The 74th Raising Day of the Western Command, the frontline operational command of the Indian Army, celebrated on Wednesday.
The Command was raised on September 15, 1947 as Delhi and East Punjab Command and was re-designated as ‘Western Command’ in January 1948.
To commemorate the occasion, Western Command Army Commander Lt Gen R P Singh laid wreath at the Veer Smriti in Chandimandir to pay homage to the gallant heroes of Western Command and conveyed felicitations and best wishes to all ranks, veterans, civilian employees and families.
With “Ever Westwards” being its clarion call, Western Army has created a glorious history and has carved a niche for itself-replete with saga of bravery, grit and exemplary dedication in service of the Nation.
Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Men of Command have acquitted themselves with immense valour in all the conflicts since independence. It is ever ready for its assigned role in the varied contours of National security, Aid to civil authorities and Nation building activities.
Notification allowing women to take NDA exam to be released by May 2022: Defence Ministry to SC
The Defence Ministry told the Supreme Court that a notification allowing women candidates to appear for the entrance exam to the National Defence Academy (NDA) will be out by May 2022.
Earlier, the ministry had said that a decision has been taken to allow the induction of women into the Armed Forces through the NDA.
Filing an affidavit, the ministry said that keeping the timeline in mind, deliberate planning and meticulous preparation is needed to ensure smooth induction and seamless training of such women candidates.
“The Government of India, in line with its commitment, hereby place on record its clear and categorical stand that the women candidates shall be considered for entry in the three defence services, in the existing streams, through National Defence Academy,” the affidavit stated.
It further said that the NDA entrance exams are held twice a year and the government proposes to have the necessary mechanism in place by May 2022, the time by which the UPSC is required to publish the first notification next year, for the exam.
The affidavit also stated that a study group has been constituted by the Defence services comprising experts to expeditiously formulate a curriculum for women cadets at the NDA and a Board of Officers has been convened to frame a futuristic proposal for training of women cadets at NDA incorporating all relevant aspects.
“Any dilution of physical training and service subject like firing, etc. would invariably impact the battle worthiness of the Armed Forces adversely,” it added.
It also stated the need to have a robust physical separation between male and female residential areas for which new residential facilities have to be developed to accommodate the women candidates including bathroom cubicles with modifications to maintain privacy.
“Some time is needed to construct additional bathrooms, cabins, training facilities and develop curriculum for the new joinees,” the Ministry of Defence told the apex court.
“Only medically fit candidates meeting the selection criteria are allowed to join the Academy. They are also required to meet laid down medical standards. While medical standards for male cadets are in place, appropriate medical standards for women candidates are in the process of formulation. The same needs to be done before they join,” the affidavit added.
A Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had asked the ministry to put the statement of inducting women into the Armed Forces through the NDA, on record through an affidavit
India records 26,115 new cases in 24 hours, a significant 13.6% dip from yesterday
According to data published by the Union ministry of health and family welfare, India recorded 26,115 new cases on Tuesday (September 21), thus reporting a significant dip in the daily tally of cases. Around 252 fatalities were also recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 445,385.
These are some of the latest development for COVID as shared by the Ministry of Health:
– 81.85 Cr. vaccine doses have been administered so far under Nationwide Vaccination Drive
– Active cases account for less than 1% of total cases, currently at 0.92%; lowest since March 2020
– India’s Active caseload stands at 3,09,575; lowest in 184 days
– 26,115 new cases in the last 24 hours
– Recovery Rate currently at 97.75%; Highest since March 2020
34,469 recoveries in the last 24 hours increases Total Recoveries to 3,27,49,574
– Weekly Positivity Rate (2.08%) less than 3% for last 88 days
– Daily positivity rate (1.85%) less than 3% for last 22 days
– 55.50 cr Total Tests conducted so far
Meanwhile earlier, vaccinologist Dr Gangandeep Kang said local flare-ups that will be smaller and spread wider across the country may add up to form a third wave of the pandemic, but the scale will not be like before. In an interview with PTI over the COVID-19 situation in India, Kang said after the second wave, maybe a quarter of the country’s population continues to be susceptible to the virus. “So will we be able to achieve within that quarter the same numbers and the same patterns that we saw in the second wave? That I think is unlikely. What we will see is local flare-ups that will be smaller and spread wider across the country. Now if that will collect to form a third wave, that may happen if we have a lot of behaviour change around festivals, but the scale is not going to be anything like what we saw before,” she said.
Civil Aviation Ministry Allows Airlines to Increase Passenger Capacity by up to 85%
The Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Saturday that airlines can now operate a maximum of 85 percent of the pre-covid-19 domestic flights instead of 72.5 percent. As per the order of the ministry, airlines have been working 72.5 percent of their pre-covid-19 domestic flights since August 12. This limit was 65 percent between July 5 and August 12. Between June 1 and July 5, this limit was 50 percent.
The ministry issued a new order on Saturday. It modified its August 12 order to read 72.5 percent capacity as 85 percent capacity and shall remain in force till the order.
Earlier, the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Saturday that the lower and upper limit of airfare would be applicable at any point in time for 15 days. The airlines are free to charge the fee without any limitation from the 16th day. This arrangement, which came into force from August 12 this year, was currently for 30 days, and airlines were charging without any limit from the 31st day. The ministry said in a new order issued on Saturday, “Suppose today the date is September 20; then the fare limit will be applicable till October 4. Thus, for travel on October 5 or any date after that, bookings made on September 20 will not be governed by the fare ceiling. The order said that if bookings are made on the next day, i.e., September 21, then the fare limit will be applicable till October 5, and for travel on or after October 6, the fare limit will not be practical.
India had fixed a lower and upper limit of fare based on the duration of the flight when flight services resumed on May 25, 2020, after the lockdown imposed due to the covid-19 epidemic. Domestic air travel became expensive on 12 August this year. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had increased the lower and upper limits of fares from 9.83 to 12.82 percent.
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