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Probe irregularities in 5 UAV Rotax engines’ purchase: CAG

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UAV Rotax engines

New Delhi, Sep 23 : India’s government auditor has pulled up the Indian Air Force (IAF) and an Israeli drone manufacturer for financial loss in procurement of UAV Rotax engines and recommended a probe into the matter to fix the responsibility.

The Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) Audit Report on Air Force – Defence Services, tabled in the Parliament on Wednesday, flagged irregularities in purchase of aero engines for Unmanned Aero Vehicles.

“IAF concluded a contract in March 2010 with M/s Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for supply of five 914F (certified) UAV Rotax engines at a cost of Rs 87.45 lakh per engine,” it said.

The audit, however, noted that the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), under the Defence Research and Development Organisation, had, in April 2012, procured the same variant of Rotax engine at Rs 24.30 lakh per engine.

Also, the average price of this engine in the international market ranged between Rs 21 lakh and Rs 25 lakh.

“As a result, the vendor gained an undue benefit of Rs 3.16 crore as it supplied the five contracted UAV engines at more than three times the market price or the price offered to the DRDO unit,” the CAG stated.

The audit also noted that the vendor resorted to mislabelling and supplied uncertified engines to the IAF instead of the contracted certified engines.

“There were many reported accidents involving these uncertified engines including loss of one UAV in a flying accident,” the report stated.

The auditor recommended investigation into the matter and fixing of responsibility for wrongful supply and acceptance of mislabelled engines by IAF.

About upgradation of medium lift helicopters, the CAG stated that the upgradation of Mi-17 helicopters, proposed in 2002, to overcome the operational limitation of these helicopters could not be achieved even after 18 years.

As a result, these helicopters were flying with limited capability, thus compromising operational preparedness during these years.

Due to poor planning and indecision at various stages of procurement, the Defence Ministry took 15 years to enter (January 2017) into the upgradation contract of 90 Mi-17 helicopters with an Israeli company.

The contracted delivery of these upgraded helicopters was to start from July 2018 and be completed by 2024.

The CAG noted that after upgradation, 56 of these helicopters would be left with less than two years of life and would be phased out by 2024.

Cities

700 Doctors At Delhi Civic-Body Hospitals Go On Indefinite Strike Over Pending Salaries

Resident doctors of Hindu Rao Hospital are on a relay hunger strike for the last couple of days, demanding release of their pending salaries too.

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Doctors Protest for Salary

New Delhi: Patients of North Corporation-run hospitals faced hardship as the senior doctors there went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday, a day after they had gone on casual leave en masse over their pending salaries.

Maruti Sinha, general secretary of the Municipal Corporation Doctors’ Association (MCDA) said, “Our demands, which include release of pending salaries for the last three months, have not been met, so we are now on an indefinite strike”.

MCDA, an association of senior permanent doctors of the civic hospitals, was established in 1974, and has about 1200 members. It also includes doctors from hospitals run by other two municipal corporations.

“We have about 700 doctors from the North Corporation hospital who are part of MCDA. We all went on mass casual leave in protest. And, even though our conscience doesn’t allow, our doctors did not attend to patients even in emergency wards,” Sinha said on Monday.

Patients at Hindu Rao Hospital and other North Delhi Municipal Corporation-run hospitals faced inconvenience as doctors struck work to press for their demands. Authorities may have taken services of contractual doctors, she said.

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Services were also hit on Monday when the senior doctors went on a mass casual leave and did not even attend to patients in the emergency department.

Resident doctors of Hindu Rao Hospital are on a relay hunger strike for the last couple of days, demanding release of their pending salaries too.

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India

Mr PM stop robbing public, be self reliant, says Rahul Gandhi

Mr Prime Minister, Quit robbing the public, Stop giving money to your friends, Be Self-Reliant, tweeted Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Mr Prime Minister,
Quit robbing the public,
Stop giving money to your friends,
Be Self-Reliant, tweeted Rahul Gandhi.

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India

India, US need to jointly confront China’s threats to security: Pompeo in New Delhi

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday in the national capital said that India and the US need to jointly confront China’s threats to security in the Indian subcontinent and the Indo-Pacific

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mike pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday in the national capital said that India and the US need to jointly confront China’s threats to security in the Indian subcontinent and the Indo-Pacific.

Speaking at the third India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue in New Delhi, amidst the ongoing face-off between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Pompeo discussed several issues from “cooperating on defeating the pandemic that originated in Wuhan, to confronting the Chinese Communist Party’s threats to security and freedom, to promoting peace and stability throughout the region”.

As per an official statement of the US government, Indian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar at the meeting raised the issue of security threat India is facing from China. “In the area of defence we are challenged by reckless aggression on our northern borders,” he said at the bilateral dialogue.

The meeting assumes significance because the US secretaries of the Trump administration travelled to New Delhi amidst Coronavirus pandemic even as an intense ongoing campaigning for the Presidential elections due on November 3 was underway in the US.

“Our friendship and commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific was clearly, clearly highly on display when we were in Tokyo this past week and a half for the Quad meeting that Minister Jaishankar and I had with our Australian and Japanese friends earlier this month,” Pompeo told his counterpart.

The US secretary of state said, “Today is real opportunity for two great democracies like ours to grow closer, as I said on my trip to India last year when I called for a new age of ambition in our relationship. I think we’ve delivered on that over this past year. There is much more work to do for sure.”

Together, India and the US are building a better future for “our people based on our shared set of values and our cultures, our defence ties, our scientific collaboration, and mutual prosperity. I thank you for your leadership to each of you to build what ought to be a defining partnership of democracies in the 21st century,” he added.

Jaishankar, at the 2+2 Dialogue said that as the global economy has taken a massive hit due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian government has to quickly make up for the losses as economic downturn will have both domestic and external consequences.

According to the US Department of State statement, Secretary of Defence Mark T. Esper, at the meeting with his counterpart Defence Minister Rajnath Singh pointed out that Tuesday marked the 15th anniversary of the first US-India Defence framework.

“We have strengthened our defence and security partnership considerably since then, especially over the past year, during which we advanced our regional security, military-to-military, and information-sharing cooperation. Our focus now must be on institutionalizing and regularizing our cooperation to meet the challenges of the day and uphold the principles of a free and open Indo-Pacific well into the future,” he said.

The two sides discussed key opportunities to expand their efforts on “regional security concerns” and to advance their “defence priorities”, to include increasing information sharing and mutual logistics operations between their militaries.

Jaishankar in his remarks said that at a time when it is particularly important to uphold a rules-based international order, the ability of India and the US to work closely in defence and foreign policy has a larger resonance. “Together we can make a real difference when it comes to regional and global challenges, whether it is in respecting territorial integrity, promoting maritime domain awareness, counterterrorism, or creating prosperity,” he added.

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