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‘Hawkers not allowed here’: RPF fines Dabbawalas

Dabbawalas have written to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal seeking resolution of the issues they face at suburban stations after the Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Monday fined some of them for parking their bicycles outside Grant Road station, stating that “hawkers” were not allowed outside station premises.After a stampede on Elphinstone Road foot overbridge killed 22 people on September 29, the authorities have been driving hawkers out of railway station premises across the city.According to the Mumbai Dabbawala Association, they have been treated as hawkers by the RPF at various stations, such as Kandivali, Borivali and Bhayandar, for the past few months.On Monday, the RPF confiscated eight cycles belonging to dabbawalas that were parked outside Grant Road station and asked them to cough up a fine.Subhash Talekar, spokesperson for Mumbai Dabbawala Association, said, “We have shot off a letter to the railway minister regarding the issue. Cycle is an important means of transport for us. We should not be called hawkers just because we have to park our cycles near railway stations. We keep our cycles there just for some minutes while exchanging tiffin boxes. The authorities should keep this in mind before slapping a fine on us and terming us hawkers. We request the officials to exempt us from these charges.”Earlier, three cycles from Borivali and four from Bhayandar railway station were confiscated; they belonged to dabbawalas. Talekar said this happened a few weeks ago and they had to pay a fine “but on Tuesday the court said we should be let go without being charged a fine.”

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Bhopal gangrape case: Fast-track court gives life sentence to all four accused

A fast-track court on Saturday awarded life imprisonment to all the four accused in Bhopal gangrape case.”Based on the evidence provided by us, the court awarded all the four accused lifetime imprisonment,”P N Rajput, the lawyer of the victim said. Meanwhile, the mother of the victim expressed satisfaction with the court’s verdict. Earlier in the month of November, a 19-year-old civil services aspirant was allegedly abducted by the four accused and gangraped near the Habibganj Railway Station in Bhopal. Following their arrest, two doctors of Madhya Pradesh’s Sultania Women Hospital were suspended on November 11 after they produced an erroneous medical report stating that the victim indulged in consensual sex with the accused.The four were charged under sections 376 D (gangrape), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), 366 (kidnapping woman), 347 (wrongful confinement), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) and 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Jabalpur High Court then ordered the state government to file a report in the case citing actions taken in this regard. The court also raised questions over the role of police and doctors

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No relief for Max hospital yet, matter further shifted for hearing on January 9

The commissioner has not given any relief to the hospital so far, hence the hospital’s services will remain disrupted until further orders.“The commissioner heard the arguments made by the hospital and the government. After hearing both the version, the matter has been again listed for January 9. The final decision will be taken on the same day only,” Dr Kirti Bhushan, director general of health services (DGHS), Delhi government, who was present in the hearing.The Delhi government on December 8 had cancelled the license of the hospital’s branch in Shalimar Bagh for wrongly declaring a baby dead.A preliminary report submitted by a panel of doctors to the Delhi government had found the hospital guilty of not having followed the prescribed medical norms in dealing with a pair of newborn twins.The three-member panel had submitted the report after scrutinising hospital records and meeting with the staff concerned.After the infant’s death, investigation into the alleged medical negligence case was transferred from the northwest district police to the Crime Branch.The authorities had then approached the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to look into the cancellation order.“Following the due process of law, we have filed an appeal with the appropriate authority against cancellation of registration of Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh. Earlier, we had also requested Delhi Government to review their decision and restore the registration. This decision has caused significant inconvenience to thousands of patients and local residents and this is further compounded by unavailability of suitable alternatives for their medical needs in the vicinity,” the hospital had said in its statement.The Finance Commissioner is a statutory post and the incumbent on this post exercises the powers of the Lieutenant Governor/ Chief Commissioner, delegated under various statues.The commissioner has been delegated powers to act in a quasi-judicial capacity. The commissioner hears revision petitions/appeals against orders passed by competent authority under various acts including Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act, 1953.Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh on a monthly basis treats around 14,000 patients in the OPD, attends to over 1,600 emergency patients and additional 3,000 are treated in inpatient wards.

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Yet again, 35k DDA flats surrendered

Nearly 3,500 allottees of the Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) 2017 Housing Scheme have surrendered their newly allotted flats within 19 days of the draw of lots. The flats being returned are the small-sized LIG (low-income group) and Janta flats, which were originally offered by the Authority in its 2014 housing scheme.The repeat surrenders may finally force the Authority to give a serious thought to re-building these flats.The houses are being rejected for the same reason — they are too small and lack basic facilities. This despite the fact that this time the Authority had allowed buyers to visit the flats before applying for one. “I did not know about this provision and could not imagine that LIG houses could be the size of a storehouse. Even if it had all the facilities, this is not acceptable,” said Sarita Sharma, one of the allottees, who got a flat in Rohini’s Sector 35.The DDA had conducted a draw of lots for 12,617 houses on November 30. Of these 12,617 houses on offer, over 11,000 were those LIG flats that were returned under the 2014 housing scheme.Of the total flats allotted, 11,757 were LIG, 403 were MIG (middle-income group), 372 were Janta flats (one-bedroom), and 85 were HIG (high-income group) flats. The LIG flats were spread across Rohini, Siraspur, and Narela.Meanwhile, DDA housing commissioner J P Aggarwal said: “Some of the allottees have surrendered the flats because they were too small. The provision is that allottees can return flats till 15 days after the issue of demand-cum-allotment letters. We will see till that time and then put the names on waiting list.”If the flats are still not taken up, DDA might consult its architects to enhance the size of these houses, Aggarwal said. “We may consult the architects as to what can be done about these flats. May be two flats could be merged. This is, however, too far-fetched at this point of time,” he said. Earlier, residents of Rohini Sector 34 and 35 and Narela G-8 had alleged that their LIG flats, measuring 32 square meters in area were the same size as those EWS flats that were being offered by the Authority to rehabilitate residents of Kathputli Colony, a slum cluster housing puppeteers in west Delhi.2017 HOUSING SCHEMETotal houses allotted: 12,617LIG: 11,757MIG: 403Janta: 372HIG: 85Total eligible applicants: 46,080

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No relief for Max Hospital on licence cancellation

The Finance Commissioner on Tuesday heard the appeal made by the authorities of Max Hospital in regard to the cancellation of its licence by the Delhi government. The commissioner has not given any relief to the hospital so far, hence the hospital’s services will remain disrupted until further orders.”The commissioner heard the arguments made by the hospital and the government. After hearing both the versions, the matter has been again listed for January 9. The final decision will be taken on the same day only,” said a senior Delhi government official who was present at the hearing.The government on December 8 had cancelled the license of the hospital’s Shalimar Bagh branch for wrongly declaring a new-born baby dead. A preliminary report submitted had found the hospital guilty of not having followed the prescribed medical norms in dealing with a pair of newborn twins.The three-member panel had submitted the report after scrutinising hospital records and meeting with the staff concerned. After the infant’s death, investigation into the alleged medical negligence case was transferred from the northwest district police to the Crime Branch.The authorities had then approached the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to look into the cancellation order. “Following the due process of law, we have filed an appeal with the appropriate authority against cancellation of registration of Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh. Earlier, we had also requested Delhi Government to review their decision and restore the registration. This decision has caused significant inconvenience to thousands of patients and local residents and this is further compounded by unavailability of suitable alternatives for their medical needs in the vicinity,” the hospital had said in its statement.The Finance Commissioner is a statutory post and the incumbent on this post exercises the powers of the Lieutenant Governor/ Chief Commissioner, delegated under various statues. The commissioner has been delegated powers to act in a quasi-judicial capacity. The commissioner hears revision petitions/appeals against orders passed by competent authority under various acts including Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act, 1953.Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, treats around 14,000 patients in the OPD on a monthly basis, attends to over 1n600 emergency patients and additional 3,000 are treated in the inpatient wards.

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Death toll in J&K avalanche up to 3; 2 still missing

The death toll in the avalanche along the Line of Control in the Gurez sector of North Kashmir has gone up to three after Army rescuers pulled out two more bodies on Tuesday.Lance Naik Marigendra Nath Pramanik and Sepoy Shiv Singh were part of the three-member team when an avalanche swept away their high-altitude post last week. Two soldiers are still missing.”Two bodies have been recovered from Gurez. Earlier, the body of another soldier was retrieved from the Naugam sector. However, two soldiers continue to remain missing,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.Last Tuesday, a massive avalanche swept away the army bunkers at two different places. The first incident occurred at Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez in the LoC when an avalanche hit the `Mani Post’ in Bagtoor area. Three army jawans manning the post were swept away and are still untraceable. The second incident occurred in the Naugam sector along the LoC, when two soldiers were taken in by a snow slide.For the last seven days, army rescuers have mounted a mammoth search and rescue operation to locate the five missing soldiers. Indian army has also pressed Specialized Avalanche Rescue Teams (ARTs) into service and moved special equipment to the site to trace out the missing soldiers.

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Watch: Discussions on to provide CCTV on all trains across India, says Piyush Goyal

On Saturday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Railway is considering installing CCTVs and providing internet connectivity on all trains across India.He said: “We will take 2018 as a year where we collectively fight against atrocities against women and children, especially human trafficking. We will do this across all the railways.”He added: “As far as security is concerned, we are all thoughtful about it. We are thinking of providing internet connectivity and CCTV on trains. Discussions are on to provide CCTV on all trains across India.”Earlier, he had said the Railways Ministry will float a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to manage the entire electrification work of railways network and arrange funding for it, an official said today.Also readTicket prices for trains like Shatabdi, Rajdhani may go down, says Railway minister Piyush Goyal”As far as funding for electrification is concerned, we are looking at funding through an SPV and getting that SPV to run the entire electrification of Railways,” a top official in the Railways Ministry said today.The SPV will be tasked to look after the whole electrification project of the Railways. It will be own and manage those assets, the official said.Also readIndian Railways to use GPS-enabled devices to fight fog this season”The ministry is still working to float this SPV,” the official said.Earlier in September, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had said that his ministry is exploring ways to speed up the electrification process so as to cut down about Rs 16,000 crore expense on diesel.Also readBMC, Central Railway seek IIT aid to check track-flooding”We are giving a relook to the ways of speeding up the electrification process” of rail lines across the country. The ministry is consulting all the people who are involved in the electrification process,” Goyal had said.With inputs from PTI and ANI

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Diktat creating communal havoc

A message is doing rounds in the Dawoodi Bohra community criticising the recent diktat that marriages can be held only in community halls/places that are cleared by Anjuman E Shiate Ali, the community’s religious committee. The diktat even asks members of the community to not attend marriages if not held at places cleared by it.The recent message condemning the ‘diktat’ states that it has created a “communal havoc”. It goes on to ask if the religious leaders of the community will help them.”If Christian schools” refuse admission for the Bohras and that being a business community, if tomorrow “other communities boycott business with us, where do we stand? Does it make any difference to our religious leaders and their income?””The new diktat is disturbing. Earlier, there was a diktat of limiting food items and stopping sangeet and dance because it is not Islamic. Now this. All this is happening because of revenue as most halls are controlled by the religious leaders or people close to them. They want to control our activities and form pressure groups,” said a member, who did not want to be named.Members said that community halls have limitations like dress code, space constraint and also parking issues.”This should not be labelled as a diktat. Such words are prejudicial. The current advisory asking Bohras to use community venues for weddings has many advantages… All are positive steps for an organisation charged with managing community affairs… promoting egalitarianism and maintaining cultural propriety,” said a spokesperson.

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Delhi High Court allows distant kin to donate kidney to ailing doctor

A 58-year-old doctor suffering from kidney failure received a new lease of life after the Delhi High Court (HC) permitted him to take the organ from a distant relative. Dr Jasjit Singh was refused the organ by his immediate family members for varied reasons. Earlier, the authorities concerned were not permitting Singh’s maternal uncle’s daughter-in-law to donate the kidney for him as they suspected some financial transaction. Justice Vibhu Bhakru, however, allowed Singh to take the kidney after finding out that there was no financial transaction involved. The judge also interacted with the donor in chambers, without the counsels from both sides. The donor was told about all the risks involved in donating an organ and undergoing an invasive surgery. The donor, however, said she has long-standing relations with Singh and that she wanted to donate the organ. “There is no doubt that the donor is fully aware of the risks of the surgery. But she is firm that she wants to donate her kidney,” the court said in its order, adding that the she has denied any kind of financial transaction. Singh had undergone a transplant in March, 2015, after both his kidneys stopped working in February, 2015. At the time, his wife had donated her organ. However, just six months later, the organ dysfunctioned due to BK virus.His maternal uncle’s daughter-in-law then took the decision to donate her organ. This process was not given clearance by the authorities under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissue Act, 1994. The court ruled out any possibility of financial transaction after it held that the husband of the donor was not facing economic crisis and the famiy was well-off. “….there does not appear to be any monetary need that would warrant the donor to enter into a transaction to donate one of her kidneys for any monetary consideration,” the court said.It then directed the Authorisation Committee to reconsider the application for grant of approval for kidney transplantation.

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Jharkhand: JMM legislator organises kissing contest, BJP cries foul

Kissing maybe taboo in most of India society but it’s a hugely popular sport to celebrate love and romance in Pakur district in Jharkhand.Over 18-odd tribal couples locked lips in the presence of thousands of spectators in Dumaria village.The competition was organised by Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) legislator Simon Marandi who organised the competition.He told: “Tribals are basically innocent and illiterate. Due to which, the family system is weakening. To make them aware of our social structure and responsibility towards the family, the idea of a kissing competition was conceived.”Marandi had beaten BJP’s Hemlal Murmu with 12,900 votes in the April 2017 by-election.Also readMajority of humans are hardwired to lean right when kissingThe Dumaria Mela is has been held for 37 years and has events like tribal dance, archery and running competitions are organised to entertain villagers. The kissing competition was added for the first time. “Earlier, the village competition was organised in a smaller space but this year it was held in a football ground where thousands of people from other villagers also took part,” Marandi said.The BJP however were not amused with the competition. Ramesh Pushkar, a senior BJP leader told IANS: “What is the JMM trying to prove by organising such a competition? There are many ways that could be adopted to end the hesitation of the tribal people. Simon Marandi has tried to make a mockery of the tribal culture and tradition.”Dumaria’s total population is 333 of which 169 are males and 164 are females as per the census report of 2011. The literacy rate however is only 25%.

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Mulayam says ‘lack of unity’ reason for Samajwadi Party’s loss in UP civic polls

In a surprise announcement, the Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav today announced that he will not contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Azamgarh and will move to his traditional seat Mainpuri.In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Mulayam had contested from Mainpuri and Azamgarh Lok Sabha seats simultaneously. After winning both the seats, he had left Mainpuri to retain Azamgarh. Earlier, Mulayam had won three times from Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency which is considered a Samajwadi Party bastion. In the 2014 by-polls, Mulayam’s grand nephew and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son-in-law Tej Pratap SinghYadav won from the constituency. Speaking to mediapersons in Eatwah, Mulayam said he will leave Azamgarh to contest again from Mainpuri.When asked about party’s debacle in recently-concluded urban local bodies’ polls, Mulayam said there was no unity in the party. “If Shivpal Singh Yadav was given the campaigning charge, results would have been better,” he pointed.Also readNeech row| Mani Shankar Aiyar should be expelled from Congress, says Mulayam Singh YadavHe also showed reservations on son Ahilesh Yadav’s decision to contest five seats in Gujarat and actively campaign there. “Samajwadi Party will lose all the five seats,” he predicted.

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BKC locals vie for cycle stand at Bandra station

A group of diamond traders from Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) have demanded that space be allotted for a cycle stand outside Bandra station (E) and inside BKC so that office goers are motivated to use cycles for commute.The group has also written to several authorities including the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), traffic police department and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asking that space be allotted to park their cycles. They claim that using cycles is not only environment-friendly but will also help avoid traffic snarls during peak hours in BKC.The MMRDA had also requested offices in BKC to stagger office timings so that traffic can be managed efficiently during the ongoing construction work of DN Nagar Mandale Metro-2BBhavesh Shah, a diamond trader from BKC, said, “We have written several times to the authority to have cycle stands and parking. Earlier, in BKC, we had cycle tracks and cycle stands but that was shut down.”Shah added, “There are lakhs of office goers who will happily use cycles between Bandra station and BKC but without cycle stands, what is the point of cycle tracks? For now, we want cycle stands, cycle tracks can follow later.”Meanwhile, a senior MMRDA official, said, “Our cycle track project failed. However, if we want cycle stands, it will require coordination from several agencies. The proposal if found feasible will be implemented.”Off trackThe MMRDA had built a 10-km cycle track in BKC in 2011. However, the track was removed, and it was replaced with bus lanes. But those too were removed after motorists complained of traffic snarls.

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Poster in Surat claims Ahmed Patel to be made ‘Wazir-e-Alam’ of Gujarat, Cong leader calls it fake

A poster has emerged in Surat just couple of days before the first phase of Gujarat elections in support of Congress. It urges Muslims to unite and give vote to the Congress party, so that senior leader Ahmed Patel can become the ‘Wazir-e-Alam’ of Gujarat. So essentially, the poster claims that Ahmed Patel can be the Chief Minister of the state. As soon as the news broke, Ahmed Patel issued a clarification on Twitter. He said that it’s a fake poster and he doesn’t have any aspiration of becoming the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He also blamed BJP for trying to mislead people. He tweeted, ” Putting up fake posters and orchestrating a rumour campaign shows the utter desperation of the BJP. Fearing defeat, do they have to rely on such dirty tricks? I have never ever been a candidate for CM and will never, ever be.”Analysing the reason behind the ‘fake poster’, Ahmed Patel said, “The moot issue is that BJP is trying very, very hard to divert the narrative from its performance of last 22 years to a divisive agenda. Hence their reliance on lies & propaganda.But people of Gujarat have made up their mind this time”. Earlier in August this year, there was massive controversy when Ahmed Patel was re-elected for Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. BJP candidate gave him a close fight. The case is still pending in the High Court.
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HC gives Mumbai University another chance for on-screen evaluation of exams

The Bombay High Court today gave the University of Mumbai another chance to ensure that the technical glitches it faced with the on-screen marking (OSM) system during the summer semester are not repeated during the winter semester this year.The court was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by students and the Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union challenging the OSM system for assessing papers online.”Earlier the university went on to introduce the system without doing proper homework. But now we are informed by the state government that the glitches have been identified and remedial measures have been undertaken,” a division bench of Justices B R Gavai and Manish Pitale said.Also readMore chaos likely as Mumbai University gets extension to form bodies”We are of the view that taking into consideration the fact that the government has stepped in and monitored the new system, it would be appropriate to give the university another chance to conduct the OSM system,” the court said.The petitions were filed after the university earlier this year faced problems with the system and failed to declare the summer semester results in time.Also readMumbai University students left in a lurch due to no grievance mechanismThe university’s lawyer, Rui Rodrigues, today informed the high court that the present semester’s exams are likely to get over by mid-December and the results are expected to be declared after 45 days.The bench then posted the matter for further hearing on February 14.Also readMumbai University VC Sanjay Deshmukh removed for his ‘gross negligence’The state government today filed an affidavit saying several meetings were held with the university’s vice chancellor, and Maharashtra’s governor and chief minister to discuss the difficulties faced by the varsity in declaring the results.”After discussing all the pros and cons, it was decided that the Mumbai University, being a premier university, the OSM system shall be continued for the second half of the examinations of this year too. All issues will be resolved before commencement of the exams,” the affidavit said.
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Tarun Tejpal rape case: SC asks Bombay HC to start examining witnesses

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Bombay High Court to conduct a trial and examination of the witnesses in the rape case against former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal.The apex court has also asked the state high court to decide on Tarun Tejpal’s plea seeking discharge. Earlier on September 28, a Goa court charged Tejpal with rape, sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of a woman. Public Prosecutor, Fransisco Tavora informed that charges against Tejpal have been farmed under section 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (assault or use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe), 341 and 342 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).Tavora also informed “Tejpal has pleaded not guilty.” Earlier, 54-year-old Tejpal couldn’t get any relief from the Bombay High Court at Goa. The High Court refused to stay the process of framing of charges against Tejpal at a lower court in Mapusa in North Goa.Also readTarun Tejpal, former Tehelka editor, charged with rape by Goa court; next hearing on November 21This is the first case in recent times in which the probe has relied on “position of trust” as a crucial aspect in an allegation of rape. Tejpal is indicted of sexually assaulting a junior woman colleague inside a lift at Hotel Grand Hyatt during an event organised by the Tehelka magazine in Goa in November.
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Comedian jokes Ivanka came to India to get Aadhar, and then comes UIDAI’s punchline

US President Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka was recently in India to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. At least that was the stated purpose. A comedian, however, joked that the first daughter actually came to India to get her Aadhaar Card done.”Breaking : Exclusive : Paid media will not show you this. Ivanka Trump actually came to India to get her Aadhaar Card done,” tweeted José Covaco with an edited clip of Ivanka Trump.The clip was of Ivanka walking with officials, some Indians and some Americans, towards her car. The video, on its own, seems nothing out of ordinary until you turn the volume up. Covaco, who often posts memes on his Twitter account, among other things, had overlaid the clip with a comical voiceover where Ivanka is heard saying (we have no idea what she really said) that she needs to get her Aadhaar done and asks her driver to take her to “Aadhaar centre” as she gets in the car. Her drivers replies by saying: “I can do it in Rs 200.”That was some funny stuff we bet. While Twitterati replied to the video, one tweet caught everyone’s attention. “But couldn’t apply since she’s not a resident of India,” tweeted UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), the government agency that issues Aadhaar cards to citizens. This was, however, not UIDAI’s first attempt at humour (if that was it). Earlier this year on Dussehra, the UIDAI had a similar response when someone asked it how many Aadhaar Ravan could get with his 10 heads. “Not a resident of India. Not eligible to enroll for Aadhaar,” UIDAI had tweeted in reply.
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Cattle slaughter ban to go? Kolkata’s beef dealers welcome reports of rollback, question timing

Kolkata’s beef dealers and leather exporters have welcomed media reports of Centre initiating moves to roll back its decision of banning sale of cattle at livestock markets, for slaughter. However, they are apprehensive about the decision being motivated owing to ensuing polls.“We are happy that finally the Centre had realised its mistake but we are sceptic about the timing of the decision. Why now and why so late? We only hope that the decision has nothing to do with the ensuing Assembly election in Gujarat and civic polls in Uttar Pradesh,” said Md Ali, president, Calcutta Beef Dealers’ Association. He also said that other than the beef industry, milk and sweetmeat industry had also taken a beating after the Centre implemented the ban on May 23. He said that there were enough reasons for being apprehensive. “Earlier we had seen that looking at the polls they had banned buffalo slaughter in one state while in Northeastern states they said there would not be any such ban. Wasn’t that double standards?”Also readCentre refers cattle trade rules to Law Ministry for revisionLeather exporters too echoed similar emotions. “Earlier the Centre had issued a death certificate to the leather industry. Now they must have looked at the balance sheet and realised their mistake after receiving criticism not only nationally but internationally, but we have already suffered huge losses. Our buyer base has already turned to other countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and China. We hope this awakening is not owing to the forthcoming polls,” said Imran Ahmed Khan, general secretary, Calcutta Leather Complex Tanners’ Association. He also said that if, in future the government went back upon its words and assurances after elections, not only the people would take back their mandate but they, on behalf of leather exporters would ‘meet them at the court’. “The government at the Centre is a tubelight government and after their disastrous decisions, we believe they would not return post the 2019 polls. Which ever government succeeds them, these would be a warning alarm for them and they would think 100 time before taking any such decisions,” Khan said.
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Bihar govt to push for Heritage tag for Rajgir Cyclopean Wall

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bihar government will make efforts to get the ‘World Heritage’ tag for the ancient Cyclopean Wall at the popular tourist destination Rajgir in Bihar.Bihar’s Nalanda Mahavihara and the Mahabodhi in Bodh Gaya have already made it to the World Heritage sites list.“The Cyclopean Wall is one of the oldest examples of masonry. We have asked the Nalanda University vice-chancellor to survey the wall and prepare a report on it,” said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.Kumar added that Bihar has a rich archaeological history that can be made known to the world if the Archaeological Survey of India worked on it.Nitish, who was inaugurating the Rajgir Mahotsav evening, said the main objective was to get international recognition for Rajgir. “Earlier, we had to make efforts to get a world heritage site status for the Nalanda Mahavihara. We will do the same for the Cyclopean wall if required,” said Nitish.Nitish added that there were only two Cyclopean walls in the world, the other one being in Greece, and thus, it was an important part of Bihar’s heritage.Historians believe that Bihar’s Cyclopean wall, built of huge undressed stones, would have been around 40-km-long that encircled Rajgir. It dates back to the pre-Mauryan era (before 3rd Century BC), and was built likely to provide protection to the ancient settlement in Rajgir.

Maharashtra lowers extra marks for students with singing, dancing skills to 15 from 25

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>School education and sports department in Maharashtra has withdrawn all their previous government resolutions (GR) on awarding 25 marks to students for visual and performing arts before state board examination begins. The department had come up with new GR on Friday that shows overall 25 marks have been reduced to 15 for achievements in arts and culture.A student who is a winner at national or state-level tournaments and scholarships in classical arts will no more get 25 marks for this board examination. The extra marks will be awarded to them on the basis of the marks they score in their classical arts exam.The GR issued on Friday states that the students in classical art like dance, singing and music who secure A+ or A grade would get 10 marks, B+ 7 marks, B grade 5 marks and C grade 3 marks if they have given three exams in it through recognized institutions. Similarly 15 to 3 marks from A+ to C grade for those who have given 5 exams in recognized institutions.The new GR states that because students are awarded extra marks for their achievements in arts, there will not be 2% reservation for students in first year junior college admissions for cultural quota.The intermediate drawing examination have also been halved in this GR. Earlier, students who excelled in drawing were awarded 5 to 15 marks on the basis of grades in intermediate drawing exams. Now it has been changed so in intermediate drawing exam one who gets grade A will get 7 marks, grade B 5 marks and grade C 3 marks.To encourage students in extracurricular activities, the new GR was introduced in January by making provisional marks for students. The 25 extra marks lead in getting 100 percent results to many students in this year March board examination, which is why the changes in marks have been made in the new GR introduced on Saturday by state education department.

Open jail inmates can now video call their families

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a first, state prison inmates can now keep in touch with their families, thanks to the efforts of the state prison department. Inmates can make video calls to their families. There are plans to cover other such correctional establishments in subsequent phases.”We have issued orders that it should start for open jails and women prisons… we will expand it to other facilities later,” said Bhushankumar Upadhyaya, additional director general of police (prisons).”At present, the facility has been made available in the open jails at Amravati and Nagpur where prisoners can make video calls using apps like WhatsApp to their relatives from handsets given to officials … it will also cover prisoners in women jails,” said Yogesh Desai, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Eastern Region, Nagpur.He added that the phone numbers of relatives on which these inmates would call were verified by the local police. “They will be able to make phone calls once in 15 days. Earlier, they were allowed to make voice calls, and the facility has been enhanced to video calling,” said Desai.”The prisoners who are lodged in the open jails in Vidarbha are selected from correctional facilities across the state… this video calling facility will reduce the expenses of their relatives who have to travel to these prisons for long distances and give them the satisfaction of meeting their family members,” he explained.While convicts are allowed two visits from their relatives, they can make phone calls to their families once every fortnight. Undertrials can meet their relatives once a week.”We are also allowing undertrials to make these video calls at an experimental level. However, convicts are given preference,” said Desai.

Varsities get more time to form statutory bodies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government on Tuesday gave an extension to all the universities to form their governing and statutory bodies like the Management Council and the Senate. The state cabinet decided to pass an ordinance in order to extended the earlier deadline of November 30 up to February 28 for forming all these bodies.DNA had earlier reported about snail paced working of the University of Mumbai in the absence of permanent bodies which were dissolved in 2015. The varsity delayed the process of elections to these bodies as a result of which the government was forced to extend the deadline. “The deadline for appointing all the bodies of the state universities has been extended up to February 28, 2017 as several universities could not complete the process by the earlier deadline” stated an official statement from the government. The cabinet also decided to make changes in the schedule for accepting applications from new colleges for the upcoming year considering the suggestions that the expert committee had made with respect to the perspective plan” read the statement.Another important decision was to allow the Vice Chancellor to use a lottery system to nominate reserved candidates from the senate to the management council.

Bandipora encounter ends: IAF Garud soldier martyred, 6 terrorists killed including 26/11 mastermind Lakhvi’s nephew Obaid

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six LeT terrorists were gunned down in an encounter in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Saturday. The encountered ended in the evening. Arms and ammunition was recovered from the slain terrorists. Earlier, an army spokesperson had said: “Five terrorists killed so far. One IAF GARUD soldier martyred and one Army soldier injured.” One of the slain terrorists was Obaid, the nephew of 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and son of Lashkar commander Ab Rehman Makki.Obaid is the second nephew of Lakvhi’s to be killed this year. On Jan 19, another one of his nephews, Abu Musaib was killed in the same area.On Twitter, director general of state police SP Vaid had said a joint operation was underway with the CRPF, state police and the army was underway.Security forces cordoned off and launched a search operation in Chandergeer village in Hajin area of the district after receiving specific intelligence input about the presence of terrorists in the area, a police official said.He said the search operation resulted in an encounter when the militants hiding there fired on the search party of the security forces, who retaliated.The gunfight was continuing when last reports came in, the official said. According to latest updates, authorities have ordered suspension of data services, including 2G, 3G and 4G services, in Bandipora in view of the ongoing operation.With inputs from PTI

Permission denied, but PAAS to holds rally at Mansa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It will be an acid test for the Gandhinagar administration and police on Saturday, as the administration has withdrawn a permission that it had granted to the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) for a rally at Mansa. PAAS is adamant to hold the rally at the venue that the administration had approved earlier.Sources from the Gandhinagar district collector’s office said that earlier, permission was granted with conditions and organisers were asked to share details about the programme and for the purpose of the rally. When PAAS failed to submit them, the collector officer thought fit to cancel the permission. The administration also asked the organisers to change the location, to which they have not agreed. If they come up with an alternative location, the administration may review its stand on permissions.On the other hand, PAAS leader Atul Patel claimed that permission was canceled on a flimsy ground. “We were told that if the meeting is allowed at the location decided by the PAAS, it could create enmity among communities and so the venue should be changed. This is not possible for us,” he said. According to him, all arrangements were made at the present location and so it was difficult to change the location in the last moment, as he firmly said, “Come what may, we will not change the rally location in Mansa.”Earlier, the PAAS convener while speaking to DNA said that he was going make some shocking revelation, but refused to divulge details. Notably, Mansa is the native village of BJP’s national president Amit Shah. Hardik Patel’s rally at the Mansa is considered to be show of strength in Shah’s native town. Hardik expects that people across north Gujarat will participate in the meeting.Though recently, two alleged sex CDs of Hardik Patel went viral, it has not deterred him at all. On Thursday, PAAS leaders alleged that the said expose of Hardik was on the behest of top BJP leaders.

Multi-storey toilets by BMC on the cards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a move aimed at ensuring the city remains open-defecation free, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has, in a first, decided to construct two and three-storey public toilets to overcome problems of space constraint. BMC will be constructing over 18,000 public toilet blocks beginning next year.The BMC will form a special cell, which will be headed by the chief engineer (Slum Sanitation Programme), who will be responsible for carrying out the construction of these multi-storey toilets, which will provide water and electricity connections. Wherever, it not possible to connect the toilets to sewage lines, the BMC will build septic tanks for such toilets.These multi-storey toilets will have features like separate sections for children and the differently abled. “The estimated cost of constructing 18,818 toilet blocks is Rs. 376 crore. The civic body will also pull down 11,170 existing toilet blocks and construct 15,774 new toilets in its place using improved design. “Thus the city will get an additional 4, 604 toilet blocks when new toilet blocks are constructed in the place of old ones,” said an official. Meanwhile, another 3,044 toilets blocks will be completely new.”To overcome the shortage of space, we have decided to construct multi-storey toilets in the city. Earlier, the BMC used to construct only ground storey toilets. Keeping in mind the demand, two or three-storey toilets will now be constructed, which will increase the number of toilet seats,” a BMC official said.IN THE WORKSThese multi-storey toilets will have features like separate sections for children and the differently abled. The civic body is planning to complete the tender process by the end of this year and start giving work orders for the project by January 15, 2018.

Locals plan #SavePDP event for Sunday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Children from the city will be gathering at Priyadarshini Park on Sunday morning participate in an art event with the theme of saving open spaces. While residents from Malabar Hills, Nepean Sea Road and nearby areas have been protesting to save the open space at Priyadarshini Park (PDP) for a few months, through the Children’s Day celebration, they want to highlight the issues of open spaces.”Earlier, there was encroachment of a fire engine which has now been taken away. But the temporary infrastructure made for the fire engine is still in the park. BMC still have a plan to set up a swimming pool inside. We want the park to be maintained as an open space. With the theme #savePDP, we want to highlight that with the help of children,” said Tejal Mehta, resident of Nepean Sea Road and member of #SavePDP campaign group.”The entries for the art competition can be done online and we are expecting participation of a huge number of children. Citizens forum groups are coming together to organise the event,” added Tejal.With a signature campaign that began on September 30, residents garnered thousands of signatures before presenting it to the Chief Minister.

Volatile situation in Zimbabwe; all Indians safe, says Swaraj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said tonight that she was in constant touch with the Indian Embassy in Zimbabwe and assured that all Indians were safe in the country where unrest has triggered speculation of a coup.Zimbabwe’s Army took control of the country and said it had President Robert Mugabe and his wife in custody. The Army said it was securing government offices and patrolling the capital’s streets following unrest.Swaraj said there was no cause for concern for Indians. “I am in constant touch with Indian Embassy in Zimbabwe.Our Ambassador has informed me that Indians there are safe and there is no cause for concern,” she tweeted. Earlier, the Indian Embassy in Harare, in a tweet, said, “Situation in Harare is calm. Embassy staff, Indian Community, both PIO (Person of Indian Origin) and expats are safe. No reason for concern and worry.” The beginning of Indian presence in Zimbabwe goes back to about 1890 when Indian plantation workers in apartheid South Africa crossed over to the then Southern Rhodesia.At present the number of Zimbabweans of Indian origin, who are predominantly from the province of Gujarat, is estimated at about 9,000, the mission said.The strength of the expatriate Indian community is 500, it said.

Ivanka Trump ‘excited’ to attend Global Entrepreneurship Summit, PM Modi looks forward to welcome her

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Ahead of the India visit of US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that cooperation between the two countries helps people, particularly the talented and innovative entrepreneurs.”We look forward to welcoming you @IvankaTrump. Closer economic cooperation between India and USA helps our people, particularly our talented and innovative entrepreneurs,” he tweeted. Earlier, Ivanka had tweeted that she is excited to join “many of these remarkable entrepreneurs with Prime Minister @narendramodi in India for #GES2017 in just two weeks!”.She will be attending the plenary session of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) to be held in Hyderabad from November 28 to 30. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held “very expansive” talks with Trump in Manila during which the two leaders carried out a “broad review” of the strategic landscape in Asia. Thousands of Indian entrepreneurs want to attend the three-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), from Nov. 28 in the city of Hyderabad, though organisers say they can accommodate only 400 from India and 800 from the United States and the rest of the world. “Definitely, the response was much, much more than the 400. India has become a very important start-up destination,” said Jayesh Ranjan, a government official in Hyderabad who is helping organise the event.”Also, when she speaks as the head of the U.S. delegation, in a way she would be communicating what is the official position of the U.S. government about entrepreneurship, about start-ups,” he said of Ivanka Trump.GES was conceived by former U.S. President Barack Obama. It was previously held in Washington, Istanbul, Dubai, Marrakech in Morocco, Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur and Silicon Valley in the United States.This will be the first such summit under Trump, who this year said on the social network Twitter that his daughter would lead the U.S. delegation to support women’s entrepreneurship globally.The theme of the conference this year is “Women First, Prosperity for All”.

Probe in right direction, will nail culprits: Cops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Navi Mumbai police department claimed that the investigation was heading in the right direction and the gang of thieves are in their radar. The 10 police teams are aiming to recover a major chunk of the stolen property but fear it would be damaged by the thieves by melting it. The police suspect involvement of notorious tribal gang members from Jharkhand involved in similar house breaking theft cases across the country.A senior police officer from Navi Mumbai police crime branch, on the condition of anonymity, said, “Looking at the previous modus operandi of the gang from Jharkhand, the tribals living in the Naxal-affected areas are prone to indulge in such activities and it becomes difficult to trace them in the interior of the jungles. Our teams have reached Jharkhand and are monitoring the activities of the thieves.”“Earlier too, the gang members have melted gold jewellery to destroy evidence and claim innocence in court. We are tracking the gang members and collecting information through our informers. CCTV camera footage has also given us a few leads in the case and we are questioning a few people suspected to be involved into the crime. We have a database of Jharkhand gang members and are trying to collect further evidence.”Sudhakar Pathare, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 1, said, “The thieves are under our radar and we will soon nail them and recover the stolen booty. Ten teams of the detection branch have been formed and the crime branch is also conducting a parallel probe into the case.”“The investigations are moving in the right directions and further probe will be conducted”, said Pathare.

Diabetic women at higher risk of abortion, miscarriage

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Diabetes is a particularly dangerous condition for pregnant women, warn doctors in the city. They aren’t talking about gestational diabetes (a condition where you develop the disease during pregnancy) but about diabetic women who get pregnant.According to them the risk of abortion and foetal abnormalities goes up considerably if the mother has pre existing diabetes. “These days out of 100 pregnant women at least 5% to 7% have diabetes and we are not talking of gestational diabetes. Women with diabetes who get pregnant have a higher risk of foetal malformation and abortion compared to others including those with gestational diabetes,” said Dr Ramesh Goyal, consultant diabetologist at Apollo Hospital.Dr Hiren Patt, endocrinologist with Narayana Multispecialty hospital said such women also have high chances of miscarriage in the first and second trimester. “Earlier type 2 diabetes was found mostly among those above 40 years of age but now people in their 20s and 30s are also inflicted by the condition. This is also the child bearing age and that is why we are seeing more cases of pregnant women with a diabetic condition,” said Dr Patt.He said diabetes also increases the chances of a cesarean delivery apart from impacting the development of heart and brain of the foetus.Dr Goyal said it is a double whammy for such women as on the one hand diabetes forces them to control their calorie intake while being pregnant means they have to ensure adequate calorie intake to help nourish the growing foetus.”There is also the social practice in India were pregnant women are fed calorie rich food. This is particularly dangerous for diabetic pregnant women as she needs to ensure a balanced diet that will not spike her sugar levels nor lead to foetal malnourishment,” said Dr Goyal.

Mumbai: Aaditya Thackeray calls for better nourishment for BEST drivers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to ensure BEST drivers are healthy, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray wants the staff on the bus service to seek the help of nutritionists. “The BEST administration, apart from conducting regular health check-ups, should also take help of nutritionists. The drivers should be provided drinks with glucose to keep them hydrated,” said Thackeray at Wadala bus depot after inaugurating electric buses on November 10.The BEST officials said that they can make provision to offer energetic drinks to drivers and conductors when they arrive at the bus station or depot after their trip, especially during summer. This has been proposed so that drivers don’t get dehydrated riding buses for long hours.Thackeray asked BEST General Manager Dr Surendra Bagde to personally look into this as he is also a nutritionist. Earlier, Four buses have been added to the fleet on Thursday. The introduced buses can run up to 200 km at a stretch once fully charged for three hours.For the initial phase, the buses will run on routes around Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSTM) and Churchgate station, including Route Number 138.The buses cost Rs. 1.61 crore each, which is more than double the price of regular buses and have a seating capacity of 30 people.Meanwhile the BEST employees are struggling to get their salaries on time for which the administration is taking monthly loans of Rs 180 crore. Sources said that if they take the extra effort of having nutritionists and having diet plans for their drivers and conductors then it would add up to the cost.Normally a BEST bus driver operates for 6-9 hours depending on his schedule and route allotted. A single bus runs up to 180 km each day in Mumbai. BEST’s fleet has 3700 buses and operates 504 routes every day.With ANI Inputs

BMC may get rid of sweeping machines

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Piled up with complaints about litter lying unattended across Marine Drive, Colaba and Churchgate, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may soon end services of the contractor who is responsible for cleaning these roads, in South Mumbai, with the help of mechanised sweeping machines. Recently, the civic body officials did not find the contractor’s work up to the mark.Despite issuing repeated warnings to the contractor, the civic body continues to receive complaints from residents. Earlier this week, senior civic officials visited and found unattended litter in the area.”After the visit by civic officials, Vijay Singhal, additional municipal commissioner held a meeting over the issue, and asked concerned officials to end the contractor’s service if the contractor does not provide quality service,” said a civic official.According to officials, the contractor does not have an adequate number of mechanised sweeping machines to clean all roads in due time. “The contractor is supposed to use four machines to clean around 200 km road every day. However, it was found that the contractor was sweeping using fewer sweeping machines and managed to clean only 110 to 120 km per day,” said the official. Each machine can clean around 50 km road per day.

Accused’s kin slam CBI, say he was good at academics

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Adding a new twist into the Ryan International School murder case, family members and friends of the juvenile — accused of murdering the Class II student Pradyuman — rubbished the theory given by CBI officials and stated that he was a bright student. Not just this, he had received appreciation from this very Ryan International School where the crime took place. Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) maintained that the 16-year-old boy, accused of murdering Pradyuman, had done so in order to postpone exams and the upcoming parent-teacher meeting, as he was a poor studentAs the CBI began their first round of questioning after a Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) allowed the CBI to question him for three days, the boy’s father also reached the JJB home when officials took him away.Investigation into the Pradyuman murder case has already raised many eyebrows. It may be recalled that earlier the Gurugram police had accused the bus conductor Ashok Kumar and arrested him claiming to have solved the murder. Now that the CBI has come up with a parallel line of investigation, questions are again being asked as to how do they justify their contention that the accused was a poor student.In fact, family members showed a report card of the accused where they said he had been given Grade ‘A’ in the emotional skills category, Grade ‘A’ in Attitudes and Values towards teachers, school mates, value system, schools programme and environment.In fact, the family says, the accused has been given A or B grade throughout Class X which doesn’t justify the CBI theory of him being poor in studies. Family members also debunked the theory of him being “mentally unstable” and “weak.”Relatives of the juvenile also revealed that the family had consulted a doctor on one occasion, as they thought he was not mature enough for his age, but otherwise they said he was a happy and a normal child.”My son can never kill anyone. He is innocent,” said the father of the child.”The boy was not only good in studies but also excelled in extra-curricular activities,” said a relative.It’s not just family, even friends of the accused are in shock. One of the accused’s close friends who would travel with him, said, “There was nothing wrong with him. I was sitting in the same section and we both gave the exam. He didn’t have blood on his clothes and was perfectly fine when we went home together.”

NCR hosp sees 30% hike in patients with breathing trouble

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The district hospital of Gautam Buddha Nagar has registered a 30 per cent hike in the number of cases with respiratory problems over the past two days, with the pollution levels touching ‘severe’ in the Delhi-NCR region.According to Anurag Bhargava, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), the district hospital has seen a 40 per cent increase in the OPD footfall of patient with respiratory stress, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the last 48 hours.”Earlier, the respiratory disorders were common in people of age above 55 years, but with the increase in pollutants, such problems are now common in people as young as 25 years,” Bhargava said.He added, “Earlier, we used to have around 350 people visiting us daily for such problems after Diwali, but now on an average we are getting 470 people from the past two days which is dangerous. We have noticed that most of the first-timers are coming from construction site areas, from Sectors- 46, 76, 77, 78, 125, and 126.Asked as to what symptoms he was witnessing, Bhargava said, “Most of the patients are complaining of irritation in the eyes. I’d suggest people stay at home and not go for morning walks, or yoga classes in the open. Pollution levels are the highest early in the day due to low wind movement.”On Thursday morning, the AQI level was recorded at 678 in Noida. The air quality is marked ‘severe’ if the index is above 400. It has been hovering between ‘very poor’ — 301 to 400 — and ‘severe’ over the last week.Considering the alarming levels of air pollution in the city, the Noida Authority has asked all construction activities to be stopped. All hot mix plants, industries doing any emissions, all transportation of building materials has been stopped immediate effect.”We have made a note of all the activities which lead to pollution to be stopped immediately. No crop residue burning in the open will take place for the few days,” said a senior authority officer.However, there is a fallout to all these efforts. Sources say that construction work is stopped, how will home-buyers get their promised flats on time?

Despite being considered one of the safest cities, 1600 molestation cases registered in Mumbai till September 2017

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier this month a 25-year-old Russian National was molested on a busy Borivli street. A closer analysis of the crime statistics procured from Mumbai Police revealed that on an average at least 150 women are molested every month in Mumbai, which is considered to be one of the safest cities for women. According to the statistics, from January till September this year, 1609 cases under section 354 of Indian Penal Code for outraging modesty of a woman were registered by the Mumbai Police as compared to 1639 cases registered during the same period.While number of molestation cases registered are high in numbers, the detection rate of these cases are on the lower side. As per the statistics, of the registered 1609 cases this year, only 1227 could be detected. Which means thd detection rate was only 76 %. On the other hand, number of cases registered under section 509 of the Indian Penal Code for Intended insult to Modesty of Women are showing increasing trend in city. From January till September, 333 cases were registered by Mumbai Police under section 509 of IPC, as Compared to 319 cases registered last year during same period. Of the 333 cases, only 191 cases could be detected by the police having detection rate of just 57%.”Women safety is one of priorities of the Mumbai Police. We ensure enough police presence is there in the city and that they are safe from hooligan elements,” said a senior Mumbai Police officer, requesting anonymity. Earlier Mumbai Police had taken several initiatives to ensure women are safe in the city. These initiatives include a help desk for women at all railway terminals, dedicated women help desk in police stations and women beat patrolling in the city.

Severely hit, hospitality sector yet to recover fully

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the Central government announced demonetization a year ago, among the several businesses that went into a tizzy was the food and beverage industry. Making matters worse for them was the double onslaught of government making service charge obligatory and introducing Goods and Services Tax (GST). A year later, the industry is still trying to recover the losses it incurred last year.Since November 8, the sales have dipped along with the number of customers and the cash in their hands. Talking to DNA, Kazem Samandari, Director of L’Opera French Bakery, said: “Demonetization affected our business in several ways — the ticket size, the number of customers, and finally the payment methods. Also, the mix of payment methods has changed. Whereas cash payments had declined to less than 25 per cent of all payments in the immediate aftermath of demonetization, they gradually increased to reach 50 per cent.”He added: “The medium and lower segments of our customers have been mostly affected. Affluent customers continue their purchases. We have, however, experienced a decline in the number of visitors to our shops. The market is definitely not the same.”For others such as Umang Tewari, owner of The Vault Café, survival has become the operative word while growth has taken a backseat after the note ban. “The market is just not the same. Two consecutive major decisions have taken a toll on business models. Earlier, our focus was growth. Now, we are thinking only about our survival. There was a severe cash crunch in the market. While we were still coping with that , another blow was dealt in the form of GST. All this brought down the business by 50 per cent.”

Ex-PM Manmohan Singh on a visit to Ahmedabad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit Ahmedabad on Tuesday, on the eve of the first anniversary of demonetization. In the short visit, Singh will speak on issues like the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the business in the country.Singh will address a gathering at Sardar Patel Memorial in Shahibaug area, said Manish Doshi, spokesman of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC). Earlier, he was to address a gathering at the auditorium of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), but the venue was shifted, said sources.Sources added that the former Prime Minister, who is also one of the key architects of liberalisation of Indian economy, will speak on demonetization and GST, which has again given a massive jolt the the economy, especially the informal sector, which employs masses in rural areas and in small cities in towns.

Prakash Raj backs Kamal Haasan’s controversial remark, asks ‘what’s terrorising’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prakash Raj, the talented actor, is known for not mincing words.In news recently for making frank remarks on Taj Mahal and Tipu Sultan controversies, the National Award winning actor took to Twitter again showing his support for actor Kamal Haasan.Haasan, who made headlines yesterday for his ‘Hindu terror’ remarks, was backed by the fellow actor in a lengthy post on Twitter.Without naming Haasan or using the phrase ‘Hindu terror’, Prakash Raj talked about instances where people were being ‘mishandled’.’If instilling fear in the name of religion..culture..morality is not terrorizing..than what is it,’ Raj wrote on the micro-blogging site.’If abusing and manhandling young couple on streets of my country in the name of morality is not terrorizing..If taking law into hands and lynching people on slightest doubt of cow slaughter is not terrorizing..If trolling with abuse, threat ..to silence even a slightest voice of dissent is not terrorizing ..then what is terrorizing ..#justasking (sic),’ read the actor’s post.Writing in his weekly column, Kamal Haasan had written, ‘You can’t say there is no Hindu terror. Earlier, Hindu extremists held dialogue, now they indulge in violence.’He further wrote that people have lost faith in Satyameva Jayate. “Truth alone triumphs has now become strength alone triumphs. This has made people inhuman,” he said.Haasan is set to make a mega announcemnet on his birthday on November 7. Though he has maintained that he won’t announce a political party, speculations are rife that Haasan would may finally take the plunge in world of politics.

Dreaded criminal with links to don Chhota Shakeel nabbed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A sharpshooter who had links to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s key aide Chhota Shakeel landed in Delhi Police’s net on Tuesday evening. The Shakeel henchman, wanted for plotting to eliminate Pakistani author Tarek Fatah, was nabbed after the police managed to intercept his conversations with his aide Junaid Choudhary, arrested earlier.The shooter, identified as Naseem alias Rizwan, was nabbed from northeast Delhi. Senior police officers said Rizwan had good contacts with the Mumbai underworld and was in regular touch with Shakeel and his men.“The team received an input that Naseem will be coming to Jafrabad area in northeast Delhi on Tuesday night. Rs 2 lakh in cash, which was part of money robbed at the Gokulpuri flyover, was also recovered from his possession,” Ajit Kumar Singla, Deputy Commissioner of Police (northeast) said. Naseem himself told the interrogators that he was in touch with Shakeel. The Special Cell of Delhi Police had earlier arrested his associate Choudhary, who was planning to target Pakistani writer Tarek Fateh, now based in Canada. The plan was to target him when he arrived in India.“A criminal in Bijnor, identified as Rashid, had arranged Naseem’s meeting with another gangster, Munna Singh, who is lodged in the Bijnor jail. During that meeting, plans were made to target high-profile businessmen and personalities in Andhra Pradesh. These criminals wanted to extort crores from these people. Shakeel had also instructed Naseem to eliminate a businessman in Dwarka,” the officer added.Naseem was involved in a robbery that took place at the Gokulpuri flyover. He lived in the New Mustafabad area of Delhi. Earlier, he used to sell garments on roadside. Later, he started meeting some criminals in his area and then killed one of them, in order to establish his supremacy. He went on killing and robbing people and got in touch with Shakeel through Choudhary.SHOOTER’S HISTORYNaseem was involved in a robbery that took place at the Gokulpuri flyover. Earlier, he used to sell garments on roadside. Later, he started meeting some criminals in his area and then killed one of them, in order to establish his supremacy

How many vehicles checked, asks Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought information from the traffic police and the Delhi government’s transport department about the number of vehicles that have been checked and fines imposed for causing pollution since August. The court sought the data with regard to inspections carried out at the entry points to the Capital.A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar sought the information and an action plan from the authorities on how they intended to ensure compliance of the law and rules regarding polluting vehicles.It said if the authorities are able to address the issue of air pollution by inspection of vehicular emission, “then air quality in the city would improve positively.”The bench also sought information regarding vehicle inspections carried out by cops in areas falling under the jurisdiction of the police stations of Daryaganj, Dhaula Kuan, ISBT, Anand Vihar, Nehru Place, Raja Garden, Nangloi, Laxmi Nagar and Mukarba Chowk.The Court was hearing a plea by an NGO, Campaign for People Participation in Development Planning, alleging that the rise in vehicle-generated air pollution in Delhi was due to “non-enforcement and non-implementation” of the 1988 Motor Vehicle Act, which prescribes punishment for driving a polluting vehicle.Advocate Anil Aggarwal, who has filed the petition, contended before the bench that the Motor Vehicle Rules empowered a police officer, above the rank of Sub-Inspector, and a transport department official, above the rank of Inspector, to inspect vehicles and impose fines. The court, thereafter, made the Delhi police a party in the case. Earlier, the High Court had cautioned the Centre and the AAP government against issuance of PUC certificates to polluting vehicles in the city.WHAT’S WRONGIt said if the authorities are able to address the issue of air pollution by inspection of vehicular emission, “then air quality in the city would improve positively.” The bench also sought information regarding vehicle inspections carried out by cops.

Govt to take away projects from ‘poor developers’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government is planning to eliminate developers who aren’t competent enough to complete projects under the Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) scheme. Earlier this month, the government had decided to give loans to developers involved in SRA projects that are stuck.In addition, the government is also considering another proposal whereby it will remove such developers whom they consider unable to finish the projects. In such projects, the developer will be paid all his dues and the whole project will be constructed for affordable housing after the government takes it over. This will help the government to have a bank of affordable homes in Mumbai.The government had announced that it will be giving loans to developers who have not been able to complete their rehab as well as sale component under slum redevelopment. The condition from the government was that the developer has to construct houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) scheme in the sale component. Under the new proposal, the government believes that the developer won’t be able to complete the project from such developers the government shall take over the project completely. After constructing the rehab building for slum dwellers, the sale component comprising affordable schemes shall be constructed.Speaking to DNA, additional chief secretary, Housing Department, Sanjay Kumar, said, “In cases, where we will feel that the developer cannot complete the project on his own. We will take over the project from them and clear their dues > Later, we shall hand over the projects to agencies such as MHADA. In such cases, the whole of sale component will be under the PMAY scheme, and will create affordable housing inside Mumbai city.”For the loan scheme, the government is yet to decide the percentage of affordable homes the developer has to construct in the sale component. However, in the complete take over the scheme, the government will see to it that all the homes in the sale component are constructed are only affordable housing under PMAY.A senior official from the government says that this will help getting rid of stuck projects in the city. “With the loan, genuine developers will be able to complete the project and even the government will be able to get the affordable housing. With the new proposal of taking over projects, the number of affordable homes will go up and stuck projects will see some movement. This will benefit Mumbai and homebuyers both,” he said.The government has an ambitious plan of constructing 19 lakh affordable homes under housing for all.NEW PLANSThe government is yet take a decision on the percentage of affordable homes the developer has built.
The government had announced that it will give loans to developers who have not been able to complete their rehab as well as sell component under slum redevelopment projects.

PM’s name used in fake loan schemes to con people, again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In yet another instance of misusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name, the CBI registered a case against unidentified persons over a loan scheme.The case has been registered for allegedly using the Prime Minister’s name to con people through a purported loan scheme. The investigation agency had received a complaint from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) nearly 11 months ago alleging that the scheme had misused the name of the Prime Minister.The perpetrators had allegedly given a misleading advertisement in a leading national daily on July 11 last year, offering loans under the ‘Pradhanmantri Jan Kalyan Yojna’ with no file charge, no guarantor, zero per cent interest, 60 per cent rebate within 12 hours by logging on www.satyamgroup.org, the complaint read.”This appears to be a clear case of forgery/impersonation wherein the name of PM has been misused,” it stated.This is not the first time that such a ponzi scheme has come to light. Earlier, in May this year, the CBI had registered another FIR in a similar case after the PMO had been approached by a person from Himachal Pradesh who claimed he had been duped by a loan scheme agent who claimed the scheme was launched by the PM.Post demonetisation, such cases had surfaced where fake mobile recharge websites were floated as also several imitating government websites that carried the name and photo of the PM and the links to these fake websites were floated on social media sites.

Bhai Dooj retains spark in hectic times

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Saturday brothers and sisters greeted each other by exchanging gifts and sweets to celebrate Bhai Dooj. On this occasion, sisters offer prayers for their brother’s long life and the brothers promise to protect their sisters.Speaking about the celebrations in her family, Smita Bhingarde, 25, Jogeshwari resident, said, “All of us cousins gather in our elder sister’s house to celebrate Bhai Dooj every year. My brother works abroad so we celebrate over video calls. Rest of the family comes together to exchange sweets and gifts. We dress up in traditional wear and prepare food for the brothers.” The festival, also known as Bhau Beej, is celebrated on the second day after the new moon in the Hindu lunar month of Kartik.Bilwada Kale, Dombivli resident, said, “This year all of us met at my home to celebrate the festival. We go the traditional way of doing aarti of our brothers, exchanging sweets followed by an elaborate meal. The day ends by seeking blessings of the family’s elders.”Pandhari Kadam, Lalbaugh resident said, “I have four sisters and every year I visit every sisters’ house. Earlier we used to get together and celebrate but due to busy lives, I dedicate the day to visiting one sister’s house.”

Ghazipur: Local journalist, also an RSS worker shot dead, brother sustains injuries

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An RSS worker was on Saturday shot dead by bike-borne assailants in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur and his brother suffered a bullet injury while trying to save him, police said.The three assailants brandishing firearms attacked RSS worker Rajesh Mishra (40), who is also a journalist, when he and his brother were sitting in their building material shop in Brahmanpura Chatti this morning, circle officer Hridayanad Singh said.Mishra was shot in his head.When his brother Amitesh Mishra (35) intervened, he was shot in the abdomen, Singh said.The brothers were taken to the district hospital, where Rajesh was declared brought dead, while Amitesh was referred to Varanasi for treatment.ADG Law and Order Anand Kumar said in Lucknow that two of the attackers have been identified.”Of the three assailants, two have been identified, and soon all of of them will be arrested,” he added. Earlier this week, a senior RSS worker was killed in Punjab, while Kerala has been reeling over attacks on RSS workers

Dengue death toll rises to five

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It’s not just cases but deaths related to dengue are also slowly rising in the Capital. The recently released municipal report stated the dengue death toll in the city had reached three, while the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Hospital confirmed another two dengue deaths on Friday, taking the toll to five.From the three deaths, there were two victims — both women and one boy. Meena Devi, 49, from Karawal Nagar, died at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) on September 2, and Rhoda Daimai, 26, from Manipur died at Holy Family Hospital on August 27, but it took two months for the MCD to confirm them in their weekly report. Earlier, the mosquito-borne disease had claimed its first victim in the city this year, when a 12-year-old boy died of dengue shock syndrome at SGRH on August 1. Daimai had come to Delhi for her treatment.Meanwhile, overall cases have crossed the 5,000 mark, totaling up to 5,220. Of the total 5,220 dengue cases, 2,564 were residents of Delhi, while the rest were from other states. Of the 2,564 Delhi cases, 757 were reported this month, and 412 in the last one week.Cases of vector-borne diseases are usually reported between mid-July and November-end. This year, however, it has been much earlier due to the early arrival of the monsoon.HEALTH ALERTEarlier, the mosquito-borne disease had claimed its first victim in the city this year, when a 12-year-old boy died of dengue shock syndrome at SGRH on August 1.
Residents say with the authorities turning a blind eye to safety norms, they are the ones who always have to pay the price.

Rajasthan govt brings ordinance to shield judges, babus from public scrutiny, probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An ordinance by the Rajasthan government will prevent cases being lodged against officers and judges for any act commited by them while they were in service. The ordinance also prevents courts from issuing directions to register cases against them. Further the ordinance prevents that the names or pictures of the persons to be made public.The Ordinance was implemented on September 7 and is likely to come up for discussion in the coming assembly session to take the form of a Bill. The ordinance titled Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 is an Amendment in the section 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and provides that “no magistrate shall order an investigation against a person who is or was a judge or magistrate or a public servant, as defined under any other law for the time being in force, in respect to the act done by them while purporting or act in the discharge of their official duties, except with previous sanction under the section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Act No 2 of 1974) or under any other law for the time being in force”As per the provisions of the ordinance, the sanctioning authority shall take a decision on the sanction of prosecution within 180 days, in case the sanctioning authority fails to do so, automatic prosecution shall be deemed to have been issued.It provides that no one shall print, publish or publicize the name, address, photograph or any other details or particulars of the judge, magistrate or public servant that can lead to the disclosure of his identity. It further states that anyone who violates the above provisions of the ordinance could be fined and / or imprisoned up to two years.As per legal experts this ordinance will render registration of cases against corrupt public servants to become an absolute right of the government. As the agencies that register cases are government agencies. The next option available to the common man was to register court complaint (istagasa) and court to order its registration under 156/3; but the new ordinance prevents that.Social activists feel that the other provision of protection of identity would prevent the media from publishing news and identity of cases of corruption. The word ‘publicize’ would also give rights to the government to act against persons writing about it on social media. The home minister could not be contacted to comment on the issue.Kavita Shrivastav, national secretary PUCL, said the if the Ordinance gives absolute complete immunity to all in government, including the political executive bureaucrats and all levels of judiciary then it is unacceptable. He said: “The govt has the responsibility of ensuring protection of fundamental rights and if there is violation in the implementation, then the people have a right to question and prosecution to make them accountable. If the ordinance gives immunity to all in govt and judiciary It will be defeated in court of law and the PUCL will scrutinize challenge it in the Rajasthan High court or Supreme Court.”How the ordinance will change things- Cases against officials are largely registered by government agencies like ACB and CID. The procedure of receiving complaint, registration of case, investigation and filing a case (chalan) takes over a year or even more. As per this ordinance, the six months period would pass, and they will go scot-free. – It will curtail the right of the common man in lodging cases against corrupt officials. Earlier the common man had the right to approach court and the court if it felt appropriate the court had the right to direct police to lodge cases. This curtails the power of the court. – It will curtail the rights of the media. The ordinance will prevent them from publishing names pictures of the officials who are accused of corruption. This will make them fearless in anonymity. – It will prevent anyone from writing on social media about corrupt officials.

Govt to recruit 3500 PT, drawing teachers for state schools

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat government has announced that around 3500 teachers having specialisation in Physical Training(PT) and drawing will be recruited on contractual basis. The proposal put forward by education minister was passed during cabinet meeting held on Sunday. CM Vijay Rupani had called this meeting as government could not hold cabinet meeting in last two weeks.The deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said, “Gujarat government has decided to recruit 1,739 PT and drawing teachers each.They will serve in different government schools and their recruitment will be on contractual basis for five years with monthly emoluments of Rs. 9000. If their work is found satisfactory after the review, they will be made permanent.”The government also extended the time limit of offering allowance to farmers for foreign export or transportation of tomatoes and potatoes in other states from Gujarat. The government gives Re 1 per kg to farmers as transportation allowance. Earlier the term was to expire on October 31 which has been extended to December 31 now.”We observed that the farmers were hugely benefitted by this scheme but the production of potatoes and tomatoes has increased this year. Farmers have a huge stocks of tomatoes and potatoes and they had made representations before the government to extend the limit of this scheme. The government has agreed on their demands and the term is extended up to the year end,” added Patel.CM TO INAUGURATE CITY PROJECTS TODAYChief minister Vijay Rupani will inaugurate several public projects, including flagging off 40 new buses of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation, in Ahmedabad on Monday. The CM will dedicate different public amenities, prepared at an expense of Rs. 155 crore and prepare grounds for upcoming projects by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation at an expense of Rs. 49 crore. Rupani will also lay a foundation stone for projects of Rs. 181.33 crore to be made by Ahmedabad Urban Development Agency.

Govt set to table Gurjar reservation bill, will it get nod from judiciary?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the upcoming session of the state assembly, the government is likely to table Gurjar reservation bill.Notably, OBC (Other Backward Class) commission has submitted report prior to preparing draft of the bill. In the report, the commission has submitted population and job data. While the report is completely based on Garg Committee.The government is dividing OBC into two categories, which is why the OBC commission had to prepare report afresh.Old OBC castes have been put together in the first category, while the second category has six castes, including Gurjars, while the total OBC reservation will go up from 21 to 26 per cent.Once, the new bill comes into effect, there will be 91 castes in the OBC. The government is now working on the draft of the new bill.However, the bill will certainly get stuck in the court. Earlier, the high court had rejected the bill for crossing overall reservation limit of 50%. This time again the quota has reached 54%.However, Gurjars believe that if the bill is stuck, then entire OBC reservation will get stuck. Then it will be up to the government to find a solution.Next talks between the government and Gurjars will be held on October 16. Devnarayan scheme will also be discussed then.“OBC commission has submitted report to the state government. Population and job figures have been included to enable the government to prepare new law. The report is confidential and based on recommendation of the Garg committee,” informed Hari Kumar Godara, Member Secretary, OBC commission.“The government should bring a solid bill. It should remove legal complication so that it doesn’t get stuck in the court. We will discuss it with the government on October 16,” says Himmat Singh Gurjar, Gurjar Leader.

J Jayalalithaa’s constituency to go to polls again by Dec

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The eight-month-old Edappadi K Palaniswami government in Tamil Nadu will yet again face a litmus test of its popularity when the bypoll to the prestigious RK Nagar Assembly seat is held in two months.Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti announced that the by-election to the RK Nagar seat, which fell vacant following the demise of then chief minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa on December 5 last year would be held before December 31. The announcement has put the political parties in poll mode once again. Earlier, two days before polling on April 12, the commission has rescinded the bypoll citing distribution of money power and other allurements in the constituency.For the ruling unified AIADMK, winning the bypoll is an imperative. The by-election comes after the merger of the rebel faction led by O Panneerselvam with the ruling Palaniswami faction in August. To stake the claim to Jayalalithaa’s legacy, the unified AIADMK needs to re-emerge victorious in the seat held by her. Besides, it would be seen as a referendum on the popularity of the Palaniswami government by the opposition parties.The unified AIADMK is likely to field the party presidium chairman E Madhusudanan, who was also the candidate of the Panneerselvam camp in the April 12 cancelled bypoll. Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, who was the candidate for the ruling faction, is likely to contest again if one goes by the assertion of his supporter V Pugazhendi. The bypoll also comes at a time when the Election Commission is set to decide on the two leaves symbol dispute and Madras High Court hearing petition challenging disqualification of 18 MLAs owing allegiance to Dhinakaran.prestige pollsThe RK Nagar seat was last held by J JayalalithaaFirst poll the reunited factions reunited will

NGT relaxes 10-year-old diesel vehicles ban in Delhi-NCR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday gave a breather in its ban imposed on 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi -NCR. NGT granted partial relief to commercial vehicles undertaking transport of essential goods on behalf of the government. These vehicles can continue to operate for another three years over the life period of ten years. Earlier, the NGT had banned 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR. It has given a breather of three years to the owner to continue using the vehicle over the life period of ten years. The partial relief does not include private individual users.Earlier in September this year, the NGT had rejected the Centre’s request to modify its earlier order to ban diesel vehicles. The green tribunal said that emissions from diesel vehicles were carcinogenic. One diesel vehicle causes pollution equivalent to 24 petrol vehicles or 40 CNG vehicles. According to media reports, the NGT has also asked neighbouring Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to identify low-pollution zones, where banned vehicles will not be allowed to enter.This should help in ensuring that the pollution curbed from entering Delhi is not pushed into other cities.

Award wapsi gang may even file petition regarding cremation of Hindus: Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court ban on firecrackers on Diwali prompted Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy to take a swipe at the “candle and award-waapsi gang”, as he said that the fear of air pollution could well lead to a plea on the cremation of Hindus.The governor, who is a former BJP leader, tweeted in Hindi on the ban on the bursting of crackers on Diwali and the Janmashtami ritual of dahi handi, which had also come up in court. “Kabhi dahi handi, aaj patakha, kal ho sakta hai pradushan ka havala lekar mombatti aur award-waapsi gang Hinduon ki chita jalaney par bhi yachika dal dey (One day it is dahi handi, today it is firecrackers; tomorrow the issue of pollution may well lead to a plea by the candle holding and award-waapsi gang on cremating Hindus),” he tweeted.The apex court had on Monday said there would be no further sale of crackers in Delhi and the NCR. Earlier, the issue of putting a cap on the age of participants and the height of human pyramids formed on Janmashtami for dahi handi — the breaking of earthenware pots — had been discussed by the courts.

Bengaluru: Pothole claims another life, woman pillion rider crushed to death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Damaged roads in Bengaluru have become a nightmare for two-wheeler riders as a 47-year-old woman died in an accident on Sunday. Three people have died in a week due to city’s damaged roads and potholes. According to reports, Bengaluru has more than 15,000 potholes. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has taken serious note of the deaths and set a 15-day deadline to fix all the potholes in the capital. Bengaluru’s municipal corporation has been asked to take immediate steps in this regard.Radha Ajanappa was riding pillion on a scooter when her nephew Ravi too turn to avoid a big pothole on the arterial Mysuru road. Just then a lorry brushed against the two-wheeler. Ravi lost control of the scooter and the wheel of a truck ran over Radha Ajanappa’s neck and she died instantly. The family has blamed the state government for negligence. Family members have accused that no diversion instructions were issued and this led to the accident. Earlier, just days before, a Tamil Nadu road transport bus knocked down Anthony Joseph, 55 and his Sagai Mary, 53, who were trying to negotiate a pothole when the bus hit their scooter. Bengalur’s bad roads could be an election issue in the state assembly elections due next year and the Congress party has reportedly warned the chief minister to stem the damage as soon as possible and repair all the roads in the state capital. The condition of the roads here have deterioated immensely during the monsoon and frequent flooding over the last few months. Municipality claims that city’s 14,000 km road network has more than 15,000 potholes now and this all can be fixed once the rain stops. Now, the municipality needs to work hard to meet the deadline.

Hadiya case: Central govt trying to vilify peaceful atmosphere in Kerala, alleges advocate Dushyant Dave

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior advocate Dushyant Dave on Monday alleged in the Supreme Court that the Central government was trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in Kerala.Addressing the Hadiya case that involved the allegedly forcible marriage of a Hindu girl to a Muslim boy, Dave alleged that the National Investigation Agency had played into the hands of the Centre. “Your Amit Shah had gone to Kerala,” Dave claimed in court in front of Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, who took strong objection to Dave’s words, as reported in Bar and Bench, who said, :You are trying to browbeat the other side by making obnoxious statements.”This resulted in a war of words, prompting the court to adjourn the hearing to October 30. Earlier, the Kerala government on Saturday told the Supreme Court that there is no need for an NIA probe in the alleged love jihad case.The Pinarayi Vijayan government told the top court that the claims made by the National Investigation Agency that there was a ‘pattern’ in the way religious conversions were taking place in Kerala were false. The state government also said that the probe done by the Kerala Police has not revealed any startling fact that merits an NIA investigation. It must be noted that earlier, the Kerala government had said that if the apex court wants an NIA probe, it has no objections.The affidavit by the Kerala government comes days after the Supreme Court observed that ‘a father can’t dictate life of a 24-year-old daughter’ while hearing the ‘Love Jihad’ case. In fact, the top court had also question the Kerala High Court how it could annul the marriage of Hadiya and Shafeen Jahan under Article 26. Her father moved the Kerala High Court and claimed his daughter was indoctrinated and forcibly converted. He, in fact, said that his daughter would be be sent to Afghanistan or Syria.The High Court annulled the marriage. But Jahan approached the Supreme Court against the annulment. Earlier in August, the NIA began investigation into the case following the top court’s orders. In compliance with the orders of the apex court, the case was re-registered by the NIA and an investigation was taken up.

Facelift for Congress: Rahul Gandhi changed man after US visit, but can he beat BJP at its own game?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rahul Gandhi seems to have been galvanized by his recent two-week tour of the US. The tour was important not just because it showed a new side to the Congress scion but also revealed the new political strategy of the Congress. Earlier, happy to play the ‘agitiationist’ by willfully breaking the security cordon or the ‘common man’ by standing in queue during the initial phase of demonetisation, Rahul seems to be looking to create a new avatar during the US stint — the statesman. Statements like “Prime Minister Modi is perhaps a better communicator than me” or “I like the concept of Make in India,” and then following them up with jabs through Twitter shows that the Congress scion was looking to woo a new electorate — the middle class – an area he had almost completely ignored before. Also his tweets, such as the one when he said, “the wings have fallen off our plane” – when describing the state of the economy – clearly showed Rahul was looking to be the talking point on Twitter, an area which he had earlier almost completely ignored. This new strategy will make the political battle for the Gujarat polls all the more interesting, as Congress seems to be using the BJP’s own strategies against the party. While earlier the Congress scion was content to play the role of the “common man” by standing in line with people at ATMs – after the initial announcement of demonetisation by the Prime Minister – this time around it’s a new ball game.By speaking to a relatively young crowd at well known foreign universities, Rahul is looking to win the youth card away from the PM; his candid statements seem to be a calculated move to shore up NRI support – a monopoly that so far the Prime Minister and BJP have enjoyed – and the barbs on Twitter suggest that the Congress scion finally realises the importance of setting the agenda on social media. However, given the BJP’s mass social media machine, the fight is by no means equal and there’s still a lot Rahul has to do. It is one thing to make applause-worthy statements and Tweets but quite another to sustain them in India’s cut-throat political environment. Also, the fact that though Rahul has raised important issues like jobs – he kept citing the figure of 30,000 Indians entering the market every 24 hours and barely 450 of them finding work – he has failed to offer any alternative solutions so far. That is not good enough.Still, the visit to the US has resulted in a number of important things. First, it has shown that Rahul is interested in leading the Congress party – something that earlier even those within his own party had doubted. Then, his willingness to speak his mind on a number of issues has dispelled the social media image of him being a “Pappu” and a person riding solely on the family name. Most importantly, it was a bid to unite the deeply divided state Congress in Gujarat. It may not be enough but it’s a start. The “abroad factor” has been crucial for this change. As Prime Minister Modi has demonstrated time and again, a strong showing abroad – one still remembers his ‘rock star reception’ at Madison Square Garden – works wonders with the Indian electorate. So while some people will pull Rahul up for speaking abroad, rather than in India, the fact of the matter is he managed to create a buzz which he would most certainly not have got here.It remains to be seen what Rahul does with the goodwill gained and how he uses it for the upcoming Gujarat polls. But there are certain indicators that we can see. By choosing to speak abroad when he did, Rahul wanted NRIs, many of whom are Modi supporters, to think twice. This was especially important as the NRIs, especially those of Gujarati origin, turned out en masse to help the PM’s high tech electoral campaign in 2014. It’s a tall order to think that the Congress can woo away such people but Rahul’s foray has shown that the party is finally willing to try.The Congress’ adoption of the BJP’s methods of campaigning is best seen on social media. The campaign called Vikas Gando thayo chhe which lampoons the BJP’s claims of development over the last 20 years in the state – the party has been in power in Gujarat since 1998 – strikes in an area which the NDA has been dominant thus far. Such tactics may or may not yield dividends for them at the EVM box, but it may give the ruling party at the state some pause for thought. After all, the BJP’s polling strategies, have worked wonders for the saffron party so far. Could they actually work for the Congress?

Kerala: People from Dalit, backward communities appointed as priests by temple board

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a significant step, the Travancore Devaswom (Temple) Recruitment Board broke the tradition and has appointed people from Dalit, backward communities as priests.The board released a list of 62 candidates and 36 shortlisted people are from Dalit and backward communities, reported CNN-News18.The candidates were selected after interviews and necessary tests and for the first time appointment is being done on the basis of reservation norms.The selected candidates will be appointed in temples under the Travancore Devaswom Board.The Travancore Devaswom (Temple) Recruitment Board has led the way for social inclusion in Kerala as it shortlisted 36 people from Dalit and backward communities as temple priests. The instructions had been given by Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran asking the board to comply with the merit list and reservation norms, said an official statement.“Earlier, we had some priests from backward communities who made it to the list through merit. The demand for reservation for Dalits has been persisting for several decades. Previous attempts to meet the demand had faced stiff resistance from certain quarters. But now we have made it a reality,’’ said Board chairman Rajagopalan Nair.

Rajasthan HC orders more facilities for Kurjas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajasthan HC has disposed of a PIL regarding demoiselle cranes (called kurja in Rajasthani). A division bench headed by Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog issued directives to the state government for necessary arrangements for the migratory birds in Khichan village in Phalodi tehsil. Earlier, the high court had also asked the government to shift high tension lines passing over feeding place for these birds. Following the court’s instructions, a committee had gone for inspection of the site and submitted its report with some suggestions.The state government, through chief secretary, had assured the court of implementing most of the suggestions. Now, five high tension towers would be shifted one kilometer away. Besides, 3000 square meter land would be allotted for bird’s feeding place. Three water bodies would be constructed for drinking water while 400-bigha land would also be identified across the road.

Mid-term relief for farmers of 4 dists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the first time, the government has decided to give mid-term claims to the farmers insured under the Prime Minister Crop Insurance scheme. The agriculture department has given its approval for the claim. The relief will now be given to the farmers of Jalore, Sirohi, Barmer and Pali.Notably, recently these four districts of the state were affected with excessive rainfall and the farmers had to bear huge losses during the rains between July 22 to July 30. They were facing hardships and were in need of relief . Therefore, it has been decided that the farmers will be extended mid-term relief.It is learned that chief minister Vasundhara Raje had directed agriculture minister Prabhulal Saini regarding this and subsequently, the entire exercise was undertaken and approval of Rs105 crore and 42 lakh as claim was given by the department of agriculture.Giving the information, Saini said that the crops which suffered more than 50% of damage are being given 25% amount of premium and the rest of the amount will be paid after crop cutting.As per the estimate, in these four districts crops in more than 14 lakh hectares of area was affected due to excessive rainfall. Earlier, the three insurance companies had issued about Rs10 lakh and 62 thousand policies in these four districts.Now as per the directions, farmers of Barmer will get mid term claim of Rs60 crore and 20 lakhs, Sirohi farmers will get claim of Rs31 crore and 38 lakhs while the farmers of Pali and Jalore will get mid-term claim of Rs42 crore.

ILBS nurses on indefinite strike over colleague’s sacking

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a nurse attempted suicide by slitting her wrist on Friday, the entire nursing staff of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) has gone on an indefinite strike. In fact, on Saturday, 12 pre-planned surgeries at the hospital could not be performed, 350-400 patients in the Out-Patient Department had to wait the entire day, and many in-patients were discharged.Senior nurse Jeena Joseph, a patient care executive, slit her wrist in the hospital washroom after she was handed over the termination letter. She was later found by colleagues and given basic treatment, before being shifted to the AIIMS Trauma Centre. Following this, the nursing staff went on an a strike, accusing the hospital management of ignoring their grievances for long.Then on Sunday, in a written statement, the hospital appealed to the employees to “view Jeena’s termination as an individual case of disciplinary action, based solely on her individual misconduct and unprompted by any prejudice against any other employee”. “Her termination is not a sign of obstinacy and high-handedness on part of the ILBS management,” it stated.Talking about her ordeal, Joseph said: “My contract expires on October 16, but I was told that there was some problem with my conduct and was handed over the termination letter. Now, I am being given psychiatric consultation at the hospital as they are trying to declare me mentally disturbed. If I had psychiatric issues, the entire nursing staff would not be supporting me.”Earlier on July 17, Jeena was issued a show cause notice, reportedly after she raised her voice against the management during a meeting. The notice stated that instead of putting across the employees’ grievances, she used the occasion to display her contempt for rules, show disrespect for the authority, and general affront to the management by using offensive language. “I had only shared the grievances faced by employees,” she said.Also, earlier in June, another ILBS nurse, Rakesh Sharma, had gone on an eight-day hunger strike after his colleague Anil Lamba’s services were terminated. Then the entire nursing staff had held a candlelight march on July 24, followed by an announcement of an indefinite strike. At the time, the hospital authorities had assured the staffers of changes. According to the employees, services of over 21 employees have been terminated in the last few years.

Maa Durga takes away all negativity, fills us with positivity: Bihar family

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the Jaipuriars, the nine-day Navratri festival is all about Mother goddess Durga absorbing their negativity and filling their lives with positivity. The Bihar family that has been living in Navi Mumbai since 1994 has been celebrating Navratri with fervour.”My mother has been doing it for more than 50 years,” says Nawanit Jaipuriar, a 51-year-old chartered accountant, who lives with his mother, wife and two children.”She would bring Kalash at home and continues to read Durga Saptshati, which is about Goddess Durga defeating the demon Mahisashura,” said Nawanit.The family begins the celebration from Mahalaya, which starts after the period in which departed souls are remembered. A metal pot filled with water is kept over a basket and is filled with soil, sand and barley.”Over that, we place rice in a cup. While the metal pot is symbolic of a mother, the coconut is of her husband Lord Shiva. Mother always takes away all our negativity and blesses us with positive ones,” said Rashmi, Nawanit’s wife.Each day, water is sprinkled on the mud and barley for nine days after which a havan (holy fire) concludes the prayer ritual.”We do a puja every day in the morning and evening,” says Nawanit. There is also a tradition of placing clothes, which have changed with the times. “Earlier clothes to be worn on Dashami day would to be placed before the Kalash but now only towels are kept. These are then given to family members,” says Nawanit.While primarily, Goddess Durga and her nine incarnations are worshipped, on the last day, even Lord Ram is remembered.”Vijay Dashami is also celebrated as Dusshera and marks the beginning of the homecoming of Lord Ram after he killed Ravan. Both are victories of good over evil,” says Rashmi.

7-year-old Pakistani girl granted visa for heart surgery in India; Swaraj prays for her early recovery

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday granted a visa to Pakistani girl for open heart surgery in India.”Respected Sushma Swaraj mam my daughter need open heart surgery. I applied in August, still the visa is in process. Please help us,” tweeted a patient’s mother Nida Shoaib.Replying to the tweet, Swaraj said, “Yes, we are allowing Visa for your 7 years old daughter’s open heart surgery in India. We also pray for her early recovery.”Earlier in July, Sushma granted medical visa to a Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) resident Osama Ali, who was diagnosed with a tumour and wanted to come to Delhi for his treatment.In a similar incident in June, Sushma granted a medical visa to a four-month-old toddler from Pakistan, who then underwent a successful heart surgery at Jaypee Hospital in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.Sushma is popular wide across the globe for her active presence on social media and immediate address of people trying to reach out to her.

Sonia Gandhi relieves Ashok Choudhary from his post as Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee chief

Updated: Sep 26, 2017, 08:19 PM IST, ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday relieved Ashok Choudhary from his post as Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee chief with immediate effect. According to the sources the leaders of the party were unhappy with Ashok for dwindling prospects in the state and discontent among party cadres. Earlier in September, a faction of the Bihar Congress, led by state president Ashok, gave a miss to the anti-BJP rally in Bihar. He also did not go to Delhi on being summoned by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi for a meeting to discuss the crisis in Bihar after the collapse of the Grand Alliance. The Congress had dismissed the reports of a possible rift in the party’s Bihar unit, saying that such allegations are being made since the Janata Dal United (JDU) severed all ties with Mahagathbandhan.

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