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Army chief’s appointment: Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi breaks silence, says won’t resign

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eastern Army Commander Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi finally broke silence on his resignation on Saturday. “I won’t resign. Extending all support to Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat,” Lt. Gen. Bakshi said, while addressing the officers of Eastern Command via teleconference.This statement by the Lt. Gen. Bakshi comes in the wake of rumours and speculations doing the rounds that he might resign after being superseded by Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat as the Army Chief.However, the Defence Ministry is yet to consider Lt. Gen. Bakshi’s name for the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) that could happen in the coming year.Lt. Gen. Bakshi is likely to meet Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in January. Sources in the ministry say Lt. Gen. Bakshi could be offered an appointment outside of the military. Lt. Gen. Bakshi was to be leave till January 1. He joined office on Saturday at the Fort William, the army’s Eastern Command Headquarters.

Government always has final say in Army Chief’s selection, says Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Satyvrat Chaturvedi appeared to go against his party’s line on Monday, when he said that the final decision in the selection of the army chief lies in the hands of the government of the day.”Seniority is an important consideration, but it is not the only consideration. Qualification is also an important factor. So, the government must have taken the decision considering all factors. I feel that the present man appointed is a general and he a past record. All these things must have been thought about,” Senior Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi told ANI.Chaturvedi insisted that politics and defence should be kept apart in the national interest.
ALSO READ Rawat appointment row: Never played politics with Army like BJP, won’t ever do it, says Congress”In terms of the appointment of the army chief, controversy cannot be welcomed. The decision of what is supreme for national interest is taken by the ruling government. Army and politics should be like two poles apart. I don’t find it right to play politics over national security, he said.”I am in favour of keeping this issue away from any controversy. I don’t want to comment on it,”he added.
ALSO READ Army chief appointment: Govt cites Rawat’s track record to blunt opposition’s attack The Centre has attracted criticism from the opposition parties for choosing Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat as the next army chief, for superseding two senior officers ? Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi, the senior most army commander, who heads the Eastern Command, and Lt. Gen. P.M. Hariz, the chief of the Southern Command.However, the government on Sunday clarified that the appointment of Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) is based purely on merit from a panel of officers in the rank of army commanders, irrespective of the corps to which the officer originally belonged.

New Pak Army chief Gen Bajwa has close links with the Hafeez Saeed’s JuD, reveals report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan’s 16th Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, is said to be not only a very proud Muslim and a follower of the Sharia, but unknown to most, seems to have close links with the fundamentalist Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which is led by 26/11 mastermind Hafeez Saeed.According to a report published by Roznama Dunya, a venture of Dunya News, Pakistan’s leading news and current affairs channel, the JuD appears to have endorsed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s selection of General Bajwa as army chief, describing him as a ‘religious man’ who while simple and humble in approach, possesses the grit of a soldier who can firmly convey Pakistan’s message to its immediate neighbours (read India) as well as to the rest of the world.Recently, Amir Hamza, one of the central leaders of the JuD, which India has held responsible for the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that claimed over 160 lives and left more than 300 others injured through its militant wing, the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), extolled the special qualities and virtues of General Qamar Bajwa, and said that it was to the Pakistan government and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s credit that they had selected a simple yet religious man to head the country’s all-powerful army.Globally, the JuD has been widely acknowledged as the front of the militant Lashkar-e-Toiba. On December 11, 2008 the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on the JuD, declaring it a global terrorist group. Hafiz Saeed had then declared that he would challenge the sanctions imposed on his group in all forums, as he has repeatedly maintained that his outfit is only involved in charitable works.On June 25, 2014, the United States said that several LeT affiliates, including the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Al-Anfal Trust, Tehrik-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool, and Tehrik-e-Tahafuz Qibla Awwal needed to be added to the list of foreign terrorist organisations.Hamza said, “It is the mercy of Allah that such a noble and humble religious man has become the head of the army”. Hamza further suggests that while General Bajwa may not be the traditional and proverbial in your face Pakistani general in so far as issues with India are concerned, he possesses the ability to send across the right message at the right time.To substantiate this claim of his, Hamza recalls General Bajwa’s recent message to India – “That if the right to self-determination is given to Kashmiris, then there is ‘Qamar’, i.e. moon light, (and) if not given, then India won’t rest in peace.”In the article published in the Roznama Dunya, Hamza, claims that he believes that General Bajwa is a follower of the ‘Hadith’ (a collection of traditions containing sayings of Prophet Mohammad which act as a major source of guidance for Muslims apart from the Koran).Hamza, in his article, recalls one of the prophet’s sayings. The prophet has said should a person commit a sin and his mother is not alive for atonement and forgiveness, that person should go to his maternal aunt, behave well with her, and he will be forgiven by Allah. He (Hamza) says a ‘pious’ General Bajwa did the same thing when he was announced as Pakistan’s next army chief. He went first to his mother’s grave, raised his hands, prayed and cried, and thereafter, paid a visit to his childless maternal aunt ‘Safiya Begum’ and made her feel that he was her child in the absence of his mother.”Thus, the General salutes his important relatives after becoming Army Chief,” says Hamza in his article.Emphasizing that General Bajwa is a man who follows protocol, but knows when to keep it aside, Hamza recalls that when the former was formally declared Chief of Army Staff, superseding several of his seniors, he was particular about not making them feel awkward, and categorically told two of them, Lt Gen. Asfaq Nadeem and Lt. Gen. Javed Iqbal Ramday, that they need not follow protocol and resign, but should continue as Corp Commanders and complete their respective tenures.Both commanders were told by General Bajwa that life is short and protocol should not be allowed to come in between them.

Will soon name next IA and IAF chiefs: Manohar Parrikar

New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday that he will soon name the next Indian Army and Indian Air Force chiefs.

He was speaking after paying tributes at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi on Vijay Diwas or Victory Day that is observed on 16 December to mark the military triumph over Pakistan in 1971 which led to the creation of Bangladesh.

The Defence Minister, however, did not give a timeline for naming the new chiefs. Asked whether the line of succession might be broken in the appointment of the next army chief, Parrikar said cryptically: “Line of succession is decided by the people.”

The Indian Army chief, General Dalbir Singh, and the Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, are both set to retire on 31 December.

File photo of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI

File photo of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI

A file with nominations for the new chiefs is with the Prime Minister’s Office, and a formal announcement is expected after parliament’s winter session concludes on Friday, sources said.

The sources also added that the Eastern Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi; the Southern Army Commander, Lt. Gen. P.M. Hariz and the army vice chief, Lt Gen Bipin Rawat are in the fray to succeed Gen. Dalbir Singh.

Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, a Kargil war veteran, and the IAF vice chief is in the fray for the top job.

Talking about the significance of 16 December, Parrikar said it was a day when India achieved a “decisive victory”.

“I don’t have to stress on the importance of this great day. This is the day when we achieved a decisive victory and created a new country,” he said.

On the next canisterisated test for Agni V missile, the minister said he would not like to comment much on it and said: “Testing goes on, I will not comment much. We have achieved 100 percent success in all the tests this year.”

First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 11:27 IST

Let’s go clean, the robotic way

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Robots to collect biomedical waste, clean water bodies, clear thousands of tonnes of garbage from the site of Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and even a robotic E-bin from South Africa… students at the World Robot Olympiad had ideas aplenty on how to achieve a Swachh Bharat, the robotic, safe and non-hazardous way.Amongst the participants at this year’s edition, the first time India is hosting the event, was 13-year-old Navya, a Class IX student of St Joseph’s in Mumbai, who remembers being appalled when she read about a nurse who had to pick up biomedical waste with her bare hands and contracted Hepatitis B. That prompted Navya and her two friends, Anshu, 10, and Soham, 13, to come up with the Nurse Assistant, a robot to do the job.It took them six months of hard work. “We researched a lot before starting this project. We read lots of articles on how nurses in hospitals collect biomedical waste, which is really dangerous for their health. So we have come up with this robot, which will clean biomedical waste in a more efficient manner,” she said.Little wonder that their stall at the Olympiad — being held at the India Expo Centre in Noida, with the theme ‘Rap the Scrap’ in line with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan — was a popular one with many visitors stopping by.Caregivers like doctors, nurses and ward-boys in hospitals are multiple times more prone to catching infections as they are in close proximity with the sick and handle biomedical waste without requisite precautions. In Mumbai’s Sewri TB Hospital, Asia’s largest centre for treating TB, for instance, close to 200 caregivers have been infected with the disease. Of these, 40, including a senior doctor, have died.”It is a very good idea to pick up biomedical waste with help of robots. This reduces human contact. It will reduce infections that can be caused due to pricks in healthy caregivers,” said Dr Lalit Anande, senior medical officer at Sewri.Amongst the thousands of students, from as young as nine to 25, from 51 countries was 11-year-old Krishna, a Class VII student from Manav Rachna School in Faridabad, who has created a robot that can clean small and large water bodies.”Our robot is an autonomous vehicle that collects garbage from various water bodies, removing harmful algae near garbage patches to increase the level of oxygen. After collecting the garbage, it drops it in the recycling factory,” he said.From South Africa were Dilan, 12, and Aydin, 9, with the unique robot, E-bin. “The E-bin has a bar-code with three sections — plastic, paper and metal– and a barcode detector. When one has to throw something in the E-bin, one will bring it near the detector and the section where your waste is meant to be opens automatically,” Dilan explained.And then there was an all-girls team from Saudi Arabia, whose robot is called Haram, named after the mosque in the sacred Ka’bah. “Every year, around 14,000 tons of garbage is collected from the Haj site. There are no proper arrangement for its recycling in Saudi Arabia. So, we have made the Robo-Haram which will collect the trash from the site after every Haj and Umrah and process it for recycling,” said 16-year-old Jasmine.The three-day event, ending Sunday, was organised by the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) in collaboration with India STEM Foundation (ISF).

SC not to restrain govt from using surgical strikes for political gains

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking to restrain the government from using the issue of surgical strikes and other actions of armed forces for political gains.In the PIL, filed by Manohar Lal Sharma, a Delhi-based lawyer, sought the apex court’s direction to the government in this regard.A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur and comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and L. Nageshwar Rao dismissed Sharma’s PIL on the ground that the petition lacked merit, and thus, was baseless.The India Army conducted surgical strikes along the Line of Control (LoC) on seven Pakistan terror launch pads on the intervening night of September 28-29.India’s Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh announced that Indian Army had carried out multiple surgical strikes in the wake of the infiltration bids by terrorists along the Line of Control (LoC), including at Uri and Poonch earlier this month.Although almost all political parties hailed the surgical strike, they asked the government not to thump its chest on the issue to manipulate voters in the wake of assemblies elections in four states, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

Congress tells Centre to ostracize Pakistan internationally

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Tuesday urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA Government at the Centre to act very strongly and isolate Pakistan globally in the wake of Sunday’s Uri terror strike.Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh said, “We strongly condemn the attack by the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists who are sponsored by the Pakistan government. The Government of India has to act very strongly and isolate Pakistan in the International sphere, also build up pressure in the Security Council and United Nation General Assembly, so that Pakistan is forced to take action against whether it is LeT or JeM all these people have to be dealt with strongly.”After giving an assurance of going after the perpetrators of the deadly Uri attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday gave the green signal to diplomatically isolate Pakistan at every international grouping.
ALSO READ #UriAttack: NIA registers case; to take DNA samples of 4 neutralised Jaish-e-Mohammad terroristsIndia is to present all actionable evidence against Pakistan to international bodies if required. Evidence of Pakistan’s hand in the Uri attack, including GPS tracker movements that go back to a starting point in Pakistan, Pashto literature, Pakistan Army marked arms will be given to Islamabad at the DGMO level, sources said.The sources also revealed that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will strongly emphasize on Pakistan’s involvement in the attack during her UNGA speech on September 26. This development comes after the Prime Minister yesterday chaired a high-level meeting at his official residence at 7 Race Course Road here.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Army Chief Dalbir Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other officials were present in the meeting.Pakistan has, however, flatly rejected New Delhi’s claims of Islamabad’s involvement in the Uri terror attack, saying it is the latter’s traditional tendency to point fingers at the former whenever a terror attack takes place on Indian soil. “Pointing fingers at Pakistan has become a traditional tendency of India after each terrorist attack,” the Dawn quoted Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, as saying. “In the past many Indians were involved in the terrorist acts for which India had blamed Pakistan,” he asserted.Director General of Military Operations Lt.Gen. Ranbir Singh said earlier that the four terrorists who attacked the military base in Uri, belonged to Pakistan’s banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Uri martyr’s father lashes out: ‘No other son of mine will join Army if govt doesn’t act’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The deadly terror attack in Uri which claimed the life of 18 army soldiers threw the entire country in shock on a Sunday morning, but no one was more crushed and broken that Naik SK Vidyarthi​ father who is still mourning the loss of his son.An enraged Mathura Yadav has stated that he won’t let any of his sons join the Indian Army, if the government does not take stern action against Pakistan, who is the perpetrator of the dastardly attack.”Pakistan should be given strict punishment. If the government fails to take stern action, I will never let any of my sons join army again,” he told ANI.The distraught yet proud daughter of the slain soldier, Aarti Kumari said if she gets the opportunity, she would join the army herself.”I would request the government that if they (Pakistan) attack us once, we should give them a befitting reply. I am proud of my father because he did not die, he sacrificed his life for the nation. I wanted to join IIT, Delhi ‘now I don’t know whether it will be possible. If I get the opportunity, I would surely join the army,” she added.Vidyarthi, who joined the army in 1999 has left behind his wife and four children namely Aarti, Anshu, Anshika and Aryan.Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar yesterday announced an ex-gratia of Rs. five lakh to Vidyarthi’s family.Meanwhile, India is to present all actionable evidence against Pakistan if required at international bodies.Evidence of Pakistan’s hand in the Uri attack, including GPS tracker movements that go back to a starting point in Pakistan, Pashto literature, Pakistan Army marked arms will be given to Islamabad at the DGMO level, sources said.According to sources, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will strongly emphasize on Pakistan’s involvement in the attack in her UNGA speech on September 26.This development comes after the Prime Minister yesterday chaired a high-level meeting at his official residence at 7 Race Course Road here.Pakistan has, however, flatly rejected New Delhi’s claims of Islamabad’s involvement in the Uri terror attack, saying it is the latter’s traditional tendency to point fingers at the former whenever a terror attack takes place on Indian soil.Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh earlier said that the four terrorists who attacked the military base in Uri, belonged to Pakistan’s banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

#UriAttack | Show us proof: Pakistan goes into denial mode

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan refuted as “unfounded and premature” India’s charge that it was behind the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri that killed 17 soldiers, with its army demanding “actionable intelligence” to support New Delhi’s accusation. Following the dawn attack, India blamed Pakistan for the latest attack on the Indian Army. Home Minister Rajnath Singh directly attacked Pakistan saying it was a “terrorist state” and should be isolated. Pakistan army spokesman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said that following the attack Director General of Military Operation (DGMO) of the two countries discussed the situation along the Line of Control through hotline. “Refuting the unfounded and pre-mature Indian allegation, Pakistani DGMO asked his counterpart to share any actionable intelligence,” Radio Pakistan reported citing an ISPR release. Bajwa reiterated that no infiltration was allowed from the Pakistani soil because of “water-tight arrangements” in place on both sides of LoC and the Working Boundary. Heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the Army in North Kashmir’s Uri town in the wee hours, killing 17 jawans and injuring 19 other personnel in the strike in which four ultras were neutralised.Earlier, the army hinted at Jaish-e-Mohammad’s role behind the Uri terror attack. ‘The killed terrorists were all foreign terrorists and as per the initial reports, they belong to Jaish-e-Mohammad. Along with the terrorists, we recovered four AK-47 rifles, four under barrel grenade launchers, a large number of grenades and other war-like stores,’ Lt. Gen. Singh said.Divulging details of the terror attack, he said, ‘A group of heavily armed terrorists opened fire on an administrative base of one of the units of the Indian Army located at Uri in Kashmir at 5:30 early this morning. The firefight between the terrorists and Indian Army continued till approximately 8:30 in the morning. During this firefight, all four terrorists have been killed by the Indian Army.’Lt. Gen. Singh said the terrorists opened fire with incendiary ammunition along with the automatic fire of small arms which led to the tents and some temporary shelters located inside the army camp catching fire.‘There were additional troops located in the administrative base at Uri which was because of the routine turnover of units as a part of the normal relief programme. There have been a total of 17 army fatal casualties. However of these 13 to 14 casualties have been primarily because of the tents and the temporary shelters having caught fire,’ he added.Lt. Gen. Singh said the operation for the clearance of the entire complex is still in progress, adding the Indian Army is carrying out a very deliberate and a methodical search of the entire area in and around the military complex at Uri.With inputs from PTI and ANI

FIFA team to visit India to assess U-17 World Cup preparation

A high-powered FIFA delegation led by Head Of Competitions Jamie Yarza will be visiting India between February 14 to 20 to evaluate the preparations for next year’s U-17 World Cup.In what will be the first full inspection from FIFA, they will be inspecting each of the six stadiums and all the designated training sites in each city to evaluate India’s preparation for the FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in September-October next year.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides Yarza, the FIFA dignitaries will include FIFA Competitions Department Tracy Lu, FIFA Competitions Department Felipe Restrepo, FIFA Competitions Department Vijay Parthasarathy, FIFA Marketing Christina Hollerl, FIFA Media Jochem Steinhoff, FIFA TV Paul Calder, FIFA Ticketing Jean Pierre Koeltgen, FIFA Senior Development Manager Mike Pfister and FIFA Development Officer Shaji Prabhakaran.India had bagged the hosting rights of the U-17 World Cup in December, 2013. This will be the first time India will host an international football competition at a worldwide level.FIFA Inspection schedule:15th February – Kochi, 16th February – Goa, 17th February – Mumbai, 18th February – Kolkata, 19th February – Guwahati and 20th February – New Delhi.

World Cancer Day: Therapies of the future that may make our fight better

Going through cancer treatment and surviving cancer is an arduous journey.

With the evolution of medicine, researchers and scientists have been able to find several ways to deter cancer cells from spreading. But, across the world scientists are still struggling to find foolproof ways of prevention and medication that can cure the fatal disease.

While the disease in itself is fatal, treatment for cancer is painful as well. Harsh drugs, radiation and chemotherapy often leave patients’ health in a fragile state. And as newer ways of battling cancer are being introduced, on World Cancer Day, we look at what researchers suggest are promising treaments for the disease:

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Adoptive T-cell Therapy: Thymocyte cells or T-lymphocytes are a type of lymphocyte play a key role in immunity. And researchers at the UW School of Medicine say that, “Adoptive T-cell therapy (helps) achieve greater number of T cells than what could be obtained by vaccination alone. The tumor specific T cells are then infused into patients with cancer in an attempt to give their immune system the ability to overwhelm remaining tumor.”

According to the researchers, there are several types of T-cell therapy that are being developed that include engineering cells that identify and attack tumours.

Nature says that while T-cell engineering is a cause for optimism, development of more potent T-cells have been stopped by safety concerns.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors: It is when our immune system cannot distinguish between cancer and normal cells is when cancer cells grow. And one way to stop the growth of cancer cells is to use drugs that hide from the “checkpoints” the immune system uses to separate normal cells from foreign cells.

According to cancer.org, antibodies like Pembrolizumab, Nivolumab and Ipilimumab help treat certain types of cancers. The research states that such therapy has shown to have helped cancers like melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer.

Targeted therapy: It targets the changes in cancer cells, the way the divide and spread. According to cancer.gov there are two types of targeted therapy that are done with the use of small-molecule drugs and monoclonal antibodies. The first one is used for targets that are inside cells while the second one attaches itself on the outside of the target.

According to research, this treatment helps destroy cancer cells, stop them from growing, kills them and starve them of hormones that they need to grow.

Hormone therapy with Goserlin: breastcancercare.org states that this drug can be used to treat “women whose breast cancer is sensitive to the female hormone oestrogen – known as oestrogen receptor positive or ER+ breast cancer.” It is administered through subcutaneous injections and the frequency depends on the severity of the cancer.

Goserlin uses ovarian suppression or the switching off of production of Oestrogen, since some cancer cells use Oestrogen to grow.

Scanty rain and warmer climate likely to affect Rabi yield

Weathermen though added that northern plains might receive isolated rainfall and experience lower temperatures in the coming days. “A fresh western disturbance may bring rainfall in some parts of Punjab and Haryana over the weekend and temperatures are likely to dip in Delhi-NCR too,” Yadav added.

Nikhil M Ghanekar

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