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Army to close down its dairies, give 25,000 cows to states, central body

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The Indian army will give away 25,000 cows to state governments and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research as it shuts down 39 military dairies across the country.
The government decided to shut these farms down to free up resources — mostly prime real estate and the revenue spent on them — as part of a major military overhaul that was announced .
Defence minister Arun Jaitley announced that a revamp process has begun and by 2019, more than 57,000 soldiers will be redeployed to combat roles from other positions.
The farms were raised in 1889 and are spread over more than 20,000 acres of prime real estate in cities such as Ambala, Kolkata, Srinagar, Agra, Pathankot, Lucknow, Meerut, Allahabad and Guwahati.
The farms supplied more than 21 crore litres of milk to the army, accounting for 14% of the total requirement.
In all, these dairies employ more than 2,000 people — most of them defence civilians.
Their closure follows recommendations made by an 11-member expert panel, headed by Lieutenant General DB Shekatkar (retd), on enhancing the military’s combat potential and trimming its revenue expenditure.
In line with those recommendations, Jaitley said on Wednesday that “far-reaching” restructuring had started to improve army’s tooth-to-tail ratio – the number of personnel (tail) required to support a combat soldier (tooth). The exercise, he said, would be completed by December 2019. The army consists of around 40,525 officers and 1.15 million other ranks.
The Shekatkar panel made a total of 188 recommendations of which 99 have been approved by the government and 65 are being implemented.
Talking from Pune, Shekatkar hailed the move saying it would beef up the army’s “combat potential, capability and endurance.”
“This is perhaps the first time a committee’s recommendations on military restructuring have been implemented. We made 188 recommendations in March. We hope all the remaining recommendations will also be implemented as they too are very significant.”


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National

Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs

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Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.

“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.

This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.

 

According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.

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National

Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara

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Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.

The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.

“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.

 
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Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.

With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.

 

Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.

However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.

The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.

The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.

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