NEWS IN BRIEF – DEC 13, 2011

1. Defence spend in 5yrs to cross 5,20,000cr, Pak, China Border Infra

To Cost 60,000Cr: New Delhi: Defending long unresolved borders

against two potentially hostile nuclear-armed neighbours does not come

cheap. Besides, acquiring a wide array of weapon systems for billions of

dollars, India will spend upwards of Rs 60,000 crore over the next five

years on developing military infrastructure and capabilities for the western

and eastern fronts. [TOI p10]

2. Govt stir-struck, new Russia reactor deal on hold : New Delhi : Wary

of sending out a wrong signal at a time when protests continue to hamper

commissioning of nuclear reactors in Koodankulam, the government is set

to back off from signing a new contract with Russia for the supply of two

more reactors for the site.[IE p2]

3. ‘Nuclear liability rules ultra vires’ : New Delhi : Just when the

government felt it had sorted out all the wrinkles in the Nuclear Liability

Act, eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee has said the crucial rule restricting the

liability of supplier to just five years in case of an accident is ultra vires and

invalid.[The Hindu p1]

4. Kargil War : George Fernandes ‘approved purchase of 20 radars at

higher price : New Delhi : A report on the alleged irregularities in the

purchase of arms and ammunition for the May-July 1999 Kargil conflict

has held the then Defence Minister George Fernandes and the Defence

Secretary “directly responsible” for the financial loss in the procurement of

20 radars from Israel for Rs 9.86 crore.[The Tribune p2]

5. Slowdown hits home as ind’l output falls 5.1% in October, Capital

Goods Worst Hit, Shrink 25%: New Delhi: Industrial production fell 5.1%

in October – the first time since June 2009 that it has entered negative

territory. The drop, largely caused by a contraction in manufacturing and

mining output, has intensified fears of the economy entering a sustained

phase of slowdown. [TOI p1]

6. 2G spectrum scam: $17bn worth Ruias of Essar now in CBI net :

NEW DELHI: The CBI on Monday pulled into the 2G spectrum scam net

Essar group promoters Ravikant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, part of the

$17-billion Essar empire that runs companies in more than 25

countries.[HT p1]

7. BJP: PM, Sonia not on same page on issues, Jaitley Potshots For

PM, Praises For Pranab: New Delhi: Accusing the Congress of a volteface

on FDI in multi-brand retail, BJP on Monday attacked Prime Minister

Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for not being on the

“same page” on several issues confronting the country. [TOI p11]

8. PM Meeting UPA Leaders to Chalk Out Lokpal Plans, Allies close

ranks behind Singh, reiterate supremacy of Parliament: NEW DELHI :

In an effort to get all the UPA partners on board on the Lokpal bill, Prime

Minister Manmohan Singh has convened a meeting of leaders of

Congress and its allies here on Tuesday.[ET p2]

9. UPA split led to rollback of FDI’ : New Delhi : Leader of the Opposition

in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Monday said that the Centre

suspended its decision of the FDI not because there was a national

opposition, but due to a division within the UPA.[AA p4]

10. LS may discuss Lokpal Bill on Dec 20 : Bansal : New Delhi : The

government is likely to bring up the Lokpal Bill for discussion in Lok Sabha

on December 20, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal

said on Monday. Earlier, the Bill was expected to come up before the

House on December 19.[IE p4]

11. PC dodges boycott, sends in junior : New Delhi: As the BJP-led

opposition continued to boycott him, a bill listed in home minister P

Chidambaram’s name was Monday introduced in the Lok Sabha by his

junior Mullapally Ramachandran. Though the move sent some tongues

wagging, the home ministry said, it was a routine procedure. [TOI p11]

12. No panic for govt ahead of black money motion : New Delhi :With an

adjournment motion on black money coming up in the Lok Sabha on

Wednesday, the Congress is taking no chances with the numbers and has

asked its members and those of the allies and supporting parties to be

present in the House on the day.[HT p13]

13. Cong slams oppn for using Anna platform : New Delhi: A day after

they boosted Team Anna’s morale by turning out for the fresh anticorruption

protest, opposition parties on Monday came under heavy fire

from Congress for bypassing Parliament. [TOI p10]

14. Will Lokpal make police reforms useless, asks SC : New Delhi: Ahead

of the discussion on Lokpal bill in Parliament, a key member of Team

Anna on Monday said no one was sure about the shape of Lokpal that

would emerge after the parliamentary debate but stressed that the

inclusion of CBI in the anti-corruption watchdog’s ambit would be a step

forward in resolving the standoff between the government and civil

society. [TOI p10]

15. Govt moves to stem corruption in judiciary :New Delhi: The Cabinet

on Tuesday will consider four key changes proposed by a parliamentary

panel in the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, which for the first

time allows citizens to complaint against corrupt judges, and also seeks to

streamline the procedure for removal of judges.[HT p10]

16. Food security bill on platter today : New Delhi :The Cabinet is likely to

take up the food security bill on Tuesday, amid strong indications that the

flagship social welfare legislation, whose drafting was overseen by

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, could be introduced in Parliament in the

ongoing winter session.[HT p10]

17. Minister offers to pay market price for LPG: New Delhi: For R P N

Singh, reforms begin at home. Exhorting the well-off to pay market price

for cooking gas on Monday, the MoS for petroleum said he would be the

first to volunteer for giving up subsidized fuel. [TOI p10]

18. Pension Bil in House today : NEW DELHI: The government has slated

the contentious Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority bill,

a key reforms measure, for passage in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.[HT p1]

19. Mercy plea with Prez, but Afzal’s fate already sealed : NEW

DELHI:President Pratibha Patil hasn’t put her signature on Afzal Guru’s

mercy plea yet. But a decade after the December 13, 2001 attack on

Parliament, the fate of the man convicted of the conspiracy is already

sealed.[HT p1]

20. Cash-for-vote: Accused want status report on probe : New Delhi :

Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh and six other co-accused in the 2008 cashfor-

vote scam on Monday moved a special court in the Tis Hazari complex

seeking to know if the police were still continuing their investigation into

the case.[IE p5]

21. Beniwal order challenged in apex court : New Delhi : A petition has

been filed in the Supreme Court appealing against a Gujarat High Court

judgement dismissing a plea challenging the continuation of Kamla

Beniwal as Gujarat Governor despite a letter by Chief Minister Narendra

Modi to the Centre allegedly seeking her recall.[IE p2]

22. Cong vs Cong : Chacko hits out at Anand Sharma : New Delhi : An

anti-Government poser by Congress MP PC Chacko led to such an

intense war of words between him and Textile and Commerce Minister

Anand Sharma that the former threatened to bring a privilege motion

against the Minister.[Pioneer Daily p1]

23. 3 anti-graft Bills before Cabinet today : New Delhi : Criticism by Team

Anna that the Judicial (Standards and Accountability) Bill, 2010 is

inadequate and its demand that it should be scrapped notwithstanding,

Union Minister of Law and Justice Salman Khurshid is all set to try and

persuade his Cabinet colleagues to clear minor changes in the original Bill

that his predecessor, M Veerappa Moily, introduced in Parliament last

year.[IE p3]

24. Mining scam : Shah panel says bureaucrats involved : Bhubaneswar

: The Centre-appointed Shah Commission, led by former Supreme Court

judge Justice M B Shah today said that the mining scam in Orissa could

not have happened without the connivance of bureaucrats even as

Opposition parties and activists raised the demand for a CBI probe.[IE p5]

25. Ajit joins UPA, to be min soon: New Delhi: After his party formally

joined the UPA on Monday, RLD chief Ajit Singh is likely to be sworn in as

a Union cabinet minister this week with civil aviation being mentioned as

the possible portfolio. [TOI p10]

26. MHA’s surprise: Withdraws FIRs on misuse of Rajiv, Sonia’s names :

New Delhi: In a surprise move, the home ministry has ordered withdrawal

of three FIRs, including one alleging misuse of the names of Rajiv and

Sonia Gandhi and forging letters of several MPs, against a Delhi-based

businessman and his associates. [TOI p9]

27. Filter posts on networking sites: Press Council chief : New Delhi:

Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju has said that he

favoured filtering or removal of “offensive material” on social networking

sites as it could disturb peace and result in serious law and order

problems. [TOI p10]

28. Morcha to enrol 10 lakh BJP Yuva mitras : Ahmedabad : With just a

year to go for the Assembly elections in the State, the political climate is

gradually gearing up. Chief Minister Narendra Modi is already on a Statewide

mass contact programme with his ‘Sadbhavna Mission’ launched at

Ahmedabad in September and is being followed with one-day fasts at all

district levels since then.[Pioneer Daily p6]

29. Crucial Test for Cong, BJP in Feb, UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa &

Manipur may go to polls in Feb: NEW DELHI : Uttar Pradesh, where the

principal political players have staked their reputation, as well as Punjab,

Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur are likely to go to polls in February. The

coming round of assembly polls are crucial for the ruling UPA and the

Opposition NDA as it is expected to give clear signals about the side that

enjoys political traction. [ET p2]

30. BJP 1st list for UP likely today : NEW DELHI:The central election

committee (CEC) of the BJP is expected to meet on December 13 to

finalise names of candidates for the poll-bound states, including Uttar

Pradesh. The party is also likely to release the first list of candidates for

the UP polls on Tuesday.[AA p2]

31. Varun’ s absence irks UP BJP candidates : LUCKNOW: BJP MP Varun

Gandhi’s prolonged absence form Uttar Pradesh politics has started irking

party cadres and legislators who are seeking re-election are getting

increasingly restive. Mr Gandhi has stopped visiting Uttar Pradesh —

except for his own constituency — since June this year when the BJP

national executive was held in

32. Lucknow. [AA p2]

33. Uma Bharti likely to find place in BJP first list today : New Delhi : The

BJP’s central election committee is set to meet here tomorrow amidst

indications that the candidature of former Madhya Pradesh chief minister

Uma Bharti and senior party leader Kalraj Mishra may be approved in the

first list of candidates that will be finalised.[IE p4]

34. Muslim board for Rahul help to alter tax code : NEW DELHI: Congress

general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the Lucknow-based Muslim

seminary Nadvatul Ulama was actually intended to reach out to the All

India Muslim Personal Law Board, a powerful body often said to be the

first stop for political parties seeking to court the country’s largest

minority.[HT p15]

35. Rahul seeks to storm Mulayam’s bastion : New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi

will kick up dust in Uttar Pradesh afresh, taking his campaign for Congress

revival to the OBC-Muslim stronghold in the central region, long

considered the pocket borough of Samajwadi Party boss Mulayam Singh

Yadav. [TOI p1]

36. Punjab polls likely on Feb. 13 in single phase : New Delhi : Assembly

elections in Punjab are likely to be held on February 13, 2012 and the

polling is expected to be conducted in a single phase. Sources said the

Election Commission has completed all preparations to hold the elections

to the 117-member Punjab Assembly and an announcement to this effect

is expected soon.[AA p2]

37. Amarinder to Anna : First check who is corrupt :

CHANDIGARH:Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president

Amarinder Singh has advised Mr Anna Hazare to check who is corrupt in

Punjab before coming to the state for canvassing for any political party in

the forthcoming Assembly elections.[AA p3]

38. MLAs throw chair at Speaker : BHUBANSWAR: The Orissa Legislative

Assembly was on Monday adjourned twice amid chaos and pandemonium

as the Opposition Congress members stormed into the well alleging a

“question fixing”.[AA p4]

39. Cong, NCP Win Maha Civic Polls, Prithviraj Chavan, Narayan Rane

suffer losses; alliances of citizens’ groups also win seats in some

parts of state : MUMBAI : The results of civic polls held in various parts

of Maharashtra have made it clear that Congress and Sharad Pawar’s

Nationalist Congress Party will control most of the municipal councils for

the next five years in the semi-urban and rural areas of Maharashtra.[ET

p2]

40. MCD in a hurry to clear projects before elections : New Delhi:

Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is in a hurry to sanction new

development projects ahead of municipal elections next year. Mayor Rajni

Abbi has convened a second meeting of MCD House — for the first time

this year — to clear all pending projects before the model code of conduct

comes into effect from January next year.[TOI p7]

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

41. SC: Oath in Allah’s name not against Constitution: New Delhi: Article

159 of the Constitution may mandate a governor to take oath of office by

“swearing in the name of God” or “solemnly affirm” but the Supreme Court

on Monday ruled that Jharkhand governor Syed Ahmad did not breach the

constitutional provision by taking oath in the name of “Allah”. [TOI p9]

EDITORIAL/OPINION

42. Unpalatable truths: Harsh Mander : A major life-need for urban

homeless and migrant populations is of nutritious wholesome and

affordable meals. But sizeable numbers among them have no home or

opportunities to cook.[HT p12]

43. UP’s division a matter of time, Case for new states reorganisation

panel: T.V. Rajeswar : THE proposed division of Uttar Pradesh (UP) into

four states has been described by some commentators as Chief Minister

Mayawati’s cleverly crafted pre-election strategy. The resolution to this

effect that has been passed by the UP Assembly will now be sent to the

Central government for further processing. [The Tribune p8]

BUSINESS NEWS

44. Sensex slips 343 pts as IIP data disappoints : Mumbai: A sharper than

expected fall in industrial production in October, the data for which was

released during Monday’s market hours, pulled the sensex down by 343

points at 15,870, a two-week closing low.[TOI p19]

45. Rupee hits an all-time low of 52.84 against $ : Mumbai: The Indian

rupee on Monday hit its lifetime low of 52.84 against the dollar as demand

for the US currency soared amid signs of FIIs pulling out money in the

wake negative growth in industrial production in October.[TOI p19]

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

46. Chinese military base in Indian Ocean?, Beijing Seeks To Allay

Fears, Says Seychelles Base Is Meant Only For Naval Refueling:

Beijing: China on Monday said the Indian Ocean island of Seychelles has

invited its navy “to resupply and recuperate’’ other ships during escort

missions there, even as media reports from Beijing suggested that China

was establishing its first overseas military base there. [TOI p18]

47. ISI agent Fai claims he met Indian ministers: Washington: US-based

Kashmiri separatist Ghulam Nabi Fai has claimed that he met several

Indian ministers on a regular basis during last two decades of his activities

in Washington and had “a channel of communication” opened with the

Indian embassy.[TOI p18]