Demonetisation 100 days: Fake Rs 2000 notes entering India through Bangladesh

 

Demonetisation 100 days: Fake Rs 2000 notes entering India through Bangladesh

 

Fake Rs 2,000 bills are entering India through Bangladesh, three months after the newly minted banknote was introduced as an upshot of the Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation drive to fight corruption, counterfeiting and terrorist funding.But multiple confiscations of counterfeit Rs 2,000 notes over the past three weeks have undermined the shock recall of 500- and 1,000-rupee notes last November, wiping out 86% of the money in circulation in a cash-driven economy.But multiple confiscations of counterfeit Rs 2,000 notes over the past three weeks have undermined the shock recall of 500- and 1,000-rupee notes last November, wiping out 86% of the money in circulation in a cash-driven economy.The latest attempts to restart the vicious cycle after the notes ban have set off alarm bells in the security establishment.On the night of February 14, security forces foiled an attempt to smuggle a consignment across the fence on Indo-Bangladesh border. This was the latest and biggest in a series of attempts over a short span of time.A Border Security Force (BSF) patrol seized a bundle of 100 counterfeit notes that was thrown across the fence for miscreants waiting on the Indian side. The criminals escaped, leaving behind the bundle.

“Our enemies across the border will not stop bothering us. They will continue to poison our economy … pushing fake notes is the best method to do it. It was just a matter of time that they copied the new notes,” said Arun Chaudhary, former Intelligence Bureau special director and former chief of Sashastra Seema Bal that guards the Indo-Nepal border.

The Bangladesh border is a preferred route because it is porous.

Of the 17 security features on the Rs 2,000 note printed by the Reserve Bank of India, 10 were found on the seized notes, according to intelligence sources.More details would be known once they get the forensic report in a couple of weeks. Preliminary inquiries by the BSF revealed that counterfeiters have managed to copy six front features —including the see-through register where the numeral 2,000 can be seen when held against light; the Devanagari inscription, portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, and the Ashoka pillar emblem.

As ISRO Attempts World Record, Government Confirms Missions To Mars, Venus

As ISRO Attempts World Record, Government Confirms Missions To Mars, Venus

 

BENGALURU: India will boldly go to Venus for the first time and re-visit the Red Planet very soon. Buried and hidden in the hundreds of pages of the new-format electronic budget documents, is the first formal acknowledgement by the government about these two new bold inter-planetary sojourns to Earth’s immediate neighbours. This uplifting news comes ahead of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) attempting to undertake its mega launch where it will place not five, ten or twenty, but a record 104 satellites in space in a single mission. No other country has ever tried to hit a century in a single mission. If all goes according to plan, on the morning of February 15, ISRO will put 104 satellites in space using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Three satellites will be from India and a 101 other satellites of different countries. India’s ISRO, considered a leading space organisation globally, is one of the best and most competitive in the multi-billion-dollar space launch market. It hopes to set an enviable benchmark for other nations.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made science and technology, research and space programmes as one of his government’s top priorities. To give it a boost, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has given the Department of Space a massive 23 per cent increase in this year’s budget. Under the space sciences section, the budget mentions provisions for “Mars Orbiter Mission II and Mission to Venus”.The second mission to Mars is tentatively slated for 2021-2022 and as per existing plans it might even involve putting a robot (rover) on the surface of the Red Planet. While India’s first mission to Mars undertaken in 2013 was a purely Indian mission, the French space agency has shown keenness to collaborate in making the Mars rover for the second mission.

During a visit to India this month, Michael M Watkins, Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said they would be keen to at least put a telematics module so that NASA’s rovers and the Indian satellites are able to communicate with each other.The second Indian mission to Mars will aim at exploring the planet in detail from its surface as the first mission – the Mars Orbiter Mission or MOM – is performing well from while orbiting the planet.

India’s maiden mission to Venus, the second planet in our solar system, is likely to be an orbiter mission, similar to the first mission to mars. Mr Watkins said a mission to Venus is very-very worthwhile as so little is understood about that planet and NASA would definitely be willing to partner in India’s maiden voyage to Venus. Towards that, NASA and ISRO have already initiated talks this month on trying to jointly undertake studies on using electrical propulsion for powering this mission.India’s visionary in inter-planetary exploration K Kasturirangan, who was the former chairman of ISRO, says, “India should be part of this global adventure and exploring Venus and Mars is very worthwhile.” On February 15 India’s workhorse rocket – the PSLV – will make its 39th launch, carrying 1378 kg of satellites to be deployed in space. The first to be let off will be India’s high resolution Cartosat-2 series satellite made especially to monitor the south Asian region at a resolution of less than one metre. Though this earth imaging capability is not unusual but the rest of the satellites on board are unique. Two other small Indian satellites, each weighing less than 10 kg are forerunners of a new class of satellites called ISRO Nano Satellites which the engineers seek to master. What will follow next is a trailblazing performance by the PSLV, when, at an altitude of over 500 km above Earth, it will release 101 satellites. These include one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the UAE and a whopping 96 from the United States. Eighty-eight of the American satellites belong to a San Francisco based start-up company Planet Inc which is sending a swarm of small satellites – 4.7 kg each, which it calls ‘Doves’. This constellation will image earth like never before and with a high repeat rate providing satellite imagery at an affordable cost. This suite of 101 small satellites, whose combined weight is 664 kg, will be released in space in a manner akin to a typical school bus which drops off children at their respective bus stops in a sequential manner. From previous launches, ISRO has mastered the art of ensuring that no collisions take place. In less than 600 seconds all 101 satellites will be released into space each travelling at a velocity of over 27,000 km per hour or at 40 times the speed of an average passenger airliner.

India successfully test-fires interceptor missile off Odisha coast

BALASORE: India today successfully test-fired its interceptor missile off the Odisha coast, achieving a significant milestone in the direction of developing a two-layered Ballistic Missile Defence system. The interceptor was launched from Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island) of ITR at about 7.45 AM.This mission, termed as “PDV mission is for engaging the targets in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude above 50 km of earth’s atmosphere”, said a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) official. “Both, the PDV interceptor and the two stage target missile, were successfully engaged,” he said.The target was developed for mimicking a hostile Ballistic Missile approaching from more than 2000 km away was launched from a ship anchored in the Bay of Bengal.In an automated operation, radar based detection and tracking system detected and tracked the enemy’s ballistic missile.

The computer network with the help of data received from radars predicted the trajectory of the incoming Ballistic Missile.PDV that was kept fully ready, took-off once the computer system gave the necessary command for lift-off. The Interceptor guided by high accuracy Inertial Navigation System (INS) supported by a Redundant Micro Navigation System moved towards the estimated point of the interception. Once the missile crossed the atmosphere, the Heat Shield ejected and the IR Seeker dome opened to look at the Target location as designated by the Mission Computer. With the help of Inertial Guidance and IR Seeker the missile moved for interception. All events were monitored in real-time by the Telemetry/Range Stations, at various other locations.

DLF seeks fresh approval from Haryana for land licence still in Robert Vadra firms name

The BJP government in Haryana is now faced with two options: terminate the licence or to renew it in the name of Skylight.

REAL ESTATE developer DLF has applied to the Haryana government for the renewal of a land development licence that a company held by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, had transferred to it for Rs 58 crore. The two-year licence expired on December 14, 2016. Sources in Haryana’s Town and Country Planning Department told The Indian Express that they were examining the case to see whether the licence could be renewed. Records show that the licence to develop a commercial colony in Shikohpur village of Gurgaon is still in the name of M/s Skylight Hospitality, a company owned by Vadra.REAL ESTATE developer DLF has applied to the Haryana government for the renewal of a land development licence that a company held by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, had transferred to it for Rs 58 crore. The two-year licence expired on December 14, 2016. Sources in Haryana’s Town and Country Planning Department told The Indian Express that they were examining the case to see whether the licence could be renewed. Records show that the licence to develop a commercial colony in Shikohpur village of Gurgaon is still in the name of M/s Skylight Hospitality, a company owned by Vadra.The BJP government in Haryana is now faced with two options: terminate the licence or to renew it in the name of Skylight. Asked why DLF was making payments on behalf of Skylight, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told The Indian Express: “Regarding any particular case, I am not aware of the minute details. The department’s officers must be aware of it. There are a few issues that we had handed over for CBI inquiry. There are a few issues that will be inquired into on the basis of the Dhingra Commission report. Soon, there will be an announcement…If we get any particular complaint regarding this particular case, we shall put it through the inquiry process.”The Chief Minister emphasised that in cases where anomalies are detected, licences shall be terminated. “We are not going to focus on any particular case, all cases not eligible as per rules will be terminated,” he said. When contacted, Arun Gupta, director, Town and Country Planning Department, Haryana, declined to comment.According to records, Licence No. 203 of 2008 was first allotted to M/s Skylight Hospitality on December 15, 2008 and was valid up to December 14, 2012. The licencee subsequently applied for renewal for a further period — upto December 14, 2014 — and again upto December 14, 2016.Records show that in the last eight years, DLF paid Rs 12.74 crore to the Town and Country Planning Department towards licence renewal fee and for various other charges, including land conversion, scrutiny, etc. Before coming to power in Haryana in 2014, BJP had released a document on >the Vadra-DLF land deal titled “Damad Shree”, raising questions about the transaction, including the renewal of licence by the then Congress government under Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

India Inc speaks: Reduced capital gains tax will propel real estate business

The Budget aims to accelerate the momentum in the real estate business by reducing the term of the capital gain tax

<a

The most important aspect of this year’s Budget is that there is nothing majorly negative in it. It clearly demonstrates the continuance of the government’s stated policies.The Budget clearly underscores the need for government spending and the emphasis is on substantial enhancement in the capital expenditure to spur growth and help create more jobs. While the focus is on spending more on infrastructure and rural development, this Budget has been cautious on fiscal consolidation.The government has clearly understood the pain that industry has gone through for stalled projects, which not only clog the system but put the companies executing it, and banks in trouble. Now, it is coming out with legislation, means that the government has not only its ears to the ground but also acting on it to bring a superior dispute resolution mechanism.It is also a welcome move to grant infrastructure status for affordable housing industry and reduction in the long term capital gains tax (CGT) as these steps will propel more buying and selling. The steps announced in the Budget to increase the area of affordable units will bring lot more housing under its ambit. More people will be encouraged to buy and invest in affordable housing projects as the tax structure is very low.The Budget aims to accelerate the momentum in the real estate business by reducing the term of the capital gain tax. Another vital aspect of this Budget is that it aims at scaling down taxation and regulatory overreach which will spur investment and benefit the ‘Make in India’campaign.