<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Bhopal court on Tuesday awarded two years’ rigorous imprisonment to former Congress MLA Kalpana Parulekar in a case of morphing a photograph of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.The court also granted her bail after pronouncing the sentence.Additional District Judge (ADJ) Arvind Kumar Goyal sentenced Parulekar to rigorous imprisonment for two years and slapped a fine of Rs 12,000 on her for using a morphed picture of Bhagwat to show former state lokayukta PP Naolekar as an RSS worker.She was convicted under the provisions of the Information Technology Act and different sections of the Indian Penal Code.According to prosecution, Parulekar had on November 29, 2011, while addressing a media conference inside the Madhya Pradesh assembly premises, criticised Naolekar, the then state Lokayukta, and accused him of links with RSS.To establish her allegation, she produced a photograph purportedly showing Naolekar in RSS uniform.The prosecution alleged that the photograph had been created after doctoring Bhagwat’s picture clicked on November 18, 2010 in Jharkhand.After this, a man named Gopal Krishna Dandotiya had lodged a complaint with the Madhya Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) against Parulekar which was later transferred to the CID.Soon after her conviction, her lawyer moved an application for bail which was granted.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the allegations of brazen flouting of state information commission orders keep coming, there now exist some evidence of the lack of its implementation. A reply to an applicant shows that only in 10 per cent of total cases was the fine recovered from the public information officers (PIOs) at the Konkan bench of the state information commission.Kailash Avhad, an RTI applicant had filed an application to know the total fines that were recovered from PIOs, and those who were exempted since the Konkan bench information commissioner, Thanksy Thekkekara took over.”Once a PIO was fined when he dealt with my RTI application. When I filed another RTI, he was still delaying. I then wanted to know if the fines were actually taken from them or not. This led me to file an RTI application to know how many times fine was recovered or exempted,” said Avhad.Of the data provided by the commission, only in 26 out of 263 cases, the PIOs were fined. This information is from 2014 onwards when Thekekkara took the charge.When contacted, Thanksy Thekkekara, information commissioner of the Konkan Bench said, “The responsibility for recovery of penalty is with the state government and its machinery. The commission does not do follow-up administratively of every order. But it gives a report to the legislature every year in which the status of penalty orders issued are indicated and the state government is advised to ensure the recovery.”Data saysOf the data provided by the commission, only in 26 out of 263 cases, the PIOs were fined. This information is from 2014 onwards when Thanksy Thekekkara took the charge
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Everything is not well with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). Stating that the records of outstanding bills towards shopkeepers in Palika Bhawan and RK Puram showed “a rather sordid and contaminated state of affairs at the NDMC”, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has summoned records from the civic body.The transparency watchdog has said that the civic body, which is responsible to maintain the Lutyen’s Delhi, is attempting to hide the information by denying the same under the clause of the Right to Information Act (RTI). RTI, however, does not cover the information related to commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, unless it involves larger public interest.”An honest citizen who pays his dues cannot be ignored by a civil body by sparing coercive action and extending tacit support to defaulters. Resistance to recover outstanding dues and efforts to keep the information guarded tend to legitimise the conduct of defaulters, besides causing heartburn to the upright taxpayer,” Information Commissioner Yashovardhan Azad said in an order.The directions came after an RTI applicant, who himself owns a shop in Palika Bhawan and RK Bhawan, had alleged that most occupants in the said premises have not been paying the license fee and the rent. He also claimed that the civic body has not taken any step to recover the pending amount which runs into crores.The NDMC did not send its officials for the hearing, despite notices from the transparency watchdog.”Upon a query from the commission, the appellant states that some of the shops/ commercial spaces were allotted way back in 1980 and a few licencees have not bothered to pay any licence fee since initial allotment. He also talked about the unholy nexus between the defaulter allottees and the officers of the NDMC,” Azad said.According to the records placed by the information commissioner in his order, over Rs 7 crore are pending as on September 14 towards 25 shopkeepers in Palika Bhawan. The CIC said that the “situation is alarming as it has a direct impact on the financial health of the NDMC” adding that the reasons that keep the civic body from taking concrete steps towards recovery of the dues cannot be hidden, as it affects the maintenance of civic amenities and livelihood of NDMC employees. The commission also issued show cause notice to the officials of the civic body for “causing deliberate obstruction in the flow of information”.The CIC will impose a penalty up to Rs 25,000 on the erring officer, if the person concerned cannot give reasonable justification for his action.DUE RECORDSAccording to the records placed by the information commissioner in his order, over Rs 7 crore are pending as on September 14 towards 25 shopkeepers in Palika Bhawan
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To ensure that children in the national Capital do not fall prey to online games such as the dreaded Blue Whale Challenge, the Delhi Police have issued an advisory, urging people to directly report to them in case they find a link related to the game being circulated on the social media.The Delhi Police had launched the Cyber Crime Cell website in July this year.This year, several cases of young children committing suicide or attempting to kill or harm themselves due to such games have been reported from various parts of the country. No death, however, has been officially linked to the Blue Whale Challenge, though there are reports that children have been playing such games.”Delhi Police have issued an advisory. If any body gets any information regarding any social media group promoting the Blue Whale Challenge, it should be reported to us directly. Criminal action under appropriate sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Information Technology (IT) Act will be taken against the administrator or members of such groups,” said Madhur Verma, Deputy Commissioner of Police.Verma further said that by various mechanisms, the Delhi Police have been giving cyber safety tips to computer teachers in schools, parents, and teenagers, who mostly fall prey to cyber crime because of their curiosity.According to the police, one of the two most significant challenges faced by them are that social media companies provide any information only after registration of a case and not during the inquiry. Another major challenge is that the offence committed by a person should also be an offense in the country where the headquarters of social media companies are located.Besides this, the social media companies issue only log-in and log-out IP address information, adding that a lot of time is taken while processing the applications of the police officers.In August this year, the government of India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had requested that several Internet companies (including Google, Facebook, and Yahoo) to remove all links that direct users to the game.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre extended the deadline for obtaining Aadhaar for availing government schemes and subsidies by three months to December 31.The extension is, however, only for those who are yet to apply of Aadhaar, an order issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said.As many as 135 schemes (of 35 ministries) including the free cooking gas (LPG) to poor women, kerosene and fertiliser subsidy, targeted public distribution system (PDS) and MGNREGA will be covered by the extension.The government had previously made quoting of Aadhaar necessary for availing government benefits and subsidies like those on cooking gas LPG. Those who did not have Aadhaar were asked to procure the unique identification number by September 30.This deadline has now been extended till December 31, the order said.”As a result of the review of welfare schemes covered and to provide the benefits of such schemes to all eligible beneficiaries of the scheme, it has been decided to further extend the stipulated date in all such notifications up to December 31, 2017,” the order said.The extension would also apply for Employees’ Pension Scheme of 1995, scholarships, housing subsidy benefit, stipend to SC/ST trainees for coaching guidance and vocational training, stipend to handicapped, Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana, national apprenticeship and skill development schemes, crop insurance schemes, interest subvention scheme, scholarship and fellowship schemes, various education programmes such as mid- day meal for children and Atal Pension Yojana.”It is hereby clarified that this extension shall only apply to those beneficiaries who are not assigned Aadhaar number or those who have not yet enrolled for Aadhaar. Such beneficiaries are required to enroll for Aadhaar by December 31, 2017 and provide their Aadhaar number or enrolment ID,” it said.A source said that there will be no denial of services in the interim period.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On World Tourism Day, Press Information Bureau shared a tweet on the diveristy of India, through two videos highlighting India’s varied topography, which makes it a unique tourist destination.The two videos – one by travel blogger Clint Johnson and the other by fashion designer Emma Puttick – highlight their visits to India and how mesmerised they become with the country’s rich diversity.Watch the videos hereEarlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an open invitation to people all over the world to come and discover India’s beauty.”On World Tourism Day, I invite people from all over the world to come & discover the beauty of Incredible India & hospitality of our people. I specially urge my young friends to travel across India & see first hand the diversity of our vibrant nation,” the PM shared in a series of tweets.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a blow to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha, the Delhi High court on Monday dismissed his plea which contended that he cannot be made to face a criminal case for merely retweeting the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet. The case here refers to a criminal defamation case filed by Union Minister Arun Jaitley against the CM and five other AAP leaders.Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal dismissed the petition stating that it is “devoid of merit”.”The perusal of the complaint, statements of the witnesses examined by the complainant depict that the petitioner (Chadha) along with other accused persons participated in the press conference, issued derogatory statements orally, used Twitter handles, retweeted, disseminated, defamatory imputations targeting the complainant (Jaitley) through the platform of press and media from December 15, 2015 onwards and continued till December 20, 2015 after the CBI sleuths conducted a search,” court said.On whether retweeting would constitute an offence of defamation under Section 499 of IPC, the High Court said it was a question that has to be determined in the totality of the circumstances and has to be decided during the trial.”It is not for this court, while exercising inherent powers under Section 482 of CrPC to go into the merits of the case. Undoubtedly, the Trial Court, in its order dated March 9, adduced the complaint, documents, evidence and all other relevant material and after careful scrutiny, summoned the petitioner on a well reasoned order holding that a prima facie case was made out against the petitioner and there were sufficient grounds for summoning him and to face trial under sections 499/500 of IPC,” the court said.”Whether retweeting would attract the liability under Section 499 IPC, is the question which requires to be determined in the totality of the circumstances and the same will have to be determined during trial and any interference at this stage by this court is likely to prejudice the findings of the trial court.”The court held that the said acts, aimed/targeted at Jaitley and his family members and attracted adverse attention of public.”The individual and collective role of the petitioner and the other accused persons is spelled out in the assailed order. The aspect of applicability of Section 34 of the IPC can be gathered from the totality of circumstances to analyse the underlying common intention in commission of alleged offence,” the court said.Senior counsel Anand Grover, appearing for Raghav Chadha, argued that all communications allegedly made by Jaitley with defamatory imputations are in electronic form which are solely covered by the Information and Technology Act, 2000, and not by Section 499 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).He also said that retweet does not amount to publication for the purpose of Section 499 and there can be no defamatory case.The case had come to the High Court at the direction of the apex court, which on September 15 had asked it to decide by September 25.In his plea, Chadha had sought the setting aside of the trial court order summoning him as an accused in the criminal defamation case filed by Jaitley against him and five other AAP leaders, including Kejriwal.Chadha had moved the apex court against the high court’s July 11 order refusing to stay the lower court proceedings against him in the defamation matter.In his plea, Chadha had raised the question before the high court as to whether the trial court could have summoned him without determining if the alleged defamatory statements, which were purportedly made through Twitter, were covered under the penal provision of defamation under the IPC.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and anti-corruption activist Anjali Damania on Saturday alleged that she received a threat call from Pakistani number asking to withdraw cases against BJP MLA Eknath Khadse.”Last night at 12.33, I received a threatening call asking me to withdraw all cases against Khadse +922135871719. Truecaller shows Dawood 2 Pakistan,” she said in a series of tweets.”Informed CM on threat call from a landline number of Pakistan, asking me to withdraw all cases against Eknath Khadse, she added”.A complaint has been registered and Joint CP Crime is investigating the matter.Damania also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to give her time to urgently see them. “Threat call? to a citizen? I want my govt to act,” she tweeted.A fortnight ago, Vakola police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Eknath Khadse for allegedly making a ‘lewd’ statement on Damania at a public gathering on his birthday on September 2.In her police complaint, Damania claimed that on September 2, at a public gathering in Jalgaon, Khadse had passed an outrageous comment.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a decision on the matter pertaining to status of water bodies in Delhi, the Central Information Commission came down heavily on the Delhi government. “The above trail of transfers indicates a virtual collapse of the RTI regime and is travesty of justice. It is ironical to note that the detailed information available on the Delhi government website whereas the PIO, DPGS instead of providing the said information chose to transfer his responsibility on irrelevant and unconnected public official.”The applicant has sought the details on number of water bodies existing in Delhi and as to what is being done by the government to preserve them. Instead of addressing the issue the matter moved to 10 different irrelevant PIOs. There are roughly 971 water bodies in the capital but there are only 250 which still have water and come under the clean category. Over 300 water bodies have dried up and 100 have been overtaken by encroachment.Putting it bluntly, the Information Commissioner Yashovardhan Azad wrote in his decision,” The Commission is given to understand that a consultant of considerable repute has been employed by the Delhi Government to bolster RTI regime. The Delhi Government is well advised to utilize his services in not only sensitizing the CPIOs and PIOs but under senior echelons too of the Government. Only then matter of national importance can be attended to in a manner befitting the requirements of the RTI regime.”The Commission also noted that senior officers are not involved in the RTI process and as a result, officials designated to furnish information are neither checked nor monitored properly. It was also decided to send the copy of the order of the CIC to the Delhi Chief Minister and Lt Governor.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Varanasi for his two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency on Friday afternoon.He was received by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Ram Naik at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport.According to a itinerary tweeted by the BJP, PM Modi began his trip with Tulsi Manas Temple darshan. He also launched a postal ticket based on Ramayana.Later, he inaugurated a handicraft trade centre in Bada lalpur. Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were also present at the event.Around 7 pm in the evening, PM Modi will launch several projects in his parliamentary constituency, including flagging off Mahamana Express between Varanasi and Vadodara, two bridges on holy river Ganga, two power sub-stations.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A journalist from a local TV news channel in Agartala on Wednesday abducted and killed in West Tripura district while covering the agitation and road blockade by the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), the police said.Superintendent of Police of West district, Abhijit Saptarshi said Santanu Bhowmick, a journalist from ‘Dinrat’ news channel, was covering the agitation and road blockade by the IPFT at Mandai when he was hit from behind and abducted. Later, Bhowmick was found with serious stab injuries and was rushed to Agartala Medical College and Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, the SP said. Tripura Health Minister Badal Chowdhury condemned the killing and state Information Minister Bhanulal Saha visited the hospital.The SP said the situation at Mandai was tense. Prohibitory orders under section 144 Crpc were already in force in the area and more police forces was being rushed to there, he said. Over a hundred activists of the Gana Mukti Parishad (GMP), the tribal wing of the ruling CPI-M, were yesterday injured in a clash with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) at Chhankhola area of Khowai district, about 40 km from Agartala. Khowai Superintendent of Police Nagendra Debbarma told reporters that the clash took place when the Parishad supporters gathered at the bus stand at Khowai town to travel to Agartala for a GMP rally.The IPFT workers attacked the GMP activists with sticks and iron rods and injured at least 118 of them, six seriously, and damaged at least 15 buses. Personnel from the Tripura State Rifles and Assam Rifles were deployed in sensitive areas of the district and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC imposed in Tulashikhar and Rajnagar apprehending breach of peace, the SP said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP leader Raghav Chadha on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that he cannot be made to face a criminal case only for retweeting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet against Union Minister Arun Jaitley, claiming that a retweet does not make out the offence of defamation.Chadha’s counsel sought setting aside of a trial court order summoning him as an accused in the criminal defamation case filed by Jaitley against him and five others.Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for Chadha, said the whole complaint was based on electronic downloaded record, barring one news article, and the offence of defamation under the IPC was not made out.If it is electronic record, it would be covered under the Information and Technology Act, he contended.Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Jaitley, opposed the contention saying that defamatory remarks are not covered under the IT Act and have to be booked under the IPC.”They (AAP leaders) left no stone unturned to embarass and defame my client (Jaitley). They acted in concert,” he said.The arguments, which were advanced for nearly four hours, remained inconclusive and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal would continue hearing the matter tomorrow.Chadha’s counsel also argued that a retweet taken from an original tweet does not cause publication under section 499 (defamation) of the IPC.On the other hand, Luthra said when a person retweets or re-publishes a comment, it is there for the world at large to see.Publication is a proof of oral statement as well as its circulation and retweeting means reiteration of a comment, which is liable, he said. He said Chadha made alleged “defamatory” statements at a press conference, besides retweeting Kejriwal’s comment.Grover said the AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai — have been roped in the case under for the offence of common intention, which is not attracted in a case like this.”Trial court did not deal with the issue whether tweeting or retweeting amounts to publication at all,” he said.The case came to the high court at the direction of the Supreme Court which had on September 15 directed it to decide by September 25, the AAP leader’s plea against the trial court’s summoning order.The apex court had said the parties shall appear before the high court on September 18 with a copy of its order and the matter shall be argued on September 19.Chadha’s counsel had said the high court had listed the matter for hearing in October and not stayed the proceedings going on before the trial court.Jaitley’s counsel had questioned Chadha’s move to approach the apex court against the high court’s order.Chadha had alleged in his plea that he was made to face criminal defamation case only for retweeting Kejriwal’s tweet against Jaitley.He had moved the apex court against the high court’s July 11 order refusing to stay the lower court proceedings against him in the defamation matter and had posted his plea for hearing in October.He had said in the plea that he had raised an important question of law before the high court as to whether the trial court could have summoned him without determining if the alleged defamatory statements, which were purportedly made through Twitter, were covered under the penal provision of defamation under the IPC.Kejriwal and other AAP leaders are facing a criminal defamation suit after they claimed that Jaitley was allegedly involved in corrupt practices when he was the president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), a post he had held from 2000 to 2013.Jaitley, who had denied all the allegations levelled by the AAP leaders in December 2015, had also filed a civil defamation suit seeking Rs 10 crore damages from Kejriwal and others, claiming they had made “false and defamatory” statements in the case involving DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday took a dig at Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and said that dynasty becomes a burden in the long run.Jaitley’s remark came days after Rahul Gandhi’s comment on dynasty while addressing students at the University of California.”I feel ashamed when it was said in the US that dynasty is in India’s nature (Mujhe sharam aayi jab Amreeka mein baith ke kaha gaya ki parivarvaad is desh ke svabhaav mein hai),” Arun Jaitley said taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi.”Some parties may think that being centered around dynasty is an asset but in the long run it becomes a burden,” Jaitley added.Hitting back at those who have accused him of reaping the benefits of ‘dynasty politics’, Rahul had said that the entire nation is running on it and hence, one should not go only after him. “Most parties in India have that problem So…Mr Akhilesh Yadav is a dynast. Mr Stalin (son of M Karunanidhi in DMK) is a dynast … even Abhishek Bachchhan is a dynast.”Earlier, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani slammed Rahul Gandhi’s defense citing background of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.When Rahul said that – That’s how India runs – he forgot that in independent India there are many people who are giving contribution but have no political legacy. “Prime Minister comes from a small village, President is from a family that comes from the marginalised community. Vice President is a farmer’s son. The three people being at the top post is a signal that in a living democracy merit is important. A failed dynast talked about his failed political journeys in US,” Irani said in a scathing attack.Gandhi who is in the US on a two-week-long tour has held a series of meetings, including a roundtable with eminent Indian /South Asia experts hosted by the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Democratic-leaning think tank.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If you rue over bad pay hike, sample this: This year the NREGA workers got lowest wage hike ever, measly Re 1 in some states.It is this pay ‘hike’ and number of other issues for which hundreds of NREGA workers have been staging a protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar since September 11.These workers, who form the first line of rural job front, are now facing a bleak future.They have now brought their struggle to the Capital and are demanding an increase in wages and work days under the NREGA scheme.Most feel that the paltry pay hike in April is just a way by the Centre to kill the scheme.They also allege that the Centre is ‘diluting’ the NREGA scheme through budget cuts, low wages and delay in payments.”Its like slow poison to kill the National Rural Guarantee Act (NREGA),” said activist Anuradha Talwar.The women working under the rural employment scheme complained of low wages and delays in payments in their respective states.”I get 10-15 days in a month and the payments are never on time. The wages are also less than what is expected to be paid,” said Galku Devi from Rajasthan.Under NREGA, workers from rural areas are guaranteed 100 days work. They are also eligible for a stipulated wage of Rs 192 per day within 15 days of completion of work.Nikhil Dey of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghtan said the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, the umbrella organisation seeking improvement in implementation of the scheme, has raised the demand of hiking the wages to Rs 600 and increasing number of work days to 240.”NREGA wages have been held constant in real terms since 2009. In the last two years, the wages have increased by as little as one rupee per day in some states,” he said.The activists also charged that the use of technology has further “hampered” smooth functioning of the scheme.”The workers as needed to get their numbers listed with Management Information System(MIS) and bank accounts where the wage payments are to be made. This is just one example how cumbersome it could make the scheme,” said Professor Ritika from IIT Delhi.Another NREGA activist from Rajasthan, Mukesh, highlighted “glaring lapses” in social audit of the scheme and how, despite a demand from the rural workforce, no jobs were available for them.”After demonetisation, large number of workers have returned to their villages and want work. But, there is no work for them due to several reasons including budget cuts,” he said.NREGA budgets have been “inadequate” for several years, Dey said.”After peaking at 0.6 percent(of GDP) in 2009-10, Central government expenditure on NREGA declined steadily to 0.3% in 2015-16 and 2016-17,” he said.These workers also have another issue that may force government to rethink its digital future policy.Aadhaar card is yet another hurdle for them. Most feel that its unnecessary and slows down even the basic work.A Times of India report quoted one Tukaram from Madya Pradesh who angrily talked about how Aadhaar is being mandatory even for accessing basic amenities.He said the pregnant women in his village faced great difficulties to call the ambulance.”To call the ambulance on the 108 number, we have to produce evidence of Aadhaar registration. One woman worker forgot to carry her Aadhaar card to hospital and did not remember her number, and we were faced with delay in all services,” the TOI report quoted him saying.From Madhya Pradesh to Delhi, the dislike for Aaadhar remains unchanged.According to the TOI report, Pushpa, a resident of Delhi, said, “This Aadhaar is killing people; whether it is access to ration or pension or hospital, nothing happens with it. It has become an excuse for government servants to not help.”(With PTI input)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI has taken over investigation of the four cases pertaining to chit fund scam believed to be involving funds of over Rs 25,000 crore in Jharkhand on the directions of the state High Court.The agency has re-registered four FIRs pertaining to chit fund companies — DJN group of companies, Gurukul group of companies, Shashank Industries Corporation and Star Finance company.A total of 25 accused have been booked in these four cases, according to the FIRs.These cases were investigated by the Jharkhand Police so far, the CBI FIRs say.”It is submitted by the Additional Advocate General that a detailed counter affidavit has been filed on behalf of respondent, who has brought on record several facts including the amount involved in one company being approximately of Rs 1,600 crore and total figure may even cross Rs 25,000 crore,” the order of the High Court had said.The court was submitted a list of 27 chit fund companies operating in the state which were under the scanner of the state police.”Over and above the aforesaid offences, similarly situated other First Information Reports, registered at various other police stations about chit fund companies are also handed over to the CBI for further investigation. These cases shall be identified by the CBI with the help of the State of Jharkhand,” it had said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Haryana Cabinet today said all gram panchayats in the state will have Wi-Fi zone within the next two years.The Cabinet, which met under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar here, approved ‘Haryana IT and ESDM Policy-2017’, an official spokesman said.”The policy envisages one Wi-Fi zone in all 6,078 gram panchayats within two years, broadband to every household and Wi-Fi zone at important public places in all towns and cities, 4G services in every village in the next three years,” the spokesman said.The policy aims to develop Information Technology (IT) and Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sectors over five years as key growth drivers, he said.The five-year goal of the draft policy includes generation of employment for 15 lakh persons in the IT-ESDM sector by 2020, increasing the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state from 9.4 per cent to 15 per cent, and making Haryana pioneer in research and development for ESDM by producing 1,000 patents.Provision has been made under the policy for various financial incentives, simplified regulatory regime and infrastructure augmentation for different categories such as IT and ITeS, ESDM, startups, MSME backward and most backward regions and digital governance, the spokesman said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Old currency notes, plastic currency used for cash transactions inside the Dera, hard disks, unlabelled medicines and a luxury car without registration number were recovered as search operation began at the Sirsa headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda headed by now– jailed Gurmeet Ram Rahim.The team also recovered plastic currency used by the Dera followers for making purchases from the shops inside the Dera. The huge Dera campus has a stadium, a resort, a hospital, educational institutions and several bungalows.Curfew was imposed in the district as a precautionary step before officials entered the Dera, with armed commandos for protection. Over 4,000 paramilitary personnel patrolled at the area and mobile and internet connectivity was shut down to to thwart any backlash from the supporters of the controversial dera head, who was recently awarded 20 years in jail for raping two women.After his conviction, the Dera chief’s followers had indulged in rioting in several parts of Haryana, resulting in death of thirty six persons.As many as 10 teams were formed under the directions of Court Commissioner, former judge AKS Pawar, to conduct the search operation in the Dera which is spread over 700 acres. Sanitisation process would also be carried out in the old Dera, spread over 300 acres, following the orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court.The search operation which began 15 days after the Dera Chief’s conviction has raised several question marks, with allegations that remains of his followers are buried in the premises of the Dera. While any such recover will emerge only after investigation, which is yet to be made by the teams, the Dera through its mouthpiece, Sach Kahun, has refuted the allegations and stated that the buried remains were of those who willingly donated their bodies to the Dera.Apart from bomb squads, dog squads, locksmiths, videographers, the teams are being assisted by forensic scientists from IIT Roorkee. “Apart from hard drives, stock of unlabelled medicines, walkie-talkie the team has also taken in its possession an OB van found in the premises and a luxury car without a registration plate. Some rooms have been sealed. The teams have begun searching the residential area of the Dera Chief,” said Satish Mehra, Deputy Director, Information and Public Relations, Haryana.Internet and telecom services were clamped down following the state’s Home Department’s directive to check any adverse reaction from the public till September 10 and all the roads leading to the Dera were sealed, with force deployment in villages surrounding the Dera.Each of the ten teams are being led by an SP-rank officer. As the team proceeded to the Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s residential area, called ‘Gufa’, where the two sadhvis were raped, the team also found five youth, including two juveniles, in the room who were rescued.According to police, the search operation would be completed only by September 10, as the entire area had been divided into as many as ten zones.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A team of forensic experts today inspected the so-called ‘gufa’ (cave) at Dera Sacha Sauda where its rape convict head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh allegedly used to sexually exploit women.The ‘gufa’ was inspected by the forensic experts from IIT Roorkee as part of sanitisation of the sprawling ‘dera’ campus here, an official of the Haryana government said.According to the rape victim, on whose complaint the dera chief was convicted by a CBI court on August 25, Ram Rahim would sexually exploit girls in the ‘gufa’, said to be his residence.”A forensic team from IIT Roorke reached the Dera during the day today. They started inspection of Dera’s Gufa,” said Haryana’s Information and Public Relations Department Deputy Director, Satish Mehra, who has been authorised by the administration to speak to the media.”The forensic experts were also coordinating with other teams which were already inside taking part in the sanitisation and search operation,” Mehra told reporters.A number of Dera followers who had parted ways with Ram Rahim have told the media earlier that except for the Dera chief and his close aides, nobody was allowed to enter the ‘gufa’ or private area of his residence.The woman, who had dared to complain against Ram Rahim, had alleged that she had been sexually exploited by the dera chief after being called there.She had said that prior to her exploitation, she would see some of the girls coming out of the ‘gufa’ weeping.Girls were deployed as security persons at the entrance of a ‘guffa’, the victim had said.Mehra said various teams engaged in the sanitisation process are working as per the directions given by Court Commissioner, who was appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.He said five boys were found inside the dera premises today, two of whom are minor. “The minor boys hail from Kaithal (in Haryana) and Uttar Pradesh. Both have been handed over to theDistrict Child Protection Officer,” Mehra said.When asked what they were doing inside the campus, he said the District Child Protection officer will quiz them about this.”Regarding other three we are asking them about their whereabouts and will later send them home,” he said.He said a walkie-talkie set has also been recovered from inside the dera today.”Whatever articles are being found, the district administration has taken these into their custody and will follow the orders given by the Court Commissioner,” Mehra said.The sanitisation exercise is being conducted amid tight security by police and paramilitary personnel, besides senior officials of various government departments.The process, which began around 8 am, is being videographed and monitored by retired District and Sessions Judge A K S Pawar, who was appointed as a Court Commissioner by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday to oversee the exercise.The Haryana government had filed a plea on Friday seeking permission for the sanitisation process under judicial supervision, after the conviction of the sect chief, now in a Rohtak jail.The HC appointed a court commissioner for the purpose earlier this week.A report of the entire exercise will be submitted to the high court by the court commissioner, with a copy to the state government.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PM Modi, in his joint press statement with Suu Kyi after the talks, said India understands the problems being faced by Myanmar. He said India shares Myanmar’s concerns over “extremist violence” in the Rakhine state, especially the loss of innocent lives of the people and the military personnel.”When it comes to a big peace process or finding a solution to a problem, we hope that all stakeholders can work together towards finding a solution which respects the unity and territorial integrity of Myanmar,” Modi said. At the same time, the solution can bring about peace, justice and dignity for all, he said.Your Excellency, the State CounsellorDistinguished delegates,Friends from media,Minglaba,I came here in 2014 on the occasion of ASEAN summit, however, this is my first bilateral visit to the golden land of Myanmar. But I’m feeling at home due to the warm welcome accorded to me. I’m grateful to the government of Myanmar for this.Excellency,Your courageous leadership of Myanmar peace process is praiseworthy. We thoroughly understand the challenges that you have been facing. We are partners in your concerns over the loss of lives of security forces and innocent people due to the extremist violence in Rakhine State.Be it a large peace process or be it to resolve a specific problem, we hope that all the stakeholders can work together in the direction to find such a solution that will ensure peace, justice and dignity for all by respecting the unity and territorial integrity of Myanmar.Friends,I believe that India’s democratic experience is also relevant for Myanmar. And therefore we are pride of our comprehensive cooperation in the capacity building of the institutions like the executive, the legislature, election commission and press council. Our interests in the area of security are common as neighbours. It’s essential that we work together to ensure the stability of our long territorial and coastal borders. The construction of roads and bridges, links in the field of energy and our efforts to boost connectivity indicate in the direction of a good future. We have completed the work on the Sittwe port and Paletwa Inland Waterways Terminal in Kaladan project. And the work on road component has started. In order to meet the requirement of Upper Myanmar, two-way movement of high speed diesel trucks have started from India. Development of high quality health, education and research facilities in Myanamar under our development partnership is a cause of happiness. In this context, Myanmar Institute of Information Technology and Advanced Centre for Agricultural Research and Education are worthy of special mention. Both of these are emerging as the main centers of education. In the future, our projects will only be according to the needs and priorities of Myanmar. The agreements signed by us today between our two countries will further strengthen our multifaceted bilateral cooperation.|Friends,I am happy to announce that we have decided to give gratis visa to all citizens of Myanmar who are interested in coming to India. I am also happy to state that we have decided to release 40 citizens of Myanmar who are currently lodged in the jails of India. We hope that they will soon be able to meet with their families in Myanmar.Excellency,My time in Nay Pyi Taw was very meaningful. I am also very excited about my remaining stay in Myanmar. Today I will go to the Anand Temple in the Bagan. The renovation work of Ananda Temple and other historic and cultural buildings is being carried out with the help of India to repair the damages caused to them due last year’s earthquake. Apart from meeting the community of Indian origin people in Yangon, I will also pay my tributes at the monuments of religious and historical importance. I believe that in the coming time, we will work together to build a strong and close partnership for our mutual benefit.|Thank youCheju Tin Ba De.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It has been six months since the State Information Commission (SIC) first slapped a showcause notice asking reasons why the pubic information officer (PIO) should not be fined. The commission asked for appropriate action to be taken but nothing has been done yet.Failing to procure information and a report on the action taken, Sunil Shiriskar, an RTI applicant, filed a complaint on August 16 and also filed an RTI application on August 28.As part of an exercise to audit the money spent by corporators, Shirishkar had filed an RTI application seeking details of the funds they get and the ways in which they are utilised by them.The PIO did not provide information on the application filed in October 2016. When information was not provided even after the first appellate authority order, Shiriskar filed a second appeal.In the February order of the second appeal hearing, the commission came down heavily stating that the PIO did not even attend the hearing. However, there was no action even on that.”I wanted to know what eventually happened. It was surprising that the PIO was not fined to begin with. It was even more surprising that there was no departmental action taken either, despite him not attending the hearings or showcause notices. I have filed complaints and also RTI applications, to know the details about the action taken now,” said Shiriskar.NO RESPONSEAs part of an exercise to audit the money spent by corporators, Sunil Shiriskar had filed an RTI application seeking details of the funds they receive and the ways in which they are utilised.
The Public Information Officer did not provide any information on the application filed in Oct 2016
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court on Friday rejected prayers sought in a Public Interest litigation (PIL) to direct police to lodge a First Information Report against civic body officials in the death of Dr Deepak Amrapukar after falling into an uncovered manhole or pay a compensation of Rs 50 lakh.A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and NM Jamdar, while asking the family members to raise the prayers before an appropriate forum, said “We are pained by the death of a senior doctor but we also cannot forget the technicalities involved for a petition to be heard as public interest.”The bench asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and state government to file their reply on prayers raising concerns over potholes and manholes.The body of Amrapukar, who had gone missing on Tuesday after heavy rains, was recovered on Thursday from a nullah in Worli.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court on Friday said it will take action against “deadly” online games like ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ which claimed one life in Madurai district.Justices K K Sasidharan and G R Swaminathan of the Madurai bench stated this when Krishnamurthy, an advocate, made an appeal to the court to direct the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry to ban such games and also sought permission to file a petition.The judges said, “We will take up the case suo motu” and added that hearing would be on September 4.It may be recalled that Vignesh, a private college student, allegedly committed suicide on August 30 after playing the online game.Vignesh had reportedly told his friends that he was “crazy” about the game and also told his parents that he was getting isolated due to his addiction for it.The game appears to goad vulnerable teens into killing themselves. It forces them to perform several dangerous activities, finally leading them to commit suicide.The game has claimed many lives worldwide.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India and Switzerland here on Thursday discussed ways to operationalise the automatic exchange of information (AEIO) agreement signed last year to effectively combat black money and tax evasion during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Swiss President Doris Leuthard.The agreement is awaiting nod of Swiss parliament, where the largest group, the rightist conservative Swiss People’s Party or the SVP has put spokes on its implementation taking plea that India was amongst world’s top corrupt countries. “Hopefully, our parliament will pass it by the end of the year. We have strongest laws against money laundering and therefore we hope that the first exchange of information can begin by 2019,” Swiss President said at the joint press interaction.During bilateral talks, Modi sought greater cooperation to ensure bilateral financial transparency and thanked the Swiss government for its support to India’s membership bid for the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). President Doris Leuthard, expressed strong commitment to help India to deal with the problem of blackmoney.”Transparency in financial transactions is an issue of worry to stop black money, hawala transactions and fund for terrorism. Our cooperation continues with the Swiss to ensure automatic sharing of information. We welcome Swiss investments and work has begun on a new bilateral investment treaty,” the PM said at the joint press interaction. Swiss leader responded by saying that her country has accepted AEIO on financial issues.Both sides also signed two major agreements on railways following which the Swiss president said, “India is playing an important role in global political agenda. We can learn from each other.” Ms Leuthard, also expressed her country’s commitment to the Paris agreement and said that the challenge lies in implementing this international agreement on national level and said, “We both believe in rule of law and share common values which will help our future collaborations.”The Swiss president is accompanied by senior government officials and a large business delegation of leading Swiss companies. Swiss presidents have visited India on three occasions earlier — in 1998, 2003 and 2007. Modi visited Switzerland in June last year.In Switzerland, a key panel of Swiss parliament the Committee on Economy and Royalties of the National Council or CER-N is currently examining the criteria for the countries that would satisfy the Parliament to enable them to get access to data under the automatic exchange of (AEIO). The Federal Council of Swiss government had adopted a resolution on June 15 regarding introduction of automatic information exchanges with 41 jurisdictions including India.In late 2016, India and Switzerland signed a data-sharing treaty that would have Swiss authorities collect bank data and send it to Indian tax authorities and vice versa. The automatic exchange of tax information was hailed in India as a victory for the Modi government. But the Swiss parliament has put spokes on the agreement. The SVP released a list of “corrupt countries” that includes India, Argentina, Brazil, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Colombia, Mexico, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. “We do not want an automatic exchange of bank data with corrupt and unfree states,” said the SVP president, Albert Rösti. The SVP claims it will get majority support in Parliament to bring the AIE process to a halt.The joint statement issued at the end of talks emphasized the willingness of both sides to further enhance cooperation in the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion. They acknowledged the importance of a global level playing field for effective implementation of the international standards on tax transparency.”The two Leaders look forward to the first transmission of financial account information between the two countries. Prime Minister Modi welcomed the steps taken by the Swiss side to expedite the execution of tax information sharing request by India and hoped that the two sides resolve outstanding issues expeditiously through bilateral dialogue at competent authority level,” the joint statement said. Modi, during talks also expressed his expectation that Switzerland will implement the recommendations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information in Tax Matters with the view to further improve mutual administrative assistance in tax matters.FIGHTING TAX FRAUDThe joint statement issued at the end of talks emphasised the willingness of both sides to further enhance cooperation in the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion. They acknowledged the importance of a global level playing field for effective implementation of the international standards on tax transparency.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Personnel Ministry has refused to share details on the appointment of the CBI chief citing confidentiality clause under the Right to Information Act.Replying to an RTI appeal, it said the appointment of CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma was done through the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), which is exempted from the ambit of the transparency law. Verma, a former Delhi Police Commissioner, was on January 19, named as Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He is a 1979 batch IPS officer of (AGMUT) union territories cadre. His name was cleared by a three-member selection panel, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, comprising Chief Justice of India and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge as members.Kharge had reportedly recorded his dissent note on Verma’s name, during the meeting of the selection committee held on January 16, on the ground that the officer had never served in the CBI. The Ministry of Personnel, nodal agency for the CBI, was asked to provide details on the appointment including the file notings “from proposal to fill the vacancy to issuance of order of appointment of Mr Verma”. It has been observed that note portion contains the information about vigilance status of officers which has been supplied by a third party–Ministry of Home Affairs–and has been treated as confidential by them, the Personnel Ministry said replying to the appeal.Accordingly, view of third party is being obtained, it said.The appeal was made after the ministry earlier refused to share this information. The transparency law has provision for appeal in case an applicant is aggrieved over the response by the Central Public Information Officer–first authority to give response to any RTI application. The ministry said the selection of the Director was made through the ACC which is exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act, 2005. The Section bars disclosure of information related to cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the council of ministers, secretaries and other officers.However, the section mandates that the decisions of council of ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over. The DoPT was also asked to provide names of all officers who were shortlisted for appointment as CBI Director. All IPS officers of senior most four batches i.e. 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982 were considered for post of Director, CBI by the selection committee, the reply said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ways to effectively combat black money and tax evasion figured extensively during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Swiss President Doris Leuthard, who expressed strong commitment to help India to deal with the problem.Modi thanked Switzerland for helping India become a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a multilateral export control regime, and consistently supporting New Delhi’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).A joint statement said both leaders urged all the countries to work towards disrupting terrorist networks and financing as well as preventing violent extremism and called for early finalisation of the CCIT.Describing their talks productive, Modi said transparency in financial transactions is a major global challenge and that cooperation between India and Switzerland over it will continue further.”Be it black money, dirty money, hawala transaction or money related to arms and drugs, our cooperation with Switzerland continues to deal with the global curse,” the prime minister said in a statement to the media.The Swiss president exuded confidence that a law on ensuring automatic exchange of information relating to tax would be cleared by the Swiss parliament by end of the year and her country will be able to exchange first set of information with India by 2019.”We hope by end of this year, this (law on automatic exchange of information) will be passed and be operational by 2019 when the first exchange can take place,” she said, adding India and Switzerland can go hand-in-hand to ensure financial transparency.The issue of black money has been a matter of major debate in India and Switzerland has been long perceived as one of the safest havens for the illicit wealth allegedly stashed abroad by some Indians.In his comments, Modi also referred to the joint declaration on exchange of information relating to tax signed by the two sides last year.”Last year we signed a joint declaration relating to automatic exchange of information relating to tax. As per its provision, after completion of the internal process in Switzerland, information will be shared with us on automatic basis,” he said.Leuthard said her country follows all international rules on financial transaction to ensure transparency, adding “we have probably today one of the strongest laws on money laundering”.On terror they further said Both leaders also urged that all member countries should demonstrate a collective political will to take concrete actions against terrorism and to implement the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Strategy.The two sides also deliberated on further boosting ties in key sectors like trade and investment, infrastructure and energy while agreeing on the need to continue dialogue on a bilateral investment pact. Two pacts providing for cooperation in railways were also inked.Giving broad contours of their discussions, Modi said the extensive and productive talks covered bilateral, regional and global issues and that Leuthard’s visit further strengthened the bilateral ties.Modi said there was deliberations on challenges of climate change and both sides agreed to work for implementing the Paris climate accord focusing on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.On trade cooperation, he said FDI has been a major pillar of economic ties and India particularly welcomes Swiss investors.”We agreed on the need to continue dialogue on bilateral investment pact. Swiss companies have avenues to be part of India’s growth and development,” he said.The prime minister said there was deliberation on the trade and economic partnership agreement between India and European Free Trade Association and both the countries expressed resolve to conclude the pact.On Switzerland support to India’s NSG bid, he said, “India will be benefited from membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to meet its growing demand of clean energy.” Leuthard said she was very happy over the outcome of her talks and that there was scope for further expansion of trade ties. In this regard, she underlined the need for having an investment protection pact.She said Switzerland can offer India “infrastructure of tomorrow” in many areas including in railways.”Negotiations for it are on. We hope it is important for our investment,” she said.The joint statement also said Australia welcomed India’s intensified engagement with the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement and expressed its support for India’s Accession to these regimes.India had joined the MTCR as a full member in June last year. The membership enables India to buy high-end missile technology.New Delhi has also been pressing for membership of the 48-nation NSG but China has been stonewalling its bid.Both leaders also reaffirmed the need for reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion, to make it more representative, accountable, effective and responsive to the geo-political realities of the 21st century.”PM Modi encouraged the support of Switzerland to make a decisive push towards actual “text-based negotiations in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN), as the IGN process needs to be guided to its logical conclusion culminating in a meaningful reform of the UNSC,” the statement said.Both leaders also urged that all member countries should demonstrate a collective political will to take concrete actions against terrorism and to implement the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Strategy, it said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response of the government and the Enforcement Directorate on businessman Moin Akhtar Qureshi’s plea challenging his arrest in a money laundering case.A bench of justices Siddharth Mridul and Nazmi Waziri issued notice to the government and the ED, asking them to file the reply within five days.The controversial meat exporter, Qureshi, was arrested on August 25 and sent to five-day custody of the ED by a trial court the next day for thorough investigation in the case against him and others.During the hearing, advocate R K Handoo, appearing for Qureshi, contended that he has been illegally detained by the ED. He claimed Qureshi had been directly arrested when he was called for questioning and was not informed about the grounds of arrest.Central government standing counsel Anil Soni, who also appeared for ED, said that there was due compliance of Constitution mandate regarding informing a person about his arrest.The bench, however, said a person cannot be taken into custody without telling him the grounds and giving him an effective legal aid.”Information is not just to make a person read the grounds of arrest. You have to give him a copy of it,” the bench said and asked the Centre and ED to show the official records pertaining to the arrest on the next date of hearing on September 13.The agency had told the trial court that “the witnesses have confirmed in their statements that they have delivered crores of rupees for Qureshi and his associates through his employees and one of the witnesses has stated that nearly Rs 1.75 crore have been exported by the accused from him and his friend in lieu of the help provided to him in a CBI case.” It had also alleged that Qureshi was involved in hawala transactions through Delhi hawala operators Parvez Ali of Turkman Gate and M/s South Delhi Money Changer (DAMINI) in Greater Kailash-1, owned by one D S Anand.According to the agency, Qureshi was arrested late night on August 25 here under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after “he was not cooperating in the probe”.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India plans to put in more effort in the maritime space to its south towards the Indian Ocean to increase connectivity with East Africa as well as with the Pacific islands. Speaking at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said growth and connectivity are now central to India’s foreign policy thinking. “The approach of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ (collective action, inclusive growth) is as much a belief in international relations as it is in domestic development,” he said.Jaishankar said the growth and connectivity initiatives were truly global and that there was need to make these initiatives people-centric to ensure the interests of all stakeholders are reflected. “It is particularly necessary if we are to ensure that such initiatives are demand-driven and locally owned. Today’s gathering is one step in that direction. I am confident that it would contribute to the emergence of a broad consensus on this set of issues,” he said.He further said there was need to come up with initiatives based on universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality. “There must be a strong sense of local ownership which can only happen with consultative project designing, transfer of technology and encouragement of skills,” he added. He also said there is need to ensure financial responsibility so that there is no encouragement of unsustainable debts. He called for activities that must fully conform to balanced ecological and environmental protection and preservation standards….& ANALYSISSince Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister, India has significantly improved its position in the international political arena.
Now, with steps like this, India is not only emerging as a global political entity, but as an able global leader.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Centre on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Right to Privacy asserting that its a part of the Right to Liberty, but is also “subject to reasonable restrictions.” Addressing a press conference, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “The government welcomes this judgement. The government has been consistently of the view particularly which refers to Aadhar. The Right to Privacy should be a fundamental right and it should be subject to the reasonable restrictions.” In a scathing attack on the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Prasad said that Aadhar back then had no protection of law. “The Aadhar during the UPA regime had no protection of law. How could the government collect data or insist upon biometrics without any legislative sanction? We made the Aadhar law and provided a legal framework for protection of its data,” Prasad said. The Union Law Minister further averred that the essence of Supreme Court judgement is a wider affirmation of the observation made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha. “The Aadhar system operates on the principle of Minimum Information, Maximum Use. The Aadhar has shown its utility in a very short span of time. It is completely safe and secure,” he added. Earlier in the day, the nine-judge Constitution bench of the apex court overruled the M.P. Sharma (1962) and Kharak Singh (1954) judgement and gave the verdict that privacy was a fundamental right of a citizen. A five-judge constitutional bench is to decide whether the Aadhar violates the Right to Privacy or not. On July 26, the Centre had told the apex court that there is a fundamental right to privacy, which is a ‘wholly qualified right’ too, and in special circumstances, the government can interfere in a matter that comes under a wholly qualified right. An absolute right cannot be reduced or amended.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Information and Broadcasting Ministry today constituted a 40-member ‘preview committee’ with filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri as its convenor to select movies for the international film festival at Goa. Other members of the new committee include Agnihotri’s wife and actress Pallavi Joshi, author and Padma Shri-awardee Narendra Kohli and actress Hrishitaa Bhatt, an official statement said. The move came after the Information and Broadcasting Ministry recently postponed a meeting of the previous preview committee comprising around 20 members who were nominated when M Venkaiah Naidu was the information and broadcasting minister. Film editor Aarti Bajaj, film critic and screenwriter Khalid Mohamed, and film director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury are among the other members of the newly-constituted committee. The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will be held in Goa from November 20 to 28. “The (dissolved) committee was cleared by M Venkaiah Naidu in second week of July. The process was already started and we have seen 150 films so far. We don’t know whether they will be seen again or not,” a member of the dissolved committee said. Film critic Saibal Chatterjee is the only member of the earlier committee who has been been retained in the new committee, the member, who wished not to be named, said. Vivek Agnihotri told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Information and Broadcasting Ministry has constituted the Preview Committee for the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2017, on Monday, with director Vivek Agnihotri as the convenor. The 40-member committee also has national award winning director, ?PINK? fame Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury. The preview committee, which has already seen 150 films, will be short listing them for the festival and also will recommend films for the competition section that will then be seen by the international jury. The film festival, which will be held in November, will have renowned filmmakers Jahnu Barua and Nagesh Kukunoor as the head of the steering and technical committees respectively. IFFI, considered as one of the top 10 film festivals of the world, will be held in Panaji, Goa, from November 20 to 28.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accusing the Karnataka government of “misusing” the authority to implicate its leaders, the opposition BJP today submitted a memorandum to the governor, urging him to intervene in the matter. They accused the Congress government in the state, led by Siddaramaiah, of violating the constitutional mandate by indulging in “unethical” acts like phone-tapping of its political opponents, hoisting “false” cases against them, “engineering” complaints through the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and “pseudo” Right to Information (RTI) activists. The BJP leaders met Governor Vajubhai Vala days after the ACB registered a case against the state unit president of the party, B S Yeddyurappa. The case was lodged in connection with the denotification of over 257 acres of land at the Dr K Shivaram Karanth Layout in northern Bengaluru, when Yeddyurappa was the chief minister between May, 2008 and July, 2011. The case against the BJP leader was based on a complaint from a member of the ‘Jana Samanya Vedike’, a social organisation. Also, a senior Karnataka Administrative Service officer, on Saturday, had alleged that he was “pressured” by ACB officers to give a statement against Yeddyurappa in connection with the case. The memorandum urges the governor to intervene and order a high-level inquiry by an agency, which is independent of the state government, against the ACB officers concerned and put an end to the agency being “misused politically”. The BJP leaders, under the leadership of Union minister Ananth Kumar, opposition leaders Jagadish Shettar and K S Eshwarappa, marched to the Raj Bhavan, and submitted the memorandum to the governor. Speaking to reporters after meeting the governor, Kumar accused Siddaramaiah of “creating an atmosphere of an undeclared emergency” in Karnataka. “We have informed the governor in detail about how the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government is conspiring against our leader Yeddyurappa through false allegations and false cases by using the ACB,” he said. Kumar also termed the state government as “anti- democratic”. Opposition Leader in the Assembly Shettar alleged that the complaint against Yeddyurappa was received, the FIR lodged and summons issued in a matter of few days, “which clearly indicates that the ACB is being misused for political reasons”. “I would like to ask the ACB and the chief minister that of the over 25 complaints filed against the latter in the last one year, how many have been inquired into so far, how many FIRs have been lodged and in which of these cases, a summons has been issued? “No inquiry against the chief minister or his ministers, as also against certain IAS officers…but, soon after receiving a complaint against Yeddyurappa, you have swung into action. This shows that it is politically motivated,” he alleged. In the six-page memorandum, the BJP has accused the government of tapping the phones of its political opponents “by misusing the legal provisions and abusing its authority”. It has also accused Siddaramaiah of using a team of officers and “political appointees” for this purpose. The saffron party has also accused the government of “failure” to prevent the anti-social elements from killing the RSS activists in the state, especially in the coastal region. The BJP has been alleging that the ACB is being used by the Karnataka government to target the opposition party, “in retaliation” to the recent Income Tax raids at Energy Minister D K Shivakumar’s properties.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The physical police verification for getting a passport will soon be a thing of the past as the government plans to connect the service with a robust national database of crimes and criminals that will check the antecedents of applicants at the click of a mouse.Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project (CCTNS) is expected to link with the passport service of the Ministry of External Affairs and it will replace physical police verification for passport applicants with online verification in a year.”Police in some states are already using CCTNS for passport credentials. Police will be given hand held devices to go to an applicant’s address and his or her details will be uploaded with the network. It will minimise contact with police and reduce time,” he told reporters here.Mehrishi was speaking after Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched a digital police portal under the CCTNS project, which aims to create a national database of crimes and criminals and connect country’s all 15,398 police stations with it. He said with the port, mandate of the CCTNS has been expanded by incorporating citizen centric services tenant verification, which could be done with the consent of the person being verified, quick registration of FIR in any crime and connecting the network with criminal justice delivery system.Asked about the safety of the database, the home secretary said possibility of hacking was always there but enough safeguards have been put in place and the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre has been roped in for the task. The home minister said the digital police portal will provide citizens, facility for online complaint registration and request for antecedent verification.”The police portal will provide 11 searches and 46 reports from the national database for state police and central investigation agencies. Central investigating and research agencies have also been provided logins to the digital police database to access crime statistics,” he said after launching the portal. Singh said the CCTNS has enabled 13,775 out of 15,398 police stations to enter 100 per cent data into the software.He said as of now the CCTNS national database has around 7 crore data records pertaining to past and current criminal cases. Singh said the CCTNS project will help in realising the Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s dream of ‘Minimum Government Maximum Governance’. A home ministry official said the CCTNS will facilitate pan-India search on complete national crime and criminal database that is accessible to the investigating officers throughout the country.The CCTNS project will interconnect about 15,398 police stations and additional 5,000 offices of supervisory police officers across the country and digitise data related to FIR registration, investigation and charge sheets in all police stations. The project has been extended by the government for one year till March 2018.The one-year extension will help the government to comprehensively achieve the remaining goals of the CCTNS, which was conceived by the former Home Minister P Chidambaram when the UPA was in power. With a total budget of Rs 2,000 crore, a sum of Rs 1,550 crore has been spent till 2016-17. The inter-operable criminal justice system aims to integrate the CCTNS project with e-courts and e-prison data bases in the first instance and with the other pillars of the criminal justice system, another official said.The integration will be achieved by providing access to the judiciary, police and prisons through a desktop dashboard to facilitate expeditious and informed decisions and aid investigations. The full implementation of the project with all the new components would lead to a central citizen portal having linkages with state-level citizen portals that will provide a number of citizen-friendly services, the official said. These include services like police verification for various purposes like issuance of passport, reporting a crime and online tracking of the case progress, online reporting of grievances against police officials, accessing victim compensation fund and legal services etc.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Information Commission has directed the union urban development ministry to disclose lease agreement documents of the land for the Moolchand Hospital within a week. Information Commissioner Yashovardhan Azad said the information as sought by the appellant Harvinder Singh, a resident of Lajpat Nagar here, is undeniably one which every citizen has a right to know. Through his RTI application, Singh had demanded from the Ministry the lease agreement of the land for Moolchand Hospital, the copy of documents submitted by Moolchand Kharaiti Ram Charitable Trust for the allotment of the land and the policy under which the land was allocated to it. The Ministry official responding to his RTI query asked him to furnish documentary proof to establish his stake in the Moolchand Khairati Ram Trust within 10 days. Under the RTI Act, a Central Public Information Officer cannot ask an information seeker the reasons behind raising the query. “After hearing parties and perusal of record, the Commission finds that no legitimate exemption in terms of RTI Act have been cited by the Respondent (the ministry) to deny disclosure of information,” Azad said. He said the ministry has taken the “unusual route” of questioning the purpose of the query and the locus standi of Singh in seeking the information. “It is clear from the averment of the Respondent (the Ministry) that the custodian of information is the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India which awarded the land under lease agreement to the Moolchand hospital,” Azad said. He directed to disclose all the material sought by Singh.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepal will hold parliamentary and provincial elections on November 26, a giant leap towards cementing stability in the politically unstable country after holding two phases of local polls. The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting held this morning here, according to officials. “The government took the decision to conduct the elections after holding consultations with the Election Commission (EC),” Minister for Information Mohan Bahadur Basnet told reporters. The EC will work out the details of the elections.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Manipur-based Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) led by H Zosangbera today welcomed the Mizoram government’s decision to hold peace talks with the HPC (D) faction led by Lalhmingthanga Sanate. A press statement issued by John F Hmar, Information and Publicity Secretary of the HPC (D) expressed the wish that the talks be successful. Zosangbera faction said that the talks with Sanate’s faction would pave the way for early and permanent solution to the vexed Hmar problem. The state government had decided to hold talks with Sanate’s faction of the HPC (D) within this month and with the Zosangbera faction next month which had been nearing conclusion. Sanate was the founder president of the HPC (D) when the outfit went underground soon after the surrender of HPC cadres following the agreement inked with Mizoram government in July 1994. He was ousted as president by Zosangbera faction after he signed Suspension of Operation (SoO) with the Manipur government along with the Kuki militant groups.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The central government is now working on a plan to link all schools, teachers and students across the states in the country on a single data mapping system to frame better policies.U-DISE (Unified District Information System for Education) is the database where all schools are mapped. There are currently 1.5 million schools that are mapped on the system. The schools are given an 11-digit number that gives them an identification code and helps the government keep a track on the number of schools in the country. However, despite earlier instructions from the ministry of human resource development to all states to link their schools to U-DISE many schools have not done so.The government is now making it mandatory for all schools to get the U-DISE number, making it the only official system of tracking number at the school education level in the country.”U-DISE is a mine of data that we have and we want to make good use of it. We have instructed all government agencies to only refer to U-DISE for data. Schools that are currently not under the system have also been asked to get registered. In fact, untrained teachers who are supposed to get trained by the year 2019 are also supposed to be a part, only of schools that have a U-DISE number,” said a senior official in HRD ministry.Further, there is a plan to link all students and teachers on the U-DISE system using their Aadhar numbers. The government has currently asked all states to link students through their Aadhar numbers but only 60 percent of students were linked till July this year. Looking at the dismal rate of Aadhar linkage, the deadline has been extended to September this year by which government hopes to achieve 100 percent linkage rate.”Once we are able to link all three elements – schools, teachers and students – together, we can use the data for various policy making. Officials in the department of statistics are currently studying the data that is available currently on U-DISE to understand how it can be used for policy formation,” the official added.Other than keeping a track of the number of children availing mid-dal meal and other government related schemes, the government wants to use this data to keep a track of students who drop out of the school mid-way. A large number of students drop-out after Class 8, but more drop out after Class 10.The other plan is to keep a track of the ghost teachers through their Aadhar numbers that will be linked on the U-DISE portal. Once schools teachers complete their training by the year 2019, only those who are trained will be eligible for teaching.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Police’s ADG (Law and Order) today said till now there was no proof of any terror outfit’s involvement in the derailment of the Utkal Kalinga Express at Khatauli in which 22 people lost their lives. “The ATS is camping there since yesterday. As per investigations done till now, there is no concrete evidence pointing to the role of any terror outfit’s involvement in it,” ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said. “Chances are that the derailment may have occurred due to some other or technical reasons,” the ADG said. Cracking the whip, the Railways tonight sent on leave its three top officials, including a secretary-level Railway Board official, suspended four and transfered one in the wake of Utkal train derailment incident which appeared to have been caused by negligence. The action was taken on the basis of an internal report which is learnt to have said that the rail track was found cut by a hacksaw and as a result there was a gap in the tracks, according to officials in the know. The report also said that the fish plate and the nut bolts on a section of the tracks were not fixed properly, they said. The train, which was on its way from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, had 23 coaches, of which 13 derailed at Khatauli in UP, R N Singh said earlier in the day. Six coaches of the train, which was running at a speed of over 100 kmph, were severely damaged, he added. One coach crashed into a house. Survivors were rescued and bodies pulled out till late last night and rescue operation by the National Disaster Response Force got over at around 3 AM. Principal Secretary (Information) to the UP government Awanish Kumar Awasthi said 156 people were injured in the derailment and many among them remain critical. More than 50 injured passengers have been discharged after medical treatment while free medical treatment of another 102 injured passengers is in progress, UP Cabinet minister Satish Mahana told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala today said former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi left an indelible impression on the lives of people through his contributions. Addressing a public meeting here after paying tributes to Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary, he said the former prime minister played a pivotal role in bringing Information Technology revolution in the country, the fruits of which were being reaped by the people today. Hitting out at the BJP government at the Centre, Surjewala, who is a Congress MLA from Kaithal, said, “After the failure of ‘Achhe Din Jumla’, the ‘New India’ is the latest addition to ‘political Jumla’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” “Due to the wrong policies of the BJP government, 35 farmers are forced to commit suicide every day. The youth are disappointed and the traders are facing recession,” he alleged. Surjewala claimed, “The farmers are not getting due prices for Basmati rice, wheat, maize, cotton, potato and sunflower.” He reminded the people at the gathering that when Rajiv Gandhi had visualised and implemented IT revolution, the then opposition leaders had said that it would lead to loss of jobs, but now the youths of the country are earning a name and employment at global level through this. Surejwala said the former prime minister had reduced the voting age from 21 to 18 and gave constitutional provision to Panchayati Raj Institutions.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Russian woman was arrested by the Calangute Police today on charge of staying illegally in the state without valid documents. Mitina Yulia Svetlav is currently staying at Maddowado village near the famous Calangute beach. According to a police official, Svetlav didn’t have a valid passport, any supportive travel document or visa. “After receiving information about the a Russian woman staying illegally in Calangute area, the police officials were directed to verify the same. During verification, it was revealed that the woman was staying along with a person Austin D’souza at his residence without any documentation,” Police Inspector Jivba Dalvi told reporters. The woman was booked under various provisions of The Passport (Entry into India) Act and under Passport Rules and Foreigners Act. “Information about her arrest was forwarded to the concerned embassy,” he said, adding that Svetlav was remanded in judicial custody by the local court.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three months before India’s prestigious film festival –the International Film Festival of India in Goa –the government has decided to set up new steering and technical committees, by scrapping the earlier committees.The decision was Union Information and Broadcasting minister Smriti Irani’s, sources said. IFFI is slated to be held from November 20 to 28 this year in Goa. The new list of members released by the government late Friday evening states the Convenor of the steering committee would be filmmaker Jahnu Barua and will include eminent personalities from the film industry such as Siddharth Roy Kapur, Shoojit Sircar, newly appointed CBFC chairperson Prasoon Joshi, Vani Tripathi, Piyush Pandey, among others.The technical committee for the festival will be chaired by filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor and will include a NFDC representative, Sameer Arya, Director DFF, Commissioner, Panaji Municipality, among others as members.The steering committee (Technical) is responsible for overseeing details of the actual screening and conduct of the films at the IFFI. It was earlier headed by well known cinematographer and director AK Bir.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nodal officer for Ghaziabad Sadakant Shukla today took stock of developmental schemes and law and order situation in the district, an official said. He was here to know about the status of state government schemes, District Information Officer R B Singh said here. The officer, in a meeting, instructed police officers to improve the law and order condition and reviewed the crime data, the information officer said. He assessed the working of the Ghaziabad Development Authority, Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam, Jal Nigam, Pashchimanchal Vidhyut Vitran Nigam Limited and medical facilities in government hospitals among others, Singh said. Shukla inspected the newly-constructed sick and burn units, and the Sihani Gate Police Station, he said. District Magistrate Ministhy S apprised Shukla about the new distribution system for ration, Singh said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six people were thrashed by cow vigilantes on suspicion of slaughtering a bovine in a house at Dumra village in Bihar’s West Champaran district, the police said today.Deputy Superintendent of Police Sanjay Kumar Jha said some people surrounded a house at Dumra village under Jaitia panchayat on the suspicion of a bovine being slaughtered inside and thrashed six people yesterday.No arrest has been made so far, he said.Qudus Kureishi, husband of the village head, was also beaten up when he tried to intervene in the matter, Jha said.On getting the information, he said the police reached the village and pacified angry villagers by assuring action against the guilty.Additional police force has been deployed in the village, the DSP said
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Many states, including Rajasthan, are struggling to implement the Supreme Court’s order on installation of speed governors in commercial vehicles, National Road Safety Council member Kamal Soi said today. “Only eight or ten states have the integrated serial and the model number of speed limiting devices (SLDs) with VAHAN database for quick audit and retrieval of records through a comprehensive Management Information System (MIS) and rest of them are still struggling to implement it,” he told a press conference here. He said that corrupt practises and non-implementation of SLDs were leading to rise in road accidents and deaths of innocent people in states, including Rajasthan. “The government had made fitting of SLDs compulsory for transport vehicles from January 31. As per Ministry of Road Transport and Highways notification dated May 1, all yellow number plate vehicles, except three-wheelers, it is mandatory to install SLDs. The Supreme Court in April had issued directives for fitting of SLDs to all states and UTs but to no avail,” Soi added. Sharing the data on number of road accidents, injuries and death in Rajasthan, he said as per the National Crime Record Bureau report for the year 2015, Rajasthan reported 24,072 road accidents with 26,153 injuries and 10,510 deaths. “Over-speeding is reported to be one of the main reasons for the road accidents and accounts for over 40-50 per cent of the total incidents,” he said. He also claimed that in some states unapproved and uncertified SLDs were being installed in transport vehicles without keeping any record of their serial numbers, model numbers or testing details.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajasthan government is planning to offer e-mail service to its citizens for official communication. The proposed facility is meant for beneficiaries of the Bhamashah scheme under which the state provides various benefits and subsidies to people. “…whenever a resident gets his or her Bhamashah Card, an electronic kitty consisting of his or her Bhamashah enrolment details (eCard), eVault… and a free e-mail account shall be automatically provisioned by a system and notifications of the same shall be sent to the resident on his or her registered mobile number and/or e-mail,” a bid document floated by the government said. The service is expected to be launched by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on August 18. It will be first of its kind service launched by a government in the country. According to the source, the bid has been finalised. People will be able to register for e-mail ID on the Rajasthan.in website where they will have to link their Bhamashah or Aadhaar identity. Officials of the Department of Information Technology and Communication declined to comment. As per the tender document, the free webmail account will be automatically created after authentication of the resident’s Bhamashah card or Aadhaar ID. The state government expects that the initial deployment will host approximately 25 lakh resident mailboxes and will scale up to 2 crore over three years. The required hardware and operating system will be provided by the state-government’s IT arm RajComp Info Services Limited.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> National broadcaster Doordarshan on Wednesday refuted allegations of intentionally blacking out the Independence Day speech of Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and said that the reports are ?totally incorrect? Doordarshan in its letter stated that the News Unit of the local station of Doordarshan has given wide coverage to the public address of the Chief Minister and the development activity of the state government. ?On August 15 2017, Doordarshan gave a wide coverage to the Chief Minister?s Independence Day programme and telecast reports running to 29 minutes and 45 seconds. Out of which the Chief Minister?s speech coverage was for 12 minutes,? the letter read. Doordarshan even claimed that the show was repeat telecasted on August 16 and added that the speech and Independence Day programme in various district of Tripura was give wide publicity in the Regional News Bulletin. ?Therefore, the allegation that Doordarshan Kendra, Agartala blacked out the Chief Minister on Independence Day is totally incorrect and is vehemently refuted.? The Chief Minister on Tuesday alleged that Doordarshan and All India Radio refused to broadcast his customary Independence Day speech and asked him to rewrite and rerecord it. The public broadcasters allegedly did not air Sarkar’s speech which was scheduled to be aired at 6.30 am on Tuesday. As per the media reports, the Chief Minister’s Office was informed via a letter that his speech would not be broadcast unless he “reshaped it”. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) strongly condemned the move and also released an official statement. “This is a gross infringement on the right of a Chief Minister to address the people of his state on Independence Day. This act is a reminiscent of the Emergency days and goes beyond as it seeks to gag the elected Chief Minister of a state. The Central Government is trampling upon the autonomy of Doordarshan/AIR and Prasar Bharati by such acts of censorship,” the statement read. The CPM also demanded an action against “those responsible for prohibiting the broadcast,” adding, “the Modi Government should stop treating the Prasar Bharati as a department of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.” The party also tweeted the text of Manik Sarkar’s Independence Day speech on their Twitter handle, adding, “Text of Tripura CM’s Speech which AIR & DD had the audacity to censor. This is an insult 2 People of Tripura & Constitutional Rights of States.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> With Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar alleging that Doordarshan and the All India Radio refused to broadcast his Independence Day address, state Deputy Assembly Speaker Pabitra Kar questioned the federalism structure of the country. ?If the chief minister says anything, it cannot be censored. It should be answerable to the Parliament and Assembly. We oppose it. If this kind of things can be done, then how India can be a federal state?? Kar told ANI. The Chief Minister on Tuesday alleged that Doordarshan and All India Radio refused to broadcast his customary Independence Day speech and asked him to rewrite and rerecord it. The public broadcasters did not air Sarkar?s speech which was scheduled to be aired at 6.30 am on Tuesday. As per the media reports, the Chief Minister?s Office was informed via a letter that his speech would not be broadcast unless he ?reshaped it?. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) strongly condemned the move and also released an official statement. “This is a gross infringement on the right of a Chief Minister to address the people of his state on Independence Day. This act is a reminiscent of the Emergency days and goes beyond as it seeks to gag the elected Chief Minister of a state. The Central Government is trampling upon the autonomy of Doordarshan/AIR and Prasar Bharati by such acts of censorship,” the statement read. The CPM also demanded an action against “those responsible for prohibiting the broadcast,” adding, “the Modi Government should stop treating the Prasar Bharati as a department of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.” The party also tweeted the text of Manik Sarkar’s Independence Day speech on their Twitter handle, adding, “Text of Tripura CM’s Speech which AIR & DD had the audacity to censor. This is an insult 2 People of Tripura & Constitutional Rights of States.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre has directed social media and internet majors such as Google, Facebook and WhatsApp to delete links to the online game, Blue Whale Challenge, which has provoked more than a hundred participants across the globe to kill themselves.The game’s proponent should be reported to law enforcement agencies, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a letter dated August 11 to the online giants, including Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo.”Instances of children committing suicide while playing Blue Whale Challenge have been reported in India… You are requested to ensure that any such link of this game in its own name or similar game is immediately removed from your platform,” the ministry’s letter states, in keeping with instructions from Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.DNA has a copy of the letter, which has been shared with the ministries of home affairs and women and child development.”It is understood that an administrator of the game uses social media platform to invite/incite children to play this game, which may eventually lead them to take extreme steps for self-inflicting injuries including suicide,” the letter states.The Blue Whale challenge is reportedly a suicide game in which the player is dared to complete certain tasks over a period of 50 days. The tasks get progressively dangerous, culminating in something suicidal. The player is asked to share photos after finishing the challenge.The letter comes after Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi urged Prasad and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to ban the online game.”Maneka Gandhi has taken cognisance of the self-destructive Blue Whale challenge that has claimed the lives of over 100 youngsters,” her ministry had tweeted on Monday.”Gandhi has requested that the challenge be removed from social media by suitable intervention.”DEADLY DARESOn July 26, a 16-year-old boy, Manoj Manu, from Perumkulam in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, hanged himself. His mother suspects he was completing the Blue Whale Challenge.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the recent move to put a cap on the price of coronary stents, the government is working on measures to bring down the expenditure on knee surgeries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today.In his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort here, he said that cheap medicines, being made available through ‘Jan Aushadhi Kendras’ have been a blessing for the poor. “The expenditure on conducting operations, on stents have gone down in our country. In the coming days, all facilities for carrying out knee operations will also be made available.”It is our endeavour that such expenses for the poor and the middle class goes down and we are taking steps for that,” he said. The government on February 13 slashed by up to 85 per cent the prices of life-saving coronary stents, tiny metal tubes inserted into the narrowed coronary arteries, a move which has provided relief to lakhs of cardiac patients. Modi further said that the government has now decided to make dialysis facilities, which were earlier available only at the state headquarters, would be made available in each district centres of the country.He said that the facility has been made available at 350 -400 districts. The Prime Minister also spoke about the amended maternity benefit law under which paid leave have been extended to 26 weeks from the earlier 12.Speaking about the achievements in the education sector, Modi said that the government’s plan to set up 20 world-class universities was a crucial step. “We have taken an important step in the education sector of creating 20 world-class universities. The government will not interfere in their functioning and also ready to provide them monetary help of upto Rs 1,000 crore. “In the past three years, we have also opened six new Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), seven Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) and eight Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs), besides connecting education sector with job opportunities,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BEST buses are not the only loss-making public transport system in the city, data obtained by DNA under Right To Information (RTI) Act, reveal that despite a steady increase in ridership, Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor is facing a huge revenue deficit and is running in losses with the operator spending more than double the amount compared to the income.Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL)’s expenditure to operate Metro-1 stood at about Rs 1,500 crore between June 2014 and June 2017. However, the latter could merely earn about Rs 640 crore in the form of ticketing and non-ticketing revenue in that period.In a RTI reply dated August 10, 2017, MMOPL revealed its gross income via ticketing revenue between June 2014 and June 2017 stands at Rs 5,79,71,45,418 crore followed by Rs 66,42,30,629 crore through non-ticketing revenue between the same period.The reply further revealed that the gross expenditure for the operation of Metro-1 in that period stood at Rs 15,72,70,47,735 crore, which means it is spending more than double the amount compared to its income through ticketing and otherwise.Non-ticketing revenue of Metro-1 is via real estate at the station as in renting of space to a third party for commercial operations or allowing a third party to conduct film or advertisement shooting inside Metro stations.One of the reasons anticipated behind the loss could be its daily ridership, according to the detailed project report (DPR) available on Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) website, it was anticipated that Metro-1 would carry 4.28 lakh commuters per day by 2011 followed by 6.65 lakh by 2021 and 8.83 lakh by 2031.But Metro-1’s record ridership announced last month stood at 3.8 lakh commuters on July 17, 2017 followed by 3.71 lakh on June 28, 2017, and on September 21, 2016, it had carried 3.68 lakh commuters.The Metro-1 corridor is the eight densest Metro corridor in the world with 12 Metro stations. It is the first Metro corridor constructed on public private partnership (PPP) model in India in which MMOPL has 69 per cent stakes followed by 26 per cent stakes of MMRDA and 5 per cent of Veolia.FARE FIXATIONSince the inception of Metro-1, MMOPL and MMRDA are tangled in court case over increase of fares to avoid losses for the mass transit system.
Fare fixation committee set up by the state government had also recommended a fare of Rs 10-110, up from the current Rs 10-40.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A massive landslide buried two Himachal Pradesh roadways buses, killing at least 46 people and injuring several others at Kotpuri near Padhar on the Mandi Pathankot national highway, officials said today. The toll could rise further as over 50 passengers were travelling in the two buses hit by the landslide, which was triggered by a cloud burst, they said. Some other vehicles may also have been hit by the landslide, the officials said. “Forty-six bodies have been recovered, and of these 23 have been identified,” an official said. Among the bodies recovered were those of the driver and the conductor of Chamba depot bus Chandan Sharma and Satpal. Rescue operations were suspended late evening as there were apprehensions of more landslides, he said. The rescue work would resume tomorrow. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army and the police rushed to the spot and heavy earth-moving machinery was deployed at the gorge where the two buses lay buried under a heap of debris. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh visited the spot. He said that eight passengers were travelling in the Manali-Katra Volvo bus, of whom three lost their lives, while five were rescued and taken to the zonal hospital in Mandi. There were around 47 passengers in the second bus which was on its way from Manali to Chamba, an official said. The chief minister said the state government would bear medical expenses of the injured. He also met the bereaved family members and expressed condolences. Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, Transport Minister G S Bali and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Anil Sharma also reached the spot. Thakur announced financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased, while Bali announced that Rs 1 lakh would be given to each bereaved family by the HRTC. The massive landslide, covering an area of more than 250 metres, may have swept away some other vehicles also and damaged some houses, an official said. The buses had halted for a tea break in the intervening night between Saturday and Sunday at Kotrupi when the tragedy struck. Information was received after 1 am about the incident, an official said. The highway was closed and hundreds of vehicles were stranded on both sides, officials said. D D Sharma, Special Secretary, Himachal Pradesh government said that a team of forensic experts had also been called considering that several of the bodies were mutilated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled the deaths “Pained by the loss of lives due to landslide related accidents in HP’s Mandi district. My condolences with the families of the deceased,” Modi tweeted. I pray for the quick recovery of those injured, he added. This is the third such major incident in Himachal Pradesh since 1988. Earlier 45 bus passengers were buried in a landslide near Matiyana in Shimla district in 1988 while 42 passengers were buried in an incident at Luggar Hati in Kullu district in 1994.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In three weeks since he took over, President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to six key legislations, including the one that extends the jurisdiction of trial in cases of maritime claims, arrests and detentions of ships to various courts.All the legislations, which got the presidential nod, were recently passed by Parliament. The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017, which got the presidential assent recently, repeals two archaic laws — 156-year-old Admiralty Court Act, 1861, and 127-year-old Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890.A bill in this regard was cleared by the Rajya Sabha on April 24. The Lok Sabha passed the bill on March 10. The colonial era legislations came into force when the country had only three major ports — Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. So, at present also, admiralty disputes could be decided by the high courts in these cities only. The new Act extends jurisdiction for maritime claims and vests it with the respective high courts and over the territorial waters of their respective jurisdictions. The President has also approved the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) bill, 2017.Eleven lakh teachers appointed till March 2015 under the Right to Education (RTE) Act will now get time till 2019 to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for firming up their appointments, as per the new Act. The Rajya Sabha had on August 1 passed a bill in this regard. The Lok Sabha cleared the bill in July this year. As per the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, which came into effect from April 1, 2010, these teachers were to acquire minimum qualifications within five years i.e. by March 31, 2015.The President also approved the Collection of Statistics (Amendment) bill, 2017, which empowers the Centre to collect socio-economic and other statistical data from Jammu and Kashmir. A bill to amend Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on July 26 even as various opposition parties had objected to it saying it was not proper in view of Article 370 which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The Lok Sabha approved the bill in April.The Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public- private Partnership) bill, 2017, the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) bill, 2017 and the Footwear Design and Development Institute bill, 2017, have also got the presidential approval. The Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public- Private Partnership) Act, 2017 grants statutory status to the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and declare them as ‘Institutions of National Importance’. There are 15 IIITs across the country.The National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Act, 2017 gives the status of national importance to the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) and Berhampur (Odisha). A bill to amend the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research Act, 2007 (NITSER Act) was passed by the Rajya Sabha on July 16 and by the Lok Sabha on March 28 this year. The Footwear Design and Development Institute Act, 2017, empowers the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida to grant degrees and diplomas.It also declares the FDDI as an institution of national importance for the promotion and development of quality and excellence in education, research and training in all disciplines relating to footwear and leather products design and development. The Footwear Design and Development Institute bill, 2017 was passed by the Rajya Sabha on July 24 and by the Lok Sabha on April 5.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The prinicipal and doctors of the Baba Raghav Das hospital did not raise the issue of shortage of oxygen cylinders during the August 9 visit of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to the state-run facility, the Uttar Pradesh government said today. “UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited BRD Medical College hospital on July 9 and August 9, and held elaborate discussions with doctors and the principal. The issue of gas supply did not came up and was even not brought to his notice by the doctors and principal,” UP Health minister Siddarth Nath Singh told reporters here. Terming the death of so many childen in a day as “shocking”, he said that the UP government was a “sensitive government” and was not trying to play down the report of the death of 23 children in a day (on August 10). “Information about even a single death should be there,” he added. Giving the statistics of the reported paediatric deaths in the hospital in the last three years in August, Singh said that as per the figures for the month of August, 567 paediatric deaths took place in August 2014 (19 per day), 668 in August 2015 (22 per day) and 587 in August 2016 (19.5 per day). “The daily annual average of deaths for 2014-2016 is 17- 18 per day in the BRD medical college hospital, he said. Stressing that patients come to the hospital from neighbouring districts of the state, Bihar and even Nepal, he said, “like any other medical colleges in the country, these patients come in the last or final stages, as the first line of treatment centres are unable to treat them properly. This is a trend which is more or less visible across the country,” he said. Singh also said, “We came to know that between 7.30 pm to 10.05 pm, seven children had died, but there was no lack of supply of the gas. The next death was reported at 5.30 am on August 11”. Accepting that “the supply of gas was disrupted”, he said “but no deaths were reported due to it.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today expressed grief over the death of Buxar district magistrate Mukesh Kumar Pandey, who allegedly committed suicide at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. “Mukesh Kumar Pandey’s death is a very heart-rending incident. He was an efficient administrator and a sensitive officer…May his soul rest in peace,” the chief minister said in his condolence message. Kumar prayed to the almighty to give strength to his family members to bear the loss of their loved one, an Information and Public Relations Department release said. Pandey’s body was found yesterday from the railway tracks about one km from Ghaziabad railway station, the police said. A purported suicide note was also recovered from the spot. In the suicide note, Pandey, a 2012-batch IAS officer, had written that he was fed up with his life and had lost his “belief on human existence,” the police said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 27 lakh engineering seats have been lying vacant across various engineering colleges in the country over the last three years, an All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) data said on Thursday.According to AICTE, 9,07,632 seats were vacant across various colleges in the country in the academic year 2016-17. The figure at 8,97,914 was comparably low for the year 2015-16 .There are 10,361 engineering institutions in the country, that are approved by AICTE, with a total intake of 37,01,366.While the number of seats for undergraduate students have declined, there has been an increase in the number of vacant seats for the post-graduate courses. “If you look at the figures for the last three years, there has not been much change in the number of undergraduate seats as compared to that of the post-graduate seats,” said a senior AICTE official.The ministry of human resource development has been trying to inspire the engineering graduates by introducing mandatory internships and making the course more industry relevant. AICTE has devised a 10-year plan for reviving engineering education, including expansion of technical education from socio-economic perspective, inclusiveness in technical education, increasing the role of information and communications technology in education and accessing the needs of the industry.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an order that will help those giving online exams to check their answers, the state information commission (SIC) has asked the Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education (MSBTE) to provide the answer paper of an online exam to the applicant.The order dated July 6, 2017, which was also the date of second appeal hearing, was given after a second appeal was filed by Dr Sumir Dembla. The order was given by Ajit Kumar Jain, state information commissioner Brihanmumbai bench.Dembla had sought information on the MS-CIT (Maharashtra State Certificate in Information Technology) exams that he had given, a mandatory exam for all government officers to check their computer knowledge. In his application, he had sought details of the answer sheet in which his answers were marked wrong and details of the correct answers.The public information officer (PIO) did not provide any of the details to the applicant. During the hearing, the PIO said that since the exams are conducted online and each person appearing for the exam gets a different set of questions, it is not possible to provide the details. He added that a hard copy of the information is not available.Relying on a SC judgment, which stated that a student has the right to his answer sheet, the commission observed, “Only if the answer sheet is in a soft copy format, an online inspection for the same should be given.”Why answer sheetDr Sumir Dembla, who appeared for the MS-CIT exam, wanted details of the correct answersThe PIO said it was not possible to provide the details as each individual gets a different set of questions
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly two years before the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the CIA had suggested that her son Rajiv Gandhi may not succeed her in the event of her sudden death because he was “politically immature” and had “failed to excite either the party or the public”, according to a secret report declassified by the US agency.The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in a report dated January 14, 1983, noted that the Congress Party would become weaker in such circumstances.However, the sequence of events after the then premier’s assassination in October 1984 proved otherwise as she was succeeded by Rajiv, who within a few months was re-elected with an unprecedented mandate.A sanitised copy of the report ‘India in the Mid-1980s: Goals and Challenges’ was released by the CIA under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which is similar to India’s Right to Information Act.Running into more than 30 pages, the document discussed the prospects of India in the mid-1980s and looked into various political scenarios, which among others included re- election of Indira Gandhi in the next general election in 1985 with a slim majority and what happens in the case of her sudden death.”In the event of (Indira) Gandhi’s sudden death, Raiiv Gandhi, working closely with President Zail Singh, would be one of the major figures involved in the selection of a successor. His own chances of being elevated to the office right now are uncertain, in part because of his political immaturity and because of his still junior status,” the CIA had said in its secret report declassified in December.”Raiiv’s prospects would probably improve the longer Indira Gandhi remained in office. However, even if he were to become prime minister, his hold on the reins of power could be short lived unless he unexpectedly emerges as a superb political strategist like his mother or develops a party organisation,” the report noted.”Other possible candidates which party factional leaders might consider are such cabinet-level statesmen-politicians as Defence Minister R Venkataraman, Foreign Minister P V Narasimha Rao, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, and Industry Minister Narain Dutt Tiwari,” it said.Intelligence agencies, globally, are known for talking about and discussing various political scenarios in the country of their interest.
Users are being told the ban was ordered by the government, but no explanation has been given.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Nalin Kotadiya said that he has voted against BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls after seeing the pain of 14 youths who died during Patidar agitation.He himself admitted in a Facebook post, and said, “Seeing the pain of 14 youths who died during Patidar agitation I voted against BJP.”His vote may have probably resulted in the victory of Congress candidate Ahmed Patel, who won the election by securing necessary 44 votes.Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani are other two candidates and are likely to win with ease.Voting for the three Rajya Sabha seats was conducted on Tuesday. Total 176 MLAs voted in the crucial elections, but two votes were declared invalid.The EC on late Tuesday night declared votes of two Congress MLAs- Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel- invalid. The decision was taken on a complaint of the Congress.The Congress had complained to the EC that the MLAs had shown their votes to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani and independent candidate Balwantsinh Rajput instead of representative of Congress candidate Ahmed Patel.Ahmed Patel’s win is being considered a major victory of Congress and a blow for the BJP.Congress had made candidature of Ahmed Patel as a matter of prestige. The BJP also left no stone unturned to win all the three seats.The saffron pitted Balwantsinh Rajput, a recent acquisition from the Congress, against Ahmed Patel knowing that Patel’s defeat will bring huge embarrassment for Sonia Gandhi since he is her political secretary.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Nalin Kotadiya said that he has voted against BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls after seeing the pain of 14 youths who died during Patidar agitation. He himself admitted in a Facebook post, and said, ?Seeing the pain of 14 youths who died during Patidar agitation I voted against BJP.? His vote may have probably resulted in the victory of Congress candidate Ahmed Patel, who won the election by securing necessary 44 votes. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani are other two candidates and are likely to win with ease. Voting for the three Rajya Sabha seats was conducted on Tuesday. Total 176 MLAs voted in the crucial elections, but two votes were declared invalid. The EC on late Tuesday night declared votes of two Congress MLAs- Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel- invalid. The decision was taken on a complaint of the Congress. The Congress had complained to the EC that the MLAs had shown their votes to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani and independent candidate Balwantsinh Rajput instead of representative of Congress candidate Ahmed Patel. Ahmed Patel?s win is being considered a major victory of Congress and a blow for the BJP. Congress had made candidature of Ahmed Patel as a matter of prestige. The BJP also left no stone unturned to win all the three seats. The saffron pitted Balwantsinh Rajput, a recent acquisition from the Congress, against Ahmed Patel knowing that Patel?s defeat will bring huge embarrassment for Sonia Gandhi since he is her political secretary.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of social activists today questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement, made in February, that Aadhaar linking has helped weed out around 4 crore fake ration cards and claimed that there was no data to back it. Addressing a press conference, activists and academics including Anjali Bhardwaj, Nikhil Dey, Reetika Khera, Dipa Sinha and Amrita Johri also accused the government of sharing “misleading data” to paint a rosy picture of the benefits of Aadhaar. Bhardwaj of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information said an RTI application seeking details on the prime minister’s statement, made in Lok Sabha on February 7 this year, elicited no concrete response. She said she had filed the RTI with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seeking state-wise break-up of the bogus ration cards referred to by the PM and the names and addresses of all those whose cards were cancelled. The PMO transferred the RTI application to Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD), which in turn directed Bhardwaj to refer to its website, which had a document having consolidated state-wise data of the period 2006-2016. “According to that document, 6.26 crore bogus/ineligible ration cards have been deleted by the states between 2006 and 2016. Now firstly, ineligible does not necessarily mean fake and secondly the data do not pertain to the period PM referred to and thirdly it do not match with the figures shared by him,” she said. On the query seeking names and addresses of those whose cards were cancelled, till now 10 states and union territories have replied stating that there are no bogus ration cards or that they do not maintain any such record, Bhardwaj claimed. Modi had said that the extensive use of Aadhar has helped in apprehending 3.94 crore fake ration cards in two and a half years, preventing siphoning of Rs 14,000 crore to the middlemen. During the press conference, the activists also claimed that people were facing problems arising out of the introduction of Aadhaar-based biometric authentication in schemes such as Mid-Day Meal or the Public Distribution System, even in the national capital.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)