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India sign military agreement with U.S. on sharing of satellite data.

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The Indian military is set to get access to the satellite network of the United States, allowing it to target enemy positions with more precision. The key pact will be signed tomorrow to share real-time geo-spatial intelligence, information on maps and satellite images for defence.

It’s Called the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), it will allow geo-spatial mapping of the land mass. The imagery generated from it can be used to accurately operate drones and long-range missiles. The contours of the land mass have to be known accurately to achieve precision strike from huge distances.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met with his US counterpart Mark T Esper in New Delhi on Monday for talks. An Indian statement after the meeting said: “The two ministers expressed satisfaction that agreement of BECA will be signed during the visit.” Esper is in India along with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the 2+2 ministerial dialogue slated for Tuesday. The BECA will be signed at that meeting.

External Affairs Minister S Jai Shankar had a “productive” dinner engagement with Pompeo during which they discussed maritime security, counter-terrorism, open connectivity and resilient supply chains.

The BECA, meanwhile, would be the last of the three ‘foundational agreements’ defining the bilateral ties. The first pact — Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Association — was signed in August 2016, permitting the respective militaries to replenish material and fuel from each other’s bases.

The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement inked in 2018 facilitates access to advanced defence systems and enables India to optimally utilize its existing US-origin platforms. In December last, India and the US escalated their strategic ties by inking the Industrial Security Annex.

In June 2016, the US recognized India as a “major defence partner”. Rajnath and Esper reviewed bilateral defence cooperation spanning military-to-military cooperation, secure communication systems and information sharing and industrial issues.

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SC says: Delhi Police will decide to enter farmers in Delhi.

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The Supreme Court on Monday told the Centre that it is for the Delhi Police to decide whether to allow farmers to enter Delhi or not. The top court stressed that it is the Delhi Police who have the authority over the issue and not the Supreme Court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said “we have not taken charge of the matter except one issue…apparently our intervention has been grossly misunderstood. We are not going to tell you about your powers.”

The observation from the top court came after the Attorney General K.K. Venugopal said the Centre is seeking restraint orders against farmers from entering Delhi as court has taken charge of the matter.

The Chief Justice said it is not for the court to decide how many farmers should be allowed in the city and the nature of conditions to be imposed on them.

The top court insisted that Delhi Police are the only authority to decide it and not the court.

Advocate A.P. Singh counsel for Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lokshakti) submitted that farmers were willing to hold peaceful protest at Ram Lila Maidan.

The Chief Justice replied: “Who should be allowed and who not, and number of people will be dealt by the police. We cannot be first authority to deal with it.”

The Delhi Police have moved the top court seeking direction to restrain farmer unions from conducting tractor rally as a method to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations.

The AG insisted before the top court to issue directions to restrain farmers from disrupting the Republic Day parade, the Chief Justice replied “Does the Union of India want the Supreme Court to tell that you have powers under the Delhi Police Act.”

The top court will conduct further hearing on the matter on Wednesday.

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