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Connectivity drags down Digital India in rural areas

The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has completely failed to even kick off the Digital India programme and will be unable to do so till March, 2019, as there is no mobile or internet connectivity in many rural parts of the country.Digital India, a flagship programme of the government of India with a vision to transform the country into a digitally empowered society, is one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet projects.The ministry cannot start the programme as it doesn’t have basic infrastructure or platform in place. It is dependent on the Department of Telecommunication and its initiative Bharat Net, a high-speed digital highway connecting all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats of the country. Bharat Net, expected to be the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity project using optical fibre, is estimated to be completed by March, 2019.For instance, e-Panchayat project, one of the Mission Mode Projects under the Digital India Programme, is yet to be properly started.Under the project, core common software applications had been developed to address various aspects of Panchayat functioning, including budgeting, planning, accounting, monitoring, social audit, and delivery of citizen services.But all this is of no use as “there is no network connectivity in major rural areas of the country.” A ministry note stated: “The ministry would take effective and expeditious steps to increase the connectivity coverage so that the e-Panchayat is enabled in every village.”For strengthening of Panchayats and gram sabhas, the ministry needs to reach out to multiple and diverse groups, especially the rural populace, and media and publicity play a very important and crucial role in creating awareness. Due to zero internet or mobile connectivity, however, they are unable to do anything.The ministry has prepared various audio-visual programmes, documentaries, and mobile applications, but all these serve no purpose till there is no connectivity. “The elected representatives are not aware of their rights and privileges. This has become a major hurdle in effective delivery of citizen services,” the note stated.Furthermore, the ministry has also been unable to start a scheme to provide ATM services in Panchayat bhawans. To kick it off, an inter-ministerial committee has already been constituted. But again, the connectivity problem remains. Another problem is the lack of basic infrastructure. Of the 2.5 lakh gram Panchayats, nearly 46,000 do not have their own building.

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Jammu and Kashmir: Terrorists attack CRPF camp in Pulwama, 3 jawans injured

This is a developing story. More details are awaited.”
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Jammu and Kashmir: Terrorists attack CRPF camp in Pulwama, 3 jawans injured Terror attack
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByDNA Web Team <!–end of artlbotbor–>Sunday 31 December 2017 6:21 ISTMust readEx-CJI TS Thakur says no to AAP’s Rajya Sabha offerKamala Mills fire: Know the story behind this picture<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>At least two terrorists attacked the training centre of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday. According to reports, around 2: 10 am, the terrorists first lobbed grenades and then began firing in an effort to gain an entry into the training camp in Awantipora. According to reports, the militants are holed up inside the camp.Two jawans have reportedly been injured in the gunbattle. “Fidayeen managed to enter Lethpora camp at 0210hrs. As per report two of our men got injured during initial intrusion from J&K Police Commando training area side. There is quite a possibility of a similar type of attack on other camps also” CRPF said. This is a developing story. More details are awaited.

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MahaRERA allows early possession

When a group of home buyers approached the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) for an early possession from a builder, the authority actually heard them and allowed it, too. Nearly a dozen home buyers approached the authority earlier this month against Kumar Builders Mumbai Realty Pvt Ltd to get possession in a building named Kul Tulip in Ghatkopar.The complainant had stated that the date of possession as per agreement was March 31, 2015, however, till date no possessionis were received. The developer has also put the revised proposed date of completion on the MahaRERA website as December 2019. The buyers informed the authority that they had no intention to wait so long and therefore approached the authority for and early and exact possession date. They have also sought an interest on the payments made so far and compensation for the delay in possession. The developer, in response to the complaint, had cited reasons beyond his control which delayed the completion of the project. Further, the developer also stated that since the matter was in arbitration, he had to approach the arbitrator for any construction work of the project. The construction work is still in progress and will be ready for possession by December 2019, the developer had said. The complaint was heard by Chairman MahaRERA, Gautam Chaterjee. “On the basis of the mentioned facts, we feel that the developer should hand over the possession of the said apartments to the home buyers on or before September 15, 2018, which is a reasonable time for completion of the pending work in the project along with OC and the same is also commensurate with the extent of development work pending, in accordance with rule,” Chaterjee said in his order.The authority further ruled that if the developer fails to hand over possession by September 15, 2018, the developer shall be liable to pay interest to the home buyers from September 16, 2018 till the actual date of possession, on the entire amount paid by the complainant to the developer.CASE DETAILSThe date of possession was March 31, 2015. The developer revised the date of completion on the MahaRERA website as December 2019. The authority directed the builder to handover flats on or before Sept 15, 2018. In case of delay, the builder shall be liable to pay interest to buyers.

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Tamil Nadu lags in cable digitisation: I&B

The report of the standing committee on I&B has revealed that though Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata had clocked 100 per cent digitisation of cable TV services, Tamil Nadu was holding up owing to litigation of the ideal of achieving complete digitisation in the four metros.While complete digitisation was sought to be achieved in the four metros by October 31, 2012 in Phase 1 of the four-phase plan devised by the ministry, litigation by Arasu Cable had held up matters there. The same litigation was also responsible for holding up digitisation in Coimbatore, which falls under Phase 2. In the latter phase, which includes 38 cities that have a population of more than a million, it was to be completed by March 31, 2013.For the same reason, Phases 3 and 4 also had been disturbed and complete digitisation was pending. Phase 3, that includes “all other urban areas” apart from Phases 1 and 2 and Phase 4 which includes the rest of India had to reach complete digitisation by the extended time limit of March 31, 2017, but owing to the TN factor, “about 75% digitisation has been achieved in Phase III and IV areas (excluding Tamil Nadu).The ministry also cited “stays/extension granted by some High Courts in a large number of court cases filed in different courts” as hurdles in achieving 100 per cent digitisation. At the request of the ministry, all these cases had been transferred to the Delhi High Court, but the process took “considerable time”. Owing to delays, the ministry extended the deadline for the sake of consumers, but a large number of stakeholders took this for granted, expecting further relaxation. This, the ministry said, caused further delays.”On the cut off date of 31.3.2017 for Phase 4 areas, the progress of digitisation was about 70 per cent (excluding Tamil Nadu),” the report said.The ministry also said that the help of “Authorised Officers”such as DM, SDM, ADM and Commissioner of Police were considered essential to “take action against defaulting cable operators”.HC ORDERSThe I&B ministry also cited “stays/extension granted by some High Courts in a large number of court cases filed in different courts” as hurdles in achieving 100 per cent digitisation.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
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Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
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India successfully test-fires supersonic interceptor missile from Odisha’s Balasore

India on Thursday successfully test-fired its indigenously developed Advanced Air Defence (AAD) supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile in low altitude, from a test range in Odisha.This was the third supersonic interceptor test carried out this year in which an incoming ballistic missile target was successfully intercepted, within 30 km altitude of the earth’s atmosphere by an interceptor.”It was a direct hit and grand success,” Defence sources said after the test launch.The earlier two tests were conducted on March 1 and February 11, 2017, as part of efforts to have a full-fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system.”Today’s test was conducted to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode and it was all success,” the sources said.The target missile– a Prithvi missile– was launched from launch complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here.After getting signals by tracking radars, the interceptor AAD missile, positioned at Abdul Kalam Island –previously known as Wheeler Island — in the Bay of Bengal, roared through its trajectory to destroy the hostile target missile in mid-air in an endo-atmospheric altitude, defence sources said.The interceptor is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator, the sources said.The state-of-the-art interceptor missile has its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars.

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24 hours power to all by March 2019: Power Minister R K Singh

By March 2019, all homes in the country will be provided uninterrupted 24-hour power supply throughout the year, Power Minister R K Singh said on Thursday.Singh said 1,694 villages, which are yet to be electrified, will have electricity connection by December 2018 and works in this regard has been going on.All homes will get 24-hour power by March 2019, he said during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha.Singh also said a new law will be enacted to impose penalties on power discoms in case of failure to provide uninterrupted power after March 2019, except due to technical reasons.The minister said the government has set a target of reducing the transmission and distribution (T&D) losses of power from the current 21 per cent to 15 per cent by January 2019.He said Rs 1,75,000 crore is being spent to improve the power infrastructure across the country.”Some T&D losses are inherent in the system. These are termed technical losses. As per a study, the technical losses range approximately from 2.62 per cent to 7.71 per cent.”Additional losses are caused by theft. At the all-India level, energy loss in T&D for the year 2015-16 was 240864.31 million units (21.81 per cent). As per estimates, reduction of 1 per cent in T&D losses results in a saving of Rs 4,146.60 crore in terms of power purchase cost,” he said.

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Maharashtra ups revenue target of registration and stamps department

Hard-pressed to meet its rising expenses due to the implementation of schemes like farm loan waivers and infrastructure projects, the cash-strapped state government is hiking the revenue collection target for the department of registration and stamps by 10 per cent, to about Rs 23,500 crore from Rs 21,000 crore.Stamp duty and registration charges on property transactions are the second-highest revenue source for the state government after state goods and services tax (SGST).”As on mid-December 2017, the collections through stamp duty and registration fees stand at Rs 16,668 crore, which is almost 80 per cent of the Rs 21,000 crore target. The highest percentage of revenue has come from conveyance deeds (54.8 per cent), followed by mortgages (12.3 per cent), leave and license agreements (10.3 per cent), power of attorney (4.7 per cent) and gift deeds (4.1 per cent). A total of 14,59,552 documents have been registered up to December 11,” the official said.The Mumbai region has also achieved over 70 per cent (Rs 6,487 crore) of its Rs 9,250 crore target.”Though we hope to achieve the revised target, real estate transactions have slumped in markets like Mumbai. However, since the new ready reckoner (RR) rates will come into force from April 1, 2018, we feel property registrations may surge in March on expectations of a rate hike,” the official noted.Officials said SRA and redevelopment projects in Mumbai were held up in areas like the Kurla taluka after the court’s ban on new constructions in Mumbai due to the failure in solving the problem of the city’s dumping grounds. This led to lower revenues being hit due to lower registrations of conveyance deeds of development projects.HELPS THE POCKETStamp duty and registration charges on property transactions are second-highest revenue source for the state government after state goods and services tax. Mumbai region has also achieved over 70 per cent (Rs 6,487 crore) of its Rs 9,250 crore target.

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Kulbushan Jadhav: Pakistan lets family meet ‘Indian spy’

Kulbushan Jadhav is facing a death sentence for spying in Pakistan – a charge that India denies.

Parents of kids born on March 31 at their wits’ end

Violation of Delhi government’s Directorate of Education’s (DoE) norms by several private schools in the national Capital is giving nightmares to parents seeking nursery admission for their tiny tots. And for those whose children were born on March 31, the confusion seems to have no end.The DoE had directed all unaided recognised private schools to set the lower age limit for students in nursery, KG, and Class I at three, four, and five years, as of March 31, 2018, respectively. It had also asked them to not implement any upper age limit. Flouting the directions, however, nearly 20 private schools have set an age bar in their criteria for nursery admissions. This has made many children eligible for admission in both nursery and KG.Some schools, including Fr. Peter Mermier Pre-School in Janakpuri, have issued a notice stating that “the child should complete 3 years of age by March 31, 2018. The upper limit is 4 years”. Some, including Venkateshwar International School in Dwarka, have stated that “children whose birth date falls between April 1, 2014 and March 21, 2015 are eligible for admission in nursery”.In the first case, a child born on March 31 will not be able to take admission in nursery. In the second case, the candidate will be eligible. Also, the child who turns four on March 31, 2019, can enroll in KG anywhere.Hassled by this confusing criteria, parents said they don’t know whether they should enroll their wards in nursery or KG. “My son will turn 4 on March 31, which makes him ineligible for admission in nursery in various schools. I don’t know what to do. I can’t enroll him directly in KG,” said Manisha Singh, a resident of east Delhi’s Mayur Vihar.Experts, at the same time, said the schools were not only violating the DoE norms by fixing the upper age criteria but also “misinterpreting” it. “Many schools have failed to comprehend the DoE’s upper age limit guideline set in 2015, which states that the candidate should be less than 4 years of age on March 31 of the year of admission. That makes the child born on March 31 not eligible for a nursery seat,” said Sumit Vohra, founder of admissions nursery.com.When contacted, DoE officials said they were not aware of the development and strict actions will be taken if any such violation of the order is found.THE CASEIn 2015, the Delhi government had declared that it would impose an upper age limit on nursery admissions. This part of the government notification was challenged in the High Court. Earlier this year, however, the court upheld the notification and allowed DoE to fix an upper limit for admission in entry level classes in private recognised unaided schools.

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Yogi Adityanath meets distressed homebuyers, promises quick action

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met distressed homebuyers and pulled up Noida Authority for lapses in the handling of the matter. Adityanath has directed officials to hand over 40,000 flats by December 31, while another 40,000 to be handed over by March, 2018.The UP CM also asked the Noida Authority to draw up a list of defaulter builders categorising them as per their position on the properties — one, who will be able to deliver the flats on time; two, those who need help of co-developers to complete their projects; three, those who won’t be able to complete their projects.Adityanath met distressed homebuyers at Amity University where officials of all the three authorities — Noida authority, Greater Noida Authority, and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority were present along with the heads of many home buyers’ associations.During the meeting, the distressed homebuyers kept their issues in front of Yogi and he made a note of all of them. After this, he promised the homebuyers that the 40,000 flats will be handed over to the buyers December 31, while another 40,000 would be handed over by March 31.However, the homebuyers were not satisfied with the promises made as they said the CM needed to check the ground reality. The buyers invovled in different projects in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway — such as Jaypee, Amrapali, Supertech, Unitech, Pan Oasis — also announced that they will protest against the government on Sunday at the Film City in Sector 16A.According to members of the association, during the UP elections, BJP candidates had promised flat buyers of GB Nagar that they would be giving all possible support in securing possession of homes. But, they alleged, after the BJP victory in the UP elections nothing was done for them.”We have been getting such promises from the past many years but no work on the ground has been done. All the people are just coming and giving hope but nothing is done. We are left hopeless,”said Shweta Bharti, General Secretary, NEFOWA (Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association).The UP CM also attacked previous state governments saying that all corruption had been done in their era, but the BJP government was working for the benefit of the people. He further directed the authorities to hand over a list to the three-minister panel of the builders categorising them into three lists so that they knew who needed help and against whom do they have to take action.Ninety-four projects in Noida and around 190 projects in Greater Noida are stuck owing to financial reasons. In a high-level meeting held in September this year, UP chief minister ordered officials to ensure that 50,000 homebuyers got their homes in Noida and Greater Noida areas.On December 4, the ministerial panel — during the course of a meeting with builders and officials of Noida Authority, Greater Noida Authority and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) — had declared that 32,500 flats would be delivered by the end of this month.NO HOMESAs many as 1.6 lakh homes are delayed in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway put together and homebuyers who are burdened withboth equated monthly instalments and rent said that delivery of flats being promised by authorities comprise projects that were, in any case, nearing completion and do not include the big builders in Noida, whose projects have been delayed for years or against whom insolvency proceedings are currently on. None of those projects have been revived.

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Schools defy DoE order, set age bar for admission

In defiance of Delhi government’s Directorate of Education’s (DoE) order on the upper-age limit, three prominent private schools in the Capital on Thursday set an age bar in their criteria for nursery admissions. The move sent parents into a tizzy as the DoE on Tuesday announced to delay the implementation of upper-age criteria to the academic session 2019-20.The DoE had directed all unaided recognised private schools to set the lower-age limit for students in nursery, KG and Class I at three, four and five years, respectively, as of March 31, 2018. It also asked them not to implement any upper-age limit.The three private schools including Frank Anthony Public School, Lajpat Nagar Cambridge Foundation, Rajouri Garden and NK Bakrodia Public School, Dwarka, uploaded their admission criteria mentioning the upper-age limit.”Age of the child at entry level should be less than four years as on March 31, 2018 as per the orders by the DoE, government of NCT of Delhi,” read the criteria issued by the NK Bakrodia Public School. The principal, however, could not be reached for a comment.In 2015, the Delhi government had declared that it would impose an upper-age limit. This part of the government notification was challenged in high court. However, earlier this year, the court upheld the notification and allowed DoE to fix an upper limit for admission to entry level classes in private recognised unaided schools. The DoE on Tuesday set aside speculation and announced that it would not set a bar.The development has left parents anxious.”My son will turn exactly 4 years one month and 20 days old on March 31, 2018. I have no clue if we will be able to enroll him in nursery this year if other shools will also do the same,” said Ritika Kumar, a parent, who missed getting a seat for her child last year.”Only three schools have come up with their admission criteria and all have put upper age cut off. The DoE should immediately look into the matter,” said Sumit Vohra, founder, admissions nursery.com.When contacted, officials at the DoE said that they were not aware of the development and strict actions will be taken if any such violation of the order is found.NO AGE BARThe DoE had directed all unaided recognised private schools to set the lower-age limit for students in nursery, KG and Class I at three, four and five years, respectively, as of March 31, 2018. It also asked them not to implement any upper-age limit. It also asked them not to implement any upper-age limit.

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Suhaib Ilyasi: India TV crime show host jailed for wife’s murder

Suhaib Ilyasi, who fronted a crime series called India’s Most Wanted, is sentenced to life in jail.

Delhi court sentences India’s Most Wanted producer Suhaib Ilyasi to life imprisonment for wife’s murder

Former TV producer Suhaib Ilyasi has beensentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court for murder of his wife.The court had on Saturday convicted the former television producer for murdering his wife Anju 17 years ago. Ilyasi, who shot to fame with the TV show ‘India’s Most Wanted’, was present in the court room and immediately taken into custody.Suhaib was found guilty on the charge of murder under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. He faces a minimum punishment of life imprisonment and the maximum of death penalty in the case.The order was passed by Additional Sessions Judge S K Malhotra.Advocate Manu Sharma, who represented Suhaib during the protracted trial, said that the court would hear the arguments on the quantum of sentence to be awarded to the convict on December 20.Lawyer Satender Sharma, who appeared on behalf of key witness and mother of Anju, Rukma Singh, said the Delhi High Court had in August 2014 ruled that Suhaib would face the charge of murder for the death of his wife.He was earlier charged with comparatively milder sections including 304 B (dowry death) of the IPC.Ilyasi was arrested on March 28, 2000 and later, charges were framed against him in the case after his sister-in-law and mother-in-law alleged that he used to torture his wife for dowry.Police had chargesheeted Ilyasi on March 29, 2003, and the court later framed charges against him under sections 498A (subjecting a married woman to cruelty) and 304B (dowry death) of the IPC.Later in 2014, the Delhi High Court said Ilyasi would have to face murder charge for the death of his wife.Rukma Singh had filed a plea before th High Court seeking inclusion of the additional charge of murder against Ilyasi for the death of her daughter.Anju was rushed to a hospital on January 11, 2000 with stab wounds she received at her East Delhi residence.Suhaib was arrested on March 28, 2000 and later charges were framed against him in the case after his sister-in-law and mother-in-law alleged that he used to torture his wife for dowry.

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Anti Corruption Bureau books BMC engineer in DA case

The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) Mumbai unit has booked former Assistant Engineer attached with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for allegedly amassing assets more than the known income of the accused. The ACB has also booked the wife and deceased mother of the engineer in the case.According to ACB, Anil Mistry, 51, assistant engineer who was attached with BMC from 26 March 1990 till 19 June 2017 was accused of possessing wealth 1307.18 per cent more than the known income. The ACB officials found the assets worth Rs 7,72,48,381 extra to the actual income. The ACB has also booked Akruti Mistry,43 in the case.”The accused engineer had purchased properties in the name of his wife and the mother and they were in know-how of the money which he acquired through corruption,” said the ACB officer.

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SC extends deadline for Aadhaar linking for all services

The deadline to link one’s Aadhaar for all services including bank accounts and mobile phones has been extended till March 31, 2018, the Supreme Court ordered on Friday.Existing Aadhaar cardholders will have to furnish their details to open new bank accounts. Those who are yet to receive their unique identification number will have time until March to complete the process. Non-Aadhaar cardholders can open new accounts provided they furnish proof of application for an Aadhar card.”Those who already have Aadhaar cannot go on open a new bank account without Aadhaar. If they have Aadhaar, they will have to furnish it to the bank,” a bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra clarified on Friday.”You see, there is no question of producing Aadhaar enrollment application for those who already possess Aadhaar cards,” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who authored the interim order for the five-judge constitution Bench, said.On Thursday, a five-judge constitution bench that included Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan heard several arguments against the Centre’s direction for mandatory linking of one’s Aadhaar to almost 139 welfare schemes.The top court will now hear every challenge to the constitutionality of the Aadhar in January.

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Cabinet approves proposal to restructure Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL)

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Second Financial Restructuring proposal of Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL), a CPSE under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways (MoR).The conversion of Non-Cumulative Redeemable Preference Shares (RPS), amounting to Rs. 4,079.51 crore, held by President of India through Ministry of Railways, into Compulsorily Convertible Non-Cumulative Preference Shares (CCPS), has been approved. This will shore up the net worth of the Company after implementation of the new accounting standard IND AS.Implementation Strategy and targets:KRCL will have to present the previous year’s Balance Sheet figures restated as per IND-AS, as on 31st March 2016 and those at the opening of the business, ie, as on 1st April 2015. The conversion of the Non-cumulative Redeemable Preference Shares (RPS) into Compulsorily Convertible non-cumulative Preference Shares (CCPS) w.e.f. 31st March 2015 will make KRCL’s net worth positive.Major Impact:Net worth of KRCL will remain positive. A positive Net Worth for the KRCL is a sine qua non for the purpose of raising funds from the market at viable rate of interest, obtaining better credit rating from rating agency, qualify for bidding for new contracts and to take up various sanctioned projects on Konkan Railway route etcKRCL will not be categorized as a Sick Company as per DPE guidelines.Background:As per notification from Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) from the financial year 2016-17 onward, companies having net worth of Rs.500 crore or above as on 31st March, 2014, will have to adopt IND-AS (Indian Accounting Standards i.e. new Accounting Standards introduced on the basis of IFRS) in the preparation and compilation of Accounts. As per IND AS, the Non-Cumulative Redeemable Preference Shares are treated as “Compounded Financial Instruments” and disclosed in two components – other equity and financial liability. The liability component is equal to the present value of the redemption amount on the date of the issue, considering the discount rate at the date of the issue of the preference shares. The other equity represents the component equal to the total redeemable amount of the preference shares less liability component.Thus, a part, of Non-Cumulative Redeemable Preference Share issued to President of India (through MoR) by KRCL will have to be shown as ‘Outside Liability’1 instead of ‘Equity Capital’ in the Balance Sheet of KRCL and the Net Worth of KRCL will turn negative.A negative net worth of KRCL will result in:(i) poor credit rating of KRCL.(ii) difficulty in raising funds from market by KRCL,(iii) difficulty in bidding for new contracts by KRCL and(iv) KRCL will be categorised as ‘sick company’ as per DPE guidelines.In view of the above, KRCL had requested to convert the existing preference shares held in the name of President of India (through MoR) into Compulsorily Convertible non-cumulative Preference Shares (CCPS) w.e.f. 31st March 2015, as CCPS can be considered as share capital under IND AS.

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Enrolment to Std I in BMC schools sees sharp drop

Enrolment to Std I in civic-run schools in Mumbai has come down to 32,218 in 2016-17 from 63,392 students in 2008-09, according to a study by Praja Foundation. This is apparently due to fall in the quality of education provided by the BMC schools.Overall dropout rate was 8 per cent in 2016-17, down from 15 per cent the year before. English medium schools seem to be a better job on this front with a dropout rate of 2 per cent, shows the data released on Tuesday.Praja Foundation had commissioned the to Hansa Research which was conducted in March-April across Mumbai over 20,317 households. Out of this, a total of 3,081 households have children in the age group of 3-15 years and 2,768 households had school-going children. Nearly 400 households surveyed sent their children to municipal schools.If the current trend continues, the enrolment figure will come down to nearly half of the enrolments in 2008-09, says the survey.The study also reveals that compare to private school candidates appeared for scholarship and scholarship holders are very less in MCGM schools. If in private schools candidates appeared for scholarship are 14,690 in 2016-2017, then in MCGM that figure is just 3,276 candidates and scholarship holders in private schools are 10.9% then in MCGM schools are just 0.6% in same year.The total number of students appeared for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) in MCGM in March 2017 were 11,972 whereas this number in private schools are 135,392 and the pass percentage in MCGM is 68.91% whereas in private school is 91.81% shows the study. A fall in the total percentage of MCGM students passing the SSC exam points to a fall in outcomes for municipal school students.Nitai Mehta, founder and managing trustee of Praja Foundation said the BMC must push for penalising teachers for poor student performance. “However, it should ensure that teachers and principals are provided the necessary training, authority and capacity building mechanisms with reference to their school and students.”

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Since assuming power, Centre spent Rs 3,755 crore on ads: RTI

The Narendra Modi government has spent nearly Rs 3,755 crore in its three and a half years in power only on publicity, an RTI revealed on Friday.According to news agency IANS, the expenditure from April 2014 to October 2017 through electronic, print media and outdoor publicity is Rs. 37,54,06,23,616, according to the RTI reply by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.According to the information, the central government spent over Rs. 1,656 crore on electronic media advertisements, including — community radio, digital cinema, Doordarshan, Internet, SMS and TV.For print media, the government spent more than Rs. 1,698 crore.On outdoor advertisements, which include hoardings, posters, booklets and calendars, the central government has spent over Rs. 399 crore, the RTI reveals.In the RTI, the the Ministry gave a breakup of the expenditure according to which Rs. 448 crore was spent from June 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, and Rs. 542 crore and Rs. 120 crore spent from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 and April 1, 2016 to August 31, 2016 respectively.The expenditure was only for television, Internet and other electronic media and did not include expenditure on outdoor and print advertisements.In 2015, another RTI had revealed that the Centre had spent nearly Rs. 8.5 crore on newspaper advertisements for the Prime Minister’s monthly radio address “Mann Ki Baat” till July 2015.

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Discom staff get salary twice due to bank error

This could have been a SMS joke for the Jaipur discom employees when they received text message of getting salary twice this month. The employees got the salary for the previous months on December 2. However on Friday morning they once again received the message . The information of this was circulated amongst the employees and soon it became the talk of the office.As soon as Jaipur discom administration came to know about it , it got in touch with the bank .They got to know that it was due to the bank’s mistake that the salary was credited once again into the accounts of the employees.“We have contacted the bank, there was some error in the way bank processed the salary. They have been asked to correct this,” said M S Palawat, director finance of Jaipur Discom.The electricity company had made annual payment of about Rs 6,12,83,66,398 to its employees in the year ended March 31, 2016 . The amount credited twice not of this magnitude as the officials claimed it was related to salaries of a particular branch of Jaipur Discom.

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Delhi High Court sets aside CIC order holding ministers answerable under RTI

The Delhi High Court has struck down an order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) which declared ministers as “public authorities” under the transparency law.Justice Vibhu Bhakru set aside the order passed on March 12 last year, which had declared that “ministers in the Union Government and all State Governments as public authorities” fall under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.”There was no occasion for the CIC to enter upon the question as to whether a Minister is a public authority under Section 2(h) of the Act. Further, directions issued by the CIC are also wholly outside the scope of the matter before CIC. In view of the above, the order dated March 12, 2016 cannot be sustained and is, accordingly, set aside,” the court said.The court order comes after the Centre had appealed against the CIC order.The CIC directive that ministers were answerable as per the RTI Act would mean that people can directly send questions to a minister by filing an RTI application, which will be answered by a public information officer in his office.The case emanates from the application filed by a man on November 20, 2014 before the Additional Private Secretary, Minister of Law and Justice, seeking to know the time period of when a minister or minister of state, meet the general public.As the information sought was not received, he filed an appeal early in January 2015, to which the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) sent a response on January 16, 2015, informing him that “no specific time has been given for the meeting of general public with the minister. However, as and when requests are received, appointments are given subject to the convenience of the Minister.”Thereafter, the RTI applicant filed a second appeal with principal grievance that he had not received the information sought for within the specified time and therefore, requested that certain action be taken against the concerned CPIO.Presented with this appeal, the CIC went on to frame the questions whether the minister or his office was a “public authority” under the RTI Act, whether a citizen has right to information sought and whether the minister has corresponding obligation to give it.The CIC issued directions to the government to provide necessary support to each minister including designating some officers or appointing some as Public Information Officers (PIO) and First Appellate Authorities. It had also directed that ministers be given an official website for suo motu disclosure of information with periodical updating as prescribed under Section 4 of the RTI Act.While hearing the appeal filed by the Centre, Justice Bhakru observed, “This court finds it difficult to understand as to how the questions as framed by the CIC arise in the appeal.”QUESTION OF RTIThe CIC questioned whether a minister or his office is a “public authority” under the RTI Act. They also asked if a citizen has right to the information sought and whether the minister has corresponding obligation to answer it.
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AoL damaged Yamuna floodplains, rules NGT

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Thursday held the Art of Living Foundation (AoL) responsible for damaging the Yamuna floodplains when it organised a three-day cultural festival in March last year.In its order, the NGT bench headed by Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said, “We hold and declare that AoL is responsible for causing damage and environmental degradation of the floodplain of river Yamuna limited to the area that was awarded to it by DDA and the State of UP, in terms of the report of the High Powered Committee.”The bench, however, did not impose any further fine, ordering that the amount of Rs 5 crore AoL had submitted earlier would be used to restore the floodplains.Responding to the NGT order, the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar-led foundation called the judgment “erroneous and untenable” and said it would move the Supreme Court against the verdict.The green tribunal ordered that the Yamuna riverbed should not be used to hold any such cultural activities in future, while directing the DDA to assess the damage caused on floodplains and calculate the cost of restoration as per the recommendations of the expert panel appointed by it. The expert panel had earlier told NGT that an estimated Rs 42.02 crore would be required to restore Yamuna floodplainsThe bench said “in the event, the expenditure for that purpose on the portion of the land forming part of Phase-II of the project of DDA is found to be in excess of Rs5 crore, DDA would be at liberty to recover the said amount and AoL shall be liable to pay the said amount on demand.””If finally, the expenditure to be incurred on that amount is less than Rs 5 crore, the remaining would be refunded by DDA to AoL,” it said. Pulling up the DDA for failing to maintain the natural features and ecology of the Yamuna floodplains, the bench said the it had failed to exercise its statutory duty in consonance with the environmental laws in force. The bench said that even the Delhi Pollution Control Committee had failed to exercise caution in granting permission to AoL.It should have considered the request for permission in accordance with environmental laws in force, it said.The AoL had held the World Culture Festival in March last year in which it had constructed a stage over an area of seven acres on the Yamuna floodplains. The cultural extravaganza attended by thousands from across the country including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many other VIPs.The NGT was informed that Justice R S Rathore, who had earlier heard the matter, had recused from the bench.”We are not in agreement with the verdict. AoL is disappointed with the decision taken by the NGT for damaging Yamuna floodplains during its World Culture Festival,” the AoL stated, claiming that its submissions had not been dealt with/considered.”We will appeal to the Supreme Court. We are confident that we will get justice before the Supreme Court,” AoL said.The orderNo fine was imposed. The Rs 5 crore submitted by AOL earlier will be used to restore the floodplainsThe Yamuna riverbed should not be used to hold any such cultural activities in future
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China claims Indian drone ‘invaded airspace in crash’

China is “strongly dissatisfied” at what it calls an “invasion of airspace”, report state media.

Peripheral E-ways to be delayed further

Already delayed by eight years, the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways — planned as a bypass for vehicles coming from other states and not bound for Delhi — are not expected to complete anytime soon. Acquisition of land from farmers is stuck at various places in Haryana. The latest deadline for the projects was March next year. They are expected to reduce Delhi’s congestion by 50 per cent and cut the rising air pollution. But they will again miss the deadline. The entire project would form a ring road around Delhi with a total length of 270 km. While a length of 183 km passes through Haryana, the remaining 87 km passes through Uttar Pradesh.Admitting that the Western Expressway will not be complete on time, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Monday that land acquisition is creating problems in carrying out development projects across the country. “But one needs to understand that not a single protest has happened in the process so far,” he said.Khattar attributed the problems in acquiring land to the Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation’s (HSIIDC) poor planning. “…it is not only causing Delhi’s air pollution but also affecting Haryana’s development,” he said. The Western Expressway is being constructed by concessionaire Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway (KMPE) Ltd, and HSIIDC is responsible for the project. The total project cost had been estimated at Rs 1,915 crore.The Eastern Expressway is being implemented by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).In Western Peripheral Expressway, around 80 per cent work is complete, but land acquisition problems in a few villages are delaying the project. In Western Expressway, the work has now started. Reacting to the delay in the project, vice-president of Essel Infra, Chandra Prakash, said: “We’re ahead of time. But there are some minor hiccups. If they are resolved, the project will be completed soon. Otherwise it will not be possible.”Framer Ram Niwas of Mandothi village near Bahadurgarh said, “We’re not against the project. Problem is, construction is planned on our land that has not been acquired.”Land IssuesAs farmers refused to part with their land, acquisition is stuck at various places in Haryana. The latest deadline for the projects was March next year.
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Parents in fix over upper age limit of nursery kids

With nursery admissions for 2018-19 round the corner, parents in the national Capital are gearing up for the rigorous procedure. Those, who could not get their wards enrolled last year, are in a fix after the Delhi High Court recently upheld the upper age limit of four years as prescribed by the AAP government for admissions into nursery classes.“After upper-age for nursery being fixed to 4 yrs by March 31, 2018, parents who could not get a nursery seat for their wards are in panic mode as their wards are exceeding the age bar. We are receiving hundreds of queries every day,” said Sumit Vohra, founder, admissionsnursery.com, an online portal for all nursery admission related queries.The admission schedule for over 1,700 recognised private unaided schools, which offer approximately 1.25 lakh seats in nursery every year, is expected to be issued in the coming week. Until last year, no upper age limit was set up by the government.“My son will turn exactly 4 years 1 month and 20 days old on March 31, 2018. I have no clue if we will be able to enroll him in nursery this year,” said Ritika Kumar, a parent, who missed a seat last year. Similarly, another parent, who has been seeking a nursery seat for her daughter, said, “Fixing upper age limit will be a disaster as it will end up depriving thousands of children from taking admission into nursery.”However, the Delhi government’s Department of Education (DoE) issued guidelines applicable for admission into nursery, KG and class I, but there are very few vacancies available in schools in the latter two.“There are very few vacancies in KG in schools across the city and also admission in them are dependent on the vacancies available. Most importantly, few schools, mostly minority schools have KG as entry level option and half of their seats are reserved, leaving even lesser options for general category students,” Vohra said. AGE AGENDAThe admission schedule for over 1,700 recognised private unaided schools, which offer approximately 1.25 lakh seats in nursery every year, is expected to be issued in the coming week. Until last year, no upper age limit was set up by the government.
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Modi government weakened anti-corruption Lokpal Act: Anna Hazare

Social activist Anna Hazare has alleged that the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre weakened the anti-corruption Lokpal Act.”Former prime minister Manmohan Singh rarely speaks, but he had also weakened the Lokpal law (when it was framed).”Modi has further weakened the law by presenting an amendment in Parliament on July 27, 2016 through which a provision was made that relatives of (government) officers including wife, son, daughter and others will not have to submit details of their properties every year,” Hazare said, talking to reporters here last evening.Also readAnna Hazare backs Varun Gandhi’s ‘Right to Recall’ billThe anti-corruption crusader was here to take part in a three-day `Jal Sammelan’, a convention of water conservation, which concluded last evening.”As per the original law, it was mandatory for (government official’s) family members to submit their property details,” Hazare said.”The amendment bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in just one day, without any debate. It was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on July 28, and on July 29 it was sent to President for his signature. The law…was weakened in just three days,” he said.Also read’Not wishing, but it will happen’ – Modi govt likely to get UPA 2-like corruption tag: ChidambaramHazare, who recently announced an agitation in the national capital on the issues of Lokpal and farmers’ problems on March 23, said he had written several letters to prime minister Modi on various issues, but never received any reply.Talking about the agrarian distress, Hazare claimed that as per a 1950 act, compound interest cannot be levied on crop loans, but banks charge the same nonetheless and the government is not doing anything about it.He demanded that farmers above the age of 60 should get a monthly pension of Rs 5,000.
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To curb crowding, new jail to come up in Mankhurd

In a bid to ease overcrowding in jails in and around Mumbai, the state government has approved the allocation of land at Mankhurd for constructing a prison.The high-security Arthur Road jail will also get additional infrastructure with work on two barracks meant to intern prisoners being completed by March 2018. The jail, which houses prisoners like former deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, has many more inmates than its sanctioned capacity.A senior home department official said that in a recent meeting, chief secretary Sumit Mullick had asked for 5 acre land at Mankhurd to be made available for the construction of the prison.”The plot, which belongs to the revenue department, has been earmarked for the construction of a correctional facility in the BMC’s development plan… the public works department (PWD) will be asked to draw up plans for the jail after we take possession of the land,” he added, stating that the work would begin after the land was handed over to the Maharashtra prison department.Maharashtra Prison Department officials said that the construction of this new facility, along with two new barracks housing around 400 prisoners being commissioned at the Arthur Road jail, would ease the burden on the jails in and around Mumbai. As on October-end, the state’s prisons, which have a capacity to house 23,942 inmates, including both undertrials and convicts, housed 32,752 such people. The overcrowding is more intense in Mumbai, Thane and Pune.NEW LAND FOR JAILA senior home department official said that in a recent meeting, chief secretary Sumit Mullick had asked for 5 acre land at Mankhurd to be made available for the construction of the prison. As on October, state’s prisons, which have a capacity to house 23,942 inmates, including both under-trials and convicts, housed 32,752 people.
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India’s 3-year solar, wind energy roadmap to surpass 2022 renewable energy target

A few hiccups notwithstanding, India’s renewable energy sector seems poised for massive growth in the next four years. India is confident it will exceed its renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022 as it plans to award 100 GW of solar and wind contracts by 2020 and surpass 200 GW by 2022 according to the power ministry. The government also aims to promote domestic solar manufacturing and help increase wind turbine export.Consider the roadmap: 16GW of solar tenders by March 31 (2018), 30GW each in 2019, 2020 and nearly 10GW of floating solar capacity to be built on reservoirs. Solar equipment manufacturers to establish local units to supply domestic market. 4GW wind energy targets this year, 10GW each in 2019 and 2020, 5GW in off-shore projects and EXIM bank to help manufacturers boost wind turbine export. The government also plans to encourage farmers to generate 20GW of solar power.The power minister RK Singh said the government plans to establish domestic manufacturing facilities for up to 20GW which will be set up through global bids. The government has not considered incentivising domestic manufacturers as the tender itself will create demand for solar equipment in the country. The ministry expects to resolve the issue of GST rates on solar panels in the next 7-10 days.The power ministry has also complained to the finance ministry that customs officials are wrongfully demanding 7.5% duty on imported solar equipment, which has led to ports getting jammed with shipments.He also warned of penalties for solar power firms that are using foreign equipment in projects awarded on the basis that they would only use locally made solar panels and cells. It will be mandatory for developers to disclose the radio-frequency identification (RFID) information of the panels and share the RFID list of rejected panels.Meanwhile India has scored a diplomatic ’victory’ at Bonn when China announced its decision to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) – which is initiated by India. Analysts say its China’s way to corner the solar energy market and a wake-up call for India which now needs to step up with affordable solutions.Nagpur Metro has decided to go for captive solar power generation and will get it at Rs 4.50/kWh, while it will use more expensive (@Rs. 7.5/kWh) conventional power in the evening.Also Goa will introduce solar powered boats to revive river commutes. Residents can now get a calm, smoke-free cruise. India’s first solar ferry for public transport has been launched in Kerala by NavAlt, a Kochi-based company, earlier this year. The firm’s officials may visit Goa to study local conditions.
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Restoration work at historic Raigad Fort to begin on December 15

The Historic fort of Raigad will soon have a new look as the actual work for the proposed restoration of the fort commences from December 15. The divisional commissioner Jagdish Patil visited Raigad Fort last week and reviewed the progress of the conservation plans for the fort. He directed the officials to complete the time bound action plan for the four sanctioned works out of total 19 works on the fort.Fort Raigad is around 160 kms from Mumbai and falls in Raigad district located off Mumbai-Goa highway near Mahad. It is considered as Gibralter of the East and built in 1030 AD by Chandrarao More. It was made Capital of Maratha empire by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who had his coronation at this Fort in 1674.After coming to power in October 2014, the present Devendra Fadnavis government ad prepared a detailed plan for the conservation of Raigad Fort. The state government has sanctioned a plan of Rs 600 crore for conservation and beautification of the fort.The review meeting chaired by Patil was attended by district collector Vijay Suryavansi, district planning officer Sunil Jadhav and other officials. The circumambulation or Parikrama Marg of 13 Kilometers made of stones would be prepared under the sanctioned four works which would be completed by March 2018. In addition to Parikrama Marg, desilting of 13 lakes on the fort would also be undertaken. Displaying the boards providing information in detail on the fort at various places along with history of the places is also included in first four works to be undertaken. The district administration already has received Rs. 59 crores for the first phase of work. Jadhav informed that the first phase of work would be completed by March 2018.
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Flyer slaps Air India staffer, gets slapped back; issue resolved ‘amicably’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A woman passenger allegedly slapped the Air India’s female employee at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport after she was reportedly denied air ticket for reporting late.The passenger, who was boarding the Ahmedabad-bound flight from the IGI airport, was refused by the Air India ground staff to issue the ticket after she failed to appear in the estimated boarding time. The altercation took place after the woman had an argument with the employee.However, the Air India said that a lady passenger going to Ahmedabad arrived late at the airport and missed her flight.”There was an argument between the duty manager and her, following which some altercation took place. That altercation has now been resolved with the help of security and police,” Air India said in a statement. The incident has already been reported to the police and investigation is underway.Earlier in May, the Centre had issued draft rules for a no-fly list for the aviation sector after the instance of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who assaulted an Air India crew member in March.As per the rules, a passenger who displays disruptive behaviour onboard a plane, even when it is is on the ground, can face a flying ban ranging from three months to a lifetime.The duration of the ban will depend on the severity of misdemeanor, which has been divided into three categories – verbal assault, physical fight or sexual assault and life-threatening behaviour.

Willing to extend deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with services, Centre tells SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it was willing to extend the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to various services till March 31, 2018. Currently, the deadline to link various government schemes and banking services to Aadhaar is December 31. A bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra also indicated that it may form a Constitution Bench next week to consider stay on mandatory linking. The Constitution Bench will decide whether any interim orders on Aadhaar issue is to be passed.The court said that it would beging hearing the pleas challenging Aadhaar after the Constitution Bench concludes hearing the Delhi-Centre case.Representing the Centre, Attorney General KK Venugopal asked the top court to list the matter in February next year as Justice Srikrishna commission has issued white paper on data protection and there is a likely to be suggestions from it, which may take some time.
ALSO READ Linking of Aadhaar with personal details dangerous for individuals and society: Mamata BanerjeeSenior Advocate Shyam Diwan, appearing for petitioner seeking interim order, told the bench that he had no objection for listing of matter in February but the court should hear his application.Last month, the Centre had told the apex court that it had extended the deadline extended till March 31 next year for those who do not have the 12-digit biometric identification number.

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

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

100 Andhra lawmakers granted mass leave and the reason will leave you baffled

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Every wedding season, there’s always mayhem in every workplace over one thing — leaves.But that’s not the case if you happen to be a lawmaker from Andhra Pradesh.Not only will you get desired leave, you can ensure that your office buddies don’t miss out on all parties.That’s what happened when 100 lawmakers from the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly were granted mass leave to attend weddings.Yes, bizarre it may sound, but it’s very much true. According to an NDTV report, the MLAs from ruling Telugu Desam Party had written to Kodela Sivaprasad Rao, the Assembly Speaker to grant them leaves for two days.To compensate the loss of work, the lawmakers said that they were ready to work for two extra days.The Speaker has agreed to their demands even as the Assembly is still in session.Among the highest paid lawmakers in the country, the Andhra MLAs will attend the weddings in coming days.Last year, the Andhra Assembly had passed a bill to hike salaries of the legislators in March. According to the Bill, the monthly salary of each lawmaker has been enhanced from Rs 95,000 to Rs 1.25 lakh.There are reports that over one lakh marriages will be solemnised across the state.

Establish facilties to reuse plastic bottles

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After announcing the plan to ban plastic packaged water bottles, environment minister Ramdas Kadam asked plastic bottle manufacturers to establish facilities for collection and re-use of bottles in the market.Kadam, who was speaking at a meeting attended by state officials and industry stakeholders, said a state-appointed committee was working on creating alternatives for plastic bottles. Kadam added that the implementation of the ban on plastic water bottles in government offices and star hotels would begin in the next three months.Kadam has already announced a ban on plastic bags from March 2018 considering its environmental impact. This ban will also cover plastic water bottles in all starred residential hotels, government and local self-government body offices and schools and colleges with restaurants (eating houses), private offices and mass functions proposed to be covered later.

362 buses to go off roads soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Do not be surprised if you find lesser buses on road in the coming days. The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking will scrap 362 buses in 2017-18 which shall curtail the total fleet to 3,337 by March 2018 from the existing 3,750. The BEST is already under financial trouble with heavy losses on its heads, plus the total number of daily passengers has dropped to 30 lakh and the undertaking is finding it difficult to attract people who are using share-taxis and autorickshaws.With deficit hitting Rs 880 crore for the year 2018-19, the BEST cut down the procurement of 303 new buses from Tata to 185. This curtailment was due to the heavy cost of Rs 100 crore which was being paid by the BMC. The BEST recently added six electric buses at cost the of Rs 10 crore to their fleet which is running on short routes.”The turnout of buses has dropped considerably and the fleet is unable to complete 22-24 per cent of the daily kilometres. The main reasons are absenteeism of drivers and conductors and traffic jams wherein buses get stuck on road and thus these buses are stuck inside depots,” said S Kavtankar, member, BEST committee.Another reason why existing buses are stuck inside depots is because the electronic ticket issuing machines are not working. Several machines out of the 9,000 are lying in depots as they have reached their codal lives. The demand for buses have dropped with Metro and Monorail coming up.

Assam told to accept ration card to update citizen data

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following multiple instances where retired Army jawans in Assam were asked to prove their Indian citizenship, the Ministry of Home Affairs has told the state government that the ration card can be used to update data in the National Register of Citizens.The ministry in a letter to NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela has said that the ration card is to be treated as a valid ‘supporting document’ for the purpose of citizenship update, which is due on December 31.The letter also stated that while village panchayat certificates will not be considered valid until the Supreme Court rules on it, the ration card is can be accepted for the purpose.”While approving modalities dated March 13, 2015, the list of documents that were admissible, which were to be enclosed by each applicant was also approved. The list contained two supporting documents –ration cards and Gaon Panchayat certificates, issued by the Secretary of Village Panchayat. It is clarified that all documents as appearing on March 13, 2015, except Gaon Panchayat certificates, which is sub-judice, are valid documents.”The ministry’s latest move will bring relief to those refugees who entered Assam and were given shelter, ration cards by the erstwhile Congress government.The letter also said that that careful scrutiny and thorough investigation is done before disposing applications based on ration cards in accordance with Citizenship Rules of 2003.The letter said, “As far as linkage is concerned, all legally admissible documents may be accepted.”WHAT PROMPTED THE MOVEThe Home Ministry wrote to the state government following reports of retired Army jawans being asked to prove their nationality
The Centre said that the ration card is a valid ‘supporting document’ to update the National Register of Citizens
Citizens have to update their details before Dec 31

Mumbai: BMC corporators raise objections on delay of funds

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Corporators from all parties on Wednesday raised an objection on the defunct System Application Product (SAP) of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) which is delaying the developmental work of the city. Mangesh Satamkar Standing Committee member and Shiv Sena corporator put forth the point of order in the standing committee and demanded six more months extension for spending the yearly funds given to the corporators.BMC corporators get Rs.60 lakh as corporator fund, another one crore rupees is sanctioned as budgetary funds and if the corporators is a member of some committees like a standing committee, improvements committee, etc he gets more Rs. 25 lakh and also some money they get from Mayors fund which brings the total to Rs.2 to 3 crores received by each corporator yearly. They are supposed to utilise the sanctioned money between the financial year April to March or otherwise, the budget will lapse.Satamkar said, “This time the budget is given to corporators in July month, as the allocation of budget delayed it will eventually further delay the expenditure. Also, the tenders are not being accepted by the SAP process, therefore, all developmental work has delayed. “He further remarked, “Being a public representative voters will question us regarding what work we have done? and due to defunct SAP process, the work cannot be started. Also, as SAP is not blocking the budget money for the work to be undertaken, the yearly funds sanctioned to all corporators will lapse and there will be allegations like corporators used only 10% of their funds etc.”In addition, he alleged due to the newly introduced Goods and Service Tax (GST) problems have increased like the civic officials are still confused how much percentage GST they should apply whether 5% is applicable or 18%, they are clueless for a particular project.

Gujarat couple await DeMo money, Gujarat High Court sends notice to RBI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to Reserve Bank of India for not depositing money in the accounts of a senior citizen even after nine months, though he had tendered Rs47, 000 worth of scrapped notes in March.Rashmikant Shah and his wife has moved a petition alleging that the RBI had failed to return their money on time. Now the court should direct them to return the money with interest.The matter came up for hearing before the first division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi, where the petitioners’ advocate submitted that the elderly couple were facing great difficulties as the RBI failed to deposit Rs 47,000 in their account. After hearing the primary submission, the court has issued a notice to the RBI asking them to file a reply by December 11.The couple claimed that they were in the UK from Septmber 2016 to January 2017. They submitted their passport and visa to the court. On November 8, the Union government implemented demonetization and gave time till December 31 to exchange the scrapped currency with the RBI.They said that they approached the RBI in Mumbai in March after completing all formalities and tendered the scatrapped currency. They were assured that they will get their money within a fortnight. But even in two months after that, they did not receive the money. Every time they approached the bank, heyw ere given new dates.Rashmikant said he had tendered 25 notes of Rs 1,000 and his wife deposited six notes of Rs 1,000 and 32 notes of Rs 500. They had incurred Rs 10,000 as expenses for traveling to Mumbai and staying there for two days to complete the process. Their advocate said that the court should direct the bank to deposit the same with interest to the account.

P Chidambaram gets relief in Madras HC, IT order quashed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a relief to P Chidambaram, the Madras High Court quashed an order of the Income Tax department seeking payment of tax by the former finance minister and his family on income from a coffee estate owned by them for 2008-09 financial year after re-assessing it. Justice T S Sivagnanam yesterday quashed March 31, 2016 demand notice and the consequential December 30 reassessment order issued by the assistant commissioner of Income Tax, Chennai, seeking payment of about Rs 6 lakh from Chidambaram and others.He was allowing petitions by Chidambaram and his family members challenging the notice and the re-assessment order. The matter relates to the petitioners claiming exemption of entire income from sale of coffee and pepper from their estate in Coorg in Karnataka in 2008-09 as agricultural income under section 10(1) of the Income Tax Act, which was allowed then. The I-T department had issued the demand notice saying there was reason to believe that income chargeable to tax had escaped assessment.Challenging this, the petitioners alleged that the I-T department’s action in reopening the assessment and reassessing the income for 2008-09 six years later was illegal and arbitrary and made only with an intention to defame them. Besides Chidambaram, the senior Congress leader’s son Karti, daughter-in-law Srinidhi and wife Nalini are the other petitioners.They submitted that income from the sale would attract tax only if they were involved in curing coffee. But they only sold raw coffee seeds and proceeds of sale of which was an agricultural income exempted under the I-T act.They further claimed there were several hundreds of coffee growers whose income had been exempted from tax on this ground. The reassessment order was issued without disposing of their objections to the reopening of assessment and without passing a speaking order, the petitioners contended adding this was in violation of the law laid down by the Supreme Court. Justice Sivagnanam, in his order, said as stated in a Supreme Court verdict the obligation on the part of the assessee does not extend beyond fully and truly disclosing all primary facts and it was for the assessing officer to take an inference on facts and law based on such disclosure.The respondent’s submission that the reassessment was made since his predecessor did not come to a proper inference on the facts disclosed (on agricultural income) was no ground to reopen the matter, he said adding it only reflected a change of opinion. Further, there was no allegation against the petitioners that they had not disclosed fully and truly all material facts necessary for assessment for that year, the judge said. “The impugned proceedings, namely, the notice for reopening and the consequential assessment orders are held to be illegal, unsustainable and a clear case of change of opinion and the impugned proceedings are quashed,” he ordered.

Arun Jaitley denies govt lowered GST on over 200 goods due to electoral compulsions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today debunked Congress’ claim that it forced the government to lower tax on over 200 goods, saying rationalisation of rates was in works for 3-4 months and it is “juvenile politics” to link it to any election or political demand.Rejecting Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s demand for a single rate of tax, he said there is scope for further rationalisation of rate but the course will be decided by revenues that accrue from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that was implemented from July this year. “This rationalisation is 3-4 month exercise,” he said, adding that the GST Council decided on the rate cut on the recommendation of a Fitment Committee.The decisions in the GST Council are “all consensus decisions,” he said. “This is really juvenile politics to link it with either elections or political demands”. The GST Council, which Jaitley heads, had last week brought down tax rate on 178 products from 28 per cent to 18 per cent and pushed down several others in lower bracket. Congress, which has made high tax rates and increased compliance burden in the GST regime an election issue in the run up to the assembly elections in Gujarat, claimed credit for the move.Its vice president Rahul Gandhi had demanded a single rate of up to 18 per cent GST tax as against 0, 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent slabs currently. Explaining the rationale for the rationalisation in rates of goods and services that have been done after the launch of the GST in July, Jaitley said the principle objective is that the transition has to be smooth and not abrupt. He said almost every item is better off than it was in July 1.”Those who are speaking of a single rate GST have no understanding of the tariff structure. Food items have to be taxed at Nil. Common man items have to be taxed at the lowest range of 5 per cent. “Luxury goods, sin products and products hazardous to environment and health cant be taxed at the same rate as aam admi (common man) product. So, wheat, rice, sugar cant be taxed at the rate as Mercedes car or yacht or tobacco,” he said. Without taking any names, he said those who speak of single rate have “no elementary understanding” of GST.He, however, said there is a scope for rationalisation of rate.”In 4 months we have rationalised the 28 per cent slab. Such rationalisation (will happen in future) depending on revenue buoyancy will take place,” he said. He went on to reel out the benefits of GST saying there is a single rate for products across the country, all inter- state barriers have gone and inspectors have disappeared. “You only have to address software (issue with filing of tax return). I think there is already a net advantage in medium and long term, smooth and a larger market and revenue buoyancy,” he said.Jaitley said the government expects all the tax rate benefit to be passed on to consumers, helping bring down inflation. “This is the advantage of an efficient tax system.” “Rationalisation process in the transition will always continue. So, wherever there is scope for improvement and procedural simplification will always continue,” he said. As the transition from over a dozen central and state levies to a single GST, the Council has been very pragmatic and flexible. “It has not been rigid. We react to market realities,” he added. On the decision of lowering tax on food bill in restaurants to 5 per cent from 18 per cent previously, the finance minister said the Council has taken a tough decision to deny the restaurant owners the right to set off tax paid on inputs from the tax on products as they had “unfairly” “pocketed” tax credit and did not pass on the credit to consumers.After the November 10 decision of the GST Council, Gandhi said the Congress will continue to fight for a lower 18 per cent tax for all products. “India need a simple GST, not a Gabbar Singh Tax. People of India and the Congress fought to bring down the rates of many items under the 28 per cent slab. Our struggle will continue to have a single rate and an 18 per cent cap. If the BJP doesn’t do it, Congress will show how to do it,” he tweeted on November 11.Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, “Ministry of Finance must be complimented for ‘improving’ macro-economic situation in 4 months and 10 days! This is the time taken for common sense to germinate, flower and ripen into a fruit”. He said on November 10 that “Gujarat elections did what Parliament and common sense could not do”. Jaitley said the Council has simplified the return filing process till March because GST is in its early days and it was important to get people into the habit of filing regular returns. Last week the Council decided to simplify return filing till March 31, 2018, to bring down compliance burden. When asked about anti-GST sentiment, Jaitley said “there is an initial reluctance whenever there is a change. But, I have no doubt that in medium and long term businesses will realise that this is a change for better

SC refuses to entertain plea against Aadhaar-mobile linking, says similar petitions pending

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a plea challenging the linking of mobile numbers with Aadhaar, saying several similar petitions were already pending before it.The apex court said it may not be necessary to entertain one more petition as the PILs were raising similar issue. A bench of justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan granted liberty to petitioner Tehseen Poonawala to file an application for impleadment as a party in the pending matter, which are scheduled to come up before a Constitution Bench in the last week of this month. “As a number of writ petitions have already been filed raising the issue which is raised in the present petition, it may not be necessary to entertain one more petition as PIL. It would be open to the petitioner to intervene in the petitions already filed by moving an appropriate application,” the bench said and disposed of the plea.Advocate Zoheb Hossain, representing the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), had earlier told the bench that 27 petitions related to Aadhaar were already pending consideration before the apex court. The plea filed by Poonawala had sought a direction for quashing of the notification of March 23, issued by Department of Telecommunication (DoT) on the issue of linking mobile numbers with Aadhaar, and holding it “unconstitutional” and “null and void”.It also sought direction to the telecom operators to prevent them from implementing the notification and destroy the data already collected. The apex court had on February 6 asked the Centre to put in place within a year an effective mechanism to scrutinise the details of identity of over 100 crore existing and future mobile telephone consumers.It had on November 3 made it clear that banks and telecom service providers will have to indicate the last date of linking bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar in their communications with customers.Currently, the last date to link Aadhaar with bank accounts is December 31 this year while for mobile numbers, it is February 6, 2018. On October 30, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had said a constitution bench would be set up and Aadhaar-related matters would come up for hearing before it in November last.

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: After Pakistan blinks, Nirmala Sitharaman says, ‘his meeting with wife will be morale booster’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Pakistan allowed former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his wife in jail across border, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that India is continuously trying for his release and that in case this meeting happens, it would help Jadhav to stay strong.Sitharaman, who is in Gujarat for BJP’s election campaign, said that ‘we are trying our best for his release.’When asked about the Pakistan’s offer, the Defence Minister said that while we are trying for his release, in case the meeting happen, it will be a morale booster for Jadhav.The 46-year-old was arrested in March last year on charges on espionage. The Pakistan authorities alleged that Jadhav was working with RA&W and was involved in terrorist activities in strife-torn Balochistan region.After nearly four months of trail termed as ‘farcical’ trial, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court. But, India moved to International Court of Justice and in major victory, the ICJ stayed Jadhav’s death sentence in May this year.

BMC spent Rs 100cr in SC, 73% cases pending

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The rising number of cases of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) at various courts can be gauged by the fact that the civic body has already spent over Rs100 crore in the last four years to pay fees and other charges for Supreme Court (SC) cases. But, only 27 per cent of the cases involving the BMC in the last four years have been disposed of. Many of the cases disposed of were settled mutually.As per the figures available from the BMC’s account department, the legal department has spent around Rs 105.21 crore from 2013-14 to 2016-17 for SC cases. However, in every fiscal, the legal department could ensure disposal of only around 24 per cent to 30 per cent cases.Because of inefficiency and lack of efforts, the number of cases in the SC continues to be over 150. In the beginning of April 2016, 179 cases were pending, and 53 new cases were lodged, taking the total to 232 cases in that fiscal.However, the legal team of the BMC could have disposed of 63 cases that fiscal with 29.74 per cent success. In the beginning of April 2017, the BMC had 163 cases pending.According to sources, senior civic officials are now looking after each and every case minutely to check unnecessary expenses. “Senior officials also found that legal team deputed even six senior lawyers for a single case and spent lakh of rupees for a single hearing,” said the source, adding that even the legal department deputed three lawyers in cases where the civic body was a third party.Shockingly, the situation is worse in High Court cases where the civic body could ensure 6.46 per cent cases were disposed of from April 2016 to March 2017.OTHER COURTSOnly 6.46 per cent High Court cases​ were disposed of​ from April 2016 to March 2017 The situation is not encouraging in cases pending at City Civil court where of the 15,997 cases, the legal department could have solved 10.16 per cent cases.

‘Bharatmala’ to benefit border districts of state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Border districts in Rajasthan are going to be the biggest beneficiaries of central government’s ambitious ‘Bharatmala’ project. The project will strengthen road network in border areas connecting villages on the western front with national highways.Under the project, the state will have 1800km roads running through Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Barmer and Sriganganagar with estimated expenditure of Rs 10,000 crore. Apart from strategic benefits, the network will also provide the transport facility to the people in these tough terrains who have been living without roads even during peace time.National highway authority of India (NHAI) will begin work on 1400km roads in March next year. The project will be completed in two years. “This is an important project from national security point of view as well as providing road connectivity to the people in border areas,” said MK Jain, NHAI CGM.Since, land could not be acquired for 400km stretch; the work will begin after completion of acquisition process. The road network in border areas is in pathetic condition at present.The central government has prepared 10 packages for Rajasthan, under which eight in Barmer and two in Jodhpur would connect these districts with other border districts. The DPR consultant has been appointed and agreements have been signed. The package include road connectivity to Tanot from Jaisalmer, Munabao to Tanot, Pokran to Uttarlai, Ganganagar to Suratgarh and Baap to Ramdevra. All packages will have four-lane paved shoulders.

Poisar river clean-up gets new lease of life

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>River March, a community-led initiative to save the rivers of Mumbai, inspired by Versova-based lawyer Afroz Shah’s biggest beach clean-up drives in the world is planning to replicate a similar model along with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to ensure a complete clean up of the Poisar river.”Every year, we hear of multi-crore contracts being allotted to clean up Poisar river and its tributaries, but it is never effectively carried out. Garbage and trash collects all over the stretch right from the mouth of the river near Kranti Nagar and the plastic and other waste simply ends up in the creek after being washed down during rains,” said Sagar Vira, a River March volunteer and Kandivli resident, adding that inspired by Shah, they too have decided to initiate a detailed Poisar River Clean up campaign with help from the BMC and the community.In fact, members of the March had started a clean-up drive at the mouth of Poisar river in April this year, but it did not yield the expected result due to lack of support from the BMC. “We are preparing a detailed plan, which is to divide the entire campaign into phases. While cleaning of the existing waste in and around the river along with the BMC is the most important aspect, we also have to ensure monitoring of the cleaning carried out by contractors pre-monsoon,” said Vira.”There also has to be an emphasis on awareness dissuading people living along the river bank from throwing waste into the river,” he said.The team has already sent letters to BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta and Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis, who has been taking a keen interest in the river rejuvenation plan.”We cannot leave things to the BMC and wait for them to clean up our river and hence we as citizens will have to actively take part in ensuring that we save Poisar river. We are also planning to meet the CM to personally brief him about the campaign to ensure BMC’s participation,” said Gopal Jhaveri, founder of River March movement.The team that will be surveying the entire 14-kilometre stretch to suggest interventions required under the campaign is also eager to pick up locations along the river that can be beautified and information about Poisar river and its relevance can be shared along with also using social media to spread information about the campaign.

IRMA team into honey biz wins international accolade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A team from the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) is among one of the six winning teams that pitched its social enterprise ideas for change, after an eight month journey of mentorship, overseas study visit and social entrepreneurial learning and exchange.A total of 16 teams, representing eight countries and territories were shortlisted from a pool of 138 participants at the 2017 Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) workshop held in March this year. The YSE, organised by Singapore International Foundation (SIF), is a social enterprise programme that nurtures an international network of youth keen in social issues through entrepreneurial means.The team from IRMA, Chaitanya Powar, Abhishek Sharma and Harikrishan Santhosh pitched their social enterprise Auctorem Solutions to the panel of judges at the final pitching session held on November 3. The sustainable venture based in the Western Ghat region of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, works with tribes to facilitate collection, extraction, purification and sales of natural and medicinal honey from the forests.Chaitanya said, “As against other players in the market, we provide safety gears and use scientific method of extracting honey. While we are giving livelihood to the tribal community, we are also ensuring that the beehive is not completely damaged.”Six teams were eventually awarded up to $ 20,000 in seed funding and were selected based on the impact, scalability and sustainability of their social enterprise, and the commitment level of its members.Interestingly, one of the winning team from Singapore, Freedom Cups, headed by sisters Rebecca Paranjothy and Vanessa Paranjothy, produces reusable menstrual cups for women and works on a model buy-1, give-1 where every purchase allows a woman from an underprivileged background to have clean periods.Rebecca said, “Sanitary pads and tampons produce so much waste on this planet. Our freedom cups can be used for 10 years and are hygienic.”Another Indian team that won the competition was Lakshya Jeevan Jagriti run by Summaiya Afreen and Rahul Goswami which strives to enhance the relation between the literacy level of mother and child through dual-generation strategies.8 COUNTRIESA total of 16 teams, representing eight countries and territories were shortlisted from a pool of 138 participants at the 2017 YSE workshop held in March this year.
YSE was organised by Singapore I’ntl Foundation.

Banks and telecom service providers have to indicate last day for linking Aadhaar: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court today made it clear that banks and telecom service providers will have to indicate the last date of linking bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar in their communications with customers.Currently, the last date to link Aadhaar with bank accounts is December 31 this year while for mobile numbers, it is February 6, 2018.The top court did not pass any interim order on the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act as well as linking of 12-digit unique biometric identification number with bank accounts and mobile numbers.It said that final hearing in all Aadhaar-related issues would start before another bench in the last week of November and that bench would decide on the issue. Moreover, the Centre has already extended the deadline till December 31.A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan was told by the advocates representing the petitioners that “panic” was being caused among the people as the messages sent by the banks and mobile service providers were warning them the services would be deactivated if Aadhaar is not linked.”We make it clear that in the messages sent by banks and telecom service providers, the date of December 31, 2017 and February 6, 2018, shall also be indicated as the last date of linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers,” the bench said.The court issued notice to the Centre on four separate pleas and tagged them with the main petition which would come up for final hearing before a constitution bench.At the outset, the bench said that since another bench was scheduled to commence the hearing on Aadhaar-related pleas from the last week of November, the matters listed before it should also be decided by that bench.Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing one of the petitioners, referred to the recent affidavit filed by the Centre and said it has been told by the government that the December 31 deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts may be extended up to March 31, 2018.”The notification says the process (of linking Aadhaar with bank accounts) should be completed by December 31, 2017 or else the accounts would cease to operate. Now, they say it may be extended till March 31, 2018.Therefore, till March 31, bank accounts should not be made non-operational,” he said.He said Attorney General K K Venugopal had recently mentioned the matter before Chief Justice Dipak Misra but not made a statement that no coercive action would be taken till March 31, 2018 against those who have not linked their mobiles or bank accounts with Aadhaar.”The whole idea is not to coerce people. If they are extending the deadlines, this aspect must be clarified,” Divan argued while also raising the issue of linking of Aadhaar with mobile numbers.When the bench asked the Attorney General about it, Venugopal referred to the apex court’s judgement declaring right to privacy as a fundamental right and said in that verdict, Justice D Y Chandrachud had emphasised on a robust regime for protection of data.He said the report of Justice Sri Krishna committee, which has initiated the process of reviewing the entire issue of data protection, is likely to be ready by first week of March and that is why he had mentioned the matter before the CJI for extension of time till March 31, 2018 for linking of Aadhaar to avail the benefits of various government schemes.”It was opposed tooth and nail (by the petitioners). The court had said it will hear it in the last week of November,” the Attorney General said.When the petitioners again said the Centre should not take coercive action against anyone till March 31 next year, the bench said, “till December 31, time is already there”.”Since the final hearing in these matters would start in the end of November and time is already extended up to December 31, 2017, there is no need to pass any interim order at this stage.”However, liberty is granted to the petitioners to press prayer for stay in case the hearing does not take place or continue beyond that,” the bench said.At the fag end of the hearing, senior advocates Arvind Datar, Anand Grover and K V Vishwanathan, representing the petitioners, said the Centre cannot compel the citizens to link Aadhaar either with bank accounts or mobile numbers.Datar said that under the prevention of money laundering rules, the government cannot say that bank accounts would be discontinued after December 31 unless linked with Aadhaar.”There is no doubt that these arguments need consideration. The matter is going to come up in the last week of November and the time (to link Aadhaar with bank accounts) has been extended till December 31,” the bench said.Vishwanathan argued that the Centre should tell the banks and mobile service providers not to send messages to customers threatening them of deactivation of accounts or mobile numbers if they fail to link it with Aadhaar as the “public is in a panicky situation due to this”.On October 30, a bench headed by the CJI had said that a constitution bench would be constituted and Aadhaar-related matters would come up for hearing before it in November last.

Indian man rearrested after completing 10 years in prison in US

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An Indian national has been rearrested after he was released from prison following the completion of his 10 years term as authorities believe that he poses threat to public safety.Jerald Peter Dsouza, 58, was arrested by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers after he was released from a private jail where he served sentence for using the internet to induce a minor, who he believed to be a 13-year- old girl, to engage in criminal sexual activity.Dsouza remains in the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), federal authorities said yesterday.He was convicted in US District Court, Eastern District of California, in March 2009, ICE said.”ICE places a high priority on identifying, arresting and removing foreign nationals with criminal records who pose a threat to public safety — whether they’re in the United States legally or illegally,” said William P Joyce, acting field office director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in El Paso.

Price hike makes cooking gas ‘dearer’ this November

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The non-subsidised cooking gas cylinder will come at a higher price now. In an order issued on late Tuesday night, the price has been increased by Rs 93.50.Accordingly, a 14.2 kg non- subsidised cylinder will cost Rs 730, effective for the month of November. This cylinder was till now costing Rs 636.50 for the consumers and the sudden increase of Rs 93.50 has not gone down with the consumers who have exhausted the limits of subsidised gas cylinders.The rate of commercial gas cylinder of 19 kg has also been increased by Rs146.50. Now, this cylinder will cost Rs 1,314.50 to the commercial establishments. The rates were earlier revised in the start of the month of October. Also, the price of subsidised cylinder has been increased by Rs 4.50 and now the cylinder will cost Rs 495.69 to the consumers.The union government had earlier this year asked the oil companies to increase the rates of subsidised cooking gas by Rs 4 per cylinder every month, to eliminate all subsidies by March next year.Notably, each household is entitled to 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each at subsidised rates in a year. Beyond which the demand is to be met from non-subsidised cylinders available at market price.RATES REVISEDA 14.2 kg non- subsidised cylinder will cost Rs 730, effective for November. This cylinder was till now costing Rs 636.50 The rate of 19 kg commercial gas cylinder has also been increased by Rs 146.50, which will now cost Rs 1,314.50.

BMC to discuss power, water cut in bldgs without OC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During the standing committee meeting on Wednesday, the civic administration will table a proposal to disconnect water and electricity supply to newly constructed buildings that have not obtained occupation certificate (OC) from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).Dilip Lande, a corporator from Kurla and the then group leader of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), had put up the proposal during the general body meeting in March 2017. Lande had demanded that the BMC should not give water connection to buildings that have not obtained OC from the civic body. Apart from Lande, other corporators too had demanded the same during the meeting.Corporators had alleged that there are many buildings in the city which have not obtained OC from BMC, but are selling flats to gullible buyers. “Several builders sold flats to several buyers without obtaining OC and fled,” said Lande. He added that it is the flat buyers who face difficulty while getting civic facilities.According to civic officials, so far buildings constructed after getting permission from BMC’s building proposal department are given water connection on humanitarian grounds although they do not have OCs. But residents in those buildings have to pay double the charge for water connection.However, BMC has also its constitutional obligation to provide water on a community basis by laying water mains and water taps. “In keeping with Supreme Court and High Court order, and MCGM Act 1888, Government of Maharashtra has already given in principle approval to provide water through community basis by laying water mains and water taps,” said an official.But, if the civic body takes decision of disconnecting water supply, it will affect thousands residents of newly constructed buildings in the city which have not obtained OC.However, an official from the hydraulic department said that the civic body will continue to provide water to such buildings.

5-judge Supreme Court bench will hear Aadhaar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court said on Monday that it will set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear all Aadhaar-related cases in the last week of November, five years after the first plea challenging the constitutional validity of the 12-digit unique identification number scheme was filed.The decision was taken by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra after Attorney General KK Venugopal sought a hearing in March. Several petitions, including those against the government’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for social benefits and other schemes, have been pending since the top court referred the matter to a larger bench almost two years ago.Gopal Subramanium and Shyam Divan, representing petitioners challenging Aadhaar, sought an interim stay on the linking of the identification number to bank accounts and mobile phones. Venugopal opposed the plea and submitted that the Central government was ready to argue its case.The government’s top law officer said that several falsehoods on Aadhaar were being spread. Two benches are hearing at least three Aadhaar cases.Recently, a nine-judge Constitution bench had held that the Right to Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Several petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar had raised the issue that the scheme was violative of privacy rights.On Wednesday, the Central government proposed extending the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts, PAN cards and mobile phones from December 31, 2017, to March 31, 2018, but only to those who are “willing to enroll for the identification number.Meanwhile, the bench issued a notice on advocate Raghav Tankha’s plea seeking a direction to the Department of Telecom (DoT) and to mobile service providers to cease misinforming public that Aadhaar is the sole means for identity and address proof for mobile phone users.Aadhaar was started seven years ago to streamline payment of benefits and cut down on massive wastage and fraud. About 95.10 per cent of India’s population has registered for it. Critics say Aadhaar links enough data to create a comprehensive profile of citizens, and the data — containing fingerprints, iris scans, and demographic information — can be misused.

NMMC follows BMC on waste rule, composting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following the footsteps of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which has made it mandatory for bulk generators to segregate waste at source and composting wet waste in society premises itself, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has also served notices to about 1,000 residential complexes and commercial establishments under Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules 2016.The deadline given to the societies and commercial establishments to compulsorily segregate waste into dry and wet and apply composting methods is November 15. However, NMMC Commissioner N Ramaswamy has already started taking stern steps and last week ordered civic staff to stop lifting unsegregated waste from 50 societies. Speaking to DNA Ramaswamy said, “Navi Mumbai has 60 per cent of waste segregated at source and we intend to achieve 100 per cent segregation at source by end of March 2018. We have also deployed sweepers near pubic dustbin who force the residents to segregate the waste before throwing into public dustbins”.“In Navi Mumbai many societies have come forward to start composting,” Ramaswamy added.

From Anna to Abba and Gulab Jamun to Mirch Masala, 70 Indian words added to Oxford dictionary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From endearing words like ‘Abba’ and ‘Anna’ to Indian delicacies like ‘gulab jamun’ and ‘vada’ can now be found in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).As per the latest list of inclusions, 70 new Indian words from Telugu, Urdu, Tamil, Hindi and Gujarati languages have been added to the dictionary.Several most-commonly used words in India like ‘jugaad’, ‘dadagiri’, ‘achcha’, ‘bapu’ and ‘surya namaskar’ are now part of the Oxford dictionary, the OED said in a statement.Many of the words describe food and relationships, such as ‘anna’ (elder brother), ‘abba’ (father), ‘gulab jamun’, ‘mirch masala’, ‘keema’, ‘funda’ and ‘chamcha’.Oftenly used terms like ‘timepass’, ‘natak’ and ‘chup’ also have their meanings in the dictionary now.The September 2017 update adds to the 900 items already covered by the dictionary and “identified as distinctive to Indian English”.”Indian speech etiquette features a complex system of kinship terms and terms of address, in which age, gender, status, and family relationships are marked by a highly specific vocabulary with no direct equivalents in English,” said Danica Salazar, OED World English Editor.The words were added to the dictionary as Indians have “a highly specific vocabulary with no direct equivalents in English,” the OED said.The four centuries that the English were present in India have left an indelible mark on the language, Salazar said.It is clear that the shared history between Britain and India has left behind a legacy of loanwords and other lexical innovations that have greatly enriched the English word stock, she said.The seventy words newly added to the OED reflect not only the history of the country, but also the many and diverse cultural and linguistic influences which have shaped and changed the English language in India, she said.The OED publishes four updates a year in March, June, September and December respectively.

SC collegium restores judges’ appraisal move

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over seven months after the Supreme Court collegium junked the system of evaluating the performance of Additional Judges of the high courts through a detailed scrutiny of their judgments, the Supreme Court collegium yesterday restored the system.The decision to restore the system was taken at the meeting of the collegium under Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Mishra. The collegium has also decided that judgments of Additional Judges of the High Courts would be evaluated by a committee of two Judges of the Supreme Court to be nominated by the CJI.These two Judges would not be the consultee-Judges – which refers to Judges who have served in the high court to which the additional judge, whose case for making permanent is under consideration, belongs.The guideline was the main criteria to decide whether an Additional Judge should be made a Permanent Judge and was issued by the then CJI SH Kapadia on October 30, 2010.As first reported by DNA, the decision of the collegium, then headed by previous CJI JS Khehar, taken at a meeting on March 3, 2017, had, however, not found favour with the Centre.The Union Law Ministry took strong exception to the new practice of the collegium recommending names of additional judges of various high courts for confirmation as permanent judges without making an objective assessment of the judicial work of the judge.This newspaper had also reported that the government had told the SC collegiums that since the guideline that made it mandatory for a Judgments Evaluation Committee to evaluate the performance of an additional judge before recommending his/her name for appointment as permanent judge was the only “parameter” to examine the performance of the judge, it did not agree with the decision to scrap it.In his letter to the HC CJs on March 29, then CJI Khehar had written, “The collegium comprising myself and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court in its meeting held on 3rd March, 2017 has resolved that assessment/evaluation of judgements of Additional Judges of High Court for purpose of determining their suitability for confirmation as Permanent Judges runs contrary to Para 41 of the Judgment of the Supreme Court in SP Gupta case (1981 Supp. SCC 87) and, therefore, the practice of Judges’ Committee by the chief justices of the high courts for the said purpose needs to be discontinued.”He had also written to Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on April 16, requesting him to consider the possibility of issuing “necessary instructions to the concerned department to take note of the contents” of his communication to the chief justices while “processing the proposals for appointment of Additional Judges of the high court as Permanent Judges”.GOVT OBJECTIONDNA had reported Centre’s objection to the practice of the collegium recommending names without making an objective assessment of the judicial work of judges

Bengal govt moves SC against Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court would hear on October 30 a plea filed by the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government against the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes.The plea is listed for hearing before a bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan.Senior advocate and member of parliament Kalyan Banerjee said the petition was filed earlier and would come up for hearing before the bench on October 30. He said that West Bengal government has challenged the provision which said that without Aadhaar, the benefits of social welfare schemes would not be extended. On October 25, the Centre had told the top court that the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail benefits of various government schemes has been extended till March 31 next year for those who do not have the 12-digit biometric identification number.Attorney General K K Venugopal had told a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the deadline extension from December end this year till March 31, 2018, would apply only to those who do not have Aadhaar and are willing to enrol for it. However, Venugopal had told the bench that he would take instructions on certain issues on Aadhaar after which the court had asked him to mention the matter again on October 30. Several petitions, challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes and notifications to link it with mobile numbers and bank accounts, are pending in the apex court.

Karnataka: State clears policy for transgenders to live a normal life

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Karnataka cabinet on Thursday cleared the State Policy for Transgenders, 2017, aimed at bringing the community into the mainstream society and providing its members with a secured life.The policy had been drafted in compliance with a Supreme Court order, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters here after a cabinet meeting.”They face insecurity, discrimination, insults, anxiety, suicidal tendencies. Therefore, this policy aims at bringing them into the mainstream of the society and provide them with a secured life,” he said.The different categories of transgenders mentioned in the policy include “jogappa, jijra, female to male, male to female, inter-sex, kothis, jogtas, shivashakti and aravanis”.The policy aims to create awareness about the transgender community in all the educational institutions of the state, reach out to the family members through anganwadi workers to sensitise them about trans-children, bring into place a monitoring committee or cell at the educational institutions to address the issues of discrimination, sexual abuse and violence against transgenders.It also moots defining the indicators for a friendly policy, which goes beyond non-discrimination, and to include the transgender community in the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’, Right to Education and similar efforts to promote literacy.Jayachandra, quoting from the document, said, “All levels of the formal education system should have reservations for transgender students.”The cabinet also decided to recommend to the governor for a premature release of 93 life convicts from various central jails in the state on the ground of good behaviour.Primary and Secondary Education Minister Tanveer Sait, who also addressed the media, said in view of the state Assembly polls due early next year, the schedule for the SSLC (class 10) and PUC (class 12) examinations had been fixed.This had also been brought to the notice of the Election Commission (EC), so that there was no clash of dates, he added.Sait said the PUC exam was scheduled from March 1-16 and the SSLC from March 23-April 4.Stating that the preliminary notification in this regard had been issued and public comments on the same invited by November 25, the minister said the final notification would be issued after the due process.He added that while seven lakh students would be appearing in the PUC examination, 9,60,000 students would appear in the SSLC exams this year.

Homebuyer awarded Rs 40L refund over delay

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that his dreams of owning a house were shattered, a consumer court in Delhi has awarded over Rs 40 lakh as refund to a man for a flat that he had bought from the Parsvnath Developers. The possession of the flat concerned was not handed over within the stipulated time.”Hard-earned money of homebuyers is being used by builders to expand their business by way of investing in other projects. The dream of the complainant to have his own house is shattered,” the court said.According to Narender Kumar Dhameja’s complaint, he bought a flat at the Parsvnath Sterling, Ghaziabad. The flat, which cost Rs 3,928,500, was to be completed by March, 2008. By the time Dhameja filed the complaint, in July, 2012, he had deposited Rs 3,653,220.The complainant alleged that instead of using the money for the project concerned, the builder used it to expand his business. He further said that the builders told him that due to the exponential rise in the flat price, they wanted to cancel the allotment and sell it to someone else.Following this, Dhameja filed a complaint, demanding a refund of the entire amount along with an interest at the rate of 24 per cent per annum. He also demanded compensation to the tune of Rs 5 lakh and litigation charges worth Rs 75,000.In reply to the legal notice sent on May 26, 2012, the builders stated that active measures were being taken by mobilising resources and rescheduling work, adding that the delay was due to restraints from courts or authorities, non-availability of building material, and disputes with contractors.In another reply, however, they stated that a global recession had hit the Indian economy in 2009, due to which they suffered financial constraints.The court held that the builders were taking different pleas at different places and the defence raised by them was not worth the credit, following which it directed that the complainant be refunded Rs 3,653,220 deposited by him at a rate of 18 per cent per annum, along with Rs 50,000 for harassment, inconvenience, frustration, and mental agony.The court also directed to pay Rs 50,000 as litigation charges within 90 days of the date of the order.

Govt unveils Rs 9 lakh cr package to boost growth, Cong calls it ‘shoddy attempt’ to defend ‘decimation of economy’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress today launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying “Modinomics” has destroyed India’s growth story.The main opposition party also termed as a “shoddy attempt” by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to defend the “decimation” of the economy after he reeled out economic indicators to support the government’s contention that GDP growth slowdown has bottomed out and economy is turning around.”‘Modinomics’ has destroyed India’s growth story. A shoddy attempt of a desperate finance minister Arun Jaitley to defend the decimation of economy has failed to impress either the Indian industry or common people. The growth as projected by the government is only on paper,” Congress’ communications department incharge Randeep Surjewala said.
ALSO READ Those used to 2G, coal scam will have trouble with genuine taxes: Jaitley on Rahul’s Gabbar remarkSurjewala said decisions like noteban and “poor” implementation of GST hurt the core of macro and micro economic fundamentals, and expressed concern over growing NPAs of public sector banks. The bank recapitalisation plan announced by the finance minister neither has a roadmap nor a timeframe, he said, asking the government to do a reality check and share a targeted framework of bank recapitalisation rather than engage in “hyperbole and high-sounding syllables”.On Jaitley’s claim that the macro economic fundamentals of economy are very strong, he said, “On the contrary, mindless and unsound decisions like demonetisation and the poor implementation of GST has hurt the core of the fundamentals of macro and micro economic fundamentals.” The Congress leader alleged common people were being made to suffer, jobs were in peril, and medium and small industries in dire straits, as economy stuttered due to demonetisation and GST roll out. “Time has come to travel from empty jumlas (rhetoric) to meaningful governance,” he said in a statement.
ALSO READ Government plans to revive ailing banking sector as FM Arun Jaitley announces Rs 2.11 lakh crore bank recapitalisation planCongress spokesperson Sushmita Dev said if the prime minister or the finance minister were claiming “all is well”, they should go to Gujarat and listen to what the people were saying. “Today, if the economy is turning around, then why is there ‘no feel good factor among the people. I will tell the prime minister and the finance minister that all is not well,” she said. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said on Twitter, “If Economy was a wish-horse Arun Jaitley could have ridden it. Fact- in 41 months he created a new bumper sticker ‘Hey honey I sunk the Economy’.”Surjewala said the NPAs of public sector banks jumped from 36 per cent in March 2014 to 82 per cent in June 2017– from Rs 36,000 crore to Rs 8.35 lakh crore. Noting that the money given for recapitalisation of banks will increase the fiscal deficit, he said, “This is a desperate move by a finance minister groping in the dark as demonetization and GST failed to bring in the promised Rs 4-5 lakh crore.”Jaitley today announced a Rs 2.11 lakh crore bank recapitalisation plan to revive investment and growth.Accusing the government of waiving loans worth Rs 1,88,287 crore of wilful defaulters in the last three years, the Congress leader asked, “Is the government risking taxpayers’ money for more such loan waivers without commitment to MSME and agrarian sectors?” On Bharatmala project, he said it is completely debt driven with the burden falling on people of India. Bharatmala is an umbrella programme under which 34,800 km of highways will be constructed at a cost of Rs 5.35 lakh crore Seeking to boost note ban and GST-hit economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced a massive Rs 6.92 lakh crore infrastructure spending and another Rs 2.11 lakh crore for bank recapitalisation to revive investments as well as growth. Flanked by all his five secretaries and Chief Economic Advisor, Jaitley reeled out economic indicators to support government contention that GDP growth slowdown has bottomed out and economy is turning around.To boost job creation, the government granted enhanced access of funds for MSMEs, including by way of customising Mudra loans. A presentation was made at a briefing titled ‘The India Story: Speeding Up For Take Off!’ which highlighted that the economy grew by 7.5 per cent per annum in the three years of BJP-rule since 2014. For last three years India has been fastest growing major economy in the world, Jaitley said. “And our intention is that the high growth economy that India has become, we continue to maintain that position.”Economy slowed to 5.7 per cent in the April-June quarter of the current, the weakest pace since 2014 as demonetisation sucked out 86 per cent of the currency in circulation throwing cash-dependent businesses in disarray and the implementation of GST from July 1 hit small and medium enterprises. “There was a temporary slippage in growth in the last two quarters thanks to transitional effect of demonetisation (of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes) and GST,” an official statement issued at the briefing said.That effect, it said, is now over with all indicators – industrial production, core sector, automobile and consumer spending — pointing towards “a strong growth pick up”. “There is expectation of very good growth from second quarter of current year itself.” The Finance Minister said it is natural that when structural reforms happen there is some impact for limited time. “But medium to long term, there is huge benefit.” The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today approved a Rs 6.92 lakh crore investment in building 83,677-km of road over the next five years, which will create 14.2 crore mandays of jobs.With this, the total infrastructure spending cleared by the government touched Rs 14 lakh crore, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said.Also, a massive bank recapitalisation programme has been approved. Of the Rs 2.11 lakh crore, recapitalisation bonds will account for Rs 1.35 lakh crore and another Rs 76,000 crore will come from budgetary support and equity issuance. Jaitley said the recapitalisation of PSU banks would be followed by a series of reforms. He, however, did not elaborate. “When you give such a big push to infrastructure, it helps in job creation. And job creation is the intention to push private sector investment and MSME funding,” he said. Public sector banks, which remain the main source of funding, have seen NPAs or bad loans swell from Rs 2.78 lakh crore as of March 2015 to Rs 7.33 lakh crore in June this year, primarily because of reclassification of loan, Department of Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said.Of that, Rs 1.75 lakh crore relates to just 12 cases which have been referred to NCLT. The recapitalisation besides repairing their balance sheets would help banks meet the Basel III banking rules. “The net impact of all these is, private investment will be further strengthened. Infrastructure instantaneously creates job, lending to small and medium enterprises creates job,” Jaitley said. Macro economic fundamentals are strong, he said, adding that there was a need to increase public spending. “Infrastructure expenditure is unprecedented in the country.Efforts are on to increase public expenditure in various sectors of economy — rural roads, highways, Bharat Mala, housing, railways.” Also, the intention is to increase private investment in economy. “It was one area which had its own challenges. So far we believed that public sector banks have done indiscriminate lending at one stake. Between 2008-2014, because of indiscriminate lending, a bigger chunk is NPAs,” he said. On reforms that will follow in banking sector, he said, “I’m only indicating that more reforms will happen so as to ensure that there is no repetition of the situation that was there in 2014 where in you lend indiscriminately while hiding the real conditions of those loans. Its only after March 2015 the actual position of banks became clear.” Asked if the bank recapitalisation plan will impact fiscal deficit, he said: “It will depend on the nature of bonds and the manner in which it is dealt with.”The money which has been deposited in banks post demonetisation that is available for lending, but availability of money doesn’t ensure that it can be lent. For that capital adequacy is needed. And that capital adequacy was eroded because of excessive NPAs and because of situation of banks between 2008-2014.”Jaitley said the Cabinet decided that a “bold step” should be taken by the government to address this problem through Rs 2.11 lakh crore recapitalisation. “This will be accompanied by a series of banking reforms which you will hear from us in the course of next few months.” “Of this money, part of money will come from banks raising their own capital where government equity can come down to 52 per cent,” he said. “There is another Rs 18,000 crore from budgetary resources which will be put into banks under Indradhanush. So that makes it a total of Rs 76,000 crore.”In a presentation made at the briefing, Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg said inflation has consistently come down since 2014 and will remain below 4 per cent this fiscal. Detailing macro-economic fundamentals, he said that current account deficit will be less than 2 per cent this year and foreign exchange reserves have crossed USD 400 billion. On fiscal deficit, he said the government is committed to sticking to the target of 3.2 per cent of GDP for the current fiscal but a review would be done in December.Stating that the GDP growth slowdown has bottomed out and the economy is turning around, he said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had recently projected that the country would achieve a 8 per cent growth rate soon.

Forum tells risk firm to pay medical claim of insured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum of south Mumbai pulled up an insurance company for rejecting the complainant’s medical claim and directed the firm to pay the complainant’s medical bills worth Rs 38,015 along with an additional amount of Rs 10,000 towards the complainant’s mental agony. The forum also asked the firm to pay the complainant’s litigation costs. Explaining its rejection, the firm stated that there was no need for the complainant to get continuous medical supervision after undergoing gastroscopy.Vasantray Mody, a resident of New Queen’s Road at Opera House, had purchased a mediclaim policy from The Oriental Insurance Company. He had purchased the individual medical insurance policy and paid an approximate one-time premium of Rs 1.5 lakh. The policy was valid from March 20, 2013 to March 19, 2014. In the interim, Mody was advised by doctors to undergo an operation and was hospitalised for the same. He underwent gastroscopy and later submitted the hospital bills seeking reimbursement for his medical treatment.The insurance firm refused to reimburse the bills claiming that as per the norms of the policy, the complainant is not entitled to take hospitalisation for more than 24 hours, and since it was exceeded, the claim was repudiated.The forum, after going through the evidence brought in the record, held, “When the complainant submitted the claim, it was repudiated on March 5, 2014. As the complainant had paid the premium of the policy and the policy was in existence, therefore, we found that there is a deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of the insurance firm as it repudiated the claim of the complainant without any reasonable cause.”

Ajmer on a high: After air link, CM endorses ceramic hub

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday afternoon, the Chief minister, Vasundhara Raje, in her Jansamvad programme at South Ajmer, among others things, gave the industrial sector, especially the smaller ones, some relief.The programme was heavily attended by members from different communities, representatives of business and working class.The small industries’ owners were delighted when their plea for an extended deadline to complete the rain harvesting schemes at their units got a sarkari nod. The CM extended the deadline till March 31.The chief minister also decided to empower the ceramic industry in the district. “Ajmer will be developed as a leading hub for the ceramic industry,” said chief minister. “Land has already been marked for the purpose and efforts are on to get gas pipeline to meet the energy requirements for these industries,” she added.Thousands of people at Ajmer associated with the ceramic industry will directly benefit from this move. Provision of gas pipeline will prevent the migration of ceramic units to other states and will provide it with a global identity. The district has recently been provided with air connectivity and the chief minister plans to further promote it as an industrial hub.However, as the chief minister resolved the issues at Jansamvad, she also invoked all sections of the community to contribute and support the government’s effort for development. “Public support is needed to develop Ajmer as a smart city,” she added.The CM was received with zeal and enthusiasm by one and all.‘NO DRUG CARTEL’CM has ordered the police superintendent of Ajmer, Rajendra Singh, to crackdown on the nuisance of drug abuse. A group of locals raised the issue at the Jansamwad on Sunday. The CM said Ajmer is also known as a holy city and such nuisances cannot be allowed here. 24 X 7 WATERTenders have been floated for the Rs 79cr project to provide 24×7 water supply for all residential colonies in Ajmer. A week ago the project was sanctioned by CM at a Jansamwad programme held in North Ajmer constituency.

Year after Najeeb went missing from JNU, CBI remains ‘clueless’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Exactly a year after JNU student Najeeb Ahmed went missing from the campus following a scuffle with some other students, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which had taken over the probe into the case from the city police, remains clueless.The high court had first gone after the Delhi Police to solve the mysterious disappearance of Najeeb and since it was not satisfied with the progress made by the city police in the case, it transferred it to the central probe agency on May 16 this year.Najeeb (27), a student of M Sc Biotechnology, went missing from the Mahi-Mandvi hostel of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on October 15, 2016. His family members are still running from pillar to post to trace him.Najeeb had an altercation with several students, allegedly affiliated to the BJP’s student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), according to his friends and family.After over a month had passed since Najeeb went missing, his mother, Fatima Nafees, moved the Delhi High Court, seeking directions to the police to trace her son.The high court had immediately directed the Delhi Police to “explore all angles” and “cut across political barriers” to trace the young man, saying no one could just vanish from the heart of the national capital.However, as the police were clueless about Najeeb’s whereabouts even after two months since he went missing, it had to face the ire of the court, which asked it to scan the entire JNU campus, including hostels, classrooms and rooftops, with the help of sniffer dogs.However, the police failed to sniff out any lead even after pressing 600 personnel and several sniffer dogs into service.This prompted the high court to suggest other methods such as lie detector tests of the nine students suspected to be behind Najeeb’s disappearance as they had allegedly beaten him up before he went missing.Though the police sent notices to the nine students, asking them to appear for a polygraph (lie detector) test, they ignored the same and subsequently, moved the trial court, challenging the step taken by the investigating agency.Even as the nine students were opposing the lie detector test, Najeeb’s family alleged in the court that they were being harassed by the Delhi Police, which was conducting pre- dawn searches at their house in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh.Dissatisfied with the lack of progress in the investigation, the family later demanded that the probe be handed over to some other agency.In March this year, even the high court admitted that it was “foxed” by the lack of information on the missing student’s whereabouts and demanded an answer from the police “one way or the other” on Najeeb’s fate, saying that as far as the probe was concerned, the only thing happening was paperwork.While the high court was monitoring the investigation, a magisterial court, on March 30, rejected the nine suspected students’ plea against the police notice asking them to appear for a polygraph test.A few days later, the decision of the magisterial court was stayed by a sessions court, which subsequently quashed it.Continuing with its probe, the police filed a chargesheet against a man, who was arrested for allegedly making a ransom call to Najeeb’s relatives, demanding Rs 20 lakh for his release.​

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