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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

IAF chief calls for civil-military pool

New Delhi: Making a case for greater civil-military management of Indian airspace, the chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy has asked for pooling of resources at major instalations, reports our special correspondent.

There were airports managed by civil aviation authorities — such as in Delhi and Mumbai — and there were airports like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Pune that were being run by the IAF. India can ill-afford to have a multiplicity of authorities as this hinders liaising between the authorities.

“We police the corridors through which your (civilian) aircraft fly,” Krishnaswamy said at a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). “The IAF is a silent partner in aviation activity although its assets and activities are at any time larger in proportion to civil aviation,” he said. “Our sensors and radars have to be integrated with civil radars to guard against intrusions.”

The need for greater civilian-military management of airspace was urgent in the wake of the September 11 attack in the US. “We have to integrate radars and systems and at the same time the IAF is conscious that it should not enter the civil aviation domain,” he said.

The air chief was concerned that the reaction time to manage inventories in the IAF was not at the expected level. He said that because of the “public’s push factor”, if there was snag in a civilian aircraft or in an Instrument Landing System, the reaction was quicker than it was for the military aircraft. It was a matter of concern that “the same bureaucracy treats the military differently”.

Army to induct Nag missile

new delhi: The army on Friday said it is ready to induct an Indian-made anti-tank missile, Nag, reports our special correspondent.

Nag is one of the projects in the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme that was entrusted to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (now President) more than 20 years ago.

User trials of Nag were carried out at the armoured units’ school in Ahmednagar recently. The guided missile with a range of four kilometres was said to have fulfilled the objectives. Nag can be configured to be fired from the advanced light helicopter developed by Hindustan Aeronautics. It is designed to be fired from a mobile tracked launcher.

Defence sources said that though the development of Nag had taken so long, its capabilities were in tune with the latest of its kind. They said it has an advanced infra red sensor and homed in on its target by detecting the source of heat.

“The tests were carried out by day and by night and the targets were accurately hit,” the sources said. Nag is in the class of third-generation anti-tank missiles. (This is the fifth generation of armament technology). It will replace the Milan anti-tank missiles the army currently has in its arsenal.

Petition against judge dropped

new delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition alleging misconduct against one of its judges, who, as a high court judge, had allegedly attempted to protect a bureaucrat friend accused of sexual misdemeanour.

A bench of Justices S. Rajendra Babu, Ashok Bhan and G.P. Mathur dismissed the petition filed by Mohini Dhar Patnaik after former solicitor-general T.R. Andhiyarujina submitted that under the Constitution, no court had the authority to inquire into the conduct of a sitting judge of a high court or the Supreme Court. Andhiyarujina said the only procedure prescribed in the Constitution was that of removal of the judge by means of an impeachment motion.

NRI murder case

New York (PTI): An Indian-American businessman, accused of murdering his fiancee in Mumbai, had taken two insurance policies totalling $1 million on her, naming him as the sole beneficiary, her lawyer has said. Pragnesh Desai had stiff alimony payments and was in debt, The New York Post reported. Desai reportedly told investigators in India that he hired two hitmen to strangle Swiderski, 33, because she was plotting to kill his ex-wife and children.

Salman exemption

mumbai (PTI): A court has exempted Salman Khan from appearance in a hit-and-run case but directed him to appear without fail on March 7 for framing of charges.

Principal shot

agra (PTI): The principal of a girls’ school was shot dead by two young men in her office here on Friday shortly before the daily prayer. Police said the assailants forced their way into the office of principal Vind Sharma (55) and fired at her from point blank. The police have taken the school sweeper and a peon into custody for questioning.

Foodgrain stolen

new delhi (PTI): Over Rs 70 lakh worth of foodgrain have been lost due to theft during storage and transit in 1999-2000 and 2000-01, the Lok Sabha was informed. The FCI lost Rs 40.74 lakh in 1999-2000 and Rs 30.23 lakh in 2000-01 on these accounts.

Lucknow-based Mahaveer Jain has created a record by memorising the Oxford dictionary. Jain remembers all the 80,000 entries in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary along with their sequence and page numbers, the Asianet News Service has said.

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