Indian advocate Harish Salve appointed as Queen's Counsel
January 21, 2020

Senior Indian Advocate Harish Salve has been appointed as the Queen's Counsel (QC) for the courts of England and Wales. The title of the Queen's Counsel is conferred upon those who have demonstrated particular skill and expertise in the legal field.

Harish Salve’s appointment was announced when the UK’s Ministry of Justice released the new list of silk appointments on January 13, 2020. The renowned lawyer will be formally appointed to the position on March 16, 2020.

Salve and other appointees will be formally appointed in an appointment ceremony presided by the Lord Chancellor at the Westminster Hall.

Harish Salve:

Harish Salve was the Solicitor General of India from November 1999 to November 2002. He is currently a barrister with the legal firm - Blackstone Chambers.

Harish Salve did his LLB from Nagpur University and began his legal career in 1980 with JB Dadachandji & Co.

He was designated as a Senior Advocate by the Delhi High Court in 1992. He went on to serve as the Solicitor General for India from 1999-2002.

He has represented India in several important matters in India as well as abroad. He had represented India at the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in 2019.

He had also played a key role in the Hyderabad Nizam funds case, in which India had won decades-old legal dispute with Pakistan at the UK Court over £35m-worth funds belonging to the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad.

Salve was called to work at the Blackstone Chambers in 2013.

Kulbhushan Jadhav case

Harish Salve was the lead counsel in the Kulbhushan Jadhav extradition case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In a major victory for India, the international court in a 15-1 verdict had upheld India’s claim that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention by denying consular access to Jadhav.

The International court had ordered a stay on his execution and ordered Pakistan to review and reconsider Jadhav’s death sentence order given by a Pakistani military court.

The ICJ had also directed Pakistan to ensure Jadhav gets a fair trial. Harish Salve had charged just Re 1 to represent India in the case.  

What is the Queen's Counsel?

The Queen's Counsel (QC) refers to a group of senior lawyers, appointed from different Commonwealth countries during the reign of a female sovereign. During the reign of a male sovereign, the group is known as the King's Counsel (KC).

The lawyers are appointed through individual letters to be one of “Her Majesty’s Counsel”. They are not different from regular lawyers, just more long-serving as their status is given by the Crown and recognized by the courts.

The special counsel enjoys the privilege of sitting within the Bar of court and wearing silk gowns of a special design. The special silk robes are the reason why the appointments to the Queen’s counsel are often called "taking silk" or as the silk appointments.  

A lawyer is required to serve as a barrister or a Scottish advocate for at least 10 years in order to be appointed to the special counsel.

In January 2019, Indian advocate Dipen Sabharwal was appointed as the Queen’s Counsel.

Rajnath Singh flags off 51st unit of self-propelled K9 Vajra-T Guns
January 19, 2020

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flagged off the 51st unit of K-9 Vraj-T cannon at the Larsen & Toubro armored system complex at Hazira, Surat on January 16, 2020. He drove the K9 Vajra-T Gun around the Hazira complex.

The Ministry of Defence had signed an agreement of Rs 4500 crore with L&T company in 2017 to supply 100 units of K9 Vajra-T 155mm/52 caliber guns to the Indian Army under 'Make in India' initiative. Rajnath Singh said on this occasion that these guns are future-ready combat vehicles.

About K-9 Vajra-T Guns

• K-9 Vajra Self-Propelled Artillery was inducted into the Army in November 2018.
• K-9 Vajra is a type of K-9 Thunder which is being used by the South Korean Army.
• The weight of this cannon is 50 tons and it can fire 47 kg shells up to 43 kilometers.
• K-9 Vajra gun can also rotate at a zero radius. L&T is assembling these canons with the help of South Korea's Hanwha Techwin Company.
• It offers a high rate of fire with a long-range of target. K-9 Vajra is compatible with NATO ammunition standards.

About Make in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'Make in India' scheme on September 25, 2014, to strengthen the country's economy and provide employment to the youth. It aims to create 100 million new jobs by 2020. The Modi government had decided that the contribution of the manufacturing sector in the country's economy will be increased from 16 percent to 25 percent by 2022. The government wants to get more capital and technical investment in India through this scheme. It aims to develop India as a manufacturing hub, promoting India's economic development, more employment opportunities, more FDI in various sectors among others

CPCB issues fresh guidelines for setting up new petrol pumps
January 19, 2020

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has recently issued guidelines to establish petrol pumps. These instructions have been issued because of the poor impact of petrol pumps on the environment. The Central Pollution Control Board has issued new guidelines keeping in view the directives of the National Green Tribunal.

According to these guidelines, any petrol pump can’t be established in 50 meters radius of a school, hospital or residential area. CPCB also asked the concern authorities to issue challans if violations of rules are found.

CPCB Guidelines

• Oil marketing companies must ensure that new petrol pumps should be at least 50 meters away from schools, hospitals, and residential areas.
• All these oil companies have been directed to install the Vapor Recovery System (VRS) at all those stations where about 300-kilo liters of oil is sold every month.
• According to the new guidelines, the State Pollution Regulatory Board will impose an environmental penalty equal to the price of VRS in case of non-installation of VRS.
• These guidelines have been issued by a committee consisting of members of IIT Kanpur, The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI), National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), CPCB and Ministry of Petroleum.

About CPCB

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is a constitutional agency. It was established in 1974 by the Government of India. It works as a field organization of environment, forest and climate change ministry. It has various objectives to provide a clean environment including improvement in air quality, prevent, control and reduce air pollution.

CPCB’s Safety Concern

CPCB guidelines said that any retail outlet (petrol pump) should not be established in the 50-meters radius of any school, hospital and residential complex. If there is any petrol pump located in such places then it must obey the rules of Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organization. It also highlights that no high-tension wire should be passed through the outlet.

Indian Navy to get high speed fuel to reduce carbon footprint
January 19, 2020

The Ministry of Defence announces new fuel upgradation for Indian Navy with revised technical specifications. The High Flash High Speed Diesel (HFHSD) was launched. The aim of the new fuel introduction is to reduce carbon footprint.


Indian Navy, one of the largest navies in the world in collaboration with Indian Oil Corporation carried out several trials before concluding on HFHSD. The Joint Collaboration studied the international regulations of MARPOL, NATO, ISO before concluding on the revised technical specification. Around 22 test parameters were considered.

This included certain critical parameters such as flash point, cetane number, sediment content, sulphur content, cold filter plugging point and oxidation stability.


The upgrading of fuel is essential in order to keep pace with new technologies and emission standards. This will also help other IOC customers and merchant mariners in the following years. It will also benefit foreign Navy ships participating in exercises.

Bottom line, the fuel upgradation will help in reducing carbon footprint, equipment reliability, increased performance and will help Navy achieve its Mission based deployment.

Critical Parameters of HFHSD
  • Flash Point-Flash Point of the lowest temperature at which HFHSD can form an ignitable mixture with air. Lower the flash point, easier is the ignition. The Flash Point of HFHSD is 66.
  • Cetane Number-It is the number with which the performance of the fuel is measured. Higher the number, better is the fuel performance. The Cetane number of HFHSD is 45.
  • Cold Filter Plugging Point-the temperature at which the fuel passes through the standardised filtration device. The Cold filter Plugging Point is yet to be updated in the report.
  • Cold Filter Plugging Point-The lowest temperature at which the fuel passes through standardised filtration device.
  • Sulphur Content-the percentage of Sulphur (by mass) present in HFHSD. The Sulphur Content of HFHSD is 0.2%

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