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5 IAF Planes Pressed into Service for Quake Relief

With a major earthquake rocking mountaneous state of Sikkim, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday spoke to its chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and offered help in all possible ways, including availability of defence forces.

The Prime Minister directed Cabinet Secretary to call an emergency meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority, PMO sources said.

The Prime Minister spoke to the Chief Minister soon after an earthquake of 6.8 intensity hit the state, causing extensive damage in the state.

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With a major earthquake rocking mountaneous state of Sikkim, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday spoke to its chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and offered help in all possible ways, including availability of defence forces.

The Prime Minister directed Cabinet Secretary to call an emergency meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority, PMO sources said.

The Prime Minister spoke to the Chief Minister soon after an earthquake of 6.8 intensity hit the state, causing extensive damage in the state.

During the conversation with the CM, the Prime Minister offered all possible help, including making available defence forces for rescue and relief operations.

Five IAF aircraft have been pressed into service for relief operations in quake-hit Sikkim where at least two persons died in the tremors.

Two persons were killed and 33 received minor injuries in Sikkim as an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale with its epicentre on Sikkim-Nepal border shook northeast and the northern parts of the country on Sunday evening.

Of the five aircraft being pressed into service, two C-130J Hercules aircraft have been deployed from Hindon to Bagdogra airbase, while two AN-32 aircraft along with another Avro aircraft have been sent for the earthquake relief operations in Sikkim, an Indian Air Force spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that helicopters, if required, could be sent from Eastern Air Command areas for the relief operations.

A government spokesman, however, said while one aircraft is pressed into service from Palam to Bagdogra and one from Kolkata to Bagdogra, along with personnel of the National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) and equipment, for the relief operations.

From Bagdogra airbase, the spokesman added, the NDRF would go by road which is being facilitated by the Border Security Force (BSF) and the West Bengal Government.

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Miscellaneous

Justice Rajesh Bindal Committee Submits Report on Inter-Country Removal and Retention of Children

The Committee has recommended that the Government may establish an ‘Inter-Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority’.

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CHANDIGARH (UT): The Committee headed by Justice Rajesh Bindal, Judge, High Court of Punjab & Haryana, Chandigarh, submitted its report today on legal issues related to intercountry removal & retention of children and recommends on addressing the problems of parents and children involved in such issues.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development had appointed the Committee. After detailed deliberation and examinations of various aspects of intercountry removal and restoration of Children, the Committee has submitted the report to Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development.

Stressing upon the need for mediation as the first step, the Committee has recommended that the Government may establish an ‘Inter-Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority’. The authority has been envisaged to provide a one window solution in cases of intercountry removal and retention of Children.

Justice Bindal Committee has recommended that the Authority may be chaired by a retired High Court Judge, with Members from Legal and Social sector background along with representatives from key Ministries.

The Committee has recommended that the Authority may examine the inter-country cases of removal and retention of children vis-a-vis the cultural context, the merit of the case, and the best interest of the Child. Along with its recommendation, the Committee has also submitted a draft legislation to the Government. The Committee was also requested to study the draft of the International Child Abduction bill, prepared by the Law Commission.

The WCD Ministry will be sharing the report with Ministry of External Affairs, Law Ministry and Ministry of Home Affairs for their comments and inputs.

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NDMA Conducts Training for CBRN Emergencies at Patna Airport

CBRN emergencies pertain to threats emanating due to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear material.

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PATNA (Bihar): The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is conducting a basic training programme at the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport in Patna.

The five-day training programme, aimed at enhancing the preparedness of Airport Emergency Handlers (AEHs) to respond to CBRN emergencies at the airports, started today.

CBRN emergencies pertain to threats emanating due to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear material.

The training programme is being conducted in collaboration with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS).

Earlier, four such programmes have already been conducted – one each in Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Varanasi.

The programme consists of lectures as well as field training, including live demonstrations of detection and decontamination including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Apart from equipping the airport emergency handlers to handle CBRN emergencies, the training programme will also enable them to provide medical first aid and initial psycho-social support.

Experts from the domain departments viz. Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), INMAS, NDMA, etc. will deliver lectures and hold demonstrations on various areas related to CBRN emergency management.

A total of 200 personnel will be trained on various aspects of CBRN emergencies. This includes sensitization of 150 working level staff in a half day module.

A team of NDRF, trained for CBRN emergency, is posted in Patna and their expertise will also be utilized in the programme.

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Miscellaneous

WATCH: Hubble Telescope View of Star Cluster NGC 6397

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This video zooms into a Hubble Space Telescope view of globular star cluster NGC 6397.
Credits: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
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