Rahul plans Bharat Jodo-2 from Guj to Arunachal
Gandhi’s political guru Gopal Krishna Gokhale gave him a piece of critical advice when the Mahatma returned from South Africa to take a plunge into India’s freedom movement. He asked Gandhi to travel across India, meet the common people and listen to them to understand the country. Gandhi followed the advice and the rest is history. Rahul Gandhi seems to have taken this leaf out of the Mahatma’s playbook. Sources say he plans to follow up the first leg of the Kanyakumari-to-Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra with another one from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh — a Porbandar to Parshuram Kund yatra. The unexpected success of the yatra with an overwhelming response across the south and central India has removed whatever doubts and dilemmas he had over the direct contact plan, according to sources. Rahul has repeatedly complained that the mainstream media was not raising issues concerning common people and ignoring the voice of opposition. Sources say the first leg of the yatra has convinced him that direct contact with the people by walking through the villages, towns and cities was more effective than reaching out to them through the media. He feels that the vast swathes of the country comprising Gujarat, UP, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, all the way to Arunachal need to be covered too. Sources say there is no doubt over Bharat Jodo-2, only the dates are to be finalised. It can start anytime after the first leg ends in February next year.
Reliance to provide aerospace solutions with DRDO
Mukesh Ambani’s technology company Jio Platforms has quietly entered into teaming agreements with several aerospace laboratories of the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation, and also joined hands with the public sector Bharat Electronics Ltd and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd for offering indigenously-developed software tools for designing, operating and maintaining aerospace and defence products. Jio Platforms will be India’s first company which will be offering such indigenous software tools. This market in India has so far been dominated by French and US defence companies. Sources said Jio Platforms plans to establish a dedicated aerospace engineering centre in Bengaluru in the next two years and recruit over one thousand aerospace engineers for research activities. Jio Platforms’ parent company Reliance Industries Ltd had earlier acquired an 83 per cent stake in Bangalore-based software simulation tools company SankhyaSutra Labs with an investment of $30.85 million. SankhyaSutra Labs has developed Computational Fluid Dynamics-based simulation software for the indigenous manufacturing of various hardware components for aerospace systems. This technology will help Indian companies to develop components, and sub-assembly of western and Russian weapons and platforms. With its new tieups, Jio Platforms will now provide design solutions for fighters, stealth drones, aero-jet engines, etc.
Delhi liquor scam
CBI chargesheets small fish, spares policymakers
After hundreds of raids and months of investigation and interrogation into the Delhi excise policy which was allegedly framed to favour a few, the CBI has failed to chargesheet any of the policymakers. The chargesheet filed by the agency names two junior officers of the Delhi government. They were involved only in the implementation of the policy after it was notified. They had no role in the drafting of the policy. The new excise policy was drafted by an empowered group of ministers comprising Excise Minister Manish Sisodia and his Cabinet colleagues, Satyendra Jain and Kailash Gehlot. The AAP government was accused of bringing in a policy to favour a handful of friendly businessmen. The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi had raised questions about the process of formulating the policy and its content. The BJP and its ministers in the Union government flagged lacunae in the policy. But the CBI’s chargesheet indicates that it has focussed only on the implementation side of the policy and not on the process of its formulation, which was in the eye of the storm. Sources said that the case made out against the junior officers in the chargesheet is weak, to say the least, and it would collapse like a house of cards in the first hearing itself as they have merely implemented a policy notified by the government. The CBI chargesheet does not provide answers to many questions; it has instead raised more questions.