Citizens' Issues
Indian Navy orders probe in to sinking of Torpedo vessel

The Inquiry will look into the various aspects of the accident and find out what led to the sinking of the 31-year-old vessel, which was on a 'routine' mission to recover practice torpedoes fired by fleet ships


The Indian Navy on Friday ordered a Board of Inquiry into the sinking of a Torpedo Recovery Vessel off the Visakhapatnam coast last night that left a sailor dead.


In view of the incident, Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan, who is on a four-day visit to Seychelles till 9th November, is cutting short his visit to reach Visakhapatnam, Navy officials said.


While one sailor was killed, four others are still missing in the accident and a search and rescue operation was on to trace them.


Navy officials said the Board of Inquiry will look into the various aspects of the accident and find out what led to the sinking of the 31-year-old vessel.


The vessel had sunk at 8pm last night while it was on a “routine” mission to recover practice torpedoes fired by fleet ships during a “routine” exercise, a Navy statement had said.


The vessel experienced flooding in one of the compartments, they said.


“One sailor has lost his life during the rescue operation and four personnel are reported missing. Twenty three personnel have been rescued safely by the Search and Rescue (SAR) ships dispatched to the area,” it said.


The ship was built by Goa Shipyard Ltd in 1983 and has served the Indian Navy for the last 31 years.


The latest accident is one of the many in the series that the Navy has witnessed over the last year.


Dhowan took over as the Chief of the Naval Staff on 17th April after his predecessor DK Joshi quit in the wake of a series of accidents.


Admiral Joshi’s resignation came immediately after a fire on the INS Sindhuratna, which left two sailors dead.


On 31st October, INS Kora suffered minor damage after it was scraped by a merchant vessel near Visakhapatnam.


Modi Cabinet may be expanded by Sunday

Besides Parrikar, Shiv Sena leader Suresh Prabhu, BJP leader Hansraj Ahir, Jayant Sinha and a Jat leader from Haryana or Rajasthan are likely to be included in the Modi Cabinet by this weekend


Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to expand his Cabinet by Sunday. According to media reports, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar is most likely to be included in the Union Cabinet as the country’s new Defence Minister.


Besides Parrikar, other probable for inclusion in the Union Cabinet are former Minister for Power and Shiv Sena leader Suresh Prabhu, Maharashtra BJP leader Hansraj Ahir (who is credited with exposing the coal scam), Yashwant Sinha’s son Jayant Sinha and a Jat leader from either Haryana or Rajasthan. While, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to include Prabhu, Shiv Sena leadership has proposed name of Anil Desai, the party MP for ministership.


On Thursday, Parrikar told reporters at Panaji that BJP president Amit Shah had asked him to take up an assignment at the Centre, if offered. He added that he is willing to shoulder the responsibility.


Parrikar is likely to resign as chief minister on Friday, say media reports.


Earlier PM Modi met President Pranab Mukherjee. There are reports that as many as 12 new ministers will be sworn in by the weekend.


Meanwhile, Parrikar held a meeting with BJP MLAs in Goa. He has been in the reckoning for a Cabinet post ever since Modi took charge with a small Cabinet of just 45 ministers in May. He is an RSS favourite and among the most credible faces of the BJP.


With the inclusion of new ministers, a reshuffle too is said to be likely in the present Cabinet with some ministers such as Prakash Javadekar, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Nirmala Sitharaman, who are holding dual charge of various ministries, being given single portfolios.


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who has only one Minister of State in Sitharaman, is believed to be getting another MoS as preparations for the Union Budget gain momentum.


Nissan urged to withdraw Datsun GO from India on safety concerns

Datsun GO, which was launched in India last year, had failed on critical safety count in tests conducted by Global NCAP


Consumer safety testing body Global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) has asked Nissan Motors to immediately withdraw its compact car Datsun GO from the Indian market, saying it was 'substandard'.


Datsun GO, which was launched in India last year, had failed crash test results recently conducted by the Global NCAP. It had failed on critical safety count.


In a letter to Nissan Chairman and CEO, Global NCAP Chairman Max Mosley urged for an “urgent withdrawal of the Datsun GO from the Indian and related markets.”


“It is extremely disappointing that Nissan has authorised the launch of a brand new model that is so clearly substandard. As presently engineered, the Datsun GO will certainly fail to pass the United Nation’s frontal impact regulation.


“In these circumstances I would urge Nissan to withdraw the Datsun GO from sale in India pending an urgent redesign of the car’s body-shell,” Mosley said.


Applying the UN’s minimum crash test standards to all passenger car production worldwide is a key recommendation of the Global Plan for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, he added. As per the crash results, the Datsun GO scored zero stars for adult occupant protection and just two stars for child occupant protection. Its vehicle structure collapsed in the crash and was rated as unstable.


“The car’s lack of airbags meant that the driver’s head makes direct contact with the steering wheel and dashboard — the dummy readings indicate a high probability of life-threatening injuries. However, the failure of the body shell makes it redundant to fit an airbag,” Global NCAP said.


A spokesperson for Nissan India told reporters “Datsun GO meets required local vehicle regulations in India and was developed to deliver the best adapted solutions to the local conditions, from best in class braking and good visibility to durability, seat comfort and reduced motion sickness.”


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