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Rajasthan doctors’ strike ends after 12 days

As per the agreement signed with ARISDA leader on Wednesday, demands include removal of the officer of Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) Girish Parashar from the health department and adjustment of leaves taken by doctors during their agitation, even in earlier months, against their earned leaves. The agreement also reiterates the execution of the agreement from November 12 and withdrawal of cases registered against the doctors under the Rajasthan Essential Services Management Act (RESMA) during the agitation.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Thursday 28 December 2017 3:32 ISTMust readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher Jaish-e-Mohammad’s ‘commander’ Noor Tantray killed in Pulwama wanted to join BJP in 2003 to eliminate top brass<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>After eight-hours of negotiations and the intervention of four ministers and state BJP president, the protesting in-service government doctors in Rajasthan finally called off their strike. The discussions on Wednesday were held between government representatives and leaders of All Rajasthan In Service Doctors Association (ARISDA), the body under which doctors were agitating. These doctors have been striking the last 12 days and the deadlock was broken only after two fresh agreements were signed.As per the agreement signed with ARISDA leader on Wednesday, demands include removal of the officer of Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) Girish Parashar from the health department and adjustment of leaves taken by doctors during their agitation, even in earlier months, against their earned leaves. The agreement also reiterates the execution of the agreement from November 12 and withdrawal of cases registered against the doctors under the Rajasthan Essential Services Management Act (RESMA) during the agitation.

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ED seizes arms dealer’s assets

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday seized assets worth Rs 26.61 crore of absconding controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and others for holding undisclosed finances abroad in violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).The agency seized the properties after investigation found that Bhandari had acquired movable and immovable assets worth more than Rs 150 crores outside India in contravention of section 4 of FEMA. The assets included undisclosed deposits in foreign bank accounts in UAE in various foreign currency denominations alongwith beneficial ownerships of companies incorporated in UAE including Offset India Solution FZC, Santech International FZC,Serra Dues Technologies, Petro Global Technologies FZC. There were also a flat in Palms, Dubai, and two flats in London at Grosvenor Hill Court and Bryanston Square.Previously, the Income-Tax authorities had issued a notice to Bhandari under the Black Money Actfor not disclosing his foreign assets. He has since fled the country and is presently hiding in UK.The investigation so far has also revealed routing of funds in Bhandari’s various companies through accommodation entries provided by shell companies.What was seizedThe assets included undisclosed deposits in foreign bank accounts in UAE in various foreign currency denominations alongwith beneficial ownerships of companies incorporated in UAE

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Ahmedabad University gets leading economist C Rangarajan

In a major recruitment drive with an aim to create a rich pool of academicians, Ahmedabad University (AU) has roped in leading economist of the country C Rangarajan.Professor Chakravarthi Rangarajan has joined AU as Distinguished University Professor. Not just him, AU has also been able to rope in a retired professor of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) professor P R Shukla who specialises in energy, environment and policies. Professor Shukla will also head the Global Centre for Environment and Energy.Professor Pankaj Chandra, Vice-Chancellor, AU, said, “Since January 2016, we have been able to recruit 35 faculty from across the world. To get best of faculties, we need to show them our vision and make them realise that they can experiment with new ways of teaching.”He added, “Whenever professor Rangarajan is in the university, even at this age (over 80 years), he teaches continously from morning till evening and that shows his dedication.” Prof Rangarajan has played a key role both as an academic and a policy maker. He has held several important positions which include Governor of Reserve Bank of India and Governor of Andhra Pradesh. Interestingly, while Professor Shukla is the first professor who has joined AU immediately after IIMA, AU has three more professors who have worked with IIMA in the past. Professor Chandra, prior to joining IIM-Bangalore as a director worked with IIMA.Professor Devanath Tirupati, one of India’s leading management academicians known for his expertise in Operations Management, too worked with IIMA and has joined AU’s management school. Professor Vivek Banerjee who is presently senior dean, startegic initiatives and planning at AU, has worked with IIMA for 18 years.HALL OF EXPERTISEProf C Rangarajan has played a key role both as an academic and a policy maker. He has held several important positions which include Governor of RBI and Governor of Andhra Pradesh. Professor Chandra, prior to joining IIM-B as a director worked with IIMA.

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Colaba locals take X’mas cheer to those in need

Christmas is celebrated with the aim to spread happiness among each other by coming together. This year too citizens across the city attached a social cause to their merry making.In order to extend the festive cheer to underprivileged children as well, residents from Colaba conducted a community event wherein they collected gifts for the children. Colaba Advanced Locality Management (CALM) along with My Dream Colaba organised a month-long charity which concluded on December 24. The gifts collected through the charity will be distributed this week.Cynthia D’mello, treasurer, CALM, said, “Over 300 people from nearby areas came together to participate in this charity event. We collected toys and other necessary items like clothes for the needy. There was an overwhelming response from the residents who donated various items. Christmas is celebrated to spread joy and happiness among people. We wanted everyone to come together and contribute to the social cause.”They also organised a community event of carol signing on December 21 for the communities to come together. “This is the second time a charity event was organised and we got a good response than the previous year. People were coming forward to donate more and more materials. We haven’t yet decided in which organisation or area we will be distributing them. We will be shortlisting the area or organisation soon and distributing the gifts this week,” said D’mello.Besides this, a fun-loving activity was organised by Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for the children at the hospital. Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, Wadia Hospital said, “It’s been another amazing Christmas with all our patients, making them dance and sing with joy and forget their pain at the hospital. We like to organise it every year to see a smile on the faces of the children.”

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Will not take any action that will hurt Jains: CM Vasundhara Raje

The state government will not take any action which can hurt the sentiments of Jain community, says Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, hinting that plan to acquire land of Padampura temple for proposed Greenfield Airport has been shelved. Raje’s statement comes after Jain Muni Shri Tarun Sagar met her on Friday at her residence to register protest against proposal of the acquisition.“The religious places are the centres of people’s faith and the government will not take any action that can damage such places. The Jain community needs to trust the government and also it need not worry about the safety of their pilgrimage sites – Padampura and Barkheda. Our government will not allow hurting sentiments of the community,” said Raje, adding she has unbroken faith in these pilgrimage sites. Saint Tarun Sagar reached at the CM’s residence in a procession along with his followers. Raje come to to recive and sought his blessings. “Raje is polite leader and she walks the talk. She has assured me that the government will not take land of the temples,” said the saint while talking to media.He has also announced to shelve the procession on Sunday in wake of Raje’s assurance which the community had scheduled as an opposition to the government’s plan of acquisition. The community representatives have welcomed to Raje’s statement, though they want it on paper. “Now, the CM should order for amendment in planning of Greenfield airport leaving out the land of Padampura temple on paper. This will further deepen te faith of community people in Raje’s words. We are also postponing our silent march and other protests in wake of Raje’s assurance,” said Sudhir Jain, president of Atishay Khetra Padampura Management Committee, in a press conference.Notably, the government intends to acquire land of 21 villages for Greenfield Airport and it’s proposes acquisition of land falling under Padampuraa and Barkhera temples. “Few Muslims are here who don’t like India while few Hindus are there in Pakistan who also not like Pakistan. So the right solution is bring those hindus to India and send these Muslims to Pakistan. This is how condition will be improved. India is just like Jannat for Muslims where live with safety, dignity and comfort,” says saint Muni Tarun Sagar.

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63% plunge in foreign funding of NGOs: Govt

Foreign funding of NGOs has plunged by 63 per cent as the Centre has been coming down heavily against erring organisations and putting several international donors under the lens for working against the country’s interests.In the year 2016-17, Rs 6,499 crore poured in from abroad in different organisations, this was a sharp dip from Rs 17,773 crore in 2015-16.In 2014-15, Indian NGOs received Rs 15,299 crore from foreign donors.The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has cancelled registration of 4,842 NGOs banning their foreign funding for not filing their annual returns under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.The latest data on foreign funding of NGOs was given to Parliament on Wednesday.Soon after the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014 intelligence agencies were told to identify advocacy groups that were receiving funds from abroad and were against the interests of the nation. Several NGOs put in the category of impacting the economic stability of the country were put on the list.Intelligence agencies also listed several donors as suspicious and blacklisted them. As a result in 2015 FCRA registration of more than 8,500 organisations was cancelled. This was a big jump from 2014 when only 59 NGOs faced action while only four lost their registration in 2013.Indian NGOs received over Rs 60,000 crore between 2009-10 and 2011-12.As part of stringent measures to monitor the activities of foreign funded bodies the Home Ministry in September asked over 1,200 organisations to give details of their bank accounts that receive funds from international donors.In July the Home Ministry issued notices to 5922 organisations including top educational institutes like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and several other religious bodies for banning their foreign funding.”Once issues of money laundering, terror funding and derailing the country’s economic growth were raised there was a massive crackdown was planned which is continuing,” said a government official.Sources said many of the NGOs that faced the action were among the highest paid ones but did not file annual returns. Many of these were repeat offenders and failed to file their annual returns on foreign funding for four years between 2010-11 and 2014-15 despite constant reminders from the Home Ministry. All organisations are required to submit their annual return within nine months of the closure of the financial year.DIPPING NUMBERSIn 2016-17, Rs 6,499 crore poured in from abroad in different organisations, as opposed to Rs 17,773 crore in 2015-16. In 2014-15, Indian NGOs received Rs 15,299 crore.

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

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

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Environment minister takes stock of E-Waste management compliance

Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday took stock of the compliance with E-Waste Management Rules in the city. The rules had come into effect from October 1, last year.The minister, in the meeting, directed officials of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to ensure that there is no dismantling and recycling of the E-Waste.The electronic waste includes waste from electronic items, including discarded mobile phones, refrigerators, computers, television sets and electronic entertainment devices.As per these rules, every producer of the electrical and electronic equipment can apply for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for handling and managing the E-Waste.EPR is an authorisation given by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for collecting and managing the E-Waste. This authorisation is given for five years and for obtaining an EPR, a producer is required to submit a detailed plan for the collection of the E-Waste, mode of collection, details of collection points and agency responsible for such collection.The DPCC officers informed the minister that till date the CPCB has given EPR authorisation to 47 producers from Delhi. The environment minister also reviewed the working of Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste Management Rules, 2016.”The new Rules are aimed to check indiscriminate disposal of C&D waste and enabling the channelization of such waste for re-use and recycling. The purpose is also to promote public’s participation in the scientific management of this category of waste. This waste could be used for composting, high calorific waste could be used for producing energy; steel and concrete could be re-used as well. A policy for C&D Waste Management Rules is under preparation with Urban Development Department of Delhi Government. The role of the DPCC will be to ensure that facilities which are granted authorization for C&D Waste processing, comply with various environmental laws and prescribed norms in this regard.”

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Rajya Sabha passes IIM Bill, granting more autonomy to institutes

The upper house of Parliament on Tuesday unanimously passed the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Autonomy Bill, that seeks to give power to grant degrees instead of diplomas to these institutions.The Bill that gives more autonomy to IIMs, declares the 20 IIMs as institutes of national importance. Under this Bill the autonomy envisaged to IIMs is greater than that of other higher education institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).The Bill says, the Board of Governors will be the executive body of each IIM, comprising up to 19 members. It will also nominate 17 board members including eminent persons, faculty members and alumni. The remaining two members will be nominees from the central and state governments, respectively. The Board will also appoint its own Chairperson.During the discussion on the bill in Rajya Sabha, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal supported the bill but questioned the lack of similar reforms in IITs and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Congress leader Jairam Ramesh questioned how board of Directors will be appointed and asked the government to describe how they plan the transition between the current boards at IIMs and the Board of Governors as proposed in the new bill. He also asked what would be the criteria for appointment of these governors.As per the Bill, the Board of Governors will appoint the Director of each IIM. A search committee will recommend names for the post of the Director. The Director is eligible for variable pay, to be determined by the Board.The Academic Council of each IIM will determine the — academic content, criteria and process for admission to courses; and guidelines for the conduct of examinations.A coordination forum will be set up, which will include representation from the 20 IIMs. It will discuss matters of common interest to all IIMs.Currently, the central government has a role in the functioning of IIMs which includes the appointment of the Chairperson of their Boards, their Directors and pay to the Director.

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No shortage of funds, states are not cooperative: Supreme Court on solid waste management

Observing that solid waste management was a huge problem, the Supreme Court (SC) pulled up states that were not cooperating with the effort to manage solid waste despite having sufficient funds for it.”It is clear that there is absolutely no shortage of funds, but there is only absence of any initiative or lack of any willingness to take any positive steps for solid waste management,” a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta observed on December 12.The top court, two years ago, took cognisance of a report wherein Laxmi Chandra Rout and his wife Babita committed suicide after their son Avinash died due to dengue.According to an affidavit submitted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), the Swachh Bharat Mission has a total outlay of Rs 36,829 crore, out of which Rs 7,424 crore have been made available by the Central Government.The court’s observation came on the heels of a submission made by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Atmaram Nadkarni that only 15 states and Union Territories responded to a communication sent in January earlier this year by the MoEF regarding the status of constitution of a State Level Advisory Body (SLAB). Nadkarni further submitted that some of the states had not even held a single SLAB meeting.Reacting to this submission, the SC bench directed the MoEF to inform all states to set up SLAB within two weeks and submit a response with the steps taken by the committee thereafter.”We direct the MOEF to follow up on the matter with state governments in terms of our order, and make it clear to state governments that in case they do not provide full, correct, and accurate information to the MOEF, they are likely to be burdened with very heavy costs. The state governments should keep in mind the fact that availability of funds is not a problem under Swachh Bharat Mission, and also keep in mind that solid waste management is a huge problem being faced by the country at this stage.”Pointing out that Rule 22 of the Solid Waste Management Rules, lays down specific timelines to tackle the problem, the court said: “Clearly, no positive steps appear to have been taken to adhere to these time lines.”The court then directed Delhi to form a definite action plan to combat solid waste management which could then be replicated in other parts of the country.

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Mercedes runs over 40-yr-old, Mumbai Mayor’s samaritan act in vain

Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar rushed to rescue a woman run over by a luxury car at Worli on Tuesday, but unfortunately could not save her.Forty-year-old Sarita Santosh Wagh, a resident of Sewri, was run over while crossing the road at Worli on Tuesday. Mahadeshwar was one of the people who was close by and rushed to her aid, but she was declared dead-on-arrival at a nearby hospital.The Worli police have arrested the driver of the car, which is owned by a private company; it seems he was returning after dropping an employee of the company.According to the police, the incident took place at around 2 pm when Wagh was crossing the road near Sasmira’s Institute of Management Studies & Research. Passersby, including Mahadeshwar, and police immediately rushed Wagh to M.A Podar hospital in the Benz itself, but according to the preliminary medical examination, she succumbed to a head injury. Her body has been sent for postmortem.”I was passing by when I saw traffic,” says Mahadeshwar. “When we stopped the car, I saw a woman stuck under the wheels of a car. She was bleeding profusely. We pulled her out and she was taken to Potdar hospital in the same car. It was a really unfortunate.”Abhijeet Patil, an eyewitness, said, “The woman was crossing the road and the car turning right. She did not see it and it ran over her. We all rushed to help and informed the police.””We have registered a case of causing death due to negligence and have arrested the driver of the car,” said Senior Police Inspector Gajanan Desurkar of Worli police station.

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Garbage management in Mumbai: BMC to set up 35 dry waste processing centres

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to develop dry waste collection and processing centres across Mumbai. The centres will be developed at CST, Churchgate, Colaba, Grant Road, Malabar Hills, Nana Chowk among others. Each centre is expected to process around 5 tonnes of dry waste every day.Since the BMC has been promoting segregation of dry and wet waste and composting of wet waste at source, the present move will help citizens to manage their dry waste with ease. “There has always been a complaint that BMC does not lift dry and wet waste separately,” said a senior official from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department of BMC.The cost of each processing set up will vary owing to quantity it will process. “The machine will cost from Rs 2.2 lakh to 7 lakh as per capacity it will process,” said an official from SWM.Also readBMC to help pick spot for waste management“We are taking a number of measures to bring down the quantity of waste being dumped every day at dumping grounds. The question being raised by a section of society that the civic body is doing nothing in waste management does not stand,” added the official. In the last six months, the civic body has brought down daily waste generation to 7500 MT from 9400 MT.“Everyday, the processing centre will process around 5MT dry waste,” said the official.Also readMumbai: Check how much this Kandivali society shells out each month to maintain a waste segregation machineIn addition, the civic body is also buying around 350 new garbage compactors for its Solid Waste Management (SWM) department which will have separate sections for carrying dry, wet and e-waste. This will put an end to the contract system for carrying dry and wet waste separately. The new garbage compactors will have around 85 percent space for wet waste while 10 percent space for dry waste. The remaining space will be used for the for e-waste. “With an increase in the amount of waste, it is becoming difficult to manage e-waste. The new compactor will prevent it from mixing with other waste,” added the official.

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Victim’s father files FIR, says Fortis Hospital man tried to bribe him

After losing his seven-year-old daughter Adya Singh allegedly at the hands of Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), bereaved father Jayant Singh filed a police complaint alleging culpable homicide as well as forgery and destruction of evidence by the accused hospital management at Sushant Lok police station in Gurugram. In his FIR, Singh also stated that on November 23, a senior management member of Fortis Hospital, Jasbir Grewal, met him at a coffee shop in Gurugram on the pretext of discussing Adya’s case, where Grewal offered Singh a cheque of Rs 10,37,889. The proof can be corroborated in the hotel’s CCTV footage, stated the FIR. “He also made a verbal offer of Rs 25 lakh and asked me to remain shut about the case,” Singh told DNA. “When I refused, Grewal warned me that this was their best offer as the government’s medical report would come in favour of the hospital,” stated the FIR filed by Singh. However, the report released by the Haryana government has nailed FMRI on several unethical practices.Singh has alleged that FMRI was criminally negligent while treating baby Adya and also indulged in forgery, cheating and dishonest inducement of monies. “They have not only bribed me but have also destroyed, modified and altered evidence,” he told DNA. The FIR alleges that Adya died a painful death on September 15 as Dr Vikas Varma from Fortis Hospital switched off the ventilator pipes and the Ambu bag attached to the deceased when she was taken in the private ambulance. A probe instituted by a special investigative committee in Adya’s case by Haryana government has stated in its report that it was unethical on FMRI’s part to pull her off life support. The report says that withdrawal of life support by the hospital staff in the ambulance amounts to negligence and is against the law of the land. “Leave against medical advice does not mean that hospital disowns the patient completely. They must ensure all facilities for transfer/transport to home or other hospitals,” said the report. Once the treating doctors realised that the patient is about to “check out,” and is thus of no profitability value to them they pulled off the ventilator states the FIR. “This is calculated murder,” said Singh. The FIR has been registered against nine persons from Fortis Management team including Malwinder Singh, FMRI Chairman and Shivinder Mohan Singh, Executive Vice Chairman of Fortis Health Care and additionally nine treating doctors.

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1984 Sikh riots: Supreme Court to examine panel report on 241 closed cases by SIT

The Supreme Court on Wednesday took on record the final report submitted by a supervisory body appointed by it to look into the closure of 241 cases in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and said it will examine it.The bench said it will examine on December 11 the report filed by the advisory body, comprising former apex court judges Justices J M Panchal and Justice K S P Radhakrishnan.As the report was submitted in a leather bag with a number-lock system, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said the lock will be opened on December 11.It asked the parties including Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand to be present to assist the court in the matter.The court said a member of the panel had written a letter to the court on September 4, after the scrutiny of every matter on the issue whether Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the Sikh riot cases was justified in closing the 241 cases.Also readSupreme Court panel to examine SIT decision to close anti-Sikh 1984 riot caseOn August 16, the apex court had appointed the supervisory panel to examine the SIT’s decision to close 241 cases in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots matter and asked it to submit report in three months.The Centre had earlier told that out of the 250 cases which were investigated by the SIT, closure reports were filed in 241.Also readSupreme Court panel to assess 241 anti-Sikh riots casesIt had said that nine cases were still being investigated by the SIT, while two cases are being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.The apex court had on March 24 asked the Centre to place before it the files pertaining to the 199 cases of the anti-Sikh riots which the special investigation team (SIT) set up by the Home Ministry had decided to “close”.The SIT is headed by Pramod Asthana, an IPS officer of 1986 batch, and has Rakesh Kapoor, a retired district and sessions judge, and Kumar Gyanesh, an additional deputy commissioner of Delhi Police, as its members.The anti-Sikh riots, which had broke out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, had claimed 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.The government had earlier filed a status report on the probe conducted by the SIT in the cases.Petitioner S Gurlad Singh Kahlon had earlier told the bench that a total of 293 riots related cases were taken up for scrutiny by the three-member SIT and it had decided to close 199 of them after scrutiny.Kahlon, a member of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, had sought the court’s direction for setting up an SIT to ensure speedy justice to riots victims.
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BMC trying hard for good marks in Swachh survey

With a number of changes and revised methodology for the third cleanliness survey—’Swachh Survekshan-2018’—to rank 4,041 cities and towns in the country, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) which has plummeted to 29th rank from 10th is forced to start preparation early and is taking all precautions to ensure it does not earn negative marks. Independent assessors will verify details provided by a civic body and any false information could lead to 33 per cent negative marks, said a civic official.Open defecation free (ODF) status is one of the parameters which is closely monitored during cleanliness survey apart from others. Though Urban Maharashtra including Mumbai was declared open defecation free (ODF) in October 2017, ground realities are far different.From Mankhurd in Eastern Suburbs to Andheri in Western Suburb, people can be seen defecating in open. Meher Moshin Haider, a Congress corporator from Andheri (West) had raised question on BMC’s ‘feat’ and written to Quality Council of India as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Aware that this could affect rankings, the civic body has a set a target of 5089 community toilet seats to be set up by March 2018.The Solid Waste Management (SWM) department had sought details from wards on required number of toilets seats to be set up by March 2018 and accordingly, it has decided to set up 5083 toilet seats with maximum 480 in L ward (Kurla) which is followed by M East (Chembur and Mankhurd) 400.In the 2017 survey, 434 cities with over 1 lakh population and all the state capitals were ranked. In 2018, the cities will be ranked based on 71 sanitation-related parameters with different weightage.FOCUS ON ODFThe BMC plunged to 29th rank from 10th in the last survey Open defecation free status is one of the parameters on BMC’s focus this time apart from other issues
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Cyclone Ockhi kills 14, many feared trapped at sea; PM Modi assures all help

Cyclone Ockhi barrelled into the Lakshwadeep islands on Saturday after drenching the neighbouring states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, claiming so far around 14 lives with many fishermen still feared trapped at sea.Authorities including the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Coast Guard and Indian Navy have rescued about 223 fishermen and evacuated thousands of people from cyclone hit areas, officials said, as they continued their operations on Saturday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, assuring him of support operations including necessary funds, according to local media.Ockhi is expected to travel north towards Mumbai and Gujarat in the next 48 hours, according to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) Director S. Sudevan in Trivandrum, though it is likely to lose intensity.”The intensity of the wind may come down and the cyclone could change into depression,” Sudevan said adding fishermen have been warned not go to the sea for the next few days as waves are likely to be 3-5 metres (12-15 feet) high.
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Cyclone Ockhi: Torrential rains in Tamil Nadu,Kerala; eight dead

Torrential rains pounded southern districts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Kerala crippling life and claiming eight lives — four each in the two states — as a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal intensified into cyclonic storm ‘Ockhi’ on Thursday.Both the state governments put the official machinery on high alert as the cyclone, lying 60 kms south of Kanyakumari, was forecast to dump more rains in south Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the next 24 hours. The storm was expected to move toward the Lakshadweep archipelago and hit the islands on December 2. A bulletin issued by the India Meteorological Department said gale wind speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph was very likely along and off South Kerala during next 48 hours and along and off south Tamil Nadu during next 24 hours.Fishermen in coastal regions in southern parts of the two states were advised not to venture into sea for the next 24 hours, it said. Madhavan Rajeevan, Secretary in the Earth Sciences ministry, said in New Delhi that Lakshadweep in the southern part of the Arabian Sea will start experiencing heavy rainfall and strong winds from tomorrow. “It will hit the islands on December 2,” Rajeevan said. Tamil Nadu government deployed state and national disaster response force teams in Kanyakumari district, which bore the brunt of the rain fury.Also readCyclone Ockhi: 4 killed in Kanyakumari, storm likely to intensify in next 24 hoursIt asked officials to shelter people living in low lying areas in the southern districts in multi-purpose evacuation centres. Chief Minister K Palaniswami, who reviewed the situation, said in Chennai state Ministers and senior IAS officials have been assigned to affected districts to monitor relief work. Also, electricity personnel with necessary equipment have been rushed to restore power distribution that was affected due to trees falling over electric poles, Palaniswami said.Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management R B Udhaya Kumar, deputed to Kanyakumari to take up relief work on a war footing, said people in the affected areas have been shifted to safer places. He said nearly 3,000 electric poles have been uprooted in the district, affecting power supply. Besides Kanyakumari, Tuticorin and Tirunelveli districts were among those battered by the rains.Educational institutions remained closed in southern districts such as Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Viruthunagar and Thanjavur. Three men and a woman were killed when trees fell on them in different areas in Kanyakumari district, officials said. In Kerala, the state government put the official machinery on a high alert and ordered the evacuation of people living within 100 metres from the coast and also sought help from the Navy, Coast Guard and the Air Force to assist people in distress.Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held discussions through video conferencing with the Collectors of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alapuzha, Pathnamthitta, Idukki and Ernakulam districts and gave them necessary directions to take steps by coordinating various government agencies. The state reported four rain-related deaths, including an elderly couple who were electrocuted when they came into contact with a snapped live wire in front of their house at Kattakada near Thiruvananthapuram.The rains accompanied by gusty winds left a trail of destruction in Kanyakumari district, in the southernmost tip of the country, uprooting more than 500 trees, State Disaster Management Agency said. “Do not come out of homes in Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, and Tirunelveli stay safe indoors and take precautions do not panic,” it said in a tweet. Southern Railway said it has partially cancelled some trains in Tirunelveli-Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthapuram sector.Due to bad weather, a scheduled two-day programme of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, which was to begin tomorrow in Kerala, has been cancelled, party sources said. Thiruvananthapuram and its coastal stretch were witnessing heavy rains accompanied by strong winds since this morning. In several places, electric posts got uprooted. Vizhinjam coastal police said they received information that at least 57 fishermen, who had put out to sea from Thumba to Pozhiyur since yesterday, were yet to return. Twenty nine traditional boats which had set out from Poonthura were also out in the sea, police said. A Kochi report said Navy deployed four ships and two aircraft to assist in the search and rescue of fishermen onboard six boats and a marine Engineering vessel reported to be missing in the sea near Vizhinjam. The Southern Naval Command was also gearing up for any humanitarian assistance and disaster relief that may be required in view of the cyclone in the southern parts of Kerala, a Defence release said.
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Shiv Sena minister wants CM to retender BDD redvpt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Alleging a potential Rs 900-crore loss to the state exchequer, Minister of State for Housing Ravindra Waikar has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to the cancel BDD Chawl redevelopment bidding process.Waikar has sought appointment of Project Management Consultant instead of a mere civil architect, given the size of the proect — BDD Chawl redevelopment, valued at thousands of crores of rupees, which will affect 16,000 residents from existing buildings on 86.98 acres.He has also pointed out that the technology sought to be used by the state government is at least 30 years old, and therefore, outdated.“Given that this is an ambitious project, to be implemented in central Mumbai, government must ensure proper compliance,” Waikar has written in his letter.BDD Chawl is one of the most sought after redevelopment projects in Mumbai, considering its size and prime location. Shiv Sena, who held sway in this constituency for decades, is keen to ensure its voters were taken good care of. It is in this light that Sena has been demanding redevelopment of the buildings that were built in the 1920s.Waikar has expressed his displeasure that he has been kept out of the discussion process over the project that has the potential to turn political fortunes of the party that gets the credit for execution.WAIKAR’S OBJECTIONSGovernment is allowing Rs 4,727 per sq ft towards construction cost, while the norms suggest only Rs 3,300 per sq ft.
Government will have to bear the Goods and Service Tax (GST) which will cost over Rs 443 crore.
Two per cent Labour Tax on GST will add a Rs 48 crore burden.
Tender terms and conditions have been designed in such a way that they will benefit only a handful of contractors.

Varsities get more time to form statutory bodies

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

Lower the charge for composting machines

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to promote waste processing at the source, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has written to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to ensure the charge for the usage of waste composting machine is set at the residential rate — for consumption of electricity — for both housing societies and hotels or restaurants. According to the civic body, a reduction in electricity bill will encourage housing societies to set up waste composting units at their premises.Since the BMC is pushing bulk waste generators to set up waste processing at their source, electricity bills at commercial rates could hamper the civic body’s plan.”We have written to the MREC to consider our proposal to lower the charge for composting machine as this will benefit the whole city. It will encourage housing societies as well as commercial units to set up the system,” said Nidhi Choudhary, deputy municipal commissioner (special).All the BMC markets will be equipped with composting machines to process wet waste at the source. “Waste at vegetable and fruits market will be composted at the market premises with the help of a composting unit which will be set up,” she said.”We are exploring possibilities to allow housing societies who can not process waste at their premises to use the market composting unit,” said Chaudhary.Of the 4,749 bulk generators identified across the city, more than 3,000 bulk generators are yet to start waste processing. The civic administration has, however, reiterated that it would not spare bulk generators for not starting waste processing at their premises. “As majority of the bulk generators have not started waste processing, the civic body is planning to take action against them,” said an official from the Solid Waste Management (SWM). Among the bulk generators, government establishments and premium hotels are yet to start waste processing at their end.WASTE MATTERS7,500metric tonnes of garbage generated every day4,749bulk generators in the city3,000bulk generators yet to start waste processing91markets to be equipped with composting units

BMS paper leak: 5 students take exam under police watch

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five students who were arrested by Amboli police for allegedly leaking the third-year question papers of Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS), ‘Marketing and E-commerce and Digital Marketing’, appeared for their examinations under police watch on Monday. Police probe revealed that question papers of Bachelor Accounting and Finance (BAF), too, were leaked.The Amboli police will soon arrest the female student who was first found with the question paper in her cellphone while writing the exam. According to police, main accused Kalpesh Bagul, head of the technical department of the Nirmal Memorial Foundation College in Kandivli, had leaked five question papers of the BMS course and four question papers of BAF course.”We escorted the students to their examination centres and they were kept under watch while taking the exam. On Monday, 13 accused, including students, were produced before Andheri court and remanded to judicial custody and were later released on bail.”, said an Amboli police officer.Police sub-inspector Daya Nayak and his team had arrested three other people during interrogations after it was learnt that the question papers of BAF were leaked too. “Even those students who did not pay money for the question papers also received the copy through WhatsApp. The students had passed on the question papers to their friends and they benefited from it leading to their arrests.

BMS paper leak: 3 more held, suspects likely to miss exams

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Amboli police on late Saturday night arrested three more persons for allegedly leaking and selling the third-year Bachelor of Management Studies’ (BMS) ‘Marketing and E- commerce and Digital Marketing’ question papers. The police had earlier arrested ten persons after a student was found with a copy of the paper in her mobile phone. Five of the arrested students are likely to miss their exam on Monday pending court a order.A team, led by Police Sub Inspector Daya Nayak, arrested the accused Mohammed Irfan Khatri an employee of an online ticket booking firm, Naved Khatik, 20, and Rajesh Dangi, 20, both third-year BMS students.According to the police, the main accused Kalpesh Bagul, a technician of the IT department at Nirmala Memorial Foundation College in Kandivli downloaded the question papers from an e-mail sent by the University of Mumbai prior to the examinations and later e-mailed it to Khatri, who, along with other two accused, sold the question papers to aspiring students for Rs 10,000 each.”The money was collected via online transfers such as PayTm and cash. Bagul would get his share from agents to whom he had sent the question papers. We have also sent a detailed report of their modus operandi to MU. We are investigating further,” added the officer.We have not given a green signal to the students appearing for exams as investigation is ongoing. The court too hasn’t given us any directives.Officer, Amboli police station

Take question papers back: MU

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the recent question paper leak of Bachelor of Management Studies, the University of Mumbai has decided to make its norms more stringent to prevent similar cases in the future. Considering a large number of commerce students will appear for their fifth-semester exams from Monday, the University has issued a notification with fresh guidelines, giving precautions to affiliated colleges.As per the guidelines, after the examination begins, the students cannot leave the exam center until the first hour is up. In case the student wishes to leave within the first half-an-hour, the supervisors have been instructed to collect the answer sheets as well as question papers from students. College principals have been asked to maintain the question paper’s confidentiality before the examination begins.VN Magare, principal of Kirti College and acting Pro Vice-Chancellor, said, “The university wants to ensure that the process is error-free and smooth which is why we have issued these guidelines.’The third-year Bachelor of Commerce fifth-semester examination commences from November 20, and 78,000 students are expected to appear for them.

IIM Lucknow student commits suicide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking incident, a 25-year-old student of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Lucknow (IIM-L) allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan of his hostel room on Wednesday.Madiyaon Police said that the student has been identified as Soham Mukherjee of Kolkata. An engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, Soham Mukherjee was a second year student of the management course at IIM-L.”He was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his hostel room. Prima facie it looked like a suicide case since his room was bolted from inside. But no suicide note was found from his room. A case has been registered and investigation are on to ascertain reasons for his taking to such an extreme step,” said Madiyaon police.The police have seized his laptop and mobile phone to extract some information regarding his mysterious suicide. The body has been sent for the post mortem.His classmates claimed that he was suffer from depression due to some personal problems and was not attending classes since a last three days. He was also not taking calls from his batch-mates since then. He was not seen in the campus since November 12 and had just locked himself in the room since then. His hostel mates who peeped into the room spotted his body hanging from the ceiling.Mukherjee had joined IIM-L for management after working for a multi-national company for a few years. His family members have been informed in Kolkatta by the IIM-L management.The IIM-L management expressed grief over the suicide. “He was a consistently well performing student. We are shocked over the incident,” said an IIM-L press release.

MbPT to set up solid waste mgmt facilities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) has decided to set up a solid waste collection and segregation facility in areas controlled by them in south Mumbai. This facility will also include storage, disposal and transportation of 22 tonnes per day of waste generated from colonies of MbPT in Colaba, Mazgaon, Cotton Green and Wadala. MbPT is one of the biggest landlords in the city.The project is being undertaken to support the Union Shipping Ministry’s plan, wherein all major Indian ports will have to undergo an audit to become ‘green’ and ‘swachh’.According to MbPT officials, the solid waste generated from port and cargo operations is collected by the MbPT. However, MbPT desires to choose a solid waste management (SWM) service provider that will provide the service of collection, segregation, transportation, processing, storage, and disposal of solid waste generated in MbPT colonies and other designated areas of MbPT.A MbPT official, said, “Collection of solid waste may happen door-to-door at some places, to collection points and segregation of the solid waste in the residential area and dock area. The third party appointed will also have to transport waste from the collection point to the treatment facility.”Out of the total 22 tonnes of solid waste generated daily, nearly 55 per cent is wet solid waste, while the and remaining is dry waste. The entire activity will be done following the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.There are 12 major ports along with MbPT. This includes Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Navi Mumbai, Kandla, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (Ennore), V. O. Chidambaranar (Tuticorin), Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata of which MbPT handles major traffic in terms of inflow and outflow of cargo.

IIM Lucknow student found dead in hostel room, classmates say he was depressed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking incident, a student of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan of his hostel room on Wednesday.Madiyaon Police said that the 25-year-old student has been identified as Soham Mukherjee of Kolkata.An engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Soham Mukherjee was a second year student of the management course at IIM-L.“He was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his hostel room. Prima facie, it looked like a suicide case since his room was bolted from inside. But no suicide note was found from his room. A case has been registered and investigation are on to ascertain reasons for his taking to such an extreme step,” said Madiyaon police.The police have seized his laptop and mobile phone to extract some information regarding his mysterious suicide. The body has been sent for the post-mortem.His classmates claimed that he was under depression due to some personal problems and was not attending classes since a last three days.He was also not taking calls from his batch-mates since then. He was not seen in the campus since November 12 and had just locked himself in the room since then. His hostel mates who peeped into the room spotted his body hanging from the ceiling.Mukherjee had joined IIM-L for management after working for a multi-national company for a few years. His family members have been informed in Kolkata by the IIM-L management.The IIM-L management expressed grief over the suicide. “He was a consistently well performing student. We are shocked over the incident,” said an IIM-L press release.

Getting residents, hawkers on the same page

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a time when hawkers are being driven away from railway stations and other areas in the city, and a Town Vending Committee (TVC) that will demarcate dedicated hawking zones is yet to be constituted, residents of Malabar Hill have worked out their own model which they suggest can be replicated in other areas to tackle the hawkers issue. In fact, an Advanced Locality Management (ALM) in the area asked for a hawking zone to be created.The thrust of the model adopted by the ALM is to involve hawkers as stakeholders in ensuring cleanliness, hygiene and space management in the area while making sure that the number of hawkers in the area does not increase. Hawkers are expected to operate only in the area assigned to them.For the last 17 years, around 35 hawkers near Kamla Nehru Park have been going about their business selling their wares, and residents and hawkers say they enjoy a symbiotic relationship. Instead of removing hawkers from the area, residents sought to involve them in their area as stakeholders. This was facilitated by the Advance Locality Management (ALM) of Little Gibbs Road number 1, 2 and 3.It all started about more than a decade ago, when Indrani Malkani, Managing Trustee and founder Secretary of Advance Locality Management (ALM) of Little Gibbs Road number 1, 2 and 3 appeared before a three-member committee on hawking set up on a Supreme Court directive and sought a hawking zone in her area.”This was something new even for the court, that residents sought hawking zones in their backyards,” recalls Malkani adding that it is a normal practice for people to demand eviction of hawkers. But the request was accepted and a designated hawking zone came into existence. The hawking zone was allocated adjacent to Hanging Garden and Kamla Nehru Park. Today, hawkers see themselves as stakeholders of the area and maintain it.”There is need to integrate hawkers which will make them feel involved and part of it, and they will also take responsibility,” said Malkani. However, the ALM ensures that there is no influx of hawkers.

12 drown in two incidents in Bihar; govt not answerable, says disaster management minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> At least 12 people, including five children, drowned in two separate incidents in Vaishali and Samastipur districts of Bihar today, police said.While nine picnickers died after falling into the Ganga river in Vaishali, three women drowned in the Baghmati river when a boat capsized in Samastipur district, they said. The Vaishali incident happened when the picnickers had gathered atop a mound formed by silt near Mastana Ghat for a Sunday picnic, Naseem Ahmed, in-charge of Fatuha police station, said. “Prima facie, one of the children had fallen into the river and the others jumped into the water to rescue the drowning child and lost their own lives,” he said.Nine bodies have been fished out so far, said Ahmed, who had gone to the spot after the incident. All the deceased, five girls and four men, hailed from Dariyapur in Fatuha sub-division of Patna district.The site of the incident falls in Raghopur block of Vaishali district. Patna District Magistrate Sanjay Agarwal, however, said, “So far we have confirmation of eight bodies having been recovered from the river.” Two people are missing and efforts are on to trace them with the help of divers, Agarwal said. Meanwhile, three women drowned in the Baghmati river in Samastipur district when a small boat carrying over 12 people capsized, the police said. He also announced ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh for kin of the deceased. While some people swam to safety, five others were rescued, Deputy Superintendent of Police in-charge of Rosera sub-division, Ajit Kumar, said. Locals jumped into the river and fished out the bodies of the three women, aged between 20 and 30 years. “All those in the boat were involved in the business of cattle-rearing. They cross the river routinely to collect fodder,” Kumar said. The boat capsized near Madhurapur Dharmpur Ghat. Divers have been pressed into service to check for more persons, he said. The rescued people were taken to a local primary healthcare centre.Meanwhile reacting to the unfortunate accidents, Bihar Disaster Management minister said that the government can’t be held responsible.

Andheri cylinder blast injures 3

The exact reason that triggered the fire is being probed, however, cylinder blast is suspected as residents heard a loud sound <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three persons working in a hotel received burn injuries after a suspected cylinder blast was reported at Kamlesh Apartment near Taloni Naka in Andheri East around 7.06 pm on Wednesday.According to officials from Disaster Management Cell of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the fire brigade team swung into action and doused the fire later. The exact reason that triggered the fire is being probed, however, cylinder blast is suspected as residents heard a loud sound.The injured persons could only be have been identified as Purushottam, 30, Sami 27 and Badlal, 36.

Rs 543 crore sanctioned to district farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Tuesday, the state government sanctioned five hundred crore rupees as agricultural contribution subsidy to farmers of thirteen districts of the state affected in the Kharif constituency in the year 2016-17. The announcement was made by senior politician, Gulab Chand Kataria, Minister of Disaster Management, Assistance and Civil Defense.The said amount of a whopping Rs 543 crore has been allocated to the district collectors. Kataria chaired a monthly review meeting of Disaster Management and Assistance Department in the Secretariat.“The state government has provided agricultural input grant of about 6,000 crore in the last three years to the affected farmers of the state. So far in 2017, assistance amount of Rs 148 crore has been allocated through district collectors for animal conservation activities and animal camps,” the minister informed.Interestingly, the state government has further allocated a sum of nearly one hundred crore after the recent floods in several districts of the state.

Defamation complaint filed against Lalu Prasad Yadav

Updated: Oct 31, 2017, 09:44 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A complaint has been filed in a court here accusing RJD supremo Lalu Prasad of defamation for his alleged calumnious remark about the complainant’s “friendship” with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at a recent rally.The complaint was filed by Udaykant Mishra, a member of the Bihar Disaster Management Authority, in the court of Patna Chief Judicial Magistrate Om Prakash and is scheduled to be heard tomorrow.Mishra has assailed Prasad’s utterances at a rally in Bhagalpur last month. The petitioner said that he has known Kumar for many decades and the remark was made to defame him.He also alleged that there were attempts to drag his name into the multi-crore Srijan scam, which relates to fraudulent transfer of government money into the account of a Bhagalpur-based NGO.The CBI is probing into the Rs 1000 crore scam.

All public toilets geo-tagged, now available on app: civic bodies to Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of the city can now locate washrooms at their fingertips with the help of mobile application, the Delhi High Court was told by the three municipal corporations on Monday.The civic bodies, i.e. North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), informed a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar that the public toilets under their jurisdiction are geo-tagged and available on the app developed by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD).Appearing for the NDMC, its counsel Mini Pushkarna, informed the court that the application provided the location of washrooms, not just in the city but throughout the country. She also said that the longitude and latitude of the toilets are provided to the MoUD which updates it on its application.The two other municipal bodies also shared the same information with the court. Appearing for Delhi Cantonment Board, its counsel said that it is an ongoing exercise as whenever a new public toilet would be built its location would be forwarded to the ministry.The court was hearing a matter pertaining to lack of toilets for the slum dwellers of Shahbad dairy area situated in outer Delhi.Earlier, the high court had directed the civic agencies to map and geo-tag the public toilets, thereby making them easily accessible for the people. It had said that all the other agencies shall furnish requisite information regarding the location of their public toilet facilities to the Commissioner of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation or Director of the Delhi Environment Management Services (DEMS).

Court ‘decisions’ to go online from Nov 1

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The “cause list” and the “decisions” of hearings in district courts will be available online at Revenue Court Management System (RCMS) portal from November 1, 2017.District collector Siddharth Mahajan, while addressing a meeting with revenue officers on Wednesday, directed them to ensure optimum arrangements for the online system. He also asked them to remain prepared with the required updates so that the portal is up to date.In addition to this, Mahajan asked the sub-divisional magistrates to complete the remaining work, in the rural and municipal areas of the district, related to making Jaipur district ‘ODF’ (open defecation free), as quickly as possible. At the same time, the sub-divisional officers were asked to take necessary action about the collection, transport and disposal, of solid waste under solid waste management programme. According to reports, Chaksu, Dudu, and Jamwa Ramgarh need most attention on the same.The collector, while reviewing the outstanding cases of accounts under Tehsildars, asked the officers to form a team and handle the same in a time bound manner. The SDMs were also instructed in respect of outstanding revenue collections, random verification of pensioners, and shift of state pensioners to national pensioners. They were also asked to send a report regarding exceptional cases. Issues like agriculture input subsidy payment, outstanding cases of Sampark helpline, map digitisation, land convergence, route and encroachment, along with cases related to accounts and court branches, and national highway authorities problems were also discussed.Mahajan also took a report from the sub-divisional officers about the preparation of certification camps starting on Friday, October 27, under the second phase of Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay Special Salvation Campaign. The officials have been instructed to make proper arrangements so that each specially-abled can be benefited.

Now, BMC plans to teach mgmt basics

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the rise in urbanisation across the country and need to manage water, open space and waste management being felt acutely, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to start a course on ‘City Management’ next year onwards. The course will focus on managing a city with limited resources to cater to maximum people.The BMC claims that the course will be the first of its kind in the country to be run by a civic body.”From hospitals to lakes, the BMC is known to manage resources in a better way than other civic bodies in the country. We want other civic bodies or similar organisations to learn how to manage their resources to cater to the maximum number of people,” said a senior civic official attached to the programme.The six-month programme will be run by experts from the industry and officials from the BMC. “We will bring in experts from the industry and also use our own officials with experience in management,” added the official.Despite several issues having cropped up while drafting the development plan (DP) 2034 — a blueprint for development in the city till 2034 — the civic body got it cleared from the corporation.”It is an achievement to prepare a DP of a city like Mumbai which has limited space and to accommodate a huge population and meet the expectations of each and every stakeholder,” said the official. The ‘Development Plan’ will also part of the curriculum. At present, Mumbai’s DP 2034 is with the state government for final approval.”At present, we are finalising important aspects,” added the official.The course will be open for everyone from a resident to a civic body or similar organization. “With a rise in urbanisation across the country, even a resident should know the intricacies of how to run a city like Mumbai,” said the official. The course will also discuss good works being done across the globe.THE COURSE WILL INCLUDEIt will be conducted in the BMC’s training centres in Borivli and Powai.
It will cover urban issues like water and waste management, managing sewerage system, running hospitals, dealing with encroachment on footpaths and maintaining traffic systems. The six-month programme will be run by experts from the industry and officials from the BMC

Only 40% slums eligible for rehab

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While a survey of the slums in Mumbai airport’s funnel zone is currently underway, a preliminary survey by the agencies involved indicates that only around 40 per cent of the total slum dwellers will be eligible for rehabilitation as the rest do not qualify for the cut-off date of eligibility decided by the state government.The cut-off date decided by the government is January 1, 2000 — only the slums that came up before this date will be eligible for rehabilitation, and the rest will be marked as ineligible in the Annexure-II report that is being prepared to identify the eligibility of these slum dwellers.A state government official involved in the process said, “The survey is being conducted in four slum pockets — land that is crucial to activities related to the expansion of Mumbai airport. There would be around 8,000 to 8,500 slum dwellers in these pockets around the airport.” The official added, “Based on our preliminary findings, it is indicative that not more than 40 per cent out of the approximate total of 8,500 slum dwellers will be eligible for rehabilitation. Considering there are many ineligible slum dwellers, the rehabilitation process seems to be a tough task. The state government will have to take a call on whether a new policy needs to be introduced for these ineligible slum dwellers or it would force evict them.”The collector’s office and various agencies like Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development (MMRDA), Airport Authority of India (AAI), Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), Slum Rehabilitation Authority, and Housing Department are currently involved in the ongoing survey.EXPANSION PLANSAAI signed an Operation Management and Development Agreement with MIAL to run Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport for 30 years.
Once MIAL took over, it wanted to develop the entire 802-hectare land which included 125-hectare of land encroached by slums.
MIAL signed an agreement with MMRDA in 2006 for facilitating the rehabilitation of the slum dwellers.

Share broker Ketan Parekh absconding

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The director of Panther Fincap and Management Services Limited, who was convicted in 2008 for his role in circular trading (manipulation) in the stock exchange in the late 90s, has now been declared absconding by a Special SEBI Court. A public notice regarding the same was issued on October 12 signed by Special Judge SEBI Special Court.The notice reads that Ketan Parekh is suspected to have committed the offense punishable under section 24(2) of the Securities Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, and a warrant of arrest to his addresses have returned.The notice signed by Special Judge, reads, “Ketan Parekh cannot be found and whereas it has been shown to my satisfaction that the said accused Ketan Parekh has absconded or is concealing himself to avoid the service of the said warrant.”

Ban on plastic cups, plates likely by ’18

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>By 2018, not just plastic bags, but other plastic products for consumer use like cups and plates may also be banned. State environment department sources told DNA that they were planning to ban not only plastic bags, but also plastic cups and plates considering their impact on public health and the environment. However, the move will be implemented in stages.Earlier, Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam had announced a ban on plastic bags by Gudhi Padwa (Maharashtrian New Year) in March next year. After the July 26, 2005 deluge in Mumbai, the state had banned plastic bags below 50 microns. However, officials admit that bags below permitted standards are clandestinely brought in from neighbouring states and used by roadside hawkers and vendors.Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) officials said estimates suggested that around 3 to 5 per cent of municipal waste comprised of plastic. Mumbai generates around 10,000 ton solid waste daily. “We are planning to ban plastic in stages beginning with plastic bags. This may cover other uses like plastic cups, plates, some sachets and even thermocol plates. Such plastics pollute the environment and soil, causing flooding during rains and affect public health. Modalities are under consideration,” the official said. He added that the ban may be enforced beginning with beaches, forts and tourist spots.”However, we may have to make exceptions for some consumer uses of plastic like in cargo, logistics, milk, medicinal packing, packaged water and imported goods,” the official stated. The official explained they were examining how alternatives to plastic could be evolved. This could involve subsidies to women self-help groups to manufacture cloth bags and involving them in recycling of plastic waste, change in taxation and stiffer penalties to bring down plastic use.”We plan to brainstorm with experts and stakeholders before a proposal is moved to the cabinet,” he added. The real solution, the official pointed out, lay in public participation to enforce the ban, recycling and scientific disposal.”We will examine models adopted by other states… There can be no blanket ban on plastic. However, plastic can be banned for uses where it cannot be recycled or reused. This means that while plastic chairs and spectacle frames can be manufactured and used, plastic bags, plates and cups can be done away with,” explained a MPCB official.The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change’s Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, state that producers, brand owners and importers of plastic carry bags, multi-layered plastic sachet, pouches, or packaging should establish a system for collecting plastic waste generated due to their products.An environment department official pointed to how rampant dumping of plastic bags in drains and storm water channels led to flooding and use of such thin bags and cups for serving tea and coffee also had health implications as they consisted of chemical compounds.Already bannedThe manufacture, distribution, stocking or sale of carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic less than 8X12 inches (20X30 cms) in size and below minimum thickness of 50 microns is banned under the Maharashtra Plastic Carry Bags (Manufacture and Usage) Rules, 2006.

ED issues notice to LeT member Ali Mir, 2 Delhi hawala operators

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a showcause notice to Lashkar-e-Toiba member Mohammad Ayub Mir and two Delhi-based Hawala dealers — Bech Raj Bengani and Harbans Singh — under violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)1999. The agency is probing FEMA violations and issued summons almost after 15 years of registration of a case by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell.Mir was arrested in New Delhi by the Special Cell, Delhi Police, while he was collecting money worth Rs 7 lakh through a hawala transaction from Singh on the instructions from a London-based entity in 2002. “On the basis of the above information, an investigation under FEMA was initiated by the Enforcement Directorate, New Delhi,” the ED stated.During the investigation, Mir confessed his association with terrorist organisation LeT. He was involved in collecting and delivering money through hawala for the terror organisation. Harbans Singh also confessed of being engaged in delivering hawala payments on the instructions of Bengani.Bengani, a racketeer in hawala trade, is a regular offender and was earlier also booked under FERA 1973, and a penalty of Rupees 50 lakh was imposed on him. Mir and Singh were also convicted by the Additional Session Judge, New Delhi, under section 3 (5) and 22 (3) of POTA, respectively, in 2004.Further adjudication proceedings under FEMA 1999 will follow subsequently.Mir was staying in room number 204 of Hotel Tamanna in Balimaran when he was arrested on June 28, 2002. It is alleged that the police had also received information from Jammu and Kashmir police that Mir was a resident of Sri Nagar and was a surrendered militant of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and an active member of LeT, and Jammu and Kashmir police had been on the look out for him.

Bandra Fort soon to be rid of encroachers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bandra Fort beautification project is gathering steam as the H-West ward `of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) served notices to 171 hutments who have encroached on the plot adjoining the fort. The notices were served last week under Section 314 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act and the ward officials have asked the encroachers to provide eligibility documents by October 9.”If eligibility is proved, an alternate accommodation plan will be given to the encroachers while the rest will be demolished,” said Assistant Municipal Commissioner, Sharad Ughade. The ward recently demolished 51 illegal structures in the area.Two adjoining plots owned by the BMC with a combined area of 25,000 sq mt will be utilised in the project. Of the two plots, one has been developed as a garden and adopted by the Residents’ Trust while the other plot is partly encroached. The BMC can start the project once the plot is free of all encroachments.Meanwhile, the municipal architect Surendra Borale has asked consultant Hafeez Contractor to submit the project’s final design plan in 15 days. Borale said, “I have received the standing committee resolution to appoint the consultant and in a day or two we will ask him to submit a final design plan in 15 days after which the design plan will be sent to Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) for their final approval”.DNA had reported on July 3 that MCZMA has given its in-principle approval to the project and asked BMC to use only natural materials for the development.Revamp planThe beautification plan includes a promenade designed in the form of waves and a cycling track connecting the Bandra Fort to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.

Gorakhpur deaths were preventable: IIHMR Director

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Weeks after the Gorakhpur tragedy that claimed 30 young lives in a span of 48 hours, Dr Sanjiv Kumar, Director of Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR), said the deaths could have been prevented. Of the 60 deaths reported between August 7 -11, 12 were due to Japanese Encephalitis. Oxygen supply was disrupted for two hours on Thursday night and as per the State Health Minister, there were no deaths reported in those two hours.“As a doctor, one will say that the deaths may not have occurred during these two hours but would have followed soon after or would have left lifelong effects due to irreversible brain damage caused by lack of oxygen,” said Dr Kumar. In his report, Dr Kumar also compares previous years’ figures. In the previous three years, the average number of deaths in August were 567 (2014), 668 (2015) and 587 (2016); or about 19-22 deaths per day. The reported deaths of 60 from August 7-11, however, come to an average of 12 per day, which is less than the annual average for the previous three years.Dr Kumar also spelled out three key factors that need to be addressed. “While the exact reasons will be revealed in the fact-finding committee’s report, there is a high need to address the corruption leading to interrupted oxygen,” he said. In this particular case, the Pushpa Sales Private Ltd had stopped supplying Oxygen as their bills worth Rs 63 lakh had not been cleared since November 23, 2016. The company had written more than 12 reminder letters, many copied to District collector and state authorities.The second fault line is overcrowding due to lack of facilities in primary health centres as well as district hospitals.The third is the delay in the prevention of Japanese Encephalitis, despite the availability of technologies to prevent mosquito breeding and vaccine. “The workload on healthcare providers needs to be looked into, he said, adding that lack of basic amenities like electricity and water even in tertiary care hospitals must be addressed.”

Indian equity markets still lucrative in long term

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Retail investors can put their money on Indian equity market for a long term, said Raamdeo Agrawal, Joint managing director of Motilal Oswal Financial.He advised regular investment instead of lumpsum ones for value creation over a longer term for household investors and said that mutual fund investments are likely to grow 10 times in about eight years.Talking to the media at the Stock Pitch Contest for students of B-Schools organised by Motilal Oswal at Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad on Monday, Agrawal agreed that Indian stocks are priced high but despite that, it is prudent to invest in equity products.He, however, had two suggestions. One was letting experts make investment decisions on behalf of the individuals and the other was regular investments in the form of monthly Systemetic Investment Plan (SIP) rather than making lumpsum investments.”Those who are making lumpsum investments may be at risk because the stock market can move in any direction in a short term. It is advisable to invest through SIPs,” he said adding that more and more people were investing through mutual funds rathering than picking the stock by themselves.Agrawal hoped that investment through mutual funds will grow multiple times in the future as still most of household savings were parked in form of fixed deposits rather than through mutual funds.”Investment through mutual funds is about Rs7 lakh crore while bank deposits are much more. Investments through mutual funds are likely to become 10 times by 2025,” said Agrawal.Motilal Oswal had organined the Stock Pitching Contest where close to 450 teams had particiapted, from which 13 finalists had competed at IIM-A.The idea of the contest was to inculcate a thought in B-School grads that equity sector provides promising opportunities for career as well. “While people look at IT and FMCG companies for careers, equity is neglected inspite of the fact that it has grown manifold and is poised for growth as well,” said Agrawal.A team from ISB-Mohali won the contest, while a team from IIM-Rohtak was first runners up and one from IIM-Banglore was second runners up.SUGGESTIONSLet experts make investment decisions on behalf of the individuals.
Regular investments in the form of monthly Systemetic Investment Plan (SIP) rather than making lumpsum investments for value creation over a longer term.

‘Godhra made me realise my strengths’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking at a panel discussion on Sunday at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), IAS officer Jayanti Ravi spoke about the various incidents that shape and enable a woman.Sharing her journey as a child who changed many schools apart from being homeschooled, she said, “I used to get extremely upset but now I realise that those learnings have stayed with me till today. In conventional schools, a child is overfed but in homeschooling the onus is on you.”Going back to 2000 and 2002, Ravi spoke about being the collector of Panchmahal at the time and being the first to enter the train during the Godhra riots. She said, “A lot of times in our career we realise that we have immense abilities but need a platform. When the occasion comes, when there is no time to think but just act, one often wonders where the strength came from.” She added, “At that point, Muslim League MP professor GM Banatwala said to me that God will reward me for the work I was doing. Appreciation came at a later stage from late Pramod Mahajan as well. If you think what you are doing is right and work sincerely towards it, that is all that matters.”She even credited one of the students who helped Ravi in her project of making Gujarat open defecation free (ODF). She said, “When I started this project in 2015, 57 per cent of Gujarat was yet to be ODF. We had to not only deal with infrastructure but also the mindset of people. IIMA students helped us and on Gandhi Jayanti the state will be declared ODF.”

Panama papers: ED may summon Amitabh Bachchan and family

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate has received replies from actor Amitabh Bachchan and his family members to notices issued to them in connection with its probe in the Panama Papers case and they could be summoned soon, officials said.Officials in the anti-money laundering agency said they had issued notices to the Bachchan family some time back asking them to explain their foreign remittances since 2004 under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the RBI.They said the Enforcement Directorate has now received their replies to the notices issued under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).”The replies have been received. They could be soon summoned as part of the probe,” sources said.Amitabh Bachchan’s name had cropped in the Panama Papers case which is also being probed by the Income Tax Department.The taxman is probing Bollywood megastar’s offshore remittances.Dubbed as Panama Papers , an investigation of a stockpile of records from Panamanian legal firm Mossack Fonseca by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist had named several world leaders and celebrities who had allegedly stashed away money abroad in offshore companies.The documents had surfaced last year.Hundreds are being probed by the Mumbai team of ED in the Panama Paper case, and some of the names include several Bollywood celebrities who were summoned under Section 37 of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).Information from nearly 1.15 crore encrypted documents — now being called the “Panama Papers” — leaked from the files of the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, have revealed terabytes worth of information about thousands of companies and hundreds of persons who set up offshore companies to evade tax and launder money.The information was first leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ)’s journalist over a year ago. The information was later handed over to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The documents were then made available to about 100 media organisations, all members or ICIJ including The Indian Express. These media organisations sifted through the scores of documents, investigated the linkages, joined the dots and, eventually made the information public on April 4.Panama Papers is now the largest international cooperation of its kind in the world. In the last one year, around 400 journalists from more than 100 media organisations in over 80 countries have taken part in researching the documents. Journalists from media organisations like Süddeutsche Zeitung, BBC, Guardian, Falter, The Indian Express, among others, have worked on the project. The leak is now touted as the biggest data leak to journalists.Indian industrialists, Bollywood actors, politicians named in leaked Panama papers for tax evasion According to a report in The Indian Express, 500 Indians are on the list, from Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, real-estate developer DLF’s KP Singh, to politicians Anurag Kejriwal.The documents contain data of over 214,000 offshore companies set up in the last forty years. However, ICIJ has maintained that many of these companies are likely to be for legitimate purposes also.

Delhi: Soon, a mobile app to locate public toilets in the city

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhiiites can soon hope to take the help of an application on their smartphones to locate a washroom in the city to attend urgent call of nature.The Delhi High Court, which found it difficult to ascertain the location of public toilets in the city on perusing the response of civic bodies, directed the municipal bodies to carry out mapping and geo-tagging of public toilets to make them more accessible for citizens.If the direction is implemented in letter and spirit, soon Delhiiites can use their smart phones to locate public toilets as the information would be digitised and made available on online maps or mobile applications.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar perused the affidavits of tri-furcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi and could not ascertain where such washrooms exist.”It is therefore directed as follows. Let the Municipal Corporations place before us a mapping of these public toilets.”All agencies shall explore and examine the possibility as well as the feasibility of mapping the locations of these public toilets by way of geo-tagging and making the same available, by an appropriate application, to all mobile users or otherwise on the Internet to facilitate accessibility of all information regarding location of public toilets,” it said.It said that a report on the steps taken on this aspect be filed before it by October 30, the next date of hearing.The court said the North Delhi Municipal Corporation will be the nodal agency of exploring the possibility of geo- tagging.It said all the other agencies shall furnish requisite information regarding location of their public toilet facilities to the Commissioner of North Delhi Municipal Corporation or its Director of the Delhi Environment Management Services (DEMS).The bench also directed the municipal bodies to take steps to ensure that adequate number of public toilets are available in crowded places, especially in commercial markets.The direction by the high court came while hearing a PIL seeking toilet facilities for slum dwellers of Shahbad dairy area in outer Delhi.On an earlier date of hearing in the matter, the high court had asked the municipal bodies whether sweepers and on- duty traffic cops have access to toilet facilities.

Maha uses Malaysian system to reduce neonatal deaths

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government will use management practices followed by Malaysia to rein in neonatal deaths by monitoring the performance of the health officials concerned.On Tuesday, Maharashtra cabinet decided to use Malaysian government’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) system and its Big Fast Results (BFR) methodology in three state departments — health, school education, and water supply and sanitation.This will help reduce neonatal deaths to single-digit numbers with special focus on tribal districts, revive dormant water supply schemes, and improve learning of schoolchildren.”This will help us generate results for various policies by re-engineering management processes,” said an official from the planning department, adding that an 11-week programme would be held for these departments to come up policies to change outcomes.The NITI Aayog inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PEMANDU in 2015.The project will be supervised by a ministerial committee under the planning minister, while the principal secretary (planning) will head a committee of secretaries of these three departments to supervise the project and release funds.Andhra Pradesh has also signed an MoU with PEMANDU.

Get on Twitter to reach more people: BMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Solid Waste Management (SWM) will soon issue a circular to all ward offices to start a Twitter handle to get in touch with residents in their respective areas to solve waste-related issues. The proposal was also sent to the municipal commissioner.Currently, the SWM department operates a Twitter account through which it informs people about the civic body’s initiatives. However, it found that several issues waste issues can be resolved at the ward level if they have a Twitter account.”We have already prepared a detailed plan that will be sent to all wards after getting permission from the civic chief. The initiative will make civic body’s presence in the social media,” a SWM official told DNA.

Tejashwi Prasad Yadav held office of profit while deputy CM: I-T dept

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Income-Tax department has cornered Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President Lalu Prasad Yadav’s younger son and MLA Tejashwi Prasad Yadav over holding an office of profit during his tenure as the deputy CM of Bihar and also expressed dissatisfaction over his replies during the seven-hour questioning in Patna on August 29.A report submitted by the I-T sleuths in Patna to their officials in Delhi mentions that Tejashwi “officiated as the director of AB Exports Private Limited till February 2016, even though he had resigned from the post on November 9, 2015, before taking oath as a Bihar minister”.The I-T officials cited the evidence of a February 9, 2016, cheque found at one Vijaylal Tripathi’s house during raids, which was signed by Tejashwi in the capacity of the director of AB Exports, where he holds 98 per cent shares. “This makes it clear that he still worked as its director even after assuming the office of the deputy CM of Bihar,” the report said.The Yadav clan came under the lens of the I-T department after senior BJP leader and deputy CM of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi made a series of “expose” against the family’s alleged Rs 2,000 crore Benami deals in April-May this year.The I-T sleuths quizzed Tejashwi over disproportionate assets, Benami deals and post-demonetisation transactions of companies he was associated with. “He failed to give satisfactory replies… he said he didn’t remember the answer to most questions. He even gave a false answer for one question,” said a source in the Patna office of the I-T department.The department officials, who had earlier sealed Tejashwi’s house (D-1088) in New Friends Colony under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, said, “The house was the only asset of AB Exports, a company that has never carried out any business transaction. Its financial records were also irregular and transactions untraceable. Hence, it has been attached.”The problems of the Yadav family don’t seem likely to end soon, with a fresh legal notice slapped against Tejashwi and Lalu for making “objectionable comments” against CM Nitish Kumar. Bihar State Disaster Management Authority member Uday Kant Mishra has sent a notice seeking public apology for levelling personal allegations against Kumar and himself in Bhagalpur last week.

Legal notice sent to Lalu Prasad Yadav, Tejashwi for comments on Nitish Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A legal notice has been sent to RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Yadav by Uday Kant Mishra, a member of the state Disaster Management Authority, seeking apology for allegedly making objectionable comments against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during a rally in Bhagalpur last week.The legal notice was sent to them yesterday by the lawyer of Uday Kant Mishra, who is also a long-time friend of the chief minister.The RJD has, however, denied getting any notice from Mishra as yet.Mishra’s lawyer Vinay Shankar Dubey today said Prasad and Tejashwi have been asked to reply to the notice within 15 days.They should tender a public apology for levelling personal allegations, failing which a case would be registered against them under relevant sections of the law, Dubey said.Prasad and Tejashwi, the leader of opposition in state assembly, said they have not received the legal notice so far.RJD spokesman Shakti Singh Yadav said the notice has not reached them and they will take appropriate action after receiving it.Dubey said the “objectionable comments” were made by Prasad against his client in the context of the multi-crore Srijan scam.

Govt edu institutes not in top 50 of swachhta list: HRD Min

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry of Human Resource Development on Thursday announced Swacchta Rankings for higher education institutions, declaring cleanest campuses across the country. As per the rankings, private institutions have performed better than government institutions.These rankings were shared to encourage on-campus sanitation activities.Ministry sources, however, said that there was a lukewarm response from prominent higher education institutions. No prominent institution other than IIT Guwahati featured in the list.This lukewarm response from prominent institutions comes after a similar lack of interest from top institutions to the digital literacy campaign VISAKA, which was launched by the ministry after demonetisation. The ministry had asked institutes to engage students as volunteers for spreading digital literacy in December 2016. Later, they honoured the top 20 institutes that performed. However, none of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), or other prominent institutes made it to the list.For Swachhta rankings, institutes were listed in four separate categories — University, Colleges, Technical institutions, and Government institutions. Among universities, OP Jindal University, Sonepat, has bagged the first position and been declared the cleanest campus in the country. Most institutions on the list are from Tamil Nadu.The fact that government institutions did not take the drive seriously was recognised by the HRD minister as well. While announcing the rankings, he said, “No government institution had made it to the top 50 of the university category, which is why we had to create a separate category for them,” Prakash Javadekar, HRD Minister, said.In the government category, GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar has topped the chart, with Madurai Kamaraj University in the second position, and IIT Guwahati in the fifth.Among colleges, Kongu Arts and Science College, Erode, Tamil Nadu ranked first, and among technical institutions, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, has secured the first rank.The HRD Ministry had decided to rank higher education institutions on cleanliness in June this year and asked institutions to apply for the Swachhta ranking before July 31. The ranking was done based on two components — in-campus hygiene, which carried 85 per cent weightage, and activities outside the campus.A total of 3,500 institutions from across the country participated in the rankings.

MU fails at UGC plagiarism guidelines

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the University Grants Commission (UGC) aims to make its rules against plagiarism more stringent, the University of Mumbai is yet to follow some of the provisions made under the earlier guidelines set by UGC.More than three years after the university’s Management Council approved the setting up of a special mechanism to detect plagiarism including a software to scan research papers and theses, the plan seems to have gone into cold storage. The university has still not adhered to some of the minimum standard guidelines set for awarding MPhil and PhD degrees.In a public notice dated September 1, the UGC released a draft of the Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutions Regulations, 2017.As per the draft guidelines, each university should have a Plagiarism Disciplinary Authority (PDA) to take action against students or staff members who are found submitting plagiarised assignments or academic work. However, in the absence of a basic infrastructure, the university would find it difficult to implement the new guidelines.

AC locals a distant dream as permissions still in limbo

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Mumbaikars await the much-touted air-conditioned local, the files pertaining to final permissions for the train have been languishing in Lucknow with the Research, Design and Safety Organisation (RDSO). The Western Railway (WR) officials said that they have completed all the mandatory tests and submitted reports to the RDSO for final approvals.The RDSO has been monitoring the performance of the AC local which arrived in May last year. According to sources, more than 12 to 15 tests have been conducted wherein they broadly checked the train’s oscillation, braking and speed. Right now they are working on its integration with the Train Management System. Its internal software has been riddled with glitches in the past as well.WR officials said that they have managed to tackle the issue of door closing and temperature of air conditioner inside the rake. “We expect permissions within another two months or so from RDSO,” said AK Gupta, General Manager, Western Railway.Depending on the response, WR will decide the timetable and fares. The earlier deadline for it to run was October.

Societies yet to get serious about waste

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the BMC is firm on its stand that October 2 onwards it will not collect wet garbage from residential societies, based on an area more than 20,000 sq m, and from commercial or residential premises that generate more than 100 kilograms of garbage daily, only four per cent of the establishments issued notices by the BMC in this regard have approached the corporation regarding compulsory waste segregation and composting.So far, the BMC has served notices to more than 5,304 housing societies and commercial establishments for compulsory waste segregation and composting of wet waste on their premises. However, only around 234 of these have approached the BMC.In July, civic chief Ajoy Mehta announced that from October 2, around 6,500 societies and commercial establishments across the BMC’s 24 wards will have to compulsorily segregate waste into dry and wet waste, hand over the dry waste to the municipal waste collection vehicle, while compost the wet waste on their premises.”We have served notices to societies which generate more than 100 kg of garbage but to bigger societies which generate 125 kg to 150 kg, notices are yet to be served. Our door-to-door survey is going on and around 1,300 more societies will get notices this month,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner Vijay Balamwar.Meanwhile, Mehta has directed all 24 civic ward officers to arrange exhibitions on waste segregation and methods of composting. All the wards have also been directed to visit the societies and guide residents on waste segregation and set up help desks in the ward for solving queries.AWARENESS DRIVEBMC’s Solid Waste Management organised an exhibition of three days in Worli to guide societies on composting methods.
Wards like K-East and West, R-North and H-West arranged exhibitions to encourage residents towards waste segregation

Creating the right environment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After terming it a ‘roadblock ministry’ under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance government has set about changing the face of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to one that enables ‘ease of business’ while attempting to maintain sustainable development. While the jury is out on the ‘sustainable development’ aspect, over the last three years, the ministry has certainly gone about revising and overhauling the regulatory regime of environmental governance.This trend has continued as the ministry is in the process of ushering in more crucial changes to central environmental legislations such as Environment Protection Act, Coastal Regulation Zone notification, 2011, and is also on the cusp of approving commercial cultivation of a genetically modified crop for the first time.Ease of businessAt the heart of wholesale changes made in environmental regulations during the last three years has been the mantra of ‘Ease of Business’. This has translated into relaxing norms under several key environmental regulations and streamlining of the crucial project-clearance process, to cut down delays. In 2014, under Prakash Javadekar, the ministry moved at a rapid pace to introduce a flurry of policy tweaks to facilitate development and industry.Foremost among these changes was the streamlining of the clearances processes through an online system, an initiative that was introduced under former environment minister M Veerappa Moily just prior to the regime change. It decided to grant general approval to border road projects within 100 km of Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the India-China border. Besides, general approval was enough for forest clearances in 117 Left Wing Extremist districts, which was done to boost infrastructure in these conflict zones.On the policy level, the Environment Ministry embarked upon an overhaul of almost the entire regulatory framework of environmental governance that has existed in the country in the past three years. In 2014, it constituted a high-level committee led by former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian to review and recommend specific amendments to Environment Protection Act, Forest Conservation Act, Indian Forest Act, Wildlife Protection Act, Water Pollution Act and Air Pollution Act.Key among its recommendations is the creation of the new umbrella law and replacing the National Green Tribunal with district level administrative tribunals. While the ministry began with some changes based on the recommendations, its pace slackened after the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Forest asked to scrap the report.”The Prime Minister’s Office issued a host of directions to streamline clearances which included reducing recommendations for studies by expert committees that appraise projects, to cut delays. Further, there were also specific directions that expert bodies need not put additional riders on projects while granting clearances,” a senior ministry official said on condition of anonymity.Policy shiftsFrom specific changes that were introduced in the project appraisal procedures, there are also overarching changes that are in the pipeline as the ministry moves ahead. The Coastal Regulation Zone notification, 2011, that regulates development on coasts is set to be changed and MoEF&CC came out with a new draft notification a few months back. The draft notification provides for easing construction close to the high-tide line in line with development norms of municipal corporations.Further, even as the House panel recommended scrapping of the TSR Subramanian report, NITI Aayog said that the Subramanian committee’s key recommendation to create an umbrella law on environment should be implemented. The Subramanian committee report had said that the umbrella law should create — Environmental Laws Management Act (ELMA) — to enable creation of the institutions NEMA (National Environment Management Authority) and SEMA (State Environment Management Authority).The ministry is also in the process of amending the Environment Protection Act, 1986, the keystone environmental protection legislation in the country to increase environmental costs for pollution up to Rs 1 crore, reportedly, without judicial action.Commenting on the MoEF&CC’s regulatory changes, environmental policy experts said that the ministry has stuck to its ‘ease of business’ mantra unabashedly.”Right from achievements to notifications, the ministry has stated up front this mantra to align with the overarching agenda of development. This has manifested through the numerous changes made in environmental regulations,” said Kanchi Kohli, legal research director, Centre for Policy Research — Namati, environment justice programme. Kohli added, “Other than that, the ministry has also tried to regularise environmental violations either through monetary penalties or through post-facto clearances.”Big-ticket decisionsIn recent months, some of the big-ticket decisions of the MoEF&CC have come under scrutiny and also faced legal challenges. The ministry’s decision to recommend the Ken-Betwa river linking project was faced with some internal resistance and is currently awaiting a final nod on forest diversion and environmental clearance.In the weeks and months ahead, the MoEF&CC is also facing one of the biggest decisions on the issue of Genetically Modified Mustard crop. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has recommended commercial cultivation of the crop and now the final decision lies at the door of the environment minister.The commercial cultivation of the GM Mustard crop has faced intense protests from farmers who have questioned the fundamental need for such a crop. They have expressed concerns about its yield claims too.What the government has donePolicy revisions to enable business projectsThe NDA constantly termed the environment ministry as a ‘roadblock’ ministry during UPA’s regime, due to perceived delays in appraisal of big-ticket projects. After coming to power, the NDA government set about undoing the ‘delays’ by introducing a series of wholesale changes in regulatory and statutory bodies and through policy revisions.Overhauled major environmental ActsThe government sought an overhaul of six environmental laws: the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980; Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972; Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981; and the Indian Forest Act 1927 and constituted a high-level committee under former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian to recommend changes to these laws.New drafts and amendmentsThe ministry though has continued with its stance on amending key laws. It has brought out a draft of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification to ease construction near coasts. It has brought out a draft of Wildlife Protection Act, a new draft Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031 and is also mulling over major changes to the Environment Protection Act.Waste management normsThe ministry overhauled several statutory rules and regulations that dictate the management of waste in the country and brought in new pollution norms for several key industry sectors. Key among these rules were Solid Waste Management Rules, Electronic-waste Management Rules (E-waste), Plastic Waste Management Rules, Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules and Hazardous and Other Waste Management Rules. These rules came into effect by April 2016.Demarcate and notify ESZsDuring the UPA regime, the demarcation and notification of Eco-Sensitive Zone or ESZs around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries was pending for several years. ESZs are the buffer areas around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries and allow regulated development.The NDA contended that pending notification, projects that fell in 10-km radius of the ESZs had to be approved by the National Board for Wildlife clearance and the Supreme Court too. It initiated the demarcation and notification process seeking proposals from state governments. Over 600 proposals were received and out of them 423 ESZs have been notified till March 2017.Shortcomings and challengesProject TigerOne of the major schemes of the ministry, the budget for Project Tiger has shrunk by Rs 30 crore to Rs 345 crore this year. Though the tiger population has seen a 30 per cent rise — from 1,706 to 2,226 — the threat of poachers has sustained over the last three years. In fact, 2016 saw 122 tiger deaths, the highest in the past five years. Government data and independent analysis attribute the rise in deaths to infighting among tigers due to fragmented habitats and poaching.Pollution controlIn the past three years, the country’s apex pollution watchdog — CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) has been in the thick of things due to the alarming pollution levels in Delhi-NCR and due to the Namami Gange project. While CPCB has increased air pollution and water pollution monitoring stations, it has not led to effective curbing of pollution on the ground. Experts have rued that the pollution laws lack teeth to initiate impactful civil and criminal penalties.Monitoring of projectsMonitoring of conditions stipulated in environmental clearances and enforcement of environmental norms is one of the biggest sore points for the Ministry of Environment and Forest. Former Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had acknowledged this several times and so did his successor, the late Anil Dave. At the root of this problem is lack of field staff across the ministry’s ten regional offices and weak enforcement of laws by Central Pollution Control Board.Shortage of staffEven as the clearance process of big-ticket development projects is centralised, regional offices hold the key in following up on the compliance of environmental norms and conditions stipulated in environmental clearances. In a recent audit, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had said in March that once projects are granted, there is widespread non-compliance of general and specific conditions imposed in the environment clearances (EC). Also, to monitor defaulting companies, regional offices are not well-equipped, the CAG had noted.Polluters go unpunishedUnder current legislations, maximum civil penalties for pollution and environmental violations is Rs 1 lakh. There have been next to no instances of the MoEF&CC initiating civil and criminal proceedings against polluters. MoEF&CC has also taken a stance of moving away from closing down industries.Dilution of lawsWholesale changes in regulations and laws has largely been criticised from within and outside the ministry. Civil society and environmental activists have now termed the ministry as a ‘clearance’ ministry rather than one that protects the environment and natural resources.

Inspired by Ranveer Singh starrer ‘Ladies vs Ricky Bahl’, man dupes 15 women of over Rs 50 lakh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Inspired by Ranveer Singh-starrer ‘Ladies vs Ricky Behl’, a 34-year-old man duped several women over the last six years on the pretext of marrying them and would later blackmail them with intimate videos.Yogesh alias Sameer Garg conned close to 15 women of more than Rs 50 lakh in the last year alone, police said. He was arrested on September 5 from the New Delhi railway station while trying to flee.Police said he mostly targeted single women in their late 30s, who had registered themselves on matrimonial sites.On September 5, a woman’s brother approached police with a complaint that his sister, a divorcee, was missing along with her 12-year-old son for the last two days.He told police that his sister had uploaded her profile on a matrimonial site and had come in contact with Garg through it.Police started tracking the mobile numbers of the accused. Meanwhile, the woman s brother managed to get in touch with his sister.He lied to her that their father is sick and admitted to AIIMS. She agreed to come to see him but told her brother that she is leaving for Mumbai, the police said.Garg came to AIIMS along with the victim s sister but he sensed something amiss and escaped from there taking her along.A police team started for the airport to nab the accused and rescue the woman and her son. However, the cell phone location of Garg s phone indicated that he was at the New Delhi railway station on September 5, the police said.The team proceeded there and it was found that the Mumbai-bound train was slated to leave from a different platform. A trap was laid and the accused was arrested. The woman and her son were also rescued.The victim said that the accused had lured her on the pretext of marriage and had taken her to Vaishno Devi. Later, he took her to Goa on the pretext of making her meet his parents, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara).The woman, who works as a teacher, told police that he had been extracting money from her and had taken Rs three lakh from her.He had made videos of her and had threatened to upload them on social media sites if she did not pay up, they added. Garg has also been charged with rape.During interrogation, Garg told police that he was inspired by the Bollywood film ‘Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl’.He would project himself as the country head of a high- profile conglomerate firm and tell women that his father is a retired IAS officer, said the DCP.He also told police that he had completed his graduation from SRCC and had pursued his MBA from one of the Indian Institutes of Management. He also claimed to have studied in a prestigious institution in the United Kingdom. However, these claims have been found to be false, the police said. He had been conning women since 2011.So far, five women in their late 30s, have approached police. One of the victims is from Ahmedabad and another is from Noida.They claimed that the accused also got intimate with them on the pretext of marriage and deserted them after taking money from them. They have claimed that they were conned of Rs eight lakh respectively, the police said.

L-G meets with civic bodies on waste mgmt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following last week’s Ghazipur tragedy in which two persons were killed, Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday held a meeting at Raj Niwas to discuss the programme for processing of entire solid waste generated in the capital with specific timelines and immediate solution for Solid Waste Management at Ghazipur and other land fill sites. The meeting was attended by Urban Development Minister, GNCTD, Satyendar Jain, other government and municipal corporation officers with the department.During the meeting, Commissioner, East Delhi Municipal Corporation apprised Baijal that the EDMC presently collects 4,650 MT garbage per day, which consists of 2,600 MT municipal solid waste, 1,400 MT silt and 650 C & D waste. Out of this, 1,300 MT of municipal solid waste is dispatched to Shastri Park, C & D waste plant. The Lt Governor directed him to immediately take up expansion of capacity of existing waste to energy plant and in the first phase, 650 MT additional Municipal Solid Waste would be dispatched there at the earliest. For the remaining 650 MT MSW, Commissioner, SDMC was directed to get it processed at its Okhla WTE plant, within the prescribed environmental norms.Commissioner, North DMC told Baijal that presently, North DMC is collecting 3,900 MT MSW per day out of which Narela-Bawana plant is utilising 2,000 MT of MSW. He was directed that for the remaining 1,900 MT MSW, the capacity of Narela-Bawana plant should be increased, adding that these two steps would ensure there would not be any further increase in the mounds of garbage at Bhalswa and Ghazipur.The government and the civic body has also been directed to clear the garbage mound at Ghazipur within two years beginning November as the garbage would be used by NHAI for construction of service roads.

Blame hospital for newborn deaths

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the shocking report of 86 newborn deaths in Banswara District Hospital (MG Hospital) in just two months came out, the government officials are said on Saturday the incidents happened only due to the carelessness of the hospital staff. However, health experts suggest that the problem is just a tip of the iceberg.According to experts, low weight during birth indicates that the pregnant mother did not receive proper care. “Low birth weight is related to maternal nutrition. It indicates that the mother was either undernourished or was not in a proper physical condition to give birth to a baby,” Dr Ashok Gupta, superintendent, JK Lon Hospital told DNA. “Thirty per cent babies in the state are born underweight. It suggests that the baby’s organs, especially the lungs, are weak,” he added. At a time when the state is aiming to curb neonatal mortality rate and focusing on critical issues such as maternal health and nutrition of pregnant women, the incidents of newborn deaths reflect more attention should be paid towards the marriage of adolescents. Also, early pregnancy emerged as one of the main causes of these deaths.“Seventy per cent of the mothers, whose newborns died in MG hospital, had very poor health. Some of them were having their third child at the age of below 20,” Naveen Jain, MD, National Health Mission told DNA. “The pregnant women must get proper health facilities before and after the baby is born. Rajasthan has successfully completed the Community Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programme. More such programmes should be made so that the pregnant women could be taken care of within the community,” said Jain.Harrowing figures86 newborn deaths during July and August 73 were born underweight20 weighed even less than a kilo As per the hospital record18 deaths occurred due to low birth weight37 newborns died due to birth asphyxia, as their lungs were not properly developedIt indicates that the mothers were undernourished.

SEE PIC: Kiran Bedi tweets a picture of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s chappals to highlight his simplicity

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi on Thursday paid tribute to former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam after visiting his memorial near Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.In a series of tweets posted on Friday, Bedi hailed the former president for his simplistic life and even shared a picture of his sandals to highlight the same. “These Chappals of Dr Kalam were in the suitcase of his last journey to Shillong. ( See how worn out they were and had even been repaired),” she tweeted.A career scientist turned statesman, Dr Kalam was born and raised in Rameswaram and studied physics and aerospace engineering.He spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was intimately involved in India’s civilian space programme and military missile development efforts.He was elected as the 11th President of India in 2002 with the support of both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the then-opposition Indian National Congress. Widely referred to as the “People’s President,”6 he returned to his civilian life of education, writing and public service after a single term. He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.While delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Kalam collapsed and died from an apparent cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, aged 83.

Results will reach colleges by next week: MU to HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai University on Thursday informed the Bombay High Court that in the coming week, a majority of the students will be able to collect physical results from their colleges. Advocate Rui Rodrigues appearing for the University said results for BA, BCom, BSc, Management, Technology and Law streams have been declared, and marksheets will be sent to colleges within five days.Further, admission deadline for Law CET, which was August 31 is being extended until midnight on September 5.A division bench of justices Anoop Mohta and Bharati Dangre, however, directed that the admission process for law entrance exam be extended till September 6. HC said: “Students should not suffer while trying to get admission for qualifying exams.”HC was hearing a series of petitions filed by students and the Bombay University & College Teachers Union. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on September 6.Meanwhile…Over a hundred students from the Government Law College in Churchgate found that they have been reportedly marked absent or their results were withheld by the university when the results were declared on Wednesday. “I was shocked to see that I was marked absent in a paper which I attended,” said an LLB student.

DNA Exclusive: Govt to modernise disaster management control rooms

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra government has undertaken a massive modernisation of disaster management control rooms at Mantralaya and in all the 36 districts with the deployment of equipment of global standards.The government will soon float tenders for the procurement of new equipment, which will include state-of-the-art laptops that will be shock and water proof, heavy duty photo copiers, fax machines, EPBX systems, video conferencing facility, VOIP phones and Ham radio sets.The state control room has already been equipped with a video wall connected with the Home department.State additional chief secretary (relief and rehabilitation) Medha Gadgil told DNA, “Tenders will be issued soon for the procurement of the equipment, which will help improve communication and response time. The modernisation is expected to be complete by this fiscal year-end.”Shreedutt Kamat, State Project Officer said the state and district EOCs will be equipped with modern equipment as per the guidelines issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). “Currently, the EOCs are connected through communication systems like phones, fax and internet. However, the use of Ham sets will give us an edge, especially when all other communication systems fail. The Ham radio sets will work regardless of weather conditions and will ensure two-way communication between the state EOC and the functionaries on the ground,” he said.The state disaster management unit is also set to launch a website and various apps to ensure communication through mobile phones. “One app will allow for distress calls to be made by the citizens affected by a disaster, which can be responded to quickly by the personnel on the ground,” he said.

Mumbai Rains: Mumbai Metro comes to city’s rescue, adds additional services to cater to passengers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While several modes of transport like the suburban local train, bus, auto and taxi came to a standstill owing to heavy rains and water-logged streets, Mumbai Metro ran additional services to between Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor.According to Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), that operates Metro-1, as several offices were shut early, crowd gathered at Metro stations during non-peak hours.MMOPL said that it had run additional Metro services to cater the footfall due to heavy rains.Earlier in the day, MMOPL tweeted, “With Mumbai’s trademark rains giving us their best, so are we at #MumbaiMetro! Still running on schedule just like our beloved city!”MMOPL runs Metro at a frequency of 4 minutes during peak hours and eight minutes during non-peak hours.One of the main reasons behind Metro seeing more crowd is because Metro was the only transport connecting western Mumbai to the Central in the absense of services on Western Railway and Central Railway being suspended. Many commuters also took Twitter thanking MMOPL for running on time Metro services during heavy rains.Suburban services were disrupted with trains on all the three lines – western, central and harbour – running late.Water-logging on tracks was reported in Andheri and Bandra, civic officials said.The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the situation was well under control and advised the citizens to step out of their homes only if necessary.”The metropolis has received heavy rainfall since last night. Between 8.30 am and 12 pm today, the city received 85 mm rainfall,” Sudhir Naik, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, told PTI.”Step out of homes only if it is too important because water-logging has been reported from several parts of the city,” he said.Naik, however, added things were well under control and senior civic officials were keeping a close watch on the situation.”Due to water logging on tracks & point failure at Bandra following very heavy rains, 3 lines except UP Fast line are affected. Efforts are on to start traffic on 3 lines (except UP fast line) at Bandra as soon as possible by attending the points,” the Western Railway tweeted.According to an official from the BMC’s Disaster Management Cell, “There have been reports of water-logging in Dadar, Andheri, Worli, Kurla and Sakinaka, among other areas.We have received 20 cases of tree falling and one of a wall collapse.””Despite heavy downpour, no untoward incident has been reported so far,” said the official.Commuters were stranded at some places.”Stuck in a local train between two stations #MumbaiRains no announcements if the train will go ahead. utter #chaos,” Vidya Kumar, a passenger stranded at Bandra station for over an hour, tweeted by tagging @RailMinIndia @drmbct.Actor-turned-entrepreneur Gul Panag tweeted, “Brace yourself Mumbai. Heavy rain coming. Plan ahead. Stay safe.”With inputs from PTI

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