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Wednesday,08-December-2021

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Cyber, space threats require upgraded technological responses: Ram Nath Kovind

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The emerging threats in the cyber world and space require state-of-the-art technological responses, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Wednesday.

During his address at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the President said, “Use of advanced technology by non-state actors also calls for an upgraded response.”

He further stated that issues like climate change may have an impact on security preparedness. “All such issues influence the security calculus of the nation. You have to comprehend their implications so that you are better prepared to deal with them,” he told the young student officers, including 30 from other countries who are also attending this course.

He said that significant changes are instituted in the higher defence organisation of the country and impetus is also being provided to indigenisation and self-sufficiency in the defence sector. “These initiatives have been taken with a view to make the Armed Forces’ future ready,” he stressed.

He told the young student officers that as they go up the ladder of growth, they will have to graduate from the level of single service competencies to multi-domain challenges.

“That requires greater understanding of joint and multi-domain operations,” he said.

He also praised the Indian Armed Forces stating they have earned the regard of the fellow citizens by untiring efforts and great sacrifices.

“They have rendered invaluable services to the nation during the times of war and peace. They have discharged their duties with dedication and courage while facing internal and external security challenges, and in times of natural calamities,” he said.

The President appreciated the outstanding grit and determination displayed by men and women of the Armed Forces in dealing with the situation on borders as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also talked about his recent visit to Kashmir valley on the Kargil Vijay Diwas where he interacted with officers and soldiers. “I felt very happy to observe their high morale and dedication to duty. Most of you have been among the frontline warriors, dealing with these challenges,” he said.

Kovind said that India is passing through challenging times, which is full of changes and the concepts of National Security and Defence are also changing.

“Geo-strategic and geo-political compulsions and many other factors have made the security landscape more complex. Low intensity conflicts, counter terrorism and non-combat conflicts pose different challenges,” said the President, urging the officers that there is a need to have a thorough understanding of all aspects.

“In these changing times, we have to think of new ways to secure our national interests and ensure our national security. This would require a fresh approach,” he said.

He told the young officers that as defence professionals they have to be a knowledge warrior. “You build upon the experiences of the past, align such learning to the current context and upgrade your knowledge to become ready for the future,” the President said.

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Sonia Gandhi accuses Centre of being ‘insensitive’ towards farmers

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Sonia Gandhi. (File Photo: IANS)

 Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday accused the Centre of being “insensitive” towards the farmers, adding that the farm laws were repealed in an “undemocratic” manner.

While addressing the Congress Parliamentary party meeting, she paid homage to the 700 farmers who lost their lives during their protest against the farm laws. Rahul Gandhi was also present at the meeting.

Extending unconditional support to farmers demand of legally guaranteed MSP, she called upon the party members to honour the farmers who died during the protest.

Notably, the Congress has been demanding appropriate compensation to the families of victim farmers. Party MP Rahul Gandhi recently placed a list of the dead farmer protesters in the Lok Sabha.

The Opposition has been demanding a detailed discussion on the border situation in Parliament but the Centre is avoiding it, Sonia Gandhi alleged.

Terming suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs “unprecedented and unacceptable”, the veteran leader said the party stands in solidarity with them.

Demanding revocation of the suspension order, Sonia said the Centre will have to reinstate them.

The Modi government is also being accused of selling the country’s assets to recover its economic losses.

On Tuesday, while interacting with the media, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said that MPs were suspended for the entire Winter session for an act which took place in the Monsoon session. If the Centre does not revoke the suspension, the Opposition will resort to a hunger strike.

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‘Red is colour of change’, Akhilesh hits back at Modi

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Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Lal Topi” comment, saying that the colour of the cap has reached Delhi and hence the panic has engulfed the BJP’s rank and file.

Akhilesh Yadav spoke to IANS on several issues, including the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls due early next year.

Q. Prime Minister Modi has said that you people yearn for only power. What is your reaction?

A. Red colour symbolises revolution, a change. This is also the colour of emotions. BJP does not understand sentiments. Red colour is the most vibrant colour and warns the party in power to be careful. The people of Uttar Pradesh want a change. The brightness of Lal Topi has reached Delhi, so the language of the BJP has also changed as they are panicky. Changes are bound to happen in the state.

Q. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been taking a dig at the red colour cap and now the Prime Minister has also targeted you.

A. This must have happened for the first time that the Prime Minister has spoken the language of the Chief Minister by rote.

Q. You are continuously claiming to win the upcoming elections, but the BJP is saying that they have defeated you three times in a row — in 2014, 2017 and 2019.

A. Circumstances have changed now. This time, BJP is nervous — farmers, youth, traders and people of the state will show them their real power.

Q. The PM is constantly laying foundation stones and inaugurating events in Uttar Pradesh, what do you have to say?

A. The advertisements they are putting out are false, their development claims are false. They stole a picture of Bengal, of America and of China. Their development claims are hollow.

Q. How many seats are you going to win?

A. The BJP will be wiped out from the state.

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SKM to hold crucial meet today on ending year-long protest

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Various farmer organisations under the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) are likely to make a major announcement on their year-long agitation after a meeting on Wednesday. The SKM is also likely to meet union ministers.

Sources say that as soon as a clarification is received on the proposal related to several critical demands sent by the union government, the farmers will end the protest.

A five-member committee of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) held an emergency meeting on Wednesday morning before the crucial meeting at 2 p.m.

It is expected that before making a major announcement, the SKM will hold consultations with other farmer groups on ending the year-long agitation.

Farmers have demanded withdrawal of the cases registered against them. They said, they will announce end of the protest after government fulfils all their demands.

The Union government has asked farm leaders to get back on the proposal which said, the farmers end the agitation first and then withdrawal of cases will be considered.

After repealing all three farm laws, the SKM has put forth several other demands before the union government, of which most of them have been accepted.

The government wants farmers to end the protest before the assembly elections in Punjab next year. This is the reason the Union Home Ministry sent a draft proposal to the SKM on Tuesday.

Farmers have been demanding apart from repeal of farm laws, compensation to all who died during the agitation, legal guarantee on minimum support price and withdrawal of cases against all farmers.

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