West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday fired a new salvo at the BJP and said that the TMC would launch the ‘BJP Bharat Chhodo’ movement on August 9. Addressing the Martyr’s Day rally in Kolkata commemorating the 1993 Kolkata firing, Mamata also accused the Union Government of not allowing the State Governments to work. “We are residing in India at a time when we do not know whether we have our democracy or not. Also the Hindus do not know if they can live with respect due to fake Hinduism. Don’t know if Dalits, or Muslims can survive with dignity,” she added. Attacking the BJP Government on demonetisation, Mamata called it one of the “biggest scams”.  “The BJP had made crores of money during demonetisation. The Reserve Bank till date hasn’t given any calculation of the total collection. We want an investigation into the demonetised money. It’s the biggest scam ever. Employment has gone down in the country due to demonitisation,” she added. Mamata also accused the Left of supporting the BJP secretly. “If the TMC was not dedicated, we would not have replaced left, we will not allow the BJP to win a single seat from here,” she said. Mamata also blamed the Centre for the unrest in Darjeeling and said, “The unrest in the hills is a game played by Delhi, but we will not allow it for long.” The Trinamool hold the Martyrs’ Day rally annually on this day in memory of the 13 youth who were killed in the police firing on this day in 1993.   Rediff.com : 21st. July,17



Reliance Industries’ chairman Mukesh Ambani today said rolling out fixed line services will be the next focus area for the company’s telecom services arm, Reliance Jio, after the wireless expansion. “In next level, we’re very focussed in terms of giving fixed line connectivity to both home and enterprise,” Ambani said, answering shareholder queries at the company’s 40th annual general meeting in Mumbai. Earlier, he said Jio is targeting to expand its wireless network to cover 99 per cent of the country’s population in the next 12 months which will make sure that the 4G coverage in the country is more than the 2G one. Jio today launched a 4G-ready handset targeted at the 50 crore Indians using a feature phone at present. As part of the offering, it is also giving a cable to connect with the TV as a special accessory to display the phone content on a bigger screen.  Rediff.com : 21st. July,17


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked party MPs to shun the mindset of ‘lal batti (red beacon) culture’. He made these remarks in a meeting with party MPs from western Uttar Pradesh at his residence, according to an official statement. Modi routinely meets party MPs from different states during Parliament’s sessions to discuss governance and political issues. The Modi government had barred the use of beacon lights from May 1 on all vehicles, except emergency vehicles, saying they have no place in a democratic society. It had projected the measure as an attempt to end ‘VVIP culture’. Modi also told the MPs to work among the masses and said the work his government has carried out among the poor and in villages has resulted in positive changes. He said over 80 per cent sugarcane farmers had received their pending payment and the ‘Ujjwala’ scheme, which provided free LPG connection to poor households, had benefited women. The MPs should now meet them and spread awareness about nutrition, he said, according to the statement. The MPs also praised the prime minister and said his government had ignited new hope among people. Modi had yesterday met MPs from the eastern Uttar Pradesh.    Rediff.com : 21st. July,17


Indian Navy’s ships and submarines were involved in 38 accidents between 2007-08 and 2015-16, adversely affecting the operational preparedness of the force, the Comptroller and Auditor General said in a report.  The auditor said the accidents were primarily attributable to fire, explosion and flooding, adding the Navy had no institutionalised framework to deal with safety since its inception. The report, tabled in the Parliament, said a dedicated organisation for dealing with safety issues was setup by the Indian Navy in 2014. However, it awaits government’s sanction.  The auditor said the loss of a ship and submarine adversely affects the operational preparedness of the Navy as acquisition of new ships and submarines takes more than eight to 10 years. ‘It is, therefore, imperative that Navy maintains its assets free from accidents during peacetime evolutions.   ‘Between 2007-08 and 2015-16, Indian Navy ships and submarines were involved in 38 accidents, primarily attributable to fire, explosion, flooding,’ the CAG said.  The CAG also observed that the inventory control mechanism in the Navy was deficient and that laid down timeline for processing of indents was not adhered to leading to cascading effect in procurement of stores.  The also found that the Navy, while placing the order for procurement of four aero-engines for two helicopters damaged in an accident, did not take into consideration one helicopter which was declared ‘Beyond Economical Repairs’ before the conclusion of the contract.  It said the lapse in decision making process resulted in unproductive expenditure of Rs 16.62 crore on the procurement of three excess aero-engines.  The CAG also said that non-availability of the defence systems on board the fleet tankers, since their delivery in 2011, rendered them vulnerable to external threats.  Further, non-linking of payment with the supply/installation of vital defence systems for two fleet tankers, resulted in premature payment of Rs 26.73 crore to the foreign vendor.  The CAG said the UH-3H fleet of helicopters, procured as an integral part of Landing Platform Deck, was unable to maintain the desired levels of serviceability in six out of seven years of its operations since commissioning. It said non-existence of dedicated depot level maintenance facilities and non-availability of spares adversely impacted the maintenance of the fleet.  ‘Further, Navy continues to be dependent on the foreign repair agency for maintenance, servicing and logistics issues due to lack of training of Naval personnel,’ the CAG observed.  In another finding, the CAG said non-availability of a critical flight safety equipment on board the Indian Navy’s and Coast Guard’s aircraft, has impacted their safe operation for the past 12 years.  “The situation would persist for another four years due to asynchronous timelines for delivery of the equipment and its installation on board the aircraft. ‘Further, failure to take cognisance of de-induction of one of the aircraft fleet, resulted in excess procurement of 10 equipment worth Rs 5.58 crore,’ the CAG said.  ‘Leakage of oxygen reason behind Sindurakshak explosion’  Indian Navy’s frontline submarine INS Sindurakshak had exploded in 2013 in Mumbai due to leakage of oxygen from a torpedo, the CAG said, revealing the reasons causing the major accident.  The CAG cited the report of a high-level inquiry by the Navy into the explosion on board the submarine on Aug 14, 2013 following which it had sunk. The accident is considered one of the biggest in recent times for the Navy in which 17 personnel were killed.  ‘In February 2014 after scientific analysis and careful consideration, inferred leakage of oxygen from a torpedo as a primary initiator of the incident. The oxygen leak was attributed to material failure of oxygen flask or its associated pipelines,’ the CAG said.  It said complete ‘Work Up’ of the submarine was not conducted when the submarine was prepared for operational deployment as the ‘Work Up’ was completed within one week instead of prescribed two weeks.  The CAG report was tabled in Parliament on 21st. July.  The CAG said most of the recommendations made by the Boards of Inquiry into explosion on the submarine emphasised the need for strict adherence to the existing standard operating procedures. The report also said that smoke and fire detectors were not installed in all compartments of the submarine for warning. ‘There were two incidents of fire in the submarine within a span of two hours. The occurrence of two fire incidents in the same compartment of the submarine within a span of about two hours is indicative of the fact that in all likelihood, the first fire in the compartment was not extinguished completely,’ the report said. The CAG also cited a number of accidents involving the Navy’s ships and submarines. The Rediff.com : 22nd. July,17



Criticising the Modi government, an editorial in the New York Times said there has been an ‘alarming rise’ in mob attacks in India since he took office and ‘virulent intolerance’ has been unleashed under his leadership, threatening the foundation of the secular nation. ‘Narendra Modi’s landslide victory as prime minister of India in 2014 was borne on his promises to unleash his country’s economic potential and build a bright future while he played down the Hindu nationalist roots of his Bharatiya Janata Party,’ the editorial titled India’s Turn Toward Intolerance said. The Prime Minister’s Office did not offer any comment when its attention was drawn to the editorial by PTI for a response. The editorial noted that under Modi’s leadership ‘growth has slowed, jobs have not materialised, and what has actually been unleashed is virulent intolerance that threatens the foundation of the secular nation envisioned by its founders’. It added that since Modi took office, there has been an ‘alarming rise’ in mob attacks against people accused of eating beef or abusing cows and most of those killed have been Muslims. The editorial also referred to India’s film censor board’s decision regarding a documentary on Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen. The board ruled that the documentary cannot be screened unless the director cuts the words ‘cow’, ‘Hindu India’, ‘Hindutva view of India’ and ‘Gujarat’, where Modi was the chief minister at the time of anti-Muslim riots in 2002. ‘This might seem like merely a farcical move by Hindu fanatics, if it were not so in line with much else that is happening in Modi’s India, and if the implications for India’s democracy weren’t so chilling. But this is where Modi has brought the nation as it prepares to celebrate 70 years of independence on August 15,’ it said.   The Rediff.com : 22nd. July,17


The CAG  came down heavily on the Railways saying that cleanliness and hygiene were not being maintained in catering units at stations and in trains and it was serving foodstuff unsuitable for human consumption. “During the inspection at selected 74 stations and 80 trains, audit noticed that cleanliness and hygiene were not being maintained at catering units at stations and in trains,” the Comptroller and Auditor General of India said in a report tabled in Parliament on Friday. “Articles unsuitable for human consumption, contaminated foodstuff, recycled foodstuff, shelf life expired packaged and bottled items, unauthorized brands of water bottles etc were offered for sale on stations,” the CAG said. The report also stated that unpurified water straight from the tap was used in preparation of beverages, waste bins were not found covered, not emptied regularly and not washed, food stuff were not covered to protect them from flies, insects and dust, rats and cockroaches were found in trains etc. The CAG also pointed out that bills were not given for the food items served in mobile units in trains. “Printed menu cards with tariff for the rate list of food items sold in the mobile units were not available with waiters and catering managers in trains,” it said. The report also highlighted that the food stuff served was less than the prescribed quantity, unapproved packaged drinking water was sold, proprietary article depot items were sold at railway stations at maximum retail price with weight and prices different from the open market and per unit of food articles sold in railway premises was significantly higher. The CAG said that deficiencies in respect of quality of food served were also noticed. IANS : 21st. July,17


Kujanga Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) convicted a Bangladeshi national for staying illegally in Paradip, who was arrested  last year. Kujanga JMFC court sentenced the Bangladeshi intruder Mijanur Rehman alias Khokan Seikh to three years imprisonment and imposed a penalty of Rs 3,000 failing which he would undergo further sentence of six months. Notably, the 40-year-old was wanted in Bangladesh in several cases including murder. He was wanted by Taltoli and Barguna police in Bangladesh. In March last year, a team of Special Task Force, Bhubaneswar arrested him from Paradip area under section 147 of Foreigners Act 1946. He is a resident of Chilosundartolla under Mongla police limits in Bagherghat district, Bangladesh. The Odisha Sun Times Bureau : 21st. July,17