President of India writes to Singapore President conveying condolences on the passing away of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore

President of India writes to Singapore President conveying condolences on the passing away of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has written to the President of the Republic of Singapore, His Excellency Dr. Tony Tan Keng Yam, conveying his condolences on the passing away of His Excellency Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of Singapore.

In his message, the President said, “I learned, with great sadness, of the passing of H.E. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister and Founding Father of Singapore.

H.E. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, one of the greatest statesmen of our times, was a genuine friend of India. He will long be remembered for laying the strong foundation of the excellent co-operation between India and Singapore and also India’s close engagement with the ASEAN and countries in the region.

H.E. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew had dedicated himself to the transformation of Singapore into a highly developed, modern city-State and the vibrant economic power that it is today. He has left an unmatched legacy for his people.

I have no doubt that his vision will continue to motivate future generations in Singapore and inspire states and leaders around the world.

Please accept, Excellency, the heartfelt condolences of the people of India. We offer our deepest sympathies to the people of Singapore and the grieving members of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s family”.



The Officer Trainees of Indian Postal Service of 2012 and 2014 batches called on the Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari here today. They comprised of four officer trainees from 2012 batch and ten officer trainees from 2014 batch. The Vice President interacted with the officer trainees on various aspects of Indian Postal Service viz. Indian Postal System, its prospects, role and scope and its modernization etc. He called upon them to focus on good governance with a high degree of commitment to public service and higher values of professionalism. He wished the officer trainees good success in their service career ahead.

The officer trainees were accompanied by Shri Pradipta Kumar Bisoi, Director and senior officers of Rafi Ahmed Kidwai National Postal Academy, Ghaziabad. These officer trainees are presently undergoing two years professional course at Rafi Ahmed Kidwai National Postal Academy, Ghaziabad, an apex level training institute of India Post. Indian Postal Service came in to existence in 1948 and has a cadre of around 450 officers to manage postal services in India.


Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo calls on PM

Mr. Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter, called on the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today. 

The Prime Minister spoke about avenues through which Twitter can help in initiatives such as ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’ and ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ not just by providing a platform but also by initiating a prolonged effort to support these initiatives. He also urged Twitter to help promote India’s rich tourist potential across the world. Shri Modi talked about the International Day of Yoga and how Twitter can contribute in making it more vibrant across the world. Shri Modi said that Twitter should tap into India’s linguistic diversity and offer services that would draw people from various linguistic backgrounds to Twitter. 

Mr. Costolo told the Prime Minister that Twitter is growing fast in India and that he has come here to see how people are innovating. He added that he saw India’s young population as a wonderful opportunity for Twitter to grow. Mr. Costolo shared some of the innovations being done by Twitter to enhance connectivity between Twitter users. 


Yang Jiechi, State Councillor of the People’s Republic of China and Special Representative of China on the Boundary Question calls on PM

Mr. Yang Jiechi, State Councillor of the People’s Republic of China and Special Representative of China on the Boundary Question called on Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today. 

Mr. Yang Jiechi conveyed the greetings of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to Prime Minister. Mr. Yang Jiechi also briefed Prime Minister on the preparations for his upcoming visit to China. Prime Minister outlined his vision for closer India-China relations and the significance of the India-China bilateral relationship to the region and the world. 

Recalling the visit of President Xi Jinping to India in September 2014, Prime Minister expressed hope that his visit to China will have concrete outcomes and take the relationship to a new level. Prime Minister said that he is looking forward to meeting President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in China. 

Mr. Yang Jiechi and Mr. Ajit Doval also briefed Prime Minister on the 18th Round of Talks between Special Representatives of China and India on the Boundary Question, held on 23 March 2015. 


PM to attend the funeral of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of modern Singapore

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will attend the funeral of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of modern Singapore, on 29th March 2015.


Launch of IRNSS-1D by PSLV-C27 on March 28, 2015 

The launch of India’s fourth Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1D onboard PSLV-C27 in now scheduled at 1719 hrs IST in the evening on Saturday, March 28, 2015 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. 


Centre Sanctions Rupees 2000 Crores for Drought-Affected Areas in Maharashtra For 2014 

The Union Agriculture Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh has informed that a high level committee today sanctioned Rs. 2000 crores for year 2014 under National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for drought affected areas of Maharashtra. The Minister said that this amount is almost four times the amount of about Rs. 500 crores sanctioned for the year 2013 when the state was faced with severe drought. 


The Auction of Spectrum in 2015 

In 2100 MHZ, 1800 MHZ, 900 MHZ and 800 MHZ Bands Continues 

110 Rounds of Bidding Completed at the End of Day 18 

            The Auction of Spectrum in 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz, 900 MHz and 800 MHz Bands re- commenced today at 09.00 A.M. and today 6 rounds of bidding were completed. Till now, 110 rounds of bidding has taken place.

            The bidding is taking place in all bands. Brisk bidding was seen on 18th day of bidding, with activity requirement set at 100%. There is robust bidding going on in 900 MHz and 800 MHz bands. At the end of 110th round, about 89% of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders. The provisional amount committed by bidders at the end of 110th round is over Rs.1,09,000 Crore. Majority of service areas are going at a premium over reserve price. The competitive bidding is expected to continue. There is still spectrum, which is yet to be sold. Bidding would recommence tomorrow i.e. 25-03-2015 at 9AM.

            Detailed file is attached.


Hon. Governor of Gujarat inaugurated Gujpex-2015 

Lesson on philately should be included in School curriculum: Governor 

Hon. Governor of Gujarat Shri O.P. Kohli today inaugurated Gujpex-2015 at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial, Ahmedabad. Gujpex-2015 is the 13th state level philatelic exhibition of Gujarat postal circle. Hon. Governor also inaugurate a special cover on ‘River front’ and a book ‘Collector’s guide to british India bazaar card- Edwardian & Georgian period’ written by philatelist Shri Prafful Thakkar. 

In his inaugural address Hon. Governor said that it is not important that how many philatelist we have but philately has great value. Young generation is disconnected from the history; philately can be the medium to connect them with history. Shri O.P. Kohli further said that if a child see a post ticket of Gandhi’s Dandi yatra, it creats curiosity in child’s mind to know about the Dandi movement. Therefore he suggested to the chairman of Ahmedabad Municipal School Board that a lesson written by some eminent philatelist should be included in the school’s curriculum. Hon. Governor also congratulates the Department of Post for organizing the Gujarat Philatelic Exhibition-Gujpex-2015. 

Brigadier Sanjeev Thapar, Chief Postmaster General, Gujarat Circle in his speech stated that philately is a wonderful hobby; it gives a wealth of joy, wealth of information. He requested the gathering to bring maximum people to see exhibition by word of mouth. 

Gujpex-2015 will be open for all from 24-03-2015 to 27-03-2015. Ms. Meenaxiben Patel, Hon’ble Mayor, Ahmedabad city, Dr. Kirit Solanki, Member of Parliament (LS) and Dr. Jagdish Bhavsar, Chairman, Ahmedabad Municipal School Board were present during the function. 


Government Welcomes Court Decision on 66A 

Following is the text of the statement made by the Union Minister for  Telecom & IT, Sh Ravi Shankar Prasad on Supreme Court judgement on  section 66-A of IT act:
“The Union Government welcomes Hon’ble SC’s decision on 66A. When the UPA Govt came out with draconian provisions under 66A, BJP in opposition firmly opposed it and said that ’66 is unacceptable in current form’. BJP resolutely stood up against the censorship and blocking on social media done by UPA Govt.
Once in Govt, it took its opposition to the draconian provisions of 66A on record in Court Proceedings. New Affidavits filed by NDA Govt in Hon’ble Supreme Court clearly show the marked difference in the approach from UPA Govt.
NDA Govt, in what can be dubbed as a landmark moment in India’s Internet history, has accorded the same amount of freedom of speech and expression that a citizen of India is granted in normal life under our constitution by our founding fathers .
After detailed discussion with the Central Government at the highest possible level, the Central Government filed an Affidavit before the Hon’ble Supreme Court making its stand absolutely clear that the Government respects the freedom of speech and expression.  The relevant paragraphs are verbatim quoted:
A.      “This counter affidavit is being filed only for the purpose of assisting this Hon’ble Court and to satisfy this Hon’ble Court that the impugned Sections of the IT Act neither seeks to curtail nor the Central Government desires any interpretation which seeks to curtail any of the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizens including the right under Article 19(1)(a) i.e. fundamental right to free speech and expression. 
B.      This counter affidavit seeks to point out the necessity and desirability of the provisions which are challenged in these petitions and to bring it on record that the usage of cyber space either by social media or otherwise is not even remotely intended to be curtailed either totally or partially at instance of Union of India.
C.     Central Government encourages beneficial use of cyber space and the Act only seeks to regulate the use of cyberspace which would fall within any of and/ or all categories stipulated under Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India.
D.     That the penal provisions of the Act can never be interpreted so as to take within its sweep political debate, any form of honest decent, decent humour, political satire etc.  With a view to avoid possibility of any misconstruction of the expressions used in the penal provisions of the Act, the Central Government has prepared an advisory / guidelines to be strictly followed by law enforcement agencies which would ensure that the honest and legal use of cyber space does not result into any harassment to any citizen of the country.”
Thus in a layman’s language, the Government absolutely respects the right to freedom of speech and expression on social media and has no intention of curbing it. Only reasonable restrictions apply on social media, as they do in routine normal day to day life in the physical world under Article 19 (2) of the constitution of India. We will have to understand that we cannot set a different standard of Public Morality for Speech & Expression in Cyberspace from Speech in other mediums and in the Public Domain
It is important to understand that Section 66A is in several parts and only a portion of it deals with issues which can raise question of freedom of speech and expression.
During the course of oral submissions also, it was categorically pointed out that the Central Government shares the anxiety that expressions like “grossly offensive” etc. referred above may be abused at some local level.  The Central Government, therefore, requested the Hon’ble Supreme Court that the said expressions be read confined to Article 19(2) of the Constitution only and to ensure that no right of any citizen is scuttled, the said phrases be narrowly tailored by the Hon’ble Supreme Court itself to obviate any possibility of any abuse of any law enforcing agency to scuttle the free speech and expression of the citizens.
There can be no parallel of our stand on this matter with that of the previous UPA regime. We have in writing confirmed that we stand for freedom of speech and expression, while the previous UPA Govt tried to make this law an instrument to curb dissent, satire and anything else which did not suit it. “
I have myself set an example by standing up for free speech and rights of a teenager recently arrested at the complain of Azam Khan for posting on Twitter and Facebook.


MoU Between Indian Army and Axis Bank 

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army and Axis Bank on the Defence Salary Package today. The signing ceremony was chaired by the Adjutant General, Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma and was attended by officials of Axis Bank headed by Shri Anirudh Maheshwari, Vice President & Salary Channel Head-Central Office, Mumbai. 

The first MoU between Axis Bank and the Indian Army was signed in 2011 and was valid for a period of three years. The revised MoU is tailor made to suit the requirements of serving soldiers, pensioners and families. Number of additional facilities have been incorporated in the revised MoU after concerted efforts. Army is confident that this MoU will benefit a large number of serving and retired Army personnel who are having their accounts with Axis Bank and also provide them an opportunity to access modern banking facilities. 

The basic features of the MoU are the same as before. Some additional features which have been further improved from before are Personal Accident Death Cover which has been linked to Defence Salary Package account and over draft of upto Rs One Lakh. In addition, all facilities of the MoU are also available to the pensioners, including overdraft and ‘Personal Accident Insurance’, irrespective of any age restrictions. 

Col Rohan Anand, SM


Three Immediate Support Vessels Commisioned at Visakhapatnam 

The second batch of three Immediate Support Vessels (ISVs), comprising T-38, T-39 and T-40 were commissioned today, 24 March 2015 by Vice Admiral Satish Soni, PVSM, AVSM, NM, ADC, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command at an impressive ceremony held at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam. These three ISVs are in addition to the first batch of ISVs commissioned last year on 04 Jun 14 and will constitute the 84th Immediate Support Vessel Squadron based at Visakhapatnam. Two ISVs have been built by Rodman Spain whereas one ISV has been built by the Abu Dhabi Ship Builders (ADSB). The project was a joint collaboration between Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Ltd, Ship Builders and the Indian Navy. 

Vice Admiral Satish Soni was received on arrival at the Naval Jetty by Commodore KA Bopanna, Naval Officer-in-Charge(NOIC), Andhra Pradesh. The Admiral was presented a Fifty-man Guard and introduced to the Commanding Officers of the ISVs thereafter. The inaugural address was delivered by the NOIC, Andhra Pradesh. Lieutenants Jai Kishore, Shobhit Saxena and Vaibhav Bhardwaj, Commanding Officers of T-38, T-39 and T-40 respectively, read out the Commissioning Warrants. Hoisting of the Naval Ensign onboard for the first time and ‘Breaking of the Commissioning Pennant’ with the National Anthem being played marked the completion of the Commissioning Ceremony. 

"These ISVs were brought to Naval Dockyard Mumbai where Delivery Acceptance Trials were carried out. These ships have sailed 1,200 nautical miles from Mumbai to Visakhapatnam over duration of 12 days before getting commissioned at the Eastern Naval Command," Vice Admiral Satish Soni said while addressing the gathering, adding that the ISVs proved their sturdiness as they crossed successfully the Gulf of Mannar facing strong winds and high seas. 

The ISVs are armed with Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) and are fitted with state of the art radar and navigation equipment. They are fitted with two caterpillar engines of 1600 MHP each to provide water jet propulsion which provides the vessels a high speed of 40 knots and an endurance of 500 nautical miles. These ships are capable of carrying out day and night surveillance and can be used for rapid insertions/extraction of MARCOS for military intervention. 

The induction and deployment of these ships will augment the ongoing efforts to bolster coastal security and provide protection to our offshore assets from asymmetric threats. These ships would enhance Indian Navy’s capability in furthering its mandate of maritime safety and security over the Offshore Developmental Areas on the Eastern sea board. 


Army Commander Visit Samba 

Army Commander Western Command, Lt Gen KJ Singh visited Samba Military Station on 22 and 23 March 2015. The Army Commander said “Sabaash” to the Officers and Jawans who had professionally eliminated two terrorists trying to enter one of the unit locations but were successfully foiled by the alert sentry on the post. 

The Army Commander in his visit met troops deployed in the forward area and applauded their role in ensuring the peace and security of the area. The alertness and timely action not only foiled the terrorists’ attempts in gaining entry inside the Military Station but also prevented any loss of life of any citizen of our country. 

The Army Commander also felicitated three civilians who had assisted the security forces during the operation. He took stock of the present security scenario in the region in view of the two back to back terrorists attacks. In this interaction with the local Formation Commanders and intelligence agencies he re-emphasised the need to maintain a strong vigil against inimical design of terrorists. 

Lt Col Manish Mehta 

President of India writes to Singapore President conveying condolences on the passing away of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore President of India writes to Singapore President conveying condolences on the passing away of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 9:07 PM Rating: 5

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