Evening digest: Cabinet clears $2.5 billion deal for Boeing military choppers

GN Bureau | September 22, 2015



As prime minister Narendra Modi heads to the United States the cabinet on Tuesday cleared the purchase of Boeing’s Apache and Chinook helicopters in a deal worth around $2.5 billion. This is a further boost to defence ties with the US. The approval for 22 Apache attack and 15 heavy lift Chinook helicopters will replace the military’s ageing Soviet-origin choppers.

Indian diaspora in USA launches 'Mission 2022'
The three million strong Indian diaspora in the US has launched "Mission 2022" in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industries to make US-India partnership a defining partnership of the 21st century."We have set a goal called Mission 2022, which is to have a series of dialogues with the diaspora over the next seven years as India turns 75," entrepreneur M R Rangaswami said during a reception hosted by CII and Indian diaspora, which among others was attended by US Commerce  Secretary Penny Pritzker and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. These dialogues would be held every six months. "The goal is that by 2022, the US-India partnership is a defining partnership of the 21st century," he said yesterday.

Sanjiv Chaturvedi donates Magsaysay award money to AIIMS
Former Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of AIIMS, Sanjiv Chaturvedi, who was honoured with the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award recently, has donated the entire award money to AIIMS for treatment of poor patients."I am donating the entire award money into the accounts of the institute (after depositing advance income tax of Rs 5.63 lakh on the said award money) for providing financial assistance to the treatment of the poor patients, particularly those affected by various types  of cancer," Chaturvedi said in his letter to AIIMS director. Chaturvedi has received Rs 19.85 lakh as award money of which Rs 5.63 lakh has to be deposited as advance tax. He also requested for a separate register to be maintained to record complete detail of the patients and financial assistance granted to them, in a transparent manner.

India summons home envoy to Nepal
Tuesday morning, the Twitter hashtag #BackOffIndia was trending in Nepal as
India summoned its ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae home for urgent talks. This follows a sudden downturn in ties after its neighbour adopted a new constitution that sparked weeks of border violence that killed more than 40 people. Nepal’s new constitution creates seven states in a federal system, but is opposed by groups who want to re-establish Nepal as a Hindu nation, and others who feel it is unfavourable to people in the plains.

Govt control on pulses, edible oil to continue till September 2016
Government control over pulses, edible oil and oil seeds under the Essential Commodities Act will continue for another year (till September 2015), as the government tries to ensure adequate supply of these items at reasonable prices. The order was to expire at the end of this month. “The decision has been taken to ensure that people do not face any difficulty. With the extension, state governments can take various measures available under this Act to ensure adequate supplies to people,” communication minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said after a cabinet meeting.

Sensex closes 541 points down, Nifty 165 amid weak European markets
Indian shares fell more than 2% on Tuesday, tracking a steep fall in European equities and as sentiment turned cautious ahead of the expiry of monthly derivatives contracts later this week. The S&P BSE Sensex closed 541.14 points, or 2.07 %, higher at 25,651.84, while the 50-share CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed up 165.10 points, or 2.07%, at 7,812.00.

11 million cars worldwide have pollution cheating software: Volkswagen
German auto giant Volkswagen said Tuesday that as many as 11 million diesel cars worldwide were equipped with a particular engine type that could skew emissions data, as the pollution cheating scandal snowballed.  On Monday, the German carmaker admitted it had rigged emissions tests of diesel-powered vehicles in the United States, and US authorities said they would widen the probe to other automakers. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Friday that Volkswagen, the world's biggest carmaker by sales, used software that deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions and could face penalties of up to $18 billion.

Haryana panchayat polls put off till SC decides on educational criteria
Panchayat elections in Haryana have been deferred till the adjudication of the petition filed in the Supreme Court, challenging the incorporation of amendments, including the one making educational qualification mandatory for candidates. The apex court had last week granted a stay on the amendments.The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that regular hearing on the matter will begin from October 7. It also observed that in such circumstances, it will not be feasible to hold elections as per the schedule notified by the state election commission (SEC).

Bombay High Court stays Maharashtra government circular on sedition
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday stayed Maharashtra government's circular on sedition, which says that charges can be imposed on anybody who, by words, signs or visible representation, criticises politicians or elected representatives belonging to the government.The petitioner Narendra Sharma had contended that the circular dated August 27 amounts to violation of the fundamental rights of a person and sought the High Court's direction to quash and set it aside. The circular asks police to bear in mind that the sedition clause of IPC can be invoked against whoever, by "words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, dissatisfaction and provoking violence" against the central or state government.

Sanatan Sanstha says it did not threaten journalist Nikhil Wagle
Sanatan Sanstha on Tuesday said the claims made by journalist Nikhil Wagle that he has been receiving threats from the outfit is nothing but a "stunt" to attract sympathy.The right wing Hindu outfit has come under the scanner after its member Samir Gaikwad was arrested in connection with the murder of rationalist Govind Pansare. The Sansthan also claimed that its another member Rudra Patil, who is suspected by the investigators as the 'prime accused' in the Pansare murder case, is not in touch with them since 2009.

Modi pays tribute to 1965 Indo-Pak war martyrs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday paid tribute to 1965 India-Pakistan war martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti on the last day of 'Shauryanjali' exhibition , set up by the Army as part of the golden jubilee commemoration of the 1965 war. Prime Minister Modi had earlier urged the people to spend time at the 'Shauryanjali' exhibition while addressing the nation in the 12th edition of his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme. Meanwhile, the Shauryanjali exhibition) has been extended till September 27.

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