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IAF contingent participates in combat exercise 'Red Flag' in Alaska

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IAF contingent participates in combat exercise 'Red Flag' in Alaska

New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) An Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent participated in Exercise Red Flag 2024 conducted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska of the United States Air Force, from June 4-14. This was the second edition of Exercise Red Flag 2024, which is an advanced aerial combat training exercise, held four times a year by the US Air Force.

The exercise witnessed the participation of the Indian Air Force along with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom, Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), German Luftwaffe, and the US Air Force (USAF).

“IAF contingent participated with the Rafale aircraft and personnel comprising of aircrew, technicians, engineers, controllers and subject matter experts. The transatlantic ferry of Rafale fighter aircraft was enabled by the IL-78 Air to Air Refuellers (AAR), while the transportation of personnel and equipment was undertaken by the C-17 Globemaster aircraft,” the Ministry of Defence said on Sunday.

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The contingent landed at Eielson, USAF base in Alaska on May 29.

Red Flag is an air combat exercise conducted with multiple scenarios designed to provide realistic combat settings. A demarcation of forces is done for simulating the desired environment, with the Red Force simulating Air Defence elements, and the Blue Force simulating the Offensive Composite elements. During this Exercise (Ex), the Red Force was mainly constituted by the USAF Aggressor Sqn flying the F-16 and the F-15 aircraft.

This was the first time the IAF Rafale aircraft participated in Exercise Red Flag, wherein, they operated alongside the RSAF and USAF F-16 and F-15s, and the USAF A-10 aircraft. The missions included Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat exercises as a part of Large Force Engagements (LFE), in Offensive Counter Air and Air Defence roles. The IAF crew were actively involved in mission planning and also assumed the role of Mission Leaders for designated missions during the exercise, officials said.

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In spite of the challenging weather and almost sub-zero temperatures, the IAF maintenance crew worked diligently to ensure the serviceability of all the aircraft throughout the duration of the exercise and all assigned missions could be undertaken with more than 100 sorties being flown during the exercise.

Key takeaways from the exercise included insight into interoperability with international partners and a collaborative understanding of employment philosophy in a multinational environment. Experience of ferrying long distances, while undertaking Air to Air refuelling en route, was both an enriching and thrilling takeaway, especially for the younger crew.

Undertaking their return journey, the contingent is planned to split en route along with their mutual support elements and participate in exercise with Air Force elements of Greece and Egypt, before landing back in India on June 24. Enriched with the Red Flag exercise experience, the IAF keenly looks forward to hosting the participating contingents from other countries during Ex-Tarang Shakti-2024, which is the first-ever Indian multinational air exercise to be held later this year.

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–IANS

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Sharad Pawar discusses Maratha-OBC quota, woes of milk, sugar producers with Maha CM

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Sharad Pawar discusses Maratha-OBC quota, woes of milk, sugar producers with Maha CM

Sharad Pawar discusses Maratha-OBC quota, woes of milk, sugar producers with Maha CM

Mumbai, July 22 (IANS) NCP(SP) chief Sharad Pawar on Monday met Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and held detailed discussions on issues relating to irrigation, milk prices and the problems faced by sugar producers in Maharashtra.

In addition, the senior Pawar reportedly raised the ongoing protests by Maratha and OBC communities over the contentious reservation issue.

The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) confirmed the meeting between Sharad Pawar and CM Shinde.

“They discussed issues concerning irrigation, milk prices, and sugar factories,” the CMO said.

These are critical issues currently faced by the agriculture and dairy sectors in the state.

Sharad Pawar last week had extended his support to the agitating milk producing farmers who are demanding Rs 40 per litre for milk, implementation of Fair and Remunerative Price and Revenue Sharing policies for the dairy sector, curbing milk adulteration and reducing the prices of cattle feed.

The NCP(SP) supremo had assured the agitating farmers that he would meet CM Shinde and take up these issues for an early resolution to their woes.

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Sharad Pawar has also sought the Maharashtra government’s intervention to help the sugarcane growers who are facing financial problems as they cannot export surplus sugar.

Sharad Pawar pressed the Mahayuti government to take up the matter on a priority basis with the Centre for an early resolution.

Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar is believed to have sought information with regard to the discussion between CM Shinde and pro-Maratha activist Manoj Jarange Patil on the Maratha reservation issue.

Besides, Sharad Pawar also asked for the details pertaining to the talks held between a group of ministers and OBC leaders with regard to the quota issue.

The senior Pawar’s move to raise the reservation issue comes days after NCP minister and Samta Parishad chief, Chhagan Bhujbal sought his mediation to address the present stalemate over the reservation issue.

Sharad Pawar had assured Bhujbal that he would discuss the issue with CM Shinde.

CM Shinde has briefed him about the line of action on Jarange-Patil’s demand for the execution of draft “sage-soyare” notification that recognises Kunbis as blood relatives of the Maratha community members.

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The discussion on the Maratha quota issue coincided with the fresh indefinite fast launched by Jarange Patil from last week.

–IANS

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Lalu Prasad demands Nitish Kumar’s resignation after Centre rejects Bihar’s special status

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Lalu Prasad demands Nitish Kumar’s resignation after Centre rejects Bihar’s special status

Lalu Prasad demands Nitish Kumar’s resignation after Centre rejects Bihar’s special status

Patna, July 22 (IANS) After the Central government turned down the special status for Bihar, RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“Centre has refused to give the special status to Bihar so Nitish Kumar should resign from his post. We will fight for special status at any cost,” the RJD Chief said.

He also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over not granting special status to Bihar.

“PM Modi and Nitish Kumar shamelessly gave Bihar a ‘Jhunjhuna’ (toy). If not the status of a special state, then give anything to Bihar in the name of a special package! JD-U bowed down to BJP,” he wrote on X.

The demand for special status for Bihar has been a recurring issue, with various leaders from the Janata Dal (United) advocating for it.

JD-U Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Jha had brought up the issue in an all-party meeting, stating that the Central government should either grant special state status or arrange for a special package for Bihar.

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Similarly, JD-U MP Rampreet Mandal raised the issue in the Lok Sabha, emphasising that special state status is essential for promoting economic development and industrialisation in backward states.

Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, the Water Resource Minister of Bihar, said, “We have a longstanding demand of special status for Bihar but if any technicalities arise in it, Centre should consider at least a special package for a backward state like Bihar.”

–IANS

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Trinamool to move motions on NEET, 3 criminal laws during Assembly's Monsoon Session

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Trinamool to move motions on NEET, 3 criminal laws during Assembly's Monsoon Session

Trinamool to move motions on NEET, 3 criminal laws during Assembly's Monsoon Session

Kolkata, July 22 (IANS) The ruling Trinamool Congress will move two special motions on the floor of the West Bengal Assembly this week during the Monsoon Session.

The first motion will be for scrapping of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the second will be on the three new criminal laws introduced in India, confirmed the Assembly Speaker.

The decision to move these two special motions was taken at the Business Advisory Committee of the state Assembly on Monday, when the Monsoon Session resumed.

However, as per convention, on the first day the session was adjourned after obituary mention.

The Speaker said that the motion demanding scrapping of NEET and restoration of the previous system of individual state governments conducting such examinations, will be moved on the floor of the House on Tuesday and there will be debates on the matter on Wednesday.

Similarly, another motion on the three criminal laws in the country will be moved by the Treasury Bench on Friday and debates on the matter will be conducted on next Monday.

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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24 raising the same demand on scrapping of NEET examination.

She had also written to the Prime Minister objecting to the implementation of the three new criminal laws without proper groundwork and preparation.

–IANS

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Divested of key portfolio, BJP Minister in MP threatens to quit

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Divested of key portfolio, BJP Minister in MP threatens to quit

Divested of key portfolio, BJP Minister in MP threatens to quit

Bhopal, July 21(IANS) Upset after being divested of the key Forest and Environment portfolio, first-time Cabinet minister in Madhya Pradesh, Nagar Singh Chouhan, on Monday threatened to quit from the Council of Ministers in the next two days.

Chouhan, a four-time tribal MLA who is now left with the Scheduled Caste Welfare portfolio, said he would quit the ministerial post and serve the people of his community, adding that his wife Anita Nagar Singh Chouhan, who is a first-time Lok Sabha member, might also quit as an MP.

On Sunday, Nagar Singh Chouhan was divested of the Forest and Environment portfolio which was allotted to Ramnivas Rawat, a six-time Congress MLA who switched sides to the BJP on April 30.

“I have been associated with the BJP for over 25 years. Yet I wasn’t consulted before the decision to divest me of the Forest and Environment portfolio was taken. I have already discussed the issue with (state BJP chief) V.D. Sharma. I will announce my decision in the next two days,” Chouhan told mediapersons on Monday.

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The BJP leader also said what made him more upset was the fact that the ministry was allotted to someone who joined the party from the Congress only a few months back.

When asked if his ‘pressure tactic’ had anything to do with the possibility of him being dropped as a minister in a future Cabinet reshuffle, Chouhan said he never asked for any post in 25 years of his political career.

“I never asked for a ticket for my wife before the Lok Sabha polls. It was the party that chose my wife as its candidate, and we didn’t disappoint as she won by more than 2 lakh votes, the highest winning margin ever from the seat (Ratlam).

“Now if the party feels that two members from the same family cannot be bestowed with key responsibility, I’ll quit as a minister and remain just an MLA, while my wife will step down as an MP,” said Chouhan, considered a loyalist of former CM and current Union Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

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Notably, this is the first resentment shown by any BJP leader after Chief Minister Mohan Yadav assumed office in December last year.

–IANS

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JD(S) MLC Suraj Revanna gets conditional bail in unnatural sex case

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JD(S) MLC Suraj Revanna gets conditional bail in unnatural sex case

JD(S) MLC Suraj Revanna gets conditional bail in unnatural sex case

Bengaluru, July 22 (IANS) A special court on Monday granted conditional bail to JD(S) MLC Suraj Revanna, the grandson of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, in connection with an unnatural sex case.

The Special Court for MPs/MLAs has instructed Suraj Revanna to appear before the investigating officer in the case whenever required and to sign in with the police authorities on every second Sunday.

He has also been ordered not to contact the complainants by any means, directly or indirectly. Two complaints have been lodged against Suraj Revanna by JD(S) workers, accusing him of forceful unnatural sex.

The case is being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

Suraj Revanna’s brother, Prajwal Revanna, is jailed in connection with an alleged sex video scandal. Their father, JD(S) MLA H.D. Revanna, was arrested in a kidnapping case linked to the sex video scandal but is out on conditional bail. H.D. Revanna’s wife, Bhavani Revanna, has also secured bail in the kidnapping case.

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Suraj Revanna was arrested on June 23. Earlier, the court had rejected his bail petition.

–IANS

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