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2 Chinese Tourists visit some of the “strategically important” Locations in Arunachal Pradesh on Wrong Documents

Citizen of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign national of Pakistani origin shall not be issued a special permit without the prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs"

Tawang monastery, Arunachal Pradesh. Flickr

Guwahati, November 3, 2016: In a case of administrative goof-up, two Chinese nationals visited some of the “strategically important” locations in Arunachal Pradesh on Protected Area Permit (PAP) issued instead of the Restricted Area Permit (RAP).

The incident came to light about three weeks after expiration of the PAP, which was recovered only recently from Bomdila in the frontier state that shares international border with China, Bhutan and Myanmar.

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“On August 30, PAP was issued to two Chinese nationals from Hongkong — Young James John and Wu Chong Shong. They wanted the PAP to enter Tawang, West Kameng and Lower Subansiri districts for 30 days from September 12 to October 11,” said an official at the Deputy Resident Commissioner of Arunachal Pradesh in Guwahati on Thursday.

“The problem is that the citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan require RAP to be issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The application for the PAP was recommended to our office by the Resident Tourism Officer of the government of Arunachal Pradesh. The concerned officer here must have overlooked the issue of Chinese citizenship of the two tourists and issued the PAP instead of RAP,” he said.

“The two PAPs to the Chinese nationals were issued against tourist visa,” he added.

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“I have come to know about the incident and I shall submit a report to the government soon,” he said, adding that the government was yet to order a probe into the incident.

Although there was no record whether the two Chinese nationals from Hongkong visited the frontier state or not, recovery of a copy of the PAP from Bomdila indicates that they must have visited the places.

Tawang and West Kameng are heavily militarised zones and are of strategic importance to India, considering the security concern of the country and China’s claim over Tawang as their territory.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, in order to facilitate tourist inflow to the frontier state, in 2015 delegated powers to Secretary Tourism, the government of Arunachal Pradesh, Resident Commissioner Delhi, and to the Deputy Resident Commissioners at Kolkata and Guwahati to issue PAP to normal foreign tourists to enter Arunachal Pradesh.

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However, the MHA in its guideline for PAP order 1958 Section 3(ii), clearly said, “Citizen of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign national of Pakistani origin shall not be issued a special permit without the prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs”.

It instructed that issuing authority should exercise utmost caution and thoroughly check the records, negative lists and other restrictive circular etc. before granting a special permit to a foreigner. (IANS)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393