|The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony on Wednesday directed his ministry officials to get a fresh report from the Indian Embassy in Rome following a media report alleging malpractices in the procurement of 12 helicopters for the VVIP Communication Squadrons of the Indian Air Force from Ms. Agusta Westland.|
There were media reports also in February 2012 about investigations undertaken by Italian authorities into alleged unethical dealings by M/s Finmeccanica Italy. Following this, information was sought by MoD from the Indian Embassy in Rome. The Indian Embassy reported that Italian authorities were conducting preliminary investigations on allegations of financial malpractices occurring within Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries in general. There was no specific probe being conducted on India-related transactions. There is no clear indication at this stage whether the India related deal would be probed on the strength of preliminary investigations.
It may be recalled that the contract for the procurement of the helicopters contains the standard provisions against use of undue influence and employment of agents and payment of agency commission. A Pre-Contract Integrity Pact has also been signed between Agusta Westland and MoD.
Any such complaint or allegation received will be investigated and the contractual provisions invoked, in case any wrong doing is established, in addition to action that may be required under law.
Youth of North-East India: Demographics and Readership (Highlights) Union Human Resource Development Minister Dr M M Pallam Raju , will release a report Youth of North-East India: Demographics and Readership in New Delhi tomorrow, 20 th November, 2012. Ministers of State for HRD, Sh Jitin Prasada and Dr Shashi Tharoor would also be present on the occasion. This focused Report attempts to give an analytical and detailed account of the reading habits of the literate youth in the north-eastern states and their exposure to different forms of media, and how diverse socio-economic and motivational factors impact their reading habit. The reading of ‘leisure or non-text books’ among the literate youth is the special focus of the study. The Report is a follow-up study of the National Youth Readership Survey (2009-10) assigned to National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) by the NBT under the National Action Plan for the Readership Development amon