ED steps up action against Robert Vadra
The Congress is claiming that the Central government wants to tarnish Priyanka Vadra’s image by launching a big campaign against her as the ED steps up its action/investigation against her husband Robert Vadra.The ED does not have a plan to detain or arrest Robert Vadra at this juncture. But the Congress suspects that the ED may do so just before elections “to dilute her campaign impact” in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress is not liking ED allegedly leaking information about Robert Vadra’s questioning about his alleged assets/properties to “friendly media”.The next problem for Robert Vadra is another case in Rajasthan. It is listed for 18 February in Jodhpur High Court. On 12 February, Robert Vadra and his mother will have to appear before the ED. Though the HC has ordered no arrests till 18 February, but it has granted liberty to move the courts concerned if they desire. However, the safety net of coercive protection has been lifted which means search seizure and attachments are possible. Meanwhile, Priyanka observers are waiting to see how she counters Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s abbreviations. Speaking at the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address to Parliament this week, Modi said, “When we speak of history, we speak of two phases—BC and AD. There were many references to 1947 to 2014. I think they have a definition for this. BC means Before Congress. It means that before Congress, there was nothing here. And AD means After Dynasty. Means whatever happened, happened after them.”During the 2014 campaign, Priyanka had countered Modi by saying, “Kabhi ABCD, kabhi RSVP…. Kabhi ‘B’ se bas bhi toh kariye! Aap kisi prathmik pathshala ko thode sambodhit kar rahe hain? Yeh desh ki janata hai. Janata mein vivek hai (Stop using abbreviations like RSVP—Rahul, Sonia, Vadra, Priyanka. You are not a school teacher. You are talking to the people of the country who are astute).”
RSTV gets good viewership
Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu is quite pleased with the House run television channel. The Rajya Sabha TV crossed the two million (20 lakh) mark in terms of YouTube subscribers on 4 February. The RSTV is now far ahead of other channels like DD News (1.12 million) and Lok Sabha TV (0.44 million). Rajya Sabha Secretary General Desh Deepak Verma told The Sunday Guardian that the rapid expansion in the viewership is “because of editorial autonomy, selection and diversification of content making it unique from others, increased coverage of the official events involving the Prime Minister’s Man Ki Baat, and the House Chairman and increased ground reporting.”“On 29 January, PM’s interaction with students in Pariksha Pe Charcha 2.0 had clocked over one lakh views on RSTV’s YouTube platform in less than 48 hours with the video going viral,” Verma said, adding that “the RSTV will soon start airing advertisements of government’s and public sector entities on the lines of the LSTV.”
Israel coming for air show
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has decided to participate in Aero India 2019 Exhibition in Bengaluru (20-24 February) in a big way. The company expects to expand collaboration with local leaders in integrating strategic state-of-the-art systems for the Ministry of Defence in a number of areas and in accordance with the government’s “Make in India” policy. These collaborations are a direct continuation of IAI’s business deals in India which totalled some $1.9 billion in 2018. Nimrod Shefer, IAI’s president and CEO, told The Sunday Guardian that “India is one of our main partners. We are working to nurture this relationship in the future despite growing competition.At the Bengaluru show, IAI will present a wide variety of strategic defence systems with an emphasis on MRSAM (for Navy), TecSar Satellite, TopGun, in the loitering-munition category, featuring the Green Dragon, Mini Harpy and Rotem. There will be many new Unmanned Aerial Systems and a selection of mission aircraft for intelligence missions, aerial control and naval surveillance on different platforms, such as Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft.
Ignorance About HIV/AIDS
The Automobile Association of Upper India (AAUI), the largest motorist body active in seven states in Northern India, organised a HIV/AIDS orientation programme for truck drivers at its headquarters in New Delhi. Questions asked by many drivers showed that the common man may still be ignorant about this killer disease. Answering a question from a middle aged driver whether a woman kneading dough transmit HIV to her children and other sharing that food, chief guest Sadhna Mohan, an authority on the subject, told him that “HIV does not travel through food, hence there is no risk.” Mohan, associated with Centre for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS, said, “It is the responsibility of drivers to ensure risk free health of their family members by not indulging in unsafe sex while travelling on highways hundreds of miles away from home.” Dr Veni Mathur, Transport Economist, PHD, said that the drivers away from home on long journeys for weeks with stressful and dull life, were the most vulnerable to fall victim to this deadly disease by indulging in sexual acts elsewhere. AAUI president, T.K. Malhotra said that “our effort is to educate the drivers to keep away from the disease. We have integrated the project “Sound Health, Safe Drive” in the refresher driving training course.”