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No talks of putting India deal on hold, says Russia amid threat of US sanctions

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No talks of putting India deal on hold, says Russia amid threat of US sanctions
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India Russia defence deal,Russia sanctions,US sanctions on Russia
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov holds a press briefing at the United Nations in New York City.(AFP Photo)

India will make a “sovereign decision” on Russian defence purchases, which are facing possible US sanctions, according to Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

“I understand that India will be taking sovereign decision (on) how to proceed and what kind of weapons it needs,” he said at a news conference at the United Nations on Friday.

Asked by a reporter if the proposed $8.5 billion defence deal with Russia, which includes a missile defence system, that was expected to be signed next month during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India was on hold, Lavrov said: “I haven’t heard anything about the timing, about postponement, about putting anything on hold.”

In response to another question if Russia would be adding “checks and balances” to its defence deals with India in the light of the controversies over the purchase of Rafale jets from France, Lavrov said he was not aware of the allegations of corruption and added, “We participated in the deal for the delivery of that (but) we did not get it.”

Six manufacturers, including Mikoyan MiG-35, competed for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender. The MiG-35 was eliminated in an initial round and Dassault’s Rafale emerged the winner for the contract.

The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) passed last year by the US Congress imposes sanctions on some Russian companies as well as on their customers and this could impact India’s defence deals with Russia.

India will need exemptions from CAATSA to buy the S-400 Triumf missile defence system as well as frigates and helicopters.

While India raised the issue during the recent 2+2 Strategic Dialogue between the Defence and External Affairs Ministers of India and the US Secretaries of Defence and State in New Delhi, a categorical exemption is yet to be made.

When the Congress tried earlier this year to prevent President Donald Trump’s administration from granting exemptions, defence secretary James Mattis made an appeal citing India to allow the administration to exempt deals and finally prevailed.

So the Trump administration continues to have the power to exempt India.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

“I understand that India will be taking sovereign decision […]

No talks of putting India deal on hold, says Russia amid threat of US sanctions

EDUCATION

ELECTION COMMISSION SUMMONS PARTIES FOR A MEETING ON EVM HACKING

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election commission- the universal post

The Election Commission of India (ECI) will before long consider a gathering of every single political party to guarantee them that the electronic casting a ballot machines (EVMs) were altering evidence and anchored, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said on Saturday.

He likewise said that the commission plans to utilize Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in every coming race to get more straightforwardness and boosting the certainty of individuals in the appointive procedure.

“We will before long hold an all gathering in which they will be told how our EVMs are non-tamperable and anchored according to our regulatory and specialized shield framework,” the CEC told journalists here.

election commission- the universal post

Election Commission calls parties for a meeting.

He was reacting to inquiries concerning charges leveled by different political party against EVMs. As of late sixteen restriction parties had encouraged the ECI to return to poll framework, guaranteeing the confidence of the general population in EVMs had been “dissolved”.

Zaidi additionally said that the ECI is intending to “hold a test” for which time period is being worked out.

The appointive body is wanting to toss an open test, requesting that anybody have a go at hacking its EVMs to disperse questions of any abuse, it is educated.

The CEC likewise said that the ECI had put in a request for the supply of VVPAT machines for use in races.

“For VVPAT, we have every one of the assets. We have put in a request for the supply of 15 lakh VVPAT with two PSUs Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronic Corporation of India (ECI),” educated Zaidi.

He said it is normal that by September 2018, around 15 lakh VVPAT machines will be prepared. The Commission’s goal is to utilize VVPATs in all the coming decisions, he said.

India will “maybe” be the primary nation where VVPAT will be utilized 100 for each penny at all the poling stations. It will support voters’ certainty and will acquire more straightforwardness the race procedure, he included.

Zaidi said that a mindfulness battle will be propelled to make mindfulness about the advantages of VVPAT.

EVM hacking- the universal post

Voters loosing trust in voting after EVM hacking.

VVPAT creates a receipt enabling voters to confirm that the vote went for the applicant against whose name the catch was pushed on the EVM.

After the Assembly races prior this year in five states – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur, numerous political gatherings raised their voice against the utilization of EVMs.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was vociferous claiming plausible abuse of EVMs while BSP pioneer Mayawati, SP boss Akhilesh Yadav had likewise brought up issue about the surveying machines.

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More than 200 patients evacuated after fire breaks out at Kolkata hospital

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More than 200 patients evacuated after fire breaks out at Kolkata hospital
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Kolkata Medical College and Hospital fire,Fire at Kolkata medical college
Smoke billows from the Kolkata Medical College and Hospital after a fire broke out in the pharmacy.(ANI/Twitter)

Hundreds of patients were evacuated safely on Wednesday after a fire broke out in the pharmacy building of the Kolkata Medical College and Hospital, officials said.

At least ten fire engines were pressed into service after the fire was noticed at around 8am in the building of the hospital, the oldest institute of western medicine in the country, located on College Street.

“Fire tenders have rushed here and have started working. Patients have been evacuated safely. We cannot say anything else right now,” said Kolkata Police’s deputy commissioner (central) Subhankar Sinha.

Firefighters claimed that the fire was contained at around 9:30am.

Thick smoke triggered panic in the campus as hospital workers and relatives of the patients scrambled to bring them out of the building on trolleys and even wrapped in bedsheets to safety.

The cotton and consumables stored in the building stoked the fire, claimed hospital workers.

“Let’s assess the situation. I have been told that all the patients have been evacuated. The director general of fire services is here. Ten fire engines are working,” said Kolkata mayor and minister in charge of fire and emergency services.

“Right at this moment we are not in a position to find out who is responsible,” added Chatterjee.

The fire comes just 17 days after a building in Bagri market, Kolkata’s trading hub of Burrabazar, was gutted late on September 16. In December 2011, a fire in AMRI Hospitals in the city killed more than 90 people.

At least ten fire engines were pressed […]

More than 200 patients evacuated after fire breaks out at Kolkata hospital

Kolkata hospital

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Chinese bunkers at Lhasa airport, just 1,350 km from Delhi, worry India

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Chinese bunkers at Lhasa airport, just 1,350 km from Delhi, worry India
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The People’s Liberation Army has such facilities along its border with Russia, and the underground bomb-proof facilities along the India-China border in the Tibet region is a “new development,” an official said.

Chinese bunkers,Lhasa airport,Gonggar airport
The Chinese national flag is raised during a ceremony marking the 96th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China, in July 2017. (Reuters File Photo)

China’s construction of underground bomb-proof shelters to house fighters at Lhasa’s Gonggar airport in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has New Delhi concerned, said three officials familiar with the development who asked not to be identified.

Gonggar airport is just 1,350 km away from New Delhi. The three officials, all in the security establishment, claimed the airfield earlier meant to boost “regional connectivity” is being turned into a military airbase.

One of the officials said a “taxi track” from the airstrip leads to blast- or bomb-proof hangers dug deep inside the mountains nearby. The facility, according to the three officials, can hold around three squadrons of fighters or about 36 aircraft.

Relations between India and China have warmed in recent months. PM Narendra Modi visited Wuhan for an informal summit with Chinese president Xi Jinping where the two leaders committed to bettering ties.

The rapprochement came after the Doklam crisis last year, where troops of both countries were engaged in an extended stand-off. Despite this, though, the security establishments have kept a close eye o n each other’s capabilities.

“You need blast- or bomb-proof hangers for fighters only if there is a possibility of hostilities. Fighters kept in the open are vulnerable to attacks during hostilities, therefore they are kept safe inside bomb-proof shelters. When required, they are pulled out of the shelters and launched,” the second official said, explaining the need of bomb-proof shelters.

The People’s Liberation Army (Air Force) has such facilities along its border with Russia and the underground bomb-proof facilities along the India-China border in the TAR region is a “new development,” the third official said.

Adding to New Delhi’s discomfort, the officials said, are Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) bases near some of the airfields that are being augmented and expanded along with helicopter bases. For instance, the SAM base near the Shigatse airfield situated across Sikkim has also been augmented.

New state-of-the-art helicopter bases that allow helicopters to take off and land with full payload — in aviation parlance, this is called “in-ground effect take-off and landing” — have also been noticed by the Indian security establishment. Typically, when aircraft take off from high altitudes, they need to decrease payload to account for the rarefied air that reduces drag and lift. Such bases have come up at Shigatse and Lhasa.

The security establishment in New Delhi has been informed about the bomb-proof hangars for fighters , the officials confirmed.

“It appears that China is improving its defence infrastructure. India, too, should improve its defences and have built-in redundancies to cater for any exigencies,” said Lieutenant General S L Narasimhan, member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), a body of experts that advises the Union Cabinet and the National Security Council.

India has been upgrading Advanced Landing Grounds (ALG) along its northern borders. These temporary airfields located in Walong, Mechuka, Tuting, Pasighat and Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh were built during the Second World War and have now been refurbished.

The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi did not respond to queries on the hangars.

The Chinese national flag is raised during a ceremony marking the 96th anniversary of the founding of […]

Chinese bunkers at Lhasa airport, just 1,350 km from Delhi, worry India

Chinese bunkers

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