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India, Australia Decide To Expand Military Engagements At 2+2 Dialogue – dot newz

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Rajnath Singh said Australia was invited to engage India’s growing defence industry.

New Delhi:

India and Australia on Saturday decided to expand military engagements across services and facilitate greater sharing of critical information in line with their resolve to significantly expand strategic ties.

At their inaugural “two-plus-two” foreign and defence ministerial dialogue, the two countries discussed various institutional frameworks for wide-ranging collaboration including to boost defence cooperation.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held the in-person talks with their Australian counterparts Marise Payne and Peter Dutton.

Mr Singh said Australia was invited to engage India’s growing defence industry and to collaborate in the co-production and co-development of military equipment.

“The 2+2 dialogue signifies the importance of the India-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership. India and Australia share an important partnership which is based on a shared vision of free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” Mr Singh said at a press conference with the ministers.

He said two leading democracies India and Australia have a common interest in the peace and prosperity of the entire region.

“We have discussed various institutional frameworks for wide-ranging collaboration including defence cooperation and fight against the global pandemic. We exchanged views on Afghanistan, maritime security in the Indo-Pacific, cooperation in multilateral formats and other related topics,” Mr Singh said.

“During the discussions, both sides emphasised the need to ensure free flow of trade, adherence to international rules and norms and sustainable economic growth in the entire region,” he said.

Referring to bilateral defence ties, Mr Singh said it was decided to expand military engagements across services.

“On the bilateral defence cooperation we decided to expand military engagements across services, facilitate greater defence information sharing and to work closely for mutual logistic support,” he said.

“In the context of defence cooperation, both sides were glad to note continued participation of Australia in the Malabar exercises. We invited Australia to engage India’s growing defence industry and to collaborate in co-production and co-development of defence equipment,” he said.

The defence minister said both sides agreed to continue the high-level engagements to build a strong and robust partnership.

In his comments, Dutton described the talks as “incredibly productive”.

“Australia and India’s defence relationship is at a historic high. India is a rising Indo-Pacific great power and an increasingly significant partner for Australia, particularly in the maritime domain,” the Australian defence minister said.

“We both depend on free and open access to sea lanes in the Indo-Pacific for our trade and economic well-being and we share an unwavering commitment to upholding the rules-based international order and ensuring that Indo-Pacific is open inclusive and prosperous,” he said.

The dialogue between the foreign and defence ministers was instituted as part of an overall goal to expand strategic cooperation between the two countries.

India has such a framework for talks with a very few countries including the US and Japan.

The defence and military cooperation between India and Australia is on an upswing in the last few years.

In June last year, India and Australia elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and signed a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support during an online summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.

The Australian Navy was part of the recent Malabar naval exercise that also featured navies of India, the US and Japan.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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Tax Officials To Reply On Newslaundry Plea Over Leak Of Seized Material – dot newz

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The court orally observed leaking of data is “ethically, morally and legally” wrong. (File)

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court Friday sought Income Tax Department’s stand on a plea by online news portal Newslaundry and its co-founder Abhinandan Sekhri to restrain any leakage of the material seized during a survey operation held earlier this month.

A bench of Justices Manmohan and Navin Chawla granted time to the department’s counsel to seek instructions on giving an undertaking against any leak and asked that the concerned officer join the proceedings on the next date of hearing i.e. September 21.

“Ask your client (to join proceedings) so that we can close it then and there. Let him be by your side..If he gives a statement, we can put a quietus to the matter,” said the bench to the lawyer who asserted that the fear of leak was a “bald apprehension”.

Data of thousands of assessees is in safe custody of the department and it can be used only in accordance with law, said counsel for the department Ajit Shamra.

During the course of the hearing, the bench orally observed, “Normally, no one’s data should be leaked” as it is “ethically, morally and legally” wrong.

“We have seen it on channels, people’s data that has been seized is being displayed… It should not happen,” it remarked.

Senior counsel Siddharth Dave, appearing for the petitioners, said that four notices under the Income Tax Act were issued to his client and a survey was held in the news portal’s premises on September 10, during which several devices, including a mobile phone and a laptop belonging to the petitioner co-founder, were seized by the IT authorities, which contained several information which were of no relevance to any income tax proceedings.

The data may contain personal photos and information pertaining to investigative stories, he said.

The senior lawyer argued that any data breach would be in violation of right to privacy and therefore a direction should be passed to the IT authorities to not leak any data and delete whatever is of no relevance to the proceedings.

It was also contended that any seizure during a survey operation was beyond the scope of survey and that no “hash value” of the seized data was given.

“Please direct them not to leak seized data collected in this purported garb of a survey and allow me to delete (non I-T related) data,” the senior lawyer submitted.

In the petition filed through advocate Nipun Katyal, the petitioners have said that the income tax officers and authorities do not have any power to interrupt the ordinary peaceful citizens of the country in any manner they like by utilizing the large powers given to them, without keeping strictly within the four corners of those large powers.

“The Petitioners are heading a news organization, the Petitioners herein have sources, contacts and other information on the digital machines. It is the fiduciary duty of the Petitioners to protect them and keep it confidential.

“It is further submitted that the legal communication regarding existing cases is present in the personal laptop and phone of the Petitioners. If in any circumstances, the leaks are committed, it shall be a clear breach of the attorney client privilege as well as whistleblowers confidentiality,” the plea says.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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1 Crore Jabs Till 1:30 PM. On PM’s Birthday, Government Aims At Record – dot newz

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The vaccination campaign is key to BJP’s three-week celebrations to mark PM’s birthday.

New Delhi:

As the government raced to deliver a vaccination record on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday today, the country clocked over 42,000 vaccinations a minute, a senior health official said. Vaccinations crossed one crore in the afternoon – for the fourth time in less than a month – setting up a milestone by the end of the day.

Aiming at 2 crore vaccinations as PM Modi turns 71, the government added a ticker to track Covid shots being given across the country.

“Celebrating the relentless efforts of India’s vaccinators against COVID-19, we have added a ticker to show vaccinations happening in near real-time. We are currently clocking over 42,000 vaccinations/minute or 700/second,” tweeted National Health Authority chief RS Sharma, sharing the new feature.

The vaccination campaign is key to the BJP’s three-week celebrations to mark the Prime Minister’s birthday.

“Let’s do #VaccineSeva and give him (PM Modi) birthday gift by getting vaccinated those who have not taken the dose so far,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had tweeted yesterday, urging people to get the shots.

To achieve its target, the BJP had prepped health volunteers “to ensure that the maximum number of people get their COVID-19 vaccines on the day”.

In recent days, India has reported more than one crore Covid shots in a day more than once.

Senior BJP leaders say the party wants to see the day “recorded in history” as one that saw a record number of Covid vaccines given.

By noon, over 94,00,000 vaccinations had been achieved. PM Modi’s home state Gujarat had crossed five lakh doses, more than the daily doses in the last seven days.

By afternoon, Bihar had given Covid shots to 7.3 lakh people, three times more than the average of the last three days. Madhya Pradesh was at more than 5 lakh doses – 75 per cent of the last two days’ average.





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Under-Construction Flyover Collapses In Mumbai’s Bandra, 14 Injured – dot newz

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The under-construction flyover collapsed at about 4.40am.

At least 14 people were injured after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed in Bandra Kurla Complex in Maharashtra’s Mumbai today. The injured were taken to the VN Desai Hospital and their condition is stable, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said.

The flyover collapsed at about 4.40am.

Visuals shared by news agency ANI showed police personnel and fire departments on the spot as the rescue work is underway.

There has been no loss of life and no person is missing due to the collapse, Deputy Commissioner Of Police Manjunath Singe told news agency ANI.

The flyover is located at MTNL junction in suburban Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and will connect the complex’s main road and Santa Cruz- Chembur link road. The construction work of the flyover is being undertaken by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

Further details related to the flyover’s collapse are awaited.





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