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Two Goa ministers may have taken bribe, says Manohar Parrikar

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Panaji: Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said two ministers from Goa, including the then public works department minister, may have accepted bribes from a global consultancy firm for a water developmental project in Goa in 2010.

File Photo.
File Photo.

The firm has since admitted to a US government agency to paying a bribe of nearly one million dollars or about Rs.6.3 crore.

“The project was related to Japan International Cooperation Agency. Therefore, the then PWD minister may be involved; and since the project also deals with financial approval, there is likelihood of another minister’s involvement,” Parrikar said while addressing a meeting of party workers in Margao, 35 km from Panaji.

The then PWD minister Churchill Alemao has refused to comment on the allegations, saying he has “no idea what statement the media is quoting”.

Portions of the US government’s Justice Department documents, quoted in the national media, said two top officials of international consultancy firm Louis Berger allegedly offered a bribe of $976,630 to an Indian minister and government officials in 2010 to secure the five-year Goa Water Supply and Sewerage Project.

The documents, according to the same media reports, claim the two company officials pleaded guilty to paying the bribe.

Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Saturday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the bribery allegations and said he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this.

(IANS)

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Britain Gets Its First Unmanned Minesweeping System, Announces Minister Guto Bebb

Easily transported by road, sea and air, the high-tech design means a small team could put the system to use within hours of it arriving in any theatre of activity, added Bebb.

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Easily transported by road, sea and air, the high-tech design means a small team could put the system to use within hours of it arriving in any theatre of activity, added Bebb.
Guto Bebb, Defence Minister (Britain), wikimedia commons

Britain’s Royal Navy has taken delivery of its first unmanned autonomous minesweeping system, Defence Minister Guto Bebb said on Saturday.

Bebb said the system, capable of safely clearing sea lanes of mines, could go on to be used in the future to defeat the threat of modern digital mines following a period of successful trials.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said the system has been designed and manufactured by Atlas Elektronik in Dorset, England, under a $20.3 million contract.

“This autonomous minesweeper takes us a step closer to taking our crews out of danger and allowing us to safely clear sea lanes of explosives, whether that’s supporting trade in global waters and around the British coastline, or protecting our ships and shores,” Xinhua quoted Bebb as saying.

Britain's Royal Navy has taken delivery of its first unmanned autonomous minesweeping system, Defence Minister Guto Bebb said on Saturday.
Flag of Britain with Navy, wikimedia commons

Easily transported by road, sea and air, the high-tech design means a small team could put the system to use within hours of it arriving in any theatre of activity, added Bebb.

The sweeper system, which features a sense and avoid capability, could also work together with other similar autonomous systems for the common goal of making our waters safer, said the MOD.

The project, designed to be operated from a land or ship-based control station and can be deployed from a suitable ship or port, also aims to demonstrate the viability of an unmanned system that can safely and successfully clear mines.

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Brigadier Jim Morris from the Royal Marines who is senior responsible officer for the Mine Counter Measures and Hydrographic Capability (MHC) programme said: “The mine sweeping system is the Royal Navy’s first fully autonomous capability demonstrator and paves the way for the introduction of this technology across the full range of maritime capabilities.”

“This autonomous system will restore the Royal Navy’s sweep capability, enabling it to tackle modern digital mines that may not otherwise be discovered in challenging mine hunting conditions.” (IANS)

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