India protests against Pakistan Supreme court’s order on Gilgit-Baltistan

India on Friday summoned the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan and lodged a strong protest over the Pakistan Supreme Court’s order extending its powers to ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’.

“The Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned on Friday and a strong protest was lodged on recent order by Supreme Court of Pakistan on the so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan” which is an interference in India’s internal affairs,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

“It was reiterated that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, which also includes the so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’ has been, is and shall remain an integral part of India, it added.

The statement further said, “Pakistan Government or judiciary have no locus standii on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it. Any action to alter the status of these occupied territories by Pakistan has no legal basis whatsoever.”

“India rejected such continued attempts by Pakistan to bring material change in these occupied territories and to camouflage grave human rights violations, exploitation and sufferings of the people living there.,” the statement said.

Pakistan was asked to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.

India beat Australia by 7 wickets

India beat Australia in the third and final ODI in Melbourne to take the series 2-1.

MS Dhoni’s 87 – his third consecutive half-century, and 61 from Kedar Jadhav lead the way as Australia’s 230 is chased down for a seven-wicket victory.

“What a run-chase. The Dhoni-Jadhav duo take #TeamIndia to a thumping 7-wicket victory,” BCCI tweeted.

MS Dhoni became player of the series for his brilliant performance in all the three matches and Yuzvendra Chahal, the player of match for his brilliant spell of 6/42.

“51 in Sydney 55* in Adelaide 87* in Melbourne @msdhoni is the Player of the Series!” ICC tweeted.

A career best from Chahal and another perfectly timed chase led by Dhoni handed India the ODI series with a seven wicket win at the Melbourne.

Australia: 230 all out – 48.4 overs.

India: 234 for 3 – 49.2 overs. 

Jammu and Kashmir: Two grenade attacks by terrorists

Terrorists on Friday carried out two grenade attacks on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, including one in the Lal Chowk area of the city, police said.

Suspected terrorists lobbed a grenade at a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) party near Ghanta Ghar in Lal Chowk area.

According to an official, the grenade exploded on the roadside adding no one was hurt in the attack.

In a separate incident, terrorists lobbed a grenade at security forces in Shopian district of south Kashmir. No loss of life or injury has been reported yet.

Jammu and Kashmir police tweeted, “Two incidents of #grenade attack by #terrorists; one in #Srinagar & other in #Shopian. #Police is at the spot. Investigation in both incidents is going on. No loss of life or property reported.”

Security forces were rushed to both the areas and search operations have been launched to nab the attackers.

Further details are awaited.

Rahul Gandhi supports Trinamool Congress supremo’s rally in Kolkata

Congress president Rahul Gandhi extended his support to the Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee on 18th January for her “show of unity” in Kolkata on January 19 and hoped that it would send a powerful message of a united India.

The Congress has deputed its leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, to represent the Grand Old Party at the Mamata’s meeting since it seems that Gandhi itself will probably fail to attend the event.

The Congress chief addressed a letter to Banerjee in which he saluted the great people of Bengal, who had historically been at the forefront of defending ideals of the country.

Gandhi in his letter renews his support to Mamata on this show of unity and hope that together they will send a powerful message of a united India.

On his Facebook page, Rahul Gandhi posted that the entire opposition is united with the belief that true nationalism and development can only be defended on the tested pillars of democracy, social justice and secularism, ideas that the BJP and Modi are intent on destroying.

In his letter to Banerjee as well as in the post on the social media platform, Gandhi said there were powerful forces that were fanned by the anger and disappointment of millions of Indians, who had seen through the “false promises and lies peddled by the Modi government.

He declared that these forces are moved by the hope of a new tomorrow; a tomorrow filled with the idea of an India in which the voice of every man, woman and child will be heard and respected no matter what their religion, economic status or region is.

A host of Opposition leaders are likely to attend the Trinamool Congress supremo’s rally in Kolkata on Saturday, which is being projected as the show of opposition strength ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Himachal to train one lakh youths to make them employable

Special focus is being given to skill development of the youth in the State so as to enhance their employability by providing necessary training. Presently, three schemes – Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Asian Development Bank funded Kaushal Vikas Yojana and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Kaushalya Vikas Yojana are being implemented in the State. Under these schemes, about one lakh youth from the State will be trained to get employment.

Under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas Nigam has been entrusted with the task of training 22 service providers. 22000 youths are being provided training. Training completed by approximately 2340 trainees, 341 trainees have been given employment.

With the help of Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas Nigam, a graduate (vocational) programme is being run by the Higher Education Department, in which 824 students have registered during the academic session 2017-18 and 1010 students have registered themselves in the year 2018-19.

‘Graduate Add-on’ programme started with the Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas Nigam to provide training to students in selected colleges, in which 750 students attended this session. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed for five year Skill Development Project of Rs. 650 crore with Asian Development Bank on March 28, 2018.

Under this project, skill of more than 53000 youth will be developed, 50 ITIs will be upgraded, 6 urban livelihood centers and 7 rural livelihood centers will be opened. Three training service providers were listed to run short-term training programs under the skill development program being run with assistance from the Asian Development Bank. Under this program, 7000 youths will be provided training in the first phase.

Under this project of Asian Development Bank, the construction work of the Model Career Center, Hamirpur, Government Women Polytechnic College, Rehan, Urban Livelihood Center, Shamshi, Urban Livelihood Center, Sunder Nagar and Urban Livelihood Center, Nahan started by Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas Nigam.  Construction work of Rural Livelihood Center, Sadyana in Mandi district and Rural Livelihood Center, Chopal and Pragatinagar in Shimla District have also started.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana has also been implemented at a cost of Rs. 77 crore. Under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, first installment of Rs. 21.56 crore of has been received. This will provide employment skills to about 50,000 youth.

Decision to convert all Employment Centers into Skill Identification Centers and Ideal Career Counseling Centers has also been taken. It will increase opportunities for employment and placement by counseling the youth.  New Women Empowerment Scheme has been started with the objective of making rural women self-reliant at Panchayat level to make them aware of their rights, to make them aware of various schemes being run for their upliftment and to impart skill development training to them.

With all these skill developmental schemes and activities, the youth of state will be able to get employment and opportunities of starting their own ventures.

ISRO to finalise Gaganyaan’s crew module, crew service module design

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan on Friday said that the design for the crew module and crew service module for India`s Gaganyaan, first manned space mission will be finalised soon and ISRO is gearing up to launch Gaganyaan in 2022.

The design for crew module (that would carry the Indian astronauts) and crew service module will be finalised soon. We are not designing these for the first time as we already have the necessary infrastructure,” Sivan said.

“For Gaganyaan Program we have already placed a management structure in ISRO. First unmanned mission by Dec 2020, second unmanned mission by July 2021 and the real human space flight by Dec 2021,” Sivan added.

Sivan also announced that ISRO is launching one-month Young Scientists program, under this program, 3 students from each state will be selected, they will be given lectures and given access to research and development labs giving them practical experience in building satellites.

“For 2019 we have planned 32 missions, out of which 14 launch vehicle mission, 17 spacecraft mission and 1 demonstration mission,” said Sivan.

“We want #PLSV to be made by industries, owned by industries and launched by industries. A consortium has been formed with L&T and @HALHQBLR,” Sivan added.

He further said, Five Priority areas for ISRO for this year are

  1. Gaganyaan
  2. Reaching to students
  3. Outreach programme
  4. Planned missions
  5. Vikram Sarabhai Centenary celebrations


NAS Shibpur to be transformed into INS Kohassa

According to a defence release announced on 18th January, Naval Air Station (NAS) Shibpur will be commissioned as INS Kohassa, in view to enhance the operational capability of Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC).

The release issued by the Headquarters ANC stated that Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of Naval Staff will drive NAS Shibpur which was established in 2010 as INS Kohassa on January 24.

It declared that INS Kohassa has been named after a White-Bellied Sea Eagle, which is a large bird of prey endemic to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The NAS Shibpur was established as a Forward Operating Air Base (FOAB) for surveillance in North Andaman. Located in the northern most part of the islands, the airfield holds strategic importance not only for the security of the islands but also for its overall development.

The release added also that, the addition of this airfield, will enhance the ANC’s ability to operate independently from all the regions of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

INS Kohassa will become the third Naval Air Base in the Andaman and Nicobar islands after INS Utkrosh at Port Blair and INS Baaz at Campbell Bay.

Post commissioning, the station will function as a base for joint operation of both military and civil aircraft in keeping with the UDAN scheme of the government.

As part of Phase II expansion plan, the runway length would subsequently be extended to 3000 metre. This will enable the operation of wide-bodied civil and defence aircraft in the future.

Heavy snowfall predicted in Kashmir, Govt issues alert

After experiencing three successive snowfalls over the past month, Kashmir is bracing for yet another on January 19.  According to weather department, this time snowfall will last four days and will gradually increase in its intensity.
State Government has issued an alert to people to be ready for the disruption as a result. People in the avalanche prone areas have been advised to take precautions. 
Already at least ten persons were reported missing after three vehicles came under an avalanche at Khardung La in Ladakh area of Kashmir on Friday.
In case of heavy snowfall, the surface and the air transport are the first to be hit which leads to shortage of essentials. 
The temperature in Srinagar and the famous resorts like Gulmarg and Pahalgam plunged to minus degrees. According to MeT department, Srinagar  recorded minus 0.7 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 10.3 and Gulmarg minus 10.0 as the minimum temperatures on Friday.
However, more snow  has been a welcome development for the tourism. According to the tourism department,  hotels and guest houses are running full,  at Kashmir’s Gulmarg and Jammu’s Patnitop, the two most sought after places in the state during winter. Both local and outstation tourists have made their way to the  locations of Kashmir to experience the snow. 

Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna sworn in as Supreme Court judges

Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna were on Friday sworn in as judges of the Supreme Court.

They were administered the oath by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Justice Dinesh Maheshwari was earlier the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. Justice Khanna was a judge of Delhi High Court.

On Wednesday President Ram Nath Kovind had appointed them as Supreme Court Judges after the government accepted the Supreme court collegium’s recommendation on their elevation.

The Collegium decision taken on January 10 triggered a controversy, as it was in reversal of the previous decision taken on December 12, 2018 to recommend the elevation of Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajendra Menon to the Supreme Ciurt.

10 trapped after avalanche hits Khardung La in Ladakh

At least 10 persons are reportedly trapped under snow after an avalanche hit Khardung La of Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir.

Search operation has been launched by the Army, State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) and police to trace the missing people.

On Thursday, the authorities had issued an avalanche warning in several districts of Valley.

The warning was issued for Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh districts.