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Two weeks after showdown with Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Rajeev Dhawan retracts statements; to resume practice

Senior Supreme Court advocate Rajeev Dhawan has written to Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, retracting his statement that he would be giving up legal practice.The move comes two weeks after Dhawan said he would give up practice, following a showdown with Misra.Earlier, upset over a “humilitating” exchange in the Supreme Court between him and Misra during the hearing on Delhi Vs Centre on statehood case early this month, Dhavan, in a strong worded letter, had announced that he has given up court practice.In the letter, he said: “After the humiliating end to the Delhi (vs Centre) case, I have decided to give up court practice. You are entitled to take away the Senior Gown conferred on me, though I would like to keep it for memory and services rendered”.Two recent run-ins of Dhavan with the Chief Justice were widely reported in the media. During the Ayodhya case, Dhawan, Kapil Sibal, and Dushyant Dave pleaded that the Supreme Court defer hearing in the Babri-Ram Janambhoomi case until after the 2019 Lok Sabha election.Also read’After humiliating end to Delhi case,’ SC lawyer Rajeev Dhavan quits court practiceAccording to reports, Dhavan shouted at CJI Misra during the arguments. In another matter of Centre vs Delhi, Dhawan while representing the Arvind Kejriwal government, wanted to further a few more arguments even though Supreme Court had reserved its order in the case.After these two instances, CJI Misara said the trend of lawyers raising their voices showed their “inadequacy, incompetence and the fact that they are not even eligible to become seniors”.CJI Misra said: “If the Supreme Court Bar Association does not regulate such members, we will be forced to regulate them”.CJI further said: “When lawyers argue in a manner, not in tune with Constitutional language, we will tolerate it, but for how long? ”

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Govt land cannot be used as burial ground

Any open land, especially belonging to the government, cannot be used as a burial ground, the Delhi High Court (HC) held.”No person has any right to use any open land, especially government land, indiscriminately as a burial ground,” a bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C Hari Shankar said, while dismissing a plea filed by an NGO.The bench’s ruling comes while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) that challenged a sub-divisional magistrate’s order, which questioned the use of government land in Uttam Nagar in west Delhi as a burial ground.The magistrate had issued a notice to an Uttam Nagar-based NGO, asking how it came to be in possession of the government land and how it was using it as a burial ground. The bench noted that the petitioner NGO, Kabristan Intzamia Association, had started using the government land on the basis of a statement made by an MLA and “no legal right is either pointed out or made out with respect to the subject land”.

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Over 4.5K towers aren’t fire safe

None of the high-rises inspected by the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) over the last two years was found to have adhered to fire safety norms. They only complied after legal notices were sent to them.As per the data accessed by DNA, the MFB inspected 4647 buildings over the last couple of years — residential and commercial – and all of them were found without fire safety compliance. They have issued notices under Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006 and given 120 days to comply with the fire safety norms. After the warning, 4637 toed the line, while 10 buildings are now being prosecuted as per law.Two incidents of fire are fresh in minds of Mumbaikars – the Bhanu Farsan shop fire in Saki Naka which claimed 12; and Monday’s fire on the 17thfloor of a high-rise at Walkeshwar, the Legend Tower. Bhanu Farsan shop was not fire-safety compliant, while the fire at Legend Tower was easily controlled as the building had functioning fire safety installations.Chief Fire Officer P S Rahangdale said, “Residents are not serious about fire safety and only install fire safety equipment after we send notices. It is out of fear of prosecution and not safety concerns.” “During inspection, we found that buildings flout basic safety norms such as encroachment on common passage, doors to staircases are closed, water from fire tank is used for domestic purposes,” said a senior MFB officer.Turn to “Some buildings do not have designated entry and exit gates, and while many buildings have firefighting equipment, it is not in working conditions. There will be a faulty or missing knob, rusted pipes or just an inability to operate the equipment,” he added However, residents feel that the Municipal Corporation and Fire Brigade fail to create awareness about fire safety and are lenient while granting permissions. Nita Bajpai, general Secretary of Juhu-Vile Parle Residents Association said, “It is true that most residents do not take fire safety seriously, but it also the work of the Municipal Corporation and Fire Brigade to create awareness through campaigns. Buildings should have fire-fighting installations and do regular servicing to keep it operational. It also cannot be rejected that authorities sanction building permissions when the locality does not provide sufficient space for fire brigade in case of emergency.”

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Join Naxalites so we can shoot you, MoS Hansraj Ahir tells docs on leave

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir on Monday was so inflamed with the absence of a civil surgeon at an inauguration ceremony in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district on Christmas Day that he suggested that absentee doctors should turn into Naxalites so they can be shot dead since they clearly didn’t have any regard for democratically elected leaders.Ahir made the statement while inaugurating the Amrut Dindayal medical store on the birthday of former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee. “I am a minister chosen by democracy. Despite knowing that I am coming to Chandrapur, what’s the point of going on leave?If there is no faith in democracy, join Naxalism. We will pump bullets into them.” Chandrapur is a Naxal-affected area in western Maharashtra.When DNA contacted the minister, he justified his comment saying that the doctor was the organiser of the event and should have been present. “Have you ever heard of the organiser being absent at his own function? So I said what I did. What’s so controversial about it?” he said, refusing to withdraw his remark.Ahir said government medical officers should behave decorously with elected representatives. “They cannot get away with everything. If they are government servants, they have to believe in democracy and work accordingly,” he said.The Opposition condemned Ahir’s statement. NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said the BJP minister spoke of democracy with a dictatorial mindset. “The minister should be booked under section 506 of IPC. Immediate action should be taken against him,” Malik said. The section pertains to to criminal intimidation.Congress MLA Vijay Wadettiwar said the remark from a union minister was “very unfortunate”. “We strongly condemn it. If any doctor is going on leave on a public holiday, what is the big deal? Doctors are entitled to a family life. The minister should withdraw his statement and apologise to the medical fraternity which tirelessly works for the people.”Dr Jayesh Lele, president of the Indian Medical Association, stated that ministers can make any statement and get away.

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Singapore deputy PM to lead ASEAN-India Prawasi Bharat Diwas

Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will join India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for a two-day ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held here next month.Apart from Swaraj, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Assam, N Chandrababu Naidu and Sarbananda Sonowal, will also attend the function, Indian High Commissioner to Singapore Jawed Ashraf said here today.The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated every year to mark the contribution of overseas Indian community in the development of India.”External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari will attend the event on January 6, while Naidu and Sonowal, on January 7,” Ashraf said.Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister S Iswaran and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan will also be addressing over 2,500 delegates expected at the meeting, which is being held for the first time in Singapore.The India-Singapore/ASEAN Entrepreneurship Bridge (InSpreneur) will be also held on January 5 and 6, on the second day, co-terminus with the PBD.The event will focus on startups, fintech, cyber security, disruptive technologies in manufacturing and India Stack.In addition to panel discussions, startups will have an opportunity to pitch to investors and interact with other start-ups in curated “speed dating” sessions.The event will culminate in the launch of the India- Singapore/ASEAN start up portal.Around 600 invited delegates, including 300 curated start -ups, with around 120 from India, are to participate in the event.Over 60 investors have listed themselves for the investor pitching session and 100 start ups have signed up for speed dating sessions.In addition, 35 startups will set up booths in the Startup Exhibition from January 5 to 7.The event is supported by Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and India’s the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Invest India, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).”We have also drawn upon the excellent pool of Indian professional and institutional associations, including IIM Alumni Association, IIT Alumni Association and TiE,” he said.”We expect Indian startups to tap into Singapore s investor community, develop links with them and also expand into the ASEAN market.”Equally, the other objective is to support our efforts to promote India as a global destination for Startups and fintech companies, and attract Singapore s excellent start up community to India,” Ashraf said.The event is intended to promote India’s successful model of UID-enabled governance, public services, financial inclusion and payment systems in Southeast Asia/ASEAN region.Fintech is emerging as an exciting new area of collaboration both at regulatory and promotional levels.The launch of the India-Singapore startup portal, anchored in startup India, will become a channel for pursuing these objectives on a sustained basis.The PBD also commemorates 25 years of ASEAN-India Partnership, ahead of the Commemorative Summit on January 25- 26.The event is largely organised through local support, the Indian High Commissioner said.The theme of “Ancient Route, New Journey: Diaspora in the Dynamic ASEAN-India Partnership” aims to highlight the ancient human, maritime, cultural, commercial and religious links between India and Southeast Asia; and, promote greater economic, cultural and diplomatic cooperation between India and Southeast Asian nations as well as ASEAN.The event will also showcase Indian Diaspora’s talent and achievements and deepen their especially the youth’s – emotional and economic links with India.The Convention has evolved into one of the biggest business meets on India and ASEAN in Singapore with a full day of sessions on ASEAN-India Economic Partnership; India and ASEAN in the Digital World, Infrastructure, Financial Partnership, expanding trade and services, Make in India, legal framework of doing business in India and ASEAN, Science and Technology, and Tourism and Connectivity.Over 40 Indian business heads from CII and FICCI will join business leaders from ASEAN in the event.Many of Singapore s leaders of the corporate sector are of Indian origin.ASEAN-India Business Council, Singapore India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore Tourism Board are among the institutional partners for the event.Other sessions at PBD will cover areas such as India- ASEAN partnership in the new world order and in the digital world, diaspora history, social impact contribution in India, culture, youth, education, and Ease of Being Overseas Indian in India and ASEAN.

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AASU demands error free NRC, says ‘no Bangladeshi coming to Assam after 1971 will be allowed to stay’

Demanding an error free National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state, the All Assam Student Union (AASU) on Sunday said that no Bangladeshis coming to Assam after 1971 will be allowed to stay in the state.AASU chief adviser Dr Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya talking to reporters here said no Bangladeshis either Hindu or Muslim coming to Assam after 1971 will be allowed to stay in the state.On the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Bhattacharya said, “We strongly oppose the special bill that the Central government is framing for the interest of settlement of Hindus from Bangladesh in the state. It will never be acceptable to the people of Assam.”Urging the government to deal with the ongoing NRC updation process sincerely, Bhattacharya said, “a section of people have been doing politics on it and trying to include the names of illegal foreigners in the NRC”.The first draft of the NRC, being updated in Assam on the directions of the Supreme Court, will be published on December 31 midnight.The AASU leader also added that the government should protect the land falling under the Tribal Belt Blocks.The AASU leader was accompanied by All Assam Tea Students Association (AATSA) leader Krisna Kamal Tanti, Gorkha Student’s Union general secretary Sanjib Chetry.

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Yogi Adityanath meets distressed homebuyers, promises quick action

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met distressed homebuyers and pulled up Noida Authority for lapses in the handling of the matter. Adityanath has directed officials to hand over 40,000 flats by December 31, while another 40,000 to be handed over by March, 2018.The UP CM also asked the Noida Authority to draw up a list of defaulter builders categorising them as per their position on the properties — one, who will be able to deliver the flats on time; two, those who need help of co-developers to complete their projects; three, those who won’t be able to complete their projects.Adityanath met distressed homebuyers at Amity University where officials of all the three authorities — Noida authority, Greater Noida Authority, and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority were present along with the heads of many home buyers’ associations.During the meeting, the distressed homebuyers kept their issues in front of Yogi and he made a note of all of them. After this, he promised the homebuyers that the 40,000 flats will be handed over to the buyers December 31, while another 40,000 would be handed over by March 31.However, the homebuyers were not satisfied with the promises made as they said the CM needed to check the ground reality. The buyers invovled in different projects in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway — such as Jaypee, Amrapali, Supertech, Unitech, Pan Oasis — also announced that they will protest against the government on Sunday at the Film City in Sector 16A.According to members of the association, during the UP elections, BJP candidates had promised flat buyers of GB Nagar that they would be giving all possible support in securing possession of homes. But, they alleged, after the BJP victory in the UP elections nothing was done for them.”We have been getting such promises from the past many years but no work on the ground has been done. All the people are just coming and giving hope but nothing is done. We are left hopeless,”said Shweta Bharti, General Secretary, NEFOWA (Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association).The UP CM also attacked previous state governments saying that all corruption had been done in their era, but the BJP government was working for the benefit of the people. He further directed the authorities to hand over a list to the three-minister panel of the builders categorising them into three lists so that they knew who needed help and against whom do they have to take action.Ninety-four projects in Noida and around 190 projects in Greater Noida are stuck owing to financial reasons. In a high-level meeting held in September this year, UP chief minister ordered officials to ensure that 50,000 homebuyers got their homes in Noida and Greater Noida areas.On December 4, the ministerial panel — during the course of a meeting with builders and officials of Noida Authority, Greater Noida Authority and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) — had declared that 32,500 flats would be delivered by the end of this month.NO HOMESAs many as 1.6 lakh homes are delayed in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway put together and homebuyers who are burdened withboth equated monthly instalments and rent said that delivery of flats being promised by authorities comprise projects that were, in any case, nearing completion and do not include the big builders in Noida, whose projects have been delayed for years or against whom insolvency proceedings are currently on. None of those projects have been revived.

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UGC’s letter on trips to North East upsets Delhi University faculty

A letter from the UGC to the Vice-Chancellors of all the central universities encouraging them to organise excursions to northeast states has created an uproar among the faculty members at the Delhi University (DU) with many of them terming it a “political move”.In the letter, Jitendra K Tripathi, Joint Secretary, University Grants Commission (UGC), directed the universities to implement the ‘action points’ that emerged out of a recent meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the tourism sector. “Universities to be encouraged to organise excursions to the North East,” the letter said. The regulatory body also urged the universities to make tourism a part of course curriculum of students to sensitise them about the sector.University officials, however, said that by mentioning a particular part of the country where the Assembly elections are scheduled next year, in its letter, the incumbent government is trying to”propagate its political agenda”.”I have been teaching in a central university since the last fifteen years but this is the first time that a government is asking educational institutes to take its students on a trip to a prescribed place,” said Rajib Ray, president of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA).Four northeastern states — Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram – will go to the polls next year.

No grievance against anyone: NGT chief

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has been supportive and has cooperated with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), outgoing Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said on Tuesday. Justice Kumar was the chairperson of the Tribunal from December 2012, and passed landmark orders on cleaning of Ganga, Yamuna, Delhi’s air pollution, and coal mining in Meghalaya. He was appointed as a Supreme Court judge in December 2009, and he served as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court before that.His last day in the Tribunal witnessed a full-bench reference that was followed by a small function, attended by lawyers of the NGT Bar Association, as well as the Tribunal’s staff and law students. Justice Kumar said that NGT, as an institution, has been able to leave international impact and that it became a star on the international map.”We have been able to give inexpensive and expeditious justice. We have been able to bring the disposal rate to 182 per cent and cases are disposed off within the same year or within two years. I feel very satisfied about these contributions,” Justice Kumar said.He added that the Tribunal has been able to create environmental consciousness and awareness among the public, which he said, was the one of its biggest contributions.Justice Kumar’s retirement comes at a time when the NGT is facing a sort of a manpower crisis. Out of its sanctioned strength of 20 members, the NGT currently has just seven members, of which five are judicial members and two are expert members. The shortfall in manpower has led to reduction in hearings, impacting its healthy record of disposal of cases.According to official data, out of the 23,720 cases filed before it, 20696 cases have been successfully disposed, leaving a pendency of 3024 cases. Justice Kumar played down the vacancies and said that it is only a matter of time before they are appointed.He added that the NGT has stepped in when development was done in violation of laws in force. “Laws have been framed by the legislators, notifications are issued by the government, so all we say is please adhere to them, don’t bypass them.Wherever they are bypassed we certainly come in the picture, but wherever they are doing development in consonance with laws, we definitely let the development happen.”Outgoing ChiefJustice Swatanter Kumar was appointed as the chairperson of the National Green Tribunal in December 2012.His retired from the post on Tuesday.

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Gujarat Elections 2017- 47 newly elected MLAs have criminal cases, 25 from Congress: ADR

Of the 182 newly-elected Gujarat MLAs, 47 have declared criminal cases against them, while 141 are crorepatis, says a report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).”Out of the 182 MLAs analysed, 47 (26 per cent) MLAs have declared criminal cases against them. Out of 182 MLAs analysed during Gujarat assembly elections in 2012, 57 (31 per cent) MLAs had declared criminal cases against them,” the report by ADR said today. Gujarat Election Watch and ADR have analysed the self- sworn affidavits of all 182 newly-elected MLAs in the Gujarat 2017 assembly elections. Among MLAs with serious criminal cases, 33 have declared serious cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, robbery etc. Out of 182 MLAs analysed during Gujarat assembly elections in 2012, 24 MLAs had declared serious criminal cases against them.ADR, which works for electoral and political reforms, said that among party wise MLAs with criminal cases, 18 out of 99 MLAs from BJP, 25 out of 77 MLAs from INC, one of the two MLAs from Bhartiya Tribal Party, one MLA from NCP and two out of three independents have declared criminal cases against them in their affidavits. Besides, 12 MLAs from BJP, 17 from INC, one from Bhartiya Tribal Party, one from NCP and two independents have declared serious criminal cases against them in their affidavits.Also readHow Yogi Adityanath delivered the Hindu votes for BJP in South Gujarat “Out of the 182 newly-elected MLAs, 141 (77 per cent) are crorepatis. Out of 182 MLAs analysed during Gujarat 2012 assembly elections, 134 (74 per cent) MLAs were crorepatis,” the report said. Among partywise crorepati MLAs, 84 MLAs from BJP, 54 from INC, two MLAs from Bhartiya Tribal Party and one MLA from NCP have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore. The average assets per MLA in the Gujarat 2017 assembly elections is Rs 8.46 crore, while the same was Rs 8.03 crore in 2012. The average assets per MLA for 99 BJP MLAs analysed is Rs 10.64 crore, 77 INC MLAs (5.85 crore), 2 Bhartiya Tribal Party MLAs (Rs 2.71 crore) and 3 Independents (Rs 53.86 lakh).Also readKey indices close at record high over BJP’s win in Gujarat, Himachal PradeshThe top three MLAs with high assets are Saurabh Yashvantbhai Dalal Patel of BJP with total assets of over Rs 123 crore, followed by Dhanjibhai Patel (Makson) also from BJP (over Rs 113 crore) and Chavda Jawaharbhai Pethaljibhai from INC (over Rs 103 crore), the report by ADR said. Three MLAs in Gujarat with lowest assets have their assets valued less than Rs 13 lakh led by independent Jigneshkumar Natvarlal Mevani with total assets of over Rs 10 lakh.The report said that 13 out of 182 MLAs have not declared their sources of income. The average assets of re-elected MLAs in 2017 is Rs 10.71 crore, while in 2012 it was Rs 7.41 crore, ADR added. “The growth in average assets of re-elected MLAs is Rs 3.30 crore ie by 45 per cent,” it said.On their education details, the report said that 96 MLAs have declared their qualification to be between 5th pass and 12th pass, while 69 have declared having a qualification of graduate or above. There are seven MLAs who are just literates while there is one who is illiterate. As per the findings of the report, 21 MLAs have declared their age to be between 25 and 40 years, while 121 between 41 and 60 years. There are 40 MLAs who have declared their age to be between 61 to 80 years. Out of the 182 MLAs, 13 are women against 16 in 2012.

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Doctors strike: Health system crippled, patients left in lurch

The ongoing agitation of government doctors became serious on Monday as resident doctors joined the strike and boycott the work. The move resulted into crippled health services at the medical colleges associated hospitals also. Medical services were already affected at district hospitals including CHCs and PHCs as doctors, associated to All Rajasthan In Service Doctors Association (ARISDA) had gone on indefinite strike since Saturday.JAIPUR PICTUREIn the SMS hospital, the largest government health facility in the state, around 900 residents doctors and 100 senior resident doctors started work boycott on Monday. This reflected into number of patients in OPD and IPD as well. On Monday 8,246 patients were registered in OPD which is around 10,000 in any normal day. Considering the threat of work boycott from residents, in the morning SMS medical college principal, Dr US Agrawal held a meeting for alternative measures, but these measures proved insufficient.JODHPUR SCENEAfter the arrest of doctors on the health centers of the villages, in-service doctors at many places are not coming to work from the past few days. The highest impact of the strike is being seen at the primary health centers of the villages. Due to the strike of in-service doctors, The medical arrangements are getting worse at 85 Primary Health Centers, 25 Community Health Centers and 30 Urban Primary Health Centers.The arrangements have started to deteriorate due to the strike of resident doctors in Dr SN Medical College affiliated Mathuradas Mathur Hospital, Mahatma Gandhi Hospital and Umaid Hospital. in this episode of the movement, They went on strike on Monday.The arrest of the doctors here also continued on Monday. Three doctors have been arrested in Jodhpur division. For this reason, most of the in-service doctors have gone underground. Dr Balwant Mund, District President of the in-service doctors Association Jodhpur has gone underground after switching off his phone.During the strike, the services of the doctors of the Railways, AIIMS, Army and BSF related to the Central Government medical services are being taken in Jodhpur. MGH Superintendent Dr PB Vyas, MDMH Superintendent Dr. Shatansingh Rathore, and Umaid Hospital Superintendent Dr Ranjana Desai told that all senior doctors have been put on the work. conditions will remain in full control.Villagers in many rural areas of the district, such as Phalodi, had to face many problems. Resident doctors of Dr SN Medical However, all these deaths were during the strike. According to the statistics, 33 deaths in MDMH, 9 in MGH and 13 in Umaid hospital.HIDING DOCTORSMost of the leaders of ARISDA remained underground keeping their phones witched off, to avoid any possible arrest as the government has already extended RESMA. Additional DGP told DNA that till Monday morning 85 doctors were arrested across the state.

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Coaching class owners oppose proposed regulation bill

Coaching class owners from across the state have opposed the recent draft provisions of the Maharashtra Private Coaching Class Regulation Bill, 2018 which the government plans to table in the assembly soon.On Sunday, DNA had reported about the draft bill as per which the state government committee shall fix and regulate fees of coaching classes. Some other provisions in the bill state that the classes would have to part with 5 per cent of their total income to the government and keep seats reserved for underprivileged children.The Maharashtra Class Owners Association (MCOA), the biggest body of class owners in the state, will submit a representation to the government on Tuesday opposing the draft bill. “Classes are already paying 18 per cent GST and income tax to the state. Asking for more money in the absence of any support is unjust,” said Sachin Karnavat, President, MCOA.Narendra Bambwani, former president, MCOA said, “Coaching classes run on competitive markets and students’ needs. At the most, the government should monitor their quality.”Jagdish Walavalkar, a coaching class owner and member of the committee that prepared the draft bill, said that the government has not incorporated some of the key suggestions made by the committee. “We had proposed setting up a council which would have class owners, parents and government representatives instead of a complete state body. This was not included. We shall add a rejoinder to the draft with all such suggestions,” he added.OTHER PROVISIONS OF THE DRAFT BILLState government will govern the coaching classes, fix and regulate their fees. Classes will accept fees only via cheque. Classes will have to appoint ‘capable teachers’ instead of merely relying on educational qualifications. Only classes that have five or less than five students can be considered as home tuition. Class owners to reserve 5 per cent seats for poor students.

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Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital’s resident doctor assaulted by patient’s attendant

In another case of an attack on doctors by patient’s attendants in a government hospital, the resident doctors at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) were allegedly abused by the family members of a patient on Saturday, after his planned surgery was postponed by them just before the schedule.A senior resident doctor at the RML hospital confirmed that the surgery was postponed because the patient was stable and another critical patient needed to be operated immediately. The doctor also confirmed that the patient was counseled for this delay but despite that, a mob entered the hospital ward and abused the doctors.”If the guards and the bouncers had not intervened, the doctors would have faced physical assault too,” he added.The hospital authorities called the police but by that time the mob of about 20-30 people had already left the hospital. A case in this regard has been filed by the hospital at the North Avenue Police Station. “An FIR has been lodged and investigations are underway. Nobody has been arrested yet,” said a senior police official.Cases of verbal and physical assault against doctors have become common in hospitals. In another case in November, a resident doctor was physically assaulted by a patient and her attendant, after which the Federation of Resident Doctor’s Association (FORDA), which includes over 20,000 doctors, had announced an indefinite state-wise strike to demand better security for doctors at all the government hospitals.The strike, which would have seen a closure of all out-patient departments to demand more guards at the hospitals, was cancelled later after FORDA received an assurance from the Principal Health Secretary that their demands were being looked into.

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60 sports teachers for over 9 lakh students in 1700 govt schools

Even as the AAP-led Delhi government has been promoting public schools and sports in the city, the situation of sports facilities of schools operating under the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs) tells a different story. Hundreds of these government-run schools do not have a basic working playground.As per the recent data released by an NGO, 24% schools from North MCD, 11% from SDMC and 12% from EDMC did not have playgrounds in the academic year 2016-17. The schools operating under the MCDs offer education till class V.Even the number of physical education teachers in these schools is surprisingly low, prompting a call for a massive recruitment drive.”There are only 60 Physical Education Teachers for over 9 lakh students in 1,700 MCD schools,” said Ramniwas Solanki, general secretary, Municipal Corporation of Teachers’ Association.”When the schools across the world are promoting extra-curricular activities, we are depriving our children by not even providing the teachers,” he added.In a bid to apprise the authorities about the situation, the association had also written to the commissioners and mayors of the three civic bodies but to no avail. However, officials at the civic bodies, claim that the process of hiring new teachers is”underway”.”With no physical education in hundreds of MCD schools, students are neither getting proper physical training nor getting a chance to participate in any recreational activity. Many of these kids are from poor families and if we don’t channelise their energy, there is a risk of them getting involved in anti-social activities,” said a teacher at an MCD school in east Delhi’s Patparganj.MATTER RAISEDIn a bid to apprise the authorities about the situation, the association had also written to the commissioners and mayors of the three civic bodies but to no avail

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No sports facility is 100 govt schools

Ashutosh Kumar, a class VII student at Government Co-ed Senior Secondary School in north-west Delhi’s Rohini, wants to refine athletic skills as he aspires to win an Olympic medal for the country. However, the 12-year-old is not getting the opportunity in the absence of a working sports ground in his school.For Kumar, son of an e-rickshaw driver, enrolling in a private school with a well-equipped playground is a distant dream.”I don’t have interest in studies. I want to pursue sports as a career option. Our school doesn’t have a playground where I can practice. I asked my parents to change my school but they can’t afford it,” he said.Even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government talks about creating a sports university and provide specialised training to tap sports talents, as many as 100 government schools in the Capital do not even have sports grounds, reply to an RTI filed by DNA revealed.Under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, it is mandatory to have a playground on school premises. And, in the absence of space, the schools have to make adequate arrangements in a nearby park/playground.”No such effort has been taken by the school authority even as we don’t have a sports ground,” said a faculty member at Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Mangolpuri.The Delhi government recently constructed two new swimming pools – one in Mayur Vihar Phase-2 and another in west Vinod Nagar – and a world-class hockey stadium in Boys Senior Secondary School in Ghumanhera village.”What will they do in the absence of trained teachers? 50 per cent of the sanctioned posts for Physical Education Teachers are lying vacant,” said Ajay Veer Yadav, general secretary, Government School Teachers Association and a physical education teacher at a school in Karol Bagh.As per a recent data, of the 864 sanctioned posts of post-graduate teacher (PGT) Physical Education, 636 are lying vacant. Also, among graduate teachers (TGTs), supposed to teach up to class VIII, of the 2205 sanctioned posts, 901 are lying vacant.Officials at the Directorate of Education (DoE), however, cited lack of space to construct sports grounds in these schools. However, teachers said the government should focus on arranging cluster sports grounds.”The government can make cluster grounds for two-three nearby schools. But no such efforts are being taken at their end,” Yadav added.Around 100 government schools in the capital do not even have sports grounds Of 864 sanctioned posts of post-graduate teacher (PGT) Physical Education, 636 are lying vacant in government schools. Of 2205 sanctioned posts graduate teachers (TGTs), 901 are lying vacant.

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Health services cripple, as doctors-Rajasthan govt in battle of attrition

Indefinite strike call by the in-service government doctors on Saturday severely hampered the health services at government health facilities across the state. The doctors posted in District Hospitals, Sub Divisional Hospitals, Community Health Centers (CHCs) and Primary Health Centers (PHCs) remained absent after declaring an indefinite strike, 48 hours prior to the given ultimatum.Meanwhile, the government remained firm on its stand and arrest of doctors continued on the second day. Doctors have called the government action the “Rowlatt Act”.Till Saturday evening, as per the state police headquarters, 52 doctors were arrested across the state for not attending their duties as the Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act (RESMA) is in force. The arrests were made in various districts including Ajmer, Sriganganagar, Bundi, Kota, Karauli, Dholpur, Swai Madhopur, Jhunjhunu, Jhalawar, Jaislamer, Tonk, Barmer and Bhilwara. Though, no doctor was arrested in Jaipur, the police raids were going on to nab the agitating doctors.It is worth mentioning that after the announcement of indefinite strike from December 18 made by the All Rajasthan In Service Doctors Association (ARISDA), state government has already extended RESM, imposed in September for next three months. This is the reason why the office-bearers of ARISDA, including main leaders of the agitation, have gone underground and switched off their mobile phones. However, these leaders are seeking support for the agitation social media.In an another development, the resident doctors have extended their support to in-service doctors’ agitation. In a statement, the Jaipur Association of Resident Doctors (JARD) said that any repressive action against the agitating doctors, resident doctors associated with JARD will also go on indefinite leave from December 18. In Jodhpur many doctors boycotted the work on Saturday to protest against the arrest of doctors. Jodhpur Collector Dr Ravi Kumar Surpur said that if the doctors refuse to resume their duties they will be arrested RESMA Act. He said that arrangements have been made to take the services of the doctors of Railways, AIIMS, army and BSF. He said that during the strike period AYUSH doctors will be deployed at primary health centres. Instructions have been issued to the ANM and other medical personnel to provide immediate treatment and refer serious patients to the district and medical colleges. He said that all relevant senior officers and police officers have been given instructions to take action against the striking doctors.

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Noida, Greater Noida don’t need a municipal corporation

Noida and Greater Noida do not have their own municipal corporations. This is despite the fact that the Industrial Development Act of 1976 mandated that every city must have a municipal corporation of its own.What’s even more surprising is that the two cities, located in Gautam Budh Nagar district, may still not get their own municipal corporations, as stakeholders, at a meeting convened by the Noida Authority on Saturday, concluded that the two cities did not need them.The stakeholders comprised members of the Federation of Noida Residents Welfare Associations (FONRWA), Confederation of NCR Residents Welfare Associations (CONRWA), Noida Entrepreneurs Association (NEA), Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) and various MLAs. Most of them felt that Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Authority authorities were working well enough to maintain the city.According to Meerut Commissioner Prabhat Kumar, most of the suggestions declined the need for a municipal corporation for GB Nagar. Instead, he said, people wanted civic bylaws to be put in place to fix the accountability of residents and the Authority towards the city.“The majority of stakeholders in GB Nagar do not want a separate municipal body,” Kumar said The Meerut Commissioner had been appointed to look into this matter when on September 4 this year, the GB Nagar district magistrate BN Singh recommended that the municipal functions be withdrawn from the purview of Noida Authority and handed over to the Uttar Pradesh government. In October, a public notice was issued, inviting all stakeholders to submit their views on the matter. Thereafter, a government committee including BN Singh, GB Nagar district magistrate; RK Mishra, additional CEO of Noida Authority; BK Tripathi, additional CEO of Greater Noida, VP Pathak, chief law adviser of Noida Authority and CP Singh, municipal commissioner of Ghaziabad, was set up under the leadership of Prabhat Kumar, commissioner of Meerut. Kumar is now the in-charge on this matterOn other issues raised in the meeting, Kumar said they also received suggestions on parking issues and the need for a railway station in GB Nagar and an IIT college in Yamuna Expressway.No corp in noidaThe Industrial Development Act of 1976 mandated that every city must have a municipal corporation of its own.At a meeting convened by the Noida Authority, stakeholders concluded that Noida and Greater Noida did not need one.

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10 ASEAN leaders to grace Republic Day celebrations as chief guests

In a move that will showcase India’s strong ties with the ASEAN countries, all ten leaders of Southeast Asian nations will take part in India’s Republic Day celebrations next month as chief guests. ANI reported that an ASEAN-India tableau will also be part of the Republic Day parade on January 26. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month invited leaders of 10 ASEAN countries to attend the Republic Day celebrations as well as participate at a commemorative summit marking 25th anniversary of India’s ties with the bloc and they accepted it. In his address at the ASEAN-India Summit on November 14, Modi said he was looking forward to a “befitting culmination of the commemorative year and receiving you” at the India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit on January 25 next year in New Delhi. He said 1.25 billion people of India are keen to welcome the ASEAN leaders as the Chief Guests at India’s 69th Republic Day celebrations. The Ministry of External Affairs had confirmed that the ASEAN leaders “graciously” accepted PM Modi’s invitation to attend the two events. Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN has Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam as its members. The ASEAN region along with India together comprises combined population of 1.85 billion people, which is one fourth of the global population and their combined GDP has been estimated at over US $3.8 trillion. Investment from ASEAN to India has been over US $70 billion in the last 17 years accounting for more than 17% of India’s total FDI. India’s investment in ASEAN during the same period has been more than US $40 billion.(With PTI inputs)

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Defamation case: Delhi High Court rejects Kejriwal’s plea to trash Jaitley’s reply

The Delhi High Court today dismissed Arvind Kejriwal’s plea seeking striking down of Arun Jaitley’s reply in the second Rs 10 crore defamation suit filed against the Chief Minister, saying the additional issues raised by the Union Minister were “relevant”.The Delhi Chief Minister had sought that the replication (reply) filed by Jaitley in response to his written submission in the second defamation lawsuit be trashed on several grounds including that the usage of ‘scandalous’ words by his former counsel was based on hearsay.Justice Manmohan said the additional points raised by Jaitley in his replication to Kejriwal’s written submission were “relevant” as they “crystalise” the Union Minister’s stand and thus, “can neither be termed scandalous, nor frivolous or vexatious or unnecessary or abuse of process of law”.The court, however, gave Kejriwal four weeks to rebut the additional contentions of the BJP leader.The second suit had claimed that the then counsel of the Chief Minister, Ram Jethmalani, had made derogatory remarks against Jaitley in the proceedings of another defamation suit between the two and five other AAP leaders allegedly at the instance of Kejriwal.Kejriwal has denied that he had instructed Jethmalani to use the derogatory words, a claim which Jaitley has termed as false and for which he has also sought perjury action against the Delhi chief minister.In another reply, filed in response to Jaitley’s application seeking perjury action against him, Kejriwal has denied the allegation that he filed a false affidavit claiming he had not instructed his lawyer to use the derogatory words.The court has listed the perjury application for hearing on April 26.In his response filed through advocate Anupam Shrivastav, Kejriwal has denied that he has committed any perjury or made any false statement supported by an affidavit under oath.He has also said there were no instructions from him to Jethmalani to use objectionable remarks against Jaitley.The senior lawyer, however, had categorically stated before the joint registrar that he had received specific instruction from Kejriwal to use derogatory words against Jaitley.Jethmalani, who in September announced his retirement from over a seven-decade long career as an advocate, had used certain words while cross-examining the Union Minister in a separate Rs 10 crore defamation case filed by the BJP leader against the AAP convenor and five others of the party in 2015.The AAP leaders, including Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai, had in December 2015 levelled charges of corruption against Jaitley in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).Jaitley has denied all the allegations and also claimed that these had harmed his reputation.

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Redressal panel on anvil after med negligence horror

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday requested the state governments to subsidise emergency treatments in private sector and create a reimbursement mechanism.”No hospital can force their consultants to work on targets, and the choice of drugs and devices should rest with doctors based on a patient’s affordability, not the management’s,” IMA president Dr KK Aggawal said.The recent death of a 7-year-old girl due to dengue at Gurugram’s Fortis Hospital, after which her family was given a bill of Rs 16 lakh, as well as the incident of a prematurely born baby being wrong declared dead at Shalimar Bagh’s Max hospital, have brought the country’s private medical care under scanner.Aggarwal said the doctor-patient trust was experiencing a downward spiral in the country as people have started looking at the medical profession with suspicion. “It is disheartening to see the erosion in trust. We want to make the process more transparent. The doctor to patient ratio in India is skewed due to which doctors are under a lot of stress, and they are also human beings.The IMA chief also announced the formation of IMA Medical Redressal Commission at the state level to engage in social, financial, and quality audits of health care. The commission will have a public man, an IMA office bearer, a former state medical council representative, and two subject experts.”Such a commission shall consider every grievance in a time-bound manner. An appeal to the state commission will be heard by the headquarters of the IMA Medical Redressal Commission, which will also have the power to take suo motu cases,” Aggarwal explained.The professional body of doctors also recommended that medical practitioners prescribe National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) drugs and promote Jan Aushadhi kendras. It further appealed to the governments to classify all disposables under NLEM and non-NLEM categories and cap the price of essential ones.The IMA chief added that the recommendations have been forwarded to the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Delhi Medical Council, to be considered during the bodies’ ethics committee meeting. He said the recommendations would also be sent to chief ministers of all states, including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

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Crammed planes a global norm; experts say focus on etiquette

Following the alleged molestation of a minor actor on a Delhi-Mumbai Vistara flight, the question of crammed seating in flights has come to the fore. In the age of budget carriers, globally flights have increasingly reduced the ‘seat pitch’ or the distance between seat rows to accommodate more seats to book profit. However, experts opine that although there is a minor difference between seat pitch from airline to airline all Indian carriers adhere to global standards of flight seating and reduced seat space is not only an Indian norm.” It is not a seat space issue. An airline like Vistara has a decent seat space. It is as per universal order.” said Jitendra Bhargava, Former Executive Director, Air India.The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), a global body that looks into issues of flight safety, also has no regulations for seat pitch, passenger space or seating room as it is the airline that determines seating along with the aircraft manufacturer and the aircraft’s certificating authority. CASA only looks into the tested strength of seats to ensure that seat types, including the seat belts, meet international standards.Bhargava thinks that the recent issues of sexual harassment on flights are more of a conduct issue and less of an ergonomic concern. ” You cannot put your feet on another person’s seat. What we need is a lesson in flight etiquette. Earlier the aviation industry was elitist. Now everyone is flying.” said Bhargava.Flyer’s Rights an American NGO in a passenger safety hearing recently argued, that the average seat width has reduced from around 18.5 inches in the early 2000s to 17 inches in the early to mid 2010s. The “seat pitch” it added has gone from an average of 35 inches to as low as 28 inches in some carriers in its submission.”It is a global trend. Low cost carriers want to fly more passengers. They reduce the seat pitch and increase the number of seats to increase their revenues. ” said Sudhakar Reddy, Founder, Air Passenger Association of India.AWARENESS MUSTWith carriers putting more passengers in planes than before, discord among flyers are likely to become frequent Experts stress the need for increasing awareness of flying etiquette among users

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Cyclone Ockhi aftermath: Goa government to compensate legal shacks that were damaged

The Goa government would provide compensation to shacks having legal validity, for the damages suffered during the Cyclone Ockhi last week. The shack owners, whose establishments suffered damages following high tide during the cyclone, had earlier decided to approach the state tourism department to seek compensation for their losses. The office of North Goa’s district magistrate had also done a preliminary assessment of the damage caused in Pernem and Bardez talukas, where several prominent beaches, including Morjim, Arambol, Candolim, Baga and Calangute, are located, an official release earlier said. State revenue minister Rohan Khaunte yesterday said he is still waiting for the reports from collectors of North Goa and South Goa districts to ascertain the exact amount of losses suffered by the shacks. He said the state government is clear in its stand that only those shacks which have legal validity would be provided the compensation. After the devastating high tide, the tourism business, meanwhile, is getting back to normal with Christmas and New Year celebrations around the corner. “The shack owners have almost finished reconstructing their structures which were washed away due to the ingress of water. The business is getting normal on the coast. We have tourists coming in,” Manuel Cardoso, the general secretary of Goa Traditional Shack Owners’ Association told PTI yesterday. He said shack owners have spent from their savings to ensure the business is not lost during the peak season. “The claims for the compensations would be filed from tomorrow onwards,” Cardoso added. The state government has said that the affected shack owners would be compensated after a proper survey is conducted jointly by officials of tourism and revenue departments and coastal zone management authority. A senior official of the tourism department, however, said the shacks, whose cases will be taken up for compensation, will not be blacklisted. “If they are illegal, then they will not be getting compensation and will face action. But if they are legal they need not worry,” he said.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Money power: 397 crorepatis in fray for Gujarat polls

Close to 400 or nearly a quarter of the candidates contesting in the Gujarat Assembly elections are crorepatis, according to an analysis of their poll affidavits by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Gujarat Election Watch (GEW).Of the 1,828 contesting candidates, election affidavits of 83 candidates were not analysed. Affidavits of 1,745 candidates were analysed, of whom 397 have declared assets worth Rs1 crore or more.Of the 977 candidates contesting in the first phase, 198 have declared assets of more than Rs1 crore. Of the 851 candidates in the fray in the second phase, 199 are crorepatis as per the disclosures made by them in their election affidavits.The BJP, which has won the last five Assembly elections in the state and is vying for the sixth one, has fielded 142 crorepati candidates. The Opposition, which has been out of power since 22 years and is hoping to end its losing streak, has given tickets to 127 such candidates.The analysis reveals that crorepati candidates also rule the roost in the smaller outfits. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has fielded 17 crorepatis, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) 13, and the Bahujam Samaj Party (BSP) five.As many as 56 of the independent candidates in the fray are also worth more than Rs 1 crore, while the remaining such candidates belong to lesser known outfits.The analysis reveals that 131 of the 397 candidates have declared assets worth over Rs5 crore, while 124 others have shown that the own movable and immovable assets in the range of Rs2 crore to Rs5 crore.In a sharp contrast, six candidates have declared that they have ‘zero’ movable or immovable assets. All six are in the fray as independent candidates.The analysis shows that 13 candidates have declared that their annual income is more than Rs1 crore, based on the last Income Tax returns filed by them.Daskroi Congress candidate richestPankaj Patel, the Congress nominee from Daskroi seat in Ahmedabad district, is the richest candidate in fray in the Gujarat elections. Patel, who is taking on sitting MLA Babu Jamna Patel, has declared assets worth Rs231.93 crore in his election affidavit.Congress MLA Indranil Rajguru, who is contesting against chief minister Vijay Rupani from Rajkot West seat, is the second richest with assets worth Rs141.22 crore.Former finance and energy minister Saurabh Patel, who is fighting from Botad seat in Saurashtra, has declared assets worth Rs123.78 crore, making him the third richest candidate.BJP candidate from Wadhwan seat in Surendranagar, Dhanjibhai Patel, is the fourth richest with assets of Rs113.47 crore.Ashok Lal, Congress candidate from Jamnagar South seat, has declared assets of Rs109.03 crore, and is the fifth richest.60% candidates class 12 or belowIn terms of educational qualifications, of the total 1,828 candidates trying their luck in the assembly polls, 1,098 nominees have passed class 12 or below. These 1,098 nominees have either passed only 5th, 8th, 10th or 12th class. 119 candidates mentioned that they were only literate, while 23 others declared that they were illiterate.118 women in frayAlso, there are only 118 women candidates in the fray, which is just 6% of the overall number, according to the analysis.Of the total candidates, 658 are in the age group of 25 and 40 years, 889 between ages of 41 and 60, and 193 of them between 61 and 80.(with agency inputs)In crores397 candidates have declared assets worth Rs1 croreFirst phase977 candidates contesting in the first phase, 198 have declared assets of more than Rs1 crore.Second phase851 candidates in the fray in the second phase, 199 are crorepatisPartywise break upBJP: 142CONG: 127NCP: 17AAP: 13BSP: 5INDEPENDENT: 56

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397 ‘crorepati’ candidates in fray for Gujarat polls

As many as 397 crorepati candidates are in the fray for the Gujarat assembly elections, an analysis of their election affidavits done by two NGOs has found.Of the total 1,828 candidates trying their luck in the two-phased Assembly polls, 1,098 nominees have passed class 12 or below. Also, there are only 118 women candidates in the fray, according to the report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Gujarat Election Watch (GEW).While 198 out of the total 977 candidates of the first phase have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore, 199 nominees out of the total 851 of second phase have emerged as ‘crorepati’ as per the analysis of their affidavits conducted by the NGOs.Also readWATCH | Gujarat Elections 2017: Cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara casts his vote in RajkotAs per the study, 131 of these 397 ‘crorepati’ candidates have declared assets worth over Rs 5 crore, while 124 others have shown movable and immovable assets in the range of Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore.While the ruling BJP has given tickets to 142 ‘crorepati’ candidates, the opposition Congress has fielded 127 such nominees. The NCP has given tickets to 17 crorepati candidates, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded 13 such candidates and the BSP to five.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Congress asks for mobile jammers outside rooms guarding EVMs to prevent riggingThe report said that 56 independent candidates also fall under this category. The remaining ‘crorepati’ candidates belong to lesser-known parties or outfits.Congress candidate for Daskroi seat, Pankaj Patel has emerged as the wealthiest candidate with declared assets worth Rs 231.93 crore, it said.Also readGujarat Elections: ‘No question of any challenge’, says CM Vijay Rupani who’s contesting against richest candidate He is followed by another Congress nominee Indranil Rajyaguru of Rajkot-West seat who has declared assets worth Rs 141.22 crore.Rajyaguru is followed by BJP candidate for Botad seat Saurabh Patel. Patel, who is former Gujarat finance minister, has declared assets worth Rs 123.78 crore, the report said.BJP candidate and prominent businessman Dhanjibhai Patel of Wadhwan seat is in the fourth place with declared assets of Rs 113.47 crore.In a sharp contrast, six independent candidates have declared that they have ‘zero’ movable or immovable assets.The report also suggests that as many as 13 candidates have declared that their annual income is more than Rs 1 crore, based on the last Income Tax returns filed by them.In terms of educational qualifications, the report said that as many as 1,098 nominees have either passed only 5th, 8th, 10th or 12th class. 119 candidates mentioned that they were only literate, while 23 others declared that they were illiterate.According to the report, of the 1,828 candidates, 118 were women. 658 candidates were in the age group of 25 and 40 years, 889 between ages of 41 and 60, while 193 of them were between 61 and 80.Voting for the first phase of the polls began this morning, while polling for the second phase will be held on December 14. Counting of votes for both the phases will be held on December 18.

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Max Hospital’s licence cancelled: Kejriwal says ‘open loot’ won’t be tolerated, IMA says ‘too harsh a step’

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said his government will not tolerate “open loot and criminal negligence” by private hospitals, hours after the licence of Max Hospital at Shalimar Bagh was cancelled.He said the AAP government was “very sensitive” in both education and health sectors.The Delhi government cancelled the licence of Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh with immediate effect, for alleged medical negligence including the twins case in which one of the babies was found alive after being declared dead by the doctors.”Whereas we don’t wish to interfere in day to day functioning of pvt hospitals, however, open loot or criminal negligence by any hospital won’t be tolerated. We won’t hesitate to take strongest action in such cases,” Kejriwal tweeted.Earlier, talking to reporters, the chief minister said, “In the field of education and health, we are very sensitive.We have done good works in government sector of education and restrained private schools from arbitrarily deciding their fee structure.”Also readDelhi govt to set up legal framework to check criminal negligence by hospitals: Arvind KejriwalSimilarly, the government has also been doing good in health sector.”We are upgrading government hospitals and setting up mohalla clinics and poly clinics. However, in private health sector, open loot and criminal negligence will not be tolerated,” Kejriwal said here. Also readDelhi government cancels licence of Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh for medical negligence The IMA today termed “too harsh a step” the cancellation of the licence of Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh by the Delhi government, saying action should be initiated against “those who are at fault” after inquiry.Indian Medical Association (IMA) President K K Aggarwal, also a cardiologist, said the government decision was “not in the interest of society”.”I personally feel it was wrong. The government has taken a wrong decision… For a mistake that occurred at the level of a doctor, the licence of the hospital cannot be cancelled,” he said.In a statement released hours after the announcement by the Delhi government, the IMA said it was “too harsh a step”, and that action should be taken against those people who are at fault.”We are not backing the mistake committed by Max super speciality hospital. However, the cancellation of license is too harsh a step. Action should be initiated against those who are at fault after proper inquiry by the Delhi Medical Council.”Mistakes occur even at premier government hospitals such as AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital,” the IMA chief said.”If government starts cancelling the licenses of hospitals in such a manner than all the healthcare facilities will have to be shut down,” he said.The Delhi government today cancelled the licence of Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, with immediate effect, for alleged medical negligence, including in the twins case in which one of the babies was found alive after being wrongly declared dead by the doctors.

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Include pollution when assessing when to play a cricket match, IMA tells BCCI

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) wrote to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday to include atmospheric pollution while assessing the criteria for a match.In a letter to BCCI acting president CK Khanna and head of committee of administrators Vinod Rai, IMA president Dr KK Agarwal said the message that has gone home from the India and Sri Lanka cricket match is that it is safe for children to play cricket even when PM 2.5 level is more than 300.The five-day match, in which Sri Lankan players were seen wearing masks on the field, ended on Wednesday.”Air pollution also reduces performance of the athletes. In a situation where milliseconds and millimetres often determine success of athletes, air pollution can be an important factor in affecting their performance. Rain and poor light are taken into consideration when determining suitable playing conditions, we suggest that atmospheric pollution should now also be included in the assessing criteria for a match,” the medical body said in its letter.The safe levels of atmospheric particulate matter (PM), according to the World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines, are 20 ?g/cu mm (annual mean) for PM10 and 10 ?g/ cu mm (annual mean) for PM2.5.If the AQI is between 151 and 200, it is recommended that outdoor exercises be reduced. If the AQI is between 201 and 300, all outdoor activities and sports should be reduced. If the AQI is more than 300, all outdoor exercise and activities should be avoided as much as possible. If the AQI crosses 400, indoor activities, too, should be reduced and no exercise even at home is recommended.”Air quality in the Delhi-NCR region has been ranging between ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ for several days. This has been a cause of great concern to us. Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of lung and heart disease and may precipitate an acute potentially life-threatening event. But, when pollution levels are this high, everyone, including healthy persons may experience some level of discomfort,” said Dr Aggarwal.
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Contractual health workers on strike in Bihar, services hit

Medical services in Bihar have been crippled after almost one lakh contractual health workers in the state proceeded on an indefinite strike demanding regularisation of their service and equal pay for equal work.The striking workers include health managers, nursing staff, lab technicians and assistants, paramedics, Ayush doctors, pharmacists, counsellors, data entry operators and accountants, hired on contract to work in state-run hospitals. The emergency and out-patient department services are among the worst hit, while several surgeries have been postponed in Patna hospitals due to the shortage of technical staff.”Our demand is to regularise the service of all contractual workers who have completed one or more years in service and equal payment for equal work as per the recommendations of the 7th pay commission. The strike will not be called off till the demands are met,” said Lalan Kumar, a functionary of the Bihar State Contractual Health Workers’ Association, the umbrella organisation for various smaller federations on strike.They got a shot in the arm after the Patna high court recently ruled in favour of about 4 lakh contractual teachers in Bihar, holding their demand for equal pay for equal work as constitutional.The Bihar government, however, does not seem to be ready to give in to the health employees’ demands.A senior officials in the state health department said the district administrations have been directed to withhold the salaries of the striking workers to compel them to rejoin. “If they don’t, the government is mulling about terminating their contracts for boycotting work. Fresh contractual staff are likely to be hired against their seats,” he added.Oppn attackThe contractual workers have threatened immolation after hearing about termination of their contract. The Opposition too targeted the government over the issue. “The hospitals in Bihar are in ‘coma’. The health minister is either sleeping or on outstation tours,” said Tej Pratap Yadav, former Bihar health minister and an RJD MLA.
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DDCA gets showcause notice by tobacco society

The Delhi government on Monday issued a showcause notice to the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) for allegedly promoting tobacco and pan masala brands in the ongoing cricket test match between India and Sri Lanka. The third test cricket match in the ongoing series between India and Sri Lanka is being played here.The Delhi State Tobacco Control Cell has issued the notice to the cricket association on December 2 for violating provisions under Section 5 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), which prohibits direct and indirect advertisements of tobacco products.”You are strictly instructed to immediately stop this brand promotion of tobacco and pan masala from the cricket ground and also to show cause why a punitive action will not be initiated against Directors/Office Bearers of the DDCA as per the provisions under Section 5 and Section 22 of COTPA, 2003,”Dr SK Arora, Additional Director (Health) said in the notice. It also sought to know why appropriate punitive action would not be initiated against the directors and office bearers of the DDCA as per the provisions under the COTPA.”It is further informed that cricket stars also come under the category of celebrity and are role models for the younger generation. Hence, they cannot promote tobacco and pan masala which only leads to disease, disability and death,” he said.According to the notice, any wrong communication and promotion on the part of celebrities, especially cricket stars, will have a disastrous impact on the society, including youngsters.
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India doctors fired for mistakenly declaring newborn dead

The hospital which employed the doctors said the “strict action” was taken after an initial inquiry.

Actor Vishal to contest Tamil Nadu bye-poll

Taking everyone by surprise, actor Vishal, president of Tamil Nadu Producers Council and general secretary of South Indian Artistes Association, on Saturday announced that he would be contesting the December 21 RK Nagar Assembly Constituency by-poll as an independent candidate.The actor said he took the decision after consulting with his friends and supporters on Saturday.Sources said he will file his nomination papers to contest in the RK Nagar seat, which was held by late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, on Monday. “He will explain why he took the decision and also to his plan to enter politics after filing the nomination papers,” the source said.While interacting with friends and supporters, the actor told them that the time had come for him to enter politics as he could not sit and watch anymore.”I know the risk involved . I am prepared to face it,” one of his close friends quoted him as saying.Amid talks of Tamil superstars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan entering politics, the actor has surprised everyone by his sudden announcement. The announcement marks the continuation of the trend of film personalities entering politics in Tamil Nadu. DMK founder CN Annadurai and his successor M Karunanidhi were successful film scriptwriters who went on to become the chief ministers, AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran and party supremo Jayalalithaa were successful film stars.Vishal also openly took on BJP’s national secretary H Raja during the controversy involving Tamil movie Mersal and he also took on the ruling AIADMK in the recent case of a Tamil producer committing suicide following harassment by a financier.Political analyst Gnani felt that it was too early to talk about the impact of actor Vishal’s entering the fray in the RK Nagar. “We don’t know why he is contesting, what kind of politics is he going to pursue and who will he oppose? We can only know if there will be an impact if we had answers to these questions, ” he said.
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Govt to launch ‘Study in India’ to attract foreign students

The central government, in a bid to attract more foreign students to India, is going to launch a year-long project called ‘Study in India’. The project is aimed at taking the number of foreign students coming to India to over one lakh by 2020.According to official records, 35,000-40,000 foreign students come to India every year on an average. In order to increase this number, EdCIL — an autonomous body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), which is responsible for keeping the record of foreign students — is working on ‘Study in India’. The HRD Ministry will support the organisation financially to implement the idea.”We have submitted a detailed plan to the Ministry on what we plan to do to increase the number of foreign students, and the Ministry is fully supporting the plan. The idea is to promote Indian universities in foreign countries by doing roadshows, using social media, and through public interactions to inform students about good education institutions in India, and what we can offer them,” an EdCIL official said.”We have made a list of countries that we want to target under the plan — places where we think students will be interested in coming to India, specially in SAARC countries,” the official added.Out of the total number of international students across the globe, only 0.6 per cent come to India. Officials in the Ministry feel that apart from security concerns about coming to India, lack of information about Indian institutions available abroad is also one of the primary reasons for this number.As per the latest report of Association of Indian Universities, students from 208 countries came to study in India in the year 2014-15. The majority of them were from Asia, followed by African countries, and only 1.61 per cent came from European countries.”There are so many schemes that the government runs for international students including relaxation in terms of the minimum eligibility for admission, but many are not aware about it. Therefore the plan of promoting institutions abroad would work well for us,” said a senior official in HRD Ministry.AIMING HIGHAccording to data, 35,000-40,000 foreign students come to India every year. The central govt is aiming at increasing this number to one lakh by 2020.
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Cuffe Parde residents look to solar panels for savings

To protect the environment and cut their expenses on bills, Cuffe Parde residents have decided to install solar panels to generate electricity for the supply of water to their open space.“At present, we are using electricity at commercial rates for our open space with a monthly bill of Rs 15,000,” said Padmakar Nandekar, secretary general of the Cuffe Parade Residents Association.The move, according to residents, is to ensure that they contribute to the preservation of the environment, and make the most of the money they are spending without any benefits. “Cost is secondary to us. We are nature-friendly people and look to have a cleaner source of electricity. The panels will cost us around Rs 9 lakh. Now, the money we pay for our bills does not give us any returns. The input cost is high but in the long run, it will be cost-effective,” said Nandekar.The residents have been trying to adopt other environment-friendly measures such reducing the use of plastic bags and purchasing a plastic crushing machine. The drive for the same will start on December 10. They said that they have managed to get a sponsor and are waiting to start the work once the collector office gives them the extension for caretaker status to maintain the open space.The 1.85 lakh sqft open space has over 15,000 trees. “We are asking for caretaker status to be extended,” said Nandekar.
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SEWA co-op fed to expand into unconventional domains

As the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) cooperative federation celebrates its silver jubilee it is also gearing up to take on new challenges and help the women’s co-operative initiative gain inroads into what is till now considered unconventional jobs for women.Speaking about the challenges, Chairman, Mirai Chatterjee said that the federation’s vision was to scale up and support co-operatives to achieve financial sustainability. “We need to look into employment opportunties beyond the conventional ones like maids and cooks for our members. We need to look at BPO services, women drivers and security guards etc to provide employment ot our members through the co-operative model,” said Chatterjee. SEWA is a national unit of 1.5 million informal workers in 14 states.They later set up various cooperatives, the first SEWA-promoted production cooperative was started in 1977.They also set up the Gujarat State Women’s SEWA Cooperative Federation Limited (Federation) in 1992 with an aim to provide economic empowerment and full employment to its members.The federation now provides training programmes, help develop business plans for its members, assist in audits for various co-operatives, marketing products or services of member cooperatives etc. Elaben Bhatt, Founder of SEWA and Cooperative Federation said that the three primary services-finance, health and education – should be provided locally in a financially and environmentally sustainable manner, led by women.
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Padmavati row | CBI should probe if Bhansali had anything to do with dead body at Nahagarh Fort: Karni Sena

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday, Lokendra Kalvi of the Karni Sena demanded a CBI probe over the body found hanging at Nahagarh Fort. He claimed that CBI should probe whether Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s people were ‘involved’ in this case. She said: “I want CBI to probe the case of body of man found at Nahargarh Fort, CBI should probe whether Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s people are involved in this case.” The body of a 40-year-old man was found hanging from the boundary wall of the Nahargarh Fort near the Rajasthan capital today, with messages referring to the Bollywood epic drama ‘Padmavati’ scribbled on nearby stones, a police official said.DCP North Satyendra Singh said the body of Chetan Kumar Saini, a resident of Shastri Nagar here and a handicraft worker, was found hanging from the boundary wall of the fort.
ALSO READ ‘Padmavati’ row: Karni Sena demands full ban on Bhansali’s film in HaryanaHe said messages were found scribbled on stones, but it was premature to connect the incident with ‘Padmavati’ protests.One of the messages read, “Padmavati ka virodh karne walo, hum kile par sirf putle nahi latkate… Hum mein hai dum (Padmavati protesters should know we don’t only hang effigies… we are strong)”.
ALSO READ ‘Padmavati’ row: In a mark of solidarity, filmmakers to stop shooting for 15 minutes tomorrowMembers from various film associations have come forward to raise concern over the state of creative freedom in the country amid protests against the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmavati”.
ALSO READ ‘Violent threats and rewards not acceptable in democracy,’ says Venkaiah Naidu amid Padmavati rowThe Indian Films and TV Directors’ Association (IFTDA), along with 19 other bodies of the film and television industry from across the country, stopped shootings for 15 minutes yesterday and participated in the protest, ‘Main Azaad Hoon?’, (Am I free?) at Film City here.Many Rajput groups have been up in arms against the film, alleging that it distorts history by featuring a romantic dream sequence between Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji’s characters, a claim repeatedly denied by Bhansali.The makers of “Padmavati” have already deferred its release from December 1, till further notice.Filmmaker and IFTDA convenor Ashoke Pandit said such protests were not just limited to “Padmavati” but were becoming a trend.”This attack is on the freedom of expression, the entire film and TV industry. We are fearful and shocked that we are not getting any kind of support from any quarter of the country, except from film lovers,” Pandit said.”Every three months a film is getting banned. The fear in which the industry is functioning, we are protesting against that. Don’t take us for granted.””Padmavati”, featuring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in the lead roles, has been facing the ire of various Rajput groups and political leaders.The BJP-ruled states such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have already expressed reservations about the film.”… Let us work, let us write and make films the way we want, because if this trend starts, then Karni Sena and the like will start deciding how scripts will be written.”All the makers here are scared of this trend. It’s our right to make films. If you want to watch, go ahead. If not, get a stay order from the court,” he said when asked about Karni Sena – the Rajput group which is spearheading the protest.Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA), Western India Cinematographers’ Association, Screen Writers’ Association, The Film and Television Producers’ Guild of India Limited, Association of Voice Artistes, Cine Costume & Make-up Artiste and Hair Dressers’ Association, Cine Singer Association, Movie Stunt Artistes Association, among others participated in the protest.With inputs from PTI

To live and pray

Ladakh, a stunning Himalayan region in India, is home to 28 Buddhist nunneries – this is one of them.

DNA Impact: Collector demolishes slums in Cuffe Parade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Tuesday, the City Collector’s anti-encroachment department demolished the alleged illegal slums in Cuffe Parade. The slums which had come up beside the Bayview Marina Garden were demolished completely amidst heavy police protection. The residents have applauded the action taken by the Collector.DNA has been repeatedly highlighting the issue of illegal slums and encroachments which have come up in the Cuffe Parade area.The Cuffe Parade Residents Association (CPRA) had also complained to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the Revenue Department about the encroachments near Bayview Marina Garden. They further stated that the four plots — 106,107,108 and 109 — on Block IV of Backbay Reclamation have been termed as green zone and belongs to the City Collector.Padmakar Nandekar, Secretary General, CPRA, said, “We have been consistently complaining to the state government about the encroachments on the government land and near the garden. The anti-encroachment department of the city Collector conducted the drive to demolish the illegal structures and have given relief to the Cuffe Parade residents.””We are waiting for the government to take a firm stand and demolish the illegal structures which have come up on the four government plots in the Backbay Reclamation area,” said Nandekar.A senior official from City Collectorate said, “So far we have demolished five structures.’

Noted jurist Habibullah Basha passes away at 84

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Veteran lawyer Habibullah Basha, one of the finest jurists of the Madras Bar, passed away here on Wednesday after a prolonged illness.A philanthropist and founder-director of the Apollo Hospitals, 84-year old Basha died at his house, the Madras Bar Association said.Basha is survived by wife Shyamala Basha, his college-mate, a son and two daughters.During his more than five-decade long career, Basha had held various law officers post such as the central government standing counsel and Tamil Nadu Advocate General and public prosecutor.A junior of legendary lawyer Govind Swaminathan, Basha turned down a high court judgeship offered to him when he was aged just 37.In 1986, he declined a offer for direct appointment as a Supreme Court Judge.Born into an affluent family on March 8, 1933, Basha after schooling at convents here did his graduation and post-graduation in Islamic studies.Later he obtained Law degree from the Madras Law College and enrolled himself as an advocate in 1957.Basha become senior central government standing counsel ten years later and was appointed Tamil Nadu State Public Prosecutor in 1974 and went on to become the Advocate General in 1991.He had represented DMK President M Karunanidhi in a case registered against him for burning a copy of the Constitution.The veteran lawyer had appeared for late chief minister Jayalalithaa when she was involved in a bitter factional wrangle to get possession of the AIADMK headquarters here in late 1980s.Basha had moved the Madras High Court against obstructions put up in connection with the infamous wedding of Jayalalitha’s then foster son V N Sudhagaran in 1995 and argued as party in person.Three of his juniors became judges of the Madras High Court. Among them is present judge Justice N Kirubakaran.

Gujarat Election 2017: GST woes continue to haunt textile traders of Surat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The jinx that began on the midnight of July 1 with the implementation of GST continues to haunt Surat, the biggest textile hub that accounts for 40% business in man-made fabric in India.“We were assured at various government forums that nearly 80-90% of our demands will be met. But when GST Council meeting met on November 10, our demands were not even touched. We are again at the crossroads,” says Manoj Agarwal, President of Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA). The main demand of the traders relates to doing away with GST that has been put at every point of the supply chain – from the grey cloth stage till the product reaches the final point of sale. At least 12 jobs such as embroidery lace patti, fall & stitching, charak, packaging etc. are involved once the grey fabric leaves the power looms and reaches the retail shops. But making challans and keeping track and giving details of each and every challan in ITC-04 at each of the 12 points has rendered the trade impossible, complain traders.Apart from FOSTTA, other associations like the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SGCCI) have given representations at various levels, including Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal and even BJP chief Amit Shah and BJP leader and Secretary General of Confederation of All India Traders Praveen Khandelwal. However, despite assurances, their demands have not been met, complain traders.

Buyers protest outside BJP office

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hundreds of buyers who had invested in different residential projects of the Amrapali Group, Supertech, Jaypee, and many others in Noida and Greater Noida staged a protest outside the BJP office at Ashoka Road in New Delhi on Saturday.Shouting slogans the buyers demanded answers from the government as to how and when they would get their houses. Police detained the protesters for three hours.The flat buyers claimed that during elections a number of BJP candidates had promised homebuyers of Gautam Buddha Nagar that they would give them all possible assistance in securing possession. However, they alleged that nothing has been done about it yet.”We have met with state and central ministers several times and returned with verbal assurances that have not been manifested in deeds till date. I have lost all hopes of getting my dream house,” said Kamal Kaushal, a buyer.Currently, there are around 95 projects in Noida and around 190 projects in Greater Noida which are stuck due to the financial crunch.Shweta Bharti, General Secretary of Noida Extension Flat Owners’ Welfare Association (NEFOWA) said that the primary demand of the buyers was the change in the definition of ongoing projects in the Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulation and Development (RERA) rules.”The Central RERA says that a project is to be considered ‘ongoing’ until the possession of flats in it starts. However, the state RERA differs, saying that if a builder has applied for a completion or an occupancy certificate, the project will not be considered ‘ongoing’. Noida and Greater Noida authorities have even issued certificates to some projects without proper inspection,”she said.BUYERS’ DEMANDSIf construction work of any builder is delayed or stopped, the local government body should step in to complete it.
When complaints are lodged against builders, action should be taken by the authorities. Further, if the authorities slacken on this mandate, the government should take action on the officiating authorities.

Slum squatters occupying Cuffe Parade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meeting Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis earlier this week, Cuffe Parade residents pleaded him to take strict action against the slum mafia who are allegedly operating at the Backbay Reclamation area of the region.The development plan for the city has earmarked four plots as green zone, belonging to the government which has been allegedly encroached upon.The four plots 106,107,108 and 109 on the Block IV of Backbay Reclamation has been termed as green zone and belongs to the City Collector. These plots have been allegedly encroached upon by slum dwellers. On November 13, the Cuffe Parade Residents Association met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to request him to take action against the slum lords for encroaching upon the open spaces.”We fear that the slum mafias are slowly moving towards the Bayview Marina garden which also belongs to the City Collector,” said Padmakar Nandekar, Secretary General, CPRA.

RIP plastic bottles in Maha by May 2018

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government is on a war footing to make Maharashtra plastic-free. Starting May 2018, you may not get plastic bottles of mineral water at hotels as the state plans to make it mandatory for water to be served only in glass bottles. In the next phase, this ban willl be extended to restaurants.Starting today, Maharashtra environment minister Ramdas Kadam and senior officials will hold a series of consultations with experts and stakeholders on the subject.While the ban on plastic bottles will be imposed on bulk users such as hotels, common customers will be able to buy water packaged in plastic bottles for a while longer. The state government also plans to eventually ban the sale of milk packaged in polythene bags, asking dairies and manufacturers to shift to glass bottles or sell milk loose.Civic bodies will be in charge of implementing the ban and the department plans amendments to the laws to ensure that licenses of establishments violating rules can be scrapped. However, common users will not be penalised as “this will be too dictatorial”.Kadam has announced a ban on plastic bags by Gudi Padwa (Maharashtrian new year) in March 2018, considering the environmental impact of plastic. The environment department plans to impose the ban in stages to cover plastic bags, cups, plates, with exceptions being built in for consumer uses in cargo and logistics, medicinal packaging and imported goods.”Initially, we plan to cover hotels, with restaurants being included in the next phase,” said a senior official. “Once we are convinced it will work, we will extend it.””Hotels will have to serve water to patrons either in glass bottles or purchase it from manufacturers in the form of large cans, from which water can be dispensed to customers in the loose. Bottled water manufacturers will also have to shift to packaging the beverage in glass bottles,” he added. These glass bottles will be re-cycled and re-used.Kadam said they were collecting information from states such as Kerala and Himachal Pradesh, where plastic has been banned, and added that options such as re-purchase and re-collection of plastic bottles were also being considered.Adarsh Shetty, president of Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHAR), noted that the use of glass was likely to increase the price of bottled water and this would be passed on to customers. Handling of glass would also be cumbersome, he noted, adding that the focus should be on recycling and reuse of plastics.Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) officials estimate that plastic comprises around 3 to 5% of municipal waste. Mumbai generates around 10,000 ton solid waste daily.

Postpone Delhi Half Marathon: IMA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has urged the Delhi High Court on Tuesday to pass necessary directions to postpone the Delhi Half Marathon after terming the air quality of the national capital as “poor” and “unsafe”.A bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva took note of the present air pollution and the urgency surrounding it. It issued notices to the Delhi government, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), organisers of the event and the Delhi police seeking their reply by November 6.The court’s direction come on a letter written by the IMA to the Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking them to postpone the marathon scheduled on November 19.”The air quality is particularly poor in the early morning when pollution is extremely high. This is also the time when the proposed Half Marathon is scheduled to start. The hazardous pollution levels may have disastrous health consequences, even for the healthy participants,” Dr KK Aggarwal, IMA President, wrote in the letter.The letter was moved in the main PIL initiated by the high court to address the air pollution problems of Delhi and in which it has been issuing directions from time to time.On November 9, the Delhi High Court had issued a slew of measures to improve the worse air quality in the Capital. These included cloud seeding to produce artificial rainfall.Following the letter, the organisers of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon had said on Saturday the call for cancellation of the November 19 run is “shortsighted” and asserted they have support of international athletes despite the prevailing pollution in the city.The Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi has ranged from “very unhealthy” to “hazardous”. The levels have crossed the 300 ‘danger’ mark in several parts of the city.

NGT’s tough talk forces Kejri govt to back down

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Questioning the scientific rationale behind the Delhi government’s review plea, which sought exemption for women motorists and polluting two-wheelers under the Odd-Even car rationing scheme, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) refused to modify its previous order that permitted the car rationing without exemptions. The NGT said when the two-wheelers also contribute to high levels of pollution in the city, why should they be exempted?The NGT’s tough line of questioning prompted the Delhi government to withdraw its review plea. It then filed a fresh plea before the Tribunal, seeking implementation of Odd-Even scheme in neighbouring states.”Give us one scientific reason for allowing two-wheelers? Why can’t you run buses for women? Why don’t you take positive steps? Why should we exempt anybody? If they (two-wheelers) are not polluting, we will allow them,” a three-member bench, headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, said. It was hearing a batch of petitions, seeking to curb air pollution.The NGT also ordered that industries that were involved in manufacture of essential services, commodities, and eatables were exempted from the prohibitory orders it had passed on November 9. It also clarified that industries that were complying with pollution norms would be allowed to operate upon verification by authorities.The Tribunal modified its orders after industries such as the All India Rice Manufacturers Association pleaded relief and said that since operations were shut, paddy procured for rice production was getting wasted.After the pollution levels breached the severe category, the NGT passed an order on November 9, with a slew of directions, including a prohibition on construction activity and industries.The Tribunal, however, refused to provide relief to others, observing that pollution levels were still unacceptable. “In light of these hazardous values, which are bound to create environmental and health hazards, it is not possible for this Tribunal to vary the order dated November, 11, 2017 and its judgment dated November, 10, 2016 at this stage,” the bench said.It further directed the Delhi government and civic bodies to identify an area that is highly polluted and sprinkle water using appropriate equipment to control the particulate matter pollution.During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand told the bench that work on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway construction had been stopped after NGT’s order. The Tribunal thus modified its order in that regard and allowed the work to continue, with a rider that the senior most officer of the National Highway Authority of India would file an undertaking on Wednesday to assure that there would be no dust pollution.

CM Yogi Adityanath vs IAS officers? UP panel to screen ‘corrupt, inefficient’ babus, bureaucrats say not your jurisdiction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Uttar Pradesh government gave ‘forced retirement’ to over two dozen government officers, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has constituted a committee to screen ‘corrupt’ and ‘inefficient’ IAS officers who are above 50 years of age.The committee will be headed by the Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar. Senior IAS officers Anu Badhawan, Suresh Chandra, Deepak Trivedi and Praveer Kumar will be its members. The Committee will screen corrupt and inefficient IAS officers on the basis of their ACRs (Annual Charatcter Rolls).It may be recalled that after assuming power, the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced to forcibly retire government officers and employees who are corrupt, inefficient and not keeping pace with the work assigned.The Chief Minister had stated that such employees and officers will be given the option to take VRS or salary of three months or face legal action.The Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar said that the committee will screen ACRs of above 50 IAS officers and submit a report within a month. The confidential report will be submitted to the state government for action.Uttar Pradesh is the largest and one of the most prestigious cadre of civil servants in the country. Currently, about 621 IAS officers are posted in the state. In 1997, the UP IAS Association had created flutter in the cadre when it had selected three most corrupt IAS officers through a secret ballot during their annual general meeting (AGM).The Association had submitted the names of the three most corrupt IAS officers to then Kalyan Singh government which had, however, refused recommend any action against them to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) questioning its selection process.IAS officers are up in arms against the Yogi government’s move to force retirement of their colleagues above 50 on the basis of screening of their ACRs. “ACRs can be prejudiced if your senior is not happy with you. How can that be formed the basis for initiating any action against any officers of the UP cadre,” pointed a former Secretary of the UP IAS Association.“We are governed by services rules framed by the DoPT. How can state government decide on our service matters. We are not against action against corrupt ones but then charges against them have to be proved legally,” said another senior IAS officer, not wishing to be quoted.IAS officers are likely to raise the issue during their four-day AGM, beginning December 14. “We will certainly take up the issue during the AGM to lodge our protest against any such move,” claimed the senior officer.

CPRA asks to retain caretaker status

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Cuffe Parade Residents Association (CPRA) has written to the state revenue minister Chandrakant Patil demanding that they be given the caretaker status for maintaining a four-acre green patch of land belonging to the government.The CPRA had received caretaker status to maintain the Bayview Marina Garden in Cuffe Parade for five years which ended in 2012, and claims it has been spending Rs 50 lakh annually to maintain the garden. The CPRA says it has planted more than 5,000 trees in the garden and developed walking and jogging tracks and a lawn.”Previous city collectors had recommended to the state government in 2013 and 2015 to give us the garden’s caretaker status. We in turn ensured that the government land is not encroached upon. We developed a garden which is open to all. The caretaker status by the government will give us opportunities to develop it further and maintain the city’s greenery,” said Padmakar Nandekar, secretary general, CPRA.

India, Philippines sign four MoUs to boost bilateral relations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India and Philippines on Monday signed four Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) across various fields to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.The two sides exchanged MoUs on defense, agriculture and related fields, foreign services and cooperation in the field of micro small and medium enterprises after the bilateral meeting between Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”Four agreements were signed between India and Philippines, including ones on defense cooperation and logistics, agriculture and on micro small and medium enterprises,” said Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) in India’s Ministry of External Affairs.Emphasising that this was the first Prime Ministerial visit from India to Philippines in 36 years, Saran said that President Duterte and Prime Minister Modi had an excellent meeting.She added that the Philippines President said that he would like to have very good ties with India.The Prime Minister is on a three-day visit to the Philippines, also met Donald Trump earlier in the day.”The relations between India and the US are growing. Our relations go beyond and are in the interests of Asia and humanity,” Prime Minister Modi told media after the meeting.Prime Minister Modi is in Philippines to attend the 31st summit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 15th East Asia Summit.

Rajasthan: After seven days of protests, doctors finally call off strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After seven days of protests, the Rajasthan doctors finally called off their strike on Sunday night. The strike ended after a detailed discussion between government officials and a four-member team from the Rajasthan Doctors’ Association (ARISDA).Earlier, the doctors went on strike with a 33-point demand. Both, the government and ARISDA came to a compromise and a draft was signed.The meeting started at the secretariat around 2 pm. In the meeting, health minister Kalicharan Saraf and officials, including ACS (Finance) DB Gupta, Principal Secretary (Home) Deepak Upreti, Principal Secretary (Health) Veenu Gupta, secretary (Medical Education) Anand Kumar and Secretary (Budget) Manju Rajpal were present.The meeting that went on for around nine hours, at one point appeared to have failed again. But around 11:15 pm, Saraf announced that agreement was signed. Soon after, ARISDA president Dr Ajay Chaudhary came out of the meeting room and said, “A positive agreement on 33 point demand has come out and right from the moment doctors will come back to their duties at hospitals.”“As per the agreement government promise to execute all our demands. The only demand, to run hospitals in single shift, will be referred to chief minister and she will take a call on it,” Dr Jagdish Modi, coordinator of ARISDA said.

Beside ro-ro ferry, Gogha fishermen reel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The contrast could not have been more stark. While PM Modi’s ambitious Gogha-Dahej ro-ro ferry terminal stands tall reflecting a new India, the adjoining Gogha village gets drinking water once every fortnight, at times only once a month.The village, known for its fishermen community — mostly OBC Kolis, but also Muslims — is a picture of neglect where basic amenities are nearly absent but for the toilets built under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Politically the Kolis are dominant and BJP’s Purushottam Solanki is the local MLA.“We have the facility of piped drinking water, but the problem is we get drinking water supply once in 15 days and at times just once in a month. There is no development in the village as everything seems paralysed by local politics between BJP and Congress,” said Machchimar Boat Welfare Association head Dinesh Gulabbhai Vegad.“The rich are very liberal to let the poor take water from their tanks. The other option is water supplied in big cans which come at Rs 20 per can,” said Pravin Kumar Lallubhai Mer. Fed up with the life, he has joined the Army.While jetty of the ro-ro service is a modern marvel of engineering, stretching for a couple if kilometres inside the sea, the jetty for the fishermen is not just dilapidated, it is no more, having crumbled down to the last brick.“We have been demanding a new jetty for the last 5-6 years, but to no avail,” Vegad said.

PM Modi arrives in Manila for three-day visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday arrived in Manila for a three-day official visit to Philippines.Prime Minister Modi will be attending the 15th Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) India summit and the 12th East Asia Summit in Manila on November 14. During the visit, he will also hold a bilateral meeting with the President of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who is also the current chair of the ASEAN. The prime minister will also meet some of the other world leaders, who are participating in the East Asia summit in Manila.Prime Minister Modi will also participate in special celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.He will also attend the ASEAN business and investment summit on November 13 and regional comprehensive economic partnership meeting on November 14 in Manila, emphasising these meetings were important as they would further enhance India’s trade and investment ties with ASEAN member states, which constitute a significant over 10 per cent of India’s external trade. The prime minister will also meet the members of the Indian community at a reception to be hosted by the Indian envoy in Philippines. He will also visit the international rice research institute and the Mahavir Philippines Foundation.

MISA edu conference focuses on kids’ safety

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Members of International School’s Association on Saturday organised their annual conference at Hotel Sea Princess to discuss the current problems plaguing the education system and to draw out solutions. The objective of the conference was to bring the heads of schools together to talk about the changes that need to be implemented.The conference was attended by approximately 130 principals and senior management members from different international schools in the city. The panel included Michael O’Sullivan, chief executive of Cambridge Assessment International Education, Ritesh Bhatia, cybercrime investigator (or EXPERT?), Dr Keith D’Souza, professor of S.P.Jain Institute of Management and Research among others.Some of the topics discussed at the conference were: the need to bring about a change in schools and education system, different ways to keep schools safe for children, to create awareness among children about cybercrime.Kavita Aggarwal, Chairperson of MISA, said, “MISA is a learning community. We bring all the international schools together. The speakers emphasised on being drivers of change. One of the speakers also spoke about security and safety of students in schools.”

11 Rajasthan doctors arrested for ignoring state govt’s warning to end strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eleven agitating doctors have been arrested from seven districts till this morning under the Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act (RESMA) as the deadlock between medical practitioners and the state government entered its sixth day on Saturday, police said here.The doctors were arrested from Tonk, Jaipur, Kota, Swai Madhopur, Bharatpur, Jhalawar and Banswara districts, ADG (Law and Order) NRK Reddy said.The arrests came after the deadline set by the government for the medical practitioners to resume work expired on Friday evening.Reddy said 43 doctors returned to work to avoid arrest.Meanwhile, the state’s medical and health department issued a notice ton Saturday to agitating doctors stating that the strike was against the high court order asking them to resume work by Friday.One of the major demands of the doctors is of higher pay scale and promotions.Asked about the issue, Director of Public Health Dr V K Mathur said, “We are trying to reach an amicable solution through talks.”Most doctors on strike remained unavailable for comment.The All Rajasthan In-Service Doctors Association president, Dr Ajay Chaudhary, and the Jaipur Association of Resident Doctors president, Dr Ravi Jhakar, could not be reached.Health minister Kalicharan Saraf on Friday held Dr Chaudhary responsible for the strike. “Dr Chaudhary seems to have some personal interest… he is trying to create hurdles in breaking the deadlock. He is being guided by someone,” the minister alleged.He said several rounds of talks were held with the agitating doctors, who proceeded on a mass casual leave in support of their 33-point demand on Monday, but “the talks failed due to their adamant attitude”.

Google honours Anasuya Sarabhai on 132nd birth anniversary. 10 things you should know about her

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Saturday, Google India honoured Anasuya Sarabhai on occasion of her 132nd birth anniversary. Sarabhai, the founder of the Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association, was a pioneer of the women’s labour movement in India.Here are 10 things you must know about her- Sarabhai was born into the Sarabhai family of Sarabhai and Godavariba, a wealthy family of industrialists. She lost her parents when she was nine, and then she and her siblings went to live with their uncle.- She was married at 13, but it was short-lived and unhappy – Her brother sent her to England to study. She initially pursued medicine, but switched to the London School of Economics after she realised that dissection of animals was part of the medical syllabus – something that went against her Jain upbringing.- While in England she was involved in the Suffragette movement – a movement that fought for women to have voting rights, something that was unheard of in the early 20th century.- When she returned home, she opened a school and worked for the betterment of women and poor.- She got involved in the labour movement after witnessing exhausted female mill workers returning home after a 36-hour shift. – She was also involved in a month-long strike in 1918. Mahatma Gandhi, a friend of the family, was by then acting as a mentor to Sarabhai. – In 1920, the Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association (Majoor Mahajan Sangh) was formed.- Sarabhai was called Motaben, Gujarati for “elder sister”. – She died in 1972

Differently-abled artistes from 16 nations participate in ICCR fest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Association for Learning Performing Arts and Normative Action (ALPANA) has come forward with another edition of Sambhav, an annual event by the NGO which provides an international platform for people with disabilities. Participating in the three-day event at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) are artists from 16 countries including Australia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan among others. They will connect with each other through a series of sessions including seminars and workshops, art and craft exhibition, inclusive yoga workshop and performing arts such as dance, music and mime.“Sambhav means possible and that’s what we believe. We have been training people, belonging to an age group as wide as 5-50 years, with mental or physical disabilities for the past 13-14 years and they can perform as well as anyone else,” said Alpana Nayak, founder, ALPANA.The event will also act as a forum for International Cooperation to advance the rights of women, the rights of children and of persons with disabilities. An MoU will be signed between organisations across countries. The three-day event was inaugurated on Friday by Riva Ganguli Das, Director General of ICCR, and Aindri Anurag, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Surat traders divided over impact of Rahul Gandhi’s visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Business leaders in Surat are divided over the impact that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s visit will have on electoral fortunes. While the textile sector said that the visit could turn the game in the Congress’ favour if the party played its cards well, those in other sectors felt that voting pattern could see some change but nothing would affect the election results and the BJP would continue to dominate.Gandhi had on Wednesday visited textile markets, manufacturing units, diamond polishing units and met trade leaders and labourers. A section of trade leaders told DNA that their interaction with Rahul Gandhi had changed perceptions they had harboured about him previously.”Gandhi is a simple, down-to-earth fellow. He did not speak much and insisted on listening to our problems. He demolished that perception we had about him and gained the confidence of traders and workers alike. Against the capacity of accommodating 1,600 people of the Sanjeevkumar Auditorium, close to 5,000 people had gathered,” said Jaylal, spokesman of Surat GST Textile Sangarsh Samiti.Surat was the epicentre of protests against including the textile sector under the GST. They had conducted strikes saying that small traders were not equipped to meet the compliance requirements of the new taxation regime.Industry sources told DNA that since the rollout of GST, cloth production has reduced by over 60 per cent and manufacturing units as well as trading firms were shutting down.Surat has traditionally been a BJP bastion. In the last two Assembly elections, BJP had won all 12 urban seats from the city. However, with business taking a hit, traders were angered with the governments at the centre and, state throwing open the stage for Congress to revive its fortunes.The visit will sway voters of Majura and Choryasi, which have been BJP bastions. Gandhi got overwhelming response in markets and in Patidar dominated Varachha locality. Everything now depends on what candidates Congress selects.—Jaylal, spokesman, Surat Textile GST Sangharsh SamitiRahul’s visit was a super hit. People were very excited. Traders are being threatened with adverse repurcussions. This is a democracy. People are happy that he lent them his ears.—Tarachand Kasat, President, All India Textile Traders FederationTraders have been loyal to the BJP but have been hit hard. We have been complaining about the hardships in GST, the government did not listen to us. Textile Minister Smriti Irani did not meet us during her previous visit.—Champalal Bothara, General Secretary, Federation of Surat Textile Traders AssociationThere is a feel good factor among people after Rahul’s visit. But what about other Congress leaders? There is so much infighting. Even BJP has the time to make amends into GST.—Dinesh Navadia, Regional Chairman, GJEPC – GujaratRahul Gandhi is no match for Narendra Modi when it comes to oratory skills. Other BJP leaders have also started adapting Modi’s style. You need to be a good orator to fetch votes.—Sanat Relia, President, Southern Gujarat Hotel and Restaurant AssociationTraders do not antagonise the government which is adapting all means to reach to its ends. The main problem now is GST. Rahul Gandhi has his limitations as whatever changes need to be made will be made by the government.—PM Shah, President, SGCCI

In Arvind Kejriwal vs Amarinder Singh over stubble burning, guess who just replied from Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid the tussle going on between the Delhi and Punjab government over the stubble burning issue, the Pakistan government has now a suggestion for Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to tackle the air pollution issue.Backing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s stance on stubble burning as the major cause of air pollution, the Punjab Government of Pakistan said Singh should put a ban on the practice.”We have imposed a ban on stubble burning in Punjab (Pakistan) & hope Captain Amarinder Singh takes similar measures. Environmental hazards threaten our people and habitat. Let us act fast to counter it,” the tweet said.The Pakistan government’s tweet came in a reply to Kejriwal’s tweet where he urged Singh for an ’emergency’ interstate meet and blamed crop burning in Punjab for the major cause of smog in the national capital and to find a solution to the issue.Kejriwal on Thursday have blamed stubble burning for the main cause of smog in the Delhi-NCR region and said solution can be found if politics are kept aside and everyone join hands to solve the issue.”Until state governments don’t find economically viable solutions to crop burning it will not stop. If everyone…central government, UP, Punjab and Haryana government come together and put aside politics a solution can be found,” Kejriwal said.Meanwhile, Punjab CM has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking compensation for farmers to check the dangerous trend of stubble burning.The pollution emergency in Delhi-NCR have forced the AAP government to bring back the car-rationing scheme odd-even.The third phase of the odd-even scheme will come into force from November 13 to November 17.In a bid to encourage the use of public transport at the mayhem of dangerous smog, the Delhi government have made the use of public services free of cost.”To encourage use of public transport during Odd- Even, Delhi govt to allow free travel for commuters in all DTC and Cluster buses from 13-17 November,” Delhi Transport Minister Ashok Gahlot said on Twitter.The air quality in Delhi continues to be in ‘severe’ condition under a blanket of thick haze, as pollution levels have breached permissible standards by multiple times.The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had already declared it a ‘public health emergency’ and have urged the government to ban outdoor activities.

Doctors’ strike: Deadlock still continues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was a repeat telecast at the secretariat as the government and striking doctors failed to reach an agreement and the parleys were called off after 11 pm on Thursday.Earlier, in-service government doctors deployed at PHCs CHCs and District hospitals across the state continued to remain absent from their duties on Thursday, for the fourth consecutive day. To break the deadlock, a meeting was held between delegation of All Rajasthan In-Service Doctors Association (ARISDA) and the state government at secretariat which began at 6 pm.As the previous two negotiations failed to yield any result mainly because of the fact that the health minister Kalicharan Saraf had clearly said that he was not endorsed to take a call on the financial aspects of the striking doctors.As a result, officials from state’s finance department, including the ACS (finance) DB Gupta, Principal Secretary (finance) Deepak Upreti and Secretary (budget) Manju Rajpal were roped in for the talks, including Saraf, Principal Secretary (Health) Veenu Gupta and secretary (Medical Education) Anand Kumar. According to sources, after a five-hour long two rounds of talks, the deadlock continued. Saraf said, “It seems that the striking doctors were not in a mood to resolve the deadlock. Even as the government was willing to fulfil 5 out of six financial issues and take a fresh load of Rs 200 crore to pacify the striking doctors, but the striking medicos left the talks in a huff. Now the government has to think to initiate action against them.However, on the other hand, Dr Ajay Chaudhary, president ARISDA, told DNA that, “The government, it seems, was to get us to talks on gun-point. The administrative officers have been behaving rudely with us.”Meanwhile, as the doctors’ strike entered in 4th day, in the support of doctors 33-point demands resident doctors also tried to build pressure on the government. Arrangements at OPD in hospitals attached to medical colleges in five divisional headquarters including the capital Jaipur, also got effected as resident doctors announced to go on indefinite strike after handing over a memorandum to their respective college principals.

Delhi smog: Amarinder Singh takes down Arvind Kejriwal over stubble burning issue, says ‘Mr Kejriwal is a peculiar person’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid the tussle going on between Delhi and Punjab over the stubble burning issue, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday launched a scathing attack on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal calling him a ‘peculiar’ man with no views.”Mr.Kejriwal is a peculiar person who has views on everything without understanding the situation. There is 20 million ton of paddy straw, where do I ask farmers to store? So Mr.Kejriwal doesn’t understand this problem,” Singh told ANI.Singh was replying to Kejriwal’s comments on the Punjab government’s failure to provide farmers with viable alternatives to stubble burning, which is the major cause of alarming levels of pollution in Delhi-NCR.Earlier on Thursday, Kejriwal said politics should be kept aside and everyone should come together to resolve the issue.”Until state governments don’t find economically viable solutions to crop burning it will not stop. If everyone…central government, UP, Punjab and Haryana government come together and put aside politics a solution can be found,” Kejriwal said.”For a month (from mid-October to mid-November) the whole northern India becomes a gas chamber, not just Delhi. The high increase in PM levels in Delhi is not just due to local reasons. People and government of Delhi are ready to take all steps but these steps will not be enough until a solution to crop burning is found,” Kejriwal added.Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had already declared it a ‘public health emergency’ and have urged the government to ban outdoor activities.

PM Modi’s language shows his arrogance says Virbhadra Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day before the polls CM Virbhadra Singh is taking a break from his continuous campaign trail at Holly Lodge in Shimla, before he takes off for Rampur to cast his vote in the wee hours of Thursday. Most of his travel is by road, believing his 83 years. He says that the BJP has taken the debate to a crude level and that the Congress will be back for another term. Edited excerpts of an interview with dna.The BJP has been attacking you on the grounds of corruption.This house, built in 1880, belongs to my father, as does the vast ancestral properties that was passed on to me, while the BJP is saying that I am corrupt. In their own party, former CM PK Dhumal’s son, Anurag Thakur, started the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association and his father passed on some prime land. They ran it as a family business. In Shimla, Dhumal passed on the grounds of the British-era government school in Lalpani for the association. Even the finance minister, who was involved in cricket with the DGCA, has cases against him. In my case, the same issue is looked after by the Income Tax department, CBI and ED. If this is not persecution, what is it. I’m not going to bow down.The language that the PM used while attacking the Congress has been quite strong; he’s called the Congress ‘termites’ and likened the party to ‘demons’.One does not expect such rude behaviour and crude language from a PM. For example, in a poll rally he said, “What is Congress. ‘Gandi keera’ hai.” We haven’t resorted to that sort of language; this is crass politics. Congress has a history of over a century, and to liken us to insects shows the arrogance of the PM. The power has gone to his head.Do you think that the Kotkhai rape and murder incident could have been dealt with differently?I sympathise with the family as their daughter has been brutally raped and murdered. Yet the government did what was possible. The day after the incident, I wrote personally to the PM saying that the case be referred to the CBI, and also called the union home minister. So many months have passed, there has been no findings and the High Court has rapped them on it. The BJP has been unscrupulous and have used it to build a political movement. A few days after the incident at the Kotkhai PS, the BJP leaders gave an instigating speech, vandalised the newly-constructed office and attacked the store room and the record room which housed files of the station for decades. What form of a protest is that.You are one of the senior most people from the Congress. And there has been an exodus of senior party leaders. Why is that so?I don’t know, everyone has their own reasons. I joined the party in 1961, and soon became an MP from Mahasu. I keep my personal life and beliefs away from my politics, I believe in clean politics based on issues. The political stage is not meant for venting or anger.There has been a lot of talk about Rahul Gandhi taking over as vice-president. What do you think of him as a leader?Somebody has to head the party, and he’s eligible to become President when the seat will be vacant.Is this election more about Virbhadra Singh versus Prem Kumar Dhumal or it is a battle between the Congress and the BJP? Do you think it would have been any different if JP Nadda was selected as CM candidate?It is a battle between the parties. There’s no personal fight, at least so fast as I am concerned. We have no accused anybody and have carried this campaign as cleanly as possible.I don’t think the difference would have been significant, whether it is Nadda or Dhumal or Shanta Kumar, it doesn’t matter. The Congress will come back to power.The Congress has been attacking the BJP on the implementation of the GST. And it is a year since demonetization was declared.These are valid arguments, people in every sort of trade and industry are talking in the same terms as us. We are echoing the same concerns. In Himachal Pradesh, there are many farmers, and they have been severely affected. The time is gone when parties threw money to people and buy their votes, the people of Himachal have always been politically aware.

Ryan case: CBI to question juvenile for 3 days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 16-year-old juvenile accused of murdering a seven-year-old boy inside Gurugram’s Ryan International School was produced before the juvenile justice board who allowed the CBI to question him for three days. The CBI had asked for six days but were instead granted three.As the number of mediapersons and vans increased at the Vikas Sadan in Gurugram, heavy police force was deployed before the juvenile was produced. The entry for mediapersons and even other advocates present on the court premises was barred.Around 3:30 pm, a team of CBI officials arrived at the court followed by the lawyers. The juvenile arrived in a white SUV car.During the arguments, Sandeep Aneja, lawyer of the accused, stated that the CBI’s demand for six days’ interrogation is only based on the fact that he had confessed to the crime.”The CBI has only stated the confession of the boy. They do not have evidence against him,” added Aneja.The boy’s father, who is also an advocate or rather belongs to a family of advocates, was present at the court and said, “My son is innocent. He has not killed anyone.”The CBI requested the custody of the juvenile on five aspects. The first, as per the remand papers, included ascertaining and identifying the shop from where the weapon was procured. The second point the CBI stated was to ascertain the details of any other person involved in the crime and to re-create the sequence of events. Third, to establish the sequence of events which led to the murder. Fourth, to unearth if there was any conspiracy behind the crime and lastly to collect more evidence in connection with the case.On the other hand, AK Singh, lawyer for the CBI, said the video footage was enough for them to seek remand.While giving permission to the CBI officials to interrogate the juvenile, Judge Devinder Singh also added that a member of the Juvenile Justice Board be appointed at all times with the juvenile since the case is sensational. The judge added that he is to be questioned between 10am to 6pm with the officer present as well.The juvenile was picked up by the CBI around 11:30 pm from his residence. The CBI stated that after analysing the crime scene, analysing CCTV footages, questioning employees/teachers, movement of other children and the boy, they had apprehended him on Tuesday night.It may be recalled that when the accused conductor Ashok Kumar was arrested, the Gurgaon Bar Association were up in arms against the accused and had refused to fight his case. Lawyers present on the court premises said, “None of them took up the case of Ashok, but today it’s a lawyer’s son and everyone is supportive. What about the first accused who the police arrested?” said a lawyer who did not wish to be named.HOW IT HAPPENED?September 8: 7-yr-old Pradyuman Thakur was found lying outside his classroom bleeding profusely Sep 8: Gurugram police claims to have cracked the case and arrested bus conductor Ashok Kumar Sep 11: Two top officials of Ryan International School arrested while acting principal detained for questioning Sep 22: CBI takes over investigation Sep 28: Punjab and Haryana HC stays arrest of Pinto family until October 7 Nov 8: Class XI student arrested, who allegedly admits to crime since he wanted to postpone exams

Cop-BMC-neta trio gives cover to hawkers: Citizen activists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been undertaking hawker-eviction drives following the stampede at Elphinstone Road station, residents groups and civic activists – who have been pushing for action against illegal hawkers for years – fear the crackdown may just be a cosmetic exercise.They claim that before the recent massive outrage from citizens, their grievances about encroachment fell on deaf ears as hawkers regularly greased the palms of civic staff and policemen. Thus illegal hawking in neighbourhoods across the city was allowed to carry on with impunity.”Hawkers give at least Rs 100 every day to the BMC and police,” said Nikhil Desai, co-ordinator of Action for Good Governance and Networking in India, “All senior BMC officials are aware of this. The current drive is just a knee-jerk reaction.”If they are really serious, why don’t they immediately form the Town Vending Committee that is supposed to demarcate hawking zones and follow court orders?”Sources in BMC admit to corruption within the ranks, but pass the buck on to the police and local politicians. “There are times when we call up the police asking them to provide security when we decide to raid a particular area,” a senior BMC officer requesting anonymity told DNA, “By the time we reach the spot or the police arrive, the hawkers have already vanished. It is quite possible some junior civic staff may be alerting them. Not all civic staff or policemen are involved in these illegal activities. But it is very difficult to identify who might be leaking the information. It is not easy to take action against hawkers as there is also involvement of local politicians.”Desai refutes BMC’s claim that they have cleared hawkers from all railway stations, saying there are at least 100 hawkers outside Matunga station. “On Monday,” he says, “I wrote to Deputy Municipal Commissioner Narendra Barde and also met F-North ward officer Keshav Ubale, and written instructions were passed on to the ward’s Removal of Encroachments officer. However, the officer told me that he did not have the JCB to remove the stalls.”Desai says he had to request the ward’s Solid Waste Management department and arrange for the JCB himself, after which the hawkers outside Matunga station were removed. “But, as usual, the road was filled with hawkers that very evening,” Desai said.Another civic activist, Vasant Patil from Kandivli, said the identity and contact details of residents who lodge complaints against hawkers have been leaked to the hawkers, resulting in threats to the complainants.”The hawkers are aided by the connivance of BMC, police and local politicians,” Patil said, “I know many incidents where people visit ward offices and lodge written or oral complaints against hawkers. Within a short while, the complainant gets a call from a hawker leader, asking him/her to withdraw the compliant or face the consequences. After such experiences, many stop complaining. The question arises: How does the contact number of the complainant reach the hawkers?”Nita Bajpai, secretary of Gulmohar Residents Group, Juhu said, “We have already lost six to seven lives to unhygienic street food. We have complained to the police and at the BMC ward office several times, but the hawkers give them some money and the officers go away. Such officers should be punished. We want footpaths to be free for pedestrians and we will keep our fight going.”Advocate Nitin Nikam, secretary of Tilak Nagar Residents Welfare Association, says that even when action is taken, it is short-lived due to the unholy nexus. “The BMC does take action against hawkers, but only after repeated complaints. Even when action is taken, the hawkers put up their stalls at the same place the next day.”

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