Chief of the Defence Staff, CDS General BipinRawat has
directed various branch heads to come up with recommendations for
inter-service synergy and jointness in a time bound manner. After assuming
charge as CDS, General Rawat held a meeting with important functionaries of
Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff on Wednesday.
He also directed that a proposal to create Air Defence Command
be prepared by 30th of June this year. He also set out priorities for execution
of synergy by 30th June and 31st December this year.
Some of the areas identified for jointness and synergy include
creation of common logistics support pools in stations where two or more
services have their presence.
Emphasizing collegiate system of functioning, General Rawat
directed that all three services and Coast Guard must be consulted and their
views obtained in a time bound manner.
However, decisions will be taken to ensure optimization of
resources. Efforts will be made to cut out infructuous ceremonial activities,
which are manpower intensive.
The Chief of the Defence Staff stressed that all must work
towards accomplishing desired results and coming up with healthy views and
The government is considering a litigation settlement scheme
in the upcoming budget that will allow companies to put an end to legacy tax
disputes by paying a portion of the money demanded by the revenue
department, said four people with knowledge of the matter.
This could help bridge the fiscal deficit gap and monetise a
part of the amount stuck in tax litigation, they said.
An estimated 500,000 cases have been pending in the courts and
quasi-judicial forums for years and it could take a long while before the tax
department sees any of the money, assuming it eventually wins. The total value
of these disputes is pegged at Rs 7-8 lakh crore, said the people.
A government task force had recommended the litigation
settlement scheme in July last year. Such a move will also help improve ease of
doing business. Separately, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had set up
a panel to help reduce tax litigation in February last year focused on resolving
pending direct tax disputes urgently.
The government could ask companies to pay part of the disputed
amount along with interest and penalties levied on that, EThas learnt. Or it
could ask them to pay 40-50% of the tax demanded. The tax rate may not be the
same for every company — it could depend on the litigation amount and even the
details of the case.
Iranian General QassemSoleimani, the head of Iran's elite
Quds Force, was killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad International airport.
The White House and the Pentagon confirmed the killing of Soleimani in Iraq.
At least eight people were killed in the attack. The Iranian state media
also confirmed Soleimani's death. Iran's Revolutionary Guards said, Iraqi
militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was among those killed.
In a statement the Pentagon said, at the direction of the
President, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US
personnel abroad by killing QasemSoleimani. The statement said, this strike was
aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.
According to US media, Gen Soleimani and officials from
Iran-backed militias were leaving Baghdad airport in two cars when they were hit
by a US drone strike near a cargo area. Iran's foreign minister slammed the
killing of Soleimani as a dangerous escalation and warned the United States
would bear responsibility for the consequences.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed severe
revenge after the United States killed the commander. President HasanRouhani
said, Iran and the "free nations of the region" will take revenge for killing
Revolutionary Guards commander.
Iran has announced three days of public mourning, after their
top commander QasemSoleimani was killed. Tehran also summoned an official from
the Swiss embassy, which represents US interests in Iran, to condemn the killing
of one of its top commanders, by American forces.
Meanwhile India has called for restraint as tensions between the
US and Iran are increasing. It said, the increase in tensions between both
nations has alarmed the world and it is vital that the situation does not
External Affairs Ministry said in a release that peace,
stability and security in the region is of utmost importance. Noting the killing
of a senior Iranian leader by the US, Ministry said India has consistently
advocated restraint and continues to do so.
The Ministry of External Affairs is to set up a new division
called NEST-New and Emerging Strategic Technologies. The division will work
to increase investment coordination among the states of the country and also
with the foreign countries.
The NEST will act as a nodal point to exchange views with
foreign governments. This will help in confronting emerging challenges and
scenarios in new technologies.With India coping with issues of security
implications in 5G and artificial intelligence, NEST division will help India
spread emerging technologies among the states.
The division will also hold responsibility for matters that
involves negotiations with multilateral fora like United Nations, G20. This will
help to safeguard India’s interests as such forums govern the rules of access to
The top Emerging Technologies in India are Artificial
Intelligence and Internet of things. The emerging 5G technology will improve the
performance of IoT platforms.
3D printing finds its application widely in areas such as
defence, aerospace, automobile, engineering and medical. Robotic Process
Automation (RPA) is yet another emerging technology that finds its application
in supply chain management and customer services.