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Cong slams Prez’s address to joint sitting of Parl; calls it ‘devoid of logic’

Monitor News Bureau

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New Delhi: The Congress on Monday said the President’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament was “deeply disappointing” as it made claims contrary to ground realities.
Congress’s senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said the government’s claims made in the President’s address were “hollow and devoid of logic”.
“The President’s address to both Houses of Parliament has been deeply disappointing, insipid and it makes claims which are contrary to ground realities and known facts,” he said.
Talking to reporters, Sharma said an impression is sought to be given that under the watch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this government, all the commitments made to the people of India had been honoured and fulfilled, whereas the truth was far different.
Asked about the triple talaq bill and the plea made by the President and the Prime Minister for its passage, he said though the party supports the bill it should pass through legislative scrutiny.
“We have earlier also said we are in full support of the bill. However, the bill should pass through legislative scrutiny. This government has made a habit of avoiding legislative scrutiny,” he alleged.
He demanded that the government bring a provision in the bill for providing financial assistance to Muslim women whose husbands face criminal action under it.
Anand Sharma also said that if the Prime Minister was serious about the cause of empowerment of women, he should help secure the passage of women’s reservation bill in Lok Sabha, where his party had a majority.
The Congress leader alleged that the “hasty” imposition of “flawed” Goods and Services Tax (GST) had led to sharp decline in the GDP and jobs as promised had not been created but destroyed.
“It was time for the government to give an account, but surely the President’s address could not have given an account of non-performance and betrayal of the promises. This government is in denial and therefore will not be in a position to improve the situation on all fronts including alleviation of agrarian distress,” he said.
Anand Sharma said the President spoke about the government’s fight against corruption, but “our question and charge against this government is that they are not sincere. Why they have not appointed Lokpal? The law is there. What has prevented Narendra Modi and his government from appointing a Lokpal in the last almost four years?”
On the issue of the possible impeachment of the Chief Justice of India as proposed by the CPI(M), he said that the opposition leaders would meet to deliberate on all issues.
“There are concerns about the functioning of the judiciary, and parliament is the right forum to take up the matter. But it is also a sensitive issue. That’s why in-depth deliberations and examinations of the matter are required before a final call can be taken. But surely, the parliament must discuss,” he said.
Congress leader Rajeev Shukla said his party was suggesting that the criminality part in the triple talaq bill should be looked into and the government should be open to new ideas.
“We will not oppose the bill in Rajya Sabha. We want the government to talk to the opposition and make corrections and then bring the bill,” he said.


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National

Next war with indigenised weapons: Army chief

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New Delhi, Oct 15: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said the Defence Research and Development Organisation has made strides in ensuring that requirement of the country’s defence services are met through home-grown solutions, adding that the next war will be fought and won through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.

Speaking at the 41st DRDO Directors Conference, Rawat said: “The DRDO has made strides in ensuring that requirements of the services are met through home-grown solutions. We are confident that we will fight and win the next war through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.”

With a network of 52 laboratories, the government agency DRDO is charged with the military’s research and development covering various fields like aeronautics, land combat engineering, armaments, electronics, missiles, and naval systems.

 

The Army chief said that the Defence industry of India is a budding industry and the time has now come to look at the development of systems for future warfare and start preparing for “non-contact warfare.”

Rawat asserted that along with artificial intelligence, the future lies in the development of cyber, space technology, laser, electronic warfare and robotics.

“We are looking at systems for future warfare. We have to start looking at development of cyber, space, laser, electronic and robotic technologies and artificial intelligence,” he said.

The Army chief said that if the timeline between the design development and production of any weapon system of equipment is to be reduced then it would be better to embed the service officers along with Research and Development.

Calling for joint research by Army officials and DRDO, he said: “In a joint project, the success and failures will become a joint responsibility and we will not start pointing fingers at each other.”

On the occasion, Rawat recalled APJ Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary stating that the late President had set benchmarks and standards for the Defence Research and Development (R and D) community, which is a challenge for scientists who are now emerging.

“I am quite sure the scientists will live up to those expectations,” he said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval were also present at the event. (IANS)

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Major shift in govt’s way of handling ‘terrorism’: IAF chief on Balakot

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New Delhi: The strategic relevance of Balakot air strikes is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism, Air Chief RKS Bhadauria said on Tuesday.

In his Air Force Day message, the Air Chief said, “The strategic relevance of this (Balakot air strikes) is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism. There is a major shift in the government’s way of handling militant attacks.”

Stressing that the present security environment in the neighbourhood is a case of serious concern, the Air Chief said Pulwama attack is a stark reminder of the persistent threat to defence installations.

 

Earlier, the Chiefs of three services paid floral tributes at the national war memorial on the occasion of 87th Air Force Day.

“On February 26 this year, the IAF successfully struck camps located at Balakot. On the next day, the IAF successfully thwarted Pakistan Air Force’s attempts to attack our military establishments. In the aerial engagement that followed we shot down a PAF F-16 fighter aircraft and lost a MiG-21,” the IAF chief said in his remarks during Air Force Day press conference on October 4.

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RSS chief says lynching a ‘western construct’ being used to defame India

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Nagpur: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday said lynching is a “western construct” and should not be used in the Indian context to defame the country.

Addressing the Vijayadashmi function of the RSS at Reshimbagh ground in Maharashtra’s Nagpur city, he said the word ‘lynching’ does not originate from Indian ethos but comes from a separate religious text, and such terms should not be imposed on Indians.

He also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the government’s move to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, but said some vested interests do not want the country to be strong and vibrant.

 

Voicing his displeasure over several incidents of mob violence in the country, he said, “Lynching is not the word from Indian ethos, its origin is from a story in a separate religious text. We Indians trust in brotherhood. Don’t impose such terms on Indians.”

“Lynching itself is a western construct and one shouldn’t use it in the Indian context to defame the country,” he said.

Bhagwat urged citizens to create harmony, and that everyone should live within confines of law. “Swayamsevaks are brought up with that sanskar,” he said.

He said in the past few years, there has been transformation in “direction of thought process of Bharat”.

“There are many people in the world and in Bharat as well, who don’t want this. A developed Bharat creates fear in the minds of vested interests…such forces will also not want Bharat to be strong and vibrant,” the RSS chief said.

Even well-meaning policies, statements from persons in government and administration were being misused to benefit nefarious designs by vested interests, he rued.

“We must be alert in identifying these plots and counter them on intellectual and social levels,” he said.

Bhagwat said the world was eager to know if the 2019 elections in such a huge country will be conducted smoothly.

“Democracy in India is not something imported from any country, but a practice which has been prevalent here since centuries,” Bhagwat said.

He said India’s borders were now safer than ever, and more focus was needed on coastal security.

“The number of guards and check-posts on land borders and surveillance along the maritime border, especially on islands, have to be increased,” he said.

On concerns over the economic sector, he said the slowing down of world economy has left its impact everywhere.

“The government has taken initiatives to tide over the situation in the last one-and-a-half months. Our society is entrepreneurial and will overcome these challenges,” he added.

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