The Supreme Court declared illegal all coal block allocations between 1993 and 2010, saying these were done in an unfair, arbitrary and non-transparent manner without following any objective criteria. The court, however, said that further hearing was required to decide whether there is a need for cancelling around 200 coal block allocations.
The petitions were based on the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report that the exchequer suffered a loss of Rs. 1.64 lakh crore due to the arbitrary allocations of coal blocks. The coal blocks allocated to private companies between 2004 to March 2010 are situated in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
India’s Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL)–Pinaka rockets, capable of decimating hostile targets at 40kms-range with rapid salvos, successfully test- fired thrice at an armament base in Chandipur, Odisha. The rockets, which have been subjected to several tough tests since 1995, have been already inducted into the armed forces and the current trials were performed with some improvements in the weapon system. Three rounds of Pinaka rockets were successfully tested from the Proof and eXperimental Establishment (PXE) at Chandipur.
Indigenously developed by DRDO, Pinaka is an unguided rocket system meant to neutralise large areas with rapid salvos. With a battery of 6 launchers, the system can fire a salvo of 12 rockets in 44 seconds and neutralise a target area of 3.9 sq km. It gives an edge to the army with its quick reaction time and high rate of fire, thus, supplementing artillery guns.
Akash air defence missiles were test-fired successfully by Defence Research and Developmet Organization (DRDO) off the coast of Balasore in Odisha. Three Akash missiles were fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur (Odisha), on tow body target of Lakshya Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA) moving at “low altitude for boundary” and ripple mode missions. The missiles were successfully guided by multi-function phased array radar developed by Electronics and Radar Development Establishment, a DRDO Lab and produced by Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL).
Naveen Patnaik was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Odisha for the fourth term in a row. Mr. Patnaik was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor S.C. Jamir.
It was in 2005 when Mr. Patnaik, head of Biju Janata Dal (BJD), became the CM for the first time when the BJD-BJP alliance came to power defeating the Congress.
Mr. Patnaik continued his second term from 2004 to 2009 when the BJD separated itself from the BJP and contested the elections by having seat sharing arrangements with Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Nationalist Congress Party.