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Congress to fight BJP with a positive campaign in Rajasthan, says Sachin Pilot

The Congress will launch an “affirmative and positive” campaign in Rajasthan to counter the “acrimonious” charge of the BJP and advocate a new model of governance while highlighting the failures of the state government, Member of Parliament Sachin Pilot has said.Buoyed by the results of recent by-elections to local bodies, where the Congress fared well, the party has decided to strengthen its base at the booth level and reach out to the masses through an aggressive mass contact programme to be launched soon, the Rajasthan Congress chief said.Unlike the BJP, the Congress campaign will not be reduced to their level of acrimonious campaign and will not be negative. We will instead launch an affirmative and positive campaign, where the failures of the Vasundhara Raje-led government will be highlighted, Pilot told PTI.The party has already launched its Mera booth, mera gaurav (My booth, my pride)” campaign and will soon unroll its mass contact programme across the state.He said the Congress did not seek to reach out to the people merely on the failures of the BJP, but would offer them a better alternative.We will present the people with the blueprint of a model of alternative governance which will be holistic and inclusive, will care for the young and old, create jobs and have a vision to take the state forward, he said.Pilot said the workers in the state were already geared up and ready to tackle the BJP now that Rahul Gandhi had taken over the leadership of the Congress and infused new energy into it.The Rajasthan government has nothing to show for the four years that the BJP has been in power in the state, he said, charging it with selling off assets to generate money.This, Pilot stressed, was poor fiscal management.He alleged that the state s assets, including buildings, schools, roadways, hospitals and other infrastructure, were being sold to a select few in the name of public-private partnerships.This is nothing but an example of poor fiscal management. Such a policy where precious assets of the state are given out to a select few at throw-away prices smacks of crony capitalism,” he said.Once voted back to power, the Congress would “review and reverse all such decisions taken arbitrarily” and re-acquire the state s assets, he added.Pilot said the Congress, which faced a historic defeat in 2013 when it could win only 21 of the 200 Assembly seats, had got its vigour back and in the just-concluded bypolls had won seven out of 14 urban local bodies.He said the vote share gap between the Congress and the BJP, which had widened to 25 per cent, had narrowed down to 1.5 per cent in the state Panchayat elections held last year.In the Panchayat polls, the Congress won 45.5 per cent of votes against the BJP s 47 per cent. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress was down to 31 per cent, compared to the BJP’s 56 per cent.The former Union minister said the Congress party would now aggressively take its campaign forward while highlighting the problems of the jobless, farmers and the common man.This, he said, would be done through public rallies and by underlining the Congress’s plans for the future.The Congress will “force” the BJP government in the state to announce farm loan waivers to help ease the burden of debt that farmers faced, he said.Pilot wondered why the government was dithering over loan waivers when it could bring in a law that allowed former chief ministers to select a house for their lifetime.”The people of the state did not vote the former chief ministers in so that they could have the power to have a house for life, he said.Asked about the Mera booth, mera gaurav scheme, he said every leader would be put in charge of a booth and would launch a mass contact programme to reach out to every voter in the state.There are a total of 51,000 booths in the state.Rajasthan goes to the polls in 2018, along with Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

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Former defence minister AK Antony suffers brain stroke, doctors say condition stable

Former defence minister AK Antony is said to be in stable condition following a brain stroke, the doctors said today.The 76-year-old Member of Parliament and senior Congress leader was admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on Wednesday.”He had suffered a mild brain stroke following which he was brought here. His condition is stable at present, and no surgery is required at the moment,” a senior doctor of the hospital said.Antony, who is from Kerala, was the defence minister in the previous UPA government. He served in that position for seven-and-a-half years, the longest stint so far for an Indian defence minister.The former Kerala chief minister was admitted to the Centre-run hospital after he “suffered a minor brain haemorrhage” when he fell down in his house, a hospital doctor, who did not wish to be named, had said yesterday.
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GES 2017: Rajya Sabha MP, Subhash Chandra speaks on the ‘Future of Cinema’

The first day of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2017, Hyderabad, witnessed an engaging panel on the theme ‘Future of Cinema’ consisting of prominent dignitaries from the field of cinema and television. Moderated by Subhash Chandra, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, the panel included Aditi Rao Hydari – Actor, Ronnie Screwvala – Producer and Onyekachi Stephanie Linus Idahosa, CEO, Next Page Productions. Moderating the panel discussion, Subhash Chandra, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha said, “In the initial days of television in India, there used to be only one film on television per week. When we started the first private television station, the film industry felt we are going to close down the industry by showing movies on television but the contrary happened. Now, the satellite television contributes to almost 50% of movie’s budget or even more than that.” Commenting on the advent of digital in Indian films, Chandra added, “When you watch a cinema in a theatre, it’s a larger than life experience while digitally you see everything on a 5-inch screen. With Digital, there are no barriers today, you can cross over to various other mediums and that’s the beauty of the digital world.”Also read’Future of Cinema’ with Dr Subhash ChandraThe panellists discussed in detail the challenges faced by the film industry especially in sourcing adequate funds, decreasing number of theatres and men-women ratio. During the discussion, the panellists highlighted the significant role of the Indian film industry in the Indian economy in terms of job creation and employment.The advent of digital in Indian films and its contrasting approach to that of the theatrical film experience was one of the main discussion points during the session. The panellists advocated for increased creative contribution by women as great writers, producers and directors. They also discussed and acknowledged the need to bridge the gender gap and to make the industry’s environment more conducive to women. The discussed ended with a fruitful question & answer session wherein the audience was keen to hear the panellists’ views on the role of women in Indian and global cinema and the hurdles faced by them in their careers.Also readGES 2017 | Rajya Sabha MP Dr Subhash Chandra says ‘very few female directors, women need to be encouraged’The aim of the annual entrepreneurship gathering- Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 is to highlight the theme Women First, Prosperity for All, and will focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally. On day zero, Subhash Chandra also attended the gala dinner at Hyderabad’s famous Falaknuma Palace, hosted by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President of the United States. Apart from PM Modi and Ivanka Trump, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao, Telangana Governor ESL Narasimhan, ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Tata Sons Chairman N. Chandrashekaran also attended the event.
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NK Singh will head Finance Commission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The central government appointed former expenditure and revenue secretary NK Singh as head of the 15th Finance Commission and former secretary of department of economic affairs Shaktikanta Das as India’s G20 Sherpa till December 2018 on Monday. Normally, the deputy chairperson of erstwhile Planning Commission represents the country at the G20 Summit. Das has also been appointed as a member of the Finance Commission to work with Singh.In a notification issued on Monday, the government said Singh, as head of the Finance Commission, will decide on the devolution of tax revenue between the Centre and the state governments. Other members will include Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Anoop Singh, Non-Executive Chairman at Bandhan Bank Ashok Lahiri and Niti Aayog Member Ramesh Chand. Arvind Mehta will be the Secretary to the commission. The Commission is set up every five years and reviews finances, deficit and debt levels of the Centre and the states.The panel also suggests devolution of taxes between the states and the Centre.The government has already set aside an amount of Rs 10 crore in the current financial year for the constitution of the Finance Commission. The 14th Finance Commission was set up on January 2, 2013. Its recommendations covered the period from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2020. “Normally, it takes two years for the Finance Commission to give its recommendations,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the Union Cabinet approved setting of the Commission on November 22. He said the 15th Finance Commission recommendation will be applicable by 2020.NK Singh was also a member of the Planning Commission as well as Secretary to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was also elected to the Rajya Sabha as the member of JD(U) in 2008, but he quit the party and joined the BJP in the run up to 2014 Lok Sabha elections when JD(U) decided to contest separately.Earlier, he headed a committee to suggest a future fiscal roadmap by reviewing the fiscal discipline rules. He had recommended enacting a new Debt and Fiscal Responsibility Act after repealing the existing Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, and creating a fiscal council.As per Article 280(1) of the Constitution, the government is obligated to form the Finance Commission after every five years, or at an earlier time as the President deems necessary. The Commission is required to make recommendations on distribution of the net proceeds of taxes between the Centre and the states. The recommendations by the newly formed 15th Finance Commission are supposed to be in place before April 1, 2020.The 15th Finance Commission will also have to factor in the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which was rolled out earlier this year on July 1, on the resources of the central as well state governments when it furnishes its recommendations for allocating tax resources.

Indian Railways takes steps to identify absentee workers, Mazdoor unions resent

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A government job is said to be cushy as apart from salaries, perks, and regular bonus; they have 7-8hours work shifts or even less. However, on November 13, the Railway Board in Delhi ensured that the 14-lakh staff working for the Indian Railways come out of their comfort zone. For the first time, supervisors who head departments will be issuing certificates stating that an employee was present at work.’All employees in control of staff should give a certificate that they do not have any employee on their rolls who do not physically exist,’ states a circular issued by the Railway Board to all General Managers across Indian Railways.The circular issued by the Member (Staff) DK Gayen – who heads the Human Resources department for the whole of Indian Railways – also stated that random surprise checks should be conducted by inspectors of Personnel department and respective department. It has also asked for reviewing and listing names of unauthorised absentees in each department and unit. A copy of this is with DNA.The officers and supervisors approving the muster role will also have to give a certificate that all the staff who are getting their salaries where physically present on duty during the period. Not just this, every department will review the attendance sheet and weed out employees whose presence is based on mere proxy marking on the muster. Sources said that the Chairman of Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani when he assumed charge, had told that steps would be taken to monitor the performance of people.This is an important step as the coach production units, workshops, and car sheds where rakes are maintained and upgraded comprise of huge working staff. With lesser people actually on the ground for maintenance and upkeep of rail assets; the quality of coaches, basic amenities inside like seats, toilet blocks, fans and linen provided to passengers gets ignored.”These staffs are our eyes and ears. If they aren’t present then it is bound to have severe repercussions even in areas that come under safety category,” said a senior railway official.There are instances where people come to work in the morning, sign muster and leave after a couple of hours either for personal work or for the affiliated rail unions. The end result is that the number of people needed to ensure quality work be it in production and upkeep of rail tracks, coaches, cables and signaling systems is insufficient.This circular is also a jolt to the railway unions who have been playing an active role in shaping the Indian Railways. The unions at these places of work result in employees not giving the desired time and effort. The administration will be monitoring people to see if they are skipping work to balance out time for these registered unions. In fact, recently the General Manager of Western Railway AK Gupta had made a surprise check in his own office building at Churchgate where he caught women staff from another department, chit chatting even after lunch hours. Praveen Bajpai, general secretary, Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh said: The staff knows the responsibilities and job well. There is no need for anyone to monitor. Everyday railway men open ticket booking windows, loco pilots and guards run trains, gangmen maintain tracks and other employees do their work; without anyone from administration telling them. Rather the Railway administration should concentrate on filling up over 2.5 lakh vacant posts which are causing a burden on other rail employees.Ajay Singh, divisional secretary, Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh said: “This circular has asked to take action against those who go on unauthorised leaves of more than 21 days. It is not as if the staff sign on the muster and leave as there is a lot of work and the administration isn’t filling up posts which results in undue pressue”.

Gujarat assembly elections: Congress party flooded with 2,200 applications for 182 seats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the chances of Congress party surges in Gujarat assembly elections scheduled to take place on December 9 and 14, the screening committee set up by Congress party has been flooded with over 2,200 aspirant applications for 182 seats.According to the screening committee, initially, they received 1500 applications.“After Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi visited parts of Gujarat by road, more aspirants want to contest on Congress symbol now. We are also surprised to receive such huge numbers of applications at eleventh hours. It is a tough job to finalise the candidates,” said one of the members of four members screening committee headed by Balasaheb Thorat, senior Congress leader from Maharashtra.When contacted Balasaheb Thorat, he confirmed that they had received 2,200 applications but refused to reveal more details.“Initially, we received applications from sitting MLAs and newly elected members of Taluka and District panchayat, its various committee presidents. Out of 32 District Panchayat in Gujarat, the 23 are controlled by Congress. Now, ex-MLAs, Member of Parliaments (MP) and ex-ministers are also putting pressure on us for a ticket,” said another member of screening committee requesting anonymity.”They feel that the chances of Congress coming to power has increased. If they get elected, they will have natural claim and chance of getting a ministerial berth in ‘next Congress government’ in Gujarat,” he added.Further stating that Rahul Gandhi has categorically told them not to succumb to any pressure, he added, “We have been asked to go by merits. We have now stopped taking applications.”A member said that before issuing a ticket, they are also taking inputs from multiple agencies and social groups. “Now, most groups have recommended the same names. In next two-three days, we are having the screening committee meeting in Delhi in presence of Congress President and Vice President and other in-charge of Congress party in Gujarat. In this meeting, names of candidates contesting in the first phase will be finalized and declared,” he said.The party leader who is close to Rahul Gandhi said that they have made a cluster system to avoid the division of votes among various caste groups. “In one Lok Sabha constituency, there are six-seven assembly seats. In one constituency, Patidar will be given a ticket while in other Thakore or any other dominant caste candidate will be fielded. So all these castes who are attached to Congress will remain intact during polls,” he said.

Zionism mother of modern-day terrorism: Hamid Ansari

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a discussion here on Tuesday to launch a new book on Mahatma Gandhi and the Jews, former vice-president Hamid Ansari tried to differentiate between Judaism as an ancient faith and its political arm Zionism, holding it responsible for inventing modern-day terrorism. Meanwhile, author Prof PR Kumaraswamy revealed that Gandhi had changed his views about Israel soon after World War II.Noting that some of the records of meetings of the Mahatma on Israel were not brought to the public by his secretary, Kumaraswamy digs out a conversation between World Jewish Congress member Honick and a Labour Member of British Parliament Sidney Silverman with Gandhi on March 9, 1946. “The Jews have a good case. If the Arabs have a claim in Palestine, the Jews have a prior claim,” he had said.Ansari, also a former diplomat, said while he believed Judaism was an ancient faith, Zionism was a political ideology that took shape late 19th century. “Its power to rekindle itself as an ancient faith and religion was today being emulated by others in different lands in their justification to resort to violence,” he said.

Elphinstone station FOB work gains momentum

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The stampede tragedy at the Elphinstone Road station seems to have opened the eyes of the Railways. The department, which halts most of its projects during the rains, has taken on its heels and resumed its work on the long-pending Rs 51 crore Parel Terminus.The Central Railway authorities have expedited work over the last two days on the terminus that was proposed in 2011. The project at Parel Terminus includes construction of five platforms with overheads, widening of platforms to 10 metres, providing new FOB connecting East and West. The tenders on the proposed FOB was also delayed by 18 months.The tragedy would not have taken place had the FOB been wider. The Railway Board, on October 11, constituted a high-level expert committee to inquire the reasons that led to the delay of constructing the Rs 11.86 crore FOB connecting both Elphinstone Road and Parel stations.The issuance of Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) for Elphinstone Road FOB took around 18 months, for which barely Rs 1000 was provided in the 2016-17 railway budget. The committee would be headed by Shri Pratyush Sinha (Retd Chief Vigilance Commissioner) with Shri Vinayak Chatterjee, Chairman CII Economic Affairs council, and Shri Subodh Jain, (Retd Member Engineering, Railway Board) as members and Director Safety, Railway Board, and Shri Pankaj Kumar as Member Secretary.The FOB was part of the Parel Terminus meant to cater the increasing crowd at Elphinstone Road, Dadar and Parel stations. DNA had reported about the slow progress and delays in the project. “We have started cleaning the area. Soon, sufficient manpower will be deployed for the work,” said a CR official.

If there is something in your destiny it will happen: Subramanian Swamy on becoming minister in Modi govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader Subramanian Swamy is losing no sleep over being given the go-by in the recent cabinet reshuffle, but says it will not surprise him if he makes it to the council of ministers one day.The Member of Parliament said on Sunday that he never pitched for a ministerial berth in the first place. “There is nothing wrong in denying me a cabinet berth. In fact, if you talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi he will tell you that I never asked for one…like I never asked them to make me a Member of Parliament,” Swamy said at the launch of his biography, ‘Evolving with Subramanian Swamy’, written by his wife, Roxna Swamy. But he wouldn’t be surprised if he got any such position in the future when his “rahu leaves the janamsthan”, he said, referring to planetary influences.”I remember getting a call from our party president Amit Shah saying that I was going to Parliament. And that is when they nominated me for being the most distinguished economist of the country,” he said. “Now, tomorrow I won’t be surprised if I get a similar call saying that I had been made a minister. Because it is the philosophy that if there is something in your destiny it will happen,” said Swamy, who served as a Cabinet minister in the Chandra Shekhar government in 1990-91.Jurist Fali S Nariman, who was part of a panel discussion at the launch, said it was the “question of the month” why the BJP MP had not been given a cabinet berth, and then added that it was perhaps because he was too forthright. “He is too forthright and says things off-the-cuff which might not please everyone. Also, we all know about the two types of corporate: the good ones and the nasty one. I believe the nasty corporate have kept him out,” said Nariman, who described Swamy as “acutely controversial” during the discussion.The firebrand politician, who has been in the midst of several controversies, said his life’s philosophy was to “do whatever you want to do” and “give as good as you get”. “If somebody picks on me I will make a point to chase him…and chase him till the very end,” said the six-time MP. Swamy said his astrologer had told him that a steep rise would follow every time he went down. “He said, when you go down, you will grow ten times more,” Swamy said.

Cabinet reshuffle: All you need to know about ministers likely to be inducted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nine of the ministers, who are to join the cabinet, as part of Prime Minister Naerendra Modi’s cabinet reshuffle, were named on Saturday night. These include Shiv Pratap Shukla from UP, Ashwini Choubey and RK Singh from Bihar, Virendra Kumar from Madhya Pradesh, Ananthkumar Hegde from Karnataka, former IFS officer Hardeep Singh Puri, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Rajasthan, Satya Pal Singh, who was the former commissioner of the Mumbai police, and Kerala’s Alphons KallnanthananHere’s a little bit about each of the named leadersShiv Pratap Shukla: Shukla is a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development. Elected as a Member of the UP Legislative Assembly for four consecutive terms, he served as a Cabinet Minister in the Uttar Pradesh government for 8 years, and is known for his work in Rural Development, Education and Prison reform during his tenure.Ashwini Kumar Choubey: Choubey is a Lok Sabha MP from Bihar’s Buxar. Currently, he is a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates and Standing Committee on Energy. Choubey has been elected for 5 consecutive terms to the Bihar Legislative Assembly. He has helped construct 11,000 toilets for Mahadalit families in the region.Dr Virendra Kumar: A Lok Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh’s Tikamgah, Kumar is six-time member of the lower house. He is the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour, and has been Chairman of the Joint Committee on Office of Profit and a Member of National Social Security Board.Anantkumar Hegde: Hegde is a Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada, Karnataka. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs and Human Resource Development. Having been elected as an MP for the first time at the young age of 28 years, Anantkumar Hedge is now a 5th term Lok Sabha MP. During his multiple stints in Parliament, he has been a member of multiple Parliamentary Standing Committees including the likes of Finance, Home Affairs, Human Resource Development, Commerce, Agriculture and External Affairs.Raj Kumar Singh: Singh is a Lok Sabha MP from Arrah, Bihar. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committees on Health and Family Welfare, Personnel, Pensions and Public Grievances and Law & Justice. A well-read man, Raj Kumar Singh studied English Literature at St. Stephens College, New Delhi, and got a Bachelors Degree in Law thereafter. He also went on to study at the RVB Delft University in Netherlands.Hardeep Singh Puri: A former IFS officer, Puri is the President and Chairman of Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) think tank, and was the Vice President of International Peace Institute, New York.Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: A Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur, Shekhawat is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and Chairperson of the Fellowship Committee. Known for his simple life style, he is one of the most followed political leaders on Quora globally.Satya Pal Singh: A Lok Sabha MP from Baghpat, UP, former Mumbai police commissioner Satya Pal Singh is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs and Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Offices of Profit.Alphons Kannanthanam: An IAS officer from Kerala cadre, Kannanthanam is a practicing advocate. He was also commissioner of Delhi Development Authority where cleared DDA areas of encroachment removing around 15,000 illegal buildings. This got him listed in Time Magazine’s list of 100 Young Global Leaders in 1994.

Engineering no longer a ‘coveted’ stream as enrollment drops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An analysis of the last six years of higher education data, circa 2010, shows how engineering as a career choice has been losing its charm.The percentage of students opting for engineering has gone down. In 2010-11, 18 per cent of students pursuing higher education opted for engineering. The percentage of students choosing this field has been dipping constantly, hitting 15 per cent in 2015-16. The country-wide data provided by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development shows how commerce and humanities are taking over engineering as a career choice. However, despite the dwindling figures, it continues to be one of the top five choices.Experts claim that the main reason the stream lost its charm was an excess of engineering colleges coming up. The institutes affiliated to All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have gone up from 1,511 in 2006-07 to more than 3,288 in 2015-16. The IITs, too, have increased from just seven in 2005 to 23 today.According to government data, over 27 lakh seats across various engineering institutions were vacant in the last three years. The government has taken this seriously and plans to shut down institutes that have recorded less than 30 per cent admissions in the past five years. “In the past few years, the AICTE has been actively working on reducing the number of engineering institutes across the country due to poor demand and falling quality of education,” said Dr Anil Sahasrabuddhe, Chairman, AICTE.This trend could also be attributed to shrinking job offers and layoffs in jobs for engineers. With the change in industry demands, the choice of stream has also changed over the last six years. While in 2010 most students opted for electronics and computer engineering, in 2015-16, mechanical was the top choice. Experts cite increasing automation in the industry as the reason behind this.”Engineering was never a lucrative career option. Even 10 years ago, B Tech were doing calling jobs in MNCs. I think people are gradually realising that they don’t need to spend so much money on a bad quality college just for these kind of jobs. The number engineers will go down further in future,”said Professor Dheeraj Sanghi, Member, Academic Senate, IIIT Delhi.

Rajnath Singh to attend SCO meet in Kyrgyz Republic

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will on Thursday attend Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meet at Choplon Ata in Kyrgyz Republic. The two-day meeting of heads of Governments of SCO Member States will begin today focusing on prevention and elimination of emergency situations. Rajnath Singh is leading the Indian delegation which includes senior officers from Home and External Affairs Ministries and National Disaster Management Authority. During the visit, the Home Minister is likely to have bilateral meetings with the Ministers of some of the SCO Member States. India got the full membership of SCO this year and Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended SCO’s annual Summit meeting held in Astana, Kazakhstan in June this year. The participation of India as SCO Member will open additional opportunities for giving new impetus to the development of international cooperation in the field of protecting the population and territories from emergency situations within the framework of the SCO.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rail accidents fallout: Suresh Prabhu takes ‘full moral responsibility’, Rly Board Chairman resigns

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two train accidents in five days had a fallout today with its minister Suresh Prabhu indicating he had offered to quit and Railway Board Chairman AK Mital resigning with Air India chief Ashwani Lohani, a railway enginner, named as his successor.Hours after the second derailment today, Prabhu, 64, said he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking “full moral responsibility” for the back-to-back accidents that triggered calls for his resignation from the Congress. Prabhu said the prime minister had asked him to “wait”, suggesting he had offered to quit. Thirteen coaches of the Kalinga Utkal Express derailed in Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh on August 19 killing 22 people and injuring 156 while 10 coaches of Kaifiyat Express train derailed in UP’s Auraiya district today after crashing into a dumper which strayed onto the tracks. Police said about 100 passengers were wounded in today’s derailment.Prabhu met the prime minister after a meeting of the Cabinet today and left the city soon after, his staff told PTI. “I met the Hon’ble Prime Minister @narendramodi taking full moral responsibility,” Prabhu said in a tweet. The prime minister, he added, had asked him to wait. Union Defence and Finance minister Arun Jaitley when asked for his reaction said the prime minister will take a decision on whatever “request” the railway minister has made.
ALSO READ PM Modi will take a call on whatever ‘request’ Suresh Prabhu made: Arun JaitleyIn a series of emotional tweets, Prabhu said he was “extremely pained” by the two derailments in Uttar Pradesh.”In less than three years as Minister, I have devoted my blood and sweat for the betterment of the Railways. Under leadership of PM, tried to overcome decades of neglect through systemic reforms in all areas leading to unprecedented investment and milestones,” he said. “New India envisioned by PM deserves a Railways which is efficient and modern. I promise that is the path, on which Rlys is progressing now. I am extremely pained by the unfortunate accidents, injuries to passengers and loss of precious lives. It has caused me deep anguish.” Later in the day, a train collided with a lorry at an unmanned rail crossing in Villupuram, Tamil Nadu. Railway officials in Delhi described it as a “minor incident”.
ALSO READ Train accidents: Suresh Prabhu takes moral responsibility, hints at resignation; PM Modi asks him to wait”This responsibility business will not do. Either prime minister should sack the minister or he should accept his resignation,” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters. Soon after Prabhu’s tweet about meeting the prime minister, the government announced the appointment of Lohani, who is Air India’s Chairman and Managing Director, as Chairman of the Railway Board, succeeding Mital. According to sources, Mital submitted his resignation to Prabhu last evening and it was accepted today morning.”Necessary communication in this regard has been sent to the Ministry of Railways,” said the announcement by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. An officer of the railway mechanical service who had earlier served as the divisional railway manager in Delhi, Lohani was also the India Tourism Development Corporation chairman and headed the Rail Museum in the Capital. A 1980 batch officer of the railways’ mechanical service, Lohani has the 2007 Limca National Record for the four engineering degrees which he completed between 1977-1999 from Institute of Engineers, Kolkata. He successfully piloted the nomination of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway as a UNESCO world heritage site. He was decorated with the railway national award for outstanding performance in 1996.He also set a Guinness World Record in 1998 for running the oldest working steam locomotive in the world. Mohd Jamshed, Member Traffic, a 1980 batch Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer; Ghanshyam Singh, Member, Member, Traction, a 1979 batch Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineering (IRSEE) officer and Ravindra Gupta, Member, Rolling Stock, a 1975 batch officer of Special Class Apprentice (SCA) were believed to be the main contenders to succeed Mital. Two days before he retired in 2016, Mital, said to be close to Prabhu, was given a two-year extension. He was scheduled to retire in 2018 and would have been the longest serving chairman of the Railway Board if he had continued.Senior railway officials said Mital was not happy that senior officials of the ministry had to face the brunt of the fallout of the Utkal Express derailment. A day after the accident, Prabhu had sent three senior officials, including a member of the Board, on leave. Mital, who previously headed three major railway zones ? Southern Railway, South Central Railway and Central Railway as general manager — felt the action against the officials “affected the morale of the seniors”. Ministry sources said there was “high drama” after Mital’s resignation, with board members requesting him to reconsider his decision. They said some senior officers approached Prabhu, who said the matter no longer concerned his ministry alone.Sources also said the prime minister had a meeting with Prabhu and senior rail officials yesterday afternoon, when he made it clear that seniors would be held responsible for such lapses.

Utkal derailment: Action taken against Secy-level officer, 7

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cracking the whip, the Railways tonight sent on leave its three top officials, including a secretary-level Railway Board official, suspended four and transfered one in the wake of Utkal train derailment which appeared to have been caused by negligence. The action against the eight officers came hours after Member (Traffic) of the Railway Board, Mohd Jamshed, indicated that negligence appeared to have caused the derailment in which 22 people were killed and 156 injured, 26 of them critically. Member (Engineer) in the Railway Board, Aditya Kumar Mittal, Northern Railway General Manager R K Kulshrestha and Divisional Railway Manager (Delhi) R N Singh were sent on leave, said a Railway Ministry statement. Mittal, a secretary level officer, is the senior-most functionary to be sent on leave in the wake of the accident, said a Railway official, describing it as an “unprecedented move”. Officials are usually sent on leave till the time the probe is over and the responsibility fixed. Kulshrestha and R N Singh had visited the accident site last night and were part of the first central team which inspected the damaged track. R K Verma, Senior Divisional Engineer, Delhi division, Rohit Kumar, Assistant Engineer (Meerut), Inder Jeet Singh, Senior Section Engineer (Muzzafarnagar) and Pradeep Kumar, Junior Engineer (Khatauli) have all been suspended, the statement said. Chief Track Engineer, Alok Ansal, has been transferred, it added. “This is the strictest possible action that could have been taken and the intention was to send out a message that officers at each level have to take responsibility. It is a clear case of negligence,” a senior Railay Ministry official said while refusing to be identified. The action was taken on the basis of an internal report which is learnt have said that the rail track was found cut by a hacksaw and as a result there was a gap in the tracks, according to officials in the know. The report also said that the fish plate and the nut bolt on a section of the tracks were not fixed properly, they said. The train, which was on its way from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, had 23 coaches, of which 13 derailed at Khatauli in UP, R N Singh said earlier in the day. Six coaches of the train, which was running at a speed of over 100 kmph, were severely damaged, he added. One coach crashed into a house. Survivors were rescued and bodies pulled out till late last night and rescue operation by the National Disaster Response Force got over at around 3 AM. The death toll in the accident went up to 22 this evening, with one more person identified as Sushil Kumar succumbing to his injuries in a hospital in Ghaziabad, according to District Magistrate of Muzaffarnagar G S Priydarshi. Of them, 15 bodies have been identified. Principal Secretary (Information) to the UP government Awanish Kumar Awasthi said 156 people were injured in the derailment and many among them remain critical. More than 50 injured passengers have been discharged after medical treatment while free medical treatment of another 102 injured passengers is in progress, UP Cabinet minister Satish Mahana told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Derailment: Probe team to scan audio clip

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An audio clip of a purported conversation between a railway employee and a mediaperson, in which the former claimed that “negligence” led to yesterday’s tragedy in Khatauli, would be looked into by a team probing the derailment, a top railway ministry official said today. Member Traffic, Railways, Md Jamshed said the inquiry team probing the derailment, in which 22 passengers were killed, would look into the 15-minute audio clip. The clip has since gone viral. In the clip, the railway staff apparently posted at a crossing near the accident site in Khatauli in Muzaffarnagar claimed that “poor patrolling” on the track where maintenance work was underway was one of the reasons behind the tragedy. “Welding work was underway at a section of the railway track… but the workers did not fix the block of the track and left it loose. Gates near the crossing were closed. A piece (of the track) was not fixed and when the Utkal Express arrived, 14 of its coaches got derailed,” he is heard saying. “Neither the line, on which the work was under way, was fixed nor they had put any flag or a signboard (as a stop signal). The accident occurred due to negligence. It seems all (employees concerned) will be suspended.” He also talks about how the workers had left some equipment between the tracks after finishing their work. “At least, they could have removed the machine and put a red flag there, perhaps the tragedy could have been averted,” the staffer, presumably a gateman, is heard saying. Commissioner of Railway Safety Shailesh Kumar Pathak is going to begin his probe tomorrow and the clip’s veracity will be probed, officials said. “We have got the clip from the media and heard it. In the clip, it sounds like a conversation between a railway worker and a mediaperson. In it, the worker is saying that the work was going on on the track and it was being done negligently. We are verifying its authenticity. “In fact, during the commissioner’s inquiry, the common people will be asked to provide any information that they have on the accident,” Jamshed said here earlier in the day.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dima Hasao district to host Jatinga and Falcon festivals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With a view to promote tourism, peace and brotherhood, Dima Hasao district will host the Jatinga festival and Falcon festival in September and November. At a press meet in Jatinga Bird Watching Centre here yesterday, the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council, Chief Executive Member (CEM), Debolal Gorlosa said the two festivals are being hosted to promote tourism, peace and brotherhood in the district. Gorlosa said collective efforts can only make the events achieve grand success. The Jatinga festival will be held from September 22 to 24, while the Falcon festival will be from November 15 to 20.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SAD MP demands action against Sidhu for breach of protocol

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra today demanded action against Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for allegedly breaching the protocol during Independence Day function in Ferozepur. Chandumajra, who is also Member Parliament from Sri Anandpur Sahib, alleged that Sidhu “violated” the protocol by allowing Congress leaders on his vehicle while inspecting the guard of honour. He said the state government had taken action against police officers who tried to stop the Congress leaders. A police inspector was suspended yesterday for the breach of protocol during the Independence Day function. The action was taken as several Congress leaders boarded the police gypsy when Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was the chief guest, was on it to inspect the “guard of honour”, the officials had said. MLA Satkar Kaur, the district’s Congress chief Chamkaur Singh Dhindsa, former minister Inderjit Singh Zira and party leader Harinder Singh Khosa had boarded the vehicle, they had said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Environment Minister conducts surprise inspection of DPCC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Thursday conducted a surprise inspection of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) office at Kashmere Gate and found some senior officers absent from duty without any cogent reason.He also found that the records were “not properly maintained”, said a senior government official. “He directed the Secretary (Environment) and Member Secretary (DPCC) to seek an explanation from the erring officers,” he said.Hussain expressed his ‘deep concern’ over the ‘state of affairs’ noticed by him, the official said.The minister also found that representations and grievances received from people and industrial units were ‘unattended” for ‘long periods’ of time. No reply was available from the staff regarding the delay in answering pending correspondences, he said.

BJP resorting to blatant manipulation: Congress on Gujarat crisis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In wake of the horse-trading allegations by the Congress against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the grand old party on Monday said that the saffron party is resorting to blatant manipulation of facts.”The BJP is resorting to blatant manipulation. They are attempting to murder the parliamentary democracy. What they are attempting to do in Gujarat is going to fail. They may have been able to engineer sudden resignations, but then the total number of required votes is also coming down,” Congress leader Om Prakash Mishra told ANI.He added that the Congress is trying to take as much precaution as it is possible within its means and resources.”We shall definitely win the seats in Gujarat as well as in West Bengal,” Mishra asserted.Earlier on Sunday, the Congress accused the BJP of buying and threatening their MLAs in Gujarat for Rs. 15 crore and paraded its 44 MLAs who are camping here.Addressing a press conference, senior Congress MLA from Gujarat Shaktisinh Gohil said, “Ask these MLAs the way they are threatened, they chose to stand by party even when offered Rs. 15 crore.”The Congress had said that the BJP is using “money, muscle and state power” to engineer defection, after at least six of its MLAs (Member of Legislative Assembly) had resigned from the party to join the BJP.The party on July 28 flew 44 of its MLAs to Bengaluru to stop more of them from switching over to the BJP.In this backdrop, the Election Commission of India on Saturday sought an enquiry report from the Chief Secretary of Gujarat by Monday over the allegations made by the Congress.

Congress concerned about Ahmed Patel, doesn’t care about MLAs Javadekar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress is only concerned about Ahmed Patel and doesn?t care about its other MLAs from Gujarat, said Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday. Javadekar was reacting on Congress? parading of its 44 MLAs in Bengaluru and its charge that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) offered Rs. 15 crore to Congress MLAs from Gujarat to desert the Congress. Talking to ANI, Javadekar said, ?Congress only tries to save Rahul Gandhi by all means, no matter what happens to the party. Even in Gujarat, they have only one face, they only want to save Ahmad Patel. They don?t have the time to know what their MLAs want.? He refuted Congress? charge of horse trading and said that some of the Congress MLAs from Gujarat joined BJP because they had lost faith in grand old party. ?All the people left the Congress because they wanted to do so and not because of money. Ram Singh is a leader of dairy movement, he does not need money. He himself left the party, because he knew the real face of congress,? Javadekar said. He also attacked Congress party for sending out its Gujarat MLAs to Bengaluru when the state is hit by floods. ?While the BJP led state government and forces were trying their best to save the flood affected people, the grand old party is busy doing press conference in lavish Bungalows in Bengaluru and accusing us of doing horse trading,? Javadekar said, and added it was like ?the pot is calling the kettle black? as they ran away from Gujarat when the state is suffering from flood. The Congress Party earlier in the day accused the BJP of buying and threatening their MLAs in Gujarat for Rs. 15 crore and paraded its 44 MLAs who are camping here. Addressing a press conference here, senior Congress MLA from Gujarat Shaktisinh Gohil said, “Ask these MLAs the way they are threatened, they chose to stand by party even when offered Rs 15 crore.” He said BJP is doing horse-trading and we are trying to protect the democracy. “BJP is hitting below the belt; we are fighting to protect democracy . We have required numbers. There is no need for us to stay here (Bengaluru) for even a minute if they (BJP) say, they won’t threaten,” Gohil said. Hitting back at the BJP, the Congress leader further said, “When there was flood in Banaskantha, my MLAs were there with people but no BJP minister, leader or chief minister was there.” Earlier, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had accused the Congress party of being insensitive and irresponsible, and said that they have sent their 40 MLAs to stay in a 5-star hotel in Bengaluru, while Gujarat is facing floods. Gohil further said that they have also managed to establish contact with seven Congress MLAs, who were reportedly inaccessible. “Seven MLAs (Member of Legislative Assembly) are in our contact, their conscience is awakening. We have requested them not to come in people’s tricky ways, stick to the party,” Gohil Said. Earlier, the Congress had said that BJP is using “money, muscle and state power” to engineer defections, after at least six of its MLAs (Member of Legislative Assembly) had resigned from the party to join the BJP. The party on July 28 flew 44 of its MLAs to Bengaluru to stop more of them from switching over to the BJP.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Congress sinking due to Sonia’s love for her son-Vijay Rupani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Amid the alarming exodus on Congress MLAs in Gujarat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani placed the blame squarely on party president Sonia Gandhi, saying she was sinking the party because of the affection she has towards her son, Rahul Gandhi. Speaking to ANI here, Rupani said, ?Sonia Gandhi is immersed in the affection towards her son, which has drowned the Congress party in entire country.? He added, ?Today the condition of their party is getting worse as, no one wants to accept their rule.? Rupani also accused the Congress party of being insensitive and irresponsible, stating that they have sent their 40 MLAs to stay in a 5-star hotel in Bengaluru, while Gujarat is facing floods. ?Out of greed to send their senior leader Ahmed Patel in Rajya Sabha, the Congress has sent their 40 MLAs, including those who are from the districts which are being hit the most by floods, to Bengaluru,? Rupani said. ?Gujarat is facing problem of floods, but they have no care and concern of that. Soon, the Congress party will also be drowned in the floods,? he added. Earlier, the Congress had accused the BJP of horse-trading in Gujarat and using “money, muscle and state power” to engineer defections, after six of its MLAs (Member of Legislative Assembly) had resigned from the party to join the BJP. The party on July 28 flew 44 of its MLAs to Bengaluru to stop more of them from switching over to the BJP. ADD DETAILS OF WHEN AND HOW MANY MLAS HAVE QUIT(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM Modi condoles death of former CM of Karnataka N Dharam Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed grief over the death of former chief minister of Karnataka N. Dharam Singh. PM Modi said his dedicated service towards society will always be remembered. Prime Minister’s Office took to twitter and wrote, “Saddened by the demise of former Karnataka CM Shri N. Dharam Singh. My thoughts are with his family & supporters in this sad hour.” He added, “Shri N. Dharam Singh had rich experience in Karnataka & national politics. His dedicated service towards society will be remembered.” N. Dharam Singh breathed his last after suffering a cardiac arrest at Bengaluru’s MS Ramaiah Memorial Hospital on Thursday. Singh was the 17th Chief Minister of Karnataka from 2004 to 2006. He was a Member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly for seven consecutive terms and a Member of Parliament representing Bidar in the 14th Lok Sabha. Starting his political career as a socialist, he later joined the Indian National Congress and remained a staunch loyalist since then, without deserting the party.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Reporting of expunged remarks may be sent to RS Privilege Com

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien today indicated that distortion and reporting of expunged remarks of a Samajwadi Party MP by certain media houses may be referred to the privileges committee. Kurien said he had last week stated that media should not report anything expunged by the Chair from the records. And if the remarks of any member are distorted, it “amounts to breach of privilege” of the Member of Parliament, he said. He made the remarks after KTS Tulsi (Nominated) said that 50 lawmakers from 12 parties have signed and given a notice under rule 188 for breach of privilege by certain media houses for twisting and distorting of the remarks by Naresh Agarwal (SP). “We welcome criticism, but not in a manner of distorting views and presenting them in a fashion that tantamount to defaming” the MP, he said. “The matter should be referred to the privileges committee.” Last week, Agarwal had made controversial comments on certain Hindu gods which the Chair had expunged from records immediately and asked the media not to report them. Kurien said if the remarks have been distorted and if the notice of Tulsi has been signed by 50 MPs, the matter “will be referred to the privileges committee.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Congress moves adjournment motion over CAG report on shortage of ammunition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress leader Ripun Bora on Monday filed an adjournment motion notice in the Rajya Sabha, following the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on shortage of arms and ammunition in the Army reserves. The Member of Parliament from Assam gave notice of Suspension of Business under rule 267. Bora sought cognizance citing the CAG report which states that the current stock of the Indian Army War wastage reserve ammunition can continue a war for only ten days. According to Bora the CAG pointed out this deficiency in its report in 2013. Bora has asserted that despite of three years of lapse no prominent action has been taken n the regard. The CAG report shows that the defence ministry had prepared a plan of 16500 crore to fulfill deficiency in stock of arms and ammunition but has not been implemented yet.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ED to question Misa Bharti on money laundering of Rs.8 K crores

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Member of Parliament Misa Bharti has been asked to appear before Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials alongwith her husband Shailesh Kumar in connection with the alleged money laundering of Rs.8,000 crores. Bharti, the eldest daughter of RJD chief Lalu Yadav, will depose before an ED investigating officer here today. She has reportedly been asked to bring along certain documents, including those related to her personal finances. On Saturday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had raided three Delhi premises of Bharti, Shailesh and a firm allegedly linked to them in the money laundering probe involving shell companies. The ED is the third central probing body investigating alleged financial irregularities by Lalu Prasad’s family after the CBI and the Income Tax department, which recently attached benami assets worth about 180 crore rupees. (ANI with inputs) Ends AD NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Explain appointments in state pollution control boards: NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed all states and Union Territories (UTs) to explain within a week whether appointments of Chairmen and Member Secretaries in state pollution control boards have been made as per the guidelines stipulated by it. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar warned that if the reply is not filed by them within the requisite time, it would impose a cost of Rs 25,000 on each defaulting state or UT. “All the state governments and the UTs shall file a specific reply within one week on whether they have complied with the directions contained in the judgment of the tribunal of August 24, 2016. “Whether the Rules have been framed in accordance to the judgment and appointment of Member Secretary/Chairman have been made in terms of the same, if framed. Whether the Chairman/Member Secretary presently working in the state board are qualified as per the judgment to hold the said post,” the bench said. The matter was listed for next hearing on July 12. The Maharashtra government is among several parties which have challenged the June 8 NGT order in the Supreme Court, barring the heads of 10 state pollution boards from working till the appointments are made in accordance with its judgment. The states are Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Kerala, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra and Manipur. The green panel, however, had granted three months to Delhi government and two months to Punjab and Uttar Pradesh for making the appointments to their pollution control boards as per the guidelines issued by it. The NGT had in August last year asked the state governments to fill the vacancies in the boards as per the guidelines laid down by it and file their reports. The green panel, which had issued a slew of guidelines for appointments to the posts of Chairman and Member Secretary, had in August said the nominations should be of persons who have “special knowledge, practical experience or qualification in environment protection studies” and not on the ground of their association with state government. The tribunal said the chairman or member secretary should have a fixed term, which should not be extended. Such persons should not hold office in the Board in accordance to their tenure in state government. The judgement had come on a plea by Uttarakhand resident Rajendra Singh Bhandari, who had challenged the constitution of state pollution control boards on the grounds that people who did not qualify were appointed as chairman, member secretary and members of these boards.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Villagers-to-sport-black-band-in-support-of-Ballabgarh-lynching @ 6/25/2017 6:22:08 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In the wake of the train lynching incident that took place in Haryana?s Palwal area, people from the deceased Junaid?s village have decided to sport black bands on Eid, marking a silent protest. Condemning the incident, a villager said people would be wearing a black band to celebrate the festival. ?As long as ministers and police officials are supporting us, we will not conduct a violent protest. We would only wear black bands and the pictures for the same would be posted on social media?, he said. Haryana Waqf Board chairman Rahisha Khan asserted that he strictly reprimanded such actions and assured to give the required financial aid to the family. Khan said, ?I strictly condemn such actions. We will give them financial aid. This incident has happened during Eid.? Khan said that the accused would soon be taken under custody and the Haryana Chief Minister (CM) had assured full support to the family. ?The accused would soon be brought under custody. I have spoken to the CM, Tek Chand has also spoken to him, and the CM has assured full support. A meeting would be convened with the CM regarding the same on Tuesday?, he added. He said that more persons have been caught in connection with the case and they are being examined as they didn?t want any innocent to be held guilty for the incident. Khan also said that the incident is nowhere in relation with the much hyped topic of ?beef?. Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Tek Chand Sharma said he was in constant touch with the family since the beginning due to his deep affection for the village, and its people. ?I have been in touch with the family since the day of the incident. The village is close to my office that is why I have special affection for the people of this village?, Chand said. ?CM has assured his support in this incident.The red cross society and the Waqf Board chairman have given Rs 5,00,000 each to the family. CM relief fund will also be provided after discussions with the CM?, he added. ?I would like to thank the CM, the Waqf board chairman and Tek Chand fir their support to the villagers.? The sarpanch of the village said that Eid would not be a grandeur event this time. ?It?s a sad moment for the village. Eid would not be a happy event in the village, and it would be celebrated in a peaceful manner?, the Sarpanch said. Junaid was murdered after a scuffle which broke out in a train over a seat in Haryana’s Palwal, on Friday. He, along with his two brothers, had gone to Delhi to do shopping. When they were returning by the Mathura passenger train, they had a heated argument with a group of men over seating. One of the men of the group attacked Junaid with knife that proved fatal.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Baba Siddique questioned by ED in SRA scam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The former Congress Member of Legislative Assembly Baba Siddique appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday in connection with a money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in a Rs 400 crore slum rehabilitation project at Bandra reclamation.The former Maharashtra minister was summoned by the investigating officer (IO) to record his statement in the case and was grilled for over eight hours. The ED had conducted raids on May 31 at about seven locations in connection with SRA scam including Siddique’s premises, a real estate firm and a builder connected to him.So far, the police have questioned more than 25 people in connection with the scam. “We have recorded Siddique’s statement to understand his role in the project and to verify the claims of complainants. Our probe is on and we may call him again for questioning with certain documents,” said an ED officer.Based on a FIR at Bandra police station, the ED had recently registered a criminal case under PMLA against Siddique and 157 others. The Bandra police had registered a FIR in 2014, on directions of a local court, to probe financial irregularities in the slum rehabilitation project in which Siddique is alleged to have been involved. Siddique was the chairman of the Mumbai board of MHADA between 2000-2004.The caseThe case is based on Jamat E Jamuria slum rehabilitation scam near Bandra Reclamation. It was alleged that several slum dwellers forged their document to get rooms in the building constructed.

Ex-MLA Vijay Jolly’s bag stolen from his car in Saket

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two bike-borne youths broke the window of the car of Vijay Jolly, former Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Saket, and fled with his bag on Wednesday evening. The stolen items included important documents, such as letters to the Home Minister and the Transport Minister.”We have registered a case under Section 379 (punishment for theft) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and further investigation is underway,” a senior police officer said.In his complaint to the police, Jolly said that he had parked his i20 car around 8 pm. “Just then, the right back side window pane of the car was broken and my shoulder bag was stolen. I saw two young boys riding a black Splendour motorcycle without a number plate,” he said.The bag had a Sony camera, perfume, a laptop with mouse and keyboard, a folder containing letters addressed to the Home Minister, the Transport Minister, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President.In his complaint, Jolly also mentioned that residents in the area informed him that such incidents took place at the same location often. He has appealed to the police officers to keep a check on such incidents. No arrests have been made in the case, so far.

North Delhi mayor meets L-G on financial crunch issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>North Delhi Mayor Preety Agarwal today called on Lt Governor Anil Baijal to apprise him of the civic body’s financial condition and measures being taken to boost revenue. Cash-strapped North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has faced several stir from sanitation workers over the last few years. The mayor of the newly-elected house of the municipal body had taken charge on May 18 and soon after she had said sanitation was her first priority. She was accompanied by Member of Parliament, Udit Raj. “The NDMC is facing financial crunch since its inception (in 2012). The basic reason behind this was the manner in which the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi was trifurcated. And, due to this crisis, many of the schemes which the corporation intended to implement, have been hindered,” she said. The mayor further said this situation is “depicting a very poor picture about the functioning of the corporation among the public”, whereas most of the employees are working very hard to achieve the targets fixed for them, despite delay in the salary disbursAL and other due benefits. Agarwal said various schemes to boost revenues are in the final stages of implementation. The mayor requested the Lt Governor to direct the Delhi government for timely release of the grants due to the NDMC and push for an early implementation of the Fourth Financial Commission recommendations.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Will deal with corruption with an iron hand: Captain Amarinder Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday reiterated the Punjab government’s zero tolerance against corruption.He was addressing a distinguished gathering at Zee Television’s show – Punjab The New Roadshow, at the launch of Zee Punjab Haryana Himachal channel. The CM talked about a range of issues confronting the state and vowed to deal with corruption with an iron hand.Corruption was a curse in Punjab and had kept industry away from the state, he said, adding that he was committed to bring industrial development back on track.Sharing his dream for the state, Captain Amarinder said he wanted to see a drugs-free Punjab, with industrial revival and crops diversification key programmes.Pointing out that his government needed to provide 90 lakh jobs to youth, which was the only way to wean them away from drugs, the Chief Minister assured that his government would deliver on all its promises to the people.He said he was regularly following his Facebook page to keep himself abreast of what people think and would ensure that their grievances are addressed and their problems resolved at the earliest.Describing the drugs crackdown by STF as one of his biggest achievements in the past two months, the Chief Minister asserted his commitment to breaking the back of the drugs mafia. The big fish will be caught and brought to book, he said, adding that action had already been taken against 4000 culprits involved in drugs smuggling and peddling. He noted that 70% of the affected people were coming to the rehabilitation centres, indicating the success of the anti-drugs campaign of his government.CM Amarinder Singh with Zee Chairman and Member of Parliament Subhash Chandra and Zee Media CEO – Regional News Channels Jagdish Chandra at the eventCaptain Amarinder also expressed satisfaction at the response he had received from captains of industry during his meetings in Mumbai last month, and promised good governance to all industrialists.The Chief Minister listed smooth, timely and efficient wheat procurement as another of his government’s success stories. He promised to create a mechanism to ensure remunerative prices for the farmers, pointing out that he had already taken up the issue of maize procurement by the central government at MSP to promote crop diversification.He also declared his commitment to overhauling the education centre to make youth employable and to improve the health system in the state.Congratulating Zee Chairman and Member of Parliament Subhash Chandra on the new venture, the Chief Minister welcomed the new channel as a positive step in the direction of bringing transparency in the media. The Chief Minister promised media houses of a favourable and free environment to promote the state’s democratic institutions. Captain Amarinder underlined the need to inform people about the truth.

Ensure sanitation workers get salary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP national secretary and Member of Parliament Maheish Girri knocked at the doors of the Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal on Friday, requesting him to intervene to ensure salaries for East Delhi Municipal Corporation sanitation workers are paid. Girri alleged that the Delhi government is deliberately not giving salary to them.The BJP national secretary also requested the LG to interfere in the matter and to ensure the salaries of the sanitation workers are released. “Delhi government must immediately release salaries of sanitation workers of east Delhi civic body,” Girri said. In January 2017, sanitation workers went on a strike demanding that their salaries be released. Various sanitation workers’ associations have threatened that if their salary for three months and arrears are not fully paid, they will continue with their strike. But the corporation managed to convince them and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had then released Rs 119 crore funds for the salary.But the workers have said that the Rs 119 crore package released by the AAP government was not enough, and at least Rs 500 crore more was needed to pay all the dues back to them. Girri also raised other issues like the water crisis in Delhi and requested for a speedy remedy.

Telangana Govt. to shift secretariat to Parade Grounds

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Government of Telangana plans to shift its secretariat to the Parade Grounds. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has submitted a letter to the Centre asking them for the defence land in the Cantonment area of Secunderabad. Rao wants to construct a new secretariat at the Parade Grounds which is the only ground left in the Secunderabad area. Both locals and the opposition have staged protests over the proposal to build the secretariat at the Parade Grounds. Talking to ANI, Krishank, spokesman of the opposition Congress party in the state, said, “He (Rao) wants to build a secretariat on the Parade Grounds for better vastu. People have a long association with the parade grounds and in order to protect it, we are staging protests by raising slogans , carrying placards since past seven days. RamChander Rao, a Member of the Legislative Council, the BJP said, “Parade grounds stood as a symbol of strength and sacrifices for us. I myself have been a resident and did my schooling from the same area. It would be more sensible if this government makes efforts to ask roads of AOC centre which are under defence area be used for civilians.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DCW chief writes to Arun Jaitley, asks him to make sanitary napkins tax-free

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal has written a letter to Union Minister Arun Jaitley, in which she requested his intervention on making sanitary napkins exempt from the GST bill.”The better half of our population has been bestowed with the gift of motherhood and in this process all females from the tender age of 10-12 years till 45-50 years face monthly menstruation. Since menstruation is a natural phenomenon, hygiene, and proper health during this period is a natural fundamental right of each female citizen of this country. However, sanitary napkins which are critical for the health and hygiene of millions of women are presently taxed,” she wrote in her letter.Currently, sanitary napkins are taxed at 12 per cent in the recently released GST bill schedule for goods. These napkins are a daily necessity and taxing them makes it inaccessible to many women. Maliwal noted that many women in India are already forced to opt for unhygienic materials from used cloth, ashes, and even straws. Making them expensive just makes these, even further from use for these women in rural areas.Maliwal also pointed out to the Union Minister that Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, Member of Parliament Sushmita Dev and several other political leaders have already advocated making sanitary napkins tax-free.

Congress would be wiped out under Rahul Gandhi: Vishwajit Rane

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa minister Vishwajit Rane, who parted ways with the Congress after the Assembly polls, today claimed that the party would be wiped out under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Rane’s comments came a day after the Congress filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking to restrain him from contesting the upcoming by-election. Rane, who holds the health portfolio, had contested the Goa Assembly polls in February this year on a Congress ticket. He later resigned from the post of MLA on March 16 to join the BJP and was inducted in the state cabinet. “Nobody is interested in the Congress especially with failed leadership like that of Rahul Gandhi. The party will be white-washed in 2019,” Rane told reporters here today. Talking about the petition filed against him, Rane said he had not defected but resigned as Member of Legislative Assembly and would be facing a fresh mandate from the people. Rane said the Congress, which has now been left “irrelevant” after it failed to form government, was “trying to grab headlines” by speaking against him. The minister rubbished rumours about the instability of the Manohar Parrikar-led government. “The government is stable and we all are working unitedly for the welfare of the people. Parrikar is firm in saddle,” he said. He said the Congress has lost its relevance in politics and was trying to make statements to defend itself under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi who was not available to any of us (then Congress MLAs) for talks after the party got 17 seats in Goa elections. “His (Gandhi’s) number was not reachable and that is the state of affairs of the Congress party for which he is responsible,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Centre unwilling to accept political nature of Kashmir issue’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Conference today expressed serious concern over the deteriorating situation in the Kashmir Valley, saying the Centre’s “unwillingness” to recognise the political nature of the problem was “compounding the situation” in the state. The opposition party stated this after a meeting of its core group its highest decision-making body which was chaired by NC president and Member of Parliament Farooq Abdullah. Former chief minister and the party’s working president Omar Abdullah also attended the meeting. “The NC core group while expressing serious concern over the deteriorating situation also expressed disappointment at the complete failure of the state government both in terms of governance and to create a suitable peaceful environment, as evidenced by the cancellation of the Anantnag by-poll, as also (by) rising incidents of violence and turmoil in the state,” a party spokesman said. He said the core group also expressed disappointment over the “unwillingness of the Government of India” to recognise the political nature of the problem which has “compounded the situation in the Valley and added to the already serious level of alienation”. The NC core group expressed profound grief and sorrow over the loss of lives in the recent incidents of violence in the valley and expressed solidarity with bereaved families and extended the party’s condolences to them, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kerala organises first ever transgender athletic meet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Kerala on Friday organised the country’s first transgender one-day athletic meet here in which 132 participants from 12 districts participated. Kerala Sports Minister A. C. Moideen inaugurated the event at the Central Stadium. Member of Parliament A Sampath and Member Legislative Assembly V S Sivakumar were also present during the inaugural function. The non-playing members of the transgender community along with participants joined in the march past. One hundred thirty two participants from 12 districts participated in the meet. There was no participant from Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts. Six events were held in the competition- 100 metres, 200 metres, and 400 metres running; 100x 4 relay race, high jump and shot put. Kerala sports council and Sexual Gender Minority Federation of Kerala jointly organised the meet.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Stand by my claim of demolishing Babri Masjid- Vedanti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Ram Vilas Vedanti on Saturday reiterated that he ordered the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, and there was no political pressure on him to withdraw the remark. ?I am not pressurized by any political party and I claim to have demolished the old structure with the support of members of Karsewaks to rebuild the temple,? Vedanti told ANI. Vedanti further refused to accept that there was a mosque on the disputed land and expressed his determination to build the Ram temple. Vedanti on Friday claimed it was he and not BJP patriarch LK Advani who incited the frenzied karsevaks to pull down the disputed shrine. Vedanti’s remarks came two days after the Supreme Court resurrected the conspiracy charge against senior BJP leaders Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharti in the Babri Masjid demolition case.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Munavvar Saleem writes open letter to PM Modi on cow slaughter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament and Samajwadi Party leader Munavvar Saleem has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of cow slaughter and offered some suggestions. He called on the government to prepare a precise list of all those who deal in the sale of ageing cows and impose strict ban on both purchasers and sellers. He further suggested that cow shelters should be opened and that dead cows should also be cremated. He also emphasized on the need to ban on the sale of different parts of the animal like its head, horns and flesh in the open market. The Samajwadi Party MP claimed that Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar had banned cow slaughter and those who violated that order during his reign were given death sentences.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Wheat procurement: Har CM directs ministers to visit grain

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has directed all his ministers to visit different grain markets in the state and review the arrangements made for wheat procurement. “The Ministers will ensure that farmers do not face any inconvenience,” state Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Krishan Kumar Bedi told reporters today after attending a meeting of the Council of Ministers here, which was presided over by the Chief Minister. It was also decided that the next cabinet meeting would be held here on April 18, he said. “Also, a special session of the Haryana Assembly would be convened for passage of Goods and Services Tax (GST), and date for this session will be announced later,” Bedi said. Replying to a question, the minister said it was decided in the meeting to constitute a sub-committee of the state cabinet under the chairmanship of the Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Om Prakash Dhankar, for conducting a survey of BPL families. The sub-committee will also have the Social Justice and Empowerment Minister and Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Kamal Gupta, as its member. Principal Secretary Social Justice and Empowerment Department Anil Kumar will be the Member Secretary of the sub-committee. Replying to another question, Bedi said the Chief Minister has decided that persons, who were availing benefits under social security pension schemes in a wrongful manner, but had now crossed the age of 60 years would be given the benefit of pension. “However, the amount of pension availed wrongfully would be recovered by deducting half of their monthly pension. Such persons would also be given the option of lump sum settlement,” he said. Meanwhile, the Haryana government has decided that the ministers in-charge would be competent to effect transfers in their respective departments till April 30 for all departments upto Class III and IV level, excluding teaching staff of the Education Department. A circular to this effect has been issued by the office of Haryana Chief Secretary, the minister said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sena offers ‘proof’ that AI staff abused Ravindra Gaikwad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Just days after Shiv Sena MPs met Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan requesting that the blanket ban by airline companies against Osmanabad MP Ravindra Gaikwad (in pic) be revoked, they met Mahajan again on Thursday and claimed that Gaikwad, too, was abused and hit by Air India staffers. They appealed to the Speaker that the airline staffers should also face action for abusing a Member of Parliament. Agitated Sena MPs told the Speaker that Gaikwad, who has been grounded for allegedly assaulting a senior employee of Air India, was the victim of a media trial. Senior Sena MPs Anandrao Adsul, Chandrakant Khaire, Gajanan Kirtikar, Vinayak Raut and Arvind Sawant were present in the meeting, along with Shrirang Barne, Shivaji Patil, Prataprao Jadhav, Bhawana Gawli, Hemant Godse and Rajya Sabha member Anil Desai. Gaikwad stayed away from the meeting and even the Parliament after he reached Delhi from Osmanabad by road. “Only one side of the story is coming out. We showed a video to Madam Speaker where some of the staffers are clearly heard abusing our colleague. We requested once again that the ban imposed on him be revoked so that he can perform his duties properly,” said Arvind Sawant, Member of Parliament, Mumbai South.

Activist seeks one-year AI flight ban on Sena MP Gaikwad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A city-based RTI activist has urged the Centre that police should be allowed to act “without interference” against Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, who allegedly assaulted a senior Air India official last week. The activist, Shailesh Gandhi, in his petition addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also demanded that the Sena MP should be banned from taking the Air India flights for a period of one year. “India is disgusted by the actions of Member of Parliament Ravindra Gaikwad. He has arrogantly boasted on national television with great pride that he had hit an Air India staff member 25 times with his chappal and feels completely justified. This has also been recorded on video. This is one of the worst cases of VIP racism and hubris,” he said in the petition put up on the Change.org. Gandhi, who had served as the Central Information Commissioner from 2008 to 2012, said, “Citizens are very happy that Air India has decided not to take him as a passenger and other airlines have also followed suit. We applaud the government for supporting Air India’s principled stand. This should apply to any unruly passenger on flights to ensure safety.” He urged the Modi government to ensure that there was no interference in the matter. “Allow the police to proceed as per the law without any interference in this matter and ensure that Air India does not offer him a seat on its flights at least for a period of one year,” he said. “People of the country have noticed that some political parties are defending Gaikwad’s unforgivable actions, but we have faith that your government will not succumb to such pressures,” Gandhi said. 57-year-old Gaikwad, the Lok Sabha MP from Maharashtra’s Osmanabad, had slapped and repeatedly hit 60-year-old duty manager with his sandal on March 23 when the official went to persuade him to disembark after he refused to alight, after the Pune-Delhi flight landed in the national capital. He was furious at having to fly on an all-economy flight despite having a business class ticket.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Singh talks tough against people raising anti-India slogans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Union Home Secretary and BJP MP R K Singh has said if somebody raises anti-India slogans will be thrashed. “We are not like people who remain silent even seeing somebody raising slogans like ‘Bharat tere tukde hoge’…we are nationalists and if we see somebody raising anti-India slogans we will thrash him,” Singh told reporters here yesterday. Though he did not refer to the JNU event last year when some protestors had raised slogans like “Bharat tere tukde hoge” (India will disintegrate), but his reaction was apparently in that context. Asked about the choice of Aditya Nath Yogi as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Singh said “he is a good person and a nationalist.” Singh came here for inspecting construction of a railway overbridge. After retiring from service, Singh joined the BJP and was elected as Member of Parliament in 2014 from Ara constituency.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Can airlines ban an MP from travelling on official duty?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Can airlines ban any Member of Parliament from travelling for discharge of his official duty? This question was raised by Naresh Agrawal of Samajwadi Party today in the Rajya Sabha while referring to Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad been banned from flying by domestic airlines following his alleged assault on an Air India staffer. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, he asked whether the airlines could take such an action even before the MP is found guilty of misconduct. Gaikwad being put on ‘no-fly’ list is the probably the first in Indian history as no one has so far been banned from flying for unruly behaviour in India. Agrawal was not allowed to raise the issue by Deputy Chairman P J Kurien on the ground that it pertained to a member of the other House.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Waste burning worst for public health, environment: NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Waste dumping sites produce harmful gases and when put on fire, it becomes the worst for public health and the environment, the National Green Tribunal has said. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar made the observation while forming a committee headed by the secretary of Delhi government’s Urban Development department to inspect and file a report on indiscriminate burning of waste in dumping sites at Ghazipur and Bhalswa areas here. “Needless to note that these dumping sites, even without being put on fire, generate gases which are injurious to the environment and public health. Once they are put on fire, intentionally or otherwise, to reduce the quantum of dumped waste at site, certainly becomes worst, both for human health and environment,” the tribunal said. It noted that the emission of gases visibly were highly polluting and dangerous to human health. The bench asked the panel to submit a report by tomorrow after taking note of various photographs showing dumps of waste “which are already much beyond the prescribed limit and are on fire”. “We therefore constitute a Committee consisting of Member Secretary, Central Pollution Control Board, Member Secretary, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and Chief Engineers of the respective Municipal Corporations,” it said. The tribunal said the report should be specific and comprehensive and the panel should collect air and gas samples which would be analysed in relation to all its possible constituents. The NGT also asked the panel to report why its earlier directions were not complied with. In its order, the tribunal said that “if any step had been taken in that direction, the corporation and NCT, Delhi would be at liberty to bring it to the notice of the Committee.” “If no such submission is made before the Committee, it shall be presumed that no step whatsoever have been taken in furtherance to those judgments. If steps taken are brought to the notice of the Committee, it shall verify the same upon physical inspection of the site. Inspection should be completed continuously, if necessary tomorrow or day after,” it said. The NGT also appointed advocate Rahul Khurana as an observer who shall also be a member of the committee and listed the matter for further hearing on March 9.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

LG transfers Women & Child Development Secy Dilraj Kaur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal has transfered Women and Child Development Secretary Dilraj Kaur, whose appointment as Member Secretary of Delhi Commission for Women by his predecessor Najeeb Jung was disputed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Kaur, a 2000 batch IAS officer, has been posted as Additional Commissioner in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC). She has been replaced by IAS officer Garima Gupta as DCW Member Secretary. At present Gupta is the Director-cum-Special Secretary (higher education). Senior IAS officer Anil Kumar Singh, Secretary-cum-Commissioner (labour), will hold additional charge as secretary (social welfare and women and child development) till further notice. Earlier, Kaur had been at loggerheads with the DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal over payment of salaries to the DCW staff. Maliwal had alleged that the IAS officer was trying to “derail” the commission’s work even as a struggle continued between Kaur and P P Dhal, the AAP government’s appointee to the post of DCW member secretary.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AAP extends support to RLD candidate Aishwarya Raj in Basti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aam Aadmi Party today extended its support to RLD candidate Aishwarya Raj Singh, who has quit his job in Tata Consultancy Service to test electoral waters in the back of the beyond Basti Sadar seat. Aam Aadmi Party, which is not contesting the assembly elections, in Uttar Pradesh said in its support letter that Aishwarya Raj does not have any criminal record and is most educated among all the candidates in the electoral fray. The letter was issued by Anand Rajpal, who was candidate for Member of Parliament for the party from Basti seat. Aishwarya, who is contesting the seat, belongs to the royal family of Basti and his father was a local MLA while mother a senior Railway officer. An engineer by education, he had served Tata Consultancy Service in the United States before getting posted in Lucknow. The seat is going for polls on February 27, for which 14 candidates are in the fray.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

2G scam: DMK leader Kanimozhi allowed to travel abroad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special court has allowed DMK leader Kanimozhi, an accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case, to travel abroad for five days this month. Special CBI Judge O P Saini allowed the DMK MP to travel to Rwanda and Uganda from February 19 to 24 after noting that the travel was not a private visit but part of an official delegation, as she was required to accompany the Vice President of India on his visit to these countries.The court, however, put several conditions on her and asked her to furnish a surety bond of Rs 2.5 lakh. It also warned the accused not to tamper with any evidence or try to contact any witness during her stay abroad and directed her to file details of her places of stay and telephone numbers. “She has always been diligent in attending the court and has given no occasion to any quarter to question her conduct in the court. As such, there is no material on record to apprehend that she may misuse the liberty of travelling abroad, if granted to her. Moreover, the foreign travel to be undertaken by her is not a private visit, but part of official delegation…,” the court said.It noted that the case was at the stage of final arguments and her personal presence was not always necessary. In her application, the DMK leader stated that pursuant to her duties as Member of Parliament, she was required to accompany the Vice President. She said the visit was official in nature. The CBI, which initially opposed her application, submitted that it had no objection to her prayer, except that she must make a firm statement that she has informed the Rajya Sabha Secretariat/office of the Vice President about the pendency of the instant cases.At this, the DMK MP told the court that the Secretariat of the Vice President has been informed about the pendency of the case. Besides Kanimozhi, former Telecom Minister A Raja and former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura are also accused along with 14 others in the 2G spectrum case. In its charge sheet, CBI has alleged a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum, which was scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012. All the accused, who are out on bail, have denied the allegations levelled against them by the CBI.

BMC Polls: BJP MP Kirit Somaiya threatens to expose shell companies of Uddhav Thackeray

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Adding fuel to already charged political environment in Mumbai ahead of the municipal polls, BJP Member of Parliament Kirit Somaiya on Thursday claimed to have “enough proof” against Uddhav Thackeray and his “shell companies” where the Shiv Sena chief has parked “huge amount of black money”. “I have full masala with me. Soon, I will disclose documents which clearly establish direct involvement of Thackeray family into corruption in Mumbai Municipal Corporation,” claimed Somaiya during a press conference in Mumbai. The MP from the ruling BJP repeated his allegation of corruption in BMC in the presser,“Shiv Sena leaders are Godfather of garbage mafia in Mumbai”. However, he didn’t name Thackeray despite being questioned many times whether he is referring to Mr Thackeray as “Godfather”. Somaiya dodged the questions when asked for reasons he was avoiding to name of the “Godfather” of garbage mafia especially when the Sena leaders had publicly called him “blackmailer”. They had also accused Somaiya of having business relations with Akruti builders which allegedly has projects in that area. “It is for you to understand who I am referring to. I am only responding to Sena leaders allegation through this “expose”. The Sena leaders are hand in gloves with garbage mafia and hence they didn’t allow closure of Mulund and Deonar dumping grounds despite court orders in 2013 and 2016,” alleged Somaiya Somaiya presenting documents allegedly pertaining to HC order and few pages of a “confidential” BMC report dated 31 August 2015. Somaiya, whose son Neel is contesting BMC polls, charged,“The report states how garbage disposal bills were inflated paying two contractors for the same vehicle dumping the garbage on the same day. Some vehicles were even turned out to be two wheelers when their details of number plate sought from transport department.””I’m ready to show all accounts/assets of myself and my entire family which can be examined by a CA chosen by Uddhav Thackeray. Will Uddhav or Rahul Shewale do it and come clean?”: said Somaiya adding that BJP will close down Mulund and Deonar dumping grounds by 30 June 2017 should it come to power in BMC. Sena spokesperson and MP Rahul Shewale immediately convened a press conference to respond to Somaiya’s allegations.

Nurses threaten strike, AIIMS administration faces double jeopardy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after five resident doctors were suspended from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) following the death of a nurse during a caesarean procedure, a high voltage drama took place at the premier medical institute on Monday. The hospital administration got stuck between the resident doctors and the nursing union members, both of whom threatened to go on a strike to press forth their demands.On Monday afternoon, members of the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) gathered inside the campus to protest against the decision taken by the administration. An eight-member committee, to be headed by Professor SC Sharma, was formed to look into the matter. It will submit its report on February 15.”The AIIMS administration had a long discussion with both the unions following the unfortunate demise of one of our nursing officers. The administration has taken the incident very seriously and has suspended five resident doctors in this regard. It has also constituted a broad-based 8-member inquiry committee, under the chairmanship of Professor SC Sharma, (HoD, ENT), with Professor DK Sharma (MS) as the Member Secretary, and two members from outside AIIMS. No decision has been taken regarding the suspension of the resident doctors. That status quo remains,” an AIIMS spokesperson said.The committee also has one member each from the RDA and the nursing union. Meanwhile Sukhlal Jat, a member of the nursing union, said nurse Rajbir Kaur, 28, was admitted to the hospital on January 16 for a normal delivery. Sources said five doctors who were on duty in the operation theatre, however, decided to perform a caesarean surgery as there were some complications in the case.During the procedure, Kaur lost her baby and suffered a cardiac arrest. She was then put on life support. She died late on Saturday night. The nursing union then went on a strike, demanding suspension of the five doctors.Dr Vijay Gurjar, President of the Resident Doctors’ Association, AIIMS, said: “The administration’s order seems to have been announced under the pressure of the nurses’ union. The administration should revoke the suspension.If the administration does not listen to our demands, we will have no option but to go on a strike.”A member of the nurses union retaliated, saying, “We do not accept the proposal to revoke the suspension of these five resident doctors. If they are released, we will be forced to go on a strike.”Meanwhile, the police have said that a post-mortem will be conducted to ascertain the exact cause of death.

Colour of Money: Before H-1B crackdown, Trump welcomed India royalties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>US President Donald Trump’s recent move to severely limit the number of skilled workers, most of them from India, entering the US on H-1B visas has sent shock waves through the Indian IT industry. However, he seems to have had no qualms making money from his business interests here. In fact, he has benefited quite handsomely from his India connections.Documents exclusively accessed by DNA show that President Trump earned $6 million from 2012 to mid-2016 through his dealings in India.The documents, divulged by the US Office of Government Ethics (USOGE) and currently with DNA, show that the US President received this money in royalties through his licence agreements with real estate builders in India.The documents show the $6 million figure as royalties received by DT Marks Worli LLC and DT Tower Gurgaon LLC, as disclosed by the US President before the USOGE in May 2016. Both these Limited Liability Companies are registered in the state of Delaware, USA. The DT, presumably, stand for the US President’s initials.Apart from these two LLCs, the Delaware trade register lists a number of organisations operating across the globe that essentially deal in granting licences for the use of the Trump brand to interested parties.As far as India is concerned, some of the major LLC and member corporations that concern the interests of the President in the country include: DT Marks Worli Member Corp, DT Marks Gurgaon LLC, DT Marks Gurgaon Managing Member Corp, DT Marks Pune LLC, DT Marks Pune II LLC, DT Marks Pune II Managing Member Corp, DT Marks Pune Managing Member Corp, DT India Venture LLC, DT India Venture Managing Member Corp, DT Tower Kolkata LLC and DT Tower Kolkata Managing Member Corp.As per the disclosures made by President Trump before the USOGE, DT Marks Worli LLC received income in royalties between $1million and $5 million by May 2016.This sum accrued to the LLC in relation to the construction of a 75-floor super-luxury residential project at Worli in South Mumbai. The project is being constructed by the Lodha group and has entered into a sub-licence agreement with DT Marks Worli LCC.Another major source of royalty earnings for President Trump came from the DT Tower Gurgaon LLC, which received royalties in the range of $100,001 to $1 million. DT Tower Gurgaon LLC has a licence deal with Ireo Pvt Ltd and in April 2016, the Trump Organisation had announced that they had tied up with real estate private equity firm IREO for the construction of an office project in Gurgaon.A third project, which has a brand tie-up with the President’s name is Trump Towers in Pune, which was launched in 2012 by the Panchshil Realty group. As per the disclosures, DT Marks Pune LLC, which has a licence deal with Panchsil Realty group, had received “none or less than $201,” royalty income by mid-2016.Curiously, the income accrued to all these Indian firms have not been stated in exact figures but in ranges, unlike most US-based firms whose incomes are precise down to the last dollar.The disclosures also show that there are 564 firms in which President Trump is operating in a managerial position either as a member, chairman, president, secretary, director or as a trustee. His global ventures are in stark opposition to the protectionist measures he has been pushing, both during his campaign and now in his nascent presidency.

President condoles passing away of E Ahamed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> President Pranab Mukherjee has condoled the passing away of IUML National President, former Minister and Member of Parliament E Ahamed. In tweets issued this morning, the President expressed heartfelt condolences over sad demise of E Ahamed and described him as a friend and colleague of long years. The President said Ahamed was a tireless campaigner for the welfare of underprivileged and his services to the nation will be long remembered.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Veteran Congressman S. M. Krishna resigns from party

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Former Karnataka chief minister and senior Congress leader S. M. Krishna on Saturday resigned from all the posts held by him in the grand old party. Krishna has resigned from the Congress and Congress Working Committee. The Congressman is said to have written a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi apprising her of his decision. The 84-year-old first became a Member of Parliament (MP) in 1968 from Mandya. Krishna led the Congress to victory in Karnataka in 1999 and served as the chief minister till 2004. He also served as the governor of Maharashtra for the period 2004-2008. Krishna was also made the minister for external affairs in Dr. Manmohan Singh?s cabinet, and resigned from it in 2012.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Derailments have increased: Railways

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railways has lost Rs 800 crore due to accidents, sabotage attempts and other unnatural events in the last ten months, an official said on Wednesday, adding that it was doing its best to prevent train accidents and ensure passenger safety.Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohammad Jamshed, admitted that the incidents of derailments have increased in the financial year of 2016-2017 as compared to last year. “Besides, disruptions due to derailments, agitations and other operational reasons like adverse weather conditions have cost railways about Rs 800 crore. We lost about Rs 700 cr in the freight sector alone due to disruptions. In the passenger segment, the loss is about Rs 100 cr as the punctuality of about 3,500 trains was affected,” he said. He also said that safety campaigns and extensive monitoring is being done to avoid any further tragedies and intensive inspections have also been launched. He also added that inputs from teams Japanese and Korean teams are being taken. When questioned on recent rail tragedies in the financial year 2016-2017, which has so far proved to be one of the worst year in the last decade in terms of casualties, the official termed the incidents “unfortunate” but said that train accidents in the country have reduced by about 15 per cent as compared to previous years.The senior official also highlighted concerted efforts being made by railways to make train operations more safe. “Gangmen and RPF personnel are now jointly carrying out night patrolling. Railway officials are asked to be present in each train to examine and ensure safety of passengers and train movement,” he said, adding that a month-long safety drive was also launched from January 15.

‘Need updated, not outdated instrument’: India criticises ‘frozen’ UNSC representing small minority

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Criticising a “frozen” UN Security Council that represents a small minority of the world’s population, India said only an “updated” and not “outdated” global institution can be effective in addressing the current challenges of conflict prevention and sustaining peace.”While the world is changing, the institutional architecture primarily responsible for areas of peace and security remains frozen. The Security Council which takes decisions on behalf of ‘we the people’ represents an increasingly small minority of the world’s population,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said at a Council debate here yesterday on ‘Conflict Prevention and Sustaining Peace’.Akbaruddin said if the 15-nation Council has to make rules for “the people” and not just a small minority, it needs to adequately reflect new realities.”Addressing new issues, threats and challenges of the twenty first century needs an updated, not an outdated instrument. A Security Council which has lost its legitimacy cannot be-an effective tool to address the challenges of conflict prevention and sustaining peace,” he said.With the established international order being upended in terms of economic, political and technological shifts, Akbaruddin said long-established states too are unable to fully respond to the “new factors and forces being unleashed”.”History teaches us that ungoverned swathes often become grounds for competition or are storehouses for germination of new threats. Yet, we have no global governance architecture in frontier areas such as cyber, space and oceans. We ignore these at our own peril,” he said.The Indian envoy stressed that prevention efforts can only be effective if they are undertaken with the consent and cooperation of the Member States concerned and are not seen as an imposition.”As the saying goes ‘you cannot shake hands with a clenched fist’,” he said.Akbaruddin told the Council meeting India believes that for the UN to develop a culture of conflict prevention, the world body needs to recognise that the primary responsibility for sustaining peace lies with Member States and the UN can only supplement what are essentially home-grown processes.”The emphasis on analytical instruments and tools such as fact-finding, agenda setting, diplomatic initiatives, peace operations is important but is too narrow an approach…We provide too few resources to strengthen institutional inadequacies of Member States and instead focus on strengthening institutional arrangements of the UN,” he said.With efforts at prevention having failed to take firm institutional roots, Akbaruddin said such a scenario raises the question of why the international community has not got it right and whether the nations are using the right tools in the wrong way.

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