TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 20 PAGES, MUMBAI, `5.00 ● SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TEAM OF IAF & FRENCH PILOTS CONDUCT TESTS First Rafale for India being flight-tested in France, only one will arrive custom-made Delivery of balance 35 will start Sept 2019, their India-specific enhancements will be fitted in India, done by Sept 2022 SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 7 AS THE Rafale deal continues to be at the centre of a political maelstrom, The Indian Express has learnt that only one of 36 Rafalefighteraircraftwillbesupplied from France to India until the end of the contract period in April 2022 with India-Specific Enhancements. The balance 35 aircraft will start being delivered to India beginning September 2019 but they will be incorporated with these enhancements in India itself after the contract period at the rate of seven aircraft per month. In a reply given in Rajya Sabha in July, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the “delivery of 36 Rafale aircraft in a fly-away condition along with associated equipment and weapons will commence from September 2019 and will be completed by April 2022.” However, it will be only in September 2022 that the full complementof 36Rafaleaircraft will be available with IAF with theIndia-SpecificEnhancements in place. Government sources have often claimed that by negotiatingadealwherethesupplyof 36 French jets would be completed by April 2022, it has saved five months off the UPA-era negotiations to meet the urgent operational requirements of the IAF. Sources said one of the 36 Rafale aircraft to be supplied to India had commenced test-flying in France last month. IndiaSpecific Enhancements are being flight-tested on this fighter jet, sources added, which is a two-seater Rafale aircraft (RB008). Thetestingof thisaircraftwill continue until April 2022, sources said, when it will be INDIA-SPECIFIC ENHANCEMENTS ■ 13 enhancements demanded by India. ■ These include: radar enhancement, helmet mounted display, towed decoy system, low band jammer, radio altimeter and ability to start and operate from High Altitude Airfields. ■ These are not present in Rafale aircraft in service with the French Air Force. ready to be delivered to India. Indian Air Force (IAF) and French pilots are jointly undertaking the testing of this aircraft whichwillleadtocertificationof India-Specific Enhancements. An IAF team of four officers has beeninFrancesinceAugust2017 for testing India-Specific Enhancements and monitoring the production of 36 Rafale aircraft. Questions sent by The Indian Express to the Ministry of Defence, an Indian Air Force spokesperson and a spokesperson for Dassault Aviation went unanswered. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘WILL FUEL GROWTH, JOBS’ Public transport is pivot, coming soon a policy for electric, green vehicles: PM Prime Minister Modi at the Move Global Mobility Summit, organised by Niti Aayog, in New Delhi, Friday. PTI ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 7 PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi said Friday that public transport must be the cornerstone of India’s mobility initiatives and that the NDA government will soon bring in a policy regime for electric mobility. Speaking at the Global Mobility Summit, MOVE, organised by Niti Aayog, Modi pitched for investments in manufacturingof electricvehiclesand smart charging facilities and said that mobility is a key driver of the economy that can boost economic growth and create employment opportunities. “We will soon put in place a 3 CITY Tech support scam operating from Andheri call centre busted stable policy-regime around electricandotheralternativefuel vehicles. Policies will be designed as a win-win for all, and enablehugeopportunitiesinthe automotive sector...India’s business leaders and manufacturers are now poised to develop and deploy break-through battery technology. The Indian Space Research Organisation uses one of the best battery systems to run satellites in space. Other institutions can partner with ISRO to develop cost-effective and efficient battery systems for electric cars,” he said. Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had said in February this year that there is no need for an electric vehicles CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BHOPAL, SEPTEMBER 7 AT A TIME when upper castes are protesting amendments to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act to restore its provisions, the BJP government in poll-boundMadhyaPradeshhas taken a decisive step to ensure better conviction in cases of atrocities against SCs and STs. Morethanone-thirdof cases, filed under different provisions Between India-US 2+2 lines, words that carry Delhi’s weight ‘Territory under Pak control’ refers to PoK; ‘proxies’ to terror groups in polls SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 7 ALMOSTTWOyearsaftertheUri attack that was mounted from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the retaliatory surgical strikes against terrorist pads in PoK, the US signed off on using New Delhi’s language and used “territory under Pakistan’s control”, and not Pakistan’s “territory” — to describe Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.Theyalsoslammedthe use of “terrorist proxies”, a description for extremist political groups used by Pakistan’s army in the region. The Indian side also used the term “retribution” for the first time when it came to justice for those behind the Mumbai terror attack in 2008. But, the US stuck to the standard formulation of “to expeditiously bring the perpetrators to justice”, and did not mention retribution — a key theme for the Indian side after the 2016 surgical strikes. Sources said that this “diplomatic formulation” in the joint statement Thursday — agreed at the first-ever Indo-US 2+2 bilateral dialogue — is “new” and HE’S A J&K POLICEMAN In Srinagar Friday, a J&K policeman in plainclothes joins protesters in hurling stones at police, then detains a protester . PTI SAJJAD HUSSAIN I-T probes sale of ICICI Bank building Arrest of in heart of Mumbai to Videocon Group activists: possible quid pro quo. It was Cops name 7 KHUSHBOO NARAYAN allegedly sold to Dhoot’s firm at MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 7 a much lower price than the ex- groups, only isting market rate at that time. THE INCOME Tax (I-T) departSources said Radhika one is banned ment has started probing a 2010 Apartments was sold at a price SUCCUMBING TO pressure from hardliners, the Pakistan governmentFridaywithdrewthenomination of noted economist Atif Mian, a member of the minority Ahmadi community, from a newly-constituted economic panel, according to media reports. The move came three days afterthePakistanTehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government defended the academic’s nomination to the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying in categorical terms that it will “not bow to real estate transaction between ICICI Bank and Venugopal Dhoot-promoted Videocon Group as part of its investigation into possible tax evasion in the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case, The Indian Express has learnt. The sale of a 13-storey building, Radhika Apartments, which was earlier the staff quarters of of the Act in the state, collapse because complainants fail to provide caste certificates. The absence of the certificate also means that a complainant does not get monetary relief on time. InacirculardatedSeptember 4, the Madhya Pradesh government’s general administration departmenthasaskeddivisional commissioners, district collectors and sub-divisional revenue officersnottoforceapplicantsto providedocumentstoprovethat they, or their forefathers, were residentsof thestatebefore1950. TANGLE OF TRANSACTIONS ICICIBank-Videocon-DeepakKochhar ICICIBank, in Prabhadeviincentral Mumbai to Videocon Industries has come under the scanner following allegations of TOP COURT SEEKS GOVT REPLY The Supreme Court Friday sought the Centre’s response to petitions challenging amendments made to the SC/ST Act to nullify its March 20 judgment that forbids automatic arrest for offences under the Act. PAGE 7 Sushma Swaraj with US counterpart Pompeo ‘CAUTIOUS HOPE’ Kolkata: The new Pak government under PM Imran Khan has opened a political window and India is “filled with cautious hope,” Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria said here Friday. PAGE 7 “significant”. “This shows their acknowledgement that PoK is not Pakistan’sterritoryandit’sunder its control. A lot of negotiations CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Imran govt surrenders to hardliners, drops minority economist from advisory panel of Rs 17,000 per sq ft for Rs 61 crore to Dhoot when the existing market price in the area was about Rs 25,000 per sq ft. In 2010, Dhoot said that the Videocon Group bought the building consisting 27 flats from ICICI Bank to house employees of its telecom venture which CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Upper castes want Act diluted, Chouhan govt moves to help SCs/STs for speedy conviction MILIND GHATWAI BILATERAL COOPERATION “Revenue officials should visit the spot or organise camps tochecktheveracityof theinformation provided by the applicant. They should record statements of the complainant, the respective sarpanch or ward councillor or prominent citizens of the locality and recommend issue of permanent caste certificates after satisfying themselves,’’ the circular stated. Organisations working for SCs and STs say obtaining caste certificates is very difficult in the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 7 ONLY ONE of seven alleged “front” organisations named by Maharashtra police in its probe into the Bhima Koregaon violence this January has ever been classified as “unlawful”. Barring the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) which, official sources said, was declared “unlawful” by Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha under respective state public safety laws, none of the remaining six — Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners, Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, Indian Association of People’s Lawyers, People’s Union for Democratic Rights, Republican Panthers and Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan — was ever banned. Of the ten activists arrested sinceJune,Punepolicesaideight were linked to these seven organisations — P Varavara Rao (RDF), Sudha Bharadwaj and Surendra Gadling (Indian Associationof People’sLawyers), CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ISLAMABAD, SEPTEMBER 7 10 THEEDITORIAL PAGE extremists”. Ahmadis are designated non-Muslims in Pakistan’s Constitutionandtheirbeliefsare considered blasphemous in most mainstream Islamic schools of thought. They are often targeted by the extremists and their places of worship vandalised. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology-educatedPakistaniAmerican economics professor at the prestigious Princeton University, Mian was recently namedmemberof the18-member EAC to advise the government on economic policy. He is the only Pakistani to be considered among International CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Rights Over Wrong By ARUNDHATI KATJU HDFC V-P goes missing from office in Mumbai SAGAR RAJPUT MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 7 AVICE-PRESIDENTof HDFCBank hasgonemissingundermysterious circumstances from his Kamala Mills office in Mumbai on Wednesday, the police said. Siddharth Kiran Sanghvi, who stayed with his wife and a four-year-oldsonatMalabarHill, had not returned home after he Siddharth Kiran Sanghvi leftforofficearoundaround8.30 am on Wednesday. His car was found abandoned the next day in Navi Mumbai with blood stains on the seat. The N M Joshi police has CONTINUEDONPAGE2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR HOW KERALA’S LARGEST LAKE WORSENED FLOOD: WATER PANEL Lake’s capacity shrunk due to congestion; intense rain, lack of spillways and reservoirs led to surge, says analysis by CWC; gives clean chit to dam management BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY SOWMIYA ASHOK NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 7 CONGESTION IN the carrying capacity of the Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in Kerala, which could only absorb a fraction of the water that drained into it from overflowing rivers made the Kerala floods starker, the Central Water Commission (CWC) has found. This severely inundated districts such as Kottayam and Allapuzha, a senior CWC official told The Indian Express. The Vembanad Lake was able to absorb only 0.6 billion cubic metres (BCM), of the 1.63 BCM caused duetoexcessiverainfallandinundatedover480sqkmandinflated to nearly three times its size. “High rainfall during this period and lack of reservoirs in the upper reaches of the rivers that drain into the lake, worsened the flooding,” the official said. The CWC has now suggested increasingthe capacityof the spillway through which riverssuch as Pamba,Manimala, FLOODING AROUND VEMBANAD LAKE NORMAL FLOODED VEMBANAD LAKE ■ Capacity of Vembanad Lake could not absorb rainfall runoff LAKE INFLATED 2.78 times INUNDATED KERALA 489 sq km Source: Model based on CWC data Achenkoviland Meenachil drain into the lake and the barrage through which the lake spills into the ocean. According to CWC sources, thesituationmayhavebeenbetter if the capacity of the lake was larger. “The capacity of the lake might be less due to the siltation which is a natural process, and there could have been backflow becausetheoutletwasunableto discharge as much into the ocean. This is a coastal lake which also interacts with the backwaters. One possibility was thedredgingof thelakebutsince itisaneco-sensitivezone,dredgingwasnotrecommended,”said the CWC official. In its first analysis after the Kerala floods, which claimed at least 480 lives and caused widespread damage, the CWC has squarely put the blame on two spells of intense rainfall during the month of August — a twoday-period over August 8-9 and later a three-day-period over August 15-17. Over 50 per cent of the rainfall received between August 1-19 fell over a three-day period, said official sources. Withmanagementofdamsin Kerala at the heart of the debate overitspurportedroleincausing last month’s floods, the CWC has suggestedareviewof rulecurves of alllargereservoirsinthestateto ascertain how much water should be released when reservoirsreachcertainlevels.This,the CWC official said, is even more essential for dams with live storage of over 200 million cubic metres. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.