India's first missile tracking ship is readying for sea trials (Page-7) (GS-3) Once ready, it will be India's first, a force multiplier and cruise the country into a global elite club. Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) is gearing up to undertake sea trials of India's first missile tracking ship by the first week of October. The keel of the ship, which was laid on June 30, 2014, is being built for the National Technical Research Organisation, the technical intelligence agency working directly under the supervision of the Prime Minister's Office and the National Security Adviser. Considered a "topmost secret project'", a lot of confidentiality is being maintained in executing the project costing about 2750 crore. It will be named after its induction into the Indian Navy. For now, it is simply referred as VC I 1 184. Strategic weapons prog. This will be the first of its kind ocean surveillance ship being built as part of the efforts under the NDA government to strengthen the country's strategic weapons programme
When asked about the commencement of sea trials, HSL Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral L.V Sarat Babu told The Hindu that the sea trials would be carried out either by September-end or the first week of October and they were confident of handing over the vessel to the Indian Navy by the year-end. "This would put India in the elite of club of a few countries that have such a sophisticated ocean surveillance ship," the Rear Admiral pointed out. Declining to comment further, he said they had successfully completed the basin trials sometime ago. 300-strong crew The ship was built inside the covered dry dock. It has the capacity to carry 300-strong crew with hi-tech gadgets and communication equipment, powered by two diesel engines, and a large deck capable of helicopter landing.
HSL, set up in l 941, achieved a total income of 651.67 crore and a value of production of 644.78 crore during 2017-18, the highest since inception. It is poised to get orders for construction of five fleet support ships costing 9,000 crore and finalise request for proposal for design collaborator for construction of two Special Operation Vessels called mini submarines. It is also banking on the order for medium refit of Russia-made third Sindhughosh class submarinelNS Sindhuratna for which it has submitted technical bids. Visakhapatnam is considered a strategic location on the East Coast for the Indian defence forces as it is home for Ship Building Centre to build nuclear powered submarine INS Arihant class, Naval Alternate Operational Base at Rambilli, the second naval base after Eastern Naval Command headquarters, training centre for Marine Commandos and headquarters of the submarine arm.
12 special courts set up to try MPs, MLAs: Centre tells SC (Page-10) (GS-2) The Centre on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that 12 special courts have been set up across l l States exclusively to try sitting MPs and MLAs. Delhi has two such courts, while Andhra Pradesh,Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala,Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have one each. Six are sessions courts and five are magisterial courts. "The class of court in Tamil Nadu is not indicated" the Centre's affidavit said * The special court in each State would have jurisdiction over the entire State while the two in Delhi would cover cases within the precincts of Delhi or "partly Delhi" The Supreme Court had on December 14, 2017 ordered that special courts be set up across the country to fast- track the long-pending trials of lawmakers. These courts would devote themselves for the purpose
* The Centre said 1,233 cases had been transferred, 136 disposed of and 1,097 cases were pending in these special courts. * In future, the Centre said States should shell out funds to set up additional courts to try MPs and MLAs.The Centre said it had anyway sent out a letter to various High Courts on August 23, asking if there was any need for additional courts. High Courts like Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Patna and Calcutta have indicated that there was no need for additional courts. The Bombay High Court said there is a requirement for more courts, but has not indicated the number. Madras, Hyderabad and Allahabad High Courts have not responded to the letter, the Centre informed the Supreme Court. * The Centre further accused State governments and High Courts of not parting with updated information on the number of criminal cases pending or disposed against the MPs/MLAs. * lt even apologised to the Supreme Court if the information provided was incomplete. It said States and High Courts hardly responded to its repeated requests.
The government also asked the Supreme Court to make the State governments and High Courts respond with the latest data on the trials of allegedly corrupt and criminal politicians. The Centre urged the Supreme Court to,"direct all the relevant High Courts and State governments to Present up-to-date information regarding the number of cases transferred to the special courts and those being tried in other district and subordinate courts, cases disposed of and pending, conviction or acquittal, as the case may be, in the disposed of cases." The affidavit comes in response to a Supreme Court order to the Centre to collect and file the data on the number of special courts set up across the country to exclusively try MPs/MLAs, the cases transferred to these special courts, how many pending or disposed of, etc.
BIMSTEC embarrassment for India (Page-11) (GS-2) India is facing an embarrassing situation at the first ever military exercise of the regional grouping BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) with Nepal and Thailand backing out from sending full contingents. On Tuesday, Nepal also conveyed that their Army Chief would not be able to attend the Chiefs' conclave scheduled as part of the exercises. "All participating nations except Nepal have confirmed their Army Chiefs would attend the Chiefs' conclave scheduled as part of the exercise," a defence official said on condition of anonymity."The reason was their new Chief has just taken charge and has a large number of commitments." Nepal, which had initially confirmed its participation with a full contingent, pulled out in the last minute and instead sent three observers.The official communication from the Nepal Army was that "it was a political decision." General Purna Chandra took charge as the Chief of Nepal Army on Sunday.
ther leaders of ndiea.Bacn formly n the meting5 The exercises were proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech at the BIMSTEC summit in Kathmandu last month that brought together leaders of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand. However, PM Oli's office said shortly after that MILEX had not been formally placed on the meeting's agenda, and subsequently pulled out. Interestingly, while Nepal has backed off from this exercise, it is scheduled to hold its second military exercise with China next week. Apart from Nepal,Thailand, which was the last to confirm its participation in the exercise, conveyed that it could only send observers. The MILEX 18 exercise, scheduled from September 10 to 16 at the Aundh Military Station in Pune, is aimed at helping the BIMSTEC nations practise "planning and conduct of counter terrorist operations", according to the Army. Each country was asked to send a contingent of 30 personnel including five officers and 25 soldiers in addition to three observers. However, Nepal and Thailand sent only observers
"Thailand has conveyed that they had budgeting constraints and so will send only observers," said an official, who did not wish to be identified The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) did not respond to questions on the issue. Ambassador Chutintorn Gongsakdi of Thailand indicated that Thai government had not had sufficient time for preparation. "Thailand is absolutely committed to BIMSTEC. That is why we are observing MILEX,"he said. "This [level of participation] is due to fiscal year ending in September and MILEX being an unforeseen event," he added. * According to defence sources, a formal communication about the exercise was sent to all the countries in the grouping in end May.The initial meeting to plan the modalities of the exercise was held on June 19-20 and the final planning conference was held on August 2-3 BIMSTEC was set up in 1997 and includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
U.S. threatens sanctions on ICC, prosecution of officials (GS-2) (Page-13) S. The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday said that its work would continue undeterred" after Washington threatened to prosecute its officials if Americans are charged with war crimes committed in Afghanistan . "The ICC, as a court of law, will continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law", the tribunal said in a statement. The Hague-based court's response comes a day after the United States threatened to arrest and sanction court officials should they move to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes "Outright dangerous' White House National Security Adviser John Bolton called the Hague-based rights body "unaccountable" and "outright dangerous" to the United States, Israel and other allies, and said any probe of U.S. service members would be "an utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation".
Graduate in Economics. Gold medal in Dissertation, Prepared various documents on Demonetisation and GST, Share-trading and many more