In Memory of India’s War Hero Arjan Singh

September 18, 2017: Today India bid its final adieu to the nation’s oldest serving soldier Marshal Arjan Singh, with full state honors. Died at the age of 98, Singh was a military legend, whose illustrious career spoke volumes about his bravery and contribution to the Indian Air Force. Singh was the only Air Force officer to be promoted to five-star rank and was a vital figure in making IAF the fourth biggest in the world.

Born to a military family, on April 15, 1919, Singh joined Indian Air Force in 1938 at the young age of 19; and at the age of just 44, he took over as the chief of a young IAF in 1964. A year later, after taking up the charge as IAF Chief, Singh valiantly led the young air force team in the 1965 Indo-Pak war. His profound knowledge about air force was visible in the 1965 war and proved beneficial for the IAF to regain its stature after the 1962 debacle. Y B Chavan, the then Defence Minister wrote, “Air Marshal Arjan Singh is a jewel of a person, quite efficient and firm; unexcitable but a very able leader.”

In his career spanning over three decades and after that as well, Arjan Singh won many awards and accolades. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his contributions in the 1965 Indo-Pak War. He was the first Indian pilot to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) by the Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia. In addition to this, West Bengal’s Air Force base at Panagarh was renamed as Air Force Station Arjan Singh in honor of him. Another highlight of his flying career was that he was leading the fly-past over the Red Fort on the morning of August 15, 1947, when India got independence.

Singh retired in 1969 and went on to accept the Ambassadorship of Switzerland. Later, he became Indian High Commissioner in Kenya in 1974. He has also served as India’s Ambassador to the Vatican and became Lieutenant Governor of Delhi after returning to India.

In his last three years, Arjan Singh’s health started to give up, but his zest for life and service to the nation did not stop. A dynamic personality, an excellent leader, and a man of courage, Arjan Singh in every way was and will remain India’s legendary ‘War Hero’.

Air Force Marshal Arjan Singh- 15 April 1919- 16 September 2017

Sources: Economic Times, News18

Husband moves SC to stop NIA probe in Kerala ‘Love Jihad’ case

On September 16, Shafeen Jahan, the husband of a woman in the Kerala Love Jihad case, approached the Supreme Court to stop the National Investigation Agency probe. According to Jahan, the agency is “not being fair”, and that the investigations were being carried out without the supervision of a retired judge, as stated earlier by the court.

In his petition to the apex court, Jahan also mentioned that his wife Hadiya, earlier known as Akhila, is under extreme physical and mental pressure by her family. According to the report in Hindustan Times, Jahan said ““She is confined to her room and not allowed to meet anyone. She was physically and mentally harassed by her relatives. Some of the Sangh Parivar outfits are also trying to threaten her.”

This case came to light in December last year, when Akhila Ashokan, a homeopathy doctor, converted to Islam and married Jahan. Her father, then moved to Kerala High Court alleging that his daughter was forcibly converted, after which their marriage was annulled in May this year. Moreover, in August 2017, the Supreme Court refused to stay the HC order and ordered NIA to probe into this marriage.

Sources: Business Standard, Hindustan Times

Mistry family objects Tata Sons’ plan to become a private limited firm

Ahead of the annual general meeting scheduled for September 21, Tata Sons have proposed the idea of converting itself into a private limited firm from a public limited one. The plan has been suggested solely because the company feels that its status as the ‘deemed public company’ is not statutorily recognized under the Companies Act, 2013.

However, the Mistry family, who have been at loggerheads with the Tata’s from quite some time, have objected this move. A letter from Cyrus Investments said, ” The proposal to convert Tata Sons from a public company to a private company constitutes yet another act of oppression of the minority shareholders of Tata Sons at the hands of the majority shareholders.”

The Mistry family holds 18.4 percent stake in Tata Sons, while Tata Trusts holds 66 percent stake. Moreover, the disagreement by Mistry family has come after months of legal battle between the two groups following Cyrus Mistry’s removal as Chairman of salt-to-steel business.

Meanwhile, the special resolution will only be passed if 75 percent of the votes are in favor to bring about a change in Tata Sons’ corporate system.

Business Today, NDTV Profit

NASA’s iconic Cassini spacecraft crashes into Saturn

In the early hours of September 15, Nasa’s Cassini spacecraft crashed into Saturn’s atmosphere. The information of the spacecraft’s end was confirmed when the signal from Cassini fell silent for the first time in these years. Cassini program manager Earl Maize said, “To the very end the spacecraft did everything we asked.”

Towards the end, Cassini was almost out of fuel and had already been stretched years beyond its calculated mission duration; and continuing it would risk contaminating one of Saturn’s moons.

The Cassini mission contributed tremendously to the understanding and investigation about Saturn- It discovered new moons around Saturn, lakes of methane on Titan and jets of water erupting from Enceladus. Moreover, in its last days as well, it was working on a scientific mission, and its mass spectrometer, that could determine the chemical compounds there.

British cosmologist and astrophysicist, Prof Martin Rees termed this mission as one of the greatest scientific and engineering achievements in space exploration.

Designed and operated at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cassini was launched in 1997 and inserted into the orbit in 2004.

Washington Post, NDTV 

Amarnath Yatra attack mastermind Abu Ismail killed in encounter

On Thursday, Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Abu Ismail was killed in an encounter with the security forces in Nowgam village of Jammu and Kashmir. Ismail is said to be the mastermind behind the deadly attack on Amarnath pilgrims in July, this year. Another terrorist was shot dead in this operation. As per the report in Times of India, a police official said “Bodies of both the terrorists have been recovered. And Ismail’s associate is identified as Chotta Qasim. He is also a Pakistani resident.”

The security forces blocked the entire area and carried out the mission after receiving news that Ismail was hiding in that area. The Director General of CRPF, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar commended this police operation and said that this is a huge achievement as the terrorists were responsible for one of the most tragic incidents in the country.

A massive hunt was going on since July 12, to track down Abu Ismail, who is among the top 4 terrorists to be killed in Kashmir since last year, after Burhan Wani, Sabzar Bhat and Abu Dujana.

Abu Ismail took charge as Lashkar’s top operative after terrorist Abu Dujana was killed in an encounter last month.

Times of India, NDTV 

Germany on top, and India on 107th position in FIFA world rankings

In the latest FIFA ranking, Germany has replaced Brazil to be the number one team. The German team has risen to the top after defeating Czech Republic (2-1) and beating Norway 6-0 in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Brazil is in the second spot, while Portugal has climbed up three places to third.Argentina and Belgium are the other two teams that have secured their spots in the Top 5 FIFA ranking.

Spain stays at 11th position, England has dropped to 15th and Italy slipped five places to 17th.

However, Indian football team is no more in the top 100 ranking; and has dropped down to 107th position out of 211 countries. In May, this year India was placed at 100th spot, from where it rose to 96 in July, and 97 in August.

Cape Verde is the highest climber, moving up 47 places to 67th position, and Guatemala, on the other hand, are the biggest fallers, falling 31 places to 131st post. Additionally, teams of Peru (12th), Northern Ireland (20th) and war-torn Syria (75th) have reached record-breaking spots this time.

The next FIFA world rankings will be released on October 16, 2017.

Sources: Hindustan Times, Zee News

Image Source: Getty Images

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton to quit company by November

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton will be leaving the messaging service firm to work on his own organization. Acton took to Facebook on Tuesday to announce his exit and wrote: “I’ve decided to start a nonprofit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications.” Sharing insights on his forthcoming non-profit entity, Acton stated that he has been thinking about this for a while, and has now finally decided to focus and make it a reality.

Brian co-founded the company in 2009 with Jan Koum, and has since dedicated 8 years of his service to it. As per the report in Recode, Acton has been in charge of the company’s engineering team until now.

Acton’s decision has come a week after WhatsApp launched monetization efforts that had been in the pipeline for quite some time. Moreover, the news of his departure has come at a time when the service messaging firm is trying to make money by setting up multiple enterprise products that will help in interacting with customers; and is also hiring vital business positions.

Brian Acton will be officially leaving the firm by November, this year.

Source: Business Insider, Firstpost