Make In India : About 200 US companies seeking to move manufacturing base from China to India: USISPF

The US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum’s (USISPF) President Mukesh Aghi said that the companies are talking to them about how to set up an alternative to China by investing in India.

About 200 American companies are seeking to move their manufacturing base from China to India post the general elections, a top US-based advocacy group has said, observing that there is a fantastic opportunity with firms looking at alternatives to the Communist giant.

The US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum’s (USISPF) President Mukesh Aghi said that the companies are talking to them about how to set up an alternative to China by investing in India.

Aghi said that USISPF’s recommendation to the new government would be to accelerate the reforms and bring transparency in the decision-making process.

“I think that’s critical. We would advise to bring more transparency in the process and to make it more consultative because in the last 12 to 18 months, we are seeing US companies look at some of the decisions being made, either e-commerce or data localisation, as more domestic-oriented than global,” he told PTI in an interview.

In his reply to what the agenda of the new Indian government should be to attract investment, Aghi suggested that New Delhi needs to accelerate reforms, be more transparent in the process and engage more.

“We need to understand how we can attract those companies. And that means all the way from land issues to customs issues to being part of the global supply chain. Those are critical issues. There’s a whole plethora of reforms that need to go further down, and I think that is also going to create a lot of jobs,” he said.

He said that Mark Linscott, the former Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asian Affairs, is working with USISPF member companies to come up with a recommendation as to what India needs to do to enhance its exports and work up from that perspective.

“One recommendation, which I strongly believe is going to help India is that we should now start thinking of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and the US,” Aghi said.

“I think if India is concerned about cheap goods coming from China, an FTA will eliminate that need. You can put barriers to Chinese goods and still have the US providing access to the Indian market and Indian companies having more access to the US market, and issues like GSP would diminish,” he said.

Aghi said that they have formed a high-level manufacturing council within the member companies, led by John Kern, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Operations at Cisco who are putting a document together detailing what India needs to do to turn it into a manufacturing hub.

“We plan to have the document ready by the time elections are over as part of recommendation,” he said.

“What they’re saying is we want a backup strategy to start manufacturing in India. There are small-small issues, which can slow them down. And at the moment most of them are waiting for elections to be over. But there’s a large deluge of companies keen to not only manufacture in India but also who want to go after the domestic market,” he said.

On the amount of investment these companies would bring to India, he said the number in question is substantial.

“If you look at, our member companies in the last four years have invested over USD 50 billion,” he added.

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One Nation One Card : PM Modi launches mobility card that would work across country

 

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The card can be used for making payments across all segments including metro, bus, suburban railways, smart city and retail shopping.

Image: Twitter/@RuPay_npci

In a bid to provide seamless urban mobility to commuters across the country, the Centre on March 4 launched India’s first indigenously-developed National Common Mobility Card (NCMC).

Dubbed as ‘One Nation-One Card’, the inter-operable transport card would allow holders to pay for their bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and withdraw cash.

With this “one-of-its-kind” card, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during the launch, the country is “no longer required to be dependent on foreign technology.”

“Now, we have this ‘Made in India’ card. Only a select few countries have this technology of ‘One Nation One Card’,” PM Modi added.

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RuPay

@RuPay_npci

RuPay Contactless Card with NCMC is now available with almost 25+ large banks as debit, credit or prepaid. With this launch, RuPay fulfils the promise of One Nation One Card as the same bank issued debit/credit card can be used for many payments including Transit like Metros.

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Here are the key point you need to know about the ‘One Nation One Card’:

> The mobility card can be issued in the form of debit, credit or prepaid card of a partner bank.

> The card is similar to any RuPay debit/credit card, which will be available with more than 25 banks, including the State Bank of India (SBI).

> The card can be used for making payments across all segments including metro, bus, suburban railways, smart city and retail shopping.

> The card can also be used for paying at toll plazas and for parking.

> The card offers cashback on bill payments and more than thousand other offers.

> A cardholder can also avail 5 percent cash back at ATMs and 10 percent cash back at merchant outlets while travelling abroad.

> It is supported by indigenously developed Automatic Fare Collection Gate ‘Swagat’ and an Open Loop Automatic Fare Collection System ‘Sweekar’. Both ‘Swagat’ and ‘Sweekar’ were launched by PM Modi on March 4.

Embedded video

Durga Shanker Mishra

@Secretary_MoHUA

In a major step towards providing seamless urban mobility to commuters across the country, the indigenously developed Automatic Fare Collection Gate ‘Swagat’ & an Open Loop Automatic Fare Collection System ‘Sweekar’ will be launched by Hon’ble PM shortly in Ahmedabad today. 1/3

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New railway zone for Andhra, to be headquartered in Visakhapatnam: Piyush Goyal

 

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The decision comes four days after a BJP delegation from the state met Goyal in the national capital demanding formation of a railway zone.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal Wednesday announced a new railway zone for Andhra Pradesh. The new railway zone — Southern Coast Railway — will be headquartered in Visakhapatnam, Goyal said.

The decision comes four days after a BJP delegation from the state met Goyal in the national capital demanding formation of a railway zone.

In a memorandum submitted to Goyal, they had said the north Andhra region, comprising Srikaulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts, is “very backward and needs impetus for development”.

 

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The Andhra Pradesh BJP leaders had said that during the 2014 general elections, they had assured the public that a railway zone would come up at Visakhapatnam.

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Surgical Strike 2.0 LIVE: 350 terrorists killed as IAF hits terror camps in Balakot (PoK) ; won’t let India down, says PM Modi

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Surgical Strike 2.0: Today’s strong action shows the will and resolve of a New India, says BJP Chief Amit Shah. PM Modi, during his rally in Rajasthan, says “India is in safe hands”.

Surgical Strike 2.0 LIVE: 350 terrorists killed as IAF hits terror camps in PoK; won't let India down, says PM

Surgical Strike 2.0: At least 325 terrorists and 25 to 27 trainers were at the camp when the Indian Air Force hit their camp in Balakot region of PoK.

 

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Air Force strikes in PoK: In a surprise to Pakistani security forces, the Indian Air Force reportedly dropped around 1,000 kg bombs on Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps across the Line of Control (LoC) in Muzafarabad sector early morning on Tuesday. Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor also confirmed that that the Indian Air Force (IAF) violated the Line of Control (LoC). “Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot,” he tweeted, adding that no casualties have been reported so far. ANI also reported: “At 0330 hours on 26th February, a group of Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC and completely destroyed it.”

Read all the latest updates on the Surgical Strike 2.0

3.36pm: After Indian Air Force fighter jets bombarded terror launch pads in Pakistan, China has urged both countries to exercise restraint. China has said that New Delhi should fight against terrorism through international cooperation. China is considered an all-weather ally of Pakistan and has blocked India;s efforts to get the United Nations to declare JeM Masood Azhar a global terrorists.

3.27pm: Former Army chief General Bikram Singh on the Surgical Strike 2.0: “It’s an excellent operation that has been undertaken. It was certain it’ll happen, it was writing on the wall as PM had announced it.”

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

ANI

@ANI

Ex-Army Chief General Bikram Singh: It’s an excellent operation that has been undertaken. It was certain it’ll happen, it was writing on the wall as PM had announced it. We’ve seen that earlier when PM announced after Uri we went in for surgical strike 1.This is surgical strike 2

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3.23pm: Pakistan PM Imran Khan has said that he would take Pakistani media to the attack side in Balakot to “expose India’s lies”. He is expected to hold a detailed press conference at 3.30pm.

3.15pm:Over 350 terrorists killed in IAF airstrikes: Hundreds of Fidayeen and their trainers were shifted from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir to a five-star, resort style camp in a hilltop forest in Balakot after the Pulwama attack, providing Indian forces with “a sitting duck target” when they carried out an air strike early on Tuesday, killing up to 350 terrorists, PTI reported. They said at least 325 terrorists and 25 to 27 trainers were at the camp, the biggest operated by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad group, which had claimed responsibility for the February 14 suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama, Kashmir that killed 40 jawans. Everyone at the camp was sleeping and Pakistani defence establishment had no clue that the attack was coming so deep into their country because they had expected a surgical strike on camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir near the Line of Control, said PTI.

2.45pm: Main targets of today’s air strikes were Ibrahim Azhar, the elder brother of Masood Azhar who was also involved in the IC-814 hijacking and Mufti Azhar Khan Kashmiri, head of Kashmir operations, JeM.

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ANI

@ANI

Key Jaish e Mohammed terrorists targeted in today’s air strikes: Mufti Azhar Khan Kashmiri, head of Kashmir operations(pic 1) and Ibrahim Azhar(pic 2), the elder brother of Masood Azhar who was also involved in the IC-814 hijacking

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2.35pm: Former Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje said that Narendra Modi has delivered on his promise to avenge the honour of our brave-hearts not as a Prime Minister, but as a patriot.

Vasundhara Raje

@VasundharaBJP

यह नया हिंदुस्तान है – घर में घुसेगा भी और मारेगा भी!

Today Shri @narendramodi ji has delivered on his promise to avenge the honour of our brave-hearts not as a Prime Minister, but as a patriot who’s heart bled at the disrespect to his motherland.

#SurgicalStrike2

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2.25pm: Flags of United States of America, United Kingdom and Israel were seen in JeM’s training centre in Balakot.

View image on Twitter

ANI

@ANI

Intel Sources: Flags of USA, UK and Israel painted on staircases seen in Jaish e Mohammed facility destroyed by Indian Air Force jets in Balakot

2.20pm: Surgical strike 2, in which over 300 terrorists were eliminated by Indian Air Force, was an intelligence-based counter-terror attack, not a military action.

 

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ANI

@ANI

Sources: This was an intelligence based counter terror strike not a military action for sake of war. Have demolished entire terror set up in the suicide bombing training centre in Balakot, and over 300 terrorists were eliminated in the covert operation by Indian Air Force

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2.14pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Surgical Strike 2.0.

“Sogandh mujhe is mitti ki, mei Desh nahi mitne dunga,

Mei desh nahi rukne dunga, mei desh nahi jhukne duna

Mera vachan hai bharat maa ko, tera sheesh nahi jhukne dunga”

 

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BJP

@BJP4India

लाइव : पीएम श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी की चूरू, राजस्थान में विशाल विजय संकल्प सभा। https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0Tw5jFZTEVKTlh4RG5ORU58MXZBeFJ5cU9Pa1BKbFNxVEcno6VkIfTp86oRjBp1ZadbvLjEPfcfZzHsVBSr 

BJP @BJP4India

लाइव : पीएम श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी की चूरू, राजस्थान में विशाल विजय संकल्प सभा।

pscp.tv

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2.17pm: ‘India is in safe hands,’ says Prime Minister Modi after IAF strikes terror camps in PoK.

2.04pm: “I pay tributes to the braves of Rajasthan,” says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

1.50pm: JeM’s Yusuf Azhar alias Mohammad Salim alias Ustaad Gohri, who was killed in the Indian Air Force Strikes in Pakistan, was on the Interpol list and among the most wanted terrorists’ list in India.

 

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ANI

@ANI

JeM’s Yusuf Azhar alias Mohammad Salim alias Ustaad Gohri who was targeted today by IAF #airstrike in Balakot across LOC was on the Interpol list and among the most wanted in India.

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1.49pm: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Surgical Strike 2.0: “The entire country is feeling proud and I congratulate the forces.”

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ANI

@ANI

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal: Soldiers entered Pakistan and targeted JeM camps. It was a very brave act. The entire country is feeling proud and I congratulate the forces. The entire country was with the government and the Prime Minister at this time. Strict action was needed

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1.41pm: “Today’s strong action shows the will and resolve of a New India,” says BJP Chief Amit Shah.

Amit Shah

@AmitShah

Today’s strong action shows the will and resolve of a New India.
Our New India will not spare any acts of terror and their perpetrators and patrons.

1.39pm: The Pakistan Foreign Office says its Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has postponed his trip to Japan due to the “sensitive situation” brewing in the region in the wake of the Pulwama attack, reports Dawn.

1.36pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami lauds PM Modi on Surgical Strike 2.0. “I extend my greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi due to whose bold functioning, a successful air strike has been carried out which has demolished terror camps in Pakistan,” Palaniswami said.

1.28pm: As per media reports, many of the top commanders of the banned terror group JeM were shifted from the Balakot terror camp immediately after Pulwama terror attack.

1.25pm: Lt Gen DS Hooda (Retired), the Northern Army Commander during the ‘Surgical Strike’ in 2016, says: “My compliment goes to the government for taking this action.”

View image on Twitter

ANI

@ANI

Lt Gen DS Hooda (Retired), the Northern Army Commander during the ‘Surgical Strike’ in 2016: My compliment goes to the government for taking this action & also to the Air Force for the way they have carried out this strike (in Balakot) in an absolutely professional manner.

 

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1.24pm: “We are very happy,” says the kin brother of CRPF jawan Vijay Maurya, who lost his life in the Pulwama terror attack.

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ANI UP

@ANINewsUP

Brother of CRPF jawan Vijay Maurya(who lost his life in #PulwamaTerrorAttack): We are very happy that this(IAF strikes on JeM camp across LoC) happened, but we want pressure on Pakistan be kept up so that no terror org like JeM dares to attack us again

1.20pm: Shame, shame! Slogans were raised against Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in their Parliament, reports India Today.

1.18pm: A day after Pulwama blast, IAF was ready with plan to attack PoK: Here’s a timeline.

1.15pm: MEA on Indian Air Strike: “Information regarding the location of training camps in Pakistan and PoJK has been provided to Pakistan from time to time. Pakistan, however, denies their existence. The existence of such massive training facilities capable of training hundreds of jihadis could not have functioned without the knowledge of Pakistan authorities.”

1.12pm: “Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary,” says the MEA.

1.10pm: A major facility at Balakot in Pakistan, which was headed by Maulana Yousuf Azhar (alias Ustad Ghouri), the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar who is the chief of banned terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed, was blown to smithereens. JeM was responsible for the dastardly terror attack on the CRPF convoy in J&K. It was the Balakot terror camp where Pulwama terror attack mastermind Abdul Rasheed Ghazi underwent three-month training.

1.05pm: Mahindra and Mahindra Chairman Anand Mahindra lauded the Indian Air Force on conducting the air strikes in Paksitan. “Let us pray for the continued safety of those who protect us,” says Mahindra.

anand mahindra

@anandmahindra

And they returned safely… which is a feat in itself. Let us pray for the continued safety of those who protect us…

LatestLY

@latestly

IAF Strikes On JeM Camps Across LOC Live News Updates: 12 Mirage 2000 Jets of the IAF Took Part in the Strike #IAF #SurgicalStrike #Surgicalstrike2 #JeM #PakistanArmy #Pakistan #LoC #TerrorCampshttps://www.latestly.com/india/news/iaf-strikes-on-jem-camps-across-loc-live-news-updates-664180.html 

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12.59pm: Former Army General and Union Minister VK Singh says Pakistan wants India to bleed with a 1000 cuts but “each time you (Pak) attack us, be certain we will get back at you, harder and stronger”.

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Vijay Kumar Singh

@Gen_VKSingh

They say they want India to bleed with a 1000 cuts. We say that each time you attack us, be certain we will get back at you, harder and stronger. Salute the brave pilots of the @IAF_MCC that carried out the strikes. #JaiHind

 

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12.56pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hails the Indian Air Force (IAF) for carrying out air strikes in Pakistan.

Mamata Banerjee

@MamataOfficial

IAF also means India’s Amazing Fighters. Jai Hind

12.54pm: For the entire Indian Air Force operation, a war room was prepared of which Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and NSA Ajit Doval were advisors, reports India Today.

12.50pm: Hours after India conducted major air strikes in Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan has convened a meeting to review the emerging situation, reports Radio Pakistan.

12.45pm: “Every Indian who had the pain and anguish of the martyrdom of our forces is greatly relieved and delighted this morning. Salute to the Air Force for a meticulous operation. Our forces are world class anyway. It is the political will of our PM and team that made all the difference,” says BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav.

12.43pm: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to issue statement on the air strikes conducted by the Indian Air Force in Pakistan soon.

12.39pm: A Pakistani unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down near the International Border in Kutch district of Gujarat, police said. Debris of the UAV was seen near Nanghatad village in Abdasa taluka of Kutch, they said. On hearing a loud sound around 6 am, villagers went to the spot and found the debris of the UAV, the sources said. Asked if a Pakistani UAV had been shot down by the Indian armed forces, a police official, on condition of anonymity, told PTI, “Such an incident has happened, we are investigating the matter.”

12.19pm: Cricketer Virendra Sehwag says “the boys played really well”.

 

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Virender Sehwag

@virendersehwag

The boys have played really well. #SudharJaaoWarnaSudhaarDenge #airstrike

12.16pm: Sushma Swaraj calls a meeting of all Opposition leaders at Jawahar Bhawan (MEA) to brief them on India’s air strikes at 5PM today.

12.15PM: A ceasefire violation by Pakistani security forces at the international border at Kanachak at Samba, reports Moneycontrol, adding that one Pakistani ranger was killed in retaliatory firing by the Border Security Force.

12.10pm: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi “warns India not to challenge Pakistan”.

Embedded video

PTI

@PTIofficial

Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi talks to Samaa News after the violation of LOC by Indian Air Force (26.02.19)@SMQureshiPTI

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi warned India not to challenge Pakistan.
Pakistan is fully prepared to respond to any misadventure.

11.58am: Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) President welcomes air strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force on terror launch pads in Pakistan, and ‘saluted’ the valour of the “heroes.” The country was “proud of its heroes,” he says.

Kamal Haasan

@ikamalhaasan

Our 12 return safely home after wreaking havoc on terrorist camps in Pakistan. India is proud of its heroes. I salute their valour.

11.51am: Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) President Kamal Hassan Tuesday welcomed air strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force on terror launch pads in Pakistan, and ‘saluted’ the valour of the “heroes.” The country was “proud of its heroes,” he said in a tweet. “Our 12 (apparently fighter jets) return safely home after wreaking havoc on terrorist camps in Pakistan. India is proud of its heroes. I salute their valour,” he said.

11.47am: “We knew something like this would happen, and now we hold the right to retaliate against the air strikes conducted by the Indian Air Force,” says Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

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11.46am: Vijay Gokhle says a large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders were eliminated in largest JeM camp in Balakot. “The camp was led by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, the brother-in-law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar.”

11.35am: Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on the Surgical Strike 2.0: “Credible intelligence was received that Jaish-e-Mohammed was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country & fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose.”

 

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ANI

@ANI

Vijay Gokhale: Credible information was received that JeM was attempting other attacks in the country. A pre-emptive strike became important. India struck the biggest camp of JeM in Balakot.

11.30am: Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf rejects the air strikes conducted by the Indian Air Force. “We realise it’s election year, and a desperation across the border. Fact of the matter is, Indian jets were forced to retreat in haste by Pakistan army patrols and dumped fuel, which in their scramble they thought was a bomb.”

Embedded video

PTI

@PTIofficial

Indian government is in dire need of winning the upcoming elections, selfish enough, they are willing to create unrest in the entire region. Pakistan will use all international forums to expose India while being ready to retaliate to any aggression. Foreign Minister @SMQureshiPTI

 

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11.24am: The Indian jets flew over my hometown in Garhi Habibullah, and released its payload near Batrasi jungle, confirms a Pakistani journalist.

Rizwan Ahmad Ghilzai@Rizwan_Ghilzai

#Indian jets flew over my hometown #GarhiHabibullah, and released its payload near Batrasi jungle (non-residential area).Alhamdulillah no casualty or damage is reported according to the local police & residents. #PakArmy takes control of the area. #IndianAirCraftsCrossedBorder

11.18am: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on the Surgical Strike 2.0: “Great job by the Indian Air Force”.

Capt.Amarinder Singh

@capt_amarinder

Great job by the #IndianAirForce. The #IAFStrikes have sent the much needed signal to Pakistan and the terrorists it’s harbouring – don’t think you can get away with acts like the #PulwamaAttack. Bravo to the #IAF men and my full support for the action.

 

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11.13am: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh cancels his Greater Noida visit to assess the overall security situation after the Surgical Strike 2.0.

11.09am: A map of distance between Balakot in Pakistan to Uri, which is the nearest LoC area.

11.03am:7 things India used during the Surgical Strike 2.0.

  • Mirage 2000 from Gwalior – multirole fighter jet built by Dassault aviation, acquired in 1980s, predecessor to Rafale.
  • GBU-12 paveway laser guided bomb, an American-built precision guidance bomb kit.
  • Matra magic close combat missile, a French built missile for possible pak air force response during mission.
  • Litening pod, a laser designator and targeting pod to acquire targets and guide precision bomb.
  • Netra airborne early warning jet from Bhatinda — command and control from the air, vectoring the fighters towards targets.
  • Ilyushin – 78m from Agra – flight refuelling aircraft to refuel jets for longer endurance.
  • Heron drone from secret airfield conducted real time surveillance along line of control.

10.38am: The entire operation lasted around 20 minutes, which includes take off till return time, say reports. The strikes were conducted at Balakot, a breeding ground of terror activities, which is 24 kilometre northwest of Muzaffarabad in Pakistan.

10.27am: Major General Asif Ghafoor, Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), claims Indian aircrafts’ intrusion across LOC in Muzafarabad Sector within AJ&K was 3-4 miles.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor

@OfficialDGISPR

Indian aircrafts’ intrusion across LOC in Muzafarabad Sector within AJ&K was 3-4 miles.Under forced hasty withdrawal aircrafts released payload which had free fall in open area. No infrastructure got hit, no casualties. Technical details and other important information to follow.

10.23am: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday saluted the pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) after it carried out air strikes in Pakistan. “I salute the bravery of Indian Air Force pilots who have made us proud by striking terror targets in Pakistan,” Kejriwal said in a tweet.

Arvind Kejriwal

@ArvindKejriwal

I salute the bravery of Indian Air Force pilots who have made us proud by striking terror targets in Pakistan

10.19am: A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security is underway at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.

ANI

@ANI

Delhi: Meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security underway at 7, LKM

10.08am: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi calls an emergency meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. He had said on Monday that India’s “dream” of isolating Pakistan will never be fulfilled, amidst simmering tensions between the two countries following the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF soldiers.

10.03am: The Indian Air Force has put on high alert all air defence systems along the international border and LoC to respond to any possible action by Pakistan Air Force, reports ANI.

9.51am: Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, reiterates dialogue from the recent Bollywood hit Uri: The Surgical Strike. “This is new India, this will enter your home, and kill you too.”

View image on Twitter

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

@gssjodhpur

ये मोदी का हिंदुस्तान है, घर में घुसेगा भी और मारेगा भी,
Air Force carried out aerial strike early morning today at terror camps across the LoC and Completely destroyed it
एक एक क़तरा ख़ून का हिसाब होगा !ये तो एक शुरुआत है .. ये देश नहीं झुकने दूंगा…#Balakot #Surgicalstrike2

9.50am: Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi says “helter skelter by Pakistan seems like something big has happened”.

 

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Abhishek Singhvi

@DrAMSinghvi

Indian Air Force Strikes at Balakot don’t have official word yet but the Helter skelter by Pakistan seems like something big has happened. The IAF has gone beyond POK & into Pakistan near their capital while they were busy counting alms received from Saudi & China.

642 people are talking about this

Abhishek Singhvi

@DrAMSinghvi

Balakot which is quite far out into the LOC is a deep strike and purportedly where Hafeez Saeed gives a lot of his addresses. If IAF penetrated that deep without casualties it’s a highly successful mission.

9.40am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi says: “I salute the pilots of the IAF.”

Rahul Gandhi

@RahulGandhi

🇮🇳 I salute the pilots of the IAF. 🇮🇳

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9.39am: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh head to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force.

9.39am: Where is Balakot in Pakistan: Balakot, a town in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan, is about 50 km (31 miles) from the Line of Control (LoC), which acts as a de facto border between the two countries that have fought three wars since their independence from British colonial rule in 1947, says Reuters.

9.30am: The action comes just 12 days after a CRPF convoy was targeted by a JeM suicide bomber, killing 40 personnel and injuring five others.

9.26am: All terror camps of JeM across Balakot, Chakothi and Muzaffarabad destroyed in Pakistan.

India Today

@IndiaToday

Indian Mirage fighters destroy PoK terror camps: Sources. Live updates #ITLivestream https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0SpLDMyMDQ4MDl8MWt2SnBFUnlrUU94RZLyaypuiyozzShpHw2hJsMZXlBPLPPj8p9VtpdYNv8N

India Today @IndiaToday

Indian Mirage fighters destroy PoK terror camps: Sources. Live updates #ITLivestream

pscp.tv

9.25am: Reports suggest Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been briefed on the air strikes conducted by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

9.19am: The government to brief media on the India Air Force strike soon. The government earlier declined to comment on the issue even though the  Pakistani side confirmed that India conducted air strikes across LoC in Balakot region in Pakistan.

9.09am: Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor confirms the damage done by the Indian Air Force fighter jets.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor

@OfficialDGISPR

Payload of hastily escaping Indian aircrafts fell in open.

9.07am: As per News18, the Indian Air Force strikes could have caused around 200-300 casualties on the Pakistani side.

9.05am: NC leader and former J&K CM Omar Abdullah lauds the Air Force, says “if this is true this was not a small strike by any stretch of imagination”.

Omar Abdullah

@OmarAbdullah

Wow, if this is true this was not a small strike by any stretch of imagination but will wait for official word, should any be forthcoming.

ANI

@ANI

IAF Sources: 12 Mirage 2000 jets took part in the operation that dropped 1000 Kg bombs on terror camps across LOC, completely destroying it

View image on Twitter

 

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9.01am: The government has so far declined to comment on the issue but has also not denied about reports of the Indian Air Force conducting strikes across the Line of Control.

9.00am: As many as 12 Mirage 2000 jets took part in the operation that completely destroyed several terror camps across the Line of Control in Pakistan.

View image on Twitter

ANI

@ANI

IAF Sources: 12 Mirage 2000 jets took part in the operation that dropped 1000 Kg bombs on terror camps across LOC, completely destroying it

8.38am: Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor claims the Indian aircraft intruded into Pakistan from the Muzaffarabad sector.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor

@OfficialDGISPR

Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzafarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor

@OfficialDGISPR

Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back. Details to follow.

 

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8.20am: Around 10 Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft strike several terror camps across the LoC.

View image on Twitter

ANI

@ANI

IAF Sources: At 0330 hours on 26th February a group of Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC
and completely destroyed it.

 

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Want Narendra Modi to become Prime Minister again: Mulayam Singh

 

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In a surprising statement contrary to his son Akhilesh Yadav’s stance, Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi in parliament today, which left the opposition squirming but were greeted by cheers from the treasury benches with the PM acknowledging Yadav’s “blessings” with folded hands.

He also said that he hopes that BJP wins the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns to power again.

“I hope we see the same set of MPs in the next Lok Sabha,” Singh said in Lok Sabha in his valedictory speech in Lok Sabha, drawing applause from the BJP members who are in a majority in the House.. Today is the last day of the 16th Lok Sabha.

Pointing towards Modi, Mulayam said: “I hope that Modi becomes Prime Minister again. He must get another term.”

Ruling alliance members heartily cheered Yadav with chants of “Jai Shri Ram” as he praised Modi for “making efforts to take everyone along”.

Interestingly Mulayam was seen making this statement standing next to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.
The statement has come when Akhilesh Yadav has formed an alliance with once-rival BSP in Uttar Pradesh against BJP for the Lok Sabha elections.

Mulayam Singh, the founder of Samajwadi Party and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, had indulged into an open spat with his son Akhilesh Yadav just before the Uttar Pradesh state elections.

Ruling Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav lost the state elections in 2017 pretty badly against BJP. The saffron party had bagged 312 out of 403 seats in the state elections.

 

 

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10% reservation for General Category : Are you eligible for 10% reservation in General category? Here are the criteria

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The Union Cabinet has approved 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for the economically backward section in the general category, sources said Monday.

The Union Cabinet has approved 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for the economically backward section in the general category, sources said Monday.
The government is likely to bring a constitutional amendment bill in Parliament on Tuesday, they said, adding that the quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation.

The section doesn’t get reservation as of now, the sources said.

“The reservation will be given to those economically backward poor people who are not availing the benefit of reservation as of now,” a source explained.

The reservation benefit is likely to be availed by those whose annual income is below Rs 8 lakh and have up to five acres of land, he said.

 

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1. What are the criteria for qualify as EBC?

What are the criteria for qualify as EBC?

1) Annual income below Rs 8 lakh per annum

2) Agricultural land below 5 acre

3) Residential area below 1000 square feet

4) Residential plot below 109 yards in notified municipality

5) Residential plot below 209 yards in non-notified municipality area

 

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2. What it means?

What it means?

In a major move ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Union Cabinet Monday cleared a 10 per cent job and education quota for “economically weaker” sections, meeting a key demand of upper castes, a staunch BJP support base which has shown signs of a drift from the party.

A top government functionary said a constitutional amendment bill will be tabled in Parliament Tuesday, the last day of the Winter Session.

 

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3. Will go above 50%Will go above 50%

The proposed reservation will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation enjoyed by the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, taking the total reservation to 60 per cent.

The constitutional amendment bill would be required as the constitution does not provide for reservation on the ground of economic conditions. It envisages amendment to the Articles 5 and 6.

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4. Will give reservation to the poor

Will give reservation to the poor

A Union minister said the bill once passed will amend the Constitution accordingly to give reservation to the poor among the general castes and classes.

“The bill will provide a shelter for upper castes under the rubric of fundamental rights. The court’s rule of the maximum 50 per cent quota cannot fetter Parliament’s right to amend the Constitution,” he said.

 

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5. SC cap?

SC cap?

In its famous Indra Sawhney judgement, the Supreme Court had set a cap of 50 per cent cap on quotas. Government sources said the proposed constitutional amendment will pave the way for the additional quota.

“The reservation will be given to those economically weaker people who presently do not avail any benefits of reservation,” a source said.

 

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6. Castes likely to benefitCastes likely to benefit

Among the major castes to benefit from the proposed law are Brahmins, Rajputs (Thakurs), Jats, Marathas, Bhumihars, several trading castes, Kapus and Kammas among other Upper Castes.

The poor among the other religions will also benefit from it, sources added. The Congress described the government’s decision as an “election gimmick” to fool the people and a proof of BJP’s “fear” of losing Lok Sabha polls.

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7. Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas

Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas

The BJP hailed the move with several leaders describing it as historic and exercise in sync with government’s motto of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” (with all, development for all).

BJP ally and Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan also termed the decision by the government as “historic”.

 

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8. Opp parties must support

Opp parties must support

The BJP believes that if opposition parties, whose support is a must for its passage in the Rajya Sabha where the government lacks numbers, vote against it, then they will risk losing support of an influential section of society.

Influential castes like Marathas, Kapus and Jats have hit the streets in the last few years, seeking reservation benefits. Their protests at times have turned violent.

 

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9. What about states?What about states?

Though governments in states like Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have made laws, they are often struck down by the court on the ground of a Supreme Court judgement in the Indra Sawhney case had fixed a ceiling of 50 per cent on reservation.

The apex court has also asserted that the Constitution makes no case for quota on economic ground and only talks of educational and social backwardness besides those for the SCs and STs.

He added that the demand for providing quota to the poor from the general castes was made in the constituent assembly too.

“For the first time, we (govt) are now going to give constitutional recognition to the poor from the upper castes,” he said.

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10. Criteria

Criteria

The bill is likely to introduces criteria like an annual income below Rs 8 lakh and not owning more than five acres of agricultural land for those seeking quota benefits.

They should also not own a flat of 1000 sq ft or more, land of 100 yards in notified municipality area and 200 yards in non-notified area, sources said.

The ruling BJP hopes that the bill will help consolidate the general castes in its support as it begins campaign for the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in April-May.

 

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11. Wooing UC?

Wooing UC?

Political watchers believe that sections of upper castes had drifted from the party of late following its aggressive push to win over backward classes and Dalits.

The Modi government’s decision to bring a law to nullify a Supreme Court order, which critics said had diluted provisions in a law on atrocities against Dalits and tribes, was also used by some upper castes groups to campaign against the BJP in recent state polls.

The BJP had lost to the Congress in three states, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, where it was in power.

 

 

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