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Switch to alternative fuel or your cars will be bulldozed, Nitin Gadkari tells automakers

The Union minister said the Cabinet was already discussing setting up charging stations across India for electric vehicles.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday warned car manufacturers of their vehicles being “bulldozed” if they did not move to alternative fuel, PTI reported. Gadkari said the government will soon bring in a policy on electric vehicles in the country.

“We should move towards alternative fuel,” Gadkari said at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers’ convention in New Delhi. “I am going to do this, whether you like it or not. And I am not going to ask you, I will bulldoze it.”

He said the government is determined to reduce imports and curb pollution in India. “We have seen in the past that despite the hike in taxes, demand for vehicles do not come down. This tells you something about the market for cars,” he said, according to Moneycontrol.

The Road Transport and Highways minister said the Cabinet was already discussing ways to set up charging stations for electric vehicles. “It is in the last stage and will be done as early as possible,” he added.

The Centre on August 30 had approved an ordinance that hikes the Goods and Services Tax on mid-size, large cars and SUVs from the current 15% to 25%, in addition to the taxes on the sale of luxury vehicles. Automakers had protested the rise expecting their sales to fall. The GST Council is likely to decide the date of implementation of the increased cess during its next meeting on September 9.

Gadkari asked the automakers to research on alternative fuel, adding that India’s import bill was around Rs 7 lakh crore per annum. “Alternative fuel is import substitute, cost effective and pollution free,”

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Decoding the symbolic threads and badges of one of India’s oldest cavalry units

The untold story of The President’s Bodyguard.

The national emblem of India; an open parachute and crossed lances – this triad of symbols representing the nation, excellence in training and valor respectively are held together by an elite title in the Indian army – The President’s Bodyguard (PBG).

The PBG badge is worn by one of the oldest cavalry units in the India army. In 1773, Governor Warren Hastings, former Governor General of India, handpicked 50 troopers. Before independence, this unit was referred to by many titles including Troops of Horse Guards and Governor General’s Body Guards (GGBG). In 1950, the unit was named The President’s Bodyguard and can be seen embroidered in the curved maroon shoulder titles on their current uniforms.

The President’s Bodyguard’s uniform adorns itself with proud colours and symbols of its 245 year-old-legacy. Dating back to 1980, the ceremonial uniform consists of a bright red long coat with gold girdles and white breeches, a blue and gold ceremonial turban with a distinctive fan and Napoleon Boots with spurs. Each member of the mounted unit carries a special 3-meter-long bamboo cavalry lance, decorated by a red and white pennant. A sheathed cavalry sabre is carried in in the side of the saddle of each trooper.

While common perception is that the PBG mainly have ceremonial duties such as that of being the President’s escort during Republic Day parade, the fact is that the members of the PBG are highly trained. Handpicked by the President’s Secretariat from mainstream armored regiments, the unit assigns a task force regularly for Siachen and UN peace keeping operations. Moreover, the cavalry members are trained combat parachutists – thus decorating the PBG uniform with a scarlet Para Wings badge that signifies that these troopers are a part of the airborne battalion of the India Army.

Since their foundation, the President’s Guard has won many battle honors. In 1811, they won their first battle honor ‘Java’. In 1824, they sailed over Kalla Pani for the first Burmese War and earned the second battle honour ‘Ava’. The battle of Maharajapore in 1843 won them their third battle honor. Consequently, the PBG fought in the main battles of the First Sikh War and earned four battle honours. Post-independence, the PBG served the country in the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

The PBG, one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army, is a unique unit. While the uniform is befitting of its traditional and ceremonial role, the badges that augment those threads, tell the story of its impressive history and victories.

How have they managed to maintain their customs for more than 2 centuries? A National Geographic exclusive captures the PBG’s untold story. The documentary series showcases the discipline that goes into making the ceremonial protectors of the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces.


The National Geographic exclusive is a landmark in television and is being celebrated by the #untoldstory contest. The contest will give 5 lucky winners an exclusive pass to the pre-screening of the documentary with the Hon’ble President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can also nominate someone you think deserves to be a part of the screening. Follow #UntoldStory on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to participate.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic and not by the Scroll editorial team.