QBullet: CDS on Military Preparedness; 4 Astronauts for Gaganyaan
Find the top headlines of the day on QBullet.
1. Won’t Copy Models of the West: CDS Rawat
India’s first chief of defence staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said he would work towards creating theatre commands to prepare the military for future battles, adding that India’s armed forces need not necessarily imitate the models devised by western militaries for this. The three services are not in agreement on theaterisation.
General Rawat’s first public comments after taking over came on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the appointment of the CDS was a “momentous and comprehensive reform” that would help India face challenges of modern warfare and that the position carried the “tremendous responsibility of modernising our military forces”.
2. Peace Along China Border Can Lead to Eventual (boundary) Solution: Army Chief
A day after he said India reserves the right to pre-emptively strike at sources of terror in Pakistan, new Army Chief General MM Naravane expressed confidence that maintaining peace and tranquility along India’s border with China will set the stage for an “eventual solution” to the boundary dispute.
Speaking to mediapersons on Wednesday after receiving his first guard of honour as the Army Chief, General Naravane said operational readiness and modernisation will be among the top priorities of the army under his leadership.
“While we have been paying attention in the past to the Western front, Northern front also requires equal attention. It is in that context we are going for capability development and enhancement of our capacitors in our Northern borders including the North-East part of the country,” he said.
3. No to CAA: Prasad Tells States to Seek Better Legal Advice, Pinarayi Hits Back
Political acrimony over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act intensified on Wednesday with Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad reading Constitutional provisions to state governments, saying they would have to implement the Act, while Kerala Chief Minister M Pinarayi Vijayan reminded the Centre that state assemblies have their own privileges.
A day after the Kerala House passed a resolution demanding the scrapping of the CAA, Prasad cited Constitutional clauses and asked state governments to get “better legal advises”.
“It’s surprising that the governments that have taken oath on the Constitution are talking anti-Constitutional that we will not implement the CAA. It’s passed by Parliament… Laws passed by Parliament will be implemented throughout the country… Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, Parliament may make laws for the whole or any part of the Union of India,” Prasad told reporters.
4. UP Sets 7-Day Deadline to Reply to Seizure Notices
The UP government has given seven days to over 450 people to respond to its notices for attaching their properties for their alleged involvement in damaging public property last month, when anti-CAA protests turned violent in several districts.
The state will begin proceedings to “extract compensation” for damages to the public property if they fail to reply to notices within this deadline or their explanation is found unsatisfactory. After the violence, CM Yogi Adityanath had declared that those who had indulged in damaging public property would have to compensate for the damages.
5. 4 Astronauts Shortlisted for Manned Space Mission: ISRO
Four astronauts have been shortlisted for India’s first manned spaceflight, scheduled for December 2021,and will be trained in India and Russia starting the third week of January, the Indian space agency said on the first day of the new year, while also formally announcing a Chandrayaan-3 mission to the moon in 2020.
A national advisory committee to review the manned spaceflight – or Gaganyaan mission – has been constituted, further setting in motion a plan first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 15 August 2018.
ISRO did not name the astronauts, who will all be Indian Air Force pilots.
6. Save Five Top Leaders, All Detainees in J&K MLA Hostel Set to Walk
Political detainees being held at the MLA Hostel in Srinagar barring five leaders are likely to be released by the Jammu and Kashmir administration in batches in January.
Sources told The Indian Express the five leaders unlikely to be released soon are Peoples’ Conference chief Sajad Lone, National Conference general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, former IAS officer and Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement president Shah Faesal, senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar and PDP youth wing president Waheed ur Rehman Para.
“Barring these five individuals, others are likely to be released in batches slowly. At least six individuals are scheduled to be released this week subject to their signing of release bonds,” a source in the administration, who did not wish to be named, said.
7. Modi Greets Neighbourhood Leaders on New Year, Skips Pak
On the first day of the new year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated India’s commitment to its “neighbourhood first” policy and a “vision of shared peace and prosperity” in telephonic conversations with leaders of all countries in the region – with the exception of Pakistan PM Imran Khan.
The Prime Minister spelled out a commitment to prosperity and progress for all of India’s “friends and partners in the region”. Sources said the current circumstances in bilateral ties between India and Pakistan didn’t lend themselves to a similar call to Khan though they didn’t rule out an exchange of greetings in some form later.
India’s already stuttering ties with Pakistan further dipped after the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status last August, which led to Islamabad launching a diplomatic offensive.
8. Bhima Koregaon: Lakhs Assemble for Dalit Pride
Two years after an event that symbolises Dalit pride was rocked by violence, at least one million people joined the anniversary celebrations of a British-era war in Maharashtra’s Bhima Koregaon village on Wednesday – this time with senior government functionaries as part of the gathering following a change of guard in the state.
Police switched off mobile internet and deployed 10,000 personnel to avoid any recurrence of the clashes that broke out on 1 January 2018, and left one person dead.
But the heavy security, or the possibility of a repeat of the violence, failed to dampen the enthusiasm of tens of thousands of people, who poured into a small field where the Jay Stambh, or victory pillar, is erected on the banks of the Bhima river.
9. 5L Revellers Flood National Capital Spots as Temperature Touches 20-Day High
More than 5.5 lakh New Year revellers, many from other parts of NCR, descended on popular destinations in the capital, causing monster traffic jams in several parts of the city on Wednesday. The massive inflow of people, estimated to be 30 percent higher than the New Year Day of 2019, prompted police to shut five Metro stations, adding to the woes of commuters.
India Gate alone saw footfalls of nearly 3 lakh, police estimated. Visitors also thronged Connaught Place, Delhi zoo, Waste to Wonder Park, the “mall mile” on Press Enclave Road, Akshardham Temple, Bangla Sahib Gurdwara and the Hanuman Temple at Jamuna Bazar.
The massive turnout, on a sunny day when temperatures touched a 20-day high, choked almost all arterial roads in east, central and south Delhi for nearly six hours. It followed a bitterly cold morning, when the minimum temperature, at 2.4 degrees C, was the lowest in January in seven years.
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