The issues and suggestions related to GST, newly introduced e-way bill and pending issues of VAT dominated the pre-budget meeting between the department of finance and various industrial representatives held recently.Sources informed that the industrial representatives spoke about the difficulties in execution of GST while the issues related to RIICO were also raised during the meeting. Apart from these two issues, topics related to e-way bill, mandi tax, stamp duty were also discussed and they gave the suggestions related to these issues.Additional chief secretary(finance) D B Gupta, who chaired the meeting, assured the representatives that the suggestions would be looked into while making the budget . The issues which the business representatives raised related to GST and the suggestions will be forwarded to the GST council. In the meeting, the officials of finance, commercial tax , RIICO, stamps and registration, labour etc who were present were asked to take up the problems raised by the industrialist s.The meeting was a part of the series of meetings which the department of finance has been taking with various sections of business and society for their inputs in budget.The current round of meeting started from Wednesday and will end on Friday with a meeting of various associations giving their suggestions. The meeting was also attended by multiplex’s association, cinema association apart from regular business organsiations.This year’s budget will be the first budget after the implementation of GST in which VAT, entertainment tax etc were subsumed which formed a major part of the state’s revenue. Meanwhile, people can also give their suggestions on budget to the department of finance. This can be done through logging onto the link provided on the website of department of finance.Budget after gstThe industrial representatives spoke about the difficulties in execution of GST while the issues related to RIICO were also raised during the meeting. Apart from these two issues, topics related to e-way bill, mandi tax, stamp duty were also discussed and they gave the suggestions related to these issues. This year’s budget will be the first budget after the implementation of GST in which VAT, entertainment tax etc were subsumed which formed a major part of the state’s revenue.
Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a brief spell of respite, smog cover enveloped the Capital again on Sunday, disrupting flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) for the fourth day this week. More than 100 arrivals and a number of departures were delayed as visibility dipped during the early hours and late in the evening. A number of trains were also affected, with the adverse weather leaving several stranded at railway stations.Airport officials, however, denied reports of any diversion or cancellation on Sunday, unlike on Tuesday and Wednesday, when major air traffic menace delayed and diverted over 500 flight. Runway 29-11, which was shut for three days, also added to the congestion.”Low visibility slowed down air traffic, eventually causing backlog resulting in congestion. Flights witnessed delays ranging from 30 minutes to more than an hour,” a senior officer said.The situation is expected to worsen as winter approaches. Officials said that keeping the possible fog and adverse weather conditions in mind, they have planned to undertake several measures to ensure commuters’ convenience. Deployment of additional traffic marshalls for smooth traffic flow, adequate lighting in car parking areas, and increased number of airport patrol vehicles fitted with radio sets and beacons are some of the measures that will be undertaken to ensure smooth traffic on the roads.”Display of weather information inside terminals, additional help desks at entry gates where information on cancellations and delays will be displayed, and additional seating capacity in the terminal building will be ensured. Apart from this, airlines will be briefed about deployment of additional staff for appropriate manning of check-in counters and boarding gate areas during fog,” the official said.Meanwhile, more than 50 trains were also affected in Delhi due to reduced visibility coupled with operational glitches. This left many passengers stranded at railway stations, leading to overcrowding.”Some arrivals were delayed, while more than two dozen trains had to be rescheduled and cancelled on Sunday, a senior railway official said. “Adequate security arrangements are being ensured to manage the situation,” the official added.TRAIN ISSUES, TOOApart from the flight delays due to reduced visibility, some two dozen trains were also rescheduled and cancelled on Sunday for adverse weather conditions and technical glitches.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There was jubilation all around as the farmers’ satyagrah in Nindar came to an end. The Rajasthan government is busy patting itself on the back after it managed to get the farmers, on an agitation for nearly a month, out of the pits and into their homes.Assurances offered by the state included re-conducting a survey and no demolitions till then, which could have been offered much earlier. However, the issue was allowed to linger in indecisiveness and fester. The opposition had a field day while the government machinery was in inertia.The recently-concluded farmers’ agitation is just another example of the Rajasthan’s governent’s incapacit to handle crises. A committee to look into the demands was announced almost a fortnight after the farmers held the public and government to ransom.It was no different than the government’s predicament in the case of gangster Chatar Singh’s killing in Jaisalmer. Protests and rallies were held by dozens before the government accepted the demand of a CBI inquiry. The Raje government of Rajasthan has time and again proved that it has a poor crisis response. Issues are allowed to escalate.According to Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, “We cannot act arbitrarily and in haste. A situation is accessed from all aspects before the government reacts or takes decisions.” But political observers attribute this to several reasons; the wait and watch policy of the government, over-dependence on bureaucracy and more importantly, absence of a core team to deal with such situations.As per a senior minister, “We have been found lacking in dealing with most difficult situations. What makes matters worse is that there is simply no damage control. There is no forum to discuss openly and offer solutions.” This scenario in the year prior to elections spells trouble for the Raje government.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raising the issue of lack of facilities at the Mumba Devi Temple in Zaveri Bazar, the local MLA of Colaba, Raj Purohit, protested outside the temple on Monday. He said the temple lacks facilities and the issues are being ignored by the management. The temple’s management refutes the allegations.Purohit said, “There are no toilet, water facilities on the premises. Many devotees stand in long queues without shelter. We have raised the issues with the CM and asked for a committee to monitor the temple’s management.” He added that he will also write to the charity commissioner to investigate corruption in the temple’s money management.Hemant Jadhav, manager of the temple, said, “We have all the basic facilities necessary for devotees. We refuse to accept the allegations put up by the MLA.” He added, “We update the charity commissioner about the money used and collected every year.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after a scuffle between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh near Pangong Tso (lake), officers of both armies met on Wednesday in Chushul sector to address the issues that sparked the brawl which left nearly half a dozen Indian soldiers wounded.“Issues regarding strengthening of mechanism to ensure peace and tranquillity were discussed,” government sources said. Despite which the two-month-long standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at the India-China-Bhutan trijunction, the two sides were quick to talk peace in the eastern region of Ladakh.According to sources, although the brigade-level meeting between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army was pre-scheduled and border personnel issues were to discussed, the incident of Tuesday’s stone-pelting was also discussed.Chinese troops on Tuesday tried to enter Indian territory near the Pangong Lake, but their attempts were foiled by Indian troops. The 135-km lake has eight fingers that remain to be a region of dispute between India and China. ‘Fingers’ is a reference to ridges jutting out of the mountains into the lake. There were two confrontations earlier this year that took place in mid-May and the first week of June in Ladakh between the two troops. The first face-off took place east of Karakoram in May and the second at Pangong Tso during boat patrols. Both the incidents went on for 3 -4 days, sources said.Since mid-June, the two troops have been involved in a stand-off in Doklam at the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction. The Indian Army had stopped China from building a road in Doklam region. With no breakthrough, India increased its operational preparedness along the eastern border in Sikkim and parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Neither sides has shown any signs of backing off from the site of confrontation in Bhutan.DOKLAM BOILINGThere were two confrontations earlier this year that took place in mid-May and the first week of June in LadakhIndian Army had stoped China from building a road in Doklam region
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Thursday called on BRICS countries to show leadership on issues of regional and global importance, including countering terrorism.Speaking at the meeting of NSAs from BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Doval said, “We should hold a BRICS forum to discuss security issues that impact global peace and stability.”He said the five-member bloc of emerging countries needs to “show leadership in countering terrorism”.In his brief opening remarks at the meeting hosted by his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, Doval said BRICS countries also should take leadership role on strategic issues of regional and global importance specially in the areas where they have “consensus”.There was no reference to the ongoing Doklam standoff in his speech.Yang and Doval are Special Representatives for the India-China boundary talks. The two officials held a separate meeting yesterday to discuss bilateral issues.During that meeting, they were understood to have discussed the standoff between the troops of both the countries at Doklam area in the Sikkim section.Earlier, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the 7th meeting of ‘BRICS High Representatives for Security Issues’ is a major platform for BRICS countries to discuss and carry out cooperation in the political security field.The meeting aims to enhance strategic communication, political mutual trust and international influence of BRICS countries, it said.The meeting will focus on global governance, counter- terrorism, cyber security and energy security, international and regional hotspots, and national security and development, it said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> As the Monsoon Session of the Parliament begins today, the Congress is all set to take on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government in both the Houses on numerous issues. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the Opposition has listed out the issues to be raised in the Parliament and will again meet before the commencement of the session to list them on priority basis. ?We had a discussion about the issues which will be raised in the Parliament. Today we will meet again to list it on priority basis. Then we will think about the issue to be raised tomorrow,? he said. Kharge also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remark on cow vigilantism, saying that he should act more rather than making statements. ?The prime minister has all the information about the people indulged in such activities. Doesn?t he know the name of the individual and the organisation involved in this illegal activity? He has the Intelligence Bureau, State Secretaries briefing them about the situation. He is just repeating his statements,? he said. On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is hopeful to do conduct the forthcoming session successfully. ?The prime minister has requested the Opposition to make the Parliament session successful. The Government is ready to discuss all the issues. We have asked the Opposition to support us and reqest them to take part in discussion,? Union Minister Ananth Kumar said. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Government is ready to hold discussion on all the issues raised by the opposition. ?We want the monsoon session to be successful, constructive and fruitful. Whatever issues the Opposition wants to discuss we are ready for it. We had an elaborated discussion on the same in the all-party meeting,? Naqvi said. The Opposition is likely to raise the issue of China, Jammu and Kashmir and Darjeeling unrest, impact of the GST and other issues in the Parliament Monsoon Session. This session of the Parliament will continue till August 11. Meanwhile, the Presidential polls preceed the session and Prime Minister Modi, BJP national president Amit Shah, and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have already cast their vote. Other prominent leaders, including the likes of Kumar, Naqvi, Omar Abdullah, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and others have reached the Parliament and their respective Assemblies to cast their votes. Reportedly, jailed MLAs Chhagan Bhujbal and Ramesh Kadam will be brought to Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from prison for voting.(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 –> India said today it will continue to use diplomatic channels with China to resolve Dokalam stand off and insisted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held “conversation on range of issues” in Hamburg.There is a stand off between the armies of India and China in the Dokalam area in the Sikkim sector, where Indian troops stopped road construction by Chinese soldiers on June 16.”We have diplomatic channels available. We have embassies in both countries. Those channels will continue to be used,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said when asked about the nearly month-long stand off in Dokalam.He also referred to Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s remarks at an event in Singapore on the issue. Baglay noted that there were well-established and mutually agreed mechanisms to address differences on border issue as well as tri-junctions.”I would only refer you back to the information we put out after the meeting (in Hamburg). There was a picture that we had tweeted. There was a brief text that…said at the BRICS leaders’ informal meeting at Hamburg on the sidelines of the G0-20 summi, the BRICS leaders an informal meeting was hosted by China.”Prime Minister Modi and President Xi had a conversation on a range of issues,” Baglay said when asked about the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman’s remarks that there was no bilateral meeting between the two leaders.However, he refused to give details on the “range of issues”, saying, “It is not for me to comment as to what grounds the two leaders covered.”On whether Dokalam stand off also figured during the “conversation on range of issues” between Modi and Xi, Baglay said, “There was a conversation between them. There were a range of issues that was the subject matter of that conversation.”Asked if his remarks on diplomatic resolution of Dokalam stand off indicated any shift in Chinese demand for withdrawal of Indian troops from the area, he said India has already outlined its position on the issue.”There was also a ‘conversation on a range of issues’ between the leaders of India and China in Hamburg. And today I have said that there are diplomatic channels which will continue to be used. So, you have to see everything in totality,” he asserted.On strong rhetorics in Chinese media warning India on the Dokalam stan doff, Baglay said, “This matter we are dealing with is a serious matter and it has implications. We remain engaged in addressing this matter…”On whether National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was travelling to Bejing on July 26, he said there was no information with him.Doval, who is the Special Representative for the India- China border talks, is expected to visit Beijing on July 26 to attend the meeting of the NSAs from BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.Baglay also declined to comment on recent meeting between the top Chinese envoy and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, saying the MEA does not comment on activities of embassies or political parties.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NITI Aayog will discuss the agrarian crisis with representatives of farmer commissions of half a dozen states, including Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, on July 8, eminent farm activist Kishor Tiwari said today. The meeting will be held in New Delhi and besides UP and Maharashtra, representatives of farmer commissions from Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana will discuss the issue of prevailing agrarian crisis with the government think-thank, he said in a release here. “Issues related to agriculture input, output regulations and other serious issues that will serve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aim of doubling farm income by 2022 will be discussed,” said Tiwari, who will also take part in the meeting. The agriculture expert is head of the Maharashtra government-appointed special task force looking into ways to solve the prevailing agrarian crisis in the state, especially in suicide-prone Vidarbha and Marathwada regions. Tiwari said he will highlight the plight of the farmers of Vidarbha and Marathwada. “When the RBI and NABARD have already shifted responsibility of farm loan waivers to states by asking them to bear the financial burden by mobilising resources, we will ask the NITI Aayog to suggest long-term sustainable solutions to curb farmer suicides and solve the crisis,” Tiwari said. He said though there was a bumper crop production this year, farmers were not satisfied with the procurement price. Tiwari said farm loan waiver is a temporarily solution to solve the agrarian distress. “Farm loan waivers, though temporarily necessary for revival of farming, do not provide conditions for a secure credit system in the long term. The waiver of loans implies banks will have to be compensated by the government for the amount involved. “This means large sums of money, which could have otherwise gone to strengthen the agricultural infrastructure in irrigation, secondary support business in rural economy and research activities will not be available. Hence, we are asking for long-term farm credit system,” Tiwari said. “I will push for a package from the Centre for the farmers of Vidarbha and Marathwada,” he 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 –>Hailed as a jewel of Malabar Hill that still sees tourists coming in busloads from all over the world, Hanging Gardens, formally called Phirozshah Mehta Gardens, seems to be losing its lushness and lustre.On request of concerned park-goers, 77-year-old Sudhir Sabhrawal — a retired survey architect and marine engineer, who has been going to the garden since 40 years — has compiled their woes. The four-page document (available with DNA) starts on a melancholy note that “With the passage of time since independence, changes (work ethics, accountability and integrity) have been so immense that the existing methods of control are ineffective”.Few issues, in briefSeasonal flower beds are disappearing: Reduced to a handful, they are gradually being replaced by perennials, wild flowers and hedge plants. Improper fertilizers, insufficient watering and lack of timely pruning and de-rooting of weeds have turned most beds fallow.Superficial repairs: When resurfacing walkways, only the outer paths are repaired; the inside paths are not maintained.Dysfunctional drains, electric hazards posed: On the west-side periphery large pits have been dug next to the railing for water to drain, which is prevented by the new, plain steel plates that have replaced old slotted gutter grills. Electric cables are not properly ducted underground and often get trampled on, which cause great hazard.Garbage dump deprives walkers of fresh air: Although park rules disallow eating inside the premises, it’s rampantly flouted by picnickers, especially on weekends, so much so that litter overflows out of ‘Swatch Bharat Abhiyan’ bins. To make matters worse, the staff dumps all the waste right outside the west-side of the garden and have even broken a small part of the railing for it. Occasionally, when the garbage is set on fire nearby residents are subjected to smoke and pollution and walkers are deprived of fresh air.Inadequate security: The garden has three gates, but security is stationed only at the central one facing Kamala Nehru Park.Officials break garden rulesReiterating an instance also mentioned in the document, another garden regular, 69-year-old Bankim Almoula recalls, “Jogging/running here has always been disallowed – the structure below is hollow as the garden has been built over a reservoir – the plaque bearing garden rules lists it. But about a year ago, when a friend informed one of the garden officials who was jogging about it, he was told: ‘What will you do? If that’s the rule, i’ll get it changed’. After a few days, the rule on the plaques was blackened”.The reservoir is the reason that unlike most open spaces and parks that are maintained by the municipal corporation’s garden department, Hanging Gardens is taken care of by the hydraulics engineering (H.E.) department.Sham of solar lights, an expensive failureDubbed a scam among park regulars is the installation of solar lights a few years ago. The petition recognises that “the idea in itself was noble. However, no technical in – depth study appears to have been conducted”.As per information provided by the H.E. Department, 150 solar lights, costing over Rs. 50 lakhs, were installed in 2011. Purchased from M/S United Agencies in Andheri (E). The initial benefits were soon overshadowed by high-maintenance requirements. Explaining the official side, Nagesh Dhondge, Sub Engineer (now working at the Byculla office), tell us, “The corporation was testing it out as a pilot project. But we faced several technical issues, especially during rains. Moreover, due to insufficient light, the lamps weren’t getting enough power. So once the batteries were down, we had to externally charge them. Such lighting would work with good institutes, but the BMC doesn’t have enough staff to take care of it. We used to get lots of complaints”.Officially, 55 workers are employed for the park’s upkeep, but regulars say, not even half the number is to be seen on ground. As for insufficient solar light, the petition states that: the system might have been successful if it was installed selectively in the central portion of the garden, where the panels would receive uninterrupted sunlight all day, but most lamps are placed around the outer walkway, under the shade of tall trees, so the panels don’t charge batteries to the extent required. Hence in the evening, it would work only for a short while. At any time, only 30 – 40 per cent of the lights were functional. Moreover, batteries were installed in compartments that weren’t sufficiently weather/dust proof to permit clean battery terminals and therefore terminal leakage is intense – specially, during monsoons. Now with old light pillars also left in place, it’s become like a ‘jungle of light poles’.Animal-shaped topiaries lose structureThe digital clock, it seems, has met a similar fate and if you visit the park today, you’ll find these complaints to be true, including the fact that the new ‘regular’ lamps that have been installed are of different shapes and sizes and only serve to further take away from Hanging Gardens aesthetic value. In fact, even the animal-shaped topiaries that the garden is known for seem to be losing structure. Soon the animals will no more be recognisable.”Being engineers, our job is to first provide water supply; maintaining the garden is secondary. Solar lights require dedicated staff, but the AMC with purchasers is over, so for the 2018 beautification plan, we hope to use conventional lights that are easy to maintain,” says Rameshwar Sawant, Assistant Engineer (Maintenance), H.E. Department.Petition to be taken to authoritiesA lady, who wished to remain anonymous said, “Deterioration is happening since a while, but we decided enough is enough illegal constructions began taking place across the backside (north-west side). They have also replaced the nursery”. The petition details how the corporation the corporation has been gradually ‘colonising’ the above mentioned area starting with living quarters for their staff, followed by hutments, then pandals and now debris of paver blocks and other road construction waste.Worried that at this rate, Hanging Gardens will “earn the dubious distinction of a seedy tourist trap” 120 people have already signed the petition, which Almoula soon plans to take to relevant authorities along with D Ward corporator, Jyotshna Mehta.SOME OF THE ISSUES RAISEDSeasonal flower beds are disappearing and gradually being replaced by perennials, wild flowers, and hedge plants.
When resurfacing walkways, only the outer paths are repaired; the inside paths are not maintained.
Large pits have been dug next to the railing for water drainage, prevented presently by steel plates that have replaced slotted gutter grills.
Electric cables, not properly ducted underground, can cause great hazard.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu today called on Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre and discussed issues regarding land acquisition for defence purpose in the state. In a meeting held in New Delhi, the two leaders were joined by Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and senior officials from Army, and Department of Defence (DOD). From the state government – the Chief Secretary, Secretary to CM and Resident Commissioner were present, an official release said. Pending cases including land acquisition at Bora Rupak (Baririjo), Bame (Tirbin), Basar, Baisakhi (North and South of Sela), Seppa, Shanglem (West Kameng), Mechuka, Tuting, Mandala (Dirang), Orak-Nacho-Kojin Nallah (Upper Subansiri), Manigong, Tawang, Anini, Tato, Kalaktang were discussed. Issues regarding forest clearance for building border roads, NOC by the state government and release of compensation by army were also discussed. Khandu said that issues of high lease rate, grant of ownership rights, payment of dual compensation and fixation of land rates will be resolved soon. He said that the state cabinet has already constituted a high level committee (HLC) under the chairmanship of Minister, Land Management to examine these and assured cooperation. “The HLC will be submitting its report in a month’s time and then the state government will make a final call,” he said. MoS Defence Bhamre asked the DOD and army officials to fast-track all the pending issues by coordinating with each other and the state government. “As the chief minister and the chief secretary are here, we believe all issues on part of the state government will be cleared and land required for defence purposes in the state would be acquired but by paying land compensation to the rightful owners on time,” he said. He also stressed that such tripartite meetings between the army, DOD and the state government should be held at regular intervals to resolve pending issues. He said a similar meeting could be held in a few months in Arunachal Pradesh to reassess the action taken. Rijiju, on the other hand, called for resolving all issues and clear pending cases in a time bound manner. He asked the officials to specify the time they want to address all the issues that were discussed during the meeting. “It should not be, it will be done. It will be done within this month or two month’s time,” he 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 –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said she discussed “development and not politics” at a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here. The Trinamool Congress chief’s meeting with Modi came amid efforts by opposition leaders to choose a consensus candidate for the coming presidential polls. The ruling National Democratic Alliance is yet to announce its presidential candidate. “This was not a political meeting, (but an) absolutely development oriented meeting. I have taken up several issues with the prime minister,” Banerjee told reporters, describing it as a “customary” meeting between the state government and the Centre. Banerjee, who was a bitter critic of Modi’s demonetisation drive, said she discussed a range of issues related to soil erosion caused by the Ganga in West Bengal and restructuring of the state’s debt. Issues such as the Farakka barrage, the heavy export duty imposed by Bangladesh on mangoes from West Bengal and the construction of a dam over the Atrai River by Bangladesh were also discussed. She also demanded a restructuring of the central government’s loan to the state, which has been reeling under financial problems. “I have to pay Rs 40,000 crore. How do we work in such a scenario,” she said outside South Block, where the prime minister’s office is situated, after the meeting. Banerjee also demanded that India take up with Bangladesh the issues of heavy export duty on West Bengal mangoes and the Atrai dam construction, which had led to a water shortage in the state’s West Midnapore district.(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 –>Traffic police authorities have fined nearly 37,000 motorists in the national capital for overspeeding — one of the major casues of road accidents in the country — besides issuing over 7.1 lakh ‘challans’ for helmet-related rule violations this year. Issues of road safety have been brought to the fore by a few recent cases, including the tragic episode involving a moving car which plunged off a flyover in west Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh area, killing four college students. Traffic police authorities feel that many accidents could be avoided if people also adhered to other traffic regulations, besides driving vehicles at legally-permitted speeds. “As many as 36,961 commuters were issued challans for overspeeding this year till May 15 this year. Besides, 7,12,343 people were fined in the same period for not wearing helmets,” a senior Delhi Trafic Police official 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 –>Top army commanders today held extensive deliberations on the army’s “internal health” including cases of jawans coming out against the Sahayak system, salary-related discrepancies and rising cases of its personnel approaching courts for grievance redressal. On the second day of the commanders’ conference, an entire gamut of issues relating to Indian Army’s human resources were discussed to come out with solutions to some of the major issues. In the recent months, a number of videos had surfaced where some army jawans were seen voicing their anger over the Sahayak system. In February, the body of a jawan, Roy Mathew, was found hanging at Deolali Cantonment in Maharashtra after a sting video, which showed him complaining about being made to do household chores of superior officers, went viral. Days later, a sepoy also posted a video online criticising the Sahayak or buddy system and accused the senior officers of treating them as “slaves”. Sources said almost all issues relating to the Indian Army’s internal health were discussed at the commanders conference today. The commanders discussed rising cases of army personnel knocking at the doors of courts for redressal of their grievances including promotion-related issues. Issues relating to Seventh Pay Commission and Non- Functional Upgrade (NFU) also figured during the deliberations. There has been demand for implementing NFU in the armed forces. Under the NFU scheme, officers in central group A category get automatic time-bound pay promotions. Pay hike under NFU scheme are independent of organisational requirements and vacancy. The conference also discussed grievances of the ex- servicemen relating to Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme and explored ways to redress them. The annual commanders’ conference, which began yesterday, takes decision on based on consensus. IAF Chief B S Dhanoa, addressing the conference, talked about future challenges and tri-service cooperation.(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 –>Affirming that mobile phone towers are not hazardous to human health, a parliamentary committee has directed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to start massive advertising campaigns involving various public figures, film stars and artistes — both at the national and regional levels — to allay the public’s fears about electromagnetic radiation (EMR).The parliamentary standing committee on information technology has noted in its report, titled ‘Issues related to quality of services and reported call drops’, that Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) are obstructing the construction of new mobile towers in residential colonies and are insisting on the removal of existing ones owing to the imagined fear of health risks from EMR.“The objections and protests raised by RWAs against the installation of mobile towers is one of the factors that is impacting the quality of services, leading to frequent call drops in the country,” the committee’s report said.The Department of Telecommunications of the Ministry of Communications has been making an effort to educate people about the radiations not being ionizing radiations and, thus, not having an impact on human health, as proven by 25,000 articles that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has analysed. Plus, the norms in India for EMR are 10 times stricter than those in the US, Japan and other countries, and robust monitoring systems have been put in place to ensure that these norms are adhered to.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UN Security Council’s size is inextricably linked to the need for equitable geographical distribution, India has said underscoring that the size of a reformed Council is a “choice of all, for all, by all”. “The Council’s size is a choice of all, for all, by all. It cannot be allowed to falter on the altar of difficulty in adaptation of current working methods.” “…We cannot stave off change for want of the provisional rules of procedure (which have proved flexible on so many counts) not being able to accommodate aspects of size,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said. He was speaking here yesterday at an informal meeting of the General Assembly on Inter-Governmental Negotiations on equitable representation and increase in membership of the Security Council. He said the size of a reformed Council is inextricably linked to both the need for equitable geographical distribution and a desire for all stakeholders to have a greater opportunity to participate in it. “…the increase in the number of states and population of the world, since the adoption of the Charter, has been more than three-fold. Yet, all expansion models have projected an increase that is less than that number. It reflects a willingness of all of us to be realistic,” he said. He noted that member states have a preference on every issue and so is the case with size. However, working in the context of the General Assembly’s mandate, “we also accept the sovereign equality of States as the basis of decision making.” “Issues of linkages are complex. They need to be addressed as part of a negotiation process that has detailed proposals available on paper, not through general statements. The earlier we go down that path the greater are chances of clarity. Until then the scope of our discussion will remain limited,” he said. On regional representation, Akbaruddin said a call from States from various regions for representation in a Council that is mandated to represent all states and regions is a “cry of frustration and dissatisfaction” with the existing state of affairs. “This call is made by some on the basis of historical injustice; by others because entire regions are not equitably represented or even unrepresented in a key category; and by yet others who hope to move beyond the nation-state as the primary actor on global issues. In all cases, it symbolises the belief that the system as it exists has failed the membership,” he 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 –>Western Command GOC-in-C Lieutenant General Surinder Singh today called on Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and discussed issues of mutual interests pertaining to the state with him. Lieutenant General Singh paid a courtesy visit to the chief minister here, a defence spokesman said. “The Army Commander discussed issues of mutual interest pertaining to Punjab during his visit,” he added. Lieutenant General Singh highlighted the continued support extended by the Punjab government to the Armed Forces and military veterans, the spokesman said. He also underscored the initiatives of the Armed Forces towards the welfare of the veterans and joint functioning in the field of security and disaster relief. The Western Army Commander reiterated the need to further enhance the resettlement opportunities for the retiring army personnel. Issues such as training of the youth for recruitment in the army as officers and assistance during a natural calamity were also discussed at the meeting, the spokesman 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 –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be sharing his thoughts on a number of issues in the 29th edition of his radio programme ?Mann ki Baat? today. The programme, to be aired at 11 a.m., will be broadcast on the All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan. ?Mann ki Baat? will be broadcast in regional languages immediately after its Hindi broadcast. In the last edition, the Prime Minister shared his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ with youngsters appearing for various board examinations and competitive exams.(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 –>Standing in one of the congested lanes that makes up the Muslim heartland of Madanpura in Central Mumbai, Zakir Ansari (name changed) is perturbed. “I have never seen such money being thrown around. Candidates are distributing free meals for a month. Still, voters’ disillusionment about the system is scary. The real issues around which a civic election should be fought on like roads, water and quality of education are missing from public discourse. It’s all about emotion-mongering,” said Ansari, while mirroring the sentiments of many from the community. Community elders said while newer entrants like the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) led by the firebrand Owaisi brothers from Hyderabad have managed to shake the influence of parties like the Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP), the cynicism among voters, especially the young, about the political system was rising. Wadala resident Muhammed Feroz Shaikh noted that mainstream political parties had failed to tap the aspirational vote in young Muslims, who seek upward mobility and have different frames of references than their peers. “Partly, the community is to be blamed for this state of affairs. They must not allow themselves to be used and vote only after giving a good thought,” he said, adding that it was necessary for the political discourse to move around issues like education and employment.“There is disillusionment with the Congress and NCP,” noted Shabbir Ansari of the influential All India Muslim OBC Organisation, adding that while the Muslim youth was veering towards the AIMIM, its image had taken a hit as it had nominated candidates, including defectors, based on “elective merit.” “Contrary to perception, the Muslim vote is not homegenous and the community is divided across political lines,” said Ansari, adding that the assertion by Hindutva hotheads after the BJP’s rise to power in the Centre and the state had led to unease in the already marginalised community. “Since Muslims feel let down by most political parties, they may choose candidates who they think may work for them,” he opined. However, the AIMIM’s presence seemed to have made a marginal impact on voters in Muslim pockets in the island city though it could eat into the votes of other parties in wards like 223 (Imamwada-Dongri), 213 (Kamathipura-Sidharth Nagar), 211 (Madanpura), and 212 (Agripada).”We do not identify with their (AIMIM) identity politics. We want someone who will work here,” said Umerkhadi resident Raza Syed. Muslims in general stated that though “no one does much work”, still the vote was for someone who will work and be around. However, some in the ward said that AIMIM was a number of votes. Muslims in different wards stated that they wanted someone who will take care of issues like cleanliness, water, traffic, parking, house gullies, redevelopment and traffic. “In our ward, house gully is an issue besides traffic and parking,” said Kamathipura’s Anees Khan. He, like many others, said that the fight there was between Congress and Samajwadi Party for Muslim votes and speculated that the seat may go to someone else due to a vote split. “AIMIM nominated someone who was not a party worker. The Congress candidate is not known much and was a light name,” said Naseem Syed. However, some like Abdul Qadir Ansari said, “We have tried a new name because we feel that the old ones will be more prone to corrupt practices and will garner less votes,” hinting at the preference for AIMIM. The fight in Madanpura may tilt towards Samajwadi Party’s Raees Shaikh. “Cycle seems to be the preference here,” said Syed Zaffar Abbas, resident of Madanpura. However, some like Nafees Ansari said, “The fight here is actually three-way.” Some voters, however, said AIMIM was getting a large number of votes. In ward 212, voters said that the fight was between Geeta Gawli and Congress over other parties. “Out here, the vote is for redevelopment issue and since a Muslim community member has been given ticket who is identified by Muslims here, the contest is between the two,” said a voter. “At some level, there is a disillusionment with mainstream politics. Most politicians are interested in feathering their own politics, some do this blatantly, some in an insidious manner,” noted Kashif, a Vikhroli resident, adding that hence, Muslims were forced to choose the lesser evil. “The community has been used for its votes for long… without basic issues being addressed. Issues like inflation, poverty, unemployment and poor state of civic services hurt all, regardless of caste and religion,” he said, adding that lack of adequate opportunities in India forced Muslim youngsters to migrate to the Gulf for menial jobs where they have to lead a hard scrabble existence to send their savings back home.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amidst hectic electioneering in UP, firebrand BJP MP Yogi Adityanath on Saturday again sought to play the religious card, saying the alleged exodus of Hindus from Kairana and ‘love jihad’ were important issues for the party.BJP, he said, will not let Western Uttar Pradesh turn into another Kashmir, a reference to the forced migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s. “Issues like Hindu exodus from Kairana, love jihad and women’s safety will dominate the poll scene,” he said at an event organised by a news channel here.”Yogi is not talking about today, Yogi is talking about future. Exodus is a very big issue for us,” he said, adding, “BJP will not let western Uttar Pradesh turn into another Kashmir.” BJP MP Hukum Singh had in June last year claimed that close to 350 Hindus had left Kairana over alleged threats and extortion by criminal elements belonging to a particular community.The Lok Sabha member from Gorakhpur claimed that in eastern part of UP, both Hindu and Muslim population was safe. “In eastern UP, if a Hindu is safe, so is a Muslim,” he said.The BJP’s star campaigner said the issue of love jihad will certainly be a crucial point in the polls. “Love jihad was then an issue and it is still an issue,” he said.When asked about the agenda of his “anti-Romeo squads”, the controversial leader said the “force” will work towards restoring pride of women and ending discriminations. “There are areas in western UP where girls can’t go to school. The squad will work for their rights and ensure safety of women in the state,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amidst hectic electioneering in UP, firebrand BJP MP Yogi Adityanath today again sought to play the religious card, saying the alleged exodus of Hindus from Kairana and ‘love jihad’ were important issues for the party. BJP, he said, will not let Western Uttar Pradesh turn into another Kashmir, a reference to the forced migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s. “Issues like Hindu exodus from Kairana, love jihad and women’s safety will dominate the poll scene,” he said at an event organised by a news channel here. “Yogi is not talking about today, Yogi is talking about future. Exodus is a very big issue for us,” he said, adding, “BJP will not let western Uttar Pradesh turn into another Kashmir.” BJP MP Hukum Singh had in June last year claimed that close to 350 Hindus had left Kairana over alleged threats and extortion by criminal elements belonging to a particular community. The Lok Sabha member from Gorakhpur claimed that in eastern part of UP, both Hindu and Muslim population was safe. “In eastern UP, if a Hindu is safe, so is a Muslim,” he said. The BJP’s star campaigner said the issue of love jihad will certainly be a crucial point in the polls. “Love jihad was then an issue and it is still an issue,” he said. When asked about the agenda of his “anti-Romeo squads”, the controversial leader said the “force” will work towards restoring pride of women and ending discriminations. “There are areas in western UP where girls can’t go to school. The squad will work for their rights and ensure safety of women in the state,” he said. (MORE)(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 –>Left red-faced, BSF on Wednesday came out with fresh guidelines for maintaining high quality of food for its personnel along the border as the Union Home Ministry directed it to file a complete report on allegations of substandard food made by a soldier posted along the LoC.BSF Director General K K Sharma today met Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and submitted a second interim report on the allegations made by Tej Bahadur Yadav on a video that was uploaded on social networking sites. The BSF chief avoided queries from waiting media after his meeting but the paramilitary force came out with a statement in the evening announcing six measures for providing quality food for its jawans posted along the border. “Issues related to diet of jawans, issues of ration purchase procedures and pilferages thereof are the issues of prime concern for any organisation.”BSF has taken a holistic view of the situation and follow -up process has been swung into action (sic),” the statement said and listed audit of prevalent system by team of senior commanding officers as one of the measures.Among other steps taken by the BSF are chalking out shortcomings of the present process, suggesting procedural and systematic improvements, vigilance for double checks, enhancing formal and informal interactions with jawans and introduction of systemic innovations to ensure cashless transactions in all messes.In its second interim report, BSF stated that the ‘daal’ shown in the jawan’s video was uncanned from tinned food ration and the ‘parantha’ was cooked in the unit mess as per procedures followed at high-altitude locations.Sharma conveyed to Mehrishi that the western front commander (Additional DG) of the force along with a dietitian has been rushed to the border post in the state where the jawan was posted for a detailed inquiry.After the issue went viral on social media, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the government has sent “experts and dietitians to each and every post of the border to ensure that the food quality of the jawans must be as per the norms”.Officials said the report has mentioned that the ‘daal’ (lentils) shown in the video by Yadav was uncanned straight from the tinned food ration supply sent to the border post in Rajouri and hence was bland and devoid of spices and ‘jeera’, as alleged by Yadav. The report also mentioned that apart from the regular lunch/dinner comprising ‘daal’ and ‘roti’, the unit mess also prepared fish curry on some occasions, something that is also visible in the videos posted by Yadav. A final report in this regard is expected to be submitted by the BSF tomorrow after the team of senior officers sent to the spot also finds out the actual “cooking norms, style and distribution” of food to the troops in these areas. The officials said while the rations at the said post on the LoC is provided by the army, it is cooked by BSF personnel tasked for these jobs. The report, while has mentioned that jawans were not given only one ‘parantha’ as claimed by Yadav, it is unclear as to how they were burnt. “The probe will find out if the paranthas were ill-cooked and burnt by the cooks or otherwise. There could be a possibility of them being extra-hauled over coal,” it said.It also mentions the list of authorised food items for troops deployed at high-altitude and difficult terrain areas of the border and the actual amount of stores available, along with the calorie chart, in the said mess and others beginning January 1. Meanwhile, wife and son of the BSF jawan, who has sought voluntary retirement from the force, today came out in his defence saying he was just bringing out the truth.”What he did is not wrong… He showed the truth… He has just made a demand for good food and ‘roti’. To say that he has a mental problem is wrong. If this was true, why was he sent to the border and was put in the line of duty? “Why was he not sent for treatment?” Yadav’s wife asked. His son added “it was not wrong” to demand good food for himself and the troops posted on the borders. “How would we otherwise know what is happening there (in the forward areas) and what is happening with them (troops)? We just want a fair probe and justice,” the school-going boy said