India not intolerant: Modi – (International Relation)
- India and the U.K. announced an enhanced defence and strategic partnership as well as a civil nuclear agreement as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart David Cameron met here on Thursday, and said trade deals worth £ 9 billion would be signed during Mr. Modi’s three-day visit.
- Facing questions for the first time about protests over growing “intolerance” in India, Mr. Modi told British journalists that the “Constitution protects freedom and thoughts of every individual.”
IAF takes delivery of 75th Pilatus aircraft – (Defence)
- The Indian Air Force (IAF) has taken the delivery of the 75th PC-7 Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA), but a deal for 38 additional planes is delayed as talks remain inconclusive.
- BTA is used for Stage I flying in the three-stage training schedule of the IAF for rookie pilots.
Do not engage in ploys, govt. warned – (Security)
- The Narendra Modi government, reeling under severe political setbacks in recent days, should urgently work on improving security preparedness and repair civil-military relations on a war footing, say several retired and serving military officers.
- A section of them expressed the apprehension that the Modi government might use security matters to divert attention from the embarrassing setbacks, including the defeat in the Bihar elections and the frontal attack by senior BJP leaders such as L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.
CBI obtains Chetia’s transit remand in murder case – (Security)
- The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday got six days’ transit remand of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) leader Golab Barua alias Anup Chetia, in connection with the murder of a former councillor at Golaghat in Assam in 1986.
- “The Border Security Force handed over Chetia to the CBI on Wednesday evening. The agency took him into custody for his alleged involvement in a murder case registered on March 21, 1988, on the request of the then Assam government,” said a CBI official.
India tops Facebook’s list for content restriction requests – (Security)
- Facebook has restricted access to over 15,000 pieces of information on its website in India during the first six months of 2015 — the highest for any country, following requests from the government and law enforcement agencies.
- “We restricted access in India to content reported primarily by law enforcement agencies and the India Computer Emergency Response Team within the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology because it was anti-religious and hate speech that could cause unrest and disharmony within India,” Facebook said.
NGT directs collection of ‘green tax – (Environment)
- In a bid to curb health hazards originating from bursting of firecrackers this Diwali, the Pune Bench of the National Green Tribunal has directed civic bodies to levy Rs. 3,000 as ‘green tax’ from sellers.
- The corpus collected from the tax will be used to clean solid waste generated from firecrackers at public places. Part of the money is to be used exclusively for environmental activities such as planting trees and constructing toilets for women.
Cameron offers to fund Modi’s vision – (International Relation)
- After his parleys at 10 Downing Street, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was accompanied by his counterpart David Cameron through the entire day on Thursday, paid homage at the recently installed statue of Mahatma Gandhi in London as British jets streaked the sky with the tricolor.
- Later in the evening, after the Prime Ministers attended a meeting of British MPs for a speech by Mr. Modi, they stood on the banks of the Thames river where the iconic London Eye ferris wheel was also lit up in the colours of the flag.
On Day 1, concern over Sikh radicalism – (International Relation)
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, now on a visit to the United Kingdom, is learnt to have told his British counterpart David Cameron that Indian intelligence agencies had information that two gurdwaras, one in Birmingham and the other in Glasgow, were being used to espouse radical views among the Sikh youth.
- Mr. Modi is learnt to have told Mr. Cameron that radical groups were being trained there with the help of live demonstrations to make improvised explosive devices. These classes were held in December 2014 and January 2015.
European IS-linked terror cell busted – (International Relation)
- Law enforcement authorities of Europe announced on Thursday they had broken up a Norway-based Iraqi Kurdish recruitment ring that radicalised prospects via the Internet and sent them to fight in Iraq and Syria alongside the Islamic State group. Police in six European countries arrested at least 15 suspected members of the militant group, Italian authorities said.
- They said the militants planned to strike Norwegian and British diplomats in West Asia and politicians in Norway but gave no further information about the potential targets or the time frame for any attacks.
EU free travel zone in danger as nations fence out refugees – (International Relation)
- European leaders scrambled on Thursday to keep their passport-free travel zone from collapsing, after Germany, Sweden and Slovenia acted on their own to tighten borders or erect fences to slow the relentless influx of people marching into Europe.
- A two-day summit held on the Mediterranean island of Malta was meant to focus on how to send back to Africa those who don’t qualify for asylum and discourage others from attempting the risky journey across the seas in search of a better life.
Towards peace in the Northeast – (Security)
- Bangladesh’s decision to hand over ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom) general secretary Anup Chetia to India is an important step towards peace in the region.
- Together with the imminent extradition of Thai arms dealer Wuthikorn Naruenartwanich, alias Willy Naru, it demonstrates the potential of nation-states cooperating to fight non-state actors.
Standing to reason and reason alone – (indian Polity)
- The arguments for and against the beef ban must be based on reason. If democracy is not to become an instrument to impose majoritarian mores on the entire population, the only way is to use reason for public persuasion.
- While the government and citizens must uphold the Constitution, every law, every statute and every clause is and ought to be subject to public reasoning and re-examined in the court of the latest knowledge and understanding of the world.