Today News on 19 January 2022
- Taliban seek Muslim nations’ recognition
- ‘State-sponsored political agenda’ may be behind hate speeches: senior journalist in SC
- Russia says it will take nothing less but NATO expansion ban
- Gen. Bipin Rawat’s brother joins BJP, may contest Uttarakhand polls
- National Commission for Safai Karamcharis gets 3-year extension
- Piyush Arora appointed as Skoda Auto Volkswagen India head
- Senior Chennai artist K Shyam Kumar’s drawings and sculptures are on display after 15 years
- Smriti Mandhana named in ICC T20I women's Team of the Year; no Indian in the men's side
- No Central Asian chief guests at this year’s Republic Day celebrations
- Sania Mirza to retire after 2022 season
- Bomb thrown into house at Manipur, no one injured
- Supreme Court to consider hearing PIL challenging use of EVMs in polls
- Goa Assembly election | Amit Palekar AAP's CM face for 2022 polls
- Supreme Court to steer ex gratia payment to kin of COVID-19 deceased
- Pfizer chief Albert Bourla wins $1 million Genesis Prize
- Seven-year-old buried alive under snow in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar
- Reliance Jio topples BSNL as largest fixed line broadband provider
- Lupin ties up with China’s Fancoo Pharma
- Tesla investors urge judge to order Musk repay $13 billion for SolarCity deal
- PM Modi lauds NDRF on its raising day
- Hong Kong independence activist Leung released from prison
HAL signs contract for export of Advanced Light Helicopter to Mauritius
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has signed a contract with the Government of Mauritius (GoM) for export of one Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH)-MkIII for the Mauritius Police Force, it said on Wednesday.
Mauritius already operates a ALH and Dornier Do-228 aircraft built by HAL.
“With this contract, HAL and Government of Mauritius have further strengthened the long-standing business relations spanning over three decades,” a HAL statement said.
The contract was signed by B.K. Tripathy, General Manager, Helicopter Division-HAL and O.K. Dabidin, Secretary of Home Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, Government of Mauritius, recently at HAL’s Transport Aircraft Division, Kanpur.
The ALH Mk III is a multi-role, multi-mission helicopter in the 5.5 tonne category in extensive use by the Indian armed forces and has also been exported.
More than 335 ALHs have been produced till date logging around 3,40,000 cumulative flying hours. HAL also ensures technical assistance and product support to the customer to ensure healthy serviceability of the helicopter, the statement noted.
Indian has significantly scaled up its capacity building assistance to littoral states in the Indian Ocean as part of efforts to augment their national capacities. There has also been a particular focus on increasing defence exports in the last few years..
Supreme Court to steer ex gratia payment to kin of COVID-19 deceased
The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to take the reins and marshal the efforts to pay compensation to families that lost their relatives to COVID-19, after noticing some States responded to the humanitarian move in a lukewarm fashion.
A Bench of Justices M.R. Shah and Sanjiv Khanna told the States that many of these families were economically challenged. They may have been further crippled by the fact that COVID-19 took away their sole breadwinner.
The court said payment of ₹50000 each as ex gratia to the loved ones of every COVID-19 patient was a welfare gesture, and so, essential to a welfare State. Delays and bureaucratic red-tape to release the money or process the application did not augur well. Moreover, applications for compensation ought not to be rejected merely on technical glitches. Every reason for denying a claim should be recorded, it noted.
MEA announces India-Central Asia summit to be held virtually
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host a meeting with five Central Asian leaders virtually next week, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced on Wednesday, formally indicating that they will not travel to Delhi, as planned, as chief guests at the Republic Day celebrations.
The MEA had not officially confirmed their presence, but sources said the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan had in December accepted an invitation to jointly attend the parade and Republic Day reception.
They were due to also participate in the first India-Central Asia summit meeting during their visit to Delhi.
The size of the marching contingents at Republic Day is down by about a third this year and the route taken by them has also been reduced to a few kilometres from Vijay Chowk to National Stadium, and the size of the audience is down from the usual 1.5 lakh to only about 5,000 special invitees including officials and diplomats this year. Mr. Modi had chaired a meeting on Saturday to decide on the options and proposals.
Announcing that the summit would be held via videoconference, the MEA called the India-Central Asia leaders’ meeting a “reflection of India’s growing engagement with Central Asian countries”, which will follow meetings of the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval with his counterparts in November to discuss Afghanistan, and the India-Central Asia dialogue hosted by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in December.
“During the first India-Central Asia Summit, the leaders are expected to discuss steps to take forward India-Central Asia relations to newer heights. They are also expected to exchange views on regional and international issues of interest, especially the evolving regional security situation,” the statement issued by the MEA said.
“The summit is symbolic of the importance attached by the leaders of India and the Central Asian countries to a comprehensive and enduring India-Central Asia partnership,” it added.
No Central Asian chief guests at this year’s Republic Day celebrations
No guest for the second time in a row
This is the second year in a row the government has had to cancel invitations to chief guests due to the COVID-19 pandemic after U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was unable to attend the celebrations in 2021.
Last year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his visit to attend the Republic Day parade as the Chief Guest due to rising COVID-19 cases in his country.
In 1966 when no Chief Guest was present at the event which was held days after the demise of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent and the death of nuclear scientist Homi Bhabha in an air crash.
Foreign leaders have graced the Republic Day parades every year barring 1952, 1953 and 1966. The then Indonesian President Sukarno was the first chief guest to grace Republic Day in 1950.
In 2020, Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro was the chief guest.
In 2018, the entire Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leadership comprising 10 heads of states were present at the Republic Day parade.
LAST MONTHS G.K.