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Cops nab gang leader operating in East Delhi

Delhi police has managed to nab Pramod, the kingpin of a three-member gang operating in Shahdara, on Sunday. Pramod was wanted for robbery, extortion and cases under the Arms Act in UP and Delhi NCR.”Pramod was a resident of Krishna Vihar Kuti in Sahibabad, UP. He owned a jewellery shop with the name of Manish Jewelers at Harsh Vihar which later shifted to Krishna Vihar, Kuti in Shaibabad, UP,” Nupur Prasad, DCP Shahadra, said.Coming to the other two gang members, police said that on November 24, a gold chain robbery was reported from Vishwas Nagar area. While scanning CCTV footage, photos of the accused were obtained and circulated for all the area cops to remain vigilant.Police said that it was on November 29 when Beat Constable Vivek was on patrol, he spotted the two other gang members. As they engaged them, there was an heavy exchange of fire by the accused to which he retaliated. During this time Constable Vivek managed to nab one of the duo. He was later rewarded.Prasad said, “Around 1 pm when Beat Officer Constable Vivek was on patrol, he spotted the two criminals near Nehru Gali. On seeing Constable Vivek, they turned towards a narrow street. Soon as he asked them to stop for checking, they tried to flee. Vivek followed and intercepted them, to which they opened fire at him. Displaying immense courage, he fired back in retaliation. While one of them managed to flee, one of them accused was injured and overpowered by Vivek.”Police say that during interrogation the accused Monu was found to be previously involved in 18 cases of robbery, snatching and attempt to murder in UP and Delhi NCR.Asked as to the gang’s modus operandi, Monu confessed he had met his aide Amit alias Sardar in jail where they became friends.

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SKAT stuns all with aerial stunts

The audience was thrilled to see the amazing aerial acrobatics of the Aerobatics Team of the Air Force, Suryakiran (SKAT) during air Show held at Jodhpur Air Force Station on Tuesday morning. Regardless of the bad weather, fearless pilots of the Air Force demonstrated the flying skills and harmony by showing a formation of the fighter aircraft from Rafael to the Tejas.After the entry of the new British Aircraft Hawk Mk 132 in Surya Kiran, there was a full dress rehearsal for the first time in Rajasthan. Under the leadership of Suryakiran team group captain Ajit Kulkarni, 9 aircraft showed about 21 formations in the air. The shark fighter showed a spectacular artwork from Hawk with various maneuvers. It is the one of the world’s best team to showcase the best aerobatics. After this, it was started once again in 2015 with six Hawk Train Jets. The more the risk, the more sense of joyGroup Capt Ajit Kulkarni believes that It’s very risky to show the thriller acrobats in the air but there is also a different feeling of happiness and joy in doing this. He believes that they perform the thriller acrobatics due to mutual understanding and concentration. Displaying one form after another is no less than a challenge and risk.The weather was bad in Jodhpur on Tuesday. It seemed that the performance of Suryakiran team would be postponed but despite the bad weather, this team showed the feat. At the same time, the speed of the wind was too fast, but this is part of our training.He told that the skill of performing such tricks in the sky is very difficult to achieve. Pilots, who have experience of flying fighter jets for six to seven years, have to face many challenges to join this team.
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Restoration work at historic Raigad Fort to begin on December 15

The Historic fort of Raigad will soon have a new look as the actual work for the proposed restoration of the fort commences from December 15. The divisional commissioner Jagdish Patil visited Raigad Fort last week and reviewed the progress of the conservation plans for the fort. He directed the officials to complete the time bound action plan for the four sanctioned works out of total 19 works on the fort.Fort Raigad is around 160 kms from Mumbai and falls in Raigad district located off Mumbai-Goa highway near Mahad. It is considered as Gibralter of the East and built in 1030 AD by Chandrarao More. It was made Capital of Maratha empire by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who had his coronation at this Fort in 1674.After coming to power in October 2014, the present Devendra Fadnavis government ad prepared a detailed plan for the conservation of Raigad Fort. The state government has sanctioned a plan of Rs 600 crore for conservation and beautification of the fort.The review meeting chaired by Patil was attended by district collector Vijay Suryavansi, district planning officer Sunil Jadhav and other officials. The circumambulation or Parikrama Marg of 13 Kilometers made of stones would be prepared under the sanctioned four works which would be completed by March 2018. In addition to Parikrama Marg, desilting of 13 lakes on the fort would also be undertaken. Displaying the boards providing information in detail on the fort at various places along with history of the places is also included in first four works to be undertaken. The district administration already has received Rs. 59 crores for the first phase of work. Jadhav informed that the first phase of work would be completed by March 2018.
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No display of deities, religious texts in govt offices, says Maharashtra government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra government has imposed a complete ban on display of religious pictures or texts and on celebration of religious festivals and pujas in all government and semi government offices and educational institutions in the state. “Displaying pictures of Gods, religious texts or having Puja in the premises of government and semi-government offices is prohibited as per the constitution and wrong,” says the circular issued on 4 January by the rural development department. The circular also directs all government and semi government offices and schools to immediately remove all religious pictures/texts/deities and stop pujas and celebrations. A complaint by an employees association prompted the government to issue such stringent directives. “India is the secular country so as our constitution. However, such practices often leave wrong impression among public, children and employees,” said a senior official privy to the development. Interestingly, Maharashtra had imposed the ban on all such practices way back in 2002. “However, it was never implemented in letter and spirit. This encouraged officers to openly violate the rules,” says a highly placed officer. An official said, “Mostly it is festivals and Gods of the majority Hindu community which rule most government offices or schools. This sometimes irks employees and visitors from other faiths.” Putting up pictures of Gods and religious gurus is very common in government offices and schools across the state. Some offices within the Mantralay building, state power house, perform Satyanarayan and other pujas during festivals with much fanfare. A large number of police stations and government hospitals have temples in the premises. While some religious activities go on for hours, it’s the common man who suffers the most. “We are made to wait for hours during Ganpati festivals. While half the staff remains on leave, the rest are busy celebrating the festival during duty hours,” said a teacher. Meanwhile, the Hindu Janjagriti Samiti has criticised the move. “One can understand banning the practice of performing worship during office hours or soliciting donations from citizens visiting offices. However, if the government insists on a complete ban on worship and putting up pictures of deities in government offices, it will be strongly opposed,” said Arvind Pansare, spokesperson of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.

Service charges waiver is not enough; it should not be billed in the first place at all

The Department of Consumer Affairs has clarified that the extant practice by posh restaurants of adding service charges often ranging between 5 to 20 percent in lieu of tips isn’t mandatory and hence can be waived by the consumer if she is not happy with the services provided by the restaurant.

Several bloomers spring from this clarification to the states which in turn has been asked to rein in restaurants coming under their jurisdiction:

• First, waiver presupposes business as usual insofar as billing is concerned. If it is voluntary as it ought to be, why should it be billed at all in the first place? Why should the consumer be embarrassed in full public view to grovel before the billing clerk and explain to him whether she was satisfied with the services or not and how much of the service charges billed she considers reasonable?

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

• Second, a sizeable percentage of customers would prefer to swallow the service charges as part of the bill instead of facing the embarrassment of confronting the billing clerk with fellow diners’ gaze falling on them. They may rationalize that it is perhaps the done thing to comply though your heart says you must not;

• The time lost in this rigmarole would be considerable. A consumer is often in a mood to leave immediately after a leisurely meal. Arguing before the billing clerk might take five to ten minutes. And if the consumer has been successful, she would be asked to wait till a fresh bill is raised and printed because tinkering with the first bill might arouse the suspicion of both the management and the service tax department;

• Fourth, displaying conspicuously the law that service charges are voluntary and that it is contingent upon services being found satisfactory is a farce. If displayed at the entrance, it would be the most embarrassing welcome a restaurant can extend to its customers and if displayed on the table, it might put an end to the appetite of the hungry family! Displaying the information that the staff in the restaurant is mandated to wash their hands after each visit to the washroom is confidence building whereas the display of the law on tips may well end up dispiriting the consumers.

In any case, when something is voluntary and not mandatory, there is no way it can be billed. What the department of consumer affairs ought to have done is to declare the practice illegal, liable to a severe penalty under the consumer protection law.

In the US, it is for the consumer to add a tip to the bill. The bill thus embellished is then taken away by the waiter to the cashier who swipes the card to charge the customer both for the cuisine and the services. This is as it should be. Tipping is entirely a voluntary act. Convention in the US requires a generous 10 percent tip be added at the risk of being given a cold stare. But if you do not mind the brief hostility post eating especially if you are not contemplating another visit to the same restaurant, it is par for the course. There is a danger though with this practice—-there is no guarantee that the management would split the tips thus collected officially among the waiters doing the duty!

Prime Minister Modi who has been spearheading the digital payment campaign perhaps would not mind a limited deviation in favor of tips to the waiters being paid in cash because only that ensures that tipping remains voluntary in letter and spirit and reaches the intended beneficiary—the one who has attended on you.

While mandating tips or its euphemism – service charges, being kept out of the billing process, the department of consumer affairs should mandate one US practice—-providing a takeaway box for the leftovers. This is premised on the logic that the consumer having paid is entitled to eat what he bought either within the restaurant then and there or take a part of it home for eating when he experiences fresh hunger pangs. And let not the restaurants add cost of packing for the takeaway.

First Published On : Jan 3, 2017 07:39 IST

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