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Parrikar blames UPA for delayed defence infra projects

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Panaji: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said several key defence ministry projects linked to infrastructure creation like building family housing for soldiers away on posting and constructing border roads were delayed by the erstwhile UPA regime for years.images (4)

Speaking at a government function at Mandur village, 15 km from Panaji, Parrikar said he had tried to expedite pending projects ever since he assumed office.

But, he said, for the pace to match up to his satisfaction would take at least another six months.

Criticising the previous government for the delay in achieving the target of the Married Accommodation Project (MAP), Parrikar said the second phase of the project, involving 70,000 flats, would be completed by 2018.

“The first phase of 50,000 to 60,000 flats was over at that time (during the earlier National Democratic Alliance regime). From the second phase only 5,000 of the 70,000 were completed in last 10 years,” Parrikar said.

“In the last one year, the 5,000 figure has reached 16,000. And in the next year it will cross 30,000. By 2018, our target is to complete construction of 70,000 (flats),” Parrikar said.

He said border road projects too had lagged behind and that the rate construction in some projects was as slow as one foot per day.

The minister said sometimes the reasons for the delay was the non-availability of automatic drills to cut through rock.

“Some border road projects were such that they would move at the rate of only one foot per day. One foot per day. Really there are difficulties there. The rocks there are difficult to break,” he said.

“Blasting cannot be done, because the Himalayas are a very fragile mountain, the whole thing may come down.”

“We have to do localised blasting and you have to stick to drilling. They did not have automatic drill machines. We provided those and as a result from one foot we have progressed to 10 to 12 feet per day.

“Minimum, it should be 50 feet per day, only then will some projects finish in time,” Parrikar said.

“When I became defence minister, many infrastructure projects were stuck. Over the last six-seven months I tried to speed them up. It is not up to my satisfaction yet, for that it may take six months more,” he added. (IANS)

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For the first time, 874 Women will join the Military Police: Indian Army sanctions

Each year 52 new women jawans will be included in Military Police

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Indian Army sanctioned that 874 Women will join the Military Police
Indian Army sanctioned that 874 Women will join the Military Police. Wikimedia

New Delhi, India, September 9, 2017: Opening more doors of opportunity for women in the force, the Indian Army has inducted 874 women in Corps of Military Police.

It’s another cause of celebration for womenfolk as on 7th September India saw Nirmala Sitharaman become the first full-time woman Defence Minister.  This is a praise worthy move taken in the direction of promoting the entry of more women in the armed forces.

The major decision has been taken by the Indian Army to include 874 women jawans in Military Police. Not only this, each year 52 new women jawans will be included in Military Police.

Also Read: Dubai-based Indian Painter Akbar Saheb to draw a Masterpiece in Tribute to the Indian Army

As per an Army briefing on 8th September, the Adjutant General of Army Lt. General Ashwani Kumar said that a need for inclusion of women personnel was felt because of investigation of the cases dealing with gender-based allegations and crime. It felt like an important step to include women corps in the Military Police.

To join the military police, women will have to go through the training period of 62 weeks, the same duration is required for training of male soldiers. The process of including w the men in the military police will get started from 2018 as its modes are being worked out.

Additionally, Lt. Gen. Ashwani Kumar also talked about the established of 2 new state of the art centres in Guwahati and Bhopal, so that the childless couple need not have to unduly wait for their turn. These centres are established in addition to the existing ones which are in Delhi, Pune and Mumbai.


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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau rebuffs calls for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s Resignation

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Tamil Fest
Justin Trudeau attended the Tamil Fest organized in Toronto. Wikimedia

Ottawa, May 2, 2017: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has rebuffed resignation calls for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan over his “architect comments for a 2006 offensive against the Taliban, media reports said.

Trudeau and his embattled minister endured a withering question-period offensive on Monday as opposition MPs accused Sajjan of “stolen valour” for overstating his role in planning Operation Medusa in Afghanistan, The Toronto Star.

Opposition parties trained their sights squarely on Sajjan, who apologised again in the House of Commons.

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The Operation Medusa was one of the bloodiest and most pivotal battles of the Afghan war.

Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose called it a “cardinal sin” in the military circles for stealing valours of others.

“How much more does the Prime Minister need to hear before he understands why our men and women in uniform have lost confidence in the Minister,” Ambrose said.

Trudeau, however, would not be moved from his talking points.

“The Minister made a mistake,” the Prime Minister said repeatedly. “He acknowledged his responsibility and apologised for it; that’s what Canadians expect when one makes a mistake,” The Toronto Sun reported.

Trudeau went on to insist that Sajjan had served his country with distinction in a number of capacities, including as a police officer and as a soldier. As a Minister, he added, “He has my full confidence.”

Sajjan, for his part, later rose and repeated his apology.

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What Sajjan didn’t do is explain his “mistake,” which Ambrose noted he’d made twice – once in 2015 and again two weeks ago during his India visit.

As such, his apology did little to assuage the opposition, with both the Conservatives and the Democratics calling on Trudeau to sack him.

“It’s not an error when you keep repeating the same lie,” New Democratic Party Leader Tom Mulcair said after question period.

In speech in New Delhi on April 18, Sajjan told the Indian think tank Observer Research Foundation that he had been the “architect” of Operation Medusa, which the Minister has since retracted.

“On my first deployment to Kandahar in 2006, I was kind of thrown in an unforeseen situation and became the architect of an operation… where we removed about 1,500 Taliban fighters,” Sajjan said in his speech.

Sajjan was a Major with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan during Operation Medusa, and received a special commendation.

Hundreds of Taliban fighters were killed or captured over a two-week period. Twelve Canadians were also killed in the fighting. (IANS)

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Defence minister, Army and IAF chiefs to visit Pathankot

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garbage management

New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, along with Indian Army Chief General Dalbir Singh and Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha will visit Pathankot in Punjab today in the wake of a terror attack at the air base that has killed seven personnel.

The visit comes as combing operations are under way at the air force base where a battle between security forces and terrorists went on for three days.

The defence ministry and the NSG have so far confirmed the killing of five terrorists.

Sources said a sixth body found is yet to be identified. (IANS)