Production of kerosene by the public sector Gauhati refinery will come to a halt in the next few days following the present agitation in Assam on the foreign nationals issue, according to a government press release. The release said, with the stoppage of crude handling in the refinery since February 6, production of high-speed diesel had come to a halt. The present threat to production of kerosene would plunge the entire northeastern region into acute scarcity of the commodity. Meanwhile, round the clock picketing outside the oil installations at Narengi near Gauhati continued preventing the supply of crude and other products to regions outside the state.
The Soviet Union asserted that the United States, with the backing of Pakistan and China, is striving to step up offensive operations by Muslim guerillas within Afghanistan. The Communist Party newspaper, Pravda, and other Soviet news media made no direct mention of western reports that in the coming weeks Moscow may withdraw some of the estimated 90,000 troops it now has in Afghanistan.
Academy For Pilots
A centralised flying academy to train about 100 pilots a year for Indian Airlines and Air India is likely to start functioning from the middle of this year. The “Civil Aviation Flying Academy” as it will be called will be run by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in cooperation with Indian Airlines and Air India who are being asked to bear part of the costs. The DGCA has already taken a decision to set up the academy and efforts are now underway to dovetail the pilot needs of the two airlines for the next 10 years into the academy’s training programme. The new approach for meeting the needs of the aviation industry is one of the beneficial fallouts of the joint chairmanship experiment tried out with the two airlines.
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