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Fail to treat wet waste? No water, power for you: MPCB

Housing societies in the city that have not yet started treating wet waste at source or set up facilities for the purpose in their premises can now prepare to face the music as the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) threatens to cut power and water supply to these residential units.The MPCB has sent notices to 76 large housing societies that have not yet established facilities to treat wet waste in their premises. From the original deadline of October 2, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) extended it to January 2, 2018 for the around 3,200 bulk generators of waste in the city. Once the deadline is passed, the civic body has stated that it will stop collecting untreated waste from the premises of these bulk generators.”We have issued notices to 76 societies for flouting the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. This list was given to us by the BMC… (in case of further default) we will submit a proposal to the Board asking for the power and water supply to be disconnected,” said Madhukar Lad, Regional Officer (Mumbai), MPCB, adding that the notices were sent in the third week of December. Lad noted that these bulk generators must establish facilities like Organic Waste Composters (OWC) for treating wet waste which aims to reduce the burden of solid waste that is dumped at the three dumping grounds in the city. He added that these societies will be given a hearing following which a period of 15 days to a month will be offered to take the necessary measures.The MPCB is in the process of sending show cause notices to more societies, many of which are in areas like Mahim, Dadar and Parel, according to MPCB officials. “These entities must segregate their waste at source and establish vermicomposting or OWC facilities to treat wet waste,” stressed Lad.Meanwhile, a senior BMC official said that the number of bulk waste generators treating their wet waste was gradually increasing. “Some have established OWCs or are doing so. Some societies have already taken permissions from their managing committees,” he explained, adding that an extension for the deadline for not lifting wet waste would be granted based on this progress. The official admitted that the 100kg average was decided on a thumb-rule basis after considering the number of size of families and average garbage generation of 450 to 500gm per head.The Mulund, Deonar and Kanjurmarg dumping grounds see around 7,300 metric tons of garbage being dumped there daily.The official said building projects of an over 20,000 square meter area needed environment clearances with a condition that all solid waste would be processed in the premises. The state had issued guidelines under which premises over 5,000 square meters are to treat their own wet waste. Though this was a condition for granting the occupation certificate, it was breached later with these spaces being used for purposes like parking, he admitted, adding that they would propose action against these violators.MATTER OF WASTEUnder the SWM Rules, 2016, all gated communities and institutions with an area of over 5,000 square meters shall segregate, process and treat waste at source. It defines bulk generators as buildings occupied by the central and state government or local body departments or undertakings, public sector undertakings, private companies, hospitals, educational institutions, hotels, commercial establishments, markets, places of worship, stadiums and sports complexes with an average daily waste generation rate exceeding 100kg.

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Muslim woman slapped with triple talaq for waking up late

Even as the Central government tabled the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 in Parliament, another Muslim woman was given instant triple talaq — a practice banned by the Supreme Court.Triple talaq continues to be slapped on Muslim women on frivolous grounds, such as wanting to pursue higher studies or, in the case of Gul Afshan, waking up late in the morning. Gul Afshan, a resident of Nagaliya Aqil village in Rampur district, was first mercilessly thrashed by her husband Qasim Ali at night, and when she woke up late the next day, Ali ended the marriage by pronouncing talaq talaq talaq.Gul Afshan had married Qasim Ali, a truck drive from the same village, going against her parent’s wish. Even after having a love marriage, Qasim would beat her on daily basis.”My only fault was that I woke up late due to body pain after being severely beaten by him last night. He threw me out of the house and ended the marriage by pronouncing triple talaq,” she told media.She went to the police, but no action was taken against Qasim in the absence of any law. A police officer said, “We have received her complaint, but don’t know under which law we should register a case.”Another Muslim woman was divorced by using triple talaq in Bareilly district a couple of days ago. The only fault of Farzana (name changed) was that she wanted to pursue her studies and husband instead of giving permission pronounced triple talaq and left or Saudi Arabia.In the past, many such cases were reported from different parts of Uttar Pradesh where Muslim men divorced their wives uttering triple talaq on mobile, writing the three cruel words on a telegram or letter.”Even the Supreme Court order did not deter Muslim men to play with the life of their wives. Muslim Board should be asked what action it has taken against husbands enforcing triple talaq on their wives. Law is the only way to check instant triple talaq cases in the country. We are happy that the Modi government has tabled the Bill despite opposition to protect our rights,” said Sofia, avictim of triple talaq.”We would celebrate Eid the day it becomes a law and those misusing triple talaq even after that are sent to jail,” reacted Shahista Amber, Chairperson, All-India Women Muslim Personal Law Board.NO RELIEFThe Supreme Court in August 2017 had struck down the practice of triple talaq by a 3:2 majority. Despite the SC verdict, Muslim women continue to be slapped with instant triple talaq across country.

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Muslim Board opposes triple talaq bill, Centre questions its existence

While All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) opposed the triple talaq bill, government questioned the very existence of the board and also their credibility on Thursday. Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar questioned how the body became representative of the community. The minister also connoted them as jaahil (ignorant) men on the issue of Muslim Women (Protection Of Rights On Marriage) Bill which makes instant triple ban illegal and a punishable offence.Even before the bill was introduced, Zafaryab Jilani, an AIMPLB member, termed it as government’s attempt to make political gains. “The Central government’s approach is based on their political interests. They don’t have anything to do with Muslim women; they are only doing it for political gains,” Jilani said.During the discussion on the bill in Lok Sabha, Akbar questioned, “What is the credibility of All India Muslim Personal Law Board? Who chose them to be community representatives?” While backing the bill, he said that the law is not against talaq, but against instant talaq or talaq-e-biddat.The board has opposed the bill and had written a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to withdraw the bill. In the letter, AIMPLB stated that it is “against the welfare of Muslim women at large, and it shall harm the interest of Muslim Women and the family”.Akbar also cited Quran to emphasise that women’s rights are important. He said it is stated in Quran that there will be no atrocities on women in the name of God, and added “but even 1,400 years later, some jaahil men continue to do so.””I’m speaking as a Muslim. There is poison being spread that Islam is in danger. There is nothing that is in danger. Only a few Muslim men are feeling vulnerable. A true Muslim will never believe that Islam is in danger,” he said.Earlier in the day, the Bill which seeks to criminalise the practice of instant triple talaq was tabled in Lok Sabha by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.Prasad said the proposed law is for women’s rights and justice and not regarding any prayer, ritual or religion.Reacting to it, Jilani said the parliamentarian was “misleading the Parliament” citing that apart from prayer, and ritual, the divorce law is also protected by Article 25 of the Constitution.”Supreme Court has said in its judgment that divorce law too is an integral part of Muslim personal law, which is protected by Article 25. What he (Prasad) is saying is against the order of the Supreme Court,” Jilani said.

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Triple Talaq Bill to be tabled in Parliament today

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, which seeks to criminalise the practice of triple talaq, is expected to be tabled in the Parliament by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday.The draft Bill says, “any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal”.There is also a provision of imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years and fine for violators. The draft Bill also envisages entitling divorcee Muslim women for maintenance.Also readDidn’t consult Muslim bodies before drafting triple talaq bill: PP ChaudharyIt also has a provision for the divorcee Muslim women to have the custody of their minor children. The offences under the purview of this bill will be cognizable and non-bailable.The Bill shall extend to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir.Also readUttar Pradesh: Man gives Triple Talaq to wife for waking up late Meanwhile, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which is against the tabling of the Bill, requested the Central Government to withdraw and withhold the triple talaq bill.”The AIMPLB urges the Central Government to not table the Bill in the Parliament,” said AIMPLB’s Sajjad Nomani after attending an emergency meeting organised by the Board in Lucknow.Also readGrowing cases of triple talaq questions Muslim Board opposition to BillThe AIMPLB spokesperson further accused the Centre of not following the laid procedure in drafting the Bill.”No procedure was followed in drafting this bill; neither was any stakeholder consulted,” said Nomani.AIMPLB even claimed that the Bill was against women and children, and if implemented, it would destroy many families.Earlier in August, in a historic judgment the Supreme Court had ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims is “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.

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Unnao: Cataract surgery on 32 patients done under torchlight; CMO suspended

The CMO earlier said the acting district magistrate has ordered a probe into the matter and the organisation entrusted with the task could be blacklisted, if found guilty. Meanwhile, some relatives of the patients complained that they were not provided with any beds after the procedure, and that they were made to lie down on floors despite extreme cold weather conditions. Uttar Pradesh has attracted bad press for a series of 'medical disasters' in the recent past, with the death of more than 60 children, mostly infants, at a government hospital in Gorakhpur being the latest case in point. A hospital in Farukhabad recorded 49 deaths — 30 in neo-natal ICU and 19 during delivery — between July 20 and August 21 this year, reportedly due to a lack of oxygen supply.”
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Tuesday 26 December 2017 18:40 ISTMust readIndian Army crosses LOC to retaliate, kills three Pak soldiers Surgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher <!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–> The district administration today suspended the chief medical officer after reports surfaced that 32 cataract patients were operated upon in torch light for want of steady electricity supply at a state-run facility here.”Taking a serious note of the matter, the Uttar Pradesh government acted promptly and suspended CMO Rajendra Prasad,” Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh told PTI. He said incharge of the community health centre (CHC) at Nawabganj has also been removed. A report has been sought by the state health department regarding the entire episode. According to the visuals that went viral on social media, 32 cataract operations were done at the CHC in Nawabganj yesterday in torch light as there was no electricity or power back-up there.The CMO earlier said the acting district magistrate has ordered a probe into the matter and the organisation entrusted with the task could be blacklisted, if found guilty. Meanwhile, some relatives of the patients complained that they were not provided with any beds after the procedure, and that they were made to lie down on floors despite extreme cold weather conditions. Uttar Pradesh has attracted bad press for a series of ‘medical disasters’ in the recent past, with the death of more than 60 children, mostly infants, at a government hospital in Gorakhpur being the latest case in point. A hospital in Farukhabad recorded 49 deaths — 30 in neo-natal ICU and 19 during delivery — between July 20 and August 21 this year, reportedly due to a lack of oxygen supply.

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After 7 yrs, MHADA back with lottery of 108 shops

After a lottery of nearly 820 homes, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s (MHADA) Mumbai Board is all set to introduce an e-auction of 108 commercial premises, for which the process was initiated on Friday when MHADA published a tender seeking a bank through which it can complete the whole process.Of the total 108 commercial establishments, 36 are in Pratiksha Nagar in Sion, four in Mazgaon, 14 in Vinoba Bhave Nagar in Kurla, five in Swadeshi Mill in Kurla, seven in Mankhurd, five in Powai, 11 in Mulund, one in Jogeshwari, four in Shastri Nagar in Goregaon, one in Siddharth Nagar in Goregaon and the remaining 20 in Charkop in Kandivili.The process of finalising the bank is expected to be complete by the first week of January. On Friday, MHADA’s Mumbai Board issued a tender inviting the expression of interest from nationalised, scheduled and commercial banks for a total solution provider for an e-auction of the shops.A senior official from MHADA’s Mumbai Board said, “We are looking for a bank that will be holding the e-auction of the shops spread over Mumbai that belong to MHADA. After the bank is finalised we will carry out the e-auction.”The offset price for the 36 shops in Pratiksha Nagar is Rs 11.45 crore while for the one shop in Jogeshwari, it is Rs 41.09 lakh. The total offset price of the 108 shops is Rs 49.93 crore. While the last such MHADA lottery for commercial premises was held in 2010, this is the first time that the Authority will be holding an e-auction of commercial premises. Until now, the MHADA had always held a manual auction.Apart from this, the MHADA also recently started the construction of buildings in Wadala, where it will be constructing nearly 280 homes in the affordable segment. The Authority is trying to get these homes constructed at the earliest because the MHADA wants the homes to be a part of the forthcoming lottery. In the previous lottery, which was held in November this year, the Authority received a lot of flak because it had only eight homes in the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) segment.WHAT’S ON ANVILProcess of finalising the bank is expected to be complete by the first week of January. MHADA’s Mumbai Board, on Friday, had issued a tender inviting the expression of interest from nationalised, scheduled and commercial banks for a total solution provider for an e-auction of the shops. Offset price for the 36 shops in Pratiksha Nagar is Rs 11.45 crore, while for the one shop in Jogeshwari is Rs 41.09 lakh.

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Centre has asked states to regulate remuneration given to nurses, Lok Sabha told

The Centre has asked all states to regulate the issue of remuneration given to nurses working in private medical institutions.Union Health Minister J P Nadda said in Lok Sabha that several advisories have been sent to all chief ministers to do the needful for providing better salaries to the nurses working in private hospitals and nursing homes.”Private institutions cannot remain unregulated” and for that the state governments, if necessary, should bring a legislation so that “this sector can be regulated,” he said.The minister said the government has received representation from the All India Government Nurses Federation demanding revision in pay and allowances against the 7th central pay commission’s report.”The government has examined their demands along with the demands of other associations. The government accepted the Commission’s recommendations on minimum pay, fitment factor, index of rationalisation, pay matrices and general recommendations on pay without any material alteration,” he said.Also readWe will ensure doctors get a safe work environment: JP NaddaNadda said the recommendation on allowances was referred to an empowered committee, comprising the finance secretary, secretary (expenditure) as chairman and secretaries of ministries of home, defence, health, personnel, posts and chairman Railway Board as members for further consideration.

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Air quality in Delhi dips to ‘very poor’, US Consulate report raises concern over Kolkata’s pollution level

Delhi’s air quality dipped on Wednesday due to a drastic fall in wind speed, triggering rapid accumulation of pollutants and a grey haze, which affected visibility across the city.The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 359, marking the return of ‘very poor’ air after eight days. The AQI had turned ‘moderate’ on December 12 and since then had remained ‘poor’. CPCB scientist Dipankar Saha said the situation is likely to improve soon as winds blowing from the north will bring down temperature resulting in precipitation of fog. “We are witnessing calm conditions but good news is that wind is likely to come from north and we can expect drop in temperature, and fog,” Saha said.Due to precipitation of fog (liquid droplets turning into vapour), the level of particulates also fall. Vivek Chattopadhyay, a researcher with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said conditions are considered calm when wind speed hovers around 0.3 metres per second. “It makes the air more dense. Moreover, due to drop in temperature, the boundary layer, the layer where particulates and air mix, also comes near the surface,” he said.The concentration of PM10 was 408.8 ug/m3 at 8 pm after rising through the day. PM2.5, which are finer and deadlier particulates, was recorded at 256.2 ug/m3 as per the Central Control Room for Air Quality Management of the CPCB.Also readAnti-smog gun does little to curb pollution in national capital; breathing difficulties continueConcern over Kolkata’s air qualityAn air quality report by the US consulate here has shown that the PM 2.5 level at the city’s Park Street area has surpassed Delhi’s Chanakyapuri locality on Tuesday, with environmentalists and people here expressing concerns.Also readSoon, we might have pollution meters like light meters: Ravi Shastri on smog halting India v/s Sri Lanka TestThe particulate matter (PM) level — an important index in measuring pollution — in the Chanakyapuri area of Delhi had improved from 292 Acceptable Quality Limit (AQL) to 189 AQL between noon to 6 pm on Tuesday. In Park Street here, the count went up from 274 AQL to 288 AQL during that time, the consulate website report says. Expressing concern over the report, environmentalist S M Ghosh said diesel cars are the main contributing factor to the alarming level of pollution in the city.The West Bengal Pollution Control Board is doing very little to reduce the fleet of diesel cars, he alleged. The situation, however, improved this morning with the PM 2.5 level at 171 AQL, far higher than the minimum alarming level of 151 AQL (acceptable quality limit), the website said. In New Delhi, the AQL count shot up to 389 at 1 pm today, it added. WBPCB Chairman Kalyan Rudra, however, said there was no reason to panic as the report covers just one area and does not give a complete picture.The WBPCB is initiating a number of measures to ensure good ambient air quality for the people here, Rudra said. There are 14 WBPCB air pollution monitoring units in the city and their display boards have been put up across the thoroughfares here to give updates on Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and PM 2.5. Environmentalist Ghosh, however, said three pollution monitoring devices in the city are lying defunct for months now. “The WBPCB is sitting on a proposal by environmentalists to increase the monitoring devices across the city from 14 to 25. They (WBPCB) would not admit but three of their monitoring units are lying defunct for several months,” he alleged.Debmit Dutta, a 39-year-old telecom engineer who works at an MNC in the Salt Lake area of the city, said he has ordered special air filter masks online considering the situation.”The situation is not very different here from that of Delhi, I feel. I have ordered masks online and hopefully it will protect us from the toxic air to an extent,” he said. West Bengal Public Health Engineering Minister Subrata Mukherjee said the situation here is better than Delhi and necessary steps are being taken to curb air pollution. Echoing similar sentiments, West Bengal Environment minister Sovon Chatterjee said, “I am yet to go through the contents of the US consulate report. But the government is taking every measure to reduce pollution level.

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Clean Ganga: Don’t dispose ashes in sacred river; bury it in ground and grow plants, says Satyapal Singh

Union Minister Satyapal Singh on Wednesday addressed the importance of the clean Ganga mission, and said that the people of India, despite their beliefs, need to revisit the way they dispose ashes.Highlighting that nothing should be done to affect the purity of the sacred river, the former Mumbai police chief said, “As per present situation, I appeal to everyone, ashes must be buried in ground & saplings should be planted on it, so even coming generations can remember (the deceased). I urge all priests, associated with rituals, to create awareness among people.”On Tuesday, it was revealed that the Centre’s flagship Namami Gange project has been marred by poor financial management and implementation woes in the past three years, a performance audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has revealed. The CAG’s audit, that covered 87 projects worth Rs7,992.34 crore, found that only eight to 63 per cent of the funds were spent between 2014-15 and 2016-17 in comparison with the revised estimate.Also readGanga cleaning funds lying unspent, says CAGThe national auditor said that multilateral implementation and poor planning were some of the chief reasons for funds lying unutilised with the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), which is the nodal implementing authority for cleaning the national river. As a result of poor planning and missing of deadlines, large quantities of untreated sewage continues to pollute Ganga across towns and cities along the main stem of the river.Last week, the National Green Tribunal imposing a ban on the sale, purchase and storage of plastic items such as bags, plates, spoons, etc along river Ganga in Haridwar’s Hari Ki Puri Rishikesh up to areas in Uttarkashi.Also readNGT bans sale of plastic items along Ganga belt from Haridwar up to RishikeshAs per an ANI report, a Rs 5,000 fine will be imposed on violators.On March 30, the chairperson had directed that a meeting be held after the UP government informed the Tribunal about its willingness to discuss the scenario of shifting tanneries outside Kanpur. This is contrary to the stand of the previous government, under Samajwadi Party, which had submitted through former advocate general Vijay Bahadur Singh that paucity of land and dependence of lakhs on the tannery cluster made shifting difficult.A year after assuming office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged his ministerial colleagues and three chief ministers to adopt an “uncompromising mission-mode approach” to halt pollution of River Ganga. Already in January this year, the PM had directed the water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation ministry to prioritise pollution control and taking remedial steps. But, on ground, the progress has been rather slow and effluent treatment plants have still been found wanting.In the key stretch of Ganga, between Haridwar and Kanpur, 30 drains are directly discharging 701 million litres/day (MLD) of waste water in the Ganga, a recent report of the Central Pollution Control Board has said. The report also highlighted that barring three of the 30 drains, all other drains directly releasing effluents into Ganga indicate the presence of pesticides. Also, four drains of Kanpur carried a high concentration of Chromium, ranging from 2mg/l to 84 mg/l. “It has been observed that Ganga receives 3,048MLD of waste water,” the report said.CPCB, the country’s pollution watchdog, submitted a ground report of these 30 drains on the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The NGT had ordered last October that the drains in the Hardiwar-Kanpur stretch directly releasing effluents into Ganga needed to be physically inspected to record the quantum and quality of effluents going into the river and its main tributaries.Along with the Ganga, the joint inspection team, comprising of CPCB, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), UP Jal Nigam, and National Mission for Clean Ganga, inspected 25 drains discharging effluents into Ramganga of which a majority release domestic wastewater into the river while 26 drains release effluents into Kali-east.The direct discharge of effluents from 30 drains has resulted in high levels of fecal coliform, above the CPCB prescribed standards. At Jajmau, a tannery hub in Kanpur, the fecal coliform was ten times higher than the prescribed standards.According to the report, disposal of industrial and domestic sewage effluent directly by drains or indirectly through tributaries is the chief cause for high levels of pollution. The storm water drains designated to flood out the storm water during rainy season, are now being used for disposal of sewage and trade effluents which ultimately joins River Ganga, the report added

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Rajya Sabha passes IIM Bill, granting more autonomy to institutes

The upper house of Parliament on Tuesday unanimously passed the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Autonomy Bill, that seeks to give power to grant degrees instead of diplomas to these institutions.The Bill that gives more autonomy to IIMs, declares the 20 IIMs as institutes of national importance. Under this Bill the autonomy envisaged to IIMs is greater than that of other higher education institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).The Bill says, the Board of Governors will be the executive body of each IIM, comprising up to 19 members. It will also nominate 17 board members including eminent persons, faculty members and alumni. The remaining two members will be nominees from the central and state governments, respectively. The Board will also appoint its own Chairperson.During the discussion on the bill in Rajya Sabha, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal supported the bill but questioned the lack of similar reforms in IITs and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Congress leader Jairam Ramesh questioned how board of Directors will be appointed and asked the government to describe how they plan the transition between the current boards at IIMs and the Board of Governors as proposed in the new bill. He also asked what would be the criteria for appointment of these governors.As per the Bill, the Board of Governors will appoint the Director of each IIM. A search committee will recommend names for the post of the Director. The Director is eligible for variable pay, to be determined by the Board.The Academic Council of each IIM will determine the — academic content, criteria and process for admission to courses; and guidelines for the conduct of examinations.A coordination forum will be set up, which will include representation from the 20 IIMs. It will discuss matters of common interest to all IIMs.Currently, the central government has a role in the functioning of IIMs which includes the appointment of the Chairperson of their Boards, their Directors and pay to the Director.

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TINA factor may help Vijay Rupani to stay on as Chief Minister

The BJP has said that Vijay Rupani will remain the Chief Minister, but some other names are also being whispered in the state’s power corridors, especially after the “below expectation” results. Observers attribute this to the TINA (There Is No Alternative) factor. The party is set to form government for a sixth straight term, but the celebration is muted as it got 16 seats less, compared to the 2012 Assembly elections, as the Congress improved its tally despite the loss. The names doing the rounds for the post of Gujarat CM are Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, Smriti Irani, and her Cabinet colleague and Minister of State for Roads and Transport, Mansukh L Mandaviya.But dominant thinking is to continue with Rupani, at least for a year.The party does not need to change the CM,” a senior BJP leader said.The leader said party president Amit Shah has also said that Rupani would continue as Gujarat CM. “He is Shah’s close confidant, so he is likely to continue, unless the high command has some different ideas,” he said.The name of Patel leader Ranchodbhai Chanabhai Faldu is also doing the rounds. Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani did not comment on the issue.There is also a murmur in the Gujarat BJP that the party may not appoint a Deputy Chief Minister this time. Nitin Patel held the post in the last government. The party may now make him the Assembly Speaker.”Nitin Patel and Rupani did not share good relations and that is why the party may decide against appointing a Deputy CM. The party needs somebody to handle business in the Assembly. Patel can be the Speaker because of his long experience,” said another senior leader.”Former Speaker Ganpatsinh Vasava is also there but no other Scheduled Tribe leader has been elected who can become a Cabinet Minister. The party needs a senior Scheduled Caste MLA who can be in the government. The BJP high command can keep Vasava in the Cabinet and Patel could be the Speaker,” said the senior leader.The BJP’s Parliamentary Board meeting is likely to be held this weekend. The Board has deputed Maharashtra in-charge Saroj Pandey and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss Gujarat’s leadership issue.No dy cm in guj?There is also a murmur in the Gujarat BJP that the party may not appoint a Deputy Chief Minister this time. Nitin Patel held the post in the last government.

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Himachal Elections 2017 | A play with a difference: The tale of two CM faces

In an unusual tale that played out in Himachal Pradesh, one of the two most prominent political faces won his seat but lost power, while the other found his name in the losers’ list but still led his party to victory.End of the ‘Singh era’For 83-year-old outgoing chief minister Virbhadra Singh, this is certainly the end of his active political life that spanned over five decades. His only consolation is that under his watchful eyes, his son Vikramaditya Singh, 28, has managed to enter the Assembly by winning the Shimla (Rural) seat.During the campaign, the six-time CM had declared that this election would be his last. His departure from Himachal politics means that now the hill state has no one with a mass appeal. His immediate future also remains uncertain as he faces a string of corruption charges, which continue to be heard at Delhi courts.In almost 60 years of public life, first as a junior minister in Rajiv Gandhi’s Cabinet and then as the chief minister of Himachal, Singh had a long rivalry with two BJP stalwarts — Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal. Known for his unique style of administration, where he controlled almost every department of the government, Singh would be remembered as someone who ruthlessly crushed rivals and never allowed anyone within the party to grow in stature. For instance, Anand Sharma and Vijay Singh Mankotia, though hugely popular, were never allowed to come anywhere near the CM’s chair.Even state Congress chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu was not allowed to have any say in the last five years. The office-bearers of the state unit were allowed to take directions only from Holy Lodge, Singh’s residence in Shimla.Singh’s biggest weapon to keep the BJP away from student politics was propping up the Left-wing Students Federation of India (SFI) in colleges and university campuses. This was necessary for him to keep the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad (ABVP) at bay.Singh’s personality was such that when denied complete freedom in selection of candidates, he even went up to the extent of breaking the Congress legislature party, twice. Once, after the Congress’s victory in the 2012 election, he got his lot of loyal legislators under one roof at a Shimla hotel in order to prevent the Central leadership from trying to woo them in Vidya Stokes’ favour.‘Outsider’ Dhumal’s woesOn the other hand, 73-year-old Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was not the party’s initial choice, was happy when the party finally decided on his candidature. His son, flamboyant BJP MP Anurag Thakur’s controversial tenure with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), however, served to exacerbate the problems of an otherwise low-profile Dhumal.This time, Dhumal chose his younger son, Arun Kumar Dhumal, to lead his campaign. Despite being the CM face, he was called an ‘outsider’ by his opponent Rajendra Singh Rana. To make matters worse, his son Thakur brought a battery of hand-picked workers from other states, such as Punjab, Jharkhand, and Rajasthan.Locals say the presence of ‘outsiders’ in Dhumal’s campaign did not go down well with the rural voters in Sujanpur and cost Dhumal the seat.THE CM STORYDespite the party’s return to power, Dhumal had to eat humble pie. Singh and Dhumal are out of the picture; BJP and Congress will have difficulty with successors.

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Centre should have consulted Muslims on triple talaq law, says AIMPLB

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said on Friday that the Centre should have consulted Muslims before it approved a draft law under which the practice of instant triple talaq would be made illegal and would attract a three year jail term for the offending husband.Before approving the draft law the Centre should have consulted the Muslim community, and also the experts, AIMPLB spokesperson Maulana Sajjad Nomani said.”If we live in a democracy, then we should have been given an opportunity. We also want to stop the practice of triple talaq. If the government’s intention is to really stop it, then the Islamic way of stopping would have been more acceptable…If the law is forced upon, then it is not correct,” he said.Reacting to the developments, president of All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB) Shaista Amber said that the Centre did not talk to Muslim organisations, while preparing the draft.”The Supreme Court had banned triple talaq in the light of Quran. Hence, any new law should be prepared in the light of Quran. If it is not so, then no Muslim woman will accept it,” she said.President of Muslim Women League, Naisha Hasan, said, “Before approving the draft of the bill, the Centre should have held discussions with the people…There should be a provision that the person giving triple talaq should not be sent to jail immediately, and the path of mediation should be opted,” she said.The Centre on Friday approved a draft law under which the practice of giving instant triple talaq would be made illegal and void and would attract a jail term of three years for the husband, a government functionary said.The draft ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’ was considered by the Union cabinet which gave its nod, the functionary said.The draft was prepared by an inter-ministerial group headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The other members included External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and his junior in the ministry P P Chaudhary.The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children.

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Pradyuman murder case: Bail plea of juvenile accused rejected

The juvenile accused in Pradyuman murder case was denied bail by Juvenile Justice Board on Friday.According to reports, the board took cognisance of the psychological report of the accused. The report emphasised that the juvenile was well aware of the consequences of the crime.The Class XI student, who is accused of murdering seven-year-old Pradyuman, was produced before the JJB again on Wednesday and remanded to another 14 days in judicial custody.He will be lodged in an observation home in Faridabad during this period and produced before the JJB on December 20.The cold-blooded murder case of Pradyuman took a new dimension after the CBI trashed the probe by the Gurugram police and gave a clean chit to bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was arrested with the charges of murder and sexual assault in connection with the case, and arrested the juvenile.Pradyuman was found in a pool of blood with his throat slit inside Ryan International School in Gurugram.

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NGT clarifies its stance on Amarnath shrine silent zone; says devotees will be silent near Shivling

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday issued a clarification on declaring the holy shrine at Amarnath a silent zone, saying that the entire area was not a silent zone.“Only restriction is that devotees will maintain silence in front of the Shivling. This is not applicable to any other part of the shrine. A one-way queue will be maintained,” news agency ANI reported.Earlier, reports did the rounds that the NGT had declared the entire shrine a silent zone and had prohibited any religious offerings beyond the entry point.A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said the Amarnath Shrine Board should ensure that proper infrastructural facilities are provided to the pilgrims so that they are not deprived of a clear ‘darshan’, and the ecology of the area is maintained. The NGT earlier said that declaring the area around the Amarnath cave shrine a “silence zone” would be helpful in preventing avalanches and maintaining its pristine nature.”Nobody would be permitted to carry anything from the stairs leading to the holy cave and everybody should be properly frisked at the entry point. From the point of stairs and the area inside the cave should be declared silence zone,” the bench said. The green panel ordered removal of iron grills in front of the ice stalagmite resembling the ‘Shiva Linga’ so that devotees could get a better view of it and said there should be no noise pollution near the sacred structure.It also restrained carriage of personal belongings including mobile phones beyond the last checkpoint and asked the shrine board to construct a place where pilgrims can keep their valuables. The green panel also directed the committee of experts headed by an additional secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to submit an action plan on providing facilities to the pilgrims within three weeks. Environment activist Gauri Maulekhi, on whose plea the directions were passed, welcomed the NGT order and termed it “progressive”.Also readNGT declares Amarnath cave shrine ‘silence zone’, prohibits religious offerings beyond entry point”The Amarnath cave is located in a delicate ecosystem. The directions would make the Amarnath Yatra safe and convenient for the devotees. This would protect the shrine from degradation and ensure it is protected for the coming generations. It is indeed a very good and progressive direction,” Maulekhi told PTI. The matter will be heard again on January 18 next year.In November, the NGT rapped the Amarnath Shrine Board for not providing proper infrastructural facilities to pilgrims going to the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, saying it could not “deprive people of proper darshan”. The green panel took exception to non-compliance with the directions issued by the Supreme Court in 2012 and asked the board what steps it had taken in all these years. The bench directed the experts committee to submit report on aspects such providing a proper path and declaring the cave shrine a “silence zone” while maintaining cleanliness in the area.

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DDA to expand sports facilities

In a good news for students and sports enthusiasts, the DDA is all set to improve and extend facilities of its premier sports complexes including the Siri Fort Complex. Besides this, the Authority will also be building new sports complexes for the disabled in far-flung residential areas.The renovation plans at its complexes include refurbishing of all swimming pools under it and ready by 2018.”All existing swimming pools would be renovated and their depths reduced to 1.35 m for public safety purpose. The renovation works would be completed in time for the swimming pools to be operational for the next swimming season from 1st April next year,” said a senior DDA official.The decisions were taken during a meeting of the Authority’s Sports Management Board (SMB) on Tuesday.Also, it was decided that all facilities at DDA sports complexes will be turned disabled-friendly on a priority basis.”Football grounds at DDA sports complexes would be converted into synthetic surface for intensive use of these facilities due to the rising demand for football fields in Delhi. The grounds at Siri Fort Sports Complex would initially be converted as a pilot project,” the officer said.School children are permitted to use DDA sports complexes on payment of entry charges of Rs 15. For facilities for which user charges are to be paid, school students would need to pay only 50 per cent of rates paid by members of the sports complexes.”To facilitate utilisation of facilities at DDA Siri Fort Sports Complex, for which there is always a huge demand, individuals who have taken three months temporary membership of the complex 10 times in the last five years would be eligible for annual tenure membership. Rates for one year tenure membership, including dependants would be Rs 5,000 for government category and Rs 8,000 for non-government category,” he said.Besides, work on construction of a new sports complex at Sector-17, Dwarka is also in the works.”In-principle approval was given for development of a state of the art basketball centre with four courts with change rooms, toilets, spectator sitting and proper lighting facility at DDAYamuna Sports Complex, Surajmal Vihar. Also, approval was given for the city’s first ‘Skate Park’ with facilities for skating, roller figure skating, roller hockey, speed skating track and separate rink for skate boards and BMX cycles would also be developed at the complex,” the official said.THE GRAND PLANThe renovation plans at DDA’s complexes include refurbishing of all swimming pools by 2018 To make all facilities at the centres disable-friendly For facilities for which user charges are to be paid, school kids would need to pay only 50 per cent of rates paid by complex members

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SC dismisses plea seeking one nation, one syllabus for children aged 6-14

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking ‘one nation and one syllabus’ for children aged 6-14 years throughout the country.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that a common syllabus is not possible and dismissed the petition. Senior advocate Sajan Poovayya, appearing for primary school teacher Neeta Upadhaya, wife of BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhaya, said that introduction of common education system will advance the objective behind the Right to Education (RTE) Act.To this the bench said that court can’t do this and common syllabus can’t be introduced. The petitioner had sought a direction to the Centre in spirit of the Article 21A of the Constitution and to establish “One Nation-One Education Board” system. The plea had saidthat introduction of the new system would substitute the existing multi-board system like Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) board and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).Also readGovt to track children with Aadhaar to bring down number of out of school childrenIt also sought a direction for introduction of a common textbook having chapters on the Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties, Directive Principles and the Great Golden Goals as set out in Preamble of the Constitution and make its study compulsory for all the children aged 6-14 years throughout the country. Upadhaya had said that Article 21A of the Constitution makes education a fundamental right of children but the executive has not introduced common education system in spirit of the provisions.The plea said that injury is caused to the children because prevailing education system does not provide equal opportunity to all the children in spirit of the Article 16 and Preamble of the Constitution, as syllabus and curriculum are very different.

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University of Mumbai Law academy not functioning well: Parents

Parents of several students studying under the University of Mumbai’s Law Academy have written to the varsity officials, state government and the office of the Prime Minister raising concerns over the poor functioning of the academy.In the letter, parents have raised concerns like lack of a permanent Director and teaching staff, poor condition of classrooms, lack of a designated library and the absence of a separate Board of Studies.”The university is charging Rs 50,000 annually. Despite this, some of the basic requirements are not provided such as a library as prescribed by the Bar Council. The institute has no permanent director at the moment and is running on an ad-hoc basis. Despite several requests, neither the university nor the state government officials are looking into the issue. We are now forced to do a gherao-and-fast-unto-death if we get no response,” said Bhushan Virkar, a parent.Dr Devanand Shinde, acting V-C, MU, said the varsity is trying to resolve the issue. “We have taken a few good decisions in this regard which will be communicated soon,” he said.
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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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Under fire, Kapil Sibal clears air

The confusion over the representation, or rather the lack thereof, for the Sunni Waqf Board in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid matter in the Supreme Court (SC), got some clarification on Thursday when senior advocate Kapil Sibal said that he appeared only for Mohammed Iqbal Ansari, son of late Mohammed Hashim — the original petitioner.Speaking at a press conference, Sibal said that who he appeared for is not the national issue and said the main issue was Gujarat, hinting at BJP’s campaign in the election-bound state.Advocate MR Shamshad, the advocate on record in the matter, supported Sibal and further clarified that the senior advocate’s name against the board in the appearance slip, or in the first part of the record of proceedings, could be a ‘clerical error’.On Tuesday, the Supreme Court decided to hear the 13 civil appeals filed by various parties, challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute on February 8, 2018.In doing so, the bench refused to be swayed by Sibal’s plea that the matter be heard by the top court after the 2019 general elections. Sibal told the bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, and Justices Ashok Bhushan and SA Najeeb that he was making this request because “there will be serious repercussions” after the court’s ruling.Sibal’s submissions on Tuesday in the top court kicked up a storm as the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board distanced itself from his remarks and submitted that they favoured an early hearing in the matter.While addressing an election rally in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the Sunni Waqf Board for dissociating itself from Sibal’s statement on Ayodhya, and lashed out at the lawyer for politicising a sensitive issue.The controversial structure known as Babri Masjid was razed to the ground by Karsevaks on December 6, 1992.The court is hearing 13 appeals against a 2010 judgement by Allahabad High Court on four civil suits filed over the title of the land that is known to Hindus as the “Ram Janmabhoomi”, or the land where Hindu God Ram was born.A three-judge Bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had ordered the partition of the land equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the deity, Ram Lalla.SEEKING DEFERMENTSupreme Court on Tuesday decided to hear the 13 civil appeals challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court order on the Ram janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute on February 8, 2018 Kapil Sibal pleaded to the top court that the matter be heard after the 2019 general elections.
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Like bad light and rain, air quality must be checked before a match: IMA tells BCCI

The Indian Medical Association on Thursday wrote to the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) on the Third Test between India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi, highlighting the high levels of air pollution the players endured.“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,” the IMA said adding that rain and poor light were taken into consideration while determining suitable playing conditions. “We suggest that atmospheric pollution should now also be included in the assessing criteria for a match,” the IMA added.Delhi’s notorious smog did not halt play as it did on Sunday but Sri Lanka batsman Angelo Mathews said the air remained as bad as his team battled for survival against India in the final test on Monday.Also readAs Cricketers ‘vomit and choke’ in Delhi smog, Doctors call for ICC policy on pollutionThe second day’s play was stopped twice on Sunday as Sri Lanka fast bowlers Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Gamage walked off the field after the seasonal haze blanketed the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in the Indian capital. Several players wore facemasks and coach Nic Pothas said two of them vomited in the dressing-room.After Indian captain Virat Kohli declared the innings and Sri Lanka took the bat again, Indian bowlers came without the masks and looked untroubled by pollution concern but then Mohammed Shami was also seen puking.Also readAfter Delhi’s ‘smog’ problem, BCCI says Tests can be rescheduled considering air pollutionJust after taking a wicket in the sixth over on the fourth day, right-arm seamer Mohammed Shami was seen holding his chest and started throwing up. The 12th man for India came on the field with medical kit to Shami’s aid. The bowler was changed with spinner Ravindra Jadeja in the next over. While the reason for Shami’s sickness is not clear, it clearly shifts the focus on smog in Delhi.The BCCI had accused Sri Lanka of making a “big fuss”, pointing to Indian skipper Virat Kohli who hit a record sixth Test double century despite the smog.Also readSuranga Lakmal vomits on field, Delhi may lose winter tests due to ‘pollution’Air quality in Delhi-NCR has been at the season’s worst for the past month as a combined effect of smoke from stubble burning and moisture turned the region into a ‘gas chamber’ leaving people gasping.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had blamed stubble burning for smog in the national capital and said that a solution can be found if everyone comes together.Amid concerns over alarming pollution levels in Delhi-NCR region, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday rapped the Delhi government and said that no construction activity will be carried out on structured until further orders, other than those that don’t need any construction material till next hearing.Earlier this week, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday slammed the Delhi government for not filing the action plan on steps taken to curb air pollution in the city.The court observed that situation is getting worst and children are suffering because of it.The green court directed the Delhi government to file its action plan within 48 hours. The States of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have already filed the same.It also slammed authorities for holding India-Sri Lanka cricket match at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi despite hazardous air quality.The green body had earlier directed the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and every state pollution control boards to file ambient air quality analysis before the tribunal on monthly basis and also put up on their websites to enable the concerned authority to take effective steps to control the air pollution.
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Didn’t represent Sunni Waqf board in SC, PM should be more careful: Kapil Sibal

Senior Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal on Wednesday clarified that he never represented Sunni Waqf Board in Supreme Court during the Ayodhya hearing on Tuesday. This clarification comes after both PM Modi and Amit Shah attacked Kapil Sibal for trying to delay the hearing and demanded Congress party to make their stance clear. Amit Shah post Sunni Waqf Board’s statement that they want the case to be hear soon, said that Kapil Sibal was representing Congress view in Supreme Court on the behest of ‘High Command’.However, this is what Kapil Sibal, the man in the eye of the controversy has to say. Speaking to ANI, Sibal said, ” Our PM comments without knowing things sometimes. Amit Shah & he said I represented Sunni Waqf Board. I was never a Sunni Waqf Board lawyer”. Regarding the entire controversy, Sibal said that, ” Will discussion on my going to the court & representing someone solve serious problems in the country? If yes, then PM should say so. Issuing statements won’t help India in anyway, it’ll just take the nation towards controversies”.Kapil Sibal urged PM Modi to be ‘more careful’ and further went on to say, Also readPM Modi attacks Congress, Kapil Sibal for linking Ram Mandir with Lok Sabha electionsRegarding the timing of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Sibal said, ” We believe in the Lord, we don’t believe in you Modi ji. You are not going to build that temple, it will be done when God wants it. The court will decide”. Sibal on Supreme Court said that since the court’s decision in the case would have “very serious ramifications”, the hearing be deferred till July 2019 by which time the general election would be over.His contention was, however, not accepted by the court which decided to hear the matter on February 8 next year.Prime Minister Narendra Modi today castigated senior Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal for seeking deferment of hearing of the Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid title dispute till after the 2019 general elections, and wondered if such an issue should be kept unresolved for political gains and losses.On the campaign trail in Gujarat, Modi recalled how his government decided to oppose ‘triple talaq’ in the Supreme Court risking a possible backlash in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.He also pitched for simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies. “Yesterday, Sibal advocated the cause of the Muslim community. He has the right to do it and we do not have any problem with it. You can present your argument quoting all facts and laws to save Babri Masjid.”But you dare say that the case should not be heard till 2019 elections. You want to stop the hearing of Ram temple (issue) in the name of elections,” Modi told a well attended election rally here in Ahmedabad district. Modi said now he understands why the Congress kept many issues unresolved, without elaborating but implying that it was done to derive political mileage.”Does the Waqf Board fight elections? Are these thoughts of delaying the hearing for elections that of the Waqf Board? The elections in the country are being fought by the Congress party. You want to keep the issue unresolved for political gain and losses in the elections?” Modi asked the Congress. He, however, noted that the Congress has said the views expressed by Sibal, who represents the Sunni Waqf Board in the case in the Supreme Court, were his own.With agency inputs
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Firm SC rejects pleas to hear Ayodhya case after 2019 LS polls

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the vehement submission of Sunni Waqf Board and others that hearing of appeals in the sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute be conducted in July 2019 after the general elections and fixed February 8 to hear them.A special bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also “prima facie” declined the demand put by a battery of senior lawyers including Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan that the appeals be either referred to a five or seven judge bench, keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the case and its ramifications on the country’s secular fabric and polity. The bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhusan and S A Nazeer, asked the advocates on records (AoRs), dealing with as many 14 civil appeals against the 2010 judgement of the Allahabad High Court in the land dispute, to sit together and ensure that all requisite documents are translated, filed and numbered before the apex court Registry.In case of any problem, they were directed to consult the Registry, it said, while fixing February 8 to hear the appeals against the Allahabad High Court order. The special apex court bench is hearing a total of 14 appeals filed against this judgement in four civil suits. A three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had in 2010 ordered that the land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.Also readRahul Gandhi visiting temples, but Kapil Sibal being used to delay Ram Janmabhoomi case: Amit ShahToday’s hearing witnessed high drama with lawyers representing the Sunni Waqf Board and the Babri Masjid Action Committee, virtually threatening to walkout of the proceedings as the bench asked senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, representing the deity Ram Lalla Virajman, to commence his submissions in the case.When the bench headed by the CJI rejected their contention that the matters be sent to a larger bench saying “no, no…”, Sibal, appearing for Sunni Wakf Board, said “I do believe that any decision in this case will have very serious ramifications and the appeals should be referred to a five or seven judge constitution bench. Do not say ‘no, no, no’. Please hear the matter keeping in mind the ramifications…” He said, “please fix the matter in July 2019 and we assure that we will not seek any adjournments… justice should not only be done, it should seem to be done.” The bench countered: “What kind of submission is this? You are saying July 2019. Should it not be heard before that?” Another senior advocate Dushayant Dave, appearing for one of the parties, questioned the “hurry” in hearing the appeals and referred to the fact that the issue of Ram Temple was part of the BJP manifesto.Also readBabri Masjid demolition day: Centre issues advisory, VHP to ‘celebrate’ in Ayodhya To this, the bench retorted: “You say it should not be heard ever only because it was not heard in last seven years.” At the outset, Sibal said the pleadings in the cases were not complete due to the voluminous records running into over 19,000 pages. Till date, the Registry has “given us documents in two separate discs- on September 18, 2017 and on November 7, 2017 respectively. However there are many exhibits and several pleadings which are not contained in these discs and which are still awaited,” he said, adding that the High Court had relied upon 781 judgements and they have to be compiled.Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for Uttar Pradesh Government, and senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, representing the deity, Ram Lalla Virajman, opposed the contention and said the pleadings were complete and the requisite documents have been filed and supplied. Moreover, it was made clear by the court that it would commence hearing from December 5, they said. Sibal sought time saying the pleadings were not complete as many were still awaited. “How do you prepare cases if they (pleadings) are not complete,” he said.Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for a Hindu ‘mahant’, opposed the contention saying the parties were supposed to commence arguments. “Last time also you (Sibal) had said the same thing.Today again you are saying the same thing,” the bench said, adding “you (parties) tell us what was the case before the High Court”. Sibal and others including Dhavan again sought time, saying time be granted to enable them prepare the case. The submission was supported by Dave who said the court should not fall into a “trap”. He sought the setting up of a larger bench as was done in the case of Justice C S Karnan to send a message across.”What kind of argument is this,” the bench remarked. Dhavan said that a three-judge bench cannot hear these appeals in view of a judgement which had held that mosques were integral to Islam and this case also pertained to a mosque. Salve and the ASG took strong exception to the submission questioning the “hurry” on part of the apex court in hearing the appeals in the matter. “I take exception to the submission that the apex court was in a hurry. Seven years have gone by and the bench is not told that it was in a hurry,” the ASG said. Dhavan went to the extent of saying that the hearing will not be over by October next year (when the CJI would demit office). However, he quickly retracted when the bench again said “what kind of a submission is this”.”When original suit was finished in 90 days by the Allahabad High Court, why should it take longer than that here,” the bench asked. “Both the sides had a message for this court. But we know what to do. Don’t give a message to this court by telling us what message we will send out,” the bench said. Salve said he was “disturbed” to hear such arguments and the fact was that the appeals were pending since 2010.This court has dealt with many sensitive issues earlier and the ramifications outside are not going to decide as to when the matter will be heard, Salve said, adding that the issue whether the matters needed to be heard by a constitution bench can be decided later if such questions arise in future. The top court had on August 11 asked the UP government to complete within 10 weeks the translation of the evidence recorded for adjudication of the title dispute in the high court. It had said it would not allow the matter to take any shape other than the civil appeals and would adopt the same procedure as was done by the high court.
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DNA EXCLUSIVE | MaharashtraGST toll: Collection soars to 22% in Oct

Maharashtra, which is a major manufacturer and also enjoys the lion’s share in exports, has bucked the trend with a 22.07 per cent rise in Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection at Rs 9,783.2 crore this October, compared to Rs 8,014.16 crore for the same month last year during the VAT regime. The rise is crucial for the state when the total GST collection for October at the national level slipped by almost 10 per cent to Rs 83,346 crore as compared to Rs 92,000 crore in the previous month.Further, an increase in tax collection will provide the state with partial relief as it already imposed a 30 per cent cut in budgetary spending in view of likely hit due to crop loan waiver.The state’s GST collection in July rose to Rs 9,789.58 crore (which also includes VAT) against Rs 7,884.24 crore in July last year, an increase of 24.17%. In August, the tax collection was as high as 51.11% at Rs 9,593.79 crore against Rs 6,348.87 crore while in September, the tax collection grew by 29.6% at Rs 9,075.97 crore against Rs 7,003.08 crore.The state GST department’s cumulative revenue from April till November this year surged by 23.65 per cent at Rs 73,425.35 crore compared to Rs 59,380 crore over the same period in the previous year.A senior officer with the finance department told DNA, “GST being a consumption based tax. Maharashtra is a developed state and higher consumption is driving the GST collection.”City based chartered accountant Ajit Joshi said ”The increase in Maharashtra’s revenue is heartening but not exactly comparable. State GST includes erstwhile VAT as well as excise and service tax. So, it needs to be closely studied as to what would be the fall in the Centre’s share to state. Further, the refund and input credit element of this revenue figure needs to be known to understand the exact income of the state.”The officer informed that the Central Board of Excise & Customs and the state GST department issued circulars pertaining to manual processing of export related refund claims. The disbursement will start by the end of December.
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Elections to begin for MU’s Senate, BoS

After a long delay, the University of Mumbai has finally kick-started the process for the formation of two of the important governing bodies — Senate and the Board of Studies (BoS). The varsity would conduct elections to these bodies in two phases.In the first phase, elections for the Principals, Management Council Representatives, university teachers and department heads from colleges to the Senate would take place. In the second phase, elections of teachers and graduates would take place.The official notification regarding the elections would be uploaded to the varsity’s official website on December 2. “Elections for the Senate and the Board of studies are for the first time, taking place under the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016. We are hoping to make the whole election process smooth and can hope to get these bodies in working soon” said Dr Devanand Shinde, acting Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai.In the backdrop of the delay, the state government also revised the deadline for completing the election process from November 30, 2017 to February 28, 2017.Sanjay Vairal, ex-Senate member of the university said, “Without the bodies, all key decisions at the university have been pending.”
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SC dismisses plea seeking to stall Padmavati release, rebukes Chief Ministers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a fresh plea seeking to stall Bollywood film Padmavati’s release, and said all concerned people, holding responsible posts must be guided by rule of law.The fresh petition that had sought an order to restrain the producers of the movie from releasing it abroad.Lawyer M L Sharma had also sought a direction to the CBI to register a case against director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and others for various offences including defamation and violation of the Cinematography Act.However, the Supreme Court took strong exception to statements made by persons holding high offices against the film, saying the remarks were tantamount to pre-judging the movie which is yet to be certified by the Censor Board.The top court also said that these kind of statements are violative of the principle of Rule of Law as Censor Board is yet to certify the movie. ALSO READ Padmavati row | In support of Deepika Padukone film, Bengal film industry to observe a ’15-minute black out ‘The film has been embroiled in a spate of controversies ever since its inception.The lavishly mounted film, starring Deepika Padukone in the title role, and Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, is a joint production by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions.Many groups have been protesting amid rumours that there was a romantic dream sequence between Rajput queen Padmini and Allauddin Khilji. Several politicians have already demanded a ban on the movie, while Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, and Rajasthan have already refused to allow a release of the movie in the state.Last week, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) cleared the movie for release on December 1. ALSO READ Covering up Padmavati plaque shows Rajasthan government in poor lightThe BBFC has given the film a 12A rating and was passed without any cuts. The 12A rating mandates that the film cannot be viewed by a child under the age of 12 unless accompanied by an adult.Bhansali has been under attack from the group since he started shooting for the movie. The set of the movie was vandalised twice – in Jaipur and Kolhapur – and the director was roughed up by Karni Sena members in Jaipur in January. ALSO READ Lights. Camera. Censor: A 360 degree low-down on ‘Padmavati’ controversy

BMC struggling to hire over 1,700 security guards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is facing acute shortage of security personnel. As a result, most of the civic-run hospitals, gardens and schools do not have enough security personnel deputed. The shortage of security guards at hospitals is despite a clear directive from the state government following Bombay High Court order.According to an official from the civic body’s security department, there is a provision of 6,000 security personnel in the BMC. But the corporation has around 4,300 personnel, including guards hired from private agency.According to BMC rules, nearly 4,000 posts are to be filled by its own security personnel, while the remaining is to be procured from private agencies. “Of BMC’s own 4,000 security personnel, there are around 1200 posts are vacant,” said an official from the security department. Similarly, only 1,500 private guards have been hired, leaving a shortfall of 500.Six months ago, civic doctors went on a mass strike following a number of attacks on medical staff in the city as well as across the state. The Bombay High Court had then directed the state to provide security to doctors. The BMC had then roped in around 400 security personnel from Maharashtra State Security Board for major civic hospitals and assured to deploy 300 more guards.However, the security personnel went on a strike due to their own issues with the MSCC. Currently, only 80 security personnel from MSCC are deputed at different civic hospitals. While the BMC has deputed its own security at hospital, the numbers are enough.”The BMC is not keen to take security personnel from private agency as the civic body had received several complaints in the past. Even private agencies security personnel are not fit upto the mark,” said the official. Nearly a month ago, the civic body removed around 200 private guards after they were found unfit. “Some of the security personnel were too old to be deputed in hospital or any other places.”The BMC has even asked its contractors maintaining civic gardens to depute their guards at the open spaces.A senior civic official said they trying to sort out the security issue. “We hope to get additional security from the MSSC soon.”

Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed walks free; vows to fight for ‘Kashmir cause

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai attack mastermind and banned JuD chief Hafiz Saeed on Friday walked free from house arrest and said he would gather people across Pakistan for the “cause of Kashmir” and try to help Kashmiris get their “destination of freedom”.The Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) head, who carries a USD 10 million American bounty for his role in terror activities, was freed after the government decided against detaining him further in any case. He was under detention since January. “I was detained for 10 months only to stop my voice for Kashmir,” Saeed told his supporters gathered outside his residence to celebrate his release.“I fight for the cause of Kashmiris. I will gather the people from across the country for the cause of Kashmir and we will try to help Kashmiris get their destination of freedom,” he said upon his release.Punjab province’s Judicial Review Board comprising judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday unanimously ordered Saeed’s release on the completion of his 30-day house arrest which expired last night.Saeed said that he was detained when he announced a month of solidarity for Kashmiris in January.Using the release order to buttress his claim of “innocence”, Saeed said: “I am very happy that none of the allegations against me were proved as three judges of the LHC ordered my release… India had levelled baseless allegations against me. The LHC’s review board decision has proved that I am innocent”.The JuD chief said that the US, on India’s request, pressured Pakistan to detain him. “I was detained on the pressure of the US on the Pakistani government. The US did so on the request of India,” he claimed.Several JuD supporters, gathered outside Saeed’s house in Lahore’s Jauhar town to celebrate his release, shouted anti- India slogans and described their leader as “a hope for the Kashmiri people”.“We are happy to see our leader free. Hafiz sahib received his release order from the jail officials. Now he is a free man,” JuD spokesman Ahmad Nadim said.“Saeed has been freed as the Punjab government decided not to detain him further in any other case,” a top government official told PTI.He said that after a long deliberation, it has been decided to follow the review board’s decision.Saeed’s release would invite strong criticism from India and the US, official sources said. “It remains to be seen as how would the PML-N government handle the foreign pressure to again detain Saeed,” they said.Punjab Assistant Advocate General Sattar Sahil said the government law officer had presented “some important evidence” to justify Saeed’s detention, but all three members of the board unanimously rejected it and ordered his release.On January 31, Saeed and his four aides Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain were detained by the Punjab government for 90 days under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and the Fourth Schedule of Anti- Terrorism Act 1997. The last two extensions were made on the ‘public safety law’The board refused to give further extension to the detention of Saeed’s aides. They were set free last month.According to the rules, the government could detain a person for up to three months under different charges, but for an extension, it needs approval from a judicial review board.The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed.Saeed was put under house arrest after the Mumbai attack in November 2008 but he was freed by a court in 2009.India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to re-investigate the Mumbai terror attack case and demanded the trial of Saeed and LeT operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi in the light of the evidence it had provided to Islamabad.Ten LeT militants had killed 166 people and wounded dozens in Mumbai in November 2008. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught and executed after a court found him guilty. Saeed was declared a global terrorist by the US and the UN after the Mumbai attack.A day after a Lahore High Court judicial review board ordered 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s release from house arrest, India on Thursday expressed “outrage”, saying Pakistan has exposed its true face by attempting to “mainstream” UN-proscribed terrorists.

Padmavati Controversy: Delhi HC dismisses plea, says such petitions encourage agitators

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a plea against the film “Padmavati”, observing that such petitions were encouraging those agitating against the movie.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar termed as “hopeless” and “misconceived” a petition seeking that a committee be set up prior to the release of the movie to check whether there was any distortion of history.”Have you (counsel for the petitioner) seen the film.Have the people, who are burning cinema halls seen the film? By this kind of petitions, you are encouraging the people who are agitating,” the bench observed.It further directed the petitioner, Akhand Rashtrawadi Party, which claims to be a political party, to approach the Censor Board as the court was not inclined to entertain it.The plea has said that the committee was necessary as there was alleged distortion of historical facts in the film starring Deepika Padukone.

Hafiz Saeed’s release shows Pakistan’s attempt to mainstream proscribed terrorists, says outraged India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a sharp reaction to the release of Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed after a 10-month-long house arrest, India on Thursday said the development confirms once again the lack of seriousness on the part of Pakistan government and shows its attempt to mainstream proscribed terrorists. “His release confirms once again the lack of seriousness on the part of Pakistan government. It also appears to be an attempt by Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said today. “It is evident that Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non state actors, and its true face is visible for all to see,” he added. Kumar said that not only India but the entire International community is outraged that a self confessed and a UN proscribed terrorist is being allowed to walk free and continue with his evil agenda.India’s reaction came a day after a Judicial Review Board of Pakistan’s Punjab province ordered the release of amaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief, who has been under house arrest since January. The United States has also expressed its displeasure over the potential release of Hafiz Saeed, a terrorist leader designated by both the United Nations and the US. Saeed carries a bounty of USD 10 million announced by the US for his role in terror activities.”The government is ordered to release JuD chief Hafiz Saeed if he is not wanted in any other case,” the board said in its order on Wednesday.The government of Pakistan’s Punjab province had asked for a three-month extension to Saeed’s detention but the request was turned down by the board.Last month, the board had allowed a 30-day extension to the detention of Saeed which will expire next week.Saeed and his four aides – Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain – were detained on January 31, by the Punjab government for 90 days under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and the Fourth Schedule of Anti- Terrorism Act 1997.Saeed’s four aides were set free in the last week of October.Lashkar-e-Toiba, an outfit founded by Hafiz Seed, is believed to be responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack, in which 166 people were killed.

Ayodhya: Shia Board offers to give up land for temple

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Wakq Board (UPSCWB) has finally reached an agreement with Ayodhya sadhus and saints agreeing to surrender entire 2.77 acres of disputed land to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple. The Board has also agreed to build mosque in Lucknow outside Ayodhya.In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court for the settlement of the land dispute outside court, the Board Chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi said that the Shia Board and Ayodhya seers have reached an agreement on November 13 to resolve the land dispute amicably. As per the agreement, the Shia Board has surrendered entire 2.77 acres of land to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple and agreed to build mosque at Shia-dominated Hussainbad area in Lucknow.A four-page agreement between Shia Board and Hindus religious leaders has also been submitted along with the affidavit in the apex Court. The agreement is signed by Ram Janambhoomi Nyas Chairman Mahanat Nritya Gopal Das, All-India Akhara Parishad Chairman Mahant Narendra Giri, former BJP MP and VHP leader Dr Ram Vilas Vedanti, Mahant Dharam Das of Nirvani Akhara, Mahant Ram Das of Hanumangarhi, Mahant Suresh Das, Dr Rameshwar Das, member Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal VHP, Virendra Chaubey from Hindu side and Dr Waseem Rizvi on behalf of Shia Board and Muslim side.Rizvi said that Hindu organizations and leaders spearheading the Ram temple movement have agreed to the Shia Board formula and signed the agreement. “This will put an end to the ongoing dispute in court and erase the permanent schism between Hindus and Muslim over Babri mosque. The formula will restore peace, communal harmony and brotherhood between the two communities,” he added.Rizvi said that the Board would appeal to the Yogi Adityanth government to allot one acre land of Hussainabad Trust in Lucknow for the construction of mosque which will be named as Masjid-e-Aman. He said that the Shia Board would construct the mosque from its own resources.Rizvi said that the claim of the Sunni Centra Wakq Board over the Babri mosque land by way of February 26, 1994 order was already rejected by Faizabad District Judge and later by the High Court. “After rejection of their claim on Babri mosque and its land, only Shia Board is its rightful owner,” he pointed. He also pointed that Babri mosque was always under a Shia Mutwalli, a descendant of Meer Baqi who constructed the Babri mosque in 1528.Rejecting Shia Board formula, Sunni Central Wakq Board and All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) are sticking to their guns saying that they would go by the Supreme Court final verdict.”The matter is before the Supreme Court. Let the court give its final verdict, we will abide by it,” reacted Jafrayab Jilani, Secretary AIMPLB.Even the All India Shia Personal Law Board has rejected. “WaseemRizvi has no right to interfere in the matter when it is before the Supreme Court,” stated Yasoob Abbas, Board Spokesperson.Iqbal Ansari, a litigant in the case, said that they are with the Sunni Central Wakq Board. “His formula holds no legal value. Who is he to hand over land to the other party ignoring High Court order. Muslims will only abide by Supreme Court judgment in the case,” said Ansari.Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravishanker had also visited Ayodhya last week to broker the deadlock but he returned empty hands.THE FORMULAAccording to its affidavit, UPSCWB has agreed to surrender the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple. The Board has also agreed to build mosque in Lucknow outside Ayodhya.

Ayodhya: Shia Board willing to surrender land for construction of temple, Sunni Board rejects formula

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) has finally reached an agreement with Ayodhya sadhus and saints agreeing to surrender entire 2.77 acres of disputed land to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple. The Board has also agreed to build mosque in Lucknow outside Ayodhya. In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court for the settlement of the land dispute outside court, the Board Chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi said that the Shia Board and Ayodhya seers have reached an agreement on November 13 to resolve the land dispute amicably. As per the agreement, the Shia Board has surrendered entire 2.77 acres of land to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple and agreed to build mosque at Shia-dominated Hussainbad area in Lucknow.A four-page agreement between Shia Board and Hindus religious leaders has also been submitted along with the affidavit in the apex Court. The agreement is signed by Ram Janambhoomi Nyas Chairman Mahanat Nritya Gopal Das, All-India Akhara Parishad Chairman Mahant Narendra Giri, former BJP MP and VHP leader Dr Ram Vilas Vedanti, Mahant Dharam Das of Nirvani Akhara, Mahant Ram Das of Hanumangarhi, Mahant Suresh Das, Dr Rameshwar Das, member Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal VHP, Virendra Chaubey from Hindu side and Dr Waseem Rizvi on behalf of Shia Board and Muslim side.Rizvi said that Hindu organizations and leaders spearheading the Ram temple movement have agreed to the Shia Board formula and signed the agreement. “This will put an end to the ongoing dispute in court and erase the permanent schism between Hindus and Muslim over Babri mosque. The formula will restore peace, communal harmony and brotherhood between the two communities,” he added.Rizvi said that the Board would appeal to the Yogi Adityanth government to allot one acre land of Hussainabad Trust in Lucknow for the construction of mosque which will be named as Masjid-e-Aman. He said that the Shia Board would construct the mosque from its own resources.Rizvi said that the claim of the Sunni Centra Waqf Board over the Babri mosque land by way of February 26, 1994 order was already rejected by Faizabad District Judge and later by the High Court. “After rejection of their claim on Babri mosque and its land, only Shia Board is its rightful owner,” he pointed. He also pointed that Babri mosque was always under a Shia Mutwalli, a descendant of Meer Baqi who constructed the Babri mosque in 1528.Rejecting Shia Board formula, Sunni Central Waqf Board and All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) are sticking to their guns saying that they would go by the Supreme Court final verdict.“The matter is before the Supreme Court. Let the court give its final verdict, we will abide by it,” reacted Jafrayab Jilani, Secretary AIMPLB.Even the All India Shia Personal Law Board has rejected. “Waseem Rizvi has no right to interfere in the matter when it is before the Supreme Court,” stated Yasoob Abbas, Board Spokesperson. Iqbal Ansari, a litigant in the case, said that they are with the Sunni Central Waqf Board. “His formula holds no legal value. Who is he to hand over land to the other party ignoring High Court order. Muslims will only abide by Supreme Court judgement in the case,” said Ansari.Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravishanker had also visited Ayodhya last week to broker the deadlock but he returned empty hands.

Air clean, NGT lifts ban on construction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday lifted its prohibition on construction activity in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) in light of improved air quality. In an order passed last week, the NGT had put a restriction on all construction activity in Delhi-NCR and transportation of construction material as dust is one of the biggest sources of air pollution in the city.The Tribunal though, directed Delhi and neighbouring states to prepare an action plan within two weeks to control air pollution and prepare for times when the pollution levels rise above very poor levels.A three-member bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar was hearing the plea on air pollution filed by advocate Vardhaman Kaushik.”While preparing the action plan, all the prior judgments, directions, existing action plans must be taken into consideration and the action plan should be directly relatable to the pollution standards and will automatically come into play the moment the prescribed parameter is touched,” the bench said.It added that failure to file the action plan will attract exemplary costs that would be recovered from the senior most concerned officers. “All the state governments, pollution control boards, Central Pollution Control Board and NCT Delhi should have complete preparedness for the coming challenge when the parameter of ambient air quality is severe or hazardous,” the bench added.The Tribunal also clarified that since the Delhi administration had lifted restrictions on entry of diesel-fuelled trucks into Delhi, it will not interfere in it but ordered strict regulations. Further, it said that all other directions in relation to emissions from industries, burning of wastes, burning of crop residue and emissions from vehicles shall however continue to be in force on the basis of precautionary principle.

MMB to have jetties at Borivali, NCPA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The fate of its proposed water transport project on the route may be uncertain, but the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) may go ahead with the construction of standalone jetties at Nariman Point and Borivali.The MMB had floated expressions of interest (EoI) for developing passenger ferry services between NCPA at Nariman Point and Borivali with plans for stoppages at locations like Bandra, Versova, Marve, Juhu in the subsequent phase to link South Mumbai and the western suburbs. However, the rough seas on the western seaboard which affected operations, the proposed coastal road between South Mumbai and Kandivali and the likely low rate of return, led to second thoughts on the already-delayed project.”The MMB is planning to develop the proposed jetties near NCPA at Nariman Point and at Borivali. Regardless of the fate of the water transport project, these jetties can be used for purposes such as decongesting the anchorage at the Gateway of India and New Ferry Wharf, tourism, cruises, water sports and seaplanes. The jetties can be used for launching ferry services to other locations, including Goa and the Konkan,” said a senior MMB official.This will also reduce the MMB’s dependence on the jetties at the Gateway of India and the New Ferry Wharf, which are under the control of the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT).”The two jetties can be developed on standalone basis. The NCPA jetty can be used for water transport operations across Maharashtra’s coastline while the jetty at Borivali, the site for which is located in the creek, can be used across the year due to the sheltered waters which makes it ideal for tourism purposes… the process is underway and instructions have been given to examine the viability,” he added.The MMB board, which met under chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, had approved a study for the west coast water transport project. Officials from the board claimed that through the creation of public transport facilities may not be financially viable, it was necessary from the point of view of public convenience.The potentiality of the water-transport sector in Mumbai and on Maharashtra’s 720km coastline remains under-utilised. Conceived almost a decade ago, the west coast water transport project has been overtaken by subsequent infrastructure addition plans including the coastal road.NO JETTY JITTERSMMB had floated expressions of interest for developing passenger ferry services between NCPA and Borivali. Stoppages will be at Bandra, Versova, Marve, Juhu in the subsequent phase, and will link South Mumbai with western suburbs. MMB board had approved a study for the west coast water project.

Ayodhya row: Welcome your efforts but won’t give up claim on Babri Masjid land, Muslim bodies to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid reports of meeting between Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the Babri Masjid issue, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and the All-India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC) have made that Muslims will not shelve their claims on the land belonging to the Babri mosque.“We have not received any proposal for talks or any formula from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. We have already made it clear to the spiritual leader that Muslims will not surrender their legal right and rightful claim over the land belonging to Babri Mosque in Ayodhya,” said Jafrayab Jilani, AIBMAC Convenor and AIMPLB Secretary.Jilani said that talks failed in the past also due to same rhetoric and rigid stand of other parties to surrender the entire disputed land. “There is no question of Muslim giving up their claim on 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya as per the 2010 Allahabad High Court,” said Jilani.In its verdict on September 30, 2010, the Lucknw Bench of the Allabahad High court had distributed he 2.77 acres of land equally between Ram Lala Virajmaan, Nirmohi Akhara and Central Sunni Wakf Board. Later, Sunni Board had filed a case in Supreme Court which will hear the land dispute case on day to day basis from December 5.“We welcome efforts of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. But talks for an out of court settlement will not succeed till Muslim Personal Law Board is involved in talks,” said Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali, a member of AIMPLB.The spiritual leader on Wednesday arrived in Lucknow and met the CM for about 40 minutes. “It was a courtesy call. “We held discussion on various issue including welfare of poor and farmers,” said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.On the question of AIMPLB and AIBMAC rejecting his formula, Sri Sri Ravishanker clarified that “when no formula or proposal was sent to them then where is the question of rejection by them,” he pointed.The Spiritual leader also held a meeting with VHP- RSS leaders, sadhus and saints involved in the land dispute in Ayodhya.“We have told Sri Sri Ravishanker that temple of Lord Ram should be constructed at the 2.77 acres of land. We are ready to build a mosque nearby or any other place of their choice,” said Amar Nath Mishra, a senior VHP leader.Significantly, the All-India Shia Personal Law Board has too sided with the stand taken by the AIMPLB.“They want us to surrender our claim on the land in Ayodhya but Muslims in the country is with the stand taken by the All-India Muslim Personal Board and will follow the Supreme Court verdict,” said Maulana Mirza Yesoob Abbas, Spokesperson for the Shia Board.Meanwhile, Art of Living Foundation Darshan Hathi said that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was not carrying any formula for resolving the Ayodhya dispute.“He is only providing a platform to representatives from both communities to hold talks and resolve the Ayodhya imbroglio out court,” clarified the Spokesperson.Sri Sri Ravishanker will go to Ayodhya on Thursday to hold with Muslim and Hindu litigants, including Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahant Dharam Das, Dr Ram Vilas Vedanti, Iqbal Ansari and Haji Mehboob etc. The Art of Living Foundation founder had made a similar effort in 2003 to resolve the dispute but it had failed.

IMD predicts rain for today, may lower pollution levels

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While thick smog continued to envelope Delhi-NCR on Tuesday morning, the pollution levels, however, came down by the evening from the ‘severe’ to ‘very poor’ category. The air quality index (AQI), which stood past 400 units in the morning, fell to 308. However, it is still five times above the safe standard of 60 units.The improved wind conditions, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), can be attributed to a change in meteorological conditions including wind speed picking up and a sunny day.CPCB officials, as per the forecast provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), said that slight rains are expected on Wednesday, which is further likely to bring down pollution levels.”The weather conditions have changed, reducing humidity and moisture, and wind speed improved on Tuesday which helped disbursal of pollutants hung in the air. Besides, if it rains tomorrow, pollutants will be washed away majorly bringing much respite. The week ahead is expected to have better air quality,” said, Dipankar Saha, head of air laboratory, CPCB.However, even as the average AQI in the capital improved, NCR towns including Noida and Ghaziabad continued to reel under ‘severe’ pollution levels.Meanwhile, some monitoring stations in the city still recorded ‘severe’ pollution levels above the score of 400 units including Delhi University (410), Lodhi Road (428) and Pitampura (411).

Padmavati protests intensify in Rajasthan, outfits threaten strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Protests against the Deepika-starrer Padmavati are steadily growing in scale across Rajasthan. Various state-based community organisations, political leaders, legislators are beefing up their demand for a ban on the Bhansali movie. The demand for the formation of a panel to preview the movie before release is also gaining momentum, with threats range from bandhs to protests.Rajput outfit Karni Sena has called for a Rajasthan Bandh on November 30 while the Akhil Bhartiya Kshatriya Mahasabha will hold a protest rally at Talkatora Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.The protests have started to turn violent as Karni Sena on Tuesday vandalised a cinema hall in Kota and warned the cinema hall administration to not release the film. Eight persons were arrested in this connection. Salumbar town of Udaipur district remained shut down due to a bandh.Residents of Chittorgarh, where the story of Padmavati is based, have started a protest at the foot of the fort. They have threatened that it will be closed down from November 17 if the ban is not carried out.Acharya Dharmendra, of the Ramjanm Bhumi-Mukti Andolan, on Tuesday demanded that history should not be distorted and stressed on the need for a ‘Community based Censor Board’ to clear films and TV serials with historical background. “I am in touch with great saints of the country and we are planning to organise a committee which will develop ‘Community Censor Board’ to analyse films based on history and religion, and will hold them back if it is found offensive,” he said.Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria on Tuesday reiterated that no one would be allowed to the law in their hands.Chief minister Vasundhara Raje faces pressure from within her flock as two MLAs of BJP, Gyan Dev Ahuja, MLA from Alwar of Ramgarh Constituency, and Shaitan Singh Rathore, MLA from Jaisalmer, have written to her and in no uncertain terms demanded that the film be banned.Even as the release date for the film comes closer, the state government has no plan of action to contain the tension.

RTI: MU tweaked conditions for on-screen marking tenders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the government is yet to take action against MeritTrac — the service provider that was given the task of On-Screen Marking (OSM) at the University of Mumbai, a recent Right to Information (RTI) application reply has revealed that the varsity tweaked and undermined the tender conditions before awarding the contract to the company.A response to an RTI query by activist Anil Galgali revealed that the university passed the purchase order for awarding the contract to the company on April 27, 2017, a day before the varsity’s Management Council gave a final nod to appoint the agency on April 28. On August 13, DNA had earlier written about how the university, under its then Vice-Chancellor Dr Sanjay Deshmukh did not sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) before beginning the OSM work.The lapses that were caused by the whole assessment process led to an unprecedented delay in declaring the results of over 4 lakh students.The RTI response also revealed that the university relaxed the minimum standards for the company which could apply.This was done as it failed to get three bidders in the first round. In the original tender documents, the minimum requirements for qualification in the tender process were pegged at Rs 100 crores was reduced to Rs 30 crores and the requirements of Minimum Technical Score for consideration in qualifying for the tender was scoring 70 points, which was modified to 60 points.”The university brought down the minimum conditions to award the contract to a company which suits its own interests. By doing this, it has played with the future of lakhs of students who suffered due to the result mess” said Galgali.Documents shared by the university also reveal that of the two qualified bidders – Tata Consultancy services (TCS) had scored 95 points, whereas Merit Trac had scored 45 points despite which the varsity went ahead to award the contract to the latter. The third company Shree Computers was disqualified on technical grounds. “MeriTrac was charging rupees 23.90 per answerbook whereas TCS was charging rupees 49.90. The university just wanted to get a cheap job done at the cost of students,” said Galgali.Nagendran Sundarajan, executive vice-president, MeritTrac said that the company has got the contract after proving its merit. “We have done our presentations in front of the technical committee. Ours is a company that has got over 100 crore turnover for the last three years and we have not made any request to relax the conditions. We don’t want to talk about what the competitors did,” added Sundarajan.Despite repeated calls and messages, Vijay Joshi who headed the tender committee at the university could not be reached for comment.Varsity to take action against teachers who did not assess papersThe university will soon take action against the 3,700 odd teachers who did not log into the assessment portal during the summer assessment even once. At a meeting of the Board of Examinations, the varsity decided to issue showcause notices to such teachers after which disciplinary action is likely to be initiated against them.Changes madeIn the original tender documents, the minimum requirements for qualification in the tender process were pegged at Rs 100 crore, but was reduced to Rs 30 crore.

MD’s nonchalance hits working in RIICO

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Work is stalled in RIICO for the last six months. The decision taken by the board are not being implemented. The board members consisting of three ACS, two principal secretaries and three IAS and other employees are not happy with MD Mugdha Sinha’s working style.This has been revealed from the minutes of the RIICO board meeting. Despite all this, industry minister Rajpal Singh Shekhawat has no control over the RIICO.A special report:The important decisions were taken in presence of ACS (Finance), D B Gupta, ACS (Revenue) Khemraj and ACS (Industry) Rajiv Swaroop, principal secretaries Subodh Agarwal, Aparna Arora, Mugdha Sinha, Tina Soni and Anoop Khinchi.Violation of rules in notice:RIICO’s last meeting was held on September 19 but the minutes have been issued now. The first point reveals MD’s arbitrary style. Minutes clearly mentioned that under the company act notice and agenda should be sent seven days prior to the meeting. But, the MD sent notice on September 5 and agenda on November nine days later on November 14; just five days before the meeting. Secretary told the board that the agenda was kept with MD for approval.RIICO board unsatisfied with Action Taken Report:ATR was tabled in the meeting which revealed that decisions taken in the board meetings on March 30 and June 29 were not implemented, which didn’t go down well with the board. It was also unhappy with agenda of board meetings of june 29 and September 19. Decisions of a board meeting should been implemented before the next board meeting which didn’t happen and the board officials were not satisfied with MD’s reply to their queries.Cabinet decision ignored:RIICO board has admitted that no work was done in the last six months. Four examples mentioned in the minutes.1. Guidelines was to be formed for development of new industrial area with partnership of private sector but the issue pending for six months.2. NO work on land matter on PPP model3. Draft of the policy on undeveloped plots has not been prepared as per decision in the board meeting on March 30, 2017. No reason was given.4. RIICO management refused to accept cabinet decision regarding CM housing scheme. MD was authorised to frame rules and they were to be put in the IDC meeting but even after two meetings agenda was not put forth. The board including the three ACS expressed unhappiness.MD on long leave:RIICO MD Mugdha Sinha is currently on long leave. Earlier she had taken one month leave. The minutes could be released only after she went on leave because she was not releasing the minutes. Now she has extended her leave for 15 days. She is actually waiting for her transfer.

Online mock questions to help CET, NEET, JEE students

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In order to help students prepare for national and state-level competitive exams in engineering and medicine, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) plans to create a ‘preparation portal’.With this, students preparing for exams like the Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test (MHT- CET) for engineering and pharmacy, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medicine and the Joint Entrance Test (JEE) for engineering will have access to practice questions, for which the board has invited contributions from teachers. Subject experts and teachers can upload practice questions for any of the subjects on the board’s official portal (neetqb.mh-hsc.ac) until December 31, 2017. The Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) recently announced the syllabus and paper pattern for MHT-CET for admissions to engineering and pharmacy courses in the state.As per a notification issued in October, the CET which will be conducted in May 2018 will be based on the state board’s syllabus with 20 per cent of the syllabus from class XI and 80 per cent from class XII. While there will be no negative marking, the difficulty level will be at par with the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) as per the notification.Parents believe the move will benefit students if implemented well. “There should be a proper review of all the questions that will be sent to the portal to ensure that students can gain benefit from it,” said Sunanda Shetty, a parent.

Pay Rs 11.5 L and grab MHADA’s 1BHK in Virar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna (PMAY), the common man will have to pay a mere Rs 11.5 lakh for a one bedroom hall kitchen flat measuring 325 sq ft carpet area in Virar. Constructed by MHADA’s Konkan Board in Bolinj area, these flats are way cheaper than those being sold by developers in the open market.As per MHADA’s estimates, the actual cost of construction of a flat with 325 square foot carpet area currently comes up to Rs 14 lakh and above. A subsidy of Rs 2.5 lakh is available on this price, of which Rs 1 lakh is from the state government and Rs 1.5 from the Centre.Vijay Lahane, chief officer, Konkan Board, MHADA, said, “We have land in Bolinj area of Virar where MHADA has already allotted homes in the past.” Under this scheme, the authority is planning to develop two 14-floor buildings on half a hectare of land, however, the number of homes hasn’t been finalised as yet.The current rate in the area is Rs 4,600 per square foot and above. When a private developer sells a flat with 325 square foot carpet area, he also adds a minimum of 100 to 150 square foot of built-up and super built-up to the flat’s total area, the cost of which is borne by the buyer. In comparison to the market rate, the authority is selling the flats at a cost that is nearly three to four lakh lower.In Virar itself, the authority has nearly 4,000 flats that are under construction and the carpet area of most of these flats is 425 square foot. “The construction cost for the bigger flats which are under construction right now goes up to Rs 20 to 22 lakh. Even on these flats, a subsidy of Rs 2.5 lakh shall be applicable,” said Lahane.PMAY SCHEMEThese homes are being constructed under the government’s ambitious PMAY scheme.
The state has set a target of providing around two million homes by 2022.
The number of applications received from the state for affordable housing is close to 23 lakh.
Under the scheme, any citizen who doesn’t have a house in their name can apply, and the process is linked to Aadhaar.

Delhi pollution: No respite for citizens, as smog continues to plague national capital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The pollution levels in the national capital continued to leave its citizens gasping for air on Sunday.A thick smog cover was seen near India Gate and other parts of central Delhi. Runners and cyclists, all donning masks, told news agency ANI that they were finding it difficult to breathe.According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting & Research (SAFAR), PM 10 levels in Delhi’s Lodhi Road area were recorded at 560, PM 2.5 at 625, while PM 10 levels in Noida were recorded at 551, PM 2.5 levels at 541. This falls in the severe category.Earlier on Saturday, the the Arvind Kejriwal government announced that the car-rationing plan has been put on hold for now.Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Saturday made the announcement after the emergency meeting called by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.He said that in view of the two pre-conditions set by the NGT — no exemption for two-wheelers and women drivers — the Delhi government has decided to file a review petition on Monday.Earlier on Saturday, the National Green Tribunal gave it’s order for the car rationing scheme from November 13-November 17 saying no women drivers, government servants and two-wheelers will be exempted. They also said only emergency services and CNG vehicles will be exempted from the odd-even scheme.The green board also said that the odd-even scheme will come into force by default in future if the PM2.5 level crosses 300 and PM10 goes above 500.The NGT also asked Delhi government why the car rationing scheme was not applied before and why the AAP government did not take any steps to reduce pollution before in the national capital.The board said that Delhi government should reconsider the hike of parking charges by four times. “Won’t the hike of parking fees only benefit the parking lots, and would stress people even further, thereby encouraging them to park vehicles on the roads instead, choking them in the process?” NGT asked Arvind Kejriwal’s government.The top green court also asked the Uttar Pradesh governnment for details on the number of challans in Greater Noida and Noida.Meanwhile, the Central Pollution Control Board CPCB) submitted a report to NGT saying the possibility of rain in the next 2-3 days.

Over 2,300 Indian Sikh pilgrims leave from Pakistan via special trains to return to homeland

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 2,300 Sikh pilgrims on Saturday left for India from Pakistan by special trains after attending the 549th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev at his birthplace in Nankana Sahib in the Punjab province.Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq gave the pilgrims a warm send off at the Lahore railways station, an official said.”As many as 2,361 Indian Sikhs on Saturday returned to their homeland. Evacuee Trust Property Board chairman Saddiqul Farooq gave them warm send off at the Lahore railways station,” ETPB spokesman Amir Hashmi told PTI.He said the pilgrims were brought to the railways station in high security.During their 10-day stay in Pakistan, the pilgrims visited Gurdwara Janamesthan Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Panja Sahib Hasan Absal and Gurdwara Kartar Sahib Narowal.”We are establishing Baba Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib and Sikhs from all over the world are ready to fund it,” Farooq said, adding that the founder of the Sikh religion gave the message of peace.He said the board had also set up an online charity system for donation.Sardar Gurmeet Singh, a group leader of the pilgrims, said the Sikh devotees always bring

Odd-even scheme called off for now, says Arvind Kejriwal government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after the National Green Tribunal gave nod to the odd-even scheme in Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal government announced that the car-rationing plan has been put on hold for now.Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Saturday made the announcement after the emergency meeting called by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.He said that in view of the two pre-conditions set by the NGT — no exemption for two-wheelers and women drivers — the Delhi government has decided to file a review petition on Monday.Earlier on Saturday, the National Green Tribunal gave it’s order for the car rationing scheme from November 13-November 17 saying no women drivers, government servants and two-wheelers will be exempted. They also said only emergency services and CNG vehicles will be exempted from the odd-even scheme. The green board also said that the odd-even scheme will come into force by default in future if the PM2.5 level crosses 300 and PM10 goes above 500.The NGT also asked Delhi government why the car rationing scheme was not applied before and why the AAP government did not take any steps to reduce pollution before in the national capital.The board said that Delhi government should reconsider the hike of parking charges by four times.“Won’t the hike of parking fees only benefit the parking lots, and would stress people even further, thereby encouraging them to park vehicles on the roads instead, choking them in the process?” NGT asked Arvind Kejriwal’s government.The top green court also asked the Uttar Pradesh governnment for details on the number of challans in Greater Noida and Noida. Meanwhile, the Central Pollution Control Board CPCB) submitted a report to NGT saying the possibility of rain in the next 2-3 days.

To counter exam controversy, Bihar board to introduce 50% objective questions in 2018 boards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mired in controversy for the last three years, the Bihar Schools Examination Board (BSEB) has decided to change the pattern of its examination, by including more objective questions in the papers to be held in 2018 board exams.The Board has also uploaded the changed pattern on its website on Friday evening, to provide adequate time to the students and teachers to prepare accordingly for the exams. “We have changed the pattern to include 50% objective questions in the theory papers,” said BSEB chairman Anand Kishor and added that multiple-choice questions will have to be answered on OMR sheets.Kishor said the Sent-up exams for the students will be held on the same pattern. The BSEB has said it will also upload model question papers for preparation of students on its website, by November 15.The Board had witnessed extremely disappointing results with over 7.94 lakh of the 12.6 lakh, or 64% students, failing in Class XII and 8.56 of 17.23 lakh, or 49.68% students failing in Class X exams in 2017. It was said to be the result of the multiple exam and evaluation reforms introduced by the BSEB after the topper scam and mass-cheating in Class X exams came to light.Educationists claim that objective questions are not just scoring but also easier to evaluate using OMR sheets. “There was provision of objective questions till a few years ago and the BSEB faced protests from students when it was scrapped, because it used to be scoring and saved time for answering long questions,” said a Patna-based government school teacher.

Why haven’t you shut down industrial activity: NGT asks CPCB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday questioned the Delhi government and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for not shutting down industrial activity and construction work to reduce severe levels of pollution.The green court also questioned as to what steps had Punjab and Haryana taken to stop crop burning and directed the Delhi Pollution Control Board to submit an analysis report of the ambient air quality of the city after monitoring across various locations.A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar questioned the authorities after Punjab Pollution Control Board advocate Naginder Benipal alleged that scores of illegal industries were operating in Delhi contributing to air pollution.”Why don’t you pass directions to stop construction and industrial activities for a month? What are you waiting for? Are courts your local guardians? Do you know what you are doing to children…old people cannot walk,” said Justice Swatanter Kumar.The bench made these observations during a brief hearing of the case on stubble burning filed by environment activist Vikrant Tongad.Pollution levels in the Capital continued to be in the ‘severe’ category for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, making it hazardous for even healthy people to be outdoors.

Punjab, Haryana pay dearly for farm fires

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the Capital reels under high levels of air pollution, the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, which are struggling with stubble burning, also remained enveloped in a thick blanket of smog for the third consecutive day.With as many as 30,000 incidents of stubble burning reported through satellite mapping across the state till now, Punjab is suffering from deteriorating levels of air quality, with a mean Air Quality Index (AQI) at 284. Ludhiana also recorded very poor air quality, with AQ Index at 313, compelling the administration to issue an advisory to people.The Punjab Pollution Control Board stated that the situation was aggravated due to static weather conditions.”Stubble burning is not the only reason as there has been a sudden dip in temperature and the wind speed is less. There has been a 30 per cent decline in stubble burning this year, along with lesser burning of firecrackers,” said Kahan Singh Pannu, Chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board.With paddy harvesting still on across the two states, advisories urging people to avoid unnecessary exposure to the toxic air.RECORDSHaryana has recorded as many as 5,011 cases of stubble burning, with Karnal leading with 310 incients, followed by Kurukshetra which recorded 184 such incidents.
As many as 22 FIRs have been registered against farmers and a fine of Rs 12.02 lakh has been collected, so far

Cleaning up India’s Corporate Affairs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At the helm of Prime Minister Modi’s drive against black money, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has cracked down on over 2.24 lakh companies, 3.09 lakh directors and is scrutinising actions of institutes such as the ICAI and ICSI to ensure that a transparent economic system becomes a reality. At the same time, it is tightening legislation to safeguard the common man against developers who fail to provide them with homes on time. DNA takes a look.Ever since the Modi government came to power, the main challenge facing the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has been to weed out inactive and non-compliant companies off the list of Registrar of Companies (ROC). Post demonetization, this drive has speeded up with the ministry looking to implement the Companies Act all the more strictly to weed out such companies.Scrutinising firmsAccording to Minister of State for Corporate Affairs PP Chaudhary, his ministry is succeeding in this task (see interview). In September this year, action against over 2.24 lakh firms was taken as the companies were found not to have been carrying out any business for a long time, and were also not filing annual financial returns for the past three years. This decision was taken under Section 248 of the Companies Act and the names of the firms have been struck off the ROC list.It iss not just the firms that are being scrutinised. About 3.09 lakh directors have been disqualified for a period of five years. Government officials say that these directors won’t be able to serve in the same capacity in any other firm as well. These tough measures are being taken with the larger objective of curbing the flow of black money, money laundering and terror funding. As a result, government officials say that profiles of directors, including their background and role in operations and functioning in blacklisted companies, are being compiled in collaboration with enforcement agencies.Other professionals such as chartered accountants, company secretaries, and even actions taken by professional institutes such as ICAI, ICSI and ICAI are being monitored. Government officials say all these measures will help in finding out the true owners of the blacklisted firms. It will help root out benami properties and help create a transparent and robust system.Big challengesOne of the biggest challenges facing the ministry is the scrutiny of all registered firms. A total of 16.87 lakh firms have been registered with the ROC and it is a herculean task to physically scrutinise accounts of them all. For this purpose, the ministry plans to implement new technologies in its system for scrutinising the accounts of these active companies, which includes artificial intelligence. For instance, ministry officials say that an early warning system is being developed which will send signals if there is any heightened activity or any fraudulent financial activity in the registered firms.“We have to be proactive rather than reactive. By use of technology, we can be proactive. This will strengthen the corporate structure which will enable the proper administration of companies. It will also increase confidence of domestic as well as foreign investors,” said Chaudhary.On the state level, the ministry has asked chief secretaries of all states to identify the movable assets and immovable properties of struck off companies and restrict the transfer of such assets till these companies are restored, and share this information with the ministry in a time-bound manner.Implementing the Insolvency and Bankruptcy CodeThe other big initiative taken by the ministry is implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). Receiving presidential assent in May 2016 with the first set of cases filed at the NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) in December 2016 the IBC has strengthened the hands of those looking to recover money from big corporations, a move especially welcome in the housing sector, where homebuyers are often are the mercy of builders.Regulation and implementation of the IBC comes via the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI). It has provided amendments that has sped up the insolvency process by introducing amendments in two key legislations — the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016 and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Fast Track Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2017. Resolution Plan for home buyersWhat has been particularly welcome in these amended legislations is the introduction of a Resolution Plan which is now required to be put forward by bankrupt or near-bankrupt businesses. This plan has to include a statement by the company as to how it has dealt with the interests of all stakeholders, including financial creditors and operational creditors, of the corporate debtor. This is a godsend for the common man as it not only forces the company to address concerns of all concerned, but it also ensures their money returns in a time-bound manner.The IBBI has looked to define the common man’s status in a legal dispute between lenders such as banks and developers who are the borrowers. Earlier, in disputes between the two parties, the homebuyers’ legal status and thus their concerns often got ignored. Experts believe the IBC could help such buyers in need but add that further amendments need to be brought forward as well.BIG NUMBERS16.87 lakh companies are registered with the ROC
2.24 lakh firms struck off the ROC list
3.09 lakh directors have been disqualified
28,000 of the 2.24 lakh firms have been data-mined
Rs 17,000 crore have been deposited & withdrawn post demonetization ACTION PLANThe ministry plans to implement new technology in its system, including artificial intelligence, to scrutinise the accounts of active companies registered with the ROC
On the state level, the ministry has asked chief secretaries of all states to identify movable assets and immovable properties of struck-off companies and restrict transfer of such assets till these companies are restored
The ministry and IBBI are believed to be considering further amendments to the IBC to help homebuyers who have been fighting against debt-laden developers

Winter to set in after 10 days, may affect air quality: Experts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The city has started to experience a nip in the air, particularly morning and nights. However, experts say winter will set in after 10 days.With this being an year of La Nina, also referred to as the cold phase, more cold days are likely this winter season.Mahesh Palavat, chief meteorologist at Skymet weather, said, “No significant snowfall has been recorded in the Himalayan region this year. Cold and severe cold will start in Gujarat once there is a significant snowfall. At present, northeasterly and northerly winds, which are dry in nature, are prevailing across Gujarat.”Director of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Ahmedabad, Jayanta Sarkar, said, “There is a dip in temperature by one to two degree Celsius. City will experience chill after November 15.”IMPACT ON AIR QUALITYAhmedabad starts to witness temperature below 10 degree in December. Low temperature may affect the air quality. Priya Dutta, senior research associate at Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), Gandhinagar, said, “Cold air traps pollutant, which is known as inversion. At present, some parts of the city are witnessing poor air quality. The severe the winter with low temperature, the poorer the quality of air would be and the more widespread the phenomenon.”As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) website, on Sunday, Air Quality Index (AQI) of Ahmedabad was 163 as against the normal of 100. It also stated the air in Ahmedabad was unhealthy.LOW TEMPERATURE TO HAVE ILL EFFECTSAhmedabad starts to witness temperature below 10 degree in December. Low temperature may affect the air quality.
As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) website, on Sunday, Air Quality Index (AQI) of Ahmedabad was 163 as against the normal of 100. It also stated the city air asunhealthy
With this being an year of La Nina, also referred to as the cold phase, more cold days are likely this winter season. However, the cold is due to set in after 10 days.

Vande Mataram event at SMS stadium

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Jaipur Mayor Ashok Lahoti, now the chairman of Rajasthan Youth Board, Bhupendra Saini wants to develop a sense of nationalism amongst youth through Vande Mataram. Youth Board will organise a programme named “Vande Mataram” on November 8 at Sawai Man Singh Stadium. In this programme, youth will sing the National Song. The NSS volunteers of all government and private colleges of Jaipur have been asked to participate in the programme.These days BJP leaders are trying to impose an RSS agenda. On the one hand Jaipur Mayor has made National Anthem and National Song compulsory for municipal staff, on the other the Higher Education Department had ordered all government college students to visit the Pratap Gaurav Kendra, Udaipur. Now, the name of the BJP leader and Rajasthan Youth Board Chairman, Bhupendra Saini has also been added in this row. The “Vande Mataram” programme will be organised from 8 am to 11 am on November 8 by the Youth Board and RSS Institute Hindu Spiritual and Service Foundation. Apart from National Song, they will sing patriotic songs collectively.Instructions have been given by youth board to college students to take part in this programme. Each college has also been given the mandate to appoint a coordinator for this. On behalf of the DCE, principals of all private and government colleges of Jaipur have been issued circular. In this circular, the college’s National Service Scheme (NSS) has been instructed to join volunteers at the programme. A form has been sent to be filled up with the NSS volunteers.The Youth Board’s motive for organising this programme is to develop a spirit of living on the basis of patriotism and constitutional values among youth. Meanwhile, legal cell of state BJP has started awareness and public connect campaign for Vande Mataram programme. “Today we have started campaign from Sanganer assembly constituency for Vande Mataram. We distributed pamphlets and posters of the programme and invited local people. We requested people to join the program at Sawai Man Singh Stadium on November 8,” said Vikas Somani, co-coordinator of BJP legal cell.

New China doctrine leaves strategic affairs experts worried

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The recently concluded 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has raised concerns among strategic affairs experts, particularly the decision by that nation to take a great leap forward in strategic ability to modernise its defence forces by 2035 and to reach out to new dominions. However, they agree that India is among the few developing that have pushed back against China.Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran, however, expressed optimism in the elevation of Yang Jiechi, who is a state councillor and special representative of India-China Border Dispute Talk Mechanism, to the powerful seven-member Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC). Yang is believed to have played a significant role in the peaceful resolution of the 73-day Doklam face-off.Although China’s political processes are often highly opaque, Saran said Yang’s elevation could mean China was adding diplomatic heft in pursuit of seeking the role of a global leader. He also said that the Congress highlighted that a separation of powers between the Communist Party and the government that has been practised for years has ended and they have again become conjoined.”Even the public sector enterprises have been told to include party members on their board. Foreign investors are apprehending that rule may apply to joint ventures as well,”” he added.He agreed that India will face more complex Chinese challenge in times to come than in recent past. “We will be bumping up more in overlapping peripheries,” he said.Veteran diplomat Vijay K. Nambiar, who till recently served as the UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Myanmar, said there was opportunity as well for both countries to look at a realistic solution to their boundary question.Commenting on China’s military reforms, Lt. Gen. SL Narasimhan, Member, National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), said the doctrinal change of seeking to reach out to new domains was a source of concern.China’s decision to modernise its armed forces and reach out to new regions has become a matter of concerns in Delhi, with experts worried about its implicationsIndia is likely to face a more complex China in the years ahead, given the collapsing of walls between the government and the Communist PartyThe presence of strong leaders in both nations, however, could be a benefit as it could help lower suspicions and psychological hang-ups.CONCERNEDChina’s decision to modernise its armed forces and reach out to new regions has become a matter of concerns in Delhi
India is likely to face a more complex China in the years ahead, given the collapsing of walls between the government and the Communist Party

Delhi air quality remains ‘very poor’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Post Diwali there has been hardly any let up in the pollution level, as toxic air continues to batter the lungs of Delhiites. According to monitoring stations across the city the air quality dipped to “very poor”on Tuesday and according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (Safar) the levels of airborne particulate matter PM 10 touched 289 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) and PM 2.5 touched 171 µg/m3 on Tuesday morning .The ‘safe limit’ set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is 100 µg/m3 for PM 10 and 60 µg/m3 for PM 2.5. Meanwhile, the air quality index recorded for Delhi by the CPCB, based on as many as 15 monitoring stations, on Tuesday, was 351 µg/m3. It also remained “very poor” for Noida and Gurgaon as well at 349 µg/m3 and 343 µg/m3 while neighbouring Ghaziabad and Faridabad had “severe” air quality with 439 µg/m3 and 410 µg/m3.Anything recorded beyond 400 µg/m3 indicates severe air quality, and between 300 and 400 µg/m3 is seen as very poor. Experts say that what is likely to make the situation worse is the drop in temperatures. And already the Capital is seeing a fall in temperature. The maximum temperature recorded by the weather department on Tuesday was 30 degrees while the minimum was 17 degrees Celsius.The mercury is likely to remain stable till Thursday when the minimum temperature drops by one degree to settle at 16 degrees Celsius. It will again rise to 17 degrees on the weekend.The drop in temperature is not good sign for air pollution. This is because a drop in temperature leads to reduced wind speed and a rise in air pollution. This ensures the pollutants suspended in the air are not able to disperse and thus remain hanging in the air.Of late, winters have become the harbinger of worse weather conditions as pollution increases severely due to concentration of toxic gases in the air. Stubble burning by farmers from neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana make matters worse for the Capital that has already been ranked as one of the worst polluted cities in the world.DEATH BY AIRThe ‘safe limit’ set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is 100 µg/m3 for PM 10 and 60 µg/m3 for PM 2.5. Anything recorded beyond 400 µg/m3 indicates severe air quality, and between 300 and 400 µg/m3 is seen as very poor.

MHADA gets nod to build two new projects in Dharavi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Dharavi’s sector V, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) recently got approvals from the Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP) to construct two more buildings that can house 687 slum dwellers. The MHADA is currently constructing two buildings comprising 672 homes, which brings the figure to 1,359 total tenements that MHADA will be able to construct and rehabilitate in the coming year. The MHADA has already constructed around 358 homes in Dharavi’s sector V, of which 331 homes have been allotted. All these homes in this 22-storey building are 350 square foot in size. A week ago, MHADA got approvals from the DRP for constructing other buildings too. “These buildings will also be 22-storey high, and the FSI available is of four, but because of the area being in the funnel zone, we cannot go beyond a specific height and hence buildings are as high as 22-storey,” said S Kunnur, deputy executive engineer of MHADA’s Mumbai Board, which is developing sector V of Dharavi. Sector V has an area of around 153 acre and there are more than 9,700 shanties here. The MHADA is expecting that after the rehabilitation of all the slum dwellers, the housing body will be able to construct 8,000 homes that could be sold in open market. Dharavi is divided in five sectors, the remaining four sectors are further sub-divided in 12 sectors. The government has claimed that by next month they will be floating global tenders for the redevelopment of these sectors, as the previous tenders got no response. According to a senior MHADA official, “We have carried out a survey and found 9,700 slum dwellers eligible to be rehoused. There are some slum dwellers who aren’t eligible, these slum dwellers go in appeal and then the whole process gets stuck,” said the official.

‘T’ for transgender in railway tickets soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With growing awareness and sensitisation, The Indian Railways, too, plans to introduce reforms to recognise ‘transgenders’ in their forms. This will reflect in ticket booking and cancellation forms, which will be modified to include a ‘T’ beside ‘M’ and ‘F’.So far, only male and female categories were mentioned in the forms.According to a recent Railway Board letter to all zonal railways, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is at present dealing with various issues of transgenders and a proposed legislation — The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, is being reviewed by a parliamentary standing committee.”The matter has been reviewed and it has been decided that till such time the detailed modalities on this account are finalised by the Ministry of Social Justice, a provision may be made in the system to capture the gender of transgenders as ‘T’ instead of ‘T(M/F)’ as advised earlier,” says the letter.In a landmark judgement in 2014, the Supreme Court created the ‘third gender’ status for hijras or transgenders.Following the order, many government documents such as passports, ration cards, bank forms, and voter identity cards have started providing ‘TG’ (third gender), ‘Other’ or ‘T’ (transgender) as options. However, despite introducing the option ‘T(M/F)’ through an order in 2016, the railway forms kept giving binary option of M/F only.The Railway Board said in its review it had also taken into consideration the directions of the Kolkata High Court which had asked State Bank of India to include the third gender category in its application forms for recruitments.The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Railways, will make necessary changes in the software to include the transgender category in the passenger railway system under intimation to all zonal railways, the letter said.

30,000 kg bags seized, 1,650 challaned for plastic use in Delhi this year: govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government has seized nearly 30,000 kg of plastic bags, issued 1,650 challans, and levied fines worth Rs 3,180,000 as Environmental Compensation this year, so far.The campaign against the use of plastic bags has been in motion since the National Green Tribunal (NGT), in a notice dated August 10, 2017, directed that any person found in possession of or using plastic carry bags shall be liable to pay Environment Compensation of Rs 5,000 per default, and the bags shall be seized on the spot.The figures have been compiled by the Environment Department after obtaining them from the New Delhi Municipal Council, three MCDs, Delhi Cantonment Board, and Delhi government departments concerned. Teams of officials from the Revenue Department, NDMC, three MCDs, DPCC, and Delhi Cantonment Board have ensured implementation of the said directions.Environment Minister Imran Hussain has further directed the officials to intensify the drive against defaulters to make a visible difference. While providing the data, Hussain stressed on the effective implementation of the ban by carrying out widespread checks and running mass awareness programmes. On Thursday, the NGT had directed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to strictly impose a fine of Rs 5,000 on violators and carry out raids on shops and vendors possessing plastic bags in the city.It also directed the AAP government to submit a status report on the steps taken to implement the ban on plastic in the Capital.

Sonia Gandhi discharged from hospital, advised plenty of rest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday recovered from an upset stomach and was discharged from New Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.According to the hospital, the Congress president was admitted on Friday, October 27 at 5 pm after she complained of a stomachache in Himachal Pradesh. She was kept under observation for 24 hours and discharged at 4 pm on Saturday.According to Dr DS Rana, Chairman (Board of Management) , Sir Ganga Ram Hospital , ” Mrs Gandhi has recovered from upset stomach and has been discharged today at 4 pm . Her condition at the time of discharge was stable and she has been advised rest.”Earlier on Friday, Congress vice-president shared a tweet, saying that his mother was fine.

‘Ma is much better, nothing to worry’, tweets Rahul after Sonia Gandhi hospitalised

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi said that party President and his mother Sonia Gandhi was much better and there was nothing to worry.Sonia Gandhi, who was on a visit to Shimla, was on Friday rushed back to the national capital and admitted to the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital after she complained of stomach upset.”Ma was in Shimla and caught a stomach bug so we got her back,” Rahul said in a tweet.He added that there was nothing to worry, “Ma is much better. Thanks for the tremendous love and concern.”DS Rana, Chairman (Board of Management) of the hospital said that Gandhi, 70, is under observation.”Sonia Gandhi was brought to the hospital at 5 PM on Friday. She has been found to be suffering from stomach upset and has been admitted for observation,” said Rana in a statement.A team of doctors from the hospital was deputed to bring her back from Shimla.

Many favour consensus over court verdict; there is willingness to find a solution: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Ayodhya dispute

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking exclusively to DNA, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar admitted that he mediated a meeting between Nirmohi Akhara and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) representatives to see whether consensus can be built to solve the issue of building Ram temple in Ayodhya. Sri Sri confirmed that he met them and said that he has done it on his own volition and did not act of behalf of the government. Speaking previously to DNA, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had said that he tried to mediate but there was political interference and not much could emerge out of consultations. He admitted that this time around a consensus could emerge which could heal the wounds.Q: It is being reported that Nirmohi Akhara and members of Muslim Personal Law Board met you on 6th October to discuss the issue of Ram temple to settle it through consensus. Is it correct?A: Yes, it is correct. They had come here to meet me but there are too many stakeholders and it would be too premature to dwell into details but if all of them come together to settle it out of court then it would send a very good message to our country and to the global community. But I would say that it is still too premature but nonetheless I would participate to solve the issue in whatever capacity I can.Q: Is it correct that participants said that the consensus is the way out?A: Many people felt that consensus is better than the court verdict.Q: In a previous interview at your ashram, you had mentioned about lot of political interference way back in 2003. Is the atmosphere different, this time around?A: It is very premature to talk about things now and there are many people involved but i would like to participate in whatever capacity i can.Q: Is it official that you are mediating in the Ayodhya dispute?A: I’m not mediating on behalf of the government or any body. No body asked me. Many Muslim leaders came and I discussed the issue.Q: In my previous interview you said consensus could not emerge but are you hopeful that consensus would emerge this time over judicial verdict?A: I’m very hopeful. There is lot of positive energy this time around and I’m hopeful. There is willingness this time that a solution should be arrived at.

Sonia Gandhi admitted to hospital after stomach upset; Congress says she is stable

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who was on a visit to Shimla, was today rushed back to the national capital and admitted to the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital after she complained of stomach upset.D S Rana, Chairman (Board of Management) of the hospital said that Gandhi, 70, is under observation. “Sonia Gandhi was brought to the hospital at 5 PM on Friday.She has been found to be suffering from stomach upset and has been admitted for observation,” said Rana in a statement.According to sources, Gandhi was rushed to the hospital in an air-ambulance from Shimla, where she had gone for a vacation.A team of doctors from the hospital was deputed to bring her back from Shimla.Party sources said her condition was stable.

DDCA audit finds fraud, but whitewashes Arun Jaitley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A forensic audit, ordered by the Delhi High Court-appointed administrator Justice (retd) Vikramjit Sen, has unearthed a Rs 14-crore fraud in the functioning of the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) between 2012 and 2015.Auditors have found double entries, fictitious payments, unauthorised loans, nepotism and favouritism — among other reasons — for the massive financial embezzlement.The report has indicted former DDCA president Sneh Bansal and former secretary Anil Khanna for purchasing match tickets with cheques from the association without the knowledge of the Executive Committee. But there is no mention of Arun Jaitley, who remained DDCA president between 1999 and 2013.This has led former India skipper Bishan Singh Bedi and 1983 World Cup winning team member Kirti Azad to call for a forensic audit of his tenure, which included the construction period of Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium between 2002 and 2008, and also when subvention money along with TV rights money of IPL were received from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), between 2008 and 2012.Jaitley had washed his hands of the issue during a probe by the Serious Fraud Investigation Organisation (SFIO) by saying, “I was a mere non-executive president of DDCA and I had nothing to do with the day-to-day functioning of DDCA”.DNA, in its report on January 15, 2016, had cited minutes of various DDCA meetings which went on to show that during his tenure Jaitley not only was in control of DDCA affairs, but also attended the meetings held at various venues, including his office premises at Udyog Bhawan (during his tenure as Minister of Commerce & Industry and Law & Justice in the NDA government).”Public should know how its money is being spent so lavishly on building a lousy stadium in the Indian capital,” said Azad.”Kotla stadium was started with an estimate of Rs 24 crore which first went up to Rs 57 crore before finishing at Rs 141 crore or even more,” Azad added.The BCCI has not been releasing DDCA’s share of subvention money, Rs 100 crore approximately, for the last three years amid complaints by Delhi cricketers’ body. The reason given for this was that DDCA had not been filing its balance sheets with the Registrar of Companies.”We are waiting for the CBI or Delhi Police to act on our complaints. Hopefully, this forensic report will nail these officials who have ripped DDCA apart. It hurts to see talented boys sweating it out in the heat and cold, whereas the administrators are busy lining their pockets,” said Azad.Audit FindingsThe forensic audit report found that at DDCA’s expense, officials purchased tickets worth Rs 2.3 crores, of Rs 130 each. Out of this, Rs 75 lakh of IPL tickets were shown to be issued to government officials and DDCA Executive Committee members and tickets of Rs 1.01 crore during an India vs West Indies ODI. Another instance shows how, between April 30 and June 8, 2012, a sum of Rs 44 lakh was withdrawn and used for purchase of IPL tickets despite the fact that DDCA receives complimentary tickets from ticket vendors such as GMR.

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