Andaman and Nicobar will play important role in govt’s self-reliant India programme: PM Modi | India News

NEW DELHI: A day before inaugurating a submarine optical fibre cable facility for Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Sunday that it will ensure that the region faced no problem in getting virtually connected to the outside world as he highlighted his government’s various development initiatives for the union territory.
Speaking at an interaction with BJP workers from the distant region, he noted that the islands are “strategically” located and can become a key centre for global sea trade, stressing that the central government is working to make it a blue economy hub and also an important place for maritime startups.
PM Modi said 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar have been selected for high-impact projects, with an emphasis on boosting trade of sea-based, organic and coconut-based products of the region.
The region will play an important role in his government’s self-reliant India project and the growth of new India, the Prime Minister said, while referring to the ongoing work to expand Port Blair airport and boost air connectivity.
Over 300km of national highway in the region is expected to be completed in a record time, he said.

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Landslips, floods took 900+ lives in 16 states this season | India News

NEW DELHI: Floods and landslides have caused widespread devastation across the country with more than 900 deaths reported so far by 16 states this monsoon season.
On Friday, Kerala added over 23 to its tally of 33 lives lost reported till August 6. West Bengal, Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka, MP and Maharashtra are the worst affected states.
About 69 lakh people in Bihar and 57 lakh in Assam have been affected by floods, displaced or marooned. Millions across India have lost their habitat, livestock and livelihood, taking shelter in thousands of relief camps run by state authorities. The Centre has deployed 141 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for rescue operations, besides the state disaster response forces (SDRF).

In the last 10 days state governments have reported more than 200 deaths due to floods and landslides, taking the overall tally close to 900. West Bengal has the highest deaths at 239, followed by 136 in Assam, 87 in Gujarat and 74 each in Karnataka and MP. The total flood-related casualties is likely to go up as many states are not filing their ‘situation reports’ regularly with the Centre and rivers are flowing above the danger level in almost all states.
In Assam, out of 136 flood-related deaths reported by the state government, at least 26 have been caused by landslides. Kerala’s Idukki, in a single day on Friday, saw over 23 perish and scores missing in landslides caused by floods.
The deluge has made it difficult for states to maintain social distancing and follow other guidelines, as prescribed by the Centre in view of the outbreak of coronavirus, at relief camps or during its evacuation operations.
Disasters related to climate change such as floods have become a recurring phenomenon in India with over a thousand deaths reported every year and millions of people pushed into poverty due to loss of habitat and livelihood.
Of all the disasters recorded globally between 1998-2017, floods accounted for 44%. Climate change is causing more havoc than earthquakes and tsunamis. That makes India’s development highly risky.

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Survivors of deadly India crash say plane swayed violently

The plane swayed violently as it approached a hilltop runway drenched in monsoon rain, and moments later the special return flight for Indians stranded abroad by the pandemic skidded off, nosedived and cracked in two, leaving 18 dead and more than 120 injured.

Among the injured on Friday night, at least 15 were in critical condition. The dead included both pilots of the Air India Express flight while the four cabin crew are safe.

The 2-year-old Boeing 737-800 flew from Dubai to Kozhikode, also called Calicut, in Kerala, India’s southernmost state. A passenger says after the plane hit the runway, it nosedived followed by a big noise and people screaming. The runway is on a flat hilltop with deep gorges on either side.

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Amid LAC face-off, Army to study lasers, robotics & AI for warfare | India News

Image used for representative purpose

NEW DELHI: The Army is undertaking a major study headed by a senior lieutenant general on advanced “niche and disruptive warfare technologies”, which range from drone swarms, robotics, lasers and loiter munitions to artificial intelligence, big data analysis and algorithmic warfare.
Sources on Friday said the aim of the “holistic study”, which comes amid the ongoing military confrontation in eastern Ladakh with China, is to bolster the conventional war-fighting capabilities of the 13-lakh strong Army as well as prepare for “non-kinetic and non-combat” warfare in the years ahead.
China has been assiduously working to develop futuristic warfare technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI)-powered lethal autonomous weapon systems, towards its endeavour to usher in a major “revolution in military affairs with Chinese characteristics”.
Indian Army’s new land warfare doctrine in 2018 had stressed the need to sharpen the entire war-fighting strategy, ranging from creation of agile integrated battle groups (IBGs) and expansive cyber warfare capabilities to induction plans for launch-on-demand micro satellites, directed-energy weapons like lasers, AI, robotics and the like.
The new IBGs, after a similar study, have started to take initial shape as self-contained fighting formations that can mobilise fast and hit hard. Each with around 5,000 soldiers and a varying mix of infantry, tanks, artillery, air defence, signals and engineers, the IBGs were war-gamed in exercises on both the western and eastern fronts last year, as earlier reported by TOI.
“Technology will be the key driver in future wars. The new study, which is headed by one of the seven Army commanders, will recommend the roadmap for inductions with timelines,” a source said. The study incorporates AI, remotely-piloted aerial systems, drone swarms, big data analysis, block-chain technology, algorithmic warfare, Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, among others.

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At least 17 people killed as coronavirus repatriation flight crashes in India

At minimum 17 folks ended up killed Friday when a passenger jet ripped in two after it overshot and skidded off the runway upon landing in southern India, officers stated.

Dozens of people have been wounded, 15 of them significantly, right after the Air India Convey Boeing 737 from Dubai – a coronavirus evacuation flight – plunged down a slope in weighty rain on its second try to land in Kozhikode.

Officers mentioned that 191 passengers and crew ended up on board the aircraft that plummeted 10 metres off the so-named table-best runway in Kerala point out.


The fuselage was ripped apart and surrounded by crisis personnel doing work in the dark. Video clip footage confirmed them spraying the wreckage with drinking water, although there was no indicator of any fire.

Sakeena K., the district clinical officer in the nearby city of Malappuram, claimed that 17 persons had died.

“We are even now ascertaining the toll,” she explained to AFP.

Kozhikode formal Seeram Sambasiva claimed that the two pilots ended up between the useless.

The Air India Categorical flight that skidded off a runway even though landing at the airport in Kozhikode, Kerala state, India.


Senior nearby policeman Abdul Karim informed AFP that at least 15 passengers have been in a serious ailment and were becoming addressed in regional hospitals. 

“We panic that the death toll will go up even further. The rescue operation has been finished. We are now accumulating and sorting people’s possessions and valuables about the runway,” he said.

India’s aviation regulator DGCA mentioned the aircraft skidded off the finish of the runway and “fell down in the valley and broke down in two parts”.

Several persons were being trapped within the wreckage and experienced to be reduce out with unique products.

One particular tv channel described there had been a problem with the jet’s landing gear, but this was not confirmed by Air India Express or the aviation authority.

Stranded by virus disaster

The flight was one particular of hundreds in modern months to carry house some of the tens of 1000’s of Indians stranded overseas by the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of of them in Gulf nations around the world.

In accordance to flight documents witnessed by AFP, 15 of those people on board experienced missing their positions and 12 ended up returning for a health-related emergency. Two folks on board were coming back again for their weddings.

Primary Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences.

“My ideas are with people who lost their liked ones. Could the injured get better at the earliest… Authorities are at the location, offering all help to the affected,” Modi said.

The very last important aircraft crash in India was in 2010 when an Air India Specific Boeing 737-800 from Dubai to Mangalore overshot the runway and burst into flames. 

The crash killed 158 people today and still left 8 survivors.

Kerala has been battered by weighty rains in modern days. 

At minimum 15 persons were being killed on Friday just after a landslide activated by major rains flattened a row of huts elsewhere in the point out.

All over 50 other people ended up feared trapped in the debris. The useless provided two small children.

“It has been raining for the final two times. Even correct now it really is raining in this article… This is the 3rd calamity in the region (this calendar year). Initially floods, then a landslide and now this,” claimed Karim.

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England’s white-ball tour to India postponed until early 2021

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Aug 7 (ANI): England men’s white-ball tour to India has been postponed until early 2021, announced Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday.

The tour was originally scheduled in the ICC Future Tours Programme for late September to early October this year.

“With the announcement that ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, due to take place across Australia in October and November 2020, has been postponed and the present COVID-19 situation in India, the BCCI and ECB have confirmed that England men’s white-ball tour to India, originally scheduled in the ICC Future Tours Programme for late September to early October 2020, will be postponed until early 2021,” BCCI said in a statement.

“BCCI and ECB are in consultation with a view to confirming the 2021 schedules for an all-formats England men’s tour to India to run from late January to late March and for India’s Test tour to England due in the summer of 2021,” the statement added.

BCCI Secretary, Jay Shah, said India-England series is one of the most anticipated contests in world cricket and both the boards are working closely to finalise the schedule.

“The BCCI and ECB are working closely to finalise the day-wise schedule as we move towards the resumption of cricket. The India-England series is one of the most anticipated contests in world cricket. The two teams compete hard on the field and provide some riveting moments,” Shah said in a statement.

“I am pleased with the way BCCI and ECB have managed the situation. The rescheduled tour is also being redesigned in a way to accommodate both red and white-ball format and will now be a comprehensive one,” he added.

ECB’s Chief Executive Officer, Tom Harrison, said: “Now that we have clarity regarding the postponement of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, it enables us to work with other Boards to progress the vital task of optimising the international schedules in the challenging circumstances that we have all been having to address with the COVID-19 pandemic.””International cricket between India and England is a highlight of the cricketing calendar and we look forward to working with BCCI to firm-up the schedules for these eagerly anticipated tours as soon as possible,” he added. (ANI)

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‘Only 200 terrorists active in Valley now’ | India News

Jammu & Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh (PTI file photo)

SRINAGAR: Sustained counter-terror operations in Kashmir hinterland coupled with strengthening of the Jammu & Kashmir border grid to prevent Pakistan from pushing in terrorists, has brought down the current number of active terrorists in J&K to around 200.
This, according to Jammu & Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh, is the lowest in past many years, when up to 350-400 terrorists would be holed up in the Valley at any given time.
Till July 31 this year, 150 terrorists including 120 local and 30 foreign terrorists, were neutralised by the security forces. In fact, of the 80 local militants recruited so far this year, 38 have already been eliminated in counter-terror operations and 22 arrested. The remaining 20 are still active but the forces are on their trail, said the police chief.
Since 2019, the focus of the security forces has been on dismantling the terrorists’ support infrastructure. Most top Hurriyat leaders were sent to jail, creating a vacuum in the separatist leadership. Hundreds of overground workers were taken into custody and made to sign bonds of good behaviour before being released. Besides, a massive crackdown was conducted on weapon dumps across J&K and arms consignments sent by Pakistan.

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‘Wanted to signal that Muslims aren’t against Ram temple’ | India News

Iqbal Ansari, one of the main litigants from the Muslim side in the Ayodhya suit, tells Arshad Afzaal Khan why his participation in the bhoomi pujan was justified.
Your father Hashim Ansari spent his entire life fighting for the Babri mosque. How did you feel after attending the bhoomi pujan of the Ram temple?
Yes, my father fought for Babri Masjid and after his death I took over his mantle and was the litigant in the Ayodhya title suit. We were fighting a legal battle. After the Supreme Court verdict, it is our duty to accept the judgment in its spirit.
I went to Ram Janmabhoomi to send out a message that Muslims are not against the Ram temple.

How do you see the apex court verdict in context of Muslims?
The Supreme Court verdict clearly states that Muslims did not demolish a temple to build the mosque. Our Hindu brothers are with us and we are with them in their moment of joy.
What did you tell the Prime Minister?
I wanted to present him a copy of Ramcharitmanas, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he did not accept gifts. We exchanged greetings. The general secretary of Ram Mandir Trust, Champat Rai, accepted the book on his behalf.
What’s there for Muslims post-Ram temple?
Majority of Hindus are very tolerant. Ram is their belief and if we respect their faith, there will be no conflict between the two communities after the temple comes up.

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Arctic tents being set up in Ladakh | India News

NEW DELHI: India is looking to restart the stalled troop disengagement process in eastern Ladakh with China, but is clearly taking no chances by also constructing insulated shelters and procuring foreign and domestic specialised clothing and gear for its soldiers for the long winter deployment ahead.
The high-powered China Study Group (CSG), which includes NSA Ajit Doval and foreign minister S Jaishankar, will meet on Tuesday to examine the fresh modalities and time-lines for troop disengagement discussed in the fifth round of military dialogue between the two sides.
At the over 10-hour-long meeting between 14 Corps commander Lt General Harinder Singh and South Xinjiang Military District chief Major General Liu Lin on Sunday, India reiterated its demand for completing the disengagement at Pangong Tso and Patrolling Point-14 (PP-14) in Gogra. “But final approvals have to be given by the political leadership on both sides,” said a source.
The overall mood in the Indian security establishment remains grim. The Army has kicked off massive “advance winter stocking” for rations and other essential supplies. Sources said construction of insulated habitats for troops, including pre-fabricated huts, Arctic tents and large containers, is also now under way. Fuel has also bee stocked.

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PM Modi to represent all devotees, only invitees should come for Ram temple foundation ceremony: CM Yogi Adityanath | India News

UP CM Yogi Adityanath takes stock of preparations ahead of the foundation stone laying ceremony of Ram Temple …Read More

AYODHYA: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday said that all the devotees want to come to witness the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Ram Temple on August 5 but only those who are invited should come here as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will represent all of them.
“We have made all arrangements to ensure that there is no laxity on any count. The main focus is on Covid-19. The protocol has to be enforced strictly. Only those who are invited should come here. All devotees want to come but PM will represent all of them,” the chief minister said.
CM Adityanath said that to witness this historic moment, it’s essential that we light earthen lamps at our homes on August 4 and 5.
“Religious leaders will decorate temples, organise ‘deepotsav’ and ‘akhand Ramayan Path’ at temples, and remember their ancestors who sacrificed themselves for Ram Temple,” he said.
“Along with Ayodhya, it will be a historic moment for the country and the world when Prime Minister Modi will lay the foundation stone for the construction of a grand temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya after 500 years. Realising its importance, I have come here to take stock of the preparations ahead of foundation laying ceremony,” he added.
CM Yogi said after Covid-19, the state government and the temple trust would invite devotees district-wise in a planned way.
The chief minister offered prayers at the Hanuman Garhi temple during his visit to Ayodhya to take stock of the preparations for the ‘bhoomi pujan’ scheduled to take place on August 5. CM Yogi and officials also visited Ram ki Paudi to inspect the arrangements ahead of the foundation stone laying ceremony.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on August 5.
The construction of Ram temple will begin in Ayodhya after the ceremony to lay the foundation stone in which various dignitaries from the political and religious field are likely to participate.

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