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Nation at a Glance

Cabinet nod for actuary institute

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the establishment of the Institute of Actuaries of India, a statutory body to streamline, regulate and develop the profession of actuaries, reports our correspondent.

A government spokesperson said the Cabinet deferred a decision on raising the ceiling on foreign direct investment in sectors like telecom, insurance and civil aviation.

“The proposal to raise the sectoral FDI caps and a VRS scheme for ONGC came up for discussion at the Cabinet meeting but they will be brought back for re-consideration,” the spokesperson said.

The Institute of Actuaries is proposed to be established on the same lines as the apex bodies for chartered accountants, cost and works accountants and company secretaries, established through respective Acts.

The Cabinet has also approved the cost for completion of ongoing 1020 MW Tala Hydroelectric project in Bhutan at Rs 3580 crore with 60 per cent of it as grant and 40 per cent as loan. The project will provide 1020 MW peaking power to the Eastern Grid of India.

India, Pak defence expenses high

islamabad (PTI): India and Pakistan were the two major defence spenders in Asia and it was their long-range missile delivery systems which were responsible for preventing the two countries from going to war, defence experts have said.

The military expenditures of the two nations accounted for 75 and 17 per cent respectively of the total expenditure in South Asia between 1992 and 2000, defence experts said at a seminar organised by the Pakistan defence ministry in Karachi on Tuesday.

They also pointed out that though military expenditure around the world had shrunk significantly between 1992 and 2000, defence spending in the Asian region had increased by more than 15 per cent for the same period.

The continuous increase of military expenditure in Asia was mainly contributed by the increase in South Asia, though expenditure in East Asia increased more slowly and reduced sharply in Oceanic countries, Dr Sang-jin Lee of South Korea said at the seminar.

Some seminar participants were of the opinion that the key reason which prevented war between India and Pakistan was actually the weapons of mass destruction. Had it not been the long range weapons, there may have been another 1965 or 1971 style regional war, said Haroon J. Qureshi of Pakistan.

The long-range delivery systems have also changed the role of strike aircraft. the reliance on deep-penetration delivery aircraft has been greatly reduced, he added.

Dutt appears in court

Mumbai (PTI): Actor Sanjay Dutt, charged with conspiracy in the 1993 bomb blast case, appeared before a special court to register his presence in keeping with a judicial directive, even as the judge exempted him till September 30.

He did not come to the court on September 16 as he was not well. On a plea by his lawyer Farhana Shah, Judge P.D. Kode directed him to appear and register his presence.

CBI on Bofors

New Delhi (PTI): The CBI has told a special court that Rajiv Gandhi had requested Swedish authorities to wind up the Bofors pay-off probe after news about the alleged payment to Indian politicians was broadcast by the Swedish radio in April 1987. There was a close link between Gandhi and accused Ottavio Quattrocchi and “inference could be drawn about his (Gandhi’s) involvement,” CBI counsel N. Natrajan said.

PWG men kill two

B>l Hyderabad (PTI): Two TDP workers were shot dead by the People’s War Group in Kurnool. A group of Naxalites went to the workers’ houses, dragged them out and shot them from point blank range.

Notice to AIIMS

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Centre and All-India Institute of Medical Sciences on a petition alleging the extension given to its director Dr P.K. Dave till next June was illegal. The respondents have to file a counter affidavit in two weeks.

Inmates irked

Madurai (PTI): Protesting a ban on smoking within the jail, inmates in the central prison in Sivaganga climbed trees in the premises, refusing to come down for nearly five hours. The prisoners climbed the trees when the cells were opened on Tuesday morning.

Tibetan plea

Shimla (PTI): The Tibetan parliament in exile urged the Indian government to support the five-point peace plan by the Dalai Lama Tibetan autonomy. The vice-chairperson of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies said the “peace zone as a buffer state” would be in India’s interest for security reason.

Scientists from across the globe will meet in Mumbai to discuss the latest frontiers in research on neem at the 4th World Neem Conference from November 27 to 30. They will discuss bio-medicine, organic farming and property rights with reference to neem.


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