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Yet to receive proposal to fill up judges’ vacancies in SC: Govt tells Parliament

There are six vacancies of judges in the Supreme Court, while nine high courts are working without regular chief justices, but the government has not received any proposal from the apex court collegium to fill up the slots, the Rajya Sabha has been informed.Union Minister of State for Law PP Chaudhary, in a written reply, has informed the Upper House of Parliament that the “government has not received any proposal for filling up of the six vacancies of judges in the Supreme Court and for appointment of chief justices in the nine high courts, which are functioning with acting chief justices”. The approved strength of the Supreme Court is 31, including the Chief Justice of India (CJI).The high courts of Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka and Manipur are working without regular chief justices. As per the procedure for the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the 24 high courts, the apex court collegium recommends the names of candidates to the government which, in turn, either accepts the proposal or returns it for reconsideration. The collegium comprises the CJI and four seniormost judges of the apex court.

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Displeased with food packets being distributed, Prez Kovind stops speech midway

"What is happening in the economic world…I see the same picture at this conference also. I think some food packets are being distributed. Of course it is a must, but it has disturbed the system itself. "Therefore, I request the organisers, will you please keep the distribution of food packets in abeyance for a little while," Kovind said, even as the stunned police personnel and officials intervened to stop the distribution. The president then continued with his speech. ”

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Guntur: President Ram Nath Kovind, Andhra Pradesh Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and other ministers during the inauguration of Centenary Annual Conference of Indian Economic Association (IEA) at Guntur, in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday , PTI<!– /11440465/DNA_Article_Right_300x250_ATF –><!–bnr300–>Share

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Wednesday 27 December 2017 19:23 ISTMust readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher Indian Army crosses LOC to retaliate, kills three Pak soldiers <!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>It is not often that he stops midway during a public speech, but that is what President Ram Nath Kovind did today to indicate his displeasure over the distribution of food packets among the delegates during his address at an Indian Economic Association conference here.Briefly interrupting his address to gently prod the organisers for the faux pas, the president asked them to stop distributing the packets till his speech was over. While addressing the centenary conference of the association, Kovind noticed that the food packets were being distributed among the participants. Two minutes into his speech, Kovind paused and looked at the audience as there was a sudden noise.The volunteers had started distributing the food packets among the delegates and mediapersons and a group of students had got up from their seats in their hurry to grab them.”What is happening in the economic world…I see the same picture at this conference also. I think some food packets are being distributed. Of course it is a must, but it has disturbed the system itself. “Therefore, I request the organisers, will you please keep the distribution of food packets in abeyance for a little while,” Kovind said, even as the stunned police personnel and officials intervened to stop the distribution. The president then continued with his speech.

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Ahmedabad University gets leading economist C Rangarajan

In a major recruitment drive with an aim to create a rich pool of academicians, Ahmedabad University (AU) has roped in leading economist of the country C Rangarajan.Professor Chakravarthi Rangarajan has joined AU as Distinguished University Professor. Not just him, AU has also been able to rope in a retired professor of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) professor P R Shukla who specialises in energy, environment and policies. Professor Shukla will also head the Global Centre for Environment and Energy.Professor Pankaj Chandra, Vice-Chancellor, AU, said, “Since January 2016, we have been able to recruit 35 faculty from across the world. To get best of faculties, we need to show them our vision and make them realise that they can experiment with new ways of teaching.”He added, “Whenever professor Rangarajan is in the university, even at this age (over 80 years), he teaches continously from morning till evening and that shows his dedication.” Prof Rangarajan has played a key role both as an academic and a policy maker. He has held several important positions which include Governor of Reserve Bank of India and Governor of Andhra Pradesh. Interestingly, while Professor Shukla is the first professor who has joined AU immediately after IIMA, AU has three more professors who have worked with IIMA in the past. Professor Chandra, prior to joining IIM-Bangalore as a director worked with IIMA.Professor Devanath Tirupati, one of India’s leading management academicians known for his expertise in Operations Management, too worked with IIMA and has joined AU’s management school. Professor Vivek Banerjee who is presently senior dean, startegic initiatives and planning at AU, has worked with IIMA for 18 years.HALL OF EXPERTISEProf C Rangarajan has played a key role both as an academic and a policy maker. He has held several important positions which include Governor of RBI and Governor of Andhra Pradesh. Professor Chandra, prior to joining IIM-B as a director worked with IIMA.

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Ockhi-hit Tamil Nadu villages to give Xmas a miss

Fishing villages of Thoothoor in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari are giving this Christmas a miss as over 305 fishermen and their boats are still missing after being hit by Ockhi cyclone on November 30.”There won’t be any celebration of Christmas. We are going to hold prayers on Sunday night in the memory of those missing fishermen. Other than church activities, there will not be any function or celebration outside,” Fr Bebinson, parish priest of St Thomas Forane Church, Thoothoor.Of the 305 missing fishermen, 157 are from eight fishing villages in Thoothoor region while 98 are from other districts of Tamil Nadu and about 50 are from Assam, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. As of now, only seven dead bodies of Kanyakumari fishermen were recovered.Fishermen from Thoothoor region are known for deep-sea fishing, venturing up to 1600 nautical miles, staying in the sea for 30-40 days.The families of missing fishermen are hoping that they would return before the Christmas but the hope is fading with each passing day, said Fr Bebinson. In last few days, as many as 60 fishermen hit by the cyclone were rescued by local fishermen who went on a search mission and brought to shore along with their damaged boats, he said, adding that fishermen set out in 200 boats in search of their missing brethren in the sea. “We will wait until this month end for the missing fishermen to return. After which we will hold memorial service for them,” he said.The case of migrant workers from Andhra Pradesh, Assam and West Bengal who go along with the fishermen in the deep sea fishing vessels as helpers are tragic. The migrant works who were basically working in the hotels started venturing along with fishermen as they got good pay, said Fr Churchill, general secretary of South Asian Fishermen Fraternity.”Sadly, there is no exact number of migrant workers went into the sea. We compiled the missing fishermen list from the survivor’s account. In some boats, none of them survived so we don’t know how many migrant workers were there in it,” he said.Fr Churchill said the fishermen suffered worst in the cyclone Ockhi than 2004 tsunami. “In five minutes, everything was over in tsunami whereas the fishermen caught in the cyclone were stranded and faced a traumatic death after swimming endlessly with the hope of being rescued,” he said.

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BJP gears up to make a mark in states not won

In the midst of celebrations after retaining Gujarat and snatching Himachal Pradesh from the Congress, the BJP has not lost sight of the 2019 General elections. The party is now preparing to make deep inroads into Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and the East coast.After a ‘close shave’ in Gujarat, BJP has decided not become complacent. Realising that 2019 might not be a cakewalk for the party, it has renewed its efforts aiming at winning 120-odd seats, and called it Project Coromandal. These seats open a window to make up for the losses it might incur in the northern states.Though the project is a rough reference to a geographical area stretching along the east coast — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal — the North East too has been included in this as a logical political extension.”We cannot afford to be complacent. In UP, we bagged 71 of 80, and in MP we won 27 out of 29. But the point is that we might not be able to better these numbers in 2019 Lok Sabha elections; we may lose some. We need to expand to regions and states where we have not yet made inroads into and where there is scope of expansion. This way we would be able to make up for the losses in the states where we performed spectacularly,” said a senior BJP leader.In the six states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh, out of a total of 190 parliamentary seats, BJP bagged only 15 in 2014 despite a saffron sweep in the rest of the country. The party wants to change that in 2019.BJP’S PERFORMANCE IN 2014 POLLSIn the six states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh, out of a total of 190 parliamentary seats, BJP bagged only 15 in 2014 despite a saffron sweep in the rest of the country

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First bundle of TOT’s equity IRR seen at 12-13%: Crisil

The equity Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of the first bundle of highways being auctioned under the Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) model would range between 12% and 13%, a Crisil Research’s report has said.The IRR has been arrived on the basis of National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) initial estimated concession value.The first TOT bundle has nine operational highway projects in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Gujarat.Of the nine projects, six are from Andhra Pradesh (National Highway 5) and balance three in Gujarat (National Highways 8A and 8B). The ones in the southern state are – Siddhantham-Gunduglanu (71.95-kms), Diwancheruvu-Siddhantham (49.04-km), Annavaram- Diwancheruvu (70.98-km), Ankapalli-Annavaram (88.53-km), Icchapuram-Narasannapeta (96.70-km) and Puintola-Icchapuram (64.40-km). The three projects from the western state are – Bamanbore-Garamore (71.94-km), Garamore-Samakhiyali (51.46-km) and Porbandar-Jetpur (115.64-km).The government is likely to earn a minimum of Rs 6,258 crore from the 680.64-km of highways having a concession period of 30 years.Under TOT model, an upfront payment will be paid to NHAI against awarding operation and maintenance rights to the private company.“A cluster of manufacturing industries and ports in Vishakhapatnam, Kakinada, Kandla and Mundra are expected to be the drivers of transportation demand. The economic corridor in the east coast is also expected to improve traffic potential in Andhra Pradesh,” read Crisil’s report released on Tuesday.“But the highway stretches in Gujarat are more attractive than those in Andhra Pradesh because of the presence of industrial clusters and consumption centres in the periphery,” said Prasad Koparkar, Senior Director of Crisil Research.However, the report adds that the key risks to the bundle are the impact of Goods and Services Tax and alternate routes. Crisil’s director Binaifer Jehani said, “The four-laning of Gundugolanu-Kovur Road in Andhra Pradesh would divert considerable freight traffic from Gundugolanu to Diwancheruvu.”The risk factors includes latent defects and severe economic slowdown, which are difficult to anticipate, can increase the maintenance cost and substantially reduce traffic.Bid for awarding first TOT contract is scheduled to open on January 10.

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Cyclone Ockhi: Impact has not affected crops in Tamil Nadu, Kerala

The impact of cyclone Ockhi on crops so far has not been significant in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and other coastal areas, Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak said today.However, the coastal states/UTs have been asked to assess the damage and send a detailed report to the centre. The extent of damage would be known after the assessment, he said.”The damage on crops has been slightly, not much. The cyclone has fizzled out by the time it reached Gujarat. We are still assessing the damage,” Pattanayak told PTI.There has not been significant impact on crops in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and parts of Maharashtra. “However, we have alerted them to send a detailed report,” he said.Last week, cyclone Ockhi battered the coastal areas of the southern states, flooding farmland and damaging houses.Also readCyclone Ockhi effect: Veggies and foodgrains to see a price 10-15% hike for next week in MumbaiThe cyclone storm brought heavy rains and some areas suffered extensive crop damage due to strong wind that uprooted coconut trees and other plantation crops.According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Ockhi has weakened into a deep depression early this morning and lay centred over west-central part of Bay of Bengal near Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.Also readCyclone Ockhi: DMK Prez MK Stalin urges Nirmala Sitharaman to find out number of fishermen missing”It is likely to maintain intensity of deep depression for about 12 hours and weaken gradually into a depression during subsequent 12 hours,” it said in a statement.IMD said it is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts around December 9 morning as a depression, it added.

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Ten districts of Odisha likely to be lashed by heavy rains from Friday

More than ten districts of Odisha are likely to be lashed by heavy rains coupled with squally winds from tomorrow due to a depression over Bay of Bengal.The depression over southeast Bay of Bengal and its neighbourhood moved northwards at a speed of about 35 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred about 870 km southeast of Gopalpur, the meteorological centre here said.The system is likely to move north-northwestwards and reach north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts around December nine morning, it said adding the system is likely to intensify further into a deep depression in the next 24 hours.However, there is a probability of slight weakening of the system when it reaches near north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts.Under its impact rain or thundershower is likely to occur at some places in coastal districts and Koraput, Gajapati and Malkangiri districts by tomorrow. Widespread rain is expected in coastal districts and many places in interior districts till December 10, the director of local met office, S C Sahu said.Also readCyclone Ockhi effect: Veggies and foodgrains to see a price 10-15% hike for next week in MumbaiThereafter, heavy rainfall is likely to lash some places in Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada, Khorda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Malkangiri and Koraput districts in the subsequent 48 hours, he said.The met office advised hoisting of Distant Cautionary Signal Number One (DC-I) at Paradip and Gopalpur Ports in Odisha.Also readOdisha: Farmers asked to shift harvested paddy after IMD issues warning of heavy rainsSqually winds with a speed of 40 to 50 kmph and gusting up to 60 kmph is likely to prevail along and off Odisha coasts till December 10. Sea condition would be rough to very rough along and off Odisha coasts and fishermen are advised not to venture into sea from December 10, it added. ​
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Cyclone Ockhi: 39 dead in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, 167 fishermen missing

As many as 39 people have perished and 167 fishermen were still missing after cyclone Ockhi hit Tamil Nadu and Kerala coasts while 809 others were swept away to Maharashtra, the Union Home Ministry said today.Joint Secretary in the ministry Sanjeev Kumar Jindal also said the cyclone is slowing down and would have no impact in Gujarat, where the first of the two-phased assembly elections is due four days later.”As of now, 10 people lost their lives in Tamil Nadu and 29 others in Kerala. Even though the exact number of missing persons were not known, as per available information, whereabouts of 74 fishermen in Tamil Nadu and 93 fishermen in Kerala is not known yet,” he told reporters here.A total of 556 fishermen were also rescued by relief and rescue teams from seas.The state governments are verifying with the affected villages to find the exact number of missing fishermen.Also readCyclone Ockhi: Schools in Mumbai, other parts of Maharashtra to remain open on Wednesday Altogether 809 fishermen with their boats from Tamil Nadu and Kerala were swept away and reached Maharashtra coast where they were provided food and shelter.While 33 tourists, both domestic and foreign, were safe in Lakshadweep, 250 fishermen could also reach safely in the islands from the high seas after being hit by the cyclone.Also readCyclone Ockhi: Search intensified to find 92 missing fishermenJindal said two merchant ships with eight sailors each were rescued and brought to Lakshadweep by Navy and Coast guard teams.Asked whether the cyclone would affect the election process in Gujarat, Jindal said there was no such possibilities as it has already slowed down.Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) today asked fishermen in both eastern and western coasts not to venture out in the sea for the next three days as heavy rainfall is expected in many areas due to cyclone Ockhi.Asking people not to panic in case of a cyclone alert, the NDMA said in an advisory that fishermen along and off Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coasts should not venture into the sea from December 6 to 8 while fishermen along and off Andaman and Nicobar Islands are advised not to venture into sea till tomorrow.Fishermen living along and off South Gujarat and North Maharashtra coasts have been advised not to venture into the sea till tomorrow morning.The severe cyclonic storm Ockhi will move over east- central Arabian sea and move further north-northeastwards with a speed of 21 kmph and lay centred over east-central Arabian sea at latitude 17.5 N and Longitude 70.4 E, about 480 km southwest of Surat and 300 km west-southwest of Mumbai.The NDMA said light to moderate rainfall is expected at most places in Maharashtra with isolated heavy rainfall also likely over north Konkan, Palghar, Thane, Raigarh, Greater Mumbai, Dhule, Nandurbar, Nashik, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar and Pune districts.It is very likely that the cyclone will to continue to move north-northeastwards, weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by tonight.Minor damage to loose unsecured structures and minor damage to banana trees, agriculture near coast due to salt spray is expected. Damage to ripe paddy crops and minor damage to ‘kutcha’ embankments are expected.The NDMA predicted formation of a depression over southeast Bay of Bengal during the next few hours and it will further intensify into a deep depression during subsequent two days.The well marked low pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman sea persists.It is very likely to move west-northwestwards towards north Tamil Nadu, south Andhra Pradesh coasts during next three days.The NDMA said people when asked to evacuate, should move to a designate cyclone shelter with safety kit and store dry food and water in abundance, keep torch and hurricane lantern/emergency light handy and keep listening to battery operated radio for latest information.
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Watch: Elephant, calf enter a house to find food – here’s what happened next

We all know elephants are gentle giants. But often their interaction with humans lead to unfortunate results. In many places, elephants who enter human locality lead to massive destruction of public property and sometimes attack people too. But it was not the case in Coimbatore recently. According to a clip, which has gone viral and shared by news agency ANI, an elephant and its calf entered the yard of a house looking to get some food. However, not seeing any food in the vicinity, the elephants slowly made their way out without causing any harm to property. Luckily there wasn’t any human being in the vicinity, so no was injured. However sometimes the situation is not so rosy. Last month, on the 24th, a herd of seven elephants damaged standing paddy crop in a number of villages in Gajapati district of Odisha. The herd strayed into the villages under Goshani block near Paralakhemundi and it might have migrated from Lakhari elephant reserve via Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, Divisional Forest Officer, Berhampur, A K Behera, who is also the in-charge of Paralakhemundi Forest Divicion said.With increasing urbanisation, the number of conflicts between humans and animals are on the rise. According to reports, over 1000 people have been killed in the last three years owing to attack from elephants.Also readBangladesh: Wild elephants trample two Rohingya refugees to deathWith PTI inputs
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Andhra Pradesh: State assembly unanimously passes bill recommending 5% reservation for Kapu community

The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on Saturday unanimously passed a Bill to provide 5% reservation in education and employment sectors for the Kapu community in the state.The state assembly had introduced the bill on Saturday morning.The state cabinet had given a nod in this regard yesterday based on the report submitted by the Manjunath Commission.The bill facilitates providing them 5% reservation in BC F Category.The state cabinet has decided to include the Balija, Ontari and Telaga communities in the Backward Castes (BCs) and provide them 5% reservation in education, employment and welfare schemes.However, political reservation will not be provided to the mentioned communities.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Congress deceiving people over issue of reservation, says CM RupaniThree of the four members BC commission headed by Justice KL Manjunatha gave their report to the chief minister yesterday.While M Purnachandra Rao, S Satyanarayana and V Subrahmanyam gave their reports in favour of the Kapus, Manjunath did not give his report. They were said to be unanimously favoured giving 4-5 per cent reservation to the Kapus.Also readShort-term political solutions to job reservation can damage fabric of the country: Raghuram RajanThe Bill will now be sent to the governor, after which it will be sent to the Union Home Ministry.Andhra Pradesh has 29% reservation for Backward Castes (BCs), 15 percent for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 6 per cent for the Scheduled Tribes (STs).
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How Ivanka’s upcoming visit to Hyderabad became Telangana’s pride but Andhra’s envy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As Telangana readies to host White House advisor Ivanka Trump for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit-2017 (GES) tomorrow, strenuous efforts made by Andhra Pradesh to invite US President Donald Trump’s daughter failed to bring results.Ivanka attending the much-hyped three-day event at Hyderabad will be Telangana’s pride, but Andhra Pradesh’s envy.The United States authorities had turned down the requests made by the Chandrababu Naidu-led Andhra government to make Ivanka visit the ‘sunrise’ state, highly-placed sources said.AP’s Economic Development Board (EDB) chief executive J Krishna Kishore pursued the issue with the US authorities on behalf of the state government, but to no avail, they said.The Andhra government, as part of its “brand building” efforts, had felt that a visit by the US president’s daughter would bolster the southern state’s image internationally.It also wanted to line up several US companies for investments in Andhra Pradesh, the sources said.The state government had informed the US Consulate authorities that they were ready to organise the event either in Amaravati or Visakhapatnam, and had sought Ivanka’s time.”But we were told that she would not be attending any other programme, apart from the GES and those in New Delhi.So, we did not get a chance to host her,” a senior official involved in the entire process said.The EDB CEO could not be reached for comment.The Global Entrepreneurship Summit-2017 will be inaugurated by Prime Minster Narendra Modi. Ivanka will lead a delegation from her country at the event.Over 1,500 delegates, including entrepreneurs and investors and CEOs of major knowledge-based companies, are expected to attend the summit.

India train travels 160km in ‘wrong direction’

Passengers in India wake up in shock after realising the train was not following the specified route.

NGT refuses to set aside green clearance for Amaravati capital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a relief for the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday declined to set aside the environmental clearance (EC) for building of the new capital city Amaravati and allowed the project to go ahead, subject to set of stringent conditions for environment protection. The verdict was passed by a three-member bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar after hearing a batch of pleas that challenged the project on environmental grounds and the project’s EC. The pleas had said the Capital city would harm the fertile agricultural lands in Krishna and Guntur districts and put at peril the floodplain and wetland ecology.The green court refused to set aside the EC after it was convinced that the new Capital would not harm the floodplains and wetlands. The bench also noted that the project had reached a stage of ‘fait accompli’ and thus demolishing the project would come at a huge financial, environmental and human cost. In the conditions it stipulated, the Tribunal directed the AP government to not alter the course of the Krishna river, its flow pattern or natural storm water morphology and also restrained them from altering the pre-existing embankments. The NGT constituted two-committees, one supervisory and one for implementation to enforce these conditions.The Amaravati capital city area was planned following bifurcation of the erstwhile unified Andhra Pradesh. Under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, Hyderabad will be the joint Capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for a period of ten years. The Capital city area is located on the border of Guntur and Krishna districts and will be spread over 217.33 square kilometers of area. It will consist of 24 revenue villages and part of Tadepalli Municipality falling in Guntur district, covering Thulluru, Manglagiri and Tadepalli mandals.The state government has notified an area of about 7068 sq. km for capital region and 122 sq. km as Andhra Pradesh capital city.In other conditions, the Tribunal said that the project proponent shall conduct a comprehensive study on hydro-geomorphology for effective management of water retention ponds, reservoirs, storm water drains and overall water conservation.It also directed the state government and concerned authorities to include rain water harvesting, use of solar energy and treated grey water for non-potable purposes as part of its building bye-laws. It has also specifically asked the state government to prepare a climate change mitigation plan to achieve carbon neutrality, as stated in the EC, within six months.The capital city’s forest cover of about 251 acres has to be preserved as its green lungs and it cannot be used for making a park or for recreational activities, the Tribunal added.The Tribunal appointed supervisory committee will comprise of officials from Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, officials from AP state government, scientists from National Institute of Hydrology and Indian Institute of Science among others. This committee has been directed to meet once every three months while the implementation committee will every month and submit a report to the Tribunal every six months.

Andhra Pradesh Capital Amaravati: NGT declines to set aside environment clearance, puts stringent conditions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has allowed construction activities in Andhra Pradesh’s new Capital Amaravati with certain restrictions. In a huge relief NGTdeclined to set aside environment clearance given to the new Andhra capital Amaravati. “We do not want to interfere”, the Bench said why reading small operative part of the verdict. But some stringent conditions have been put in place. These include protection of the river channel, river morphology, and floodplains of Krishna and its strengthening. Hills and hillocks around the floodplains have been protected. The state should carry out extensive studies on river morphology, the judgment says. The tribunal has stressed that the work cannot alter the micro-ecology, embankments or courses of rivers in areas proposed to develop the city.NGT has constituted one supervisory committee and one implementation committee to suggest or add more conditions for environmental protection. This committee will not include the member of the project proponent or those who were involved in the preparation of the Environment Impact Assessment report. The case was filed by Journalist and social activist Pandalaneni Srimannarayana in 2015. He has objected to multi-crop fields and flood plains being cleared to build Amaravati. A group of farmers had also approached the tribunal. former bureaucrat EAS Sharma had challenged the clearances granted by the state-level authority. The Amaravati capital city will require 19,256.8 hectares of forest land in Krishna and Guntur districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh boat capsize: Toll goes to 17; rescue operations still on

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The injured in the boat capsize incident, in which at least 17 people died, were brought to Andhra hospital in Vijayawada on Monday.The state government on Sunday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the bereaved.The state ministers consoled the families of bereaved and assured all help.As many as 41 people, including the boat driver, were in the boat at the time of the incident. Thirty-two of the victims belonging to Ongole town were on a picnic tour.The boat that capsized at Krishna River in Ibrahimpatnam mandal, Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, was reportedly a private one.The boat turned turtle when it was about to reach the shore. The bodies were handed over to the victims’ families after postmortem.A survivor in the incident had alleged that the operator was trying to let in more passengers, which overloaded the boat

Rajasthan ACB traps Andhra cops red-handed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has for long been nabbing khaki-clad men from Rajasthan. However, on Monday morning, the bureau sleuths conducted a rare trap, one where the arrested policemen are not from Rajasthan but part of the Andhra Pradesh police. Moreover, the men were nabbed with eighty thousand rupees cash, an amount which they took from a dacoity accused in lieu of removing his case from the case. The accused have been identified as Inspector R.V. R.K Choudhary, Sub Inspector S.K. Sharif, Sub-Inspector Gopal Rao and Constable S. Hariprasad.The arrest was made after meticulous planning by bureau sleuths and resulted on the trap of one Inspector, two sub-inspectors and one constable. “A dacoity had occurred in Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh in which gold had been looted. Though the main accused was arrested, he confessed to the police that he had to pay around 1.20 lakh rupees to a person from whom he had taken a loan. This money was secured from selling gold from the dacoity.The person who got the money gave that 1.20 lakh to one Ramniwas – a native of Barna in Bilara tehsil of Jodhpur – who wanted to start a business with the money with a friend,” officials said.However, this became the bone of contention. “The four cops of Andhra Police approached Ramniwas and threatened him of his name being listed in the case. On November 3, they took Ramniwas with them and kept him with themselves. The man was threatened of being put behind bars in the case and to save himself he would have to cough up 1.40 lakh rupees. Ramniwas was let go for sometime on November 4 but not before they asked him to deposit twenty thousand rupees in an account for them,” said V K Singh, IG – ACB.The men however again pestered for easy money. “However, Ramniwas approached the ACB and registered a complaint. A bid to verify the same was initiated and on 5th November, the four cops took forty thousand rupees, thus verifying their demand while the remaining amount was to be handed on Monday,” the IG informed.“The men were staying at one Shiv Shakti hotel at Boranada in Jodhpur where they called Ramniwas with money. The man handed the money and signalled the team headed by deputy SP Jagdish Soni which immediately raided the place. The cash that was handed was recovered from between the bed and mattress while the cash handed during verification was also recovered. Thus, the men were arrested,” the official said.

4-year-old boy swallows miniature toy kept inside snack pack; dies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A miniature toy, kept in a snack pack to lure children into buying the packet, turned out to be fatal for a four-year-old boy who mistakenly swallowed it in Eluru town of Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district.Meesala Nireekshan, who unsuspectingly chewed and swallowed the plastic toy along with tomato rings in the packet at his home in Eluru last evening, choked to death, a police official said today.The tiny toy was stuffed inside the snack pack and, after a few bites of the tomato rings, the boy consumed it as well mistaking it for an eatable, he said.”He then started vomiting and froth oozed out of his mouth when his mother saw him. Stuck in the throat, the toy caused the boy to choke as the efforts to pull it out failed,” the official said.The boy was immediately rushed to the government hospital where he was declared brought dead, he said.The boy’s parents later filed a police complaint with the Two Town Police against the snack manufacturer, he said.A case under relevant sections pertaining to unnatural death was registered in connection with the incident, the official said.

Enforcement Directorate arrests businessman in bank fraud case involving Gujarat pharma firm

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday arrested a businessman in Delhi in connection with its money laundering probe in the over Rs 5,000 crore alleged bank fraud case involving a Gujarat-based pharma firm and few other hawala deals.Official sources said the central probe agency arrested Gagan Dhawan early today from the national capital under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).They said Dhawan will be produced before a court for further custody.Dhawan, they said, was on the radar of the agency for allegedly aiding bank loan frauds related to Sterling Biotech, the Vadodara-based company and few other similar alleged illegal transactions.The firm and Dhawan are also being probed by the Enforcement Directorate for allegedly bribing senior income tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint.The agency had carried out searches against Dhawan and a former Congress MLA in Delhi in August.The CBI had recently booked Sterling Biotech, its Directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, Chartered Accountant Hemant Hathi, former Director Andhra Bank Anup Garg and other unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.The CBI has alleged that the company had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which have turned into non-performing assets.The FIR has alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.The ED had taken a cognisance of this FIR to file a money laundering case against them.

Murder probe against cops in ‘Zero dark 30’ Sanchore case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajasthan Government was not yet out of the dispute in the Anandpal encounter and now questions are being raised about the encounter of a criminal by the Telangana police in Sanchor. A day after a suspected criminal died in an encounter with Andhra Pradesh police in Rajasthan’s Jalore district, 3 cases were registered on Saturday.Suspect Bheem Singh was wanted in a case of dacoity. A case was lodged by Andhra Pradesh police against Singh and his associate Bharat, who also suffered from several injuries during the gun battle, charging them with an attempt to murder.Another case was filed by Bharat’s family against Andhra police for murder and attempt to murder. The third case has been registered by the family of Shanti Devi, who was allegedly run over by Singh’s car when he was being chased by police.Jasaram Bose, the additional superintendent of police (Jalore), said: “The accused in the case of an accident will be decided only after investigation. Both the bodies of Devi and Singh have been sent for post-mortem.”The family of Bhim Singh did not take the dead body until this afternoon. On receiving this information, MP Dev Ji Patel reached the house of the deceased and after his explanation, the post-mortem was done and the dead body was handed over to the family. It is worth mentioning that after the Anandpal encounter, the Rajput community was angry with the government and now after another encounter, the Rajput community has started to mobilise again.

Andhra cops kill robbery-accused in Rajasthan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Andhra Pradesh police shot dead a loot accuse in Sanchore district of Rajasthan on Friday evening. Police had been chasing him — accused of looting in Andhra Pradesh — when they opened fire, killing the accused and injuring his aide. A woman was run over by the accused’s car when he lost control after being shot. Surprisingly, Rajasthan police did not even know of the incident till villagers apprised them.The deceased has been identified as Bheem Singh — a native of Bhagal in Bheenmal. “Bheem Singh was wanted by the Andhra Pradesh police in a dacoity case in Kurnool district. The special team of Andhra Police — with three officials of a local police station where the dacoity took place — were in hot pursuit of the man,” said Jassa Ram, Additional Superintendent of Police, Jalore.While investigating the case, Andhra Police had learnt that the accused was in hiding in Jalore. “However, when the cops found him, Bheem tried escaping in his SUV on the Sanchore-Raniwara state highway. Andhra Police also started chasing him. During this, the cops opened fire at the vehicle and a bullet hit Bheem,” police said.Meanwhile, the multiple shots fired by Andhra cops hit his aide, identified as Bharat Purohit, who sustained injuries. “Due to the firing, the men lost control over the vehicle and rammed into a woman — Shanti Jogi — who was standing at the roadside, killing her on spot,” said police.Locals saw the incident and alerted Rajasthan police who rushed to the spot and discovered that the accused had been shot dead. “Andhra Police did not give us any intimation about their presence in the area,” the additional SP said.

WATCH: Andhra Pradesh State transport bus kills 3, injures others after brake failure on Vijayawada flyover

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three people were killed when an Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) bus lost control after a brake failure at a flyover in Vijayawada on Friday morning. The bus was proceeding from Vambay Colony to Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) when the mishap occurred. Among those killed were Kurshid (32) and Ashrat (12), natives of Mylavaram. Details of another person who succumbed to injuries in the mishap was not known immediately.The bus ran into road users hitting a bike, an autorickshaw and few other vehicles at Budameru flyover as the brakes failed. The driver lost control over the bus and hit a tipper lorry before coming to a halt on the pavement.The impact of the accident would have been more had the bus been jumped off from the flyover.Police rushed to the spot and put out the flames which erupted in the bus engine.Kurshid and Ashrat were on their way to their relatives house on the city outskirts, the local people said while expressing concern at the way outdated buses were being used by APSRTC.

Aata saata tradition back in vogue in rural Rajasthan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The age old tradition of ‘aata saata’ is now becoming a way of life in Rajasthan rural areas. Experts say it is a fallout of the low sex ratio of girls and the society wants to use a sure shot means to ensure an alliance. Aata saata is a system where a family that enters into an alliance of their daughter only when the other family pledges to give them a daughter to be married in their family. The age of the girls offered for matrimony does not matter.Radha Sen’s elder son was married eight years ago and she has two granddaughters aged five and three. She has not been able to secure a match for her younger son because there is no girl in the entire clan who can be given in ‘exchange’. “I am now being told to pledge my little granddaughters. I cannot do that even if my son remains unmarried,” she said.Similar is the case with Mahendra Singh who is unable to find a match for his brother who has crossed thirty five as they have no girl to give in aata saata. “One cannot take a risk with extended families. If they refuse to honour the promise, the bride will be taken away. There have been many such cases in my community,” he said.According to activists, there are several reasons for this custom gaining prevalence. “Rural people prefer girls from their communities. As a last resort, they pay to get brides from Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhatisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, which is human trafficking,” says Dr Virendra Vidrohi, a social activist from Alwar.But concern for keeping property, especially farmlands, safe from outsiders has caused the increase in aata saata. There has been an increase in the child sex ratio after 2011. As per Rajasthan government records, the sex ratio that was 888 females per 1000 males in 2011 has increased to 925 per 1000 in 2015. “This is the major reason why there is growing insistence on promising even newborn girls in marriage under aata saata, said Vidrohi.While some are succumbing to pressure; there is a glimmer of hope too that there are some will resist; “I plan to bring an orphan as wife for my son. I will put an application with the government homes for this,” said Radha Sen.ONE OF THE CASESRadha Sen’s elder son was married eight years ago and she has two granddaughters aged five and three. She has not been able to secure a match for her younger son because there is no girl in the entire clan who can be given in ‘exchange’.

243 barbers sacked by Tirupati temple trust for receiving tips from patrons

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Barbers from Andhra Pradesh’s Tirumala temple have staged protests demanding they be reinstated after the temple authorities sacked them for receiving tips from pilgrims, Hindustan Times reported on Saturday.The report said that over 243 barbers were sacked through notices issued by the temple authorities. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) manages India’s richest temple in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district.On Saturday, the barbers staged a demonstration in front of the administrative office of the TTD, demanding that they be re-instated on humanitarian grounds as the sacking would deprive them of their livelihood.As many as 943 barbers, mostly recruited on contract basis, work in shifts round the clock at Kalyana Katta, the huge hair-cutting saloon complex located near the temple.While tonsuring has to be done free of cost, the TTD has been receiving complaints from pilgrims that many of the barbers making them pay tips ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 50.

How a polio survivor is educating India’s rural children

Sai Padma has not let the near constant pain of her disability stop her from teaching the children of remote Indian villages.

Even after NHRC notice, minor girls made to stand topless in Madurai temple

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There has been outrage on social media after images of minor girls participating in a ritual where they are supposed to stay bare-chested for a fortnight at Madurai’s Yezhaikatha Amman temple were shared on social media.According to an ANI report, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued notices to the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh chief secretaries and the director generals of police two days ago over allegations of continuance of the Devadasi system that includes offering girls as slaves to Goddess Mathamma.”Allegedly, as part of the ritual, the girls are dressed as a bride and once the ceremony is over, their dresses are removed by five boys, virtually leaving them naked. They are denied to live with their families and have the education. They are forced to live in Mathamma temple deemed to be like a public property and face sexual exploitation,” the statement issued by NHRC said.The commission observed that the allegations made in a complaint as well as a media report about the continuance of this practice were serious in nature, and if true, these amount to violation of human rights including rights to education, life and dignity besides children’s rights.

City’s residents gear up for a Grand Saree Fair

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Giving a boost to traditional Indian weaves, some of which are vanishing into oblivion, an organisation Dastkar has conceptualised The Grand Saree Fair, which will not only bring weavers together from the interiors of the country but also give Delhiites a sneak peak into traditional Indian wear.The five-day carnival-cum-exhibition being held from September 21 to September 25 at Nature’s Bazaar, will feature products that reflect the crafts by artisans from around the country.Organisers say that Kalamkaris from Andhra Pradesh, Bandhanis from Gujarat, Linens & Tussars from West Bengal, Ikats from Odisha, Gamcha Sarees from West Bengal, Ajrakhs from Gujarat, Jamdanis, Tokli, Cottons & Kanthas from West Bengal, Chanderis from Madhya Pradesh, Kotas from Rajasthan, Banarasi Sarees from Uttar Prades, Calligraphic & Khadi Sarees will be sold here at very low prices.”The saree is six yards of magic. One length of cloth, miraculously transforming itself to suit every figure, style, age and occasion. This event is not only a celebration of this evergreen garment, but also an attempt to bring the infinite variety of regional weaves within reach of the urban Delhi customer”, Laila Tyabji, founder of Dastkar.The exhibition will also have a curated saree preview by showcasing the work of some of the names and organisations working with handloom sarees like Bodhi, Dayalal Kudecha, Ethicus, Malavika Chhatterjee, Sangeeta Sen, Taan Baan, Tasar, Tuni Handicraft, Ghanshyam Sarode, Vimor, Vriksh, and Weavers Studio, all of whom are working to preserve and conserve the art of weaving.People working with Vimor sarees, said that the organisation was founded in 1974 by Chimy Nanjappa, dubbed the “saree scientist” and her daughter, Pavithra Muddaya. The organisation, which is working to preserve antique sari weaving techniques, also encourages, and trains small-town weavers to produce traditional, marketable sarees so that the ancient craft of sari weaving is passed further.On displayKalamkaris from Andhra Pradesh, Bandhanis from Gujarat, Linens & Tussars from West Bengal, Ikats from Odisha, Gamcha Sarees from West Bengal, Ajrakhs from Gujarat, among others will be sold at low prices.

Most bridges in MP, Andhra, UP of socio-economic importance: govt data

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bridges on national highways connecting Chennai-Jharpokharia, Mumbai-Agra, Lucknow-Barauni, Pindwara-Allahabad and Shivpuri-Lucknow have been identified as socioeconomically important, a government data revealed. There are an estimated 1.5 lakh bridges on India’s national highways.As per the data, the bridges identified on basis of factors such as connectivity, daily socio-economic activities of the areas connect, population and average traffic movement on them, are located in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS) under the ministry of road transport and highways – which maintains an inventory of all bridges in the country – accords a socio-economic bridge rating number to the bridge identified, aside rating its structural condition for timely repair and rehabilitation.For instance, bridges on the national highways of Andhra Pradesh connecting areas such as Nellore, Kavali, Gudur, Sullurpet, as well as those connecting Ongole, Chirala, Markapur have been accorded a high rating in a scale of 0 to 9, in terms of connectivity, social impact and economic growth, implying their importance to the areas they are located.Similarly, the bridges on national highways of UP, passing by Lucknow, Mirzapur, Allahabad, Kanpur Dehat and Jalaun have been rated as the socio-economically important, not just on the parameters of connectivity, social impact or economic growth they contribute to, but also on the fact that an alternate route to connect the same areas would be far off.While bridges on national highways proximate to Chambal and Morena areas of MP have been rated high in terms of socio-economic importance, bridges on national highways near Dehradun in Uttarakhand have been given a similar rating.Speaking about this aspect of bridges, a senior government official said the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia is a perfect example of how a bridge can contribute immensely to the socio-economic development of the country.”The Sydney Harbour Bridge (connecting Sydney’s central business district to the North Shore) is a prime example of how a bridge contributed to the socio-economic development of the areas it connected over the years. Better connectivity enables better economic growth of the areas connected,” the official said.Similarly, during the inauguration of the Dhola-Sadiya bridge –the longest bridge of the country connecting Dhola in Arunachal Pradesh to Sadiya in Assam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken about how it will pave the way for economic growth in the North East and bring about an economic revolution to the region.Launched last year by union roads minister Nitin Gadkari, the IBMS also has the wherewithal to identify cut off areas such as river islands like Majuli in Assam, and present the data to the government so that their connectivity through bridges can be planned, which would foster socio-economic growth in such areas.However, an official said the IBMS has not been given such a mandate by the government. The IBMS has completed inventory over 1.6 lakh bridges in the country, of which around 6,500 bridges have been identified as structurally distressed and 147 dilapidated, needing immediate attention.NEW STATUSBridges identified on basis of factors such as connectivity, daily socio-economic activities in the region.

Anti-corruption drive: Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi urges all states to adopt Andhra style helpline

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lt Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi acclaimed Andhra Pradesh Government’s new helpline service to curb corruption and stressed that every district in the country should adopt this initiative in order to deal with injustice happening to people.Lauding Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s scheme, Bedi called it a bid of “maximum governance with minimum government”.On her Twitter handle, she wrote that the scheme is one of the essential requirements for true people centric administration.”This is maximum governance with minimum government. All districts can have a Master On Call Centre for Administration help. @PMOIndia,” tweeted Bedi.She said the helpline service has brought the government at people?s door step and it will weed corruption, cut delays and will lessen the injustice.She also expressed to begin a similar initiative in Puducherry.The Andhra Pradesh Government, earlier in the year, introduced troll-free helpline service to tackle corruption in the state and register people?s complaints who are troubled by government officials to pay illegal bribes.

Nitin Gadkari to focus on river-linking, Ganga clean up and constructing highways-cum-airstrips

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Making e-autorickshaws a common sight in rural India, creating a water grid that is on par with power grid and constructing 17 highways-cum-airstrips are the government’s priorities and it will start work on them this year, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.After getting the additional charge of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation in last week’s Cabinet reshuffle, Gadkari told PTI in an interview that another “mammoth task” that lay on his shoulders was to make Ganga ‘aviral and nirmal’ (continuous and clean flow). “Public transport on electric mode is the dire need now. We are bringing a policy for it. Thrust will also be on rural transport on electric autorickshaws and other vehicles, powered by lithium ion battery. Its cost has already been reduced by 40 per cent and prices will further come down on mass production,” Gadkari said.He said that last week DMRC facilitated the launch of a fleet of E-autorickshaws at Gurgaon to provide last-mile connectivity in the millennium city for metro commuters and likewise initiatives in all states where metros trains are coming up could be taken. “India has become coal and power surplus. Electric mode is getting cheaper. Transport charges will come down. People will get sustainable transport. Whether West Bengal, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, North East, Uttar Pradesh or Bihar – metro and electric transport will expand eliminating hand rickshaws, which is inhuman (practice),” he said. He said massive work was lined up in this direction and would be launched before 2018.Another thrust area is creating a River Grid on par with Power Grid that undertakes transmission of electricity through Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS), he said.”Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan battle with water crisis. Even drinking water is not available in many villages,” he said. “On the other hand, states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh witness massive floods. Why not create a Water Grid on par with Power Grid and divert excess water to scarce areas,” he said.Gadkari said he was serious on the issue and would start work soon in this direction besides would begin work on three of the five river inter-linking projects worth Rs 50,000 crore in the next three months. “Will start work soon on five projects of river connectivity as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision. Interlinking of rivers was also the dream of former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee. Why can’t we divert the excess water from Ganga and Brhmaputra to Cauvery and other rivers,” he said.He asserted that he had a “mammoth task” on his shoulders to make Ganga ‘aviral and nirmal’, besides increasing irrigation capacity for farmers in the country. On highway projects, he said the Defence has agreed to transfer land near Dhaulakuan to widen the stretch and work will begin soon on the project which will ease traffic condition on that road. Besides, its nod has been obtained for building 17 highway stretches in areas near borders that will also double up as airstrips and permission will soon be sought from the Aviation Ministry, he said.”There are 17 projects and we aim to start work on all before 2018,” the Minister said. The projects are designed in such a fashion that the roads will double up as airstrips and traffic will be stopped when an airplane lands or takes off. The road and air connectivity will also provide better access to remote areas. Such projects are planned in Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and some other border districts. Waterways also are top on the agenda of the government and work has already been underway on two projects Ganga and Brahamaputra, he said, adding that work on another 10 projects will start by the end of the year.

Petrol price up by Rs 6/litre since July, now highest rate in three years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Petrol price has been hiked by Rs 6 per litre since the beginning of July and is now priced at its highest rate in three years with rates being revised in small dosages daily.Diesel price has increased by Rs 3.67 a litre and now costs Rs 57.03 a litre in Delhi, the highest in four months, according to data from state-owned oil companies. A litre of petrol costs Rs 69.04 a litre in Delhi, the highest since second-half of August 2014 when it was priced at Rs 70.33. State-owned oil companies in June dumped the 15-year old practice of revising rates on 1st and 16th of every month and instead adopted a dynamic daily price revision to instantaneously reflect changes in cost.Prices of petrol and diesel have been revised at 0600 hrs everyday since June 16. Rates during the first fortnight dropped but have since July 3 been on the rise. Petrol price was at Rs 65.48 a litre on June 16 in Delhi and it dropped to Rs 63.06 by July 2. However, rates have since gone up every day except on four occasions when prices were cut by 2-9 paise per litre.Similarly, a litre of diesel was priced at Rs 54.49 on June 16 and it dropped to Rs 53.36 on July 2, thanks to the softening international oil prices. Since then, it has been on an upswing though the reduction in diesel rates have been on a larger number of occasions than petrol.”Previously, everybody felt the pinch when rates would go up by Rs 2 or 3 per litre in one go. Now they are being increased by 1 paisa to 15 paise a litre everyday, hikes that have largely gone unnoticed,” a senior oil company executive said. The daily price revision means an instantaneous transfer of a rise or decline in international oil price to the consumer instead of the previous practice of passing it on only after a fortnight. The previous practice of revision in the rate on 1st and 16th of every month, which began with deregulation of auto fuel on April 1, 2002, was based on average international oil price and foreign exchange rate in the preceding fortnight.”Many a time, international rates would fall for one week and then rise in the following. So, the net effect of this in the previous price revision policy was status quo or a marginal change in rate,” he said. Petrol and diesel prices were deregulated or freed from government control from April 1, 2002, and the fortnightly revision in rates kicked in. The deregulation derailed a bit when international oil prices started to climb after 2004. Fortnightly revision continued but the revision was not completely in sync with the required price increase.Petrol price was finally freed in June 2010 and diesel in October 2014 after small fortnightly increases over the past several months brought rates at par with the cost. The daily price revision was implemented after a successful pilot in five cities. The official said daily price change will remove the big leaps in rates that need to be effected at the end of the fortnight, making the consumer more aligned to market dynamics. The three state-owned fuel retailers had implemented a daily revision of retail selling price (RSP) of petrol and diesel on a pilot basis in Udaipur in Rajasthan, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, Puducherry, Chandigarh, and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh from May 1.

Shivraj Chouhan hails hike in OBC creamy layer cap as ‘just’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Lauding the Centre?s move to raise the income limit defining “creamy layer” for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservation by Rs 2 lakh per annum, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday said that justice has been done after years. ?I congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Government as justice has been done to backward caste after years. Because of Rs six lakh limit, a big section amongst the backward class was deprived of getting the benefits in the educational institution and government jobs. This move will benefit them,? Chouhan told ANI. He noted that the extreme backward classes will be sub-classified naturally and that the Commission will submit its recommendations in 12 weeks. ?After independence, in Prime Minister Modi?s Government, unprecedented steps are taken to give justice to backward classes,? Chouhan asserted. The income limit defining “creamy layer” for the OBC reservation has been raised by Rs two lakh per annum even as the Union cabinet today approved setting up of a panel for sub-categorisation within the other backward classes for even distribution of reservation benefits. The government also ruled out having a relook at the present reservation system. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the reporters here that the Union Cabinet was today formally apprised of the decision to hike the limit for central government jobs. He said that Prime Minister Modi had recently hinted in Assam that the bar defining creamy layer would be raised and the procedure of formally informing the cabinet about the decision was completed today. The ministry of social justice and empowerment had proposed that the OBC families which earn more than Rs. eight lakh per year should be classified as ?creamy layer?, the ceiling which bars members of the other backward classes from availing reservations in employment. There had been three revisions of the creamy layer bar. It was fixed at Rs one lakh in 1993 and hiked to Rs 2.5 lakh in 2004 and Rs 4.5 lakh in 2008. The present ceiling of Rs six lakh came into being in 2013. Jaitley also announced the decision of the cabinet to set up a commission to work out sub-categorisation within other backward classes for a ?more equitable distribution of reservation benefits amongst the OBCs.” He said that 11 states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry, Karnataka, Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Jammu region only of Jammu and Kashmir have already carried out sub-categorisation of OBCs.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

By-elections: Heavy turnout in Andhra, Goa; moderate polling in Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bypolls to Nandyal Assembly constituency of Andhra Pradesh and two seats in Goa witnessed a high turnout%age of over 70 while only 45% voters exercised their franchise in Delhi’s lone seat of Bawana.A turnout of about 80% was recorded in Nandyal, where the ruling TDP and the opposition YSR Congress (YSRC) are locked in a fierce battle. In Goa, Panaji constituency recorded 70% polling and Valpoi 79.80%, said Chief Electoral Officer Kunal. Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar accused the Congress of trying to sabotage polling and filed a complaint with the Election Commission. The Congress levelled counter- allegations.The counting would be held on August 28.For the first time, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) was used in the by-election in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Goa. VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box but the voter cannot take it home. The voter turnout in Delhi was much lower than the 2015 figure of 61.83%. The AAP, the BJP and the Congress are locked in a triangular contest. “The entire polling process went on peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the constituency,” said Chandra Bhushan Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi.The polling officials said that one EVM and 17 VVPAT equipment malfunctioned during polling and were replaced without any hindrance in voting. Polling officials conjectured that multiple elections taking place in the city in quick succession could be a factor for the low turn out in Bawana bypoll. The bypoll was necessitated after the resignation of Ved Prakash as the legislator in March. Prakash had won from Bawana, a seat reserved for the SC category, in 2015 Assembly elections as an AAP candidate. Eight candidates are in the fray for the election in which the AAP, the BJP, and the Congress are locked in a keen contest. The counting of votes will take place on August 28.The BJP has fielded Ved Prakash who had won from the constituency in 2015 elections as an AAP candidate. He resigned from Assembly membership and joined the BJP in March this year.The AAP has fielded Ram Chandra while the Congress has put its bet on former three-time MLA from Bawana, Surendra Kumar. There are a total of 2.94 lakh voters in Bawana.In Goa, Parrikar, who returned to the state from the Centre after the elections in February, is contesting from Panaji against Congress’ Girish Chodankar and Goa Suraksha Manch’s Anand Shirodkar. In Valpoi, the BJP has fielded health minister Vishwajit Rane against the Congress’ Roy Naik. The Panaji bypoll was necessitated after the BJP’s sitting MLA, Siddharth Kuncolienkar, vacated the seat for Parrikar, as the latter has to get elected to the Assembly within six months of becoming the chief minister.The bypoll in Valpoi became necessary after Rane, the sitting MLA, joined the BJP after the Parrikar-led government won a crucial floor test in March. In Andhra Pradesh, heavy turnout of voters was witnessed in Nandyal rural and Gospadu mandals in the segment with women outnumbering men. In Nandyal town, about 70% polling was reported.Barring a face-off between supporters of the TDP and the YSRC at a couple of places, the by-election passed off peacefully, a senior police official said. The by-election was held following the death of sitting MLA Bhuma Nagi Reddy in March. Reddy had won the seat in 2014 as YSR Congress candidate, but jumped over to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 2016. Reddy’s nephew Brahmananda Reddy is now the TDP candidate, while the YSRC fielded former minister Silpa Chandra Mohan Reddy who switched sides to the opposition party just days ahead of the bypoll. Though there are 15 candidates in the fray, the main fight is between the TDP and the YSRC

Voting underway for Nandyal Assembly bypoll in AP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly 30 per cent polling was reported in the first three hours of the byelection to Nandyal Assembly seat in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh today. People turned up in good numbers at the polling stations to exercise their franchise, in the election that could well set the trend for the general election due in 2019. The polling so far remained without any incident, a senior police official said. Over 2,500 police personnel were deployed to take care of the law and situation in Nandyal. The Election Commission was monitoring the poll process through webcams in each of the 255 polling stations. For the first time, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is being used in the byelection. The bypoll was necessitated following the death of sitting MLA Bhuma Nagi Reddy, who won the seat in 2014 as YSR Congress candidate but later switched over to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 2016. The TDP has fielded Reddy’s nephew Brahmananda Reddy while the YSRC put up former minister Silpa Chandra Mohan Reddy, who lost the seat as TDP nominee in 2014. Though there are 15 candidates in the fray, the main fight is between the TDP and the YSRC.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Naidu presses for good governance, says if people demand will remove liquor shops in residential areas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday asserted that providing good governance is the objective of his government. While addressing a press conference, Naidu said that his government is using 1100 helpline to take feedback directly from public. Naidu further said though initiatives have got positive feedback from the masses, he is making all the efforts to fix loopholes in connection with sand and liquor mafia. ? Using 1100 helpline to take feedback directly from public is making the system corruption free. Bringing good governance to doorstep of public is objective. Welfare scheme benefits will be implemented without pilferage. It gave good response during Nandyal city road widening. We had few problems in sand and liquor. Recently we gave guidelines on sand policy. 82 percent public gave positive response,? said Naidu ?We will remove liquor shops in residential areas if people complain against such shops. To leash the Liquor mafia we are removing belt shops. And will take stern action on belt shops. Mafia are finding different ways to sell liquor illegally. We are setting up mobile police parties to combat the menace,? he added. Naidu also said, in order to attain perfection, his government is emphasizing on rectifying minute problems. ?We are giving full proof delivery mechanism to resolve public problems. I request officials to cooperate to implement schemes. People should be taught discipline and dignity,? he said. ?We developed infrastructure, solved power problems. We are thinking of pensions to transgenders, provide security to orphans and people on streets,? he added. Naidu also took the occasion to promote digitalisation and said that paper less governance will soon become reality. ?Trying for tech based good governance. Paperless office will soon becoming a reality,? he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AP mulls moving SC against Maha, Karnataka over Krishna water

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Andhra Pradesh government is contemplating a legal battle against the Maharashtra and Karnataka governments for denying the “rightful share” of Krishna river water to the state. “We are consulting legal experts to file either a special leave petition or a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court against Maharashtra and Karnataka for withholding water in river Krishna and depriving the lower riparian state of its rightful share. They are not releasing water even as a humanitarian gesture,” AP Water Resources Minister D U Rao told reporters here this evening. He said, thanks to copious rains, reservoirs on river Krishna in Maharashtra and Karnataka were filled to the brim. “Both these states have a total of 275 tmc ft of water stored in their reservoirs, but they are not letting out even one tmc ft to lower riparian states like Telangana and AP. Taking cover under tribunals, those states are fully utilising the water,” Rao alleged. “Even on humanitarian grounds, Maharashtra and Karnataka are not releasing water to meet even the drinking water needs of Telangana and AP. We have already complained about it to Union water resources minister Uma Bharti. Now, we are contemplating a legal fight to get our due share of water,” the minister added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cabinet reshuffle coming, South may get a lion’s share

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two members from the JD-U — the NDA’s new ally at the Centre — are likely to be inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s confidant Ramchandra Singh and former state CM Karpoori Thakur’s son Ramnath Thakur can be given a Cabinet and a Minister of State (MoS) rank, respectively, sources said.Having both the coming state polls and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in mind, PM Modi may give a South-centric tweak to the next reshuffle.The AIADMK could get two Cabinet and as many MoS portfolios once it joins the NDA. The AIADMK has 37 Lok Sabha and 13 Rajya Sabha MPs. M Thambidurai, who has been instrumental in bringing the two warring factions together, is being seen as a front-runner for a plum Cabinet post.Sources said a process to zero in on names has begun and PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah are expected to meet in a few days to take a final call.A Cabinet reshuffle is also a necessity as many ministers such as Arun Jaitley, Smriti Irani, Narendra Singh Tomar, Ananth Kumar and Ravi Shankar Prasad are holding two or more portfolios. Some ministers could be drafted for party work, sources said.Having both the coming state polls and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in mind, PM Modi may give a South-centric tweak to the next reshuffle.The AIADMK could get two Cabinet and as many MoS portfolios once it joins the NDA. The AIADMK has 37 Lok Sabha and 13 Rajya Sabha MPs. M Thambidurai, who has been instrumental in bringing the two warring factions of the AIADMK together, is being seen as a front-runner for a plum Cabinet post.BJP sources said southern states need to play a crucial role in the party’s plan to secure 120 new seats and the Cabinet reshuffle is expected to be done keeping this consideration in mind.The BJP wants to increase its footprint in the southern states where victory has eluded it with Karnataka’s exception. The BJP is exploring the possibility of getting a foothold in Tamil Nadu and boost its chances in the Lok Sabha elections with the likely merger of the AIADMK factions and their becoming part of the NDA. BJP sources said a foothold in the South would allow the BJP to play up Tamil sub-nationalism by embracing symbols like popular Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar.In Andhra Pradesh, where the BJP had only 4.13% vote share in the Assembly elections and won just two Lok Sabha seats, the party wants to increase its presence but not at the cost of its bigger partner and Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP).The possible names which are doing the rounds in BJP circles include Shobha Karandlaje, a sitting MP from Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency in Karnataka and a staunch loyalist of state BJP President BS Yeddyurappa, and Belgaum MP Suresh Angadi who is considered a heavyweight in the dominant Lingayat community of Karnataka.While Siddaramaiah-led Congress government is already facing anti-incumbency in Karnataka, the BJP wants to make a comeback in the Assembly elections that are due next year and improve its tally of 17 Lok Sabha seats from the state in 2019.From Andhra Pradesh, film actor NT Rama Rao Jr, who happens to be the grandson of cult figure NT Rama Rao (NTR), is being considered as a favourite to get a ministerial berth from the TDP.To balance it out, the BJP may also accommodate NTR’s daughter D Purundeshwari who is the elder sister of Naidu’s wife Bhuvaneswari but has politically estranged relations with the TDP chief. A minister in Dr Manmohan Singh’s Cabinet, Purandeswari had joined the BJP just before the general elections in 2014 and currently heads the BJP’s Mahila Morcha.

Media Advisor to former PM P V Narasimha Rao dies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Retired IAS officer P V R K Prasad, who was Additional Secretary and Media Advisor to former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, passed away in the wee hours today. He was 77. Prasad died of cardiac arrest at a super-speciality hospital here, sources close to him said. Prasad, an IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, held several important responsibilities, including Executive Officer of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and Chairman of Vizag Port Trust, during his illustrious career. Under his leadership as Executive Officer during 1978-82 and later as an Advisor post-retirement, the TTD, the body that administers the Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirupati, took up several reforms and important projects. Prasad, who served as Media Advisor to Narasimha Rao, was a close aide of the former Prime Minister. Prasad authored several popular books in Telugu, including ‘Naham Kartha’, ‘Asalem Jarigindante’ (Wheels behind the veil), ‘Tirumala Leelamrutham’ and ‘Tirumala Charitamrutam’. He is survived by wife, a daughter and a son.The cremation would take place here today, the sources said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DAY1 (20.08.2017): Heavy to very heavy rain with

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>extremely heavy rain at isolated places is likely to occur over North interior Karnataka. Heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over Coastal Karnataka, Kerala and Telangana. DAY2 (21.08.2017): Heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over Coastal Karnataka and Kerala. Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over North interior Karnataka. DAY3 (22.08.2017): Nil. DAY4 (23.08.2017): Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over Kerala, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. DAY5 (24.08.2017): Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over Kerala, Coastal Karnataka, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. LOCAL FORECAST FOR CHENNAI CITY AND NEIGHBOURHOOD: FOR NEXT 24 HOURS: The sky condition is likely to be generally cloudy. Rain or thundershowers is likely to occur in some areas during evening or night. Maximum and minimum temperature is likely to be around 36 and 26 deg Celsius respectively. FOR NEXT 48 HOURS: The sky condition is likely to be generally cloudy. Rain or thundershowers is likely to occur in some areas during evening or night. Maximum and minimum temperature is likely to be around 36 and 26 deg Celsius respectively.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Heavy rainfall likely in Odisha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Heavy rainfall coupled with gusty surface wind is likely to batter several parts of Odisha due to a low pressure over Bay of Bengal that would make sea conditions rough, the MeT department said today. The low pressure area of yesterday now lies over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south coastal Odisha and West-central Bay of Bengal. Associated upper air cyclonic circulation extends up to 7.6 km above mean sea level with tilting Southwestwards with height, the meteorological centre here said. Under its influence, rain and thundershower is likely to occur at most places in coastal districts of Odisha during next 24 hours. Similarly, heavy rainfall is likely to occur at one or two places over south Odisha, it said. Gusty surface wind from south-easterly direction with speed reaching 35-45 kmph and gusting up to 55 kmph is likely to prevail along and off Odisha Coast. As sea condition would be moderate to rough, the MeT office advised the fishermen to be cautious while venturing into sea. The weather forecast came at a time when most parts of the state have already been experiencing rainfall for the last several days.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AP: 2-yr-old boy trapped in borewell in Guntur district

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A massive operation has been launched by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), police and the administration to rescue a two-year-old boy who fell into an open borewell near Vinukonda in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh today. The boy, identified as Chandrasekhar, was playing near a cattle shed at Ummadivaram village when he accidentally fell into borewell at around three this afternoon, police said. His mother, who was tending cattle nearby, did not notice that the boy was playing precariously close to the defunct borewell which had been left uncovered. The boy was found trapped over 15 feet down in the borewell shaft, a police official told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Andhra government sets up information commission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over three years after the bifurcation of the state, the Andhra Pradesh government today constituted the information commission as mandated under the RTI Act. The Andhra Pradesh Information Commission has been set up under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The quasi- judicial body deals with the complaints and second appeals filed against public information officers and appellate authorities respectively. With the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana directing AP to appoint information commissioners within six weeks, the government, as a precursor, constituted the commission, official sources said today. “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 15 of Right to Information Act, the Government of Andhra Pradesh, hereby, constitutes the Andhra Pradesh Information Commission to exercise the powers conferred on and to perform the functions assigned to it under the Act,” said General Administration Department Special Chief Secretary Lingaraj Panigrahi in an order. The commission would function from a rented premises at Mangalagiri in the Amaravati capital region, the order said. Though the state bifurcation took place on June 2, 2014, the AP Information Commission of the erstwhile united state was not divided. The term of office of the information commissioners appointed under the RTI Act also ended last year. The HC, in a ruling on a writ petition last week, directed the state government to complete the appointment process within six weeks.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

People may have to take permission for boring to fetch water

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar government is contemplating putting a mechanism under which people will have to take prior permission for boring/sinking to fetch ground water in urban areas to conserve the ground water table. “Though there is no problem of ground water table in Bihar except in hilly areas, but we’ll regulate the water in order to conserve it in urban areas…People will have to take permission to sink to fetch ground water,” Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh told reporters here. Singh, however, made it clear that there was neither any immediate plan nor any decision taken to implement it, but it is actively considering to implement a policy to manage water as mandated under the Bihar Groundwater Regulation and Management Act 2006. Talking about the deaths caused by lightning incidents in the state, Singh said that the government was working on a plan to introduce an “mobile phone App” which would alert people in advance about lightning strike in a particular area. “I have seen the App being in practice in Andhra Pradesh. It is working quite well. It alerts people 30 minutes in advance about the place where lightining will strike,” Singh said. People would have to download the “App” and once it is downloaded, they would get an SMS alert on their handsets, he added. It will take another 3-4 months to introduce the “App” for the people in the state, he said adding that the App had become a necessity in the backdrop of large number of deaths being caused by lightining strike. The App will prove to be much cheaper too for the state government as it has to shell out Rs 4 lakh each to the next of the kin killed in the lightning strike, Singh said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

B R Shetty group to set up quantum and analytics healthcare

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Abu Dhabi-based B R Shetty group will set up a quantum and analytics healthcare centre as a part of the proposed integrated BRS Medicity in Andhra Pradesh’s capital city Amaravati. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today laid the foundation stone for the BRS Medicity, a 1.8 billion USD project, in the capital region. The quantum and analytics healthcare centre is being set up with an investment of Rs 330 crore. It will consist of a research centre, quantum computing secure hardware zone and data centre, according to a release issued by the AP Capital Region Development Authority. The quantum computing centre will employ 300 people, it said. The Medicity will have a Rs 1,150 crore medical university for 800 students, Rs 1,500 crore super-speciality hospital with 1,500 beds, Rs 500 crore medical devices manufacturing facility, knowledge process outsourcing centre that will employ 4,000 people, stem cell research centre, naturopathy and a yoga centre, the release said. The BR Shetty group will also set up an International Baccalaureate School that could have could have an intake of 2,890 students and provide 500 jobs, it added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

I should not talk about politics in this responsibility: Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vice President-elect M Venkaiah Naidu today said he should not talk about politics in his new responsibility, but that does not mean he should not raise issues concerning the people. Naidu also said that he was studying how his predecessors and towering figures like S Radhakrishnan and Zakir Hussain functioned in the office of the vice president. NDA nominee Naidu was last week elected as India’s next vice-president. “I should not talk about politics in this responsibility (vice president). Not supposed to speak (politics) and I am not going to speak also. It does not mean one should not speak about issues concerning people’s lives and what is good for people,” Naidu said during an interaction with journalists. He said he would also consult officials on how to go about in the new responsibility. As chairperson of Rajya Sabha, Naidu said he would strive to see that the House takes up constructive debates. He said he would try to see that all members, including those from opposition, also get a chance to speak. He would also facilitate an environment for passing government bills. “I am studying how Radhakrishnan functioned, what Hidayatullah did and what Zakir Hussain did,” Naidu said. Observing that poverty, illiteracy, economic disparities, discrimination towards certain sections and negligence of environment continued, he said development should be the country’s agenda. Naidu recalled his over four-decade-long association with Hyderabad and said he used to sit in the undivided Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly library for hours when he was a member in the early 1980s. Noting that he had a close association with scribes in Hyderabad, he said journalists had a major role in his success in public life.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Plastic carrybags completely banned in 17 states, UTs: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Altogether 17 states and Union territories have imposed complete ban on manufacture, sale and use of plastic carrybags, the Lok Sabha was informed today. “In the country, 17 states and UTs have imposed complete ban on manufacture, stock, sale and use of plastic carrybags, through directions or notifications and executive orders,” Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a written reply. He was asked whether some states have strictly banned the use of polythene bags. The minister said use of plastic carry bags has been partially banned in some pilgrimage centres, tourist and historical places located in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. “There is no proposal to impose ban on the use of polythene bags completely throughout the country,” he said when asked whether there is a possibility of banning the use of polythene bags throughout the country to protect the environment. The government has notified the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, which regulate manufacture, sale, distribution and use of plastic carry bags including those of compostable plastic, and plastic sheets for packaging or wrapping applications, he said. The use of carry bags made from conventional plastic with thickness less than 50 micron is prohibited while the use of plastic for packaging gutkha, tobacco and pan masala is also prohibited, the minister added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Polavaram project will change the economic scenario of Andhra-Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Monday said Polavaram project would change the economic scenario of the state. He was speaking after handing over over appointment letters to 518 assistant executive engineers at the project site on Monday with an aim to provide water security to people of the regions in the state. Naidu also informed that the project needs around Rs. 50,000 crore for completion and Rs. 12000 crore has been spent so far. He exhorted the young engineers to work hard with a commitment to develop the state as number one in the world by 2050. Naidu personally inspected the progress of ongoing works at the project 18 times so far. A target was set to supply water through gravity by 2018 and complete the project by 2019. The state government completed the Pattiseema Village lift irrigation in a record time and lifted 29 thousand million cubic feet of Godavari water to save the crops in Krishna delta. The ongoing 25 irrigation projects in the state would be completed in 3 months. Ends VN/HB NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rajasthan ranks lowest in diabetes prevalence: Survey

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a time when diabetes is fast gaining the status of a potential epidemic in India, Rajasthan has the lowest number of people affected by the disease. This striking fact surfaced in the National Family Health Survey-2015-16 report which union ministry of health tabled in a reply to a question asked in Lok Sabha recently.As per the report, 5.8 per cent women and 8.8 per cent men in the age group of 15-59 years on an average out of the surveyed inIndia were found suffering from diabetes measuring above 140 Mg/dl. The percentage of people suffering from high blood pressure in Rajasthan is much lower than the national average and at the bottom when compared to rest 35 states and union territories.The survey finds that only 3.5 percent women and 5.7 percent men were found diabetic in 2015-16 in Rajasthan which is the lowest in the country. It also indicates that men are more prone to diabetes than women. On the other hand, Kerala and Goa were top two in the country with the highest share of population with 8.7 per cent(women)-13.1 percent(men) and 8.9 percent (women) and 12.3 percent(men) ratio respectively.These were followed by Andhra Pradesh at 8.2 percent population ratio in women and West Bengal with 11.4 percent in men categories. Apart from Rajasthan, Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra have secured bottom position with fewer diabetic patients.The survey indicates that Haryana with 4.8 percent patients in males is followed by Jharkhand at 4.9 percent.In females, Maharashtra keeps second place from bottom with 5.9 percent which is followed by Haryana at 6.1. The findings of the survey as far as Rajasthan is concerned is shocking and hard to be digested by endocrinologists.SHOCKING FINDINGS FOR RAJASTHANApart from Rajasthan, Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra have secured bottom position with fewer diabetic patients. The survey indicates that Haryana with 4.8 percent patients in males is followed by Jharkhand at 4.9 percent. In females, Maharashtra keeps second place from bottom with 5.9 percent which is followed by Haryana at 6.1.The findings of the survey as far as Rajasthan is concerned is shocking and hard to be digested.

Digvijaya Singh loses further clout, now divested of Telangana charge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The once formidable general secretary Digvijaya Singh’s role in the Congress got further diminished on Tuesday, with the party divesting him of the charge of Telangana.Singh, who was earlier the general secretary incharge of Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, is left today with only the charge of Andhra Pradesh. Congress president Sonia Gandhi removed the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and appointed R C Khuntia in his place. Satish Jarkiholi has been appointed the AICC secretary in the new team for Telangana. “Digvijaya Singh has been relieved of the responsibilities as the general secretary incharge of Telangana,” a statement from AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.He was divested of the charge of general secretary incharge of Goa and Karnataka by the party chief on April 29, and replaced by A Chella Kumar and K C Venugopal respectively. This followed Congress’ failure to form its government in Goa despite having emerged as the single largest party in the Assembly election this February.The party had clinched 17 seats in the 40-member legislature, four more than the BJP, which managed to cobble together a majority with local parties to form its government under Manohar Parrikar. Singh, considered close to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, had come under severe criticism for being slow in initiating talks with smaller parties to sew up a coalition and stake claim to form a Congress-led government. Singh has been one of the most vocal Congressmen to advocate Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as party president.

ED attaches Rs 149 cr assets in Jagan Mohan Reddy case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday attached over 11,804 acres of land worth about Rs 149 crore, in Prakasam and Guntur districts of Andhra Pradesh, in connection with its money laundering probe in cases related to YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy and others. The land was “illegally” allotted to companies of Nimmagadda Prasad in connection with a money laundering case involving Reddy.A senior officer of ED stated, “This is a quid pro quo investment case where Prasad, various companies and individuals made huge investments in companies floated by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for the favours received from erstwhile Andhra Pradesh government, by way of allotment of land for development of port and industrial corridor, exemption under Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act when Late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, father Jagan Mohan Reddy was the chief minister.”The agency carried out a probe based on the charge sheet filed by CBI under various section of Indian penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.In this case, previously an attachment order was issued attaching properties worth Rs 538.31 crore from Jagan Mohan Reddy and his companies and Rs 325.02 crore from Prasad and his companies including 1,416 acres of land from Vanpic Projects Private Limited and Vanpic Ports Private Limited which were acquired by those companies for VANPIC Project.Further, the Proceeds of Crime identified in the form of lands illegally allotted to the companies of Prasad to the extent of 11804.78 acres in Prakasam and Guntur Districts valued at Rs 148.89 crore as per the government order are now attached.Investigation conducted under PMLA revealed that Prasad paid bribe amounts to Jagan Mohan Reddy in the form of investments at exorbitant premiums in the companies of Reddy to the tune of Rs 779.50 Crore apart from making payment of Rs 57 crore in the guise of secondary purchase of shares and donation of Rs 7 crore to YSR Foundation.

Ex-Andhra Pradesh minister’s son shot at in Hyderabad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vikram Goud, a Telangana Youth Congress leader and the son of a former Andhra Pradesh minister, was allegedly shot at in his residence in the early hours today, the police said. His family members said an “intruder” fired at him. Vikram, in his mid 30s, is the son of former Andhra Pradesh minister M Mukesh Goud. He was found with bullet wounds in his body at his house in Film Nagar, an upmarket area of the city, under suspicious circumstances, the police said, adding that he was out of danger now. “The incident occurred between 3 am and 3.30 am,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Zone) A Venkateshwar Rao. Following a complaint from Vikram’s wife, the police registered a case of attempt to murder under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and added the relevant Arms Act sections to it. Ten police teams have been formed to crack the case. According to Hyderabad Police Commissioner M Mahendar Reddy, in her complaint, Vikram’s wife Shipali M alleged that an “intruder” fired at her husband, following which she rushed him to a private hospital in their car. Reddy said as per the sequence of events narrated by Shipali, the couple was getting ready to visit a place of worship and Vikram was waiting for her on the ground floor of their house. “Suddenly, his wife heard gunshots and subsequently, found Vikram lying in a pool of blood on the ground,” he added. The DCP said that according to the doctors at the hospital, Vikram was out of danger now. According to the hospital authorities, Vikram suffered bullet injuries on his arms, chest and spinal cord. One bullet had been removed, they added. “He is in the ICU and his condition is stable,” a source in the hospital said. “The case is being investigated. We are scanning the CCTV footage obtained from the locality. We are reconstructing the crime scene. The victim is yet to reveal his version,” said the police commissioner. Mukesh Goud, a Congress leader, was a minister in the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy government in the united Andhra Pradesh.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Former minister’s son rushed to hospital with bullet injuries

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Telangana Youth Congress leader, son of former Andhra Pradesh minister M Mukesh Goud, was hospitalised with bullet injuries in the early hours today, police said. Vikram Goud, in his mid 30s, was found injured in his house in Film Nagar under suspicious circumstances and now is out of danger, they said. “The incident occurred between 3 am and 3.30 am,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Zone) A Venkateshwar Rao said. “As per preliminary investigation, Vikram and his wife were getting ready to visit a place of worship. Vikram was waiting on the ground floor. Suddenly, his wife heard gun shots and found him lying on the ground,” the DCP said after visiting the hospital. He was rushed to a private hospital in Jubilee Hills area at around 3.30 am by his family members. The police officer said they were trying to find out if someone fired at Goud or he shot himself. “We are verifying…we can tell more about the incident only after getting a clear information. The investigation is underway,” the DCP said. According to doctors at the hospital, he is out of danger, he said. As per hospital authorities, Vikram suffered bullet injuries on his arms, chest and spine. One bullet has been removed, they said. “He is in the ICU and his condition is stable,” a source at the hospital said. Mukesh Goud, who is a Congress leader, was a minister in the earlier AP government led by Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bypolls in four assembly constituencies on August 23

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bypolls in four assembly seats of Panaji and Valpoi in Goa, Bawana in Delhi and Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh will take place on August 23, the Election Commission announced on Thursday.The Panaji seat saw Siddharth Kuncalienkar resigning from his post to give Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar a chance to get elected. Parrikar had resigned as union defence minister to steer the government. He is yet to be elected as an MLA to continue as Goa’s CM. According to the rules, any member of the government needs to prove his status as a MLA or MLC within six months of swearing in.Similarly, Bawana saw sitting MLA Ved Prakash resigning to join the BJP. Nandyal seat was lying vacant after the TDP MLA passed away due to cardiac arrest.The last date for filing nominations is August 5 while the results will be declared on August 28. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is August 9.

HC declines to grant urgent hearing to plea on water release

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today declined to urgently hear a petition seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to send an official delegation to Andhra Pradesh to ensure release of at least five tmcft of Krishna water to meet the drinking water needs of Chennai. When the PIL by one Suryaprakasam came up, a division bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee declined to take it up on an urgent basis and said it would be heard in routine course. The petitioner referred to an agreement between Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, saying AP was supposed to release 12 tmcft of water from the Kandaleru reservoir between July and October and four tmcft between January and April to its southern neighbour every year. In view of good monsoon in the Krishna Basin and inflows into Srisailam dam, the Tamil Nadu government should take effective steps to convince Andhra Pradesh to release at least five tmcft water to Chennai as it would alleviate the drinking water problems of the city’s residents. The petitioner also submitted that there was acute water shortage in Chennai and all reservoirs supplying water to the city had dried up. Stating that it was the government’s duty to take steps on a war footing to quench the thirst of people of Chennai,he prayed for a direction to the state government to send a high level official delegation to negotiate with the Andhra Pradesh government to get the water.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

424 Maoists surrender in 6 months, MHA asks police to be more vigilant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Coming down heavily on Left-wing extremism across the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued directives to all the paramilitary forces and security establishments to be more “vigilant” and go “combative” while dealing with ultras. The Centre has also asked the force not to shun the multi-prone approach like initiating development works in the naxal-affected areas and facilitating surrender of the ultras.As per the ministry, till June 30 this year, 424 Maoists surrendered before various law enforcement agencies across the country. Last year, the figure had reached 1,442, but in 2015 it was just 570 and in 2014 it was 676. The government’s major focus in Chhattisgarh comes after the deadliest Maoist ambush in April, when 26 of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel died in Sukma area. It was well-planned massacre carried out by nearly 300 Maoists.This year, in Chhattisgarh, 298 naxals surrendered, followed by Jharkhand with 38 surrenders and Andhra Pradesh 35. In West Bengal 11 surrendered, in Telangana and Bihar 2 each, in Odisha 27 and Maharashtra 7.Last year, the maximum numbers of naxals’ surrender was from Chhattisgarh — 1,198, followed by Odisha with 63 and Maharashtra, 54. In Andhra Pradesh 46, Bihar 22, Jharkhand 40, Telangana 16 and West Bengal 1 naxals surrendered.The government’s major concern is that the naxals, who have been largely active in Chhattisgarh region, are expanding their region and making a new Red Zone along the western border of the state. “The new Maoist corridor is said to cover the forest pockets in Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh, Gondia district in Maharashtra and Rajnandgaona and Mungeli districts of Chhattisgarh,” said a senior officer.Also the Home Ministry has directed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) engaged in a significant manner in anti-Naxal operations with close to 40 battalions of the paramilitary deployed in Chhattisgarh alone to overhaul the command set up and re-strategies to end the naxal menace and also facilitate as much surrender as they can.According to the ministry report, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand together accounted for 68.5 per cent of the violent incidents and 69 per cent of deaths. Bihar followed by Odisha and Maharashtra accounted for 12.3 per cent, 8.2 per cent 6.9 per cent incidents.Also the Centre has asked to expedite the cases against the naxals arrested in various cases and operations.

Andhra to set up special task force to deal with drug menace

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Andhra Pradesh police chief today revealed that some officials, including police personnel, were involved in the transportation of drugs and said a special task force will be set up to curb the menace. Excise department officials will be part of the task force. “We are very serious about this. Very soon we will constitute a special task force along with excise officials to curb the drug menace,” Director General of Police (in-charge) Nanduri Sambasiva Rao said here. The announcement comes in the backdrop of a drug racket coming to light in adjoining Telangana, where a dozen peddlers have been arrested. Several Tollywood personalities have been summoned by a special probe team for questioning in connection with the racket. “The drug menace has transcended a certain boundary. We have to stop it. The chief minister also expressed serious concern over this, saying a generation is being lost because of drugs and unimaginable crimes are happening,” the DGP said in Tiruchanur. “Unfortunately, some officials, including police, are involved in the transportation of drugs. Irrespective of the rank, we are arresting them, suspending them. Since a lot of money is involved, some officials are falling prey to the allurement. We are very serious about them,” he added. Asked to elaborate on this, the DGP told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cop slaps man for obstructing Chandrababu Naidu’s convoy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> After Prime Minister Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government banned the red beacon in the country; the VIP culture refuses to die down in the Indian political system. The latest example of VIP culture came into fore in Hyderabad where a policeman slapped a man for crossing the road while Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s convoy was passing through on Thursday. The shocking incident was caught on camera. The video clearly shows that the man was confused and didn?t know that the convoy was approaching. Only after the convoy passed by, the policeman was seen pulling and slapping him on the main road. Earlier on June 10, Andhra Pradesh Police went a step further and allegedly stopped an ambulance, which was ferrying a patient to a hospital, for about 20 minutes to allow Naidu?s convoy to pass through at Kakinada in East Godavari.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Meira gets no vote in AP, Kovind gets just one in Kerala

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition’s presidential nominee Meira Kumar did not get a single vote in Andhra Pradesh while the victorious NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind polled just one in Kerala. The Congress does not have presence in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly. Kumar got one vote in Nagaland and three in Arunachal Pradesh. Kovind got just one vote in Kerala and six in Delhi where AAP has an overwhelming majority. The data provided by the returning officer for the election, in which Kovind garnered 2930 or 65.35 per cent of the total 4774 valid votes (of 10,69,358 value) polled, show the two contenders scored overwhelmingly over each other in some states. Kumar polled a total of 1844 votes (with value of 367314) or 34.35 per cent of votes.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Plea in SC for nod to accept demonetised notes kept at temples

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A petition was today filed before the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre and RBI to accept about Rs 8.29 crore in demonetised currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination offered by pilgrims at the temples run by a trust which also manages the affairs of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple of Andhra Pradesh. The petition said that offerings made by the devotees to Lord Venkateswara Swami were not accepted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) due to which the demonetised currencies have been kept with it. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam oversees the operations and finances of the second richest and the most visited religious centre in the world. The petition, drafted by advocate Sravan Kumar, also said that non-acceptance of pilgrims’ money, which was received by the trust after December 30, 2016, at par with Non-Resident Indians, and district cooperative banks was “discriminative”. “Non-acceptance also means that pilgrims’ wishes will not be fulfilled and such offerings will not be utilised for the service activities run by the Board and on the other hand keeping such a huge amount of money in demonetised currency by the Board is also an illegal act and punishable offence under the law,” it said. Petitioner V V Ramanamurthy, a journalist, has sought a direction to declare as “unconstitutional” the action of the Centre and RBI in not accepting the demonetised currency from the trust. The plea has said that the government has been issuing orders from time to time modifying the demonetisation norms and allowing Indians living in foreign countries to deposit their money. Besides NRIs, the government has also allowed district cooperative banks, post offices to deposit demonetised notes with the RBI, it said. “By allowing NRIs and district cooperative banks to deposit old notes and not accepting public money meant for charity and service is not only discriminatory but infringes pilgrims’ and devotees’ right to practice and propagate religion and is clearly violative of fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 25 and 21 of the Constitution,” the petition said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Water leaks in ministers’ chambers in AP secretariat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Incessant rains in the last two days have caused water leaks in portions of the interim secretariat complex in Andhra Pradesh capital Amaravati built in a “record” 192 days at a cost of Rs 512 crore. The downpour has left the chambers of at least three ministers soaking as water leaked through the roof. The false ceiling broke at several places while rain water seeped into the stamps and registration section of the revenue department. All these are housed in block-4 of the secretariat complex. State Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana, who oversaw the construction of the complex, sought to play down the matter saying “some small problems are always common.” This was not the first time that rain caused havoc in the new buildings. Last month, the rain water leaked into the chamber of opposition leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy in the Legislature building, located in the same compound. The state government then called it an act of ‘sabotage’ and ordered an inquiry by the Crime Investigation Department (CID), which is yet to be concluded. The maintenance staff plunged into action to mop up the rain water while the revenue department staffers hurriedly removed the files, computers and other material to safety as the ceiling cracked. “When you build a house, there will be problems. You need not see them with a magnifying glass,” the minister said, adding that there was nothing amiss with the construction. “The edges of the duct sheets were not properly cut in line with the outer wall because of which rain water seeped through them. Otherwise everything is fine,” Narayana said after inspecting the block-4.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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