambani’s Reliance has emerged as Dassault’s main partner and Dassault and other French parties will invest half of the contract value in the Ambani’s company as envisaged in the new Rafale “Deal”.

Another aspect should also be noted that Reliance Defence Ltd was registered on March 28, 2015 according to the ministry of company affairs.

Congress has asked Prime Minister Why no procedure has been followed? As per the Defence Procurement Procedure, 2013; ‘Contract Negotiations Committee’ i.e. CNC and ‘Price Negoations Committee’ i.e. PNC had to first make price discovery followed by inter-governmental agreement, then the government should announce the purchase but none of these had been followed?

After selling 36 Rafale fighter jets to India, French government is now pushing for a project to manufacture warplanes here in Indian soil to encourage local manufacturing under ‘Make In India’but PM Modi is focusing on “Make with AMbani”. It’s time that Prime Minister Modi should understand that there are many entrepreneurs apart from Ambanis and Adani and outside Gujarat.

 

 

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By: Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom Day: J-K Lt Governor Pays Tribute To Sikh Guru

Manoj Sinha noted that the pious day is a reminder to respect and uphold the ‘faith, belief and rights of people’.

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Manoj Sinha

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha paid rich tributes to Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru, on his martyrdom day on Tuesday.

“The teachings and martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur underline one of the most fundamental principles of human existence, which is ensuring the right of everyone to breathe free and live unshackled,” Sinha said.

Guru Teg Bahadur’s sacrifice is an important reminder for the future generations to be committed towards upholding the faith, belief and rights of people, he added.

On this pious day, everyone must resolve to dedicate themselves to selfless service of others, the LG said.

“Peaceful co-existence, mutual respect for each other’s religious beliefs go a long way in uplifting individual lives and achieving harmony and compassion in the society,” he added.

Guru Tegh Bahadur was born on April 1, 1621. He resisted forced conversions of Hindus, Sikhs, Kashmiri Pandits and non-Muslims to Islam and was killed on this day in 1675 on the orders of the then Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi.

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More Than Half Of 20-Year-Olds In India’s Metros Likely To Develop Diabetes In Lifetime

As many as 134 million people in India, with more women at risk, could be afflicted with diabetes by 2045 due to reduced physical activity and poor diet.

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More than half of men and nearly two-thirds of women currently aged 20 years in India could develop diabetes in their lifetime, with most of those cases likely to be type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

The research, published in the journal Diabetologia, estimated the probability of a metropolitan Indian of any age or body mass index (BMI) developing diabetes in their lifetime.

According to the scientists, including those from the Centre for Chronic Disease Control (CCDC) in New Delhi, the country already has a significant health burden caused by diabetes with more than 77 million adults currently afflicted by the condition, and the number expected to almost double to 134 million by 2045.

As urban centres continue to grow rapidly across India, they said decreasing diet quality, and decreased levels of physical activity are all contributing to this hidden epidemic.

In the study, the researchers assessed age-, sex- and BMI-specific incidence rates of diabetes in urban India based on data from the Centre for Cardiometabolic Risk Reduction in South Asia (2010-2018).

They also analysed the age-, sex- and urban-specific rates of mortality from period lifetables reported by the Government of India (2014), and the prevalence of diabetes reported by the Indian Council for Medical Research India Diabetes Study (2008-2015).

Based on the analysis, the scientists said the lifetime risk of developing diabetes in 20-year-old men and women free of diabetes today is 56 and 65 per cent, respectively.

Women generally had a higher lifetime risk across the lifespan, the study noted.

According to the researchers, for those currently aged 60 years and currently free of diabetes, around 38 per cent of women and 28 per cent of men would go on to develop diabetes.

They cautioned that obesity had a substantial impact on these projections, with the lifetime risk highest among obese metropolitan Indians — 86 per cent among 20-year-old women, and 87 per cent among men.

People with lower BMI had considerably higher diabetes-free life expectancy and obese 20-year-olds were estimated to have around half of their remaining life years free from diabetes.

However, those with normal or underweight BMI were projected to live out most of their remaining years diabetes-free, the scientists said.

“The remarkably high lifetime risk of developing diabetes and the low diabetes-free life expectancy in India’s metropolitan cities, especially for individuals with high BMI, implies that interventions targeting the incidence of diabetes may be of paramount importance moving forward,” the researchers noted in the study.

They noted that metropolitan Indians at every age and BMI have an alarmingly high probability of developing diabetes compared with results from high-income countries, and that proactive efforts to prevent diabetes in cities are urgently needed.

According to the scientists, this is particularly needed given the rapid increase in “urban obesogenic environments” across the country.

In addition to these risk factors, the scientists said Indians already have a relatively high predisposition to developing the condition at both lower ages and lower BMIs when compared with white European populations.

“Such high probabilities of developing diabetes will have severely negative implications for India”s already strained health system and also out-of-pocket expenditure on diabetes treatment by patients, unless diabetes is immediately acknowledged for what it is,” said study co-author Shammi Luhar from the University of Cambridge in the UK.

“Despite these very high predicted lifetime risks of diabetes, it is possible to prevent or postpone diabetes by effective lifestyle modification, such as following a healthy diet, by increasing physical activity and reducing body weight in those who are obese or overweight,” added Viswanathan Mohan, another co-author of the research from the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in Chennai.

The scientists believe the need of the hour is policy and investment with clearly spelt out targets and commitments to meet by 2030.

“Perhaps an aspirational target of ’90-90-90′ (90 per cent of people with diabetes detected, 90 per cent of those detected treated, and 90 per cent of those treated controlled), is imminently needed,” said study co-author Nikhil Tandon from the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.

“Such a target could operate in the same way as the 90-90-90 targets introduced some years ago for HIV, which has since been replaced by even more ambitious 95-95-95 targets,” Tandon added.

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Tarun Gogoi: Supreme Court lawyer who went on to become longest serving CM of Assam

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Tarun Gogoi started his political career as a ward member of the Jorhat Municipality in 1968. In 1971, he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) in the Lok Sabha and served for six terms till 2001, first from Jorhat and later from Koliabor.

Former Assam chief minister and veteran Congress leader Tarun Gogoi succumbed to post-COVID complications on November 23. The Congressman was rushed to GMCH on 2 November due to post-Covid complications, just a week after he was released. He was first admitted to the hospital on 26 August after testing positive for Covid-19.

Expressing his grief, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Shri Tarun Gogoiji was a popular leader and a veteran administrator, who had years of political experience in Assam as well as the Centre. Anguished by his passing away. My thoughts are with his family and supporters in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti.”

Political Journey:

Tarun Gogoi started his political career as a ward member of the Jorhat Municipality in 1968. In 1971, he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) in the Lok Sabha and served for six terms till 2001, first from Jorhat and later from Koliabor.

As the leader of the Congress party in Assam for over 50 years, Gogoi was first elected joint secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in 1976 under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He later served as general secretary of the AICC (1985–90) under Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Gogoi served six terms as a Lok Sabha MP from Assam. He first represented Jorhat for three terms between 1971 and 1985. He was later elected from Kaliabor in 1991-96 and then 1998-2002. The Kaliabor seat is currently held by his son Gaurav Gogoi.

He stayed CM from 2001 to 2016, a total of 15 years.

Gogoi, a lawyer by profession, was in court to assist Congress leader P Chidambaram. The last time the former chief minister was in court to argue a case was in 1983. After more than three decades, Gogoi in December attended court proceedings as a lawyer as the Supreme Court took up a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act. Gogoi had opposed the Citizenship Act, calling it “discriminatory”.

States in the Northeast, especially Assam, witnessed intense protests in the wake of the Citizenship Amendment Act, ever since the Bill was tabled in the Rajya Sabha. Army and paramilitary columns were called in to control the violence.

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