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Nation at a Glance

Tricolour slip-ups at birthplace

Hyderabad: The hi-tech city India takes pride in showed scant respect for the country’s flag on Republic Day. There were as many as three violations of the rules for flying the Tricolour, reports our special correspondent.

The first incident came at the Congress headquarters when state party chief M. Satyanarayana Rao found to his horror that he had hoisted the party banner instead of the national flag. He has sacked two officials and set up a six-member committee to probe the circumstances leading to hoisting of the flag, but it seems to have failed to contain the damage to the party’s image.

he state BJP has latched on to the issue to embarrass the Congress. Party spokesman P. Prabhakar said: “It was a shameful act on the part of the state Congress leaders in general and its president, M. Satyanarayana Rao, in particular.” He demanded that the party apologise to the public for the mistake.

In another instance, the police administration was left red-faced as it was found that the flag hoisted on the Panjagutta police hub had a band of dark red instead of saffron. When the error was spotted, police officials expressed helplessness as there was no spare flag.

The final blow to the Tricolour came in the office of the premier public sector unit, NMDC. The flag unfurled with a lot of fanfare on the premises was riddled with holes. Sources said the flag seemed to be moth-eaten or damaged by rodents. Here too, the officials could not replace the damaged flag.

Reacting to the string of goof-ups, veteran Gandhian Vavilala Gopalakrishna said it was an embarrassment that the errors should happen in the state where the design of the national flag was conceived by Pingali Venkayya of Krishna district.

Subsidised gas reach extended

New Delhi: The Centre has extended the supply of subsidised cooking gas to schools, colleges, hospitals and social welfare institutions, reports our special correspondent.

Petroleum minister Ram Naik has approved the proposal to provide subsidised LPG to hostels of all government or municipal schools and college hostels, hospitals, social welfare institutions like child or women welfare homes, old age homes and homes for disabled.

The subsidised LPG will be made available to implement the mid-day meal scheme as well.

Subsidised LPG is currently being sold only to domestic households. Commercial rates for educational and welfare institutions had been introduced from April last year when the administered pricing mechanism for the oil sector was dismantled.

LPG was being supplied to these institutions at a commercial rate of Rs 650 per 19-kg cylinder. Domestic LPG is available at a subsidised price of Rs 250 per 14.2-kg cylinder.

Nod for Taj airport plan

New Delhi (PTI): Decks have been cleared for setting up an international airport in Uttar Pradesh on the proposed Agra-Noida expressway, official sources said.

The airport between Dhankaur and Jhevar, 80 km from Delhi, is part of the Taj Special Economic Zone project, the sources said.

3rd Antarctica site

Hyderabad (PTI): The Centre has asked the department of ocean development to set up the country’s third station in the Antarctica, the department secretary said.

HC judge probe

Jaipur (PTI): A three-member panel of high court judges has begun its second round of probe into allegation of corruption against Rajasthan High Court judge Arun Madan. The panel, constituted by the then chief justice of India, G.B. Pattanaik, had earlier submitted its report on the allegation of misconduct levelled by a lady doctor against a deputy registrar of the court. Madan’s name figured in the report but the panel did not come across with sufficient evidence against him. But it had reported allegations of corruption against Madan.

Insurance order

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court has held that passengers injured while travelling in a goods vehicle will not be entitled to claim compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 from the company that had insured the carriage. The court said: “A bare reading of the provisions makes it clear that the legislative intent was to prohibit goods vehicle from carrying any passenger.”

Medical seats

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court has declined permission for a third round of counselling to fill up 213 all-India quota medical seats in 19 states for the academic year 2002-03. The court has directed that these seats would now be filled by candidates on the state waiting list.

Allahabad post

New Delhi (PTI): Justice Tarun Chatterjee of Calcutta High Court has been appointed chief justice of Allahabad High Court.

Shocked over a recent incident in which an angry tusker gored its mahout to death in Kochi, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has appealed to Kerala chief minister A.K. Antony to ban the use of elephants for entertainment in the state.


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