Protect Indian Scientists


Indian Space Research Organisation ISRO

           Indians have every reason to be proud of ISRO, which has taken up a hundred missions and ensured its place in aviation history by lifting 104 satellites, in Feb 2017 of which 101 were foreign owned. It also depicts the expertise of ISRO and the confidence that the world community reposes in Indian technology. What is more notable is that the launch was from Sriharikota, in Andhra Pradesh.

           A recent article on certain setbacks to the Indian Space Agency launches has set forth a chain of negative thoughts which however need to be aired in view of their impact on National Security.

         ISRO has lost contact with Geostationary Satellite 6A over two months back. GSAT 11 has recently been recalled from French Guiana just before its launch.

       Commercial Launch market is highly competitive and ISRO costs are just half of costs by other private players. Therefore, in these days of industrial espionage and wilful sabotage, Government of India must be extremely careful on security aspects.

       The case of Dr Nambi Narayanan who was falsely accused by Kerala Police imprisoned and tortured, cannot be forgotten. “The ISRO spy case did not only finish the careers of two exceptionally talented scientists but also put India’s cryogenic engine development programme on hold for more than 19 years.” *

       Could such crass frame-ups  been possible without aid and abetment by senior politicians and bureaucrats? Individuals involved in framing up the scientists and derailing Indian Cryogenic efforts have got away free.

     The recent Antrix ISRO case involving officers of ISRO is subjudice. But can one say today, that it is not another case foisted on ISRO officials to demoralise its officers and staff and derail any initiatives by scared executives?

      Not to be forgotten, there was a mole in the cabinet of Indira Gandhi in 1971. There are many individuals with ideologies, that owe their birth and sustenance to external sources. Attacks on our country need not necessarily be of the Kashmir or Pathankot variety; but also by internal sabotage ,  through misinformation and derailing systems.

      Indian scientists are dedicated and should be protected from extraneous pressures and free to channelize all efforts to achieving the goals of their organisations, instead of looking over their shoulder all the while fearing frame-ups.

ED

Posted on May 12, 2018

Despite his distinguished career at ISRO where he headed the cryogenics division, falsified charges of espionage have dented reputation of scientist Nambi Narayanan, observed the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, heading the bench hearing his plea said that the state of Kerala must pay a remuneration of Rs. 60 lakh or Rs. 75 lakh to the former scientist.

The Bench is also looking at a possibility of re-investigation into the role of then SIT officers who had framed the former scientist. The court also said that the officers involved in the investigation will have to pay from their own pockets.

Dr Narayanan was arrested in November 1994 by the Kerala Police on espionage allegations under sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Indian Official Secrets Act, 1923. He was remanded to police custody for 50 days where he was allegedly tortured by officials of Kerala Police and Intelligence Bureau of India and his statements were obtained allegedly under duress. The Police claimed that he had passed on rocket technology and cryogenic technology to some other countries for illegal gratification. However, on the investigation by the CBI, the charges were found to be false and the findings of the CBI were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1998.   

Details of the case

On 20th October 1994, Mariam Rasheeda, a Maldives native was the first one to be arrested for overstaying in Kerala. She was found to be connected to D Sasikumar, an ISRO scientist. Later, her friend, Fauzia Hassan was also arrested. A special investigation team formed on 15th November 1994 headed by DGP Siby Mathews took over the case and arrested Nambi Narayanan, Chandrasekharan and SK Sharam who were businessmen based in Bengaluru accusing them of selling ISRO’s cryogenic programme secrets to the women who were allegedly acting as spies for Russia, ISI and others.

The case was handed over to the CBI on 28th November 1994. The final report submitted by the CBI in April 1996 said that the case lacked evidence to substantiate the charges and all six were finally acquitted by the court.

Narayanan introduced the liquid rocket fuel technology in India in the early 70’s and was the first to build a successful 600-kg liquid motor engine and went on making even bigger one. He and his team also developed the ‘Vikas engine’ which was used in Indian’s moon mission. The ISRO spy case did not only finish the careers of two exceptionally talented scientists but also put India’s cryogenic engine development programme on hold for more than 19 years.

 

 

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Mosque of Ahmadiyas Destroyed in Pakistan


Reaping the Whirlwind

 Ahmadiya Muslims were in the forefront demonising  Hindus and demanding a separate ‘nation’ for Muslims. Did they achieve their aim when Pakistan was created?

Ed

Mob demolishes mosque belonging to minority sect in Pakistan

PTI | May 24, 2018, 17:07 IST

Mob demolishing Ahmadiyya Mosque in Pakistan’s Punjab province on Wednesday night. (Photo Twitter/@KashifMD)

ISLAMABAD: Sunni extremists in Pakistan have demolished a historical mosque belonging to the Ahmadiyya community in Punjab province, the latest attack on the minority group in the Muslim-majority country.

A persecuted minority sect, the Ahmadiyya community was declared non-Muslims in Pakistan through a constitutional amendment in 1974 during the tenure of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

The latest mob attack took place in Sialkot last night.

As the local municipal administration started demolishing a private property of an Ahmadiyya follower, about 600 miscreants demolished the nearby mosque later.

Ahmadiyya spokesman Saleemuddin said in a statement that the mob launched the attack at about 11PM and it continued till 3AM (local time).

“The place of worship and the house that has been demolished by the mob in Sialkot have great historical significance for members of the Ahmadiyya community all over the world,” he said.

The police kept on watching the vandalism and did nothing to prevent the attackers, Saleemuddin alleged, adding that it shows the state institutions have surrendered before the elements that are exploiting in the name of religion in order to fulfil their vested interests.

“Ahmadiyya places of worship have been under attack in the past as well, and so far not even a single culprit has been brought to justice,” Saleemuddin alleged.

Ahmadiyya people are not allowed to call their place of worship as mosques.

Former president General Zia -ul -Haq had made it a punishable offence for Ahmadiyyas to call themselves Muslims or to refer to their faith as Islam.

The community is also banned from preaching as well as from travelling to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage. They are also not allowed to publish any material propagating their faith.

Members of the community in Pakistan have often been targeted, including in terror attacks.

Good Samaritan: Delhi Cop returns lost bag with cash


Cop returns lost bag with 5L to its owner

Raj Shekhar TNN

Cop returns lost bag with 5L to its owner

Raj Shekhar TNN

GOOD SAMARITAN:

Constable Dharmvir found the passenger’s bag with cash and valuables

at a scanner in Nizamuddin station

 

       New Delhi:Had it not been for an alert cop, a 42-year-old man would have never got back his savings and valuables which he had lost at Nizamuddin station. Constable Dharmvir not only found the bag at a scanner machine but also returned it intact to the owner. 

    Shailendra Dhar, a resident of Mayur Vihar, approached the police on Friday evening after losing his bag containing around Rs 5 lakh, electronic gadgets like his iPad and camera, and his medicines for his spinal problem. A senior media professional, he was going to catch Chhattisgarh Sampark Kranti Express for his hometown Bilaspur.

       “A porter was carrying most of the baggage while I had this bag and my tripod. When we crossed the scanner around 5pm and went a little ahead towards the platform, I noticed that my shoulder bag was missing. I panicked and checked everywhere but could not find it,” Dhar said.
He approached police at Nizamuddin station. Additional DCP Sanjay Bhatia was informed and police started looking for the bag. “Its details were flashed at all exit and entry points and all points of suspicion were searched ,” Ravindra Yadav, additional CP, crime and railways, said.

       A team also began to scan the CCTV footage from cameras installed in and around the station. “On the footage at the X-ray scanner installed towards the Sarai Kale Khan side, we spotted Dhar entering with the bag on his shoulder but the exit camera footage showed him without the bag. This made it clear that he forgot the bag at the scanner in a hurry,” said Bhatia.

      Meanwhile, Dharmvir located Dhar around 8pm from the information flashed across the station.

     “At one point I lost hope that I will get the bag back but the cop showed immense sense of duty and perseverance in carrying out his duty. He has set an example for his colleagues and instances like these restore our trust in our police force which is often regarded as callous and corrupt,” Dhar said.

       Dharmvir will be rewarded for his honesty and setting an example for his colleagues.

GOOD SAMARITAN: Constable Dharmvir found the passenger’s bag with cash and valuables at a scanner in Nizamuddin station

Pakistan Elections 2013: Colorful with Caste Calculations and Lunatic Fringe


                                   

Elections in the sub continent are always colorful. In Pakistan of 2013 it is  more so with the people full of life if not joy at the never before prospect of voting in an election not distorted by the ISI and the Army. And a civilian government which has run a full term of 5 years, never before has this happened.

      Even if the Army is not directly interfering this time its presence will be felt in every booth. Gen Kayani has offered ‘protection’ by the army of every booth.

      Baddies this time are the Taliban and other fanatic organisations who have openly declared that they will adopt any means to ensure that the elections are not held. Repeated bomb blasts at election meetings , murders and kidnapping of candidates indicate that they have  the capacity to create a great deal of fear among the candidates and the public.

        The latest is the abduction of Haider Ali Gilani, son of former PM Yousuf Raza Gilani in his home constituency in the outskirts of Multan. The abduction was not a an amateur or ham handed affair, clearly planned and organised by professional terrorists.

       Nawaz Sharif is expected to reap the maximum number of seats, however PML -S will not have a clear majority. Najam Sethi the caretaker in Punjab has moved out a great many beauracrats who would have helped Sharif to influence the voting pattern.

      PPP is on the back foot this time. With many allegations of corruption and mis-governance. Death threats forced Bilawal to opt out. Candidates are afraid to campaign freely.

              

IMRAN KHAN while he may have won the world cup in cricket for Pakistan has no real experience  of Pakistani politics. How far his image of a honest person boosted by his recent hospitalization due to an injury received while campaigning will bring in votes is yet to be seen.

Mumbai Flat Buyers( 06 – 10) : Hope to pay less VAT


06-’10 flat buyers may have to pay less VAT

Govt May Waive Registration Delay Penalty

Rajshri Mehta TNN

     Mumbai: People who brought properties in under-construction projects between 2006 and 2010can relax a little.

     Fresh calculations by the sales tax department peg the value-added tax (VAT) they have to pay at .5% to 3% of the value of the property mentionedin the agreement.Developers, most of whom are affiliated to Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI), however, maintained that the amount worked to 5% or more.

      The second reason for cheer is the indications from a government source that it might waive the penalty for delayed payment of the tax component, thereby benefiting the buyers. Before 2006, no VAT was levied on property sale. The state introduced it in 2006 after the Supreme Court passed an order in 2005, putting developers andcontractorsin the samebracket.
The tax liability, say officials, varies because of several parameters such as construction costs incurred by developers (who collect the amount from buyers) after deducting the land price, which accounts for almost 70-80% of the total costsin Mumbai.

     The tax liability will go up in proportion to the construction cost, meaning, buyers will have to pay more as tax if they bought their properties and registered them later; construction costs have steadily been increasing in Mumbai.

      Both developers as well as government officials agree that it was the buyers who are caught in a battle between them. The interest that buyers will now pay—if they delayed registering the property after its purchase—isbecauseof the case that was going on in court and the developers’ confidence about winning it.

      The MCHI and Confederation of Real EstateDevelopers’ Association of India (Credai) have, nevertheless, moved the apex court, challenging the constitutional validity of the government’s move to term developers as contractors andlevy VAT.Likein mostindustries,thehugetax is being passedon totheenduser.

      Buyers are fighting back in whatever way they can. Some havestartedwriting blog posts, whileothers are meeting developers, telling them about their predicament. “We are suffering because of the fight between developers and the government,” a buyer in Malad said. Tax officials pointed out that since April 2012, when the order was passed againstdevelopers,13 buildershadcollected fullliability of Rs20crorefrom consumers but did not deposit it with the department. Asked a buyer, “Why should we pay interest,when wehave already paid the tax amounts to the developers?” “We have already paid huge deposits. The developers can pay the VAT out of the interest,” a buyer from Powai said. Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association chairman Ramesh Prabhu, too, said buyers, especially those who had not yettaken possession of their properties, would now haveto pay hightaxes.

      Developers, however, stuck to their stand. Ashok Mohanani, CMD of Ekta World, said, “The fault lies with the three complicated schemes to compute VAT drawn up by the sales tax department,whichhaveincreasedtheliability toover 5%. Contrary to the department’s claim,they are notoffering any tax benefits to any of the schemes. We have to pay double taxes for the same goods the value of which has increasedover a periodof time.” ADDING VALUE TO PROPERTY 

     The VAT is applicable only on an under-construction property

      Your tax liability varies between .5% and 3% depending on several factors such as the cost of the property and the value of the land on which it is built

     You will have to pay an interest of 15% on your tax component for every year of delay in registering your property. For example, if your tax component was Rs 1 lakh and you bought the property in 2009 but registered it in 2010, then you will have to pay Rs 1.15 lakh (15% interest on Rs 1 lakh for one year)

     The sales tax department may decide to waive the penalty for delayed payment; discussions are on

     There may be a small variation in the tax component because of differences in factors such as construction cost, which has been increasing steadily; this will increase the tax if you bought the property, for example, in ’08 instead of ’06

    LEGAL TUSSLE

      2006: Maharashtra government amends Value Added Tax Act, 2002 and levies VAT on the sale of immovable properties by developers

     2007: Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) and Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (Credai) challenge the government’s decision in the Bombay high court

      2007: Court passes interim order that developers should submit to sales tax department details like number of flats, amounts received, goods purchased from “dealers” registered or unregistered and amounts of VAT paid on such purchases

     2009: Maharashtra government issues notification for computing VAT, the value of which is based on ready reckoner rates 2010: Government introduces composition scheme of VAT at 1% of agreement value

    2012: Bombay high court dismisses MCHI’s petition

    2012: MCHI challenges constitutional validity of the government to levy VAT. Their contention is that the state legislature has no power and erred in terming the sale of immovable property as work contract under the provisions of Sale of Goods Act, 1930 of the Constitution

     Aug 28, ’12: Supreme Court to hear special leave petition

Garbage Collection : Delhi can learn from Chennai


NEW PLAN

From September, a knock at your door for garbage

Christin Mathew Philip TNN

Chennai:Get ready to expect your bell to ring around 6.30 every morning starting September. Residents of five zones in the city will get their wake-up call from conservancy workers.

      This is part of the city corporation’s plan to implement door-to-door garbage collection in five zones from the second week of September.
It is learnt that this decision comes after severe criticism from the public about poor garbage clearance and the blue group bins installed by the civic body. The first phase covers five zones in the old limits of the corporation, and will be later be implemented in the extended areas of the corporation.

     Mayor Saidai S Duraisamy said the zones are Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Thiru-Vi-Ka-Nagar, Ambattur and Anna Nagar. “We successfully conducted door-to-door garbage collection as a pilot project in ward 141 in T-Nagar. So we are planning to do this in five zones” said Duraisamy. He also said the civic body will also ask private firm, Ramky Enviro, managing Adayar, Teynampet and Kodambakkam, to begin door-to-door collection of garbage.

    The mayor also said that the criticism of group bins is baseless. “These bins will be effectively used for the doorto-door garbage collection,” he said. The idea is to remove garbage from the city completely with a better mechanism. So we are planning to collect garbage from households without any overflowing garbage bins in the city. When there is no piling up of garbage, then there will be a relief from mosquitoes, house flies and stray dogs” he said.

    Residents too have endorsed the move. “This is a good initiative by the civic body. But the civic officials should provide special bins for marriage halls, hotels and apartments. For instance, people staying on the top floors could not come with garbage to the collector,” said says R Govindaraj, joint general secretary, NGO, Exnora International

      A senior corporation official said: “The conservancy workers in these five zones will come and collect garbage in tricycles or other compact vehicles by 6.30am every day. They will dump the collected waste in the group bins that have been placed in various localities. By 10.30am, the compactors will come and take the waste materials from the group bins to Perungudi or Kodungaiyur”

     Corporation officials also have plans to distribute pamphlets on this. “We will distribute pamphlets containing the contact numbers of responsible civic officials and timings of the collection to the public. So they could also be ready for the new plan” said an official.
Meanwhile, the civic body had received several complaints from the public requesting to relocate the group garbage bins from their locality. Officials said that this will improve the garbage collection method.

      “Earlier, collected garbage materials were taken to the transfer stations only after 24 hours. But after the new system, collected garbage will be transported to the dumpyards” said an official.

AIADMK Govt Action Against Land Grabbers Bearing Results


Land sharks lie low as govt initiates strict action

Jayaraj Sivan | TNN

There has been a drop in the number of cases of land grabbing in the state even though the legality of anti-land grabbing courts has been challenged in the Madras high court.

     As soon as it came to power last year, the AIADMK government had initiated such stringent action against encroachment across the state that several ‘professional’ land-grabbers are now lying low, said police officials. Some of these land sharks had made the illegal takeover of property a vocation, said a police officer who handled several such cases.

     Police records show that government action had led to a steep dip in cases of land grabbing over the past few months.

   The police had set up 39 anti-land grabbing cells, one in every district and police commissionerate in the state. These cells received 34,703 complaints, but only 1,225 were registered after scrutiny.

     Police arrested 1,299 offenders in connection with these cases, retrieved 11,317 acres of property worth Rs 758 crore and restored the properties to their rightful owners, the police said.

    Though the state government on August 1 last year sanctioned the setting up of 25 fast track special courts for these cases, only two such special courts were set up, one each in Coimbatore and Tirupur, before their legality was challenged in the Madras high court.

     The drive against land grabbing had clear political ramifications. The AIADMK came to power after promising as a poll plank a stringent anti-land grab drive and the arrests of large number of DMK functionaries and members of other opposition parties gave the ruling party an opportunity to project itself as the common man’s guardian angel. And the ruling party grabbed the opportunity to score political points against its opponents.

    However, when two of AIADMK’s legislators were booked in alleged land grab cases, they brokered peace with the complainants and police closed the case. A case registered against DMK treasurer M K Stalin and a few others in Chennai city was also dropped after they struck an out-ofcourt settlement.

     Most of the people arrested in land grab cases have been released on bail. The initial enthusiasm of police officers gave way to a more judicious approach and they are now initiating criminal proceedings only in clear-cut civil disputes.

      But the drive served its purpose and struck fear among criminals, a senior police officer said.
jayaraj.sivan@timesgroup.com