Wednesday February 21, 2018
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Condolences pour-in as the nation mourns Kalam’s death

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday led the nation in paying respects to former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who rose from humble beginnings to become one of India’s leading scientists and later a hugely popular president.

Leaders from across the political spectrum, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, BJP president Amit Shah and Lok Janshakti Party president and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan paid their tributes to Kalam who was the president from 2002 to 2007.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh was among the first to pay his tributes.

Officials said a meeting of the union cabinet would be held on Tuesday to pay formal condolences to Kalam.

Leaders including Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and former prime minister Manmohan Singh recalled their personal association with Kalam.

Kalam breathed his last at 7.45 p.m. at Bethany Hospital where he was rushed to from IIM-Shillong where he was delivering a lecture.

President Mukherjee said the death of Bharat Ratna Kalam was “a deep personal loss”.

He said Kalam was “a people’s president” during his lifetime and will remain so even after his death.

“As president of India, Dr. Kalam was immensely popular and greatly admired. His warmth, humility and simple ways endeared him to one and all. He had a special love for children and sought to constantly inspire the youth of our country through motivational speeches and personal interaction,” the president said.

He said Kalam will be long remembered for his passion for science and innovation and his contributions as an eminent scientist, administrator, educationist and writer.

“In his passing away, we have lost a great son of India who dedicated his entire life for the welfare of the motherland and its people,” he said.

In his message, Modi said: “India mourns the loss of a great scientist, a wonderful president and above all an inspiring individual.”

Modi said he learnt a lot from Kalam. “My mind is filled with so many memories, so many interactions with him. Always marvelled at his intellect, learnt so much from him.”

Modi said Kalam enjoyed being with people. “People and youngsters adored him. He loved students and spent his final moments among them.”

Sonia Gandhi said Kalam was “one of the greatest scientific minds and a scholar statesman” and one of India’s iconic leaders.

Manmohan Singh, who worked with Kalam as prime minister, said he greatly benefited from the advice of the late leader.

“In his death, our country has lost a great human being who made phenomenal contribution to the promotion of self-reliance in defence technologies. I worked very closely with Dr. Kalam as Prime Minister and I greatly benefited from his advice as President of our country.

“His life and work will be remembered for generations to come,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi said Kalam was a man of many parts — a scientist, an inventor, a visionary thinker and a teacher. “He will be missed dearly and remembered fondly by every Indian.”

Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani said Kalam “served Mother India literally until the last breath”.

Union ministers Najma Heptullah, Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar, M. Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, and Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy were among leaders who paid their respects to Kalam.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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All You Need To Know About The Rafale Deal Controversy

The fiasco that Congress is creating on the Rafale Deal is certainly not fair

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Rafale Deal is very important for both the countries involved i.e. India and France.
Rafale Deal is very important for both the countries involved i.e. India and France.

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Rafale Deal happened between India and France
  • The Rafale Deal is about the Rafale fighter jets
  • The deal is getting into controversies because of the allegations de by the opposition, especially Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2015 made the announcement that India will buy 36 French-manufactured Rafale fighter jets from Dassault, a French aircraft builder and integrator. This came to be known as Rafale Deal.

The Rafale deal of 36 Rafale aircrafts between India and France was called a “win-win partnership” for both the countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi finalised the Rafale Deal during his visit to France in 2015. (FILE PHOTO)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi finalised the Rafale Deal during his visit to France in 2015. (FILE PHOTO)

But recently it has come under attack of the Opposition, mainly the Indian National Congress, which has alleged that there have been irregularities in this deal and its proceedings. However, the government has denied and rejected all the charges.

The Rafale Deal is nothing new and was also signed during the time of UPA government. The first time it came to light was during the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee where the original proposal was to buy 126 fighter jets.

After tests and negotiations in 2012, Rafale was considered L-1 bidder and negotiations started which only came to a conclusion as the Rafale Deal in 2015 under Prime Minister Modi’s government.

NDA government has got a better price on the Rafale Deal than the UPA governement.
NDA government has got a better price on the Rafale Deal than the UPA government.

Now the UPA alleging irregularities on NDA government doesn’t seem fair to many because no deal took place under their government. The transfer of technology was a primary issue of concern between the two sides. Dassault Aviation also tried to deny to take the responsibility of quality control of the production of 108 aircraft in India. The Dassault provided for 3 crore man-hours for production of the Rafale jets in India, HAL’s estimate was approximately 3 times higher which resulted in an escalation of costs in the manifold.

Also Read: Make in India: France to set up production centers for Rafale fighters

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to France in 2015 helped bring this deal to a final conclusion. The government-to-government deal of 36 jets was to completed as soon as possible.

On costs of the Rafale Deal, NDA government has said that it got better terms than those quoted in the original bid under the UPA government. The total savings are reported to be of more than 1600 million Euros. However, the cost breakdown of Rafale Deal in the original bid under UPA government and in the 36 aircraft in the NDA’s government-to-government deal is not available for the public domain.

The Rafale Deal involves no private party from the side of India. www.worldwide-military.com
The Rafale Deal involves no private party from the side of India. www.worldwide-military.com

Under the current agreement, the  Rafale Deals support the ‘Make In India’ initiative of the Indian Government through the IGA’s Article 12. It states that France will facilitate the implementation of ‘Make In India’. These critical design technologies were already discussed between the two governments in previous meetings. The present Rafale Deal is signed between two sovereign governments and there is no private individual, firm or entity involved in the process from the side of India. The procurement process also does not include any private company or firm from India.

Also Read: IAF’s Rafale Deal with France: India confirms order

The fiasco that Congress is creating on the Rafale Deal is certainly not fair as the NDA government has proved that their deal is better than the one which was undertaken during the UPA government.