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A happy New Year for 100 bureaucrats

The New Year brought good news for 100 bureaucrats as government approved of their promotion. In official orders released on late evening of December 31, 40 IAS, 44 IPS and 16 IFS were promoted.Following the promotion, two 86 batch IAS Deepak Utpreti and SK Agarwal were elevated to post of additional chief secretary from principal secretary at their respective departments. They along with Yaduvendra Mathur and Sanjay Dixit of the same batch have been promoted to chief secretary pay scale.IAS JagdIsh Chandra Desai had his designation changed from director to commissioner of Child Empowerment Department while IAS Suchi Sharma became commissioner ICDS from director earlier. They along with eight others have been promoted to super time pay scale. Of these, Jagdeesh Chandra Desai has received a double promotion.Promotions also shined on the police cadre and IPS Govind Gupta, Sunil Dutt and Amrit Kalash were promoted to additional director general pay scale from IG scale earlier.The promotions are expected to be followed with change in postings, even as except for six IAS the remaining officials have been asked to continue with their current designations till further orders.CS NC Goel conveyed good newsOn his first day at office, CS NC Goel was accompanied with the news of promotion orders. Before he left the office, he called up a senior IAS and told him of the promotions been approved by the chief minister. It was minutes after that the list was officially declared by department of personnel.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

5,500 first-time stone pelters to be granted amnesty in 2018

Call it a New Year gift to the misguided stone throwers, Jammu and Kashmir government is reviewing cases of 5,500 youth in a bid to save their academic career and amalgam them into the mainstream.Under the amnesty scheme for misguided youth, cases of around 5,500 first-time stone pelters of 2016-17 are being currently reviewed by the expert committee constituted by the Jammu and Kashmir government.Earlier, in November, cases against 4,327 youths involved in 744 incidents of stone pelting and other law and order problems during 2010-2014, were withdrawn under the Chief Minister’s amnesty scheme. Around 634 youths involved in 104 cases of 2008-2009 were given amnesty under this scheme.”Due to the improvement in situation this year the government took a decision of amnesty for those children who were misguided and not involved in heinous cases so that their career is not ruined. Same committee has been authorised by the government to review the cases of 2016-17. There are cases against 5,500 children and the committee, which I am chairing, is examining them,” said Dr Shesh Paul Vaid, director general of police (DGP), Jammu and Kashmir.Jammu and Kashmir police have brought back 74 boys from the jaws of militancy this year in the valley. Plus the new homecoming policy for local militants too have yielded positive results. “Seven boys have come back to join their family. I hope more boys will come back. Our effort is that the local terrorists should drop guns and we will help them to join the mainstream,” said Dr Vaid.The Director General of Police said this year around 206 terrorists have been neutralised, of which 84 were locals and 121 foreign terrorists. “It (local recruitment) has come down drastically and I am sure things will further improve,” he said.Additional Director General of Police, Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan said this year they have targeted leadership of militants who besides taking active part of terrorism were recruiting youth to militancy.”This year they have started operation in the areas where for some reason police was not able to enter for two years. There was resistance at some places. During the course of encounters there were some civil casualties because of cross fire. We have been appealing people to avoid going to sites where encounters are on,” said Khan.This year around 24 civilians have died near the encounter sites across Kashmir. “There is misconception that Operation All Out is about killing. It is not like that. Part of it is killing but it is about overall improvement by way of getting youth back, surrender and counselling,” he said.BUILDING TRUSTJ&K police, in 2017, brought back 74 boys from the jaws of militancy. The new homecoming policy for local militants too have yielded positive results. The forces also neutralised around 206 terrorists in 2017. Of this 84 terrorists were locals and 121 of foreign origin.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Pulwama: Five CRPF jawans killed in JeM attack, 2 terrorists neutralised

In a pre-dawn strike, five CRPF men were killed when heavily armed terrorists carried out suicide attack on a camp of the paramilitary force in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, officials said.This is first time local terrorists carried out a suicide attack, which has been claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e- Mohammed. CRPF spokesperson Rajesh Yadav said the two terrorists are Manzoor Ahmad Baba from Drubgam (Pulwama) and Fardeen Ahmad Khanday from Nazeempora (Tral). Khanday is the son a serving policeman. “Five CRPF jawans have been martyred and three others are injured. The bodies of two terrorists have also been recovered. We believe another terrorist has also been killed but the body has not been retrieved,” Yadav told PTI.Also readPulwama encounter: 5 CRPF jawans martyred, 2 terrorists killedThe paramilitary force’s officials in Delhi said the two terrorists are reportedly from Jaish-e-Mohammed and their bodies have been recovered with arms and ammunition. Also, in a statement issued to news agencies here, the JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack. Yadav said the deceased personnel are Inspector Kuldip Roy from Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh), Head Constable Taufail Ahmed of Rajouri (J&K), constables Sharief-ud-din Ganaie of Chadoora in Budgam (J&K), Rajendra Nain of Churu (Rajasthan) and P K Panda of Sundargarh (Odisha). He said while Roy died of heart attack during the gunbattle, the four others succumbed to bullet injuries.The injured personnel are constables Narendra Kumar, Malam Samadhan and Mala Ram, he said. “One or two terrorists are still holed up but firing has stopped. Forces are still continuing the search operation,” he said”The heavily armed terrorists stormed the camp at about 2 AM. They were armed with under-barrel grenade launchers and automatic weapons. They were challenged by camp sentries,” another CRPF official said, adding they fired indiscriminately injuring three personnel.Also readCongress blasts Modi govt’s foreign policy after Pulwama attackTerming the attack “unfortunate”, Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police S P Vaid said security forces had input about an imminent militant strike in the Kashmir Valley for the past three days. He said as long as Pakistan keeps sending militants, security forces and people of Kashmir will continue to go through this. “There was an input from the last two-three days. They (militants) were trying. They probably could not get a place and time earlier. So, they struck last night,” Vaid told reporters here.The CRPF camp also serves as training centre for troops inducted for counter-militancy operations in the Kashmir Valley. A Jammu and Kashmir Police team is also co-located with CRPF in this camp.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
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Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
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Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Delhi-bound Indigo flight forced to return to Goa due to technical glitch

The aircraft was carrying 182 passengers and three infants on board, it added. The flight crew carried out the required procedure and the aircraft landed safely back at Goa, the airline said. The matter was reported to the DGCA, it said, adding that the incident was also being probed by the airline's safety department. ”
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Monday 1 January 2018 0:24 ISTMust readEx-CJI TS Thakur says no to AAP’s Rajya Sabha offerLucknow madrasa shocker: Police rescues 51 girls who were being sexually exploited by manager <!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>A Delhi-bound IndiGo flight from Goa, carrying 183 passengers and three infants on board, was forced to return and make an emergency landing at the Dabolim airport, due to low oil pressure in one of its engines, a source said.The flight — 6E 724 — which took off from the Dabolim airport for New Delhi at 5.50 pm, returned soon to the airport after its pilot reported the oil-pressure problem in one of the engines of the Airbus 320 aircraft, the source added. IndiGo confirmed the incident and said it had been reported to the aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). “IndiGo’s Goa-Delhi flight was involved in a air turnback due to engine 2 low oil pressure,” the airline said in a statement.The aircraft was carrying 182 passengers and three infants on board, it added. The flight crew carried out the required procedure and the aircraft landed safely back at Goa, the airline said. The matter was reported to the DGCA, it said, adding that the incident was also being probed by the airline’s safety department.

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Pulwama encounter: 5 CRPF jawans martyred, 2 terrorists killed

Five security personnel were killed and three were injured after heavily armed terrorists stormed a CRPF training centre in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir in the early hours today. Security forces also gunned down 2 attackers in the gunfight that is still underway.CRPF spokesperson Rajesh Yadav said the bodies of two terrorists have also been recovered.”Four CRPF jawans have been martyred and three others are injured. The bodies of two terrorists have also been recovered,” Yadav was quoted as saying by PTI. He said intermittent firing is still going on and one terrorist is believed to be holed up in building block.Also readSoldier martyred in unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Naushera sectorOne of the injured personnel was identified as Saifuddin, a resident of Nowgam here, officials said.The terrorists attacked the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) training centre in Awantipora around 2 am. They were armed with under-barrel grenade launchers and automatic weapons, officials said. They first lobbed grenades and then began indiscriminate firing and entered the centre.With the daybreak, more troops were called in to neutralise the terrorists. The buildings in the nearby area were also evacuated.”Fidayeen managed to enter Lethpora camp at 0210hrs. Jawans got injured during initial intrusion from J&K Police Commando training area side. There is quite a possibility of a similar type of attack on other camps also” CRPF said. Also readJammu and Kashmir | 2 terrorists gunned down, encounter still on in ShopianDirector General of Police S P Vaid said security forces had inputs about an impending militant strike in the Kashmir Valley for the past three days.Terming the attack as “unfortunate”, Vaid said as long as Pakistan keeps sending militants, security forces and people of Kashmir will continue to go through this.”There was an input from the last two-three days.They (militants) were trying. They probably could not get a place and time earlier. So, they struck last night,” Vaid told reporters here.The fidayeen attack comes days after Jaish-e-Mohammad vowed to avenge the killing of its chief Noor Mohammad Tantray by security forces at Samboora village of Pulwama district. Also readJaish-e-Mohammad’s ‘commander’ Noor Tantray killed in Pulwama wanted to join BJP in 2003 to eliminate top brassNoor Tantray alias Noor Trail, a midget militant who had jumped bail, was the main architect of recent fidayeen attacks in Kashmir. (With PTI inputs)

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

No meat kits for Maharashtra yet

Even as cow vigilantism is making ripples across India, the Maharashtra government has faltered in its plan to deploy portable cow meat detection kits to ascertain at the earliest if a suspected meat consignment is of a cow or a buffalo.These kits, which were to be deployed in all the 45 mobile forensic support vehicles in police commissionerates and district units, would enable on-the-spot results as compared to the usual three days laboratory tests.This would have helped defuse the law and order situation in case of suspected beef seizures and prevent losses to suppliers, transporters and restaurant owners in case the seized meat didn’t ultimately turn out to be beef.However, sources said this had not been done as the kits, which were originally meant to be pressed into service by July-end, had not been purchased so far.”After a large number of seizures of suspected beef, it was planned that these kits would be purchased and used. Though the number of samples sent for testing have declined from over 200 per month around a year ago to just about 100 per month now, it is necessary to deploy these kits to prevent any violence or conflagration in case of any suspected beef seizures,” said a home department source.”Compared to the around two days it takes for the testing in our laboratories due to the scientific processes involved, these kits, which detect the gene present in cow meat protein through the ELISA method, gives a result in around half-an-hour,” he added.It had been proposed that on a experimental basis, one such kit, which could test up to 25 samples, would be deployed on each of the 45 mobile vans. Ironically, after the Maharashtra government plan to operationalise these kits, police establishments in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh had also enquired with them about it.The official noted that they had trained around 100 police personnel — with a science background — in the protocols of forensic evidence collection to be posted with these vans. The Directorate of Forensic Science Laboratories (DFSL) is also recruiting staff for these posts.He added that the DFSL had already written to the home department and the director general of police (DGP). “Though we have DNA testing facilities in five of our labs at Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur and Aurangabad, transporting these samples to these establishments leads to a loss of time and effort,” the official explained.Meanwhile, SP Yadav, director general (legal and technical), when asked about the delay, said, “That is in the procurement process.” He added the issue had been referred to the government, and hence it was not possible to say when these kits would be operational.Fact fileMaharashtra has forensic science labs in Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Nashik, Amravati, Nanded, Kolhapur and Aurangabad While the killing of cows, calves is banned under Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976, the Amendment Bill in 1995, extended it to bulls and bullocks

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
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Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

UN proscription doesn’t restrict freedom of expression: Pakistan defends Palestine envoy’s presence in Saeed’s rally

Pakistan on Saturday issued a statement defending the Palestine envoy Walid Abu Ali hours after he was recalled by his country for attending a Hafiz Saeed rally in Rawalpindi. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry in a statement said that it has always batted for two states solution, with East Jerusalem as capital of Palestine. It sought to downplay Hafiz Saeed’s presence in the rally saying, over 50 speakers were present. Pakistan also highlighted in its statement that various rallies have taken place in support of Palestine’s cause after Trump’s recent decision. It tried to give a spin to Hafiz Saeed’s presence claiming, ‘UN proscription doesn’t claim any restrictions on the freedom of expression’. Lending its weight to Palestine envoy Ali, Pakistan stated that ‘it respects ambassador’s active participation’ in such rallies which express solidarity. India today issued a strong demarche to Palestine on the issue of presence of its ambassador to Pakistan at an event of JuD chief and Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, terming it as “unacceptable”. India’s Secretary (economic relations) Vijay Gokhale in the external affairs ministry called Palestinian ambassador here Adnan Abu Al Haija to the South Block after which the ministry said, “the concerns were conveyed both in New Delhi to the Palestinian Ambassador and in Ramallah to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, State of Palestine.”Also readWION Expose: Palestine’s envoy in Pakistan met Hafiz Saeed earlier too “Government of India has strongly conveyed to the Palestinian side that the Palestinian Ambassador in Pakistan’s association with terrorist Saeed, who is proscribed by the United Nations, at an event in Rawalpindi on 29.12.2017, is unacceptable,” the ministry said in a release. It said the Palestinian side has conveyed “deep regrets” over the incident and assured India that they are taking serious cognisance of their ambassador’s presence at this event. “They have said they will deal with this matter appropriately. It was also conveyed that Palestine highly values its relationship with India and stands with us in the war against terrorism, and will not engage with those who commit acts of terror against India,” it said. The government took note of the assurances given by the Palestine envoy, who informed India that his government had decided to recall its Ambassador to Pakistan Walid Abu Ali.Talking to PTI after his meeting, Haija said Ali has been recalled for attending the rally organised by Saeed.Also readEnvoy in Hafiz Saeed rally: Palestine recalls ambassador in Pak, says ‘unintended mistake’ but not ‘justified’ Asserting that Ali’s action was not “acceptable” given the close and friendly ties between India and Palestine, the top envoy said Ali has been given couple of days to pack and return from Islamabad. “The Palestine government has told Ali that he was not its envoy to Pakistan anymore,” Haija said.The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, described as “unintended mistake” but “not justified” the presence of its ambassador at the event attended by Saeed. “On the basis of the principled and firm Palestinian position, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates considered the participation of our Ambassador in Pakistan in a mass rally in solidarity with Jerusalem, held in Rawalpindi on Friday and in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified,” a statement from the Palestinian Authority (PA) said.It described Palestine as a “real partner” of India in its war against terrorism and also expressed its appreciation for New Delhi’s vote in favour of the resolution at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the issue of Jerusalem. Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan Ali reportedly attended the Difah-e-Pakistan Council- organised rally in Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi on Friday. Difah-e-Pakistan Council is an association of religious and extremist groups in Pakistan, headed by Saeed. With PTI inputs

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Fixing accountability: PM Modi asks 6 pointed questions to BJP MPs on Namo App

A day after pulling up BJP MPs for being less responsive on Namo App and generally not replying to messages, PM Modi has now assigned a survey for them to complete. These questions have been posted on the Namo App and the MPs have to fill up the survey by January 11, reports Zee News. With just over an year to go for the next general elections, the PM wants the BJP MPs to expedite development work in their respective constituencies so that expectation of the electorate can be met. The survey is meant to be a feedback for the work done so far and to make a blueprint for the path ahead.Also readBJP gets into huddle mode, discusses bypoll candidatesHere are the six questions the BJP MPs have to answer: 1) Which governmental scheme is having the maximum impact in your area?Also readBJP Going Micro2) How do you assess the central government’s schemes implemented in your area?3) Are you in constant touch with those who benefit from these schemes – either in person or through SMS or email?4) Have you created a mechanism for creating feedback and have you informed the party about it?5) Are all necessary information about government schemes available on the Narendra Modi app?6) Do you have any suggestions?The government has started several schemes and upgraded projects which were started earlier. PM Modi wants to ensure that the schemes are indeed getting traction on the ground and common people are gettiing benefit from them. Earlier in August this year, PM Modi had warned BJP MPs who remain absent during the Parliament sessions. He warned them of consequences if they didn’t mend their ways. On Friday, Modi had made it clear that he wants MPs to use the Namo App much more. According to Zee News report, after PM Modi’s instructions many BJP MPs were seen upgrading their Namo App on Saturday morning. BJP even provided tech support to those MPs.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Palace on Wheels finally on maiden trip

The heritage Palace on Wheels will finally arrive in Jaipur with 24 tourists on board on its maiden tour .Pradeep Bohra, general manager of the train who is accompanying the tourists, informed that the train left from Delhi’s Safdarganj station and will arrive at Jaipur’s Gandhinagar station on the last leg of its Golden Triangle circuit tour — which includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.Train officials were exhilarated over the maiden voyage of this train as it took quite some effort to get the tourists on board the luxury train.The passengers were given a warm departure in Delhi with band playing music and with all the gala celebration. The preparations are now being made at Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) for the train’s arrival.The success of the train is essential for RTDC as it also plans a tour on Shekhwati circuit starting this January .This is the third royal super luxury train in Rajasthan which is being run by RTDC.While palace on wheels is a known name, RTDC had for years also run RROW (Royal Rajasthan on wheels) which was discontinued only few months back .Before starting off on the voyage it was kept at Bais godown railway station and was sent to Delhi few days back .The train will depart from Jaipur on Saturday itself at 8:30 pm from Durgapura station.

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Situation better in Naxal-hit areas, J&K: Rajnath Singh

Lauding the security establishment, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the situation in conflict zones like Jammu and Kashmir, North East and Naxal-hit areas had improved.He said this during an inter-ministerial meeting convened to discuss development issues in Jammu and Kashmir, Left Wing Extremism-affected states and the Northeast region.The Home Minister said that the overall security situation in the country had shown considerable improvement, an official statement said.Those who attended the meeting included Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha among others.The meeting discussed issues related to increasing the limit of general approval under the Forest Conservation Act from five hectares to 40 hectares for all linear projects, upgradation of 2,187 mobile towers installed in Phase-I and installation of 4,072 mobile towers in Phase-II, the Home Ministry statement read.Functioning of approved 1,789 post offices, approval for additional 4,173 post offices in the 106 LWE- affected districts and provision of banking services in these post offices were also discussed.Education infrastructure with the opening of additional Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and Kendriya Vidyalayas, opening of additional girls hostels and upgradation of schools in Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and extension of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in Naxal areas was also discussed.Provision of solar pumps, lamps and street lights in LWE -affected districts, improvement of communication infrastructure in the Northeast, Jammu and Kashmir, particularly the Ladakh region, and Lakshadweep were discussed.Strengthening of the education infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir was discussed at length.THE AGENDAThe Home Minister said that the overall security situation in the country had shown improvement. Functioning of approved 1,789 post offices, approval for additional 4,173 post offices in the 106 LWE- affected districts.

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CM Vijay Rupani retains Home, Dy CM cut to size

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani retained General Administration Department (GAD), Industries and other key departments, while his deputy Nitin Patel seemed to have been cut to size in allocation of portfolios, which was announced late on Thursday.Eight cabinet-level and 10 state-level ministers kept waiting for five hours for the CM and his deputy to arrive for cabinet meeting. The two were in a meeting for hours at the CM’s official residence.There were signs that all was not well, and there were differences over allocation of cream portfolios. The meeting, which was to begin at 5 pm, finally started at 9 pm.State BJP chief Jitu Vaghani also joined the big Two at the meeting, and it is believed that calls were made to party’s central leadership owing to differences in allocation of ministries.The Cabinet meeting ended shortly before 10 pm, after which the CM announced the portfolios.Finance and Urban Development, two key departments which Nitin Patel was handling in the previous government, were allocated to others. While Rupani kept Urban Development for himself, Finance went to Saurabh Patel, who was not a part of Rupani’s first government, and was making a comeback in the ministry.Nitin Patel has been allocated Road & Building, Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education, Narmada, Kalpasar, and Capital Planning.Not surprisingly, Patel didn’t come across very happy while sitting next to the CM when the list was made public.Giving the reason for delay, Rupani said, “All our central leaders were busy with discussions on the triple talaq bill debate which was going on in Parliament today. That is why we could not consult them on portfolios and the process got delayed. No one is disappointed nor is there any disagreement on portfolio distribution. Nitinbhai is also happy.”However, Nitin Patel avoided media persons. The CM also informed that ministers and officials, during the meeting, discussed purchase of groundnut from farmers at minimum support price and a Gujarat High Court order related to the Fee Regulation Act.Besides Urban Development, the chief minister has kept GAD, Industries, Home, Ports, Mines and Minerals, Information, Petroleum, Planning, Climate Change, and Science & Technology.Former state BJP chief RC Faldu, a first-time minister, has been given charge of Agriculture, Rural Development, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Road Transport.Bhupendrasinh Chudasama retained Education, Higher and Technical Education, Law & Justice, Parliamentary Affairs, Salt, Cow Conservation and Civil Aviation.Kaushik Patel, making a comeback to the Cabinet after ten years, has been made Revenue Minister.Besides Finance, Saurabh Patel has also been given charge of Energy, the ministry he handled for over 14 years.Ganpat Vasava has got Tribal Development, Tourism, Forests, and Women and Child Welfare.Jayesh Radadiya will be the minister for Civil Supplies, Cottage Industries, Printing and Stationery.Dilip Thakor has been assigned Labour and Employment, Disaster Management, and Yatradham Development.Ishwar Parmar, the junior-most among the Cabinet ministers, has been made minister of Social Justice and Empowerment (SC welfare, SEBC welfare).Among ministers of state, Pradipsinh Jadeja retains Home. He will also be MoS for Energy, Parliamentary Affairs, Law, Judiciary, and Police Housing, and hold independent charge of police Housing, Border Security, Civil Defence, Gram Rakshak Dal, Jail, Excise & Prohibition, NRG and Protocol.Parbat Patel has been given independent charge of Irrigation and Water Supply, while Parsottam Solanki has been given fisheries.Bachu Khabad will hold charge of Rural Housing, Rural Development, Animal Husbandry and Cow Conservation.Jaydrathsinh Parmar will be MoS agriculture, and hold independent charge of Panchayat and Environment.Ishwar Patel has been given independent charge of Cooperation, Sports, Youth and Cultural Activities. He will also be MoS of road transport.Vasan Ahir is MoS for SEBC Welfare.Vibhavari Dave, the lone woman in the ministry, has been given Women and Child Development, Education (primary and higher education), and Yatradham.First-time minister Raman Patkar has been given Forests and Tribal Development, while another debutant Kishor Kanani has got health and family welfare, and medical education.

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Jaipur: Myopic bickerings make a mockery of GBMs

The development of the city has got left behind in the politics of the councillors and their mutual factionalism. Councillors talk about issues of city development and public interest outside the house, but issues related to the development and public interest are not discussed in the city corporation’s General Body Meeting (GBM). Every subsequent GBM attempts to make an unnecessary commotion. GBM has become the anarchy of the politics of BJP and Congress councillors. The seriousness of the councilor regarding this meeting can be gauged by the fact that they keep on clicking selfies and posting them on social media during the proceedings of the meeting.There were 31 proposals which were tabled on Wednesday in JMC’s General Body Meeting. In the meeting, the councillors strongly criticized the officials over the proposals related to employees. On these issue officials were charged with corruption and there was a ruckus in the house over this issue.The councillors discussed these proposals related to some employees. Half of the time of the meeting was taken on this issues. But when the number of proposals for the sewerage system, smart city, garden and fire cell associated with the city’s 40 lakhs people came, then there was not much enthusiasm in the councillors. These proposals could not be discussed. In the past, 900 plants in the various parks maintained by JMC had got dried up due to the strike of garden maintenance contractors. Due to the strike of these contractors, the public faced the problems and natural beauty suffered damaging the face of the city.Similarly, there is a problem of sewerage in many of the city’s colonies including Walled City, Mansarovar, Adarsh Nagar, Malviya Nagar, Jawahar Nagar.Misuse of powerCouncillors did not even discuss this proposal of sewerage. What is the justification for organizing GBM? Why is the public money being misused by spending lakhs of rupees on organizing meetings? Should the councillors not respond to the public? If the councillors will not answer, then the people will.

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104-yr-old lady survives complicated hernia surgery

Doctors at a city hospital gave a fresh lease of life to a 104-year-old lady by performing a complicated Hernioplasty surgery. The patient, Usha Gupta was suffering from severe pain and swelling for the past two years having symptoms of a typical condition of non-reducible inguinal hernia in the inguinal region. Post surgery she has recovered very well and is now back to living a normal life.“Considering her age, conducting hernia surgery was a challenging task,” Dr Prashant Garg, consultant, general surgery, Manipal Hospitals said. “In general, all hernias should be repaired to avoid the possibility of future intestinal strangulation. But her case needed immediate medical assistance, as her bowel movements were not normal and her condition was deteriorating,” Dr Garg added.Hernioplasty surgery was performed to restore her bowel movements and control other symptoms. Hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called fascia. Hernias are most common in the abdomen, but they can also appear in the upper thigh, umbilicus, and groin areas. “This was a very challenging case and giving anesthesia at this age is always risky. But with all facilities it was done comfortably,” Dr Suneet Saxena, HoD anesthesia said. Most hernias are not immediately life-threatening, but they don’t go away on their own. Sometimes they may require surgery to prevent potential dangerous complications. If left untreated, hernia may grow and become more painful. A portion of the intestine could become trapped in the abdominal wall. This can obstruct your bowel and cause severe pain, nausea, or constipation. An untreated hernia can also put too much pressure on nearby tissues.This can cause swelling and pain in the surrounding area.“It’s a proud moment for us. Her recovery has been remarkable as she has now resumed her normal routine back home,” G Karthihaivelan, unit head, Manipal Hospitals said. New lease of life“Considering her age, conducting hernia surgery was a challenging task,” Dr Prashant Garg, consultant, general surgery, Manipal Hospitals said. “In general, all hernias should be repaired to avoid the possibility of future intestinal strangulation. But her case needed immediate medical assistance, as her bowel movements were not normal and her condition was deteriorating,” Dr Garg added. Hernioplasty surgery was performed to restore her bowel movements and control other symptoms. Hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called fascia. Hernias are most common in the abdomen, but they can also appear in the upper thigh, umbilicus, and groin areas.

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Now, Veg khao, paisa bachao: Air India style

If you have been wondering why non-vegetarian food has been missing from the menu of Air India’s domestic flight in certain categories, DNA has the answer… The ministry of civil aviation has informed that this has been done to cut costs.On Thursday, the ministry informed that it had discontinued non-vegetarian dishes in the economy class of domestic sector flights since June 20, 2017.The airlines has estimated that this step will help provide an annual saving of Rs 8-10 crore. The airline continues to serve non-vegetarian meals in all classes of international flights. Passengers who travel in the business class of domestic travel too are also served non-veg meals. However, it’s the general public which usually travels in economy class and is not getting non- veg meals in the airline. Sources informed that the decision was taken based on a circular issued in 2015, regarding not to provide non-veg meals in flights of duration between 60 minutes to 90 minutes.Apart from cost saving, the step will also ensure avoiding any chance of mix up of meals .Other reasons include reduction in wastage and improvement in service .Air India currently operates flights from Jaipur for more than half a dozen destinations like Delhi, Mumbai Bhopal Lucknow etc and a large number of people used to book non veg meals for their journey with Air India.Meanwhile, private carriers do offer non-veg meals in flights and also in pre-booking and on occasions offer discounts.DNA VIEWTimes are changing and with competition growing, Air India should not have stopped non-veg meals. Instead, they should have followed what the private carriers like Indigo is doing. They should charge for the food and in these days, passenger mind-set has also changed. By taking this step, Air India has not only hit its prospects, but has lost that competitive edge.FOOD FRACASThe airlines has estimated that this step will help provide an annual saving of Rs 8-10 crore Passengers who travel in the business class of domestic travel too are also served non-veg meals The decision was taken based in 2015, regarding not to provide non-veg meals in flights of duration between 60 minutes to 90 minutes.

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Declare missing fishermen as dead: Fr Churchill

Representatives of fishermen in Kanyakumari and families of missing fishermen have urged the Central team, deputed by the Union Home Ministry to assess the damage caused by Cyclone Ockhi, to declare 237 missing fishermen as ‘dead’ if they fail to return by December 31. This will enable the fishermen’s families to claim compensation and relief. After their hopes of seeing the breadwinners during Christmas were dashed, the families are now conducting Holy Mass in memory of the missing fishermen as there was no information on them since the devastating cyclone hit on November 30.Of the 237 missing fishermen feared dead, 170 are from eight fishing villages of Kanyakumari, while 67 are from other districts and states. “Most of these fishermen could have been rescued if the Indian Coast Guard and Navy commenced the rescue operation immediately after the cyclone passed the district on November 30. But our distress call was ignored,” alleges Fr Churchill, general secretary of South Asian Fishermen Fraternity, who submitted a memorandum to the centre’s team on Thursday.“There is a very remote chance of survival of the missing fishermen. Hence they should be declared dead on December 31 as it will enable the families to get the compensation of Rs 20 lakh and a government job,” he said. He demanded that the Central team take steps to declare Kanyakumari district as a disaster-affected district.State Relief Commissioner K Satyagopal said the government hoping that some more fishermen would return to the shore before New Year.

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Rahul Gandhi to step up Maha efforts for party revival

In a bid to start planning for the crucial 2019 Assembly polls where 48 Lok Sabha seats and 288 assembly seats are up for grabs, newly-anointed Congress president Rahul Gandhi will soon convene a meeting with Maharashtra leaders and fast track the revival of the party organisation and increase its tally. To that end, Rahul has sent a missive to the state leaders that he will soon carry out his own ‘internal assessment’ to determine the party’s strengths and weaknesses and later take a call on striking a pre-poll alliance or seat adjustment with NCP and like-minded parties.Rahul’s initiative assumes importance in light of the fact that in the 2012 general elections, the party had been routed in the state and bagged just two LS seats in Nanded and Hingoli. It also managed only 42 seats in the state Assembly. In the subsequent local and civic body polls, Congress again failed to take on the mighty BJP effectively.Former minister Balasaheb Thorat, who headed the Congress party’s steering committee for Gujarat election, told DNA, “The state unit is quite serious about regaining power in Maharashtra and quite open to ally with NCP and other like-minded parties. However, state leaders are of the view that the Congress party should neither play second-fiddle to NCP nor should it blindly agree for a pre-poll alliance. Therefore, the state party unit expects to soon meet Congress president and work out the future course of action.”As far as NCP is concerned, state spokesman Nawab Malik said his party hopes the Congress will take a lead to form a broader anti-BJP alliance in the state. “Congress should not underestimate the presence of NCP and other parties in masses, and seriously consider this factor while forging an alliance,” he noted.

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AC local: WR may install barricades to separate ladies coach

The air-conditioned (AC) local train inaugurated by the Western Railway (WR) will soon have barricades between general coaches and coaches reserved for ladies. The WR has planned to introduce this on the lines of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro corridor.As the coaches of the AC local train are interconnected, the WR said that it may install barricades to help commuters in identifying coaches reserved for ladies. Currently, coaches for ladies and seats earmarked for senior citizens and divyangs are different from the arrangement in the non-AC local trains. The first and 12th coaches at the Churchgate end are earmarked as ladies coaches and seven seats in the second and 11th coach at the Churchgate end are earmarked for senior citizens, and fourth and seventh coach from Churchgate end for divyangs.A K Gupta, General Manager, Western Railway, said, “We are constantly getting feedback for the recently launched AC local train, and a decision will be taken on a particular that has maximum feedback. One of it is that we may install Metro train like barricades for ladies coaches.”The WR has also said that they are are planning to have sun blinders on the windows of the AC local. DNA had reported on Thursday that the railway officials spoke to commuters travelling inside the AC local who shared that the sunlight filtering in was an issue as it warmed up the atmosphere inside the train.The AC train is currently being operated on a trial period between Churchgate and Borivli.

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Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
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Centre tables Triple Talaq Bill in Lok Sabha; support Bill, but needs strengthing, says Congress

The Congress said it supports the triple talaq bill introduced in the Lok Sabha but wants it to be strengthened to safeguard the rights of divorced Muslim women so they live a life of dignity with adequate subsistence allowance.Earlier, the bill to make instant triple talaq illegal and void and awarding a jail term of up to three years to the husband, was introduced in the Lok Sabha amid protests by several opposition parties.Introducing the bill, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was a “historic day”.But before he introduced the legislation, several opposition parties opposed its introduction saying it was arbitrary in nature and a faulty proposal.Members from RJD, AIMIM, BJD, Indian Union Muslim League and AIADMK, who had given notice to oppose its introduction spoke against the measure. But members from the Congress and the Left, who were also opposing it from their benches, were not allowed to speak as they had not given notice. SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav was also seen opposing the bill.The TMC, which had opposed the draft bill earlier, was silent.Activists of ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), offer sweets to each other as they celebrate the tabling of the Muslim women bill – ReutersWhile JPN Yadav of RJD questioned the proposed three-year jail term, AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi said Parliament lacks the legislative competence to pass the law as it violated fundamental rights.He said while the bill talks only about Muslim women being abandoned, the government should also worry about nearly 20 lakh women of various religions who are abandoned by their husbands, “including our bhabhi from Gujarat”.Muslim League’s E T Mohammed Bashir said the proposed law was violative of personal laws and was a politically motivated move.B Mahtab (BJD) said while he would not talk about the merits of the bill, its framing was “faulty and “flawed”. He said if the proposed law makes the practice of instant triple talaq illegal and void, how can a person be jailed for pronouncing ‘talaq-e-biddat’.A Anwar Raja of the AIADMK opposed the bill.Maulana Rabe Hasani Nadvi, President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), General Secretary Wali Rahmani, Khalid Saifullaha Rahmani Assistant General Secretary, Fazlurrahman, Secretary and senior member Zafaryab Jjilani, AIMIM President Assaduddin Owaisi during a meeting on issue of Triple Talaq in Lucknow on Sunday – PTISoon after the introduction of the bill was approved, Prasad wondered whether Parliament can remain silent if the fundamental rights of women were being trampled upon.He said the legislation was not aimed against any religion but was framed to provide a sense of justice, security and honour to women.He said the law was required as even after the Supreme Court had struck down the practice of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ in August, it was continuing. He claimed that as recently as today, a woman in Rampur was given instant triple talaq by her husband for getting up late.Parliament has to decide whether the victims of triple talaq have fundamental rights or not, he said after some opposition members claimed it violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.”It is a historic day. We are making history today,” Prasad said.The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ and give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children.The woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue.Under the law, instant triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — would be bad or illegal and void.According to the proposed law which would be applicable to the entire country except in Jammu and Kashmir, giving instant talaq would attract a jail term of upto three years and a fine. It would be a cognisable, non-bailable offence.LAW WILL BE AN INTRUSION INTO PERSONAL LIVES: KURSHIDAlthough the Congress backed the bill and asked for a few changes, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, a former union law minister, struck a discordant note, insisting the proposed law will be an “intrusion” into the personal lives of individuals and bring divorce, a civil issue, into the realm of criminal law.Among other things, the ‘Muslim women Protection of Rights on Marriage’ Bill provides for a 3-year jail term to those found guilty of pronouncing instant triple talaq to their wives.Congress’s communications department incharge Randeep Surjewala said Parliament must ensure the protection of rights of Muslim women and children under all circumstances.He said the Congress was the first political party to welcome the Supreme Court verdict banning triple talaq, and had hailed it as a decisive step towards women empowerment and victory for the rights of muslim women.”The Congress has always believed that the issue of instant triple talaq ‘Talaq-e-biddat’ is about gender justice and gender equity. The Congress will support any and every law abolishing instant triple talaq.”The present bill needs to be strengthened to safeguard the rights of women to a life of dignity with adequate subsistence allowance. Parliament must ensure protection of rights of Muslim women and children under all circumstances,” he said.Khurshid, however, said,”It is an instrusion into the personal lives of individuals. Taking criminal law into the family, you have to be careful. To make divorce in any form a criminal matter is unacceptable anywhere in the world.” Khurshid, also a Supreme Court lawyer, said divorce or consequences of divorce, are areas of civil law and not criminal law, which comes in only when there is violence.”Criminal law is kept out of family as far as possible, which is a general policy everywhere. Why are we bringing criminal law into something which is a non-existing factor? Triple talaq is no institution or institutional fact of life, the Supreme Court has made it very clear,” he said.Surjewala said Section 5 of the bill merely states that Muslim women are entitled to subsistence allowance without defining subsistence allowance and explaining the method of calculating it.It also does not clarify whether the maintenance awarded to a Muslim woman under Sections 3 and 4 of ‘The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986’ will be deducted from the proposed subsistence allowance or will it be in addition to that. He said there was no clarity on whether a divorced Muslim woman be entitled to one of the two.”Why should onus of proving instant triple talaq be on women? Like in every other law, the onus of proving the pronouncement of instant triple talaq would be on the victim.”Why can’t this law then envisage a presumption in favour of the woman, putting the onus of proof on the husband to establish that instant triple talaq was not pronounced by him,” he said.Surjewala said the bill should ensure payment of maintenance and/or subsistence allowance to women and children if the husband is in jail for 3 years, as evisaged under the proposed law.All Muslim women’s groups have asked an obvious question as to who will pay the maintenance and subsistence allowance once the husband is in jail, he said.The Congress leader also asked whether such a woman and her children would have the right to proceed against the estate–movable and immovable property of the husband, as the proposed law does not provide for it.”Where no such property exists or the property is owned by more than one stakeholder or is under mortgage/charge, does it mean that women and children would then have no maintenance?” he asked.Terming the bill as “very important” and “significant”, Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev said her party will work with the government to bolster the rights of muslim women.She said the Congress party will stand by any progressive legislation that adds to empowerment of women. “But the bill needs to be watertight when it comes to the financial security and dignity of women,” she said.Dev also wondered whether under the proposed law the burden of proof that instant triple talaq has been granted be on women and whether they be able to prove the charge before a magistrate.This bill is silent on how to arrive at a maintenance allowance, she said.

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In Ajmer, Congress playing waiting game

After declaring Karan Singh Yadav as a candidate for Alwar parliamentary bypoll, the Congress still appears to be in a fix over announcing a candidate for Ajmer constituency. Names of senior leaders like Raghu Sharma and Nathuram Sinodia are making rounds to get the ticket, though extensive tours of Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sachin Pilot to the area once again fuelled speculation of his candidature which was subdued recently.The sources said that party has declared candidate for Alwar and now it intends to buy more time to field a candidate, possibly waiting for BJP to announce its candidate. “Congress will open its cards in Ajmer when BJP comes up with its candidature. Hopefully, after Election commission of India (ECI) issues notification over the dates of the poll, the name of the candidate will be made public,” says a senior party functionary while talking to DNA.Adding to that the office bearer said that a non Jat candidate is being preferred by the Congress as BJP mulls to field Ramswarup Lamba, a Jat, who is the son of late MP Sanwar Lal Jat. This may be strategy to consolidate votes of Non-Jats. “As a non Jat candidate, Raghu Sharma is among the top contenders. In Jats, the party mulls Nathuram Sinodia. The final call will be taken when the saffron party declares its candidature,” added another party functionary.Sachin Pilot was the first choice of the party in Ajmer which is his home constituency. He even had wished to contest election openly provided the high command nods. Though, his candidature was put on hold as a fraction may play a role of sabotage at the time of polling. His recent extensive tours of the area have speculations, once again. “The Congress is caught in a dilemma with regard to Pilot. There is a feeling that the PCC chief should be spared for larger party work,” he added.High commandMeanwhile, party state in charge and AICC general secretary Avinash Pandey met AICC president Rahul Gandhi on Monday to discuss the strategy of the bypolls. However, the high command will take the final decision.

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CM Vijay Rupani inaugurates Science Congress

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy CM Nitin Patel swung into action soon after the swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday by staying back in Gujarat instead of going to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Himachal Pradesh CM, who is also from the BJP, and his cabinet members.Surprisingly, Rupani did not call a cabinet meeting as the general practice after swearing-in, and portfolio distribution among ministers is awaited.In his first public programme after assuming the charge of CMO in the new term, on Wednesday, Rupani inaugurated 25th National Children’s Science Congress at Science City in Ahmedabad. It was attended by 900 children from 30 states and six Asian countries, scientists, educationists and others. Addressing the gathering, Rupani said, “Former president Abdul Kalam gave slogan of Jay Vigyan that was added to former PM Lal Bahadur Shashtri’s slogan Jay Jawan, Jay Kisan. Kalam came from a very ordinary background but became a great scientist. His vision for India is showing us the path of progress. We should take inspiration from his life. This Science Congress has laid foundation stone for India’s progress that would bring our nation in top three position in world in the sector of science and technology.”His deputy Nitin Patel took charge of his office and held a meeting with officials to review process of purchase of groundnuts by government at minimum support price.Rupani also reached his residence in the afternoon and cleared pending files of the state government that were piled up on his desk after the model code of conduct came into force.

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Over 4.5K towers aren’t fire safe

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

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Blocked by Sushma Swaraj on Twitter for asking ‘tough questions’: Congress MP Bajwa

Sushma Swaraj has gained fame in the Twitterverse for always coming to help of Indians and foreigners stranded, who are in need of visa or any diplomatic assistance. Infact, External Affairs Minister’s Twitter diplomacy has earned her bipartisan praise and even applause from international quarters. However, there seems to be one politician who is unhappy with Sushma Swaraj’s Twitter habits. It is senior Congress leader from Punjab and currently Member of Parliament, Partap Singh Bajwa. On Wednesday, Partap Singh Bajwa from his verified handle posted a screenshot of being blocked on Twitter by External Affairs Minister. Bajwa claims that he was merely asking questions about the missing 39 Indians in Iraq. MEA so far has said that according to their last known information, the Indians are alive, but they haven’t been able to locate them. Bajwa claims that he was blocked merely for asking ‘tough questions’. Now, politicians in general and even Sushma Swaraj have resorted to blocking abusive trolls and sometimes people who constantly pester with similar rants. But this is probably the first time when a MP has been blocked by his colleague. Swaraj is currently followed by 10.8 million people. Probably in the torrent of replies she gets with every tweet, the fact that a MP was being blocked was overlooked.

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Thiruvananthpuram-bound IndiGo plane aborts take off due to fuel leak

"Flight crew were alerted by on board computers about 'Fuel Right Wing Tank Overflow'. Flight crew carried out their required procedure as per Airbus checklist and also the overflow was confirmed by the ground staff," IndiGo said in a statement As a precaution engines were shut down and aircraft was towed back to bay, it said. The airline said that it is investigating the matter and that it has also informed safety regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation about the incident. ”
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Wednesday 27 December 2017 19:55 ISTMust readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher Indian Army crosses LOC to retaliate, kills three Pak soldiers <!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>A Thiruvananthpuram-bound IndiGo plane with 173 passengers on board experienced a fuel leak, forcing it to abort take off and return to the parking bay at the Indira Gandhi International airport here.Sources said there was fuel spillage from the right wing of the aircraft at 4.35 PM yesterday when it was taxiing for take off. A fire engine was pressed into service and a substitute plane was arranged and the flight took off two hours later at 6.15 PM and landed at Thiruvananthpuram at 9.26 PM. According to airport sources, the airline reported only a ‘wing tank overflow’ at first and later acknowledged oil spillage.”Flight crew were alerted by on board computers about ‘Fuel Right Wing Tank Overflow’. Flight crew carried out their required procedure as per Airbus checklist and also the overflow was confirmed by the ground staff,” IndiGo said in a statement As a precaution engines were shut down and aircraft was towed back to bay, it said. The airline said that it is investigating the matter and that it has also informed safety regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation about the incident.

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Intel busts D-Company plot to assassinate Chota Rajan inside Tihar Jail
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JDA accountant caught red-handed by ACB

The state Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) conducted a trap on Tuesday evening and arrested an accountant posted in the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA). The accountant had demanded a bribe of five thousand rupees to help in an official work for which complaint was registered and the man was trapped. Interestingly, after being arrested the accountant even acted as if he had become unconscious which sent the ACXB sleuths in a tizzy, however, the man soon recovered and the bureau sleuths carried on with their work.The arrested man has been identified as Girdhari Lal, accountant of Zone ten of JDA. Recently one Indraraj Meena approached the bureau and registered a complaint against Girdhari Lal. “In the complaint, the complainant said that he had purchased a shop in Automobile Nagar and to get its lease deed, he had moved a file in the Zone ten of JDA. He met Girdhari Lal for the work where the accountant demanded a bribe of five thousand rupees to decrease the lease estimate amount for the shop,” said Sachin Mittal, Inspector General, ACB.After the complaint was registered, a bid to verify the same was initiated. “The complaint was verified and a trap was laid to nab the man red-handed. On Tuesday evening Girdhari Lal called the man to meet and hand over the bribe money. Meena reached the designated spot and handed over the said amount. The bureau sleuths were already waiting for a signal from the complainant and as the money exchanged hands, the man signaled to bureau sleuths and the team raided the spot.CASE REGISTEREDThe complaint was verified and a trap was laid to nab the man red-handed. A case under Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered and further action in the matter is being taken by ACB, officials said. Girdhari Lal demanded a bribe of five thousand rupees to decrease the lease estimate amount for the shop.

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Top Jaish-e-Mohammad commander gunned down in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama

In a major success for the security forces, top commander of Jaish e Mohammad was gunned down in an encounter at Samboora village of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday.The terrorist has been identified as Noor Mohammad Tantray alias Noor Trali, a three feet midget who had jumped parole in July and taken over the command of Jaish in South Kashmir. Tantray was arrested in Delhi in 2003 and sentenced to life by a POTA court in 2011.”The encounter has been going on since last evening in Awantipura district. There was input about presence of two to three terrorists near National Highway planning to attack convoy. One dead body of terrorist recovered so far, search for others going on”, tweeted Dr Shesh Paul Vaid, director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir.The anti-terror operation started on Monday evening after security forces received a tip-off about the presence of terrorists in the village.Also readJammu and Kashmir: Pakistan violates ceasefire; targets Indian forward posts along LoC at PoonchImmediately the village was cordoned off and when the search team was zeroing in on the target, militants opened heavy fire.The fire was retaliated and in the ensuing gun fight one militant was gunned down. “Dead body of one mulitant with arms and ammunition recovered. Search continues”, said a police spokesman at Srinagar.Also readJammu and Kashmir | 3 terrorists gunned down in Handwara encounter, ‘raining whole night,’ tweets DGPThe 2017 also saw highest number of over 206 militants being killed since 2010. Figures reveal that 270 terrorists were killed by security forces in 2010. The figure came down to 119 in 2011. Around 84 terrorists were killed in 2012 followed by 100 in 2013, 110 in 2014 and 113 in 2015.Despite unrest, security forces killed 165 terrorists in 2016. This year close to 100 local youth have joined the terrorists ranks in the strife-torn Kashmir Valley, which is the highest in last seven years.

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1,000 homebuyers stage protest, stopped from taking out march

Around 1,000 Noida homebuyers staged a silent protest against the Noida Authority and the UP government at Sector 18 on Monday, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arrival in Noida for inauguration of the Magenta Metro rail link.The homebuyers, who are yet to get the possession of their flats in projects such as Jaypee Wish Town Noida, Amrapali, Supertech, and Unitech, gathered near Sector 18 Metro station, from where they were to march towards the Botanical Garden Metro station and the Amity University in Sector 125. They were, however, stopped by the police at the Sector 18 Metro station. Some people still managed to reach the Amity ground in bits and pieces. “We have reached out to all officials and the state government but nothing has been done. So, we planned to communicate our plight to PM Modi. We were stopped by the police, which is a shame for us. As citizens, we cannot make our voices heard,” said Shweta Bharti, General Secretary of the Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association (NEFOWA).Meanwhile, on Saturday, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath had met the distressed homebuyers and pulled up the Noida Authority for lapses in handling of the matter. Adityanath had directed officials to hand over 40,000 flats by December 31, while another 40,000 have to be handed over by March.The UP CM also asked the Noida Authority to draw up a list of defaulter builders, categorising them as per their position — those who will be able to deliver the flats on time, those who would need help of co-developers to finish their projects, and those who won’t be able to complete their projects at all.The irked homebuyers, however, termed Adityanath’s promise of delivery of 80,000 homes in Noida, Greater Noida, and Yamuna Expressway areas by March-end an “eyewash” and demanded that the government come up with an action plan for projects.”We want the PM to intervene. The co-developer policy should be implemented. The units that have been delivered in Noida or are about to be delivered do not have the occupancy or completion certificates,” Bharti said.The protesters pointed out that despite several assurances and various announcements, nothing much has changed on the ground. It was also pointed out that despite a committee being set up to resolve the homebuyers’ issues, nothing has happened.Some other buyers alleged that even the much-touted RERA did not bring them any relief. “The Central government-notified RERA should be implemented in letter and in spirit, and no dilution should be done by the state government,” they said.According to members of the association, during the UP elections, the BJP candidates had promised flat buyers of GB Nagar that they would be given all possible support in securing possession of the homes. But after the BJP victory, the politicians forgot about the homebuyers, the protesters alleged.As many as 94 projects in Noida and nearly 190 projects in Greater Noida are stuck due to financial reasons. In a high-level meeting held in September this year, UP CM had ordered the officials to ensure that 50,000 homebuyers got their homes in Noida and Greater Noida.On December 4, a ministerial panel, during the course of a meeting with builders and officials of the Noida Authority, Greater Noida Authority, and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA), had declared that 32,500 flats would be delivered by the end of this month.

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Diplomat Eenam Gambhir’s phone snatched in Rohini

Two bike-borne men on Saturday evening snatched the mobile phone of Eenam Gambhir, the first secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.The incident took place in Delhi’s Rohini area when Gambhir was out with her mother on a walk.Police are yet to identify the accused and make any arrests in the case. The phone had US-registered SIM card and some important files related to Gambhir’s work.As told to police, the two men, who were on a bike, approached Gambhir on the pretext of asking an address and when they came close, the pillion rider snatched her phone. Both of them sped away on the two-wheeler. Since it was dark, Gambhir informed that she could not note down the vehicle’s registration number, police said.The diplomat also told the police that her iPhone had a US-registered SIM card and some important files related to her work. Police are now scanning CCTV footages from the area to identify the accused. Efforts to arrest the accused and recover the diplomat’s phone are being made, police stated.In September this year, Ukraine’s ambassador to India, Dr Igor Polikha’s phone was also snatched while he was clicking pictures near the Red Fort.Exercising India’s right to reply after Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly, in September this year, Gambhir had made a strong rebuttal by calling Pakistan a “terroristan”.Gambhir, who is a mathematics graduate from Delhi University’s Hindu College, hails from Delhi. At the United Nations, Gambhir is in charge Security Council reform, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity issues.Delhi Police has registered as many as 7,870 cases of snatching this year till November 30.

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Freeway expansion plans back on track

After putting the expansion plans of the Eastern Freeway in south Mumbai on hold, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has said that the extension of the freeway from Orange Gate in Mazgaon up to General Post Office (GPO) near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) is back on track and assured that the plan has not been discarded.The MMRDA has said that there were some issues related to procuring plots of land for the extension of the freeway further south considering the Railways have plans of building an elevated rail corridor between CSMT and Panvel.The MMRDA has decided that once the land is acquired for the CST-Panvel corridor and all modes of public transport are exhausted, they will turn to land acquisition for the freeway’s expansion as planned.UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA said, “We have not discarded the plans for expansion of the freeway up to CSMT. We will ultimately go for the expansion on both ends. As of now, on the northern end there are some issues related to slums and environmental issues but the expansion will be done on both the northern and eastern ends.”The Eastern Freeway is a major connector of the eastern suburbs and south Mumbai. Currently, the Eastern Freeway runs from Orange Gate on P D’Mello Road in the south up to the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road in the north.The Eastern Freeway was originally planned from the Prince of Wales Museum in Fort but the plan was dropped to due to the lack of space and was then built starting from the Orange Gate.FREEWAY FACTSThe Eastern Freeway runs from Orange Gate on P D’Mello Road in the south up to the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road in the north. MMRDA said there were some issues related to procuring land that led to delays.

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UP government releases 93 prisoners on Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 93rd birthday

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh today released 93 prisoners from various jails of the state on the 93rd birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.”It was decided to set free 93 prisoners convicted in different cases on the 93rd birthday of the former prime minister. These prisoners have completed their tenure in jail but could not be released due to non-payment of fine imposed on them,” Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar told PTI.To ensure that they walk free, the prisons department was asked to see if the fines could be paid by NGOs, trusts and others, after verifying their credentials.The names of convicts to be set free was picked up in a random manner from a list of 135 such prisoners who are not named or were serving imprisonment in another case, the official said.Former prime minister Vajpayee had represented Lucknow in the Lok Sabha five times — 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004.The BJP stalwart was the first and till now the only non-Congress leader who completed a full term as prime minister.He was also the first External Affairs Minister to deliver a speech in Hindi in the UN General Assembly in New York.

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Uttar Pradesh police keep strict vigil on Christmas in the wake of Hindu Manch warning

Uttar Pradesh police on Monday kept strict vigil across the state to ensure Christmas festivities passed off peacefully in the wake of the Hindu Jagran Manch warning against celebrating the festival, officials said.All SPs were put on maximum alert in the districts after the Manch, an RSS-affiliate, recently issued a circular threatening all Aligarh schools against celebrating Christmas saying, they would be doing it “at their own risk”.No untoward incident was reported from any school or church till late evening and that traditional festivities passed off peacefully in Aligarh, Senior Superintendent of Police (Aligarh) Rajesh Pandey said.In Lucknow, the day was celebrated with usual pomp and fanfare at the St Joseph’s Cathedral with nearby markets decorated with balloons and Christmas trees.There were grand celebrations at the All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad, the Basilica of Our Lady of Graces in Meerut, the Christ church in Bareilly and the St Mary’s church in Varanasi, which were decorated tastefully for the occasion.Additional Director General (Law and Order) Anand Kumar had directed all district police chiefs to ensure that the freedom of practising one’s religion is protected and appropriate action taken to that end.The Manch was in the news last month when it announced its decision to launch a “reverse Love Jihad” by setting a target of 2,100 Muslim brides for Hindu boys in the next six months under a campaign called “beti bachao, bahu lao”.Last year, the right-wing group launched its “anti-love jihad” and “save Hindu girl” campaign in Uttar Pradesh, where they planned to hold classes in all schools run by its parent organisation to “educate” youngsters about the “ill-effects” of marrying a Muslim.

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Delhi: Diplomat Eenam Gambhir who slayed Pakistan at UN robbed off her mobile

Bike-borne men snatched the mobile of Eenam Gambhir, the first Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, police said today.The incident occurred on Saturday when Gambhir had gone for a walk in Rohini with her mother, they added. The accused snatched the phone from her on the pretext of asking for directions, the police said. Since it was evening, she could not note down the vehicle’s registration number, they said. In her complaint, the diplomat said that the accused asked her for directions to Hanuman Mandir. When she started pointing towards the temple while holding her phone, they snatched the phone and fled, the police said.Also readPak rakes up Kashmir issue at UN, India calls it ‘lonely voice from the wildernessGambhir stated that the iPhone had a US-registered SIM card and some important files related to her work, they said. In September this year, exercising India’s right to reply after Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly, Gambhir had made a strong rebuttal by calling Pakistan a “terroristan”.Ukrainian Ambassador Igor Polikha’s mobile phone was snatched in September while he was taking pictures of the Red Fort, following which one person was arrested. Delhi Police has registered as many as 7,870 cases of snatching this year till November 30.

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Speak up Delhi: Autorickshaw finance mafia – a menace staring at govt’s face

Last week Delhi Government suspended licenses of two automobile dealers— Bagga Link Services Limited and JS Automobiles— after complaints filed by social workers and Presidents of Autorickshaw Unions for charging extra money from the customers. The government, in a show cause notice, asked the two dealers to reply with the reason for the extra charge else their licenses will be cancelled.An autorickshaw which should cost close to Rs 1,80,000 on road is sold for Rs 5,50,000 in the market. There are several extra charges on top which include logistic charges, annual maintenance charges etc. An extra handling charge was also added along with the GST since August, about which most of the drivers did not know.In petitions filed by Narendra Giri, President of the Pragatisheel Auto Union, and social workers from different NGOs, in the High Court, the discrepancies and the stronghold of auto finance mafia were highlighted which led to the temporary suspension of the two market leaders in autorickshaw dealing.“Supreme Court had passed 1,00,000 auto rickshaws in 2011, out which 55,000 were already on the road, 35,000 more were issued between 2011 and 2014. The last 10,000 got delayed and then were eyed by finance mafias. Those who bought had to pay hefty amounts as procuring ‘Letters of Intent’ to secure an auto unit became a difficult task. But most importantly, buyers had to pay additional charges with GST etc, thus in-total, the Autorickshaws have become very expensive,” said Giri.Even though the license was suspended for a short while, the Union members now look for stronger steps by the government. They are demanding cancellation of these dealer’s license and formation of a committee which looks into these permit procurements.EXPERT SPEAKThese dealers had been charging logistic charges of Rs10,000 which was not required, but nobody ever highlighted/questioned. Out NGO challenged this in the High Court. In 2010, I also filed a PIL against Auto finance mafia in High Court, which raised two main points of Permit trading i.e., auto rickshaw black marketing, and true ownership of Autorickshaws i.e. where drivers are driving autos granted on other’s names. The PIL was first dismissed in HC on technical grounds, then moved to Supreme Court which then sent to back to High Court, we are still awaiting a response on this Rakesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Nyaya Bhoomi, a registered NGO working for the welfare of societyIn complaint letters written to the Prime Minister’s and Lieutenant Governor’s office, we highlighted the extra costs that we have to pay for getting an autorickshaw. I requested them to take strong actions against these dealers who are charging optional AMC (auto maintenance charges) to everyone, handling charges etc since GST came. We have also raised a complaint against Rajesh Kumar Meena, MLO, Transport, who had a partnership with these dealers and earned money out of poor drivers’ pockets. I hope this suspension is not just the only step taken against these dealers and their licenses are cancelled tooYashpal Arora, General Secretary, Azad Hind Auto/Taxi Chalak UnionVOICES“I have been driving an autorickshaw since last seven years, I bought this second hand rickshaw for Rs 2 lakhs, whereas a new one should come much lower than this. It was easy then but, now, it has become very difficult to procure a new one”— Vipin Kumar, autorickshaw driver“A new autorickshaw costed me Rs 5 Lakhs, I had to sell my land in the village for this. But now the earning is not much as people generally do not pay by the meter and ask us to reduce the rates.”— Faizan Ahmed, autorickshaw driver“Recently a social worker told me that I can get a new rickshaw for Rs 1,80,000, but I paid three times of this price in August. How could nobody ever knew this? I hope they take away the licenses of the dealers who have been ripping poor drivers.”— Bikram Singh, autorickshaw driver “It was so difficult to get a permit for the autorickshaw and the ‘Letter of Intent’, as the mafia members already take so many permits on different names. The ones who need them the most always have to run around and pay more than needed.”— Sandeep Verma, autorickshaw driver “I had to sell my father’s land in Uttar Pradesh to buy myself an auto. Now they tell me that it was not required after running around for months first to sell the land and then to get the permit. Those people should be punished harsher than just seven days suspension”— Rakesh Kumar, autorickshaw driver

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Ockhi-hit Tamil Nadu villages to give Xmas a miss

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

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Maha asks IAS officers to declare properties online

Maharashtra government has issued a fresh notification reminding IAS officers to submit Immovable Property Returns (IPR) online and not manually by January 31, 2018 for the calendar year 2017 to the state government and Cadre Controlling Authorities. Officers are expected to forward the copy to the Department of Personnel & Training.Even though the Centre had made online filing of IPR mandatory from 2017, the state government came across some cases where some officers due to technical glitches were unable to file online but submitted it manually.Senior state government officer from the General Administration Department told DNA, “A fresh notification has been issued on December 20, 2017 giving details with regard to the online submission of IPR by IAS officers. Filing of IPR is binding since 2011 but it was done manually until 2016. The Centre shifted to online submission after it found out that IPRs filed manually are lost in transition in few cases while in several other cases despite IPR submitted to the state government or Cadre Controlling Authority it was not uploaded on the website of Department of Personnel and Training. It was also found that IPRs were filed but without any date.’’The officer said the notification has explained the methodology of online filing of IPR and also details with regard to IPR module.He informed that the application is available on the e-office SPARROW (Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window) which is a part of Centre’s Digital India Initiative. ISenior IAS officer, who is of the rank of additional chief secretary in Maharashtra, said if anybody fails to upload IPR or hide some information the government can initiate a disciplinary action.

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Yoga does not have a religious connotation: Venkaiah Naidu

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said Yoga is a holistic approach to well being and it does not have a religious connotation. “Yoga connects physical health with mental equilibrium and emotional tranquillity, it promotes concentration and focused attention. It has physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions,” he noted.Naidu was speaking on the of the inaugural ceremony of the centennial celebration of Yoga Institute situated in the western suburb.Naidu informed the gathering that Sage Patanjali who compiled the first yoga philosophy defines yoga as an ability to control one’s own random thoughts and achieve a stillness, a calmness that creates inner harmony. This philosophy is usually referred to as Ashtanga Yoga. He explained “the components of this yogic philosophy form the ethical principles that are so universal: Non –violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, fidelity and not being avaricious.”The Vice President informed that the emphasis on physical exercises emerged around 11TH century AD in a branch of yoga called Hatha yoga.He said ”these exercises have gained worldwide importance and prominence over the years. We in India felt that this treasure house of knowledge should be shared with the entire world. We are so pleased that in 2014, the United Nations General Assembly has established 21st June as the international day of Yoga. This resolution has given a new impetus to the popularisation of this ancient science.”

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Ahead of poll, BJP alleges MNREGA scam in Tripura

Months ahead of assembly polls in left-dominated Tripura, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused the Manik Sarkar government of presiding over a massive scam in the MGNREGA Scheme running into “hundreds of crores” even as a complaint has been lodged with the Rural Development Ministry at the Centre with “all the proof”.The complainant has also threatened to sue the Central Ministry and the secretary “if ministry fails to investigate and punish the culprits”.However, the BJP refused to reveal the name of the complainant for security reasons, but DNA has accessed the complaint. The name, the party said, would be divulged once the time was “ripe”.As per the complaint lodged with the Rural Development Ministry, the scam allegedly was the doing of the state government in collusion with the local administration, BDOs and DCs. BJP alleged that the local officials had to tow the line of the state government for the fear of their lives.”In Tripura, the detailed ‘Social Audit Report’ made by government-appointed ‘Block Resource Persons’ has found that there is rampant corruption in implementation of MG-NREGA schemes. On all major indices, the implementation had flaws,” the complaint said.Citing a survey by Block Resource Persons in Tripura, the complainant has also alleged that “no job cards were issued; no Gram-Sabha resolutions were passed and register not maintained; work provided without demands, only on the basis of verbal political orders; in many cases work has been completed but payment not made; in many cases payment is still not made to suppliers of material; no signboards were displayed at the sites of work with details of work and project; in almost all cases payment was made without technical assistant approval.””With this complaint, I am requesting you to start a high level inquiry of the MG-NREGA in Tripura on the basis of the findings of ‘Social Audit report’ made by ‘Block Resource Persons’ because there is embezzlement of hundreds of crore rupees in the entire state of Tripura and the guilty must be punished to recover misused funds,” the complaint said.”The scam has been going on in the state from 1996 violating the general financial rules of the Government of India. Since they have such iron grip on local administrations no one can question them. We had complained to the EC in 2013 elections. EC had probed the matter and found merit in our complaint. They forwarded the report to the Centre, but the Congress did nothing. It also refused a CBI inquiry. In such an instance in Odisha, SC had observed that pertaining to MNREGA, the Centre can conduct an independent investigation without permission from the State. Then we went to high court. The court has found there were serious irregularities and corruption in MNREGA. HC told the state to conduct an audit. Now the government is dillydallying with the findings of the audit,” Ashok Sinha, Tripura BJP’s spokesperson told DNA.

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RK Nagar bypoll: Dhinakaran rises against all odds to stump rivals

Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran who scripted an emphatic win in the RK Nagar assembly bypoll has proved his main campaign line that he will be chosen by people to succeed ‘Amma’ (late chief minister Jayalalithaa), who represented the constituency twice.The victory, against all odds, including loss of Two Leaves symbol and a slew of cases against him, is being seen as a worrying development both for AIADMK and principal opposition DMK, which finished third behind the ruling party.After the revolt by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Dhinakaran has vowed to unseat the regime, accusing him of having betrayed the faith reposed in him by jailed party leader and his aunt V K Sasikala.Also readTTV Dhinakaran wins RK Nagar bypoll, DMK and BJP candidates lose depositThe suave Dhinakaran was handpicked by Sasikala to lead the party when she went to the Parapana Agrahara Jail in Bengaluru to serve a four year jail term in a disproportionate assets case in February this year.Dhinakaran is not new to electoral politics. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1999 from Periyakulam and to the Rajya Sabha in 2004.Also readRK Nagar bypoll result: Subramanian Swamy calls for accountability after BJP gets lesser votes than NOTAKnown for his brilliant organisation skills, he was a key player in party appointments albeit from behind the screens and during parleys with allies at the time of elections.However, his sudden emergence as party Deputy General Secretary slowly ruffled feathers and Palaniswami teamed up with then rival leader and now Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to form the main bloc of AIADMK which now has the Two-Leaves symbol.In April-May last, Dhinakaran went through a rough patch with the Delhi Police arresting him for allegedly trying to bribe Election Commission officials to get the ‘two leaves’ symbol. Among others, he also faces a FERA case.Eighteen of his loyalist MLAs were disqualified by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal months ago and a case in this regard is pending before the Madras High Court.Post the merger of the factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and now his deputy O Panneerselvam, a general council meeting of AIADMK in September had annulled the appointment of Sasikala as the party general secretary and all subsequent appointments/removals made by her, including that of Dhinakaran.Unfazed, 54-year old Dhinakaran, who alongwith Sasikala had worked closely with Jayalalithaa for about three decades, moved on confidently and continued to meet his supporters in all the districts.Articulate, outgoing and sociable, Dhinakaran, a former MP, has been asserting that party cadres were with him and he was led by “Chinnamma Sasikala,” a true successor to ‘Amma’.His appeal to vote for him was in simple, plain spoken everyday Tamil unlike the bombastic style of some leaders.To their credit, Dhinakaran and his followers were able to take the ‘pressure cooker symbol’ to the voters.In about two decades, he is the first independent candidate to be elected in Tamil Nadu and that too with such a huge margin scoring higher than that of Jayalalithaa in 2016 Assembly polls.In that election, Jayalalithaa had won by a margin of 39,545 votes defeating DMK nominee Shimla Muthuchozhan. While Jayalalithaa secured 97,218 votes, the DMK candidate 57,673 votes.Despite the spectacular poll show, Dhinakaran and his followers face the allegation of attempting to bribe the voters through ingenious ways. DMK Working President MK Stalin alleged money power behind today’s electoral outcome.

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Indian Railways employee dies of serious head injuries in boiler accident

A worker in Indian Railways’ mechanised laundry lost his life on Sunday after an outlet pipe of a boiler hit his head causing an injury.The laundry for washing Railway Hospital linen is located behind the Northern Railway Central Hospital (NRCH) here and the operation and maintenance of this laundry are outsourced to a contractor ‘M/s Laundraid’.The outlet pipe of the boiler broke and a piece of this pipe hit Pradeep.”He was brought to the NRCH where the doctors gave him an immediate treatment and did all possible medical interventions and procedures to treat and stabilise his condition. Since he had a severe injury to head, he was immediately shifted to the RML Hospital by the paramedical staff for further treatment,” Nitin Chowdhary, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO), Northern Railways said, in a statement.He added that while Pradeep was in the RML hospital, the doctors tried to better his condition but after 35 minutes of efforts, the said person could not be saved and he passed away.”General Manager and Divisional Railway Manager, along with senior railway officials, visited the site of incident and also the patient and his relatives at the RML Hospital. A senior officer-level enquiry has been ordered by the General Manager,” the statement further read.

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Congress gears up for Madhya Pradesh polls, to start picking probable nominees from Jan 15

Although there is still a year to go for the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, the state unit of the Congress today said the party would start the exercise of identifying probable candidates from mid-January.The party said the leadership might give opportunity to fresh and young faces over the older ones this time.”We will start the candidate selection process for the next year’s assembly elections after January 15. The process of streamlining the organisational structure in the state would also be completed by the next month,” AICC general secretary and party in-charge of Madhya Pradesh, Deepak Babaria, told reporter here today.Madhya Pradesh assembly elections are scheduled to be held in November-December next year.”Initially, we will focus on 60-65 seats, where the party could not win in the past two elections. We will tell the probable candidates to start preparing,” he said.Also readPrepare for 2019, Rahul Gandhi tells cadresAsked about the demand of some party leaders that the candidates should be announced six months prior to the election, Babaria said, “It depends on the vulnerability of the seats. The announcement may be made two months, two weeks or two hours prior to the filing of nominations, because the opposition may also plan its strategies accordingly.” Babaria also said that as Congress president Rahul Gandhi has indicated and which was also visible in the recently-held Gujarat elections, younger faces would be given a preference in Madhya Pradesh as well.Also readPM Narendra Modi’s Gujarat model debunked during polls, says Rahul GandhiHe also said that the party would request the leaders, who had lost in the last two-three elections, to vacate the seat for the young leaders.”The leaders who were defeated in the last two-three elections would be told to leave the seat for the young leaders and work for the party. The names of such leaders would be considered for the parliamentary elections,” he said.Also read2G scam verdict: ‘Vindicated’ Rahul Gandhi says BJP’s foundation based on ‘lies’Responding to a query, Babaria said the party would focus on the election preparedness at the micro level in MP after learning a lesson from the Gujarat Assembly elections, in which it lost to the BJP despite putting up a good show.When asked about the announcement of the party’s chief ministerial face for the next assembly election, the AICC general secretary said the party would take a call on this at a suitable time.

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

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

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Those who did not fight for Cong will face action: Rahul Gandhi

Those within Congress who did not work to make party candidates win will have to face disciplinary action, said Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Ahmedabad on Saturday. He also assured that those who had worked for the party will be rewarded and that the grand old party also has a bright future.Addressing the party workers in Ahmedabad after a review meeting with the party leaders and MLAs, the newly elected party President said, “90% of workers fought for the party. 10% did not help the party. We will act against them, whoever they are, however big they may be. Everything will happen in a gradual manner.”Rahul thanked workers for their fine show even if the party did not get majority. Terming the performance a victory of sorts, he said that it was an uneven fight with BJP putting all the might of central and state governments besides ‘money power’, while Congress had only truth to rely upon.”We fought with love and we have won,” he said adding that during the course of the campaign, Congress was successful in bursting myth about development during Narendra Modi’s rule in Gujarat. “Inspite of asking so many questions, the PM was not able to reply,” he said.Gujarat Congress in-charge Ashok Gehlot said that PM Modi and BJP President Amit Shah had a tough time countering the onslaught of Congress and they had to take resort to sea plane and ‘Son of the Soil’ aspects to emotionally appeal to the masses. He said that the situation has changed in Gujarat and the countdown has begun for BJP, which will be reflected in the 2019 polls.THANKS PARTYMENRahul gave credit to AICC General Secretary and in-charge of Gujarat Ashok Gehlot as well as the party leadership for the results and termed the party manifesto a landmark document

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Army Major, 3 soldiers killed in Pak firing in Keri sector, J&K CM pays tribute

Pakistani troops opened fire on an Indian Army patrol, killing a Major and three soldiers, along the Line of Control (LoC) in Keri sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district today, officials said.The latest violation of the ceasefire agreement took place at a time when Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was camping in Rajouri district headquarters to address people’s grievances, they said. A defence spokesman said Pakistani troops targeted the Army patrol at Brat Galla in Keri sector at around 1215 hours. “We suffered three fatal casualties including one officer in the incident. Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail Singh and Sepoy Pargat Singh were grievously injured during the ceasefire violation and succumbed to their injuries. Two other personnel also sustained injuries and are undergoing treatment,” the spokesman said.Defence sources, however, said four Army personnel were killed in the “unprovoked” firing.The Army, in a statement, said that Indian troops retaliated “strongly and effectively”. Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh paid rich tributes to the slain soldiers and condemned Pakistan for the ceasefire violation. “Pakistan is indulging in such cowardly actions and is being given a befitting response, but it does not desist from such cowardly acts,” Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.Major Ambadas (32) belonged to Bhandara district in Maharashtra and is survived by wife Avoli Moharkar, while Lance Naik Gurmail Singh (34) belonged to Amritsar district in Punjab and is survived by wife kuljit Kaur and a daughter.Also readPeace talks only when Pakistan stops supporting terror in Jammu and Kashmir: General Bipin RawatSepoy Pargat Singh (30) belonged to Karnal district in Haryana and is survived by wife Ramanpreet Kaur and a son, the Army said. “Major Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail and Sepoy Pargat were brave and sincere soldiers. The nation will always remain indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” the Army statement said. The deputy chief minister said Pakistan has got isolated at the global stage, especially on the issue of terrorism. “Pakistan is a terrorist state and it will not be too long before the country is declared a terrorist state by the world. It does not only support terrorism but also provide state sponsorship,” Singh said. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today paid rich tributes to four Army personnel, including a Major, killed in Pakistani firing along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district.Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti paid rich tributes to the Army Major and three jawans who were killed in an incident of cross-border shelling at Keri sector in Rajouri district,” an official spokesperson said. He said the chief minister had conveyed her heartfelt condolences to the families of the slain soldiers.

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Vijay Rupani’s journey from student leader to CM for second time

Born on August 02, 1956, in Rangoon of Myanmar, in a Jain Bania family from Rajkot, Vijay Rupani is a leader who has played different roles through out his political career. He was the seventh and youngest boy among his siblings. His family moved back to Rajkot on 1960 after political instability in Myanmar.He studied BA and LLB from Saurashtra University. He began his political career as student activist and RSS Swayamsevak and became the chief minister of Gujarat on August 08, 2016. Meanwhile, entire story of making of the Gujarat CM for Vijay Rupani remained full of ups and downs, but a persistent by nature, Rupani remain non-challent in his life.Vijay Rupani began his political career as a student activist with Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a student wing having ideology similar to BJP and RSS. He joined Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and then Jan Sangh in 1971. In 1976, he spent 11 months in jails in Bhuj and Bhavnagar during the emergency when he was booked under MISA Act.During 1978 to 1981, Rupani worked as Pracharak of RSS and traveled across Gujarat. He met Anjali, his wife, in Ahmedabad. Meanwhile, her family was working for RSS and both got married. He was elected as a corporator of Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) in 1987 and became the chairman of drainage committee. He served as the chairman of standing committee of RMC from 1988 to 1996. He was again elected to RMC in 1995 and remained mayor of Rajkot during 1996 to 1997.He became Gujarat BJP’s general secretary in 1998 and served as the chairman of manifesto committee during chief ministership of former CM Keshubhai Patel.He was appointed as a chairman of Gujarat Tourism in 2006. He was a member of Rajya Sabha from 2006 to 2012. He served as BJP’s Gujarat unit general secretary four times and also became the chairman of the Gujarat Municipal Finance Board in 2013.In August 2014, when the incumbent speaker of Gujarat assembly Vajubhai Vala resigned after being appointed as Karnataka Governor, Vijay Rupani was nominated by the BJP to contest his vacant seat. He won the bypoll on 19 October 2014 by a huge margin. He was inducted as minister in the first cabinet expansion by Chief Minister Anandiben Patel in November 2014 and held the ministry of transport, water supply, labor and employment.

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

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

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Gujarat: Vijay Rupani to continue as chief minister, Nitin Patel named his deputy

Vijay Rupani will continue as Gujarat Chief Minister, while Nitin Patel has been named as deputy, it was announced on Friday.The announcement was made in a meeting conducted by elected BJP candidates following the party’s win in the Gujarat Assembly elections, under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey.Earlier, it was announced that Jaitley and Pandey, wouldl hold consultations with the MLAs before the new chief minister is announced.Though incumbent Vijay Rupani continues to be the favourite for the coveted job, there was speculation about his continuance given the BJP’s narrow victory in its bastion. The BJP has 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly, seven more than the 92 required for forming government but its lowest in a long time. The Congress and its pre-poll allies have 80 seats, with the main opposition party having 77.A party worker from Rajkot said on condition of anonymity, “We believe that Rupani only will be the CM but we are also hearing that other leaders are also under consideration. Let us see what happens but I am keeping my finger crossed for Rupani.”Also readRajkot eagerly awaits Vijay Rupani’s return as CMOn the other side, the Rajkot BJP is preparing for the grand celebration of victory of Rupani in city once he returns to hometown after the formality of oath taking. The leaders are also confident that Rupani only will become the CM of Gujarat.A BJP leader from Rajkot and very close friend of Rupani, Nitin Bhardwaj said, “I have no doubt that Vijay Rupani will be the CM of Gujarat again. Amit Shah had given clear indication during campaigning that Rupani will continue as CM. We are waiting for the announcement of his name as it is a formality only.”Also readTINA factor may help Vijay Rupani to stay on as Chief Minister”We had prepared a slogan during poll campaign here, Rajkot ka beta, Gujarat ka neta- meaning Rajkot’s son is to be leader of Gujarat. We will hold a grand celebration once his name is officially announced. We had celebrated for Narendra Modi, Anandiben Patel and Vijay Rupani when they came here after becoming the CM. We also offered grand welcome to Amit Shah when he came here after his appointment as BJP chief,” added Bhardwaj.BJP spokesperson Raju Dhruv said, “Rupani was in Gandhinagar as he is the CM and could not come to Rajkot due to regular courses, but we all celebrated his victory here in his absence. Once he comes again to Rajkot, we will celebrate it with more enthusiasm.”BJP chief Amit Shah had said during the campaign that the elections would be fought under Rupani. Since Modi was the face of the BJP in the keenly fought electoral battle, a last minute change cannot be completely ruled out, sources said. Many in the party wonder if the top leadership would go for somebody from the Patidar community, as the party prepares for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Though the Patidars have traditionally backed the BJP, a section led by young community leader Hardik Patel turned against the party over the quota issue.

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DNA Edit: A Zero-Sum trial

Years wasted, business ventures stalled/finished, reputations tarred -in some cases, forever. This, in 11 words, is the sum and substance of what we all know as the 2G scam, post the judgement delivered by Special CBI Judge OP Saini on Thursday morning.Was there a scam? Yes, most certainly. After all, rules aren’t changed overnight, unless to give undue advantage to somebody. But, it was the CBI’s and Enforcement Directorate’s job to follow the leads and deliver a water-tight case. That they didn’t proves, for the nth time, that the country’s premier investigating agencies don’t deserve the “premier” tag.Was the scam really worth Rs 1.76 lakh crore? Ask Vinod Rai, the then Comptroller and Auditor General of India, who came out with this figure.Today, when the Special CBI Judge OP Saini acquitted every accused, including politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats in the 2G spectrum allocation case dating back to the UPA-1 era, the main question that requires an immediate answer is: Who killed the telecom sector, or at least pushed it back by several years? Shouldn’t Rai be answering questions on the ‘presumptive loss’ theory? Shouldn’t the CBI and ED officers be held accountable for the shoddy probe that has allowed the accused to get away?A single sentence in the 1,552-page judgment is enough to indict the CBI and ED: “However, by the end, the quality of prosecution totally deteriorated and it became directionless and diffident.”It is not without reason that Judge Saini laments: “For the last seven years, on all working days, summer vacation included, I religiously sat in the open court from 10 am to 5pm, waiting for someone with legally admissible evidence in his possession, but all in vain. Everybody was going by rumour, gossip and speculation.”Another line in the judgment that merits some thought is: “Thus, some people created a scam by artfully arranging a few selected facts and exaggerating things beyond recognition to astronomical levels.”There are many who seem enraged by the fact that Judge Saini acquitted all the accused. They forget that a judge delivers a judgment on the basis of material before him, without falling for “rumour, gossip and speculation”. The job of convincing the court about the illegality and arbitrariness of a decision was left to the prosecution and its lawyers.Judges, not all unfortunately in these media-driven times, are seldom impressed by big numbers, unless they come with enough proof.Now that both CBI and ED have announced their intention to appeal against the judgment in the high court, one only hopes the premier agencies would do a better job there.

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2G scam verdict: CAG report triggered furore over 2G

A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on allocation of 2G licences pegging the presumptive loss to Rs 1.76 lakh crore in November 2010 triggered the political slugfest which led to the arrest of A Raja within three months in February in 2011.The CBI had registered an FIR in 2009 but did not name any accused. As the agency failed to take any action the CAG report opened the floodgates for the opposition to slam the UPA government.Petitions were filed in the Supreme Court that eventually began monitoring the investigations by CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.Regular status reports were filed by the investigating agencies in the apex that finally culminated in the charges being filed against then Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK leader Kanimozhi for being part of the conspiracy and receiving kickbacks.Parts of the CAG report were leaked before it was tabled in Parliament creating a furore. It finally became the basis on which criminal action was initiated as it gave a blow-by-blow account of how Raja bypassed procedures, ignored suggestions from Prime Minister Office (PMO), Ministries of Law and Finance.The report was taken by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. There was no consensus and it was rejected by one vote by the committee.

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Who will be new Gujarat CM? BJP MLAs to meet tomorrow to decide

Newly elected BJP MLAs of Gujarat will meet in Gandhinagar on Friday to choose the next chief minister, a top party official said on Thursday.The BJP legislature party will meet to elect its leader in the presence of central observers for the exercise– Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and party general secretary Saroj Pandey, the party’s state chief Jitu Vaghani told reporters here.State BJP incharge Bhupender Yadav and co-incharge V Satish would also attend the meeting at party headquarters ‘Kamalam’ tomorrow afternoon.Also readGujarat CM Rupani files nomination, says Congress has outsourced election to three activists”All the MLAs along with party observers and in-charge leaders would meet tomorrow to select the leader of the ruling party (chief minister). All the MLAs have been intimated to remain present in tomorrow’s meeting,” Vaghani said.Earlier today, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and members of his council of ministers gave resigned. Rupani, a front-runner for the chief minister’s post, has been asked to continue as caretaker chief minister till a new government is sworn in.Governor O P Kohli had dissolved the Assembly yesterday following the declaration of election results.In the recently concluded polls, BJP retained power by winning 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly, while the Congress bagged 77. Six seats were won by others.

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Rajasthan minister’s sons accused of assault

Two sons of a Rajasthan minister, along with others, allegedly abducted and thrashed a man in Alwar district, police said on Thursday.The incident occurred last evening when Surendra Bhadana and Hitesh Bhadana, sons of General Administration Department (GAD) minister Hem Singh Bhadana, along with 10 others, allegedly abducted one Tej Singh Yadav and thrashed him, they said.”Yadav was admitted to a local hospital for treatment. He said 12 persons, including Surendra and Hitesh, abducted and thrashed him,” Vinod Samaria, SHO of the Shivaji park police station, said.”Reasons behind the incident are not clear yet,” he said, adding that the investigation is underway.No arrest have been made so far, Samaria said.The minister could not be approached for his comments.

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2G Scam Verdict: CBI to take necessary legal remedies

The CBI said on Thursday after the 2G scam verdict in which all 17 accused were acquitted that “necessary legal remedies will be taken”. ×The accused had included former telecom minister A Raja and DMK minister Kanimozhi. The 2G spectrum scam pertained to the allocation of telecom spectrum, which the comptroller and auditor general alleged had been given away at throwaway prices. After the verdict Thursday morning, Raja, surrounded by family, had wept in court. Also read2G scam verdict: Former CAG Vinod Rai owes Congress apology, nation explaination, says Kapil SibalRaja had spent almost a year in jail after his arrest in 2011. “Justice prevails,” Kanimozhi had said. Also read2G scam: Top leaders voice mixed reactions on social mediaThe CBI had alleged that a Rs 200 crore bribe paid to A Raja had been deposited with a TV channel partly-owned by Kanimozhi.

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2G scam verdict: Former CAG Vinod Rai owes Congress apology, nation explaination, says Kapil Sibal

The Congress on Thursday hit out at former Comptroller Auditor General of India Vinod Rai after a CBI court acquitted DMK leaders A Raja, who was telecom minister in UPA-1, and Kanimuzhi for lack of evidence.Rai had calculated that the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008, under UPA 1, led to notional loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer. “There was no case from the beginning. In fact, it was scam of lies, there was no scam on our part. We did it in accordance with policy prescription that we had at that point in time,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal said. Responding to query on the Supreme Court judgment of February 2012 which cancelled 122 telecom licences that were allocated spectrum in 2008, Sibal said that the apex court passed the judgment in its attempt to do the best it could do in the interest of the nation, and it was a wrong decision. “That (SC cancelling telecom licences) was also a wrong decision. The fact that the Supreme Court rendered a decision doesn’t mean that is necessarily right. “In fact, the kind of environment created by the media, the opposition, by Vinod Rai… The telecom sector is in dire state today and this is entirely because of Vinod Rai and opposition (at that time),” Sibal saidAlso readDMK leader MK Stalin hails ‘historic verdict’ in 2G spectrum allocation caseEarlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the Congress is treating 2G verdict as a “badge of honour”, but there is a need to recollect and check the facts that led to an investigation in the case.The party’s “zero loss theory” was proved to be wrong when the apex court squashed spectrum allocation in 2012, the minister said after a special court on Thursday acquitted all accused in the 2G spectrum scam allocation case.Also readFull text of special CBI court’s judgment in 2G spectrum allocation case Though the trial court verdict says nobody was guilty of corruption, investigating agencies will study the case history and look into it, the minister asserted.

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2G scam: Top leaders voice mixed reactions on social media

A number of top leaders expressed their opinion after a special CBI court acquitted A Raja and Kanimuzhi in the 2G Spectrum scam on Thursday.The court had acquitted the DMK leaders, citing lack of evidence. While several people hailed the verdict, others, such as Subramanian Swamy have asked the Centre to file a petition with the High Court.Here’s how people reactedEarlier in the day,a special CBI court on Thursday acquitted, who was the telecom minister in the first UPA government, along with DMK leader Kanimozhi and 17 others in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.The special court judge OP Saini pronounced his verdict as ‘not guilty’ for all accused due to lack of evidence.The case relates to alleged below-market-price sale of lucrative telecoms permits bundled with airwaves in 2008, which a federal auditor said may have cost the government as much as Rs 1.76 lakh crore in lost revenue. The scam came to light following a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India during the second term of the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh.DMK working president MK Stalin has issued a statement after the 2G verdict. “The CBI court has given a historical verdict. The 2G case was filed in 2009. In the political history, the 2G case was foisted to defame and destroy DMK. It is a false case made up of goofed up figures. In such a case, the special court has acquitted all of them. We are very happy over the order. The court order proved that the DMK has not done anything wrong. I request the media to show the same enthusiasm of how it sensationalized the 2G scam when the case was filed. In the same way, you should take this news of acquittal to all the people,” he said. DMK’s RS Bharathi also hailed the CBI court’s verdict, saying that the case to begin with was a false case. “For the past 2 assembly elections, the case was used against us, now it has been proved to be wrong,” he added.

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‘Policing’ on cloud

Technology is fast becoming a major tool to bring transparency in the working of several government departments. There have been several instances wherein the police have been accused of not being transparent while investigating a case, but now with the help of technology they are ensuring that their credibility is not doubted. In order to bring in more transparency, the state Crime Investigation Department (CID)- crime branch, has started a new initiative, one which not only strengthens the police’s conduct and transparency but will also put those people giving statements under scanner.For the past three months, the CID – CB has taken to video recording of statements of witnesses, accused and parties regarding different cases. In just three months since its inception, the CID officers have recorded a whopping 685 statements related to various cases being investigated by the branch.Highly placed officials said, “There have been instances wherein the investigating officers have been accused of tampering with statements of people. We record the statements under section 161 CrPC, but in court, a person can turn them down and claim that the cops tampered with it, thus affecting not only the case but even police’s credibility.”To uphold the state police’s integrity, the CID started video recording of cases. “We came up with the idea and took it ahead. Now all the cases being investigated in the CID are covered in this fashion. We provided smart phones to our officers and taught them how to record the statements on video. The video is so recorded that not just the person giving statements is seen but even the IO so that there is no allegation put on us later that a person gave a certain statement under pressure” said Pankaj Kumar Singh, Additional Director General – Crime.But what happens of the video after the statements are recorded? “As a person finishes his/her statements, immediately the video gets uploaded on the cloud. The service is provided by DoIT who provide security and other facilities for our data as well. No tampering of such a video is possible either at our end or at the other person’s end. Thus it is secure. Moreover, there is an additional feature. As soon as the video is uploaded to cloud, the concerned Superintendent (SP) and the Inspector General (IG) receive a text message which contains details of the case for which the video is uploaded and the name of person whose statements have been recorded amongst other details” the ASG informed.No statement changingAnd what happens when the case goes for trial? “When we file a chargesheet, we will mention that statements are available in video also. If any person changes statements in court, we can anytime produce those videos before the court to corroborate with our reports thus proving that the person was lying in court and not the police. Electronically recorded statements are admissible in court,” Pankaj Kumar Singh said.Contemplating to use it state-wideInterestingly, the department hopes that the newly adopted method would be implemented across the state. “We are studying the development and hoping this would be adopted in investigations in police station level, but we don’t see that happening before December. It will be taken slowly as first only a certain area of the state and certain crimes for example women related crimes would be covered. Then we would move to SC/ST crimes and so on,” an officials said.

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Metro suspends 4 officials for train crash during trial run

A day after an empty Delhi Metro train rammed into the boundary wall at Kalindi Kunj depot during its trial because of the negligence of staff, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Wednesday suspended four officials for the accident.The officials suspended include the deputy general manager, who was the depot in-charge, an assistant manager looking after activity in the depot, a junior engineer and an assistant section engineer managing the train operation.According to the DMRC officials, based on the findings of the committee constituted by the authorities for a high-level enquiry into the accident, the action was taken.”The staff at the depot did not check the systems manually, which is the basic protocol, which led to the accident,” informed officials.Also, DMRC officials maintained that such an incident cannot happen while the train is in operation, as there are signals on the Metro Line while in the depot the train is managed manually.The incident occurred at 3.40 pm on Tuesday, as the train was moved from the workshop after the trial without testing the brakes while moving up the ramp for washing. As a result, it rolled back and hit the adjacent boundary wall.As per the procedure, when a train enters the workshop, the brakes of the train are decommissioned so that the train and its systems, including the brakes, can be freely checked. Once the train is again re-commissioned, the brakes should have been tested by the maintenance staff in the depot before the train left the shed.

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Poll loss a blip for Shankar Chaudhary

Shanker Chaudhary, the candidate of BJP from Vav seat, who bit the dust in latest Gujarat polls against Alpesh Thakor-supported Congress candidate Geniben Thakor, has great plans for his future. Chaudhary is a promising leader of BJP from OBC community and has a good hold over the party organisation. Leaders in BJP see him at another important position by 2019 LS polls.A senior leader of the party said on condition of anonymity, “Shankarbhai’s defeat is a great surprise with shock for all of us in the party as he lost to the Congress candidate who had not that huge clout. I see Chaudhary on a big and important position in Gujarat’s politics in days to come. He can become the party president before 2019 polls. It is also possible that he can be the Lok Sabha candidate from Banaskantha district.””Shankar Chaudhary has good relations with Narendra Modi and he is one of the close confident of PM in Gujarat. There are many arch rivals in BJP of him only because of the reason that he is close to Modi. He was party general secretary before he was in Gujarat government’s cabinet and has good organisational skill and popularity in masses,” added the leader.Chaudhary can also become the minister in Modi’s cabinet, if high command decided that he should contest the Rajya Sabha polls in near future, further added the leader.Though Chaudhary lost in polls by 6,655 votes from Vav seat in Banaskantha, he held a great show on Wednesday which was attended by thousands of people. Chaudhary addressed the gathering and said, “I accept the mandate, people of Banaskantha have given but my defeat in polls has not weakened my commitment to serve the people here. I would always remain with you to solve your issues. As I was easily available to you when I was the minister, anyone can knock my door at the darkest moment in the night whenever needed.”

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Blood young faces, boost BJP roots: PM Modi is ‘atal’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned emotional at the BJP’s continued electoral successes, fondly referred to his association with former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and called for strengthening the party at its roots. The PM pitched for young faces ahead of the 2019 general elections.Addressing the BJP parliamentary party here on Wednesday, he also urged leaders not to be affected by the Opposition’s “disinformation” campaign against the party, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday that Gujarat’s election outcome was “a moral victory” for the Congress and “a massive jolt” for the BJP, and has “raised questions on Modi’s credibility”. The BJP won a sixth straight term in Gujarat on Monday, but got 16 seats less, compared to the 2012 Assembly electionsModi asserted that it was a big win for his party in his home state. No party in power at the Centre has done this well in elections across the country in over three years of tenure as the BJP has , he said, referring to the BJP’s winning streak in Assembly elections.”This is no mean achievement. We have won for the sixth time in a row and are spread in 19 states, a feat that even Congress could not achieve during Indira Gandhi’s peak when her party ruled in 18 states,” PM Modi reportedly told BJP parliamentarians.He exhorted them to start preparing for the 2019 polls by strengthening party’s base.Modi also referred to his association with party president Amit Shah, who was present at the meeting, and spoke about how he groomed Shah, 14 years younger to the Prime Minister, they said.In his address, Shah attacked the Congress over its claim of a moral victory in the Gujarat polls, saying it was a “laughable exercise” for the opposition party to see victory in defeat.BJP MPs who attended the meeting said, the PM traced the party’s journey from 2 seats in 1984 to the present and became emotional when he fondly recalled Vajpayee and said that had he been healthy, he would have been happy to see the party rise to such glorious heights.Modi remembered how Vajpayee congratulated him in person when the party did well in the 1998 Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat when he had joined the BJP from the the RSS and was not widely known in the party.The PM got emotional for a second time when he spoke about the faith the people of Gujarat have put in the party and him and increased its vote share to 50%.Giving his own example of travelling to eight states immediately after wrapping Gujarat campaign on December 12 and at the same time delivering responsibility as the PM, Modi asked the MPs to shirk off laid back attitude and work for the country and the party.”Hum yahan satta bhogney ke liye nahi aaye hain, balki desh ko aagey le jaane ke liye chuney gaye hain. Mein abhi 8 rajyon ka daura kareke aaya hun, agar aap mujhse aur kaam chahte hain to mujhe bataiye mein tayyar hun. (We have not come here to indulge in fruits of power but have come to serve the country and take it forward. I have just come back after visiting 8 states, if you want me to do work more, I’m ready to do it), the PM reportedly told BJP MPs.

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Max Hospital resumes operations today after ‘stay’ on licence cancellation order

Max Healthcare claimed its hospital in Shalimar Bagh in the city has resumed operations from Wednesday after an “appropriate” authority “stayed” its licence cancellation, though the appellate body did not confirm it.A week ago, the hospital group had filed an appeal in the the Court of the Financial Commissioner against the cancellation of the licence of its hospital in north-west Delhi by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) of the city government.Max Healthcare in a statement issued on Wednesday claimed, “Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh has resumed its operations from today, following a stay order issued by the appropriate appellate authority to whom an appeal was made.”However, an official from the Court of the Financial Commissioner, when contacted, did not share the copy of the stay order, saying, it can only be issued to the parties concerned.Max Healthcare authorities, when contacted also declined to share a copy of the stay order.”We are fully focused on providing quality care to all our patients and honouring our commitment of ensuring free treatment to the economically weaker sections of the society,” the private hospital group further said in its statement.The Financial Commissioner is a statutory post and the incumbent exercises the powers of the Lt Governor or Chief Commissioner, delegated under various statutes, according to details on the website of the Financial Commissioner.The DGHS of the Delhi government’s health department had cancelled licence of the hospital for multiple instances of alleged medical negligence, including a case in which one of the twins was found alive after being declared dead by the facility.The licence cancellation case pertains to the premature twins, one of whom was wrongly declared dead on November 30 at the hospital where he was born, and who died during treatment at a nursing home in Pitampura a week later.Both the babies were declared stillborn by the hospital and handed over to the family allegedly in a polythene bag. But to their utter horror, they found that the boy was still alive, while they were on way to do their final rites.

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Kerala: Top cop suspended for criticising state over law and order, handling of Cyclone Ockhi

The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala today suspended DGP Jacob Thomas, the senior-most IPS officer in the state cadre, from service for his anti-government remarks.Thomas, who was serving as the director of the Institute of Management in Government (IMG), for the last seven months was earlier removed from the position of the chief of vigilance and anti-corruption bureau by the ruling party.According to official sources, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had directed suspension of the officer under the relevant sections of All India Service Rules as some of his recent remarks had shown the state government in poor light.Recently during a seminar on International Anti- Corruption Day, Thomas had lashed out at the state government alleging that there was total breakdown of law and order situation in the state.He also accused the government of not “properly handling” the cyclone Ockhi situation.Stating that all “corrupt forces” were united in the state and were in positions of power, the official said that there was a conscious attempt to silence those who stood against corruption.However, reacting on his suspension order, Thomas said he had only talked about corruption on the Anti-Corruption Day and that he cannot be silenced with this action.”There has been a general trend worldwide to silence people when they talk about corruption. But, I am not prepared to remain silent,” he told reporters here.”I am still swimming with big sharks. In this context, it is normal to face such action. But I will continue to swim,” he added.Jacob Thomas was already facing disciplinary action for penning his bare-all autobiography “Sravukalkkoppam Neenthumpol” (Swimming Along With Sharks), which he wrote without seeking any permission from the prior government.Though a three-member panel had recommended to initiate criminal proceedings against the officer, the government had later decided to limit it to disciplinary action only for penning the book.Known for his strong stand against corruption, the IPS officer had earned the ruling CPI(M)’s ire after he registered a vigilance case against the then industries minister E P Jayarajan over charges of nepotism following which he had to resign from the cabinet.Chief secretary, K M Abraham and Additional chief secretary, Tom Jose had lodged a complaint with the Chief Minister against Thomas after the vigilance department conducted raids on their residences over alleged disproportionate assets.

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PM Modi turns emotional in BJP Parliamentary meet, stresses on booth level network to win 2019 polls

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called for strengthening the BJP at its roots for a win in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and also pitched for promoting young faces inside and outside the party.Addressing the BJP parliamentary party here, Modi pushed for promoting the new generation for a “New India”, a vision for 2022 promoted by his government. He also urged party leaders not to be affected by the opposition’s “disinformation” campaign against the BJP, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters. Booth level work, which is the root of a poll campaign, is the mother of an election victory, Kumar quoted Modi as saying.”He called for strengthening the party at its roots across the country,” Kumar said.Party sources said Modi turned emotional a few times as he recalled how the party organisation was built in Gujarat and young leaders were groomed by their seniors, including former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.With the Congress claiming a “moral victory” for scoring its highest tally and pushing the BJP’s to its lowest score in the last many elections, Modi asserted that it was a big win for his party in his home state. No party in power at the Centre had done this well in elections across the country in over three years of tenure as the BJP had done, he said, referring to its winning streak in Assembly elections.<<iframe allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/g7S-wj4AHL8″ width=”100%”/>Modi fondly recalled how Vajpayee congratulated him in person when the party fared well in a Lok Sabha election from Gujarat, noting that he, then a relatively new entrant to the BJP from the RSS and a general secretary in charge of the state, was not widely known in the party, sources said. Seeking the promotion of young leaders at every level in the organisation, Modi referred to his association with party president Amit Shah, who was present at today’s meeting, and spoke about how he groomed Shah, 14 years younger to the prime minister, they said.”Modi called for strengthening the party at its roots across the country. He said the work at the booth level is most important, beside people’s blessings to the party, for creating a wave in its favour,” Kumar told reporters after the meeting. Modi wanted younger generations to be connected with party work, social work and for building the nation. He noted that the “millennial generation” would be eligible to vote from 2018. In his address, Shah attacked the Congress over its claim of a moral victory in the Gujarat polls, saying it was a “laughable exercise” for the opposition party to see victory in defeat.By getting more than 49 per cent of the votes, the BJP had received its highest share in the last many elections, including in 2012, when it won 116 seats against the 99 this time.

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Full-time DG in eight weeks: Gujarat high court tells state

The Gujarat high court has ordered the state government to appoint a Director General of Police (DGP) by following the regular procedure within eight weeks of time. The order comes after a public interest litigation sought directions to the state government to appoint a regular DGP instead of running the police department with an in-charge DGP. The state had cited assembly elections as a reason for the step. Former IPS officer Rahul Sharma had moved the petition challenging the state government’s decision to continue to appoint in-charge DGP. While passing the order, first division bench of chief justice R Subhash Reddy and Vipul Pancholi on Monday has concluded, “As per the Supreme Court order in Prakash Singh Vs Union of India, and even the Bombay Police Act and the Gujarat Act, the state government is bound to appoint DGP on regular basis. So, there is no reason for the state government for not filling the post with regular DGP. Though the state government has claimed that as the elections are going on it can take any steps, but it is the state government’s obligation to appoint regular appointment. The state government should initiate the process of the selection of the regular DGP and appoint within eight weeks of this order.”The petitioner’s advocate IH Syed had submitted that since 2016 there has been no regular DGP and the state police department is run by the in-charge officer, which is affecting its operations. And though there are rules for appointing regular DGPs, the state is not discharging its duty by doing so.Petitioner’s contention was that in-charge DGP can be influenced by the ruling party, as his/her tenure in office is at the mercy of the ruling party.GOVT’S EXCUSEThe state showed its helplessness in the name of the election notification It claimed that the entire force was busy with the elections It said it couldn’t take any decision of transfer or appointment without the EC’s permission

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