General Bikram Singh, chief of the Indian Army, has spoken to the cadets of the National Defence University of Beijing. He has also held a number of meetings with the top military leaders of China on various issues such as the how the new mechanism for border defense will be implemented in the days ahead. This was one of the rare occasions when an Indian Army chief was speaking to the up and coming members of the People’s Liberation Army of China. He in fact happens to be the first chief of the Indian Army to have visited China in the last 9 years.
Indian Army chief speaks to military cadets in China
During his interaction with the students General Singh touched on issues such as the relations shared by the two countries. He also spoke to them regarding the military ties shared by India and China. In fact after the War of 1962 the military relations between the Asian neighbors had come to a grounding halt. General Singh also touched on the challenges being faced in the 21st century with regards to leadership in military. In his entire speech however, he did not make a single reference pertaining to China. Indian media was however not invited to the event and the officials in attendance too did not provide any details of the same.
Oil minister looking to increase cooking gas and kerosene prices
It is expected that the Indian oil ministry will be making an appeal to the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs or CCPA regarding recommendations, which have come from a panel of experts, on increasing the prices of kerosene and cooking gas. As per the suggestions of the said council, there has been a proposal to increase the prices of LPG by INR 250 for each cylinder and the price of kerosene by INR 4 per liter. It is believed that the union ministry is getting ready with a draft note on the said issue for the CCPA to mull over.
The previous administration headed by the UPA had prescribed that the prices of diesel be increased by 40 to 50 paisa for each liter after every month and it looks like the present ministry is in support of the same. As of now diesel is being sold at a loss of INR 3.40 per liter and the aim behind this proposal is to try and stop the same. Throughout 2014 the Indian government will be doing away with the subsidy provided on diesel as well.
Prime Minister bats for a stronger army
Speaking from Kashmir, Narendra Modi expressed strong support for India to achieve self-sufficiency in production of defense equipments. He stated that this was necessary so that India could be made absolutely safe from any danger whatsoever. The recently elected PM also stated that for him the most important matter was making the defense modern than ever since he felt that a solid security setup needed to be in place for peace to prevail around the country. Modi also thinks that a strong army would help to maintain an environment of tranquility, harmony and goodwill in India.
Modi gave a short speech at the Sainik Samelan in Srinagar and in the same speech he stated that the government will leave no stone unturned to make sure that the soldiers were in good stead all over. He said that if the soldiers were happy they would be able to serve the country in a much better way. In fact, when Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat he had spoken on a number of times on similar lines. He had also expressed a desire for India to be in a position where it could export weapons and defense equipment.
Indian government is against Delhi assembly’s closure
It seems unlikely that the Delhi assembly will see any election in the foreseeable future after the Indian government put up opposition at the Supreme Court against a plea made for new votes to Delhi assembly by the Aam Aadmi Party. At present the status of Delhi assembly is that of suspended animation. The Indian government has made it absolutely clear to the highest judicial authority in the country it does not want elections to the Delhi assembly to happen any time soon.
PS Narsimhan, the Additional Solicitor General, has informed a judicial bench comprising RM Lodha, the Chief Justice of India, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Madan B Lokur, that the government needs to be provided sufficient time to make sure that the decision of common people is not made futile. The court has, however, passed on the whole matter for reconsideration to the constitution bench. This was done after Fali Nariman, a senior counsel contesting the case on AAP’s behalf, told the apex court that the way the Indian government was going on refusing the termination of the present assembly and hosting of new elections needed to be reviewed judicially.
Modi administration accused of diluting MGNREGA by CPI(M)
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has stated that the national government is looking to divert the MGNREGA or Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act from its intended path. The party has also accused that the Modi-led national administration is trying to fiddle with issues related to social security. They have opined that after the party assumed power the promise of good days has been turned on its head. Brinda Karat, a leading member of the party, has stated that BJP represents the very pinnacle of hypocrisy. Karat has in fact written a letter to Nitin Gadkari, the rural development minister of India and in the same she has alleged that BJP is making efforts to remove the program altogether.
She has stated that during its election campaign BJP had promised job creation but is now looking to remove the MGNREGA that happens to be the sole legitimate assurance that people in the rural areas of India will have jobs. Hannan Mollah, a senior leader of the party, along with Karat, has said that each step being taken by the party is to make sure that the interests of the corporate entities are well looked after.
Government backs kabaddi league
The youth affairs and sports ministry of India has extended its official support to Pro Kabaddi, a kabaddi tournament that will comprise teams from 8 cities across the country. The tournament is set to start at Mumbai from July 26, 2014. Star Sports, one of the leading broadcasters of the world will be responsible for showing and producing the tournament. Ajit E Sharan, secretary of the said ministry, had written a letter to Charu Sharma, the managing director of Mashal Sports, which will promote the event, expressing support for the tournament. In the letter he had stated that he was heartened by the decision of Mashal Sports to take such a groundbreaking and courageous step.
He said in the letter that the step of Mashal to promote what remains one of the sporting heritages of India and also try and divert people’s attention towards the same was a praiseworthy one. Sharan stated that as a sport kabaddi does not need any equipment as such and was also capable of developing qualities like endurance, planning, power, skill and cohesiveness in a unit in an athlete. The secretary also expressed hope that with the revival of this game Indian youth would once again adopt a lifestyle that would enable them to stay fit longer.