Yuva Sai Sagar

Online news channel!

Tag: ministry

UN proscription doesn’t restrict freedom of expression: Pakistan defends Palestine envoy’s presence in Saeed’s rally

Pakistan on Saturday issued a statement defending the Palestine envoy Walid Abu Ali hours after he was recalled by his country for attending a Hafiz Saeed rally in Rawalpindi. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry in a statement said that it has always batted for two states solution, with East Jerusalem as capital of Palestine. It sought to downplay Hafiz Saeed’s presence in the rally saying, over 50 speakers were present. Pakistan also highlighted in its statement that various rallies have taken place in support of Palestine’s cause after Trump’s recent decision. It tried to give a spin to Hafiz Saeed’s presence claiming, ‘UN proscription doesn’t claim any restrictions on the freedom of expression’. Lending its weight to Palestine envoy Ali, Pakistan stated that ‘it respects ambassador’s active participation’ in such rallies which express solidarity. India today issued a strong demarche to Palestine on the issue of presence of its ambassador to Pakistan at an event of JuD chief and Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, terming it as “unacceptable”. India’s Secretary (economic relations) Vijay Gokhale in the external affairs ministry called Palestinian ambassador here Adnan Abu Al Haija to the South Block after which the ministry said, “the concerns were conveyed both in New Delhi to the Palestinian Ambassador and in Ramallah to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, State of Palestine.”Also readWION Expose: Palestine’s envoy in Pakistan met Hafiz Saeed earlier too “Government of India has strongly conveyed to the Palestinian side that the Palestinian Ambassador in Pakistan’s association with terrorist Saeed, who is proscribed by the United Nations, at an event in Rawalpindi on 29.12.2017, is unacceptable,” the ministry said in a release. It said the Palestinian side has conveyed “deep regrets” over the incident and assured India that they are taking serious cognisance of their ambassador’s presence at this event. “They have said they will deal with this matter appropriately. It was also conveyed that Palestine highly values its relationship with India and stands with us in the war against terrorism, and will not engage with those who commit acts of terror against India,” it said. The government took note of the assurances given by the Palestine envoy, who informed India that his government had decided to recall its Ambassador to Pakistan Walid Abu Ali.Talking to PTI after his meeting, Haija said Ali has been recalled for attending the rally organised by Saeed.Also readEnvoy in Hafiz Saeed rally: Palestine recalls ambassador in Pak, says ‘unintended mistake’ but not ‘justified’ Asserting that Ali’s action was not “acceptable” given the close and friendly ties between India and Palestine, the top envoy said Ali has been given couple of days to pack and return from Islamabad. “The Palestine government has told Ali that he was not its envoy to Pakistan anymore,” Haija said.The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, described as “unintended mistake” but “not justified” the presence of its ambassador at the event attended by Saeed. “On the basis of the principled and firm Palestinian position, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates considered the participation of our Ambassador in Pakistan in a mass rally in solidarity with Jerusalem, held in Rawalpindi on Friday and in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified,” a statement from the Palestinian Authority (PA) said.It described Palestine as a “real partner” of India in its war against terrorism and also expressed its appreciation for New Delhi’s vote in favour of the resolution at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the issue of Jerusalem. Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan Ali reportedly attended the Difah-e-Pakistan Council- organised rally in Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi on Friday. Difah-e-Pakistan Council is an association of religious and extremist groups in Pakistan, headed by Saeed. With PTI inputs

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

WION Expose: Palestine’s envoy in Pakistan met Hafiz Saeed earlier too

Palestine on Saturday recalled its envoy in Pakistan after pictures emerged of him attending a rally with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Rawalpindi. However, Palestine ambassador in India claimed that the envoy wasn’t aware of Hafiz Saeed’s identity. Even Palestine government dubbed the incident as ‘unintended mistake’, but not ‘justified’. But according to footage accessed by WION, it is not the first time, Walid Abu Ali met Hafiz Saeed. On December 14 too, they had a meeting as shown in the footage. Hence Palestine’s claim that Walid Abu Ali wasn’t aware of UN declared terrorist Saeed’s identity sounds hollow. Here’s the full footage:Also readEnvoy in Hafiz Saeed rally: Palestine recalls ambassador in Pak, says ‘unintended mistake’ but not justified Earlier Palestinian Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al Haija told ANI, ”Our Ambassador did not know Hafiz Saeed and wondered who he was. Ali spoke after Saeed left the stage. Even that was not acceptable to us. That’s why a decision to recall him from Pakistan has been taken”. Palestine Foreign Ministry in its official communique said,Also readEnvoy in Pakistan didn’t know Hafiz Saeed, says Palestine’s ambassador in India “The Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates stressed on the commitment of the State of Palestine and keenness to maintain strong and friendly relations with the Republic of India, as well as its support to the efforts made by the Republic of India in its war against terrorism and in that regard the State of Palestine affirms its stand with the Republic of India in dealing with its terrorist threats, as our nations are real partners in the war against terrorism.The State of Palestine highly appreciates India’s support in its tireless efforts to end the Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine on the 1967 boarders with East Jerusalem as its capital and this is especially seen in the honorable position that India has taken by voting in favor of the resolution in the United Nation General Assembly last week.On the basis of the principled and firm Palestinian position, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates considered the participation of our ambassador in Pakistan in a mass rally in solidarity with Jerusalem, held in Rawalpindi on Friday and in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified. Accordingly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates under the direct instructions of the President of the State of Palestine to recall the Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan immediately.”Palestine government dubbed it as ‘unintended mistake’. But this footage clearly shows Palestinian envoy had past contact with Hafiz Saeed, and Friday’s presence in the rally wasn’t an one-off. With agency inputs

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Rajasthan govt puts 14,000 shell cos under scanner

Struck off by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, thousands of shell companies registered in Rajasthan have now come under the state government scanner. The state industries department has on Thursday written to all district collectors and several departments to identify assets of these companies in the next 15 days.”More than 14,000 companies registered in Rajasthan are among the 2,24,734 listed as suspicious by the central ministry. The industry department is a nodal agency that has now initiated action against these at the state-level,” said Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, Rajasthan industries minister.To be struck off, these companies have been dormant for nearly two years or have registered suspicious transactions since demonetization.After the central ministry action, which had extended restrictions on their bank accounts, the responsibility to prevent sale of their immovable properties and other assets is to be ensured by respective state government.Industry department of the state, as nodal agency, has now written to departments of transport, revenue, tourism and other concerned departments to ensure that no vehicle, land or asset gets disposed.In addition to the companies registered at state, such companies based in other states could also have held assets in Rajasthan.”However, the state agencies have to remain aware of the dubious operations of many of these companies. Also the department is yet to decide on action against the operation of ‘suspicious board directors’ of these companies,” he said.The central ministry, while cancelling registration of these companies, also disqualified over three lakh board directors for irregularities in financial statements.On the radarTo be struck off, these companies have been dormant for nearly two years or have registered suspicious transactions since demonetisation

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

53% children face one or more forms of sexual abuse: Govt tells Parliament

A centrally-sponsored survey has found that more than 53% children in the country faced one or more forms of sexual abuse, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.Minister of State for Home, Hansraj Ahir, said that the Ministry of Women and Child Development had conducted a study on Child Abuse in 2007, covering 13 states and more than 13,000 children.The study revealed that that more than 53% of children interviewed reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse and 21.90% child respondents reported facing severe forms of sexual abuse and 50.76% other forms of sexual abuse, he said in written reply to a question.Ahir said 50% abusers were persons known to the child and most children did not report the matter to anyone. Children on street, at work and in institutional care reported the highest incidence of sexual assault, he said. The 13 states where the survey was conducted were – Assam, Mizoram, Goa, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

In eight years, only one transgender gets fellowship for minorities

Only one transgender student was awarded fellowship by the Ministry of Minority Affairs under its ‘Maulana Azad National Fellowship’ scheme since 2009-10, the Lok Sabha was informed today.The Ministry is implementing MANF for minority students for pursuing higher studies such as full time M.Phil/Ph.D degrees in sciences, humanities, social sciences and engineering and technology.Over 750 students belonging to the minority communities get the fellowships every year, Minority Affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said in written reply.”During the selection year 2017-18, one online application was received from candidate belonging to transgender community and was awarded fellowship,” he said.The student was the first in the transgender category to secure fellowship under the scheme since 2009-10.In 2017-18, Muslim students were awarded 517 fellowships, followed by Christian (109), Sikh (72), Buddhist (33) and Jain (25).Replying to another question, Naqvi said 18 states have constituted their own state minority commissions so far.However, no such panel was set up by any state or Union Territory in the last two years.Responding to another query, the minister said the National Wakf Development Corporation (NAWADCO) has identified properties across India, inlcuding Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Jodhpur, Pune and Aurangabad (Maharashtra) for consideration of development.He said Rajasthan has also shown interest in getting properties in Jaipur and Kota developed through NAWADCO.Letters of Expression of Interest have been received from State Waqf Boards of Rajasthan, Haryana, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Chandigarh for commercial development of 24 waqf properties, Naqvi said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

There was ‘something’ in shoes of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, ‘clarifies’ Pakistan

Clarifying its stance, Pakistan has claimed that the Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife’s shoes were confiscated on security grounds as there was ‘something’ in it.’There was something in the shoe (of Jadhav’s wife),’ the Dawn has quoted Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal as saying.The shoe is being investigated, he added. Pakistan’s Foreign Office, in a statement, said, ‘We do not wish to indulge in a meaningless battle of words. Our openness and transparency belies these allegations and categorically rejected India’s baseless allegations and twists.’The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday stated that, ‘For some inexplicable reason, despite her repeated requests, the shoes of the wife of Jadhav were not returned to her after the meeting. We would caution against any mischievous intent in this regard.’Pakistan had disregarded the cultural and religious sensibilities of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family, who met him on Monday in Islamabad, the MEA added.Also readIf Kulbhushan Jadhav has been declared a terrorist by Pak, then he will be treated like one: SP’s Naresh Agrawal’Under the pretext of security precautions, the cultural and religious sensibilities of family members were disregarded. This included the removal of mangalsutra, bangles and bindi, as well as a change in attire that was not warranted by security,’ MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.Kumar added the Pakistani press, despite prior agreement that the media would not be allowed close access, was allowed on multiple occasions to approach the family members closely, harass and hector them and hurl false and motivated accusations about Jadhav.Also readIndia hits back at Pak, says Kulbhushan Jadhav’s statement clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate false narrative “We note with regret that the Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings,” he said.Kumar further said that the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan, who was supposed to be with the family all the time, was initially separated from family members.Also readDay after meeting Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, wife, mother meet Sushma Swaraj The MEA spokesperson concluded by saying that the manner in which the meeting was conducted and its aftermath seemed clearly to be an attempt to bolster a false and unsubstantiated narrative of Jadhav’s alleged activities, adding the exercise lacked credibility.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi to improvise under project ‘Swarna’

The Golden triangle rail journey is all set to get more comfortable as the coaches of Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi are being revamped with unique features under the project ‘Swarna’ of Indian Railways.There are changes on cards in most of the aspects of rail travel. The features include disposable head rest cover for the passengers seated in the coach, for better view inside the coach, whilegood quality pictures and paintings exhibiting regional culture and heritage will also be displayed inside the coach.As bad odour was an issue of discussion earlier in this Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi, automatic odour control (AOC) system is being installed.The train is also being equipped with CCTV Surveilllance system, while Aadhar enabeled bio matric attendance system for staff for geo tagging has also been done on this train. This will ensure responsible behavior from the staff of the train.As a humanatrian gesture, the travel of visually impaired will also become easier as there is also provision of braille signage in the train. On his visit to Jaipur on Saturday, the chairman of Railway board, Ashwai Lohani had also inspected the coaches of this train which is amongst the 15 Shatabdi’s and 14 Rajdhani express chosen under this project.It is noteworthy that golden triangle is an important tourism circuit in the country attracting lakhs of tourists, mostly foreigners. This makes it a natural choice for the tourists to board this train everyday to travel between Jaipur and Agra. Notably, to improve passenger experience, Ministry of Railways decided to upgrade Premium Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains under Project ‘Swarna.’With improved passenger amenities, aesthetics and hygiene standards, country’s first Swarn Rajdhani (Train no 12313 New Delhi – Sealdah Rajdhani Express) was launched in New Delhi in the month of November this year.Well equippedThe train is being equipped with CCTV surveillance system while Aadhar enabelled bio matric attendance system for staff for geo tagging has also been done on this train. This will ensure responsible behavior from the staff of the train.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family was harassed; wife had to remove mangal sutra, bindi: India exposes Pakistan’s PR show

A day after Kulbhushan Jadhav met his family from behind a glass partition, India in a terse reply, exposed Pakistan’s PR show.In a detailed response, Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said, “Prior to the meeting, the two governments were in touch through diplomatic channels to work out its modalities and format. There were clear understandings between the two sides and the Indian side scrupulously abided by all its commitments.”“However, we note with regret that the Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings,” he said. Also readDay after meeting Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, wife, mother meet Sushma Swaraj Exposing Islamabad’s farce, New Delhi revealed that, “the Pakistani press was allowed on multiple occasions to approach family members closely, harass and hector them and hurl false and motivated accusations about Jadhav. This was despite a clear agreement that the media would not be allowed close access.”In blatant disregard to cultural sensibilities, Pakistani officials asked Jadhav’s wife to remove her mangal sutra and bindi. “Under the pretext of security precautions, the cultural and religious sensibilities of family members were disregarded. This included removal of mangal sutra, bangles and bindi, as well as a change in attire that was not warranted by security,” the MEA statement said.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother from behind glass screen; not the last meeting, says Pakistan “The mother of Jadhav was prevented from talking in their mother tongue, although this was clearly the natural medium of communication. She was repeatedly interrupted while doing so and eventually prevented from proceeding further in this regard,” Kumar added.“Deputy High Commissioner was initially separated from family members who were taken to the meeting without informing him. The meeting was started without his presence and he could join only after pressing the matter with concerned officials. Even then, he was kept behind an additional partition that did not allow him access to the meeting as agreed,” the statement said.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother for 40 minutes; thanks Pak govt for ‘grand gesture’“For some inexplicable reason, despite her repeated requests, the shoes of the wife of Shri Jadhav were not returned to her after the meeting. We would caution against any mischievous intent in this regard,” Kumar said.“From the feedback we have received of the meeting, it appears that Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion. Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan. His appearance also raises questions of his health and well being,” MEA said.“We also regret that contrary to assurances, the overall atmosphere of the meeting was intimidating insofar as family members were concerned. Family members, however, handled the situation with great courage and fortitude. The manner in which the meeting was conducted and its aftermath was clearly an attempt to bolster a false and unsubstantiated narrative of Jadhav’s alleged activities,” the statement added.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Air quality back to ‘severe’

Even as the Christmas fever grips the city, a thick haze enveloped the Capital on Monday with the air quality index (AQI) plummeting to 372 units in the’very poor’category against 305 on Sunday. The permissible standard is 60 units.Also, a dense fog covered parts of the city in the early hours leading to a number of trains and flights being delayed. The visibility was reduced to 500 meters in the morning, however, after 11 am, the fog started to clear.As many as 17 pollution monitoring stations under the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded’severe’levels of air pollution. Delhi Technological University recoded 498 while the NCR towns, including Noida and Ghaziabad too, recorded ‘severe’ air quality at 476 and 465, respectively.The AQI is measured against PM 2.5 — the most prominent pollutant in Delhi-NCR. The hourly readings at the CPCB’s Central Control Room for air quality management showed the rising trend of PM 2.5.According to the officials, the concentrations spiked through the day due to a fall in wind speed and high-level of moisture-trapping pollutants in the air. The India Meteorological Department recorded humidity levels at 100.”With rising levels of moisture and humidity, pollution levels are going to remain similar even on Tuesday. The wind speed fell to below 10 kmph, which is mainly responsible to disperse pollutants from the air. Also, moderate to dense fog is likely to occur during the week,” said a senior CPCB official.Meanwhile, SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), which operates 10 stations in Delhi-NCR, recorded 24-hour average of PM2.5 at 205 units.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Kulbhushan Jadhav meets his mother, wife from behind Pak smokescreen

In a carefully orchestrated event that played out through tweets, photos and videos, Kulbhushan Jadhav (47), on death row in Pakistan, met his wife and mother across a glass screen in Islamabad on Monday.After denying any communication with the former Indian Naval officer since his arrest on March 3, 2016, Pakistan arranged a meeting of mother Avanti and wife Chetana Jadhav at the Pakistan Foreign Office building, but denied any physical contact. Both women spoke to Jadhav through an intercom in the presence of five officials.Jadhav has been sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorism, a case that has become a rallying point in India, spurring calls for action to save the 47-year-old who New Delhi says was kidnapped and implicated by Pakistan.Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal indicated that it might not be the last such meeting. “It is not the last meeting. It should be categorically registered,” he said. But he repeated that Jadhav is a face of Indian terror directed against Pakistan.India has moved the ICJ in The Hague, on grounds that procedures were not followed under international law, a rare contest by the two nuclear-armed rivals at the top UN legal body.In May, the court put the sentence on hold till the case is conclusively heard.It was apparent that Pakistan was converting the humanitarian gesture into a full-fledged publicity blitzkrieg, by releasing a second video of Jadhav.Its diplomats portrayed visas to the two women and then a meeting on the birthday of its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah a grand gesture ahead of the hearings at the ICJ.But a jail-like setting and not allowing the two women, who had travelled all along from Mumbai to meet the death-row prisoner did not go down well in India.Though there were no immediate reactions from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said, “The settings of the meeting and their full publicity have robbed it of any compassion and humanity.”The meeting was supposed to last 30 minutes. But at the request of Jadhav, it lasted 40 minutes. Pakistan’s Foreign Office also issued a new video message in which he is seen thanking the its government for arranging the meeting.All information about the meeting emerged through Pakistani Foreign Ministry tweets and images. Its spokesman Mohammad Faisal identified Jadhav with his military title. He also tweeted that the meeting was arranged in light of “Islamic traditions and based on purely humanitarian grounds.” “The mother and wife of Commander Jadhav sitting comfortably in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan. We honour our commitments,” informed Faisal.From Pakistan’s side, Foreign Office Director for India, Dr Fareha Bugti, was present at the meeting.After the meeting Faisal made it clear that it was not a consular access. He said India’s deputy High Commission was present during the meeting, but was not allowed to speak or participate in discussions.He, however, said that decisions on consular access will be taken by Islamabad keeping in view the law and interests of his country. He said that the meeting was positive and the two sides talked thoroughly, but refused to share its details.Earlier, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif told a Pakistani media channel that his country has granted India consular access since an Indian diplomat will be accompanying the prisoner’s wife and mother. India downplayed the comments, maintaining that the its diplomat was only accompanying Jadhav’s family. Later Pakistani spokesperson himself overturned the statement of his own minister.The FO spokesperson claimed Jadhav had admitted to his involvement in acts of terror.THE FARCE PAK TRIALMarch 2016 India’s former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav arrested by Pakistan on charges of espionage and terrorism April 2017 Jadhav sentenced to death by Pak. India says he was kidnapped from Iran, where he ran a business May ICJ stays Jadhav’s execution on India’s petition against the farce trial Dec 20 Pakistan issues visa to 47-year-old’s wife and mother to visit Islamabad and meet him Dec 25 Jadhav meets his family, first time after his arrest in March 2016

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Home Ministry gives one-month deadline to NGOs to open account in any designated bank

The home ministry has directed all NGOs, business entities and individuals who receive funds from abroad to open accounts in any of the 32 designated banks, including one foreign, within a month for higher level of transparency. It also asked them to ensure that such funds are not utilised for activities detrimental to the national interestThe directive to the NGOs, companies and individuals to open foreign contribution accounts in banks, which are integrated with the central government’s Public Financial Management System (PFMS), came for providing a higher level of transparency and hassle-free reporting compliance, according to the ministry order, accessed by the PTI.The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 provides for the regulation of acceptance of the foreign funds or foreign hospitality by certain individuals, associations, organisations and companies “to ensure that such contributions or hospitality is not being utilised for the activities detrimental to the national interest”, it said.Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under the FCRA, 2010, the central government hereby directs all persons who are either registered or who have sought prior permission under the FCRA 2010 to open their bank accounts as mandated in one or more banks in the list of the 32 banks, the order said.This exercise shall be completed expeditiously within one month (by 21-01-2018) with intimation of the details of the bank accounts to the ministry under a prescribed form, it said. The central government has already decided that all banks where the FCRA registered persons and organisations have opened their foreign contribution accounts would be integrated with the PFMS for providing a higher level of “transparency and hassle-free” reporting compliance.While some banks have already integrated their systems with the PFMS for compliance of the central government’s order, many banks have still not completed the integration of their systems with the PFMS despite repeated letters, directions and meetings, the home ministry said.The 32 designated banks where individuals, NGOs and other entities can open their accounts are: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, ICICI Bank, The Cosmos Co-Operative Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, South Indian Bank, IDBI Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd, The Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank, UCO Bank, IndusInd Bank, City Union Bank and Syndicate Bank.Allahabad Bank, The Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad UP Gramin Bank, DCB Bank, Manipur State Co-op Bank, Vijaya Bank, Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank, Yes Bank, Oriental Bank Of commerce, Dena Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank and Axis Bank are the others.The PFMS, which functions under the Controller General of Accounts in the Ministry of Finance, provides a financial management platform for all plan schemes, a database of all recipient agencies, integration with core banking solution of banks handling plan funds, integration with state treasuries and efficient and effective tracking of fund flow to the lowest level of implementation for plan scheme of the government.It also provides information across all plan schemes/ implementation agencies in the country on fund utilisation leading to better monitoring, review and decision support system to enhance public accountability in the implementation of plan schemes.Introduction of the PFMS resulted in effectiveness and economy in public finance management through better cash management for government transparency in public expenditure and real-time information on resource availability and utilisation across schemes. It also resulted in improved programme administration and management, reduction of float in the system, direct payment to beneficiaries and greater transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.Early this year, the home ministry had asked around 9,000 NGOs and other entities to open their accounts in banks having core banking facilities and furnish details for real-time access to security agencies in case of any discrepancy.The Narendra Modi-led government tightened the rules for NGOs and took action against all such entities for violation of various provisions of the FCRA 2010 which include non- filing of annual returns as mandated in the law.Last week, Union minister of state for Home Kiren Rijiju told Parliament that the registrations of 18,868 NGOs were cancelled between 2011 and 2017 for violating laws. Following the action, foreign funding to Indian NGOs has also come down drastically—from Rs17,773 crore in 2015-16 to Rs6,499 crore in 2016-17.Rijiju had said the quantum of foreign funding received by NGOs in India in the last three years were: Rs15,299 crore in 2014-15, Rs17,773 crore in 2015-16 and Rs6,499 crore in 2016-17. Currently, around 10,000 FCRA-registered NGOs are operating in the country.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Allowed Kulbhushan Jadhav’s meeting with wife, mother on ‘humanitarian grounds’: Pakistan

Pakistan on Monday said that it allowed the mother and wife of former Indian Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet him as a humanitarian gesture to mark the birthday of the country’s founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Accompanied by Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh, Jadhav’s wife Chetankul and mother Avanti met him at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Islamabad. A glass wall was put between Jadhav and the rest during the meeting. Speaking to media after the meeting, Dr Mohammad Faisal​, the spokesperson of the Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the meeting was not a “consular access” as the diplomat was present but was not allowed to speak to Jadhav. “This was conveyed to Indian High Commission categorically,” he said. Also readKulbhushan Jadhav LIVE updates | Not consular access, meeting allowed on humanitarian grounds, says Pakistan “An Indian diplomat was present during the meeting and he could see Jadhav but he was not allowed to speak to him,” Faisal​ said. It was the first meeting between Jadhav and his family since his arrest in March last year. Also readKulbhushan Jadhav case: At ICJ, Pak rejects India’s request for consular accessThe meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes, but it was extended for 10 more minutes on the request of Jadhav and his family members, the spokesperson ​said. “The meeting was very positive and they (Jadhav’s mother and wife) were satisfied. They thanked us before leaving,” Faisal said.On the question why a glass wall was put between them during the meeting, he said it was done “for security reasons.””We had already told them that you will be able to meet him but a security barrier would be there he said. Earlier, Pakistan released a video of Jadhav in which he thanked the Pak govt for ‘grand gesture’. “I requested a meeting with my wife and mother and I am thankful to Govt of Pakistan for this grand gesture,” he was heard saying in the video which was played several times before the Foreign Office briefing.The video message played by the Foreign Office during a press conference after Jadhav’s meeting with his family was recorded before their meeting, officials said.During the press conference, the spokesperson read out a statement repeating old allegations against Jadhav. He said he was involved in “terror activities” and was “face of Indian terror on Pakistani soil.” Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court on charges of espionage and terrorism. India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

India’s own institute on defence studies to be a reality soon

The Indian National Defence University (INDU), which is a proposed institute for defence studies, is likely to become a reality soon, as it can come up for Cabinet clearance. The institute is being developed as center to generate research on strategic affairs, a concept unheard of in India so far. INDU will have its campus on Bimola, Gurgaon.Theministry of Human Resource Development has recently sent its suggestions to the Ministry of Defence regarding the university saying that itshould be developed as a centre which generates new knowledge and promotes research in strategic affairs. Sources said that the suggestions have been approved and final proposal on INDU is likely to come up in the Cabinet for clearance soon. The Ministry of Defence had in the year 2015 put up the draft bill to come up with an institution dedicated to defence studies, online for public comments .”While the exact nature of courses in the institute has not yet been finalised. The idea is to develop it as a center which is meant for midcareer defence professionals and those who are interested in studying about strategic affairs, at the Post Graduate level. We have suggested that the institute should be able to generate new knowledge and increase research in the area of defence,” said a senior official.”The defence personnel who enroll for higher education in the institute can be an asset for the forces later on, help them in planning and strategizing,” said a senior official.The concept of an institute like this has been prevalent internationally but not in India, like the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington. As per the official website of NDU, it aims to “create strategic advantage by developing joint warfighters and other national security leaders and forging relationships through whole-of-nations and whole-of-government educational programs, research and engagement”.INDU will be the first of its kind institute in India, which will focus on the academics side of defence, other institutes like the National Defence Academy and Indian Military Institute mostly focus on preparing personnel to join the force.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Centre asks ED to go after Maoists’ funding, support

To break the network of funding to the Maoists for carrying out insurgency activities across the country, the Centre has roped in Enforcement Directorate (ED) and directed to look into the money laundering happening in Naxal affected areas. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the ED work in close association with intelligence agencies, local police and paramilitary forces to unearth the money trail and support the Maoists are getting.Also the agencies, have been asked to find the source of funding as Central intelligence agencies has stated that few foreign countries, particularly China, have been supporting insurgent activities in India and also helping them financially apart from Maoists are aided in their efforts to build modern weapons by the Chinese intelligence. “The agencies also stated that the Chinese intelligence units have been training, arming and funding the Maoists to help them wage an inexorable war against India,”said a government officer posted in Ministry of Home Affairs.Sources said that the a list around 90 of “Naxals and associated influential people” have been made in two states — Jharkhand and Bihar — and the joint operation to check their illegal financial activities has been started. Sources also stated that there are few lawmakers and top government employees names in the list. The agency has been asked to first start with the two states and thereafter carry out in other Naxal affected states.”Also, the top Maoists who had surrendered in last five years are also under radar,” said a government official adding that there are few top Maoists who had accumulated lot of wealth during their active role as Naxal and once they surrendered, they within few months, start using their ill-gotten money to spread the network and recruit many youngsters.Furthermore, the MHA has also issued directives to all the paramilitary forces and security establishments to be more “vigilant” and go “combative” while dealing with ultras. The Centre has also asked the force not to shun the muti-prone approach like development in the naxal affected areas and facilitating surrenders of the ultras.As per the ministry, till June 30 this year, in total 424 maoists surrendered before the various law enforcement agencies across the country.Last year, the figure had reached to 1442 but in 2015 it was just 570 and in 2014 it was 676. The government major focus in Chhattisgarh after in the deadliest Maoist ambush in April, 26 men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) died in Sukma area. It was well-planned massacre carried out by nearly 300 Maoists.This year, in Chhatishgarh, 298 naxals surrender followed by Jharkand with 38 and Andhra Pradesh with 35. In West bengal, 11, in Telangana and Bihar 2, in Odisha 27and Maharashtra 7 ultras surrender.According to a ministry report, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand together accounted for 68.5 per cent of the violent incidents and 69 per cent of deaths. Bihar followed by Odisha and Maharashtra accounted for 12.3 per cent, 8.2 per cent 6.9 per cent incidents.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Not for granted! More checks for rural funds

The Central government will no longer give direct funds to higher education institutions under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UAB), a plan meant to connect them to villages and find solutions to rural India problems. Institutions like IITs and NITs will now have to fight for funds by coming up with implementable technology to address issues like sanitation, water and electricity.The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) issued a circular on December 18 to all education institutions, asking them to manage the scheme with their own funds and with the help of the local administration.UAB is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea, launched by the NDA government in 2014 as a flagship programme of the HRD Ministry. The scheme is meant to address the twin objectives of transformative rural development and introduction of greater social relevance in the higher education sector.The policy under UAB has been changed after the government realised that institutions, which are the main centres for technological research, were not utilising funds properly for working with villages.”We found that many institutions, including IITs, were not serious about UAB, so we have decided to stop giving funds to them at the initial level.We don’t want them to use the money for their excursions to villages,” a senior HRD Ministry official said.”We want only those institutions that are seriously interested in working for the rural sector to register for the programme. This will weed out all non-serious participants,” he said.”The entire financial assistance for funding solutions would flow from district authorities, with UBA funding a small portion of the financial gap. UBA component of the resources for customising or installing an existing technology would be provided through challenge method,” the circular said.”There shall be an open call to all higher education institutions to participate, rather than the adoption of pick and chose method. Selection of institutions shall be based on challenge method, according to the fulfilment of criteria like adequacy of qualified faculty, campus, facilities and academic merit, adequacy in number of students, work done in rural areas by institution, proven aptitude of faculty for rural development etc.”

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Cases of child beating rise in government schools

Complaints of corporal punishment — like a teacher slapping or beating a child — in government schools across India have increased by more than 271 per cent in the last three years, official data shows.A total of 144 cases have been reported from various parts of the country in the last three years, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has informed Parliament.There were 28 complaints in 2014-15. The number was 12 in 2015-16. It has gone up to 104 in 2016-17.Most cases have been reported from the state of Uttar Pradesh: 25 in 2016-17 and 13 in 2014-15.While the spike raises concerns about the safety of children in schools, officials attribute it to better reporting of cases. “Children have been made aware… to report when they are beaten up or slapped by teachers. Such cases were not reported before,” said a senior government official.The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued guidelines to schools to ensure safety of children in schools. This has been communicated by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to schools affiliated to it.”The Board has regularly issued circulars/guidelines to its affiliated schools to curb corporal punishment and mental harassment. For corporal punishment, the Board has incorporated a provision in the affiliation by-laws to prevent cruelty towards children. Under Rule 44.1 (d) of affiliation by-laws of the Board, the school managing committee has been empowered to place an employee under suspension if he/she is charged with cruelty with any student or any employee of the school,” Minister of State for HRD Upendra Kushwaha said in a written reply in Parliament.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

MEA’s new outreach for Indian-origin leaders

Coming close on the heels of bringing in legislation in the Parliament to allow Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) — with Indian passports — to vote by proxy in their respective constituencies, the Central government has adopted a slew of new measures to connect with Indian diaspora across the world. Early next year, the government has invited MPs of Indian-origin to deliberate on a range of issues. Ambassador D Mulay, Secretary, Overseas Indian Affairs, Visa and Consular Services in the Ministry of External Affairs said that the unique event will be held in the national capital on January 9. While an estimate suggests there are 285 parliamentarians of Indian-origin across the world, the MEA has so far received confirmation from 125 that they will attend the event.He said that as per the new philosophy of the government, no Indian, even after giving up his/her Indian citizenship, should be left in distress abroad. He explained that through the Madad” portal that was launched last year, the MEA had received 26,000 grievances. Out these, 21,000 were resolved.He said, “The portal has allowed people to record their grievances directly without approaching the missions. Further, the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) which has been there since 2009 has been made more robust and expanded to cover all countries in the world..”Mulay, who has also served as ambassador in Maldives, said, ”This government has made diplomacy people-centric, and today our interaction with Indian diaspora is transformational and multi-dimensional, ” he said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Tourism min rapped for mismanagement

A standing committee report on tourism has pulled up the ministry for non-performance in several schemes. It went on to recommended that the ministry close its overseas offices if it cannot manage them.”The committee notes that the ministry is admitting its lapses in managing its overseas offices. The Committee feels that if the Govt. cannot manage its overseas offices, it should close down all those offices and alternative arrangements may be explored for promotion of Indian tourism in foreign countries,” states the report of the department-related Rajya Sabha committee headed by TMC MP Derek O’Brien.In reply, the government said that it is realising the objectives of the offices through “an integrated marketing and promotional strategy and a synergized campaign in association with the Travel Trade, State Governments and Indian Missions overseas”. The government runs over 14 overseas tourism offices in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, Milan, Dubai, Johannesburg, Sydney, Beijing, Singapore and Tokyo.The Committee also pulled up the ministry for not utilising all the funds allocated under the 12th five year plan. “From the data provided by the Ministry of Tourism, the total allocations made all these five years was only Rs. 5479.03 crore out of which the spending up to 31st January, 2017 is Rs. 4644.89 crore.This comes to 20.37% of the 12th Plan outlay,” the Committee stated, adding that it is disappointed.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

63% plunge in foreign funding of NGOs: Govt

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

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Not one Rohingya deported yet

There are nearly 40,000 Rohingyas in India, according to home ministry estimates, but not a single illegal immigrant flagged as a terror threat has yet been deported. The ministry had asked for states to identify Rohingyas with terror links and deport them to Myanmar, but no such links have been reported as yet.On the other hand, in the last three years, 330 Pakistanis and 1,700 Bangladeshis have been sent back to their country for illegal entry into India.In August, the Home Minstry wrote to state governments urging them to identify illegal Rohingyas and deport them. “Detection and deportation of such illegal immigrants from Rakhine state, also known as Rohingyas, is a continuous process. Therefore, it is essential to identify them and keep a watch on their activities for preventing any untoward incident that can take place,”the home ministry communication to states said.Government sources also say that keeping in mind certain strategic reasons, the Rohingyas need to be deported. The government has been under attack for its decision to deport Rohingyas and even UN human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein condemned India’s move. However, the government has defended its action and Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju has in the past called it “calibrated design” to “tarnish” India’s image.”As per an estimate, more than 40,000 illegal Rohingya immigrants are presently staying in India mostly in the States of Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan,” the Home Ministry said in a reply stated in Parliament on Wednesday.Ministry says‘Since entry of such illegal immigrants without valid travel documents is clandestine and surreptitious, it is not possible to have accurate data of such illegal Rohingya immigrants living in parts of country’

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Cow protection: NGT directs Centre to file affidavit

The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday directed the Ministry of Agriculture to file an affidavit stating details of the minutes of a meeting held to frame a national policy to prevent the “rapid decline” in population of indigenous breeds of cattle across the country.A bench headed by Acting Chairperson Justice U D Salvi also asked the other stakeholders in the case to place on record their views along with all the material concerned within two weeks.During the hearing, advocate Sumeer Sodhi, the counsel for petitioner Ashwini Kumar, said that applicant, who was allowed by the tribunal to attend the meeting, did not participate in it and, therefore, he would like to submit his response on the livestock policy.The matter will now be heard on February 1.The NGT had earlier directed the governments of West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura to participate in the meeting to frame a national policy.The green panel had earlier directed the environment ministry and the Department of Animal Husbandry, which falls under the agriculture ministry, to hold a meeting with all the states and Union territories and come out with a common policy on the issue.It had noted that there was a nearly 80 per cent decline in the animal population in Kerala from 2003 to 2012 and claimed such a situation might lead to the extinction of the species in the state.The tribunal was hearing a plea against the “looming threat of extinction of indigenous breeds of cattle” in the country.It had issued a notice to the agriculture ministry on the petition which has also sought a nationwide ban on slaughter of cattle belonging to the indigenous breeds.It has said that Indian varities of cattle were being replaced by exotic and cross-bred cows imported from Europe, Australia and the United States.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Violence breaks out at BHU after student union leader arrested

Clashes broke out between police and protesters after students of Baneras Hindu University (BHU) staged a protest on Wednesday.Slogans were raised after student union leader Ashutosh was arrested on charges of obstructing an IIT-BHU programme. During the clashes, a bus was torched.Currently, the situation is tense, but has been brough under control, it has been reported.In September this year, violence erupted after protesting students wanted to meet the V-C at his residence. University officials claimed that students started throwing stones that pushed the situation out of control. Students, however, denied the charge.The CM was in Varanasi on Friday and Saturday when students were protesting against the molestation of a hosteller reported on Thursday. The district administration had to change the route of Modi’s cavalcade due to the protests. The crackdown came within hours of the PM ending his two-day visit to his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.BHU is a central university under the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), and is listed as an institute of national importance. There was no immediate reaction from the ministry.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

3 years on, no third gender students in Delhi University’s regular classes

When the Delhi University (DU) decided to add the third gender category in its admission forms for undergraduate courses in 2015, the move was hailed by everyone, especially the transgender students. Three academic sessions down the line, however, not even a single student has enrolled in regular colleges under the category across the university.According to the University’s Department of Adult, Continuing Education, and Extension, no third-gender applicants have joined regular colleges in undergraduate courses as of now. The department had recently written to all colleges to seek related information.The university, however, witnessed a five-fold increase in the number of applications (83) received under the third-gender category, as compared to last year’s 15. “Every year, we receive applications from third gender students, but no one joins regular college. Most prefer DU’s School of Open Learning (SOL)” said Professor Rajesh, a faculty member at the Department.As per a recent research conducted by students on the issue, even if some third gender students study at regular colleges, they are not comfortable revealing their identity. “We came to know that some transgender students attend regular classes but they chose not to take admission under the third gender category,” said Aslam, a PhD scholar.When DNA contacted several third gender students pursuing education through distance learning, humiliation and hesitation emerged as the main reasons behind not opting for regular education. “It’s very difficult for us to attend regular classes. Neither students nor teachers are sensitive about our issues and problems,” said Rehana, 27, a transgender who recently completed her BA (programme) from SOL.Talking about her experience during the weekly SOL classes, she said: “I left attending classes there after facing lewd comments from students. Several other transgender students were also there, but none of them attended classes,” said Rehana, who is now planning to pursue masters from distance learning.Officials at the university, however, claimed that they have a “healthy” atmosphere for such students at their campuses. “We regularly organise interactive sessions to encourage more third gender students to join mainstream education. But more sensitisation is required. We need to take collective responsibility to bridge this gap,” said Anju Srivastava, principal of the Hindu College.Students, however, claimed that the university’s policy regarding name change was yet another hurdle for the third gender students. “I have been requesting the varsity to change my name in my marksheet and certificate for the last three years but to no avail. They say it needs to be changed in school,” said Akansha, a third-year BA (prog) student at SOL. “I became aware of my identity after I finished school,” she added.Recently, a transgender student had moved the Delhi High Court, challenging the DU and the CBSE over their policies on name change. According to the CBSE policy, her lawyer explained, a student has to change his/her name before the results are declared by the board.Experts, however, said an inclusive atmosphere was needed to bring these students to the mainstream right from the school level. “We need to bring attitudinal changes among these students and other stake holders from the very start. It can’t be done at graduation level,” said Professor Rajesh, who has also submitted a report on the issues of transgenders in education and employment to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.THE DISCOMFORTAs per a recent research conducted by students, even if some third gender students study at regular colleges, they are not comfortable revealing their identity. Officials claim that they have a “healthy” atmosphere at their campuses

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

All railway stations in India to go LED by March 31, 2018: Ministry

In an eco-friendly measure to cut power consumption, the Indian Railways today said it planned to make all stations cent per cent LED lit by March 31, 2018.The railways said it was actively working to provide 100 per cent LED lighting for energy needs in railway staff colonies, stations and platforms.”Ministry of Railways has decided to make all railway stations 100 per cent LED lit by the end of current financial year by March 31, 2018. It is a huge initiative to provide energy efficient lighting which will eventually greatly help in the conservation of environment as well,” it said in a statement.LED or light-emitting diode bulbs are more energy efficient and have a longer lifespan than traditional lamps.Till November 2017, about 3,500 railway stations had already been provided with cent per cent LED lights. About 20 lakh such lights were installed.The initiative will reduce consumption by about 10 per cent of the total energy being utilised for its non-traction uses, conserving about 240 million units of electricity, which will save the Railways about Rs 180 crore annually, it said.The Railways has also issued directives to Zonal Railways to provide LED light fittings to residential quarters.Zonal Railways had distributed about 20 lakh LED lights to railway staff till October, 2017, under the government’s Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP) Scheme.The national transporter also aims at providing these lights on all coaches/EMUs. Already, the lights in 1300 non-AC second-class and 3-tier sleeper coaches have been fully converted to LED.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

NWR says ‘Hello happiness’ to staff

NWR has decided to embrace “Hello Happiness” for the betterment of the employees and to improve the working conditions. To do this, amongst many other steps, NWR’s General Manager TP Singh has given the suggestion which is for family accommodation at desert places on lines of the army, which is under consideration , in NWR cash awards are already being given to the employees, informed the sources.Sources informed that Singh who was speaking at a seminar titled “Sankalp, Samanvit aur Samvad” which was organised by Ministry of Railways, held at New Delhi where he gave several suggestions for the betterment of employees of railways.Notably, large number of railway employees work at places which are away from their homes. For example, if a person is posted at Munabao, children are not getting any place to study, so he is put to inconvenience.As such Singh suggested that at big places, they get family accommodation informed the sources. He also said that the efforts are also being made to assign the jobs to the people as per their aptitude. Sources informed that the whole idea is to make the staff happy.INCENTIVESSingh also spoke about the giving incentives tot he employees to awards good performance. .In NWR cash awards are already being given to the employees.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

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

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

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

L-G Anil Baijal reviews plan to combat air pollution

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Monday chaired a meeting to review the detailed action plan of agencies/stakeholders on measures to combat air pollution in the Capital.Baijal directed all the three municipal corporations to ensure that no methane fires occur at the three landfill sites and for this they should take help of experts of the Science & Technology Ministry, Government of India and IIT Delhi. He also asked all three municipal commissioners to procure requisite mechanical sweepers, litter pickers, water sprinklers within a stipulated time.The officials informed the L-G about the progress on constructive plan and regulatory plan focusing on transport department, industries & DG sets, Solid Waste Management, road dust & fugitive emissions to combat air pollution in Delhi.For the action plan on Solid Waste Management, Baijal directed the commissioners of three MCDs to rework their action plan keeping in mind 100 per cent management of day-to-day generation of solid waste, including bio-degradable components as well as construction & demolition waste. “The plan should cover a time-frame not exceeding sixteen months and also indicate the exact requirement of funds,” an official statement from L-G house stated.Regarding the plan to tackle road dust and fugitive emissions, which is to be completed in eight months, it was informed that an assessment of all central verges will be done where watering on perennial basis is not possible, and all such central verges will be done.”Further, large construction agencies like NBCC and CPWD that are working in the National Capital Region should set up their own facilities for processing C&D waste and reuse the products in their own projects. The L-G also stressed that agencies/stakeholders concerned must prepare an intensive awareness plan for anti-fire cracker campaign, plantation campaign, anti-polluting vehicle campaign, old vehicle campaign, lane driving,” the statement further stated.ACTION PLANThe L-G also asked all three municipal commissioners to procure requisite mechanical sweepers, litter pickers, water sprinklers within a stipulated time. He directed the corporations to seek help of experts.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Shame! In India, 2 women harassed daily at workplace: National Commission for Women 2017 report

India may surpass first world nation in terms of economic growth, but when it comes to women empowerment, the Asian giant cuts a sorry figure.The latest numbers from the National Commission for Women report just proves the pathetic state of affairs.Sample this – two women were harassed at their workplace daily in 2017, with Uttar Pradesh topping the ‘shame list’.The women panel’s report for the year 2017 says that on an average, the NCW received 1.7 complaints per day, a Times of India report said on Sunday.The Commission got 539 complaints with maximum coming from UP, Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. But the panel feels that this is just a minuscule number, a tip of the proverbial iceberg as majority of victims still don’t report such matter either to the local police or to the Commission.In last four years, the Commission has received just 1,971 complaints. With #MeToo trending all this year in post Harvey Weinstein expose era, there has been a greater understanding among the women about this issue. Now, the stigma attached to such cases is giving way to women speaking openly about their horrifying experiences.The trend was also responsible for finally making the Indian Inc responsible towards the issue with the Corporate Ministry making it mandatory for all companies to make full disclosure on their compliance with the Sexual Harassment Act.It should be noted that this was a two-year-old demand by the Maneka Gandhi’s ministry, which was accepted only in 2017.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan confirms wife and mother have received visas to visit him

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has approved the visa applications of the mother and wife of Naval Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on a death row in that country on charges of espionage.The spokesperson for Pakistan’s foreign ministry shared the news on his Twitter handle on Saturday evening.Earlier, Pakistan’s foreign office sent a letter to the Ministry of External Affairs suggesting that Jadhav’s family can meet him on Christmas.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed that Pakistan will grant visa to both the mother and the wife of Jadhav. On November 10, Pakistan had agreed to allow Jadhav’s wife to meet him. India has been pressing Pakistan to grant a visa to his mother Avantika as well, on humanitarian grounds.Describing it as a positive development, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Pakistan has also permitted an Indian diplomat to accompany Jadhav’s wife and mother during their trip. The diplomat will be present during their meeting in the jail. When queried whether allowing Indian diplomat to accompany Jadhav’s relatives in jail meant granting consular access, Kumar said it was too early to predict the nature of the access.Jadhav had filed an appeal with Pakistani Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to seek clemency, which is still pending. In October, the Pakistan Army had said it was close to a decision on Jadhav’s mercy petition.Also readNo consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pak tells ICJAccording to Pakistan, its security forces arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, last year, after he reportedly entered the area from Iran. He was charged for espionage and sentenced to death. India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, where he planned to start a business after retiring from the Indian Navy.After India approached ICJ, a 10-member bench on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case. The ICJ had asked Pakistan to submit its response by December 13, before the court could start further proceedings. Pakistan is now expected to inform the ICJ that since it has agreed to provide consular access to the prisoner, India’s plea at the world court be declared infructuous.Also readMom, wife can meet Kulbhushan Jadhav on Dec 25: PakistanHowever, Pakistan on Wednesday rejected India’s plea for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its ‘spy’.Media reports from Pakistan suggest that Pakistan in its reply has alleged Jadhav is not an ordinary person and had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities. The reply, which was submitted by the Foreign Office’s Director (India), Fariha Bugti, also claimed that Jadhav case does not fall under the purview of the Vienna Convention.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav’s friends celebrate after Pakistan grants visa to his mother and wifeThe counter-memorial said the consular access under the Vienna Convention was reserved only for legitimate visitors and not for spies.Reports said the reply also encompasses the charge-sheet filed against Jadhav, which also includes his confession.Pakistan has stated that “the Indians have not denied that Jadhav was travelling on a passport with an assumed Muslim name.””Lack of explanation on how a serving naval commander was operating under secondment to Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and also was travelling under an assumed name leads to only one conclusion that India wanted consular access to the information he had gathered,” said the counter memorial.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

GST brings jobs boom for Indian CAs

After the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India in July this year, the demand for Chartered Accountants (CAs) well-versed in the new tax regime has been on a global rise, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) revealed. GST or similar tax regimes are now applicable in nearly 164 countries, including India.After GST’s implementation, the ICAI changed its syllabus and trained the existing CAs to suit the new tax regime. According to officials, since July till now, 500 CAs have already migrated to Dubai for jobs and at least two a month have been going abroad to join international firms.”The reason for this is that Indian CAs are well-versed in tax regime as they have to go through many levels of examinations. With the knowledge of GST, which is an international tax law, they have become best of the lot. If they want to practice abroad, they would already be more qualified than those in other countries. Their syllabus is much more complex with different kinds of tax laws but GST is simpler, so they have to concentrate their energy on just one thing,” a senior ICAI official said. Currently, there are more than 20,000 ICAI qualified CAs and the number is expected to rise further in future. “We cannot tell as to how much this number will rise, but the demand for Indian CAs abroad has definitely been on a rise after the implementation of GST,” the official added. ICAI is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and is responsible for regulating the profession of Chartered Accountancy.The new curriculum for CAs, which is mandatory for the next batch, will kick in from the 2018 academic session. For the existing students, the new syllabus is optional and most of the students have opted for it.Meanwhile, the number of women CAs has also increased from 8 per cent in the last decade to 22 per cent now, and is expected to go up to 33 per cent in the next 3 years.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Interpol cancels Red Corner Notice against Zakir Naik, deletes all data on him

The Interpol has cancelled the Red Corner Notice issued by it against Dr Zakir Naik and has deleted all data on the controversial Islamic peachier. The decision was taken by the Interpol’s Commission in its 102nd session held on 24-27 October 2017 and data on Naik was deleted from its database on November 9. This was conveyed by the Interpol to Naik’s London-based legal firmCorker Binning in a letter dated December 11, 2017. The Interpol contended that there was a severe lack of evidentiary basis, a failure by Indian authorities to follow due process of law, political and religious bias that formed the basis of such a notice, and lack of international interest.The Interpol’s Commission found after thorough examination that the request from the Indian NCB was not compliant with Interpol’s rules and thus decided the lndian government’s request for Red Corner notice should be cancelled. Furthermore, the Interpol general secretariat has informed all. Interpol NCB’s that it has deleted the information relating to Dr Zakir Naik and urged all NCB’s to update their national databases accordingly.The Interpol was listening to the request made by The National Central Bureau of Interpol of India made in May 2017 pertaining to Naik. The Indian NCB of Interpol had requested for Red Corner Notice of Dr Zakir Naik for “promoting enmity between two different religious groups ongrounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony, being a member of unlawful Association etc”.The Indian government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had banned Dr Zakir Naik and his organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in November last year. Following the ban, all the operations of IRF were stopped, and all the staff relieved of their duties. Dr Naik also lost his Islamic International School, a school that he had founded and developed over the Harvard pattern of academics. Despite protests, the School’s bank accounts were frozen by the Indian authorities following the ban. NIA has also charged him for radicalising youth. Naik, a 52-year-old medical doctor, has aroused controversy with his puritan brand of Islam – recommending the death penalty for homosexuals and those who abandon Islam as their faith, according to media reports. A Youtube video shows Naik saying that if Osama bin Laden “is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him”. Bangladesh suspended Peace TV channel, which features Naik’s preachings, after some media reports claimed bombers of a Dhaka cafe that killed 22 people last year were admirers of him. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. He has taken residence in Malaysia. India is likely to make a formal request to Malaysia for his extradition.Dr Naik has repeatedly denied accusations of “running away” from investigations. A non-resident Indian (NRI), Dr Naik has been away from India since May 2016, much before the Dhaka incident of July that year. He has been managing IRF’s operations and delivering talks across several countries.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Watch: Discussions on to provide CCTV on all trains across India, says Piyush Goyal

On Saturday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Railway is considering installing CCTVs and providing internet connectivity on all trains across India.He said: “We will take 2018 as a year where we collectively fight against atrocities against women and children, especially human trafficking. We will do this across all the railways.”He added: “As far as security is concerned, we are all thoughtful about it. We are thinking of providing internet connectivity and CCTV on trains. Discussions are on to provide CCTV on all trains across India.”Earlier, he had said the Railways Ministry will float a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to manage the entire electrification work of railways network and arrange funding for it, an official said today.Also readTicket prices for trains like Shatabdi, Rajdhani may go down, says Railway minister Piyush Goyal”As far as funding for electrification is concerned, we are looking at funding through an SPV and getting that SPV to run the entire electrification of Railways,” a top official in the Railways Ministry said today.The SPV will be tasked to look after the whole electrification project of the Railways. It will be own and manage those assets, the official said.Also readIndian Railways to use GPS-enabled devices to fight fog this season”The ministry is still working to float this SPV,” the official said.Earlier in September, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had said that his ministry is exploring ways to speed up the electrification process so as to cut down about Rs 16,000 crore expense on diesel.Also readBMC, Central Railway seek IIT aid to check track-flooding”We are giving a relook to the ways of speeding up the electrification process” of rail lines across the country. The ministry is consulting all the people who are involved in the electrification process,” Goyal had said.With inputs from PTI and ANI

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Death of HRD Ministry official: Family claims he was killed

The family of a central government official, whose body was found on railway tracks in Delhi three days after he went missing, on Friday alleged that he was killed and his body was dumped there. Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry Indian Civil Accounts Service officer Jeetendra Kumar Jha’s body was found on rail tracks on Monday in Palam.The police, however, said that it was a case of suicide since a purported note was also found in which he said no one was responsible for his death. Jha’s family was initially not able to identify his body yesterday. But after police showed a wallet and clothes, they identified the body.RN Mishra, Jha’s brother-in-law, said the body was mutilated beyond recognition and that is why they could not identify it. “Three-four months ago, he had said that he won’t live for long. He was scared for his life,” Mishra told news agency PTI, alleging foul play in Jha’s death.Mishra said that Jha was scared and was not even going to work and had been on leave. “He had even stopped visiting our house late in the night. If we had to meet him, we would have to visit his home,” Mishra said. Jha had even started leaving his cell phone at home so that his location could not be tracked, he said. “Even on the day he went missing, he had left his phone at home,” said Mishra.Jha, a 1998-batch officer, has worked in the training section of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. He was not going to the office and was on medical leave from September 28, the police had said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Give powers to CAPFs to buy new vehicles: Home Ministry

Flooded with delays in replacing vehicles damaged in ambush the Home Ministry has written to the Finance Ministry seeking powers for chiefs of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to buy new ones.There is a huge backlog of damaged vehicles that need to be declared non-operational, sources said.Among the most severely hit forces is the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) serving in Maoist conflict zones as they are targeted by rebels planting improvised explosive devices on the roads. Sources said there are nearly 400-500 vehicles that need replacement.Currently the powers lie with the Finance Ministry and get stuck in bureaucratic delays leading to forces using obsolete vehicles.”A damaged vehicles needs to be declared non-operational. Till the process does not take place it cannot be replaced,” said a home ministry official.This is part of the plan to give a push to the modernisation drive for police forces. The Home Ministry has already laid out a blue print for the Rs 25,000 crore modernisation schemes. Home Minister Rajnath Singh in a review meeting on Thursday took a low down on the plan that is expected to give a push to modern technology to enhance internal security measures, women safety, better surveillance and use of better weapons. There has also been a five time increase in the amount sanctioned for CAPFs as part of a two year modernisation plan. The Home Ministry has also approved the plan worth Rs 1054 from the corpus of Rs. 25,000 crore for the years 2018 and 2019.CRPF AFFECTEDAmong the most severely hit forces is the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) serving in Maoist conflict zones as they are targeted by rebels planting improvised explosive devices on the roads.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Concerned over attacks on cash vans, Centre proposes ATMs shouldn’t be replenished after 9 pm

Concerned over incidents of attack on cash carrying vans, the government has proposed that ATMs should not be replenished with cash after 9 pm in cities and private cash transportation agencies must collect money from the banks in the first half of the day, officials said.The deadline for putting money in the ATMs in rural areas would be 6 pm, and 4 pm in Naxal-affected districts. Also, specially designed cash vans, fitted with CCTVs and GPS, must not carry more than Rs 5 crore per trip.Two armed guards and a driver in each van must be trained to “disengage with the situation and drive vehicle to safety” in case of an attack, a home ministry official said.These are part of the new SoPs proposed by the home ministry for private security agencies carrying out the task of replenishing ATMs. Nearly 8,000 private vans ferry around Rs 15,000 crore daily between banks, currency chests and ATMs across the country.An additional Rs 5,000 crore is held up overnight by private security agencies in their private cash vaults on behalf of the banks.The SoPs have been prepared after a spurt in attacks, hijacking and looting of cash vans which are seen as soft targets.The SOPs have been sent to the Law Ministry for a detailed vetting and once they are approved, the guidelines will be issued to all state governments for implementation, the official said.The government has proposed that for replenishment in ATMs, cash transportation agencies must collect cash from the bank in the first half of the day and no cash loading of the ATMs or cash movement should be done after 9 pm in urban centers across India.Per trip, a cash van cannot carry more than Rs 5 crore, the new SOPs have proposed.Specially designed and secure cash vans must be compulsorily deployed for carrying cash of over Rs 5 lakh per trip.All cash transportation and ATM cash replenishment activities must only be carried out by operational staff who have undergone thorough antecedent check.All state controlling authorities for Private Security Agencies Regulation Act, 2005 have been advised to enforce the above guidelines on all cash van agencies and review compliance from time to time.Such vans must have two independent compartments, with the one for storing cash to be separated and locked from passenger compartment and the cash compartment being specially reinforced with steel and with one door which can be opened internally through a manual or electronic lock, another official said.Every cash van must have the following minimum staff on board for every single cash transportation service — one driver, two armed security guards and two ATM Officer or custodians, according to the guidelinesCash van must always be escorted by two trained armed security guard on board.More than two armed security guards may be deputed on a cash van depending on the amount of cash carried and as per individual company’s insurance guidelines/ client contract/terrain of operation.Antecedent check of all personnel involved in cash transportation operations is a must.Licensed private security would be responsible to comply with the checks before an individual is allowed to participate in cash transportation and ATM cash replenishment operations.All personnel involved in cash transportation and ATM cash replenishment activities must be adequately trained and certified, the guidelines said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

NGT clarifies its stance on Amarnath shrine silent zone; says devotees will be silent near Shivling

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday issued a clarification on declaring the holy shrine at Amarnath a silent zone, saying that the entire area was not a silent zone.“Only restriction is that devotees will maintain silence in front of the Shivling. This is not applicable to any other part of the shrine. A one-way queue will be maintained,” news agency ANI reported.Earlier, reports did the rounds that the NGT had declared the entire shrine a silent zone and had prohibited any religious offerings beyond the entry point.A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said the Amarnath Shrine Board should ensure that proper infrastructural facilities are provided to the pilgrims so that they are not deprived of a clear ‘darshan’, and the ecology of the area is maintained. The NGT earlier said that declaring the area around the Amarnath cave shrine a “silence zone” would be helpful in preventing avalanches and maintaining its pristine nature.”Nobody would be permitted to carry anything from the stairs leading to the holy cave and everybody should be properly frisked at the entry point. From the point of stairs and the area inside the cave should be declared silence zone,” the bench said. The green panel ordered removal of iron grills in front of the ice stalagmite resembling the ‘Shiva Linga’ so that devotees could get a better view of it and said there should be no noise pollution near the sacred structure.It also restrained carriage of personal belongings including mobile phones beyond the last checkpoint and asked the shrine board to construct a place where pilgrims can keep their valuables. The green panel also directed the committee of experts headed by an additional secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to submit an action plan on providing facilities to the pilgrims within three weeks. Environment activist Gauri Maulekhi, on whose plea the directions were passed, welcomed the NGT order and termed it “progressive”.Also readNGT declares Amarnath cave shrine ‘silence zone’, prohibits religious offerings beyond entry point”The Amarnath cave is located in a delicate ecosystem. The directions would make the Amarnath Yatra safe and convenient for the devotees. This would protect the shrine from degradation and ensure it is protected for the coming generations. It is indeed a very good and progressive direction,” Maulekhi told PTI. The matter will be heard again on January 18 next year.In November, the NGT rapped the Amarnath Shrine Board for not providing proper infrastructural facilities to pilgrims going to the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, saying it could not “deprive people of proper darshan”. The green panel took exception to non-compliance with the directions issued by the Supreme Court in 2012 and asked the board what steps it had taken in all these years. The bench directed the experts committee to submit report on aspects such providing a proper path and declaring the cave shrine a “silence zone” while maintaining cleanliness in the area.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Nationwide raids on 9 Bitcoin exchanges

Multiple teams of tax sleuths Wednesday, investigating virtual currency Bitcoin’s investors and transactions, conducted raids at nine cryptocurrency exchanges in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kochi, Hapur and Gurugram.The raids come a month after the Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre and its agencies, including SEBI, Income Tax Department, RBI and ED to apprise it about their stand on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and how to regulate them.Beginning early morning, team of IT officials stormed 12 premises of prominent virtual currency exchanges, including Zebpay and Unocoin.Sources told DNA, “We are collecting the name of investors and their transaction details. The survey under Section 133A of the Income Tax Act, is being conducted for gathering evidence for establishing the identity of investors and traders, transactions undertaken by them, identity of other parties, bank accounts used, among others.”Bitcoin, though illegal in India, has jumped about 16-fold this year as investors continue to flock to this cryptocurrency as a safe investment option.”Even though virtual currencies do not have legal status in India, cryptocurrency exchanges have been adding over 3,500 users a day and now have reached 8 lakh downloads, said a source privy to the matter.DNA had first reported last month how cryptocurrencies were replacing the cash component in the real estate.Also, several real estate brokers, who have left the sector, are now luring investors to invest in Bitcoins, promising them returns of more than 300 per cent in just three months.Recently, the RBI issued an advisory, telling investors to beware of investing in cryptocurencies.However, despite the RBI refusal to give regulatory clearances, many leading Indian Bitcoin exchanges like Zebpay and Unocoin offers crypto coin trade, possiblly through online banking.The Finance Ministry had also constituted an Inter-Disciplinary Committee to review virtual currency both in India and globally and suggest measures to monitor these currencies.About the raidsThough illegal in India, Bitcoin has grown about 16-fold in 2016 Cryptocurrency exchanges have been adding over 3,500 users per day Nine cryptocurrency exchanges were raided, beginning early morning

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

10 ASEAN leaders to grace Republic Day celebrations as chief guests

In a move that will showcase India’s strong ties with the ASEAN countries, all ten leaders of Southeast Asian nations will take part in India’s Republic Day celebrations next month as chief guests. ANI reported that an ASEAN-India tableau will also be part of the Republic Day parade on January 26. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month invited leaders of 10 ASEAN countries to attend the Republic Day celebrations as well as participate at a commemorative summit marking 25th anniversary of India’s ties with the bloc and they accepted it. In his address at the ASEAN-India Summit on November 14, Modi said he was looking forward to a “befitting culmination of the commemorative year and receiving you” at the India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit on January 25 next year in New Delhi. He said 1.25 billion people of India are keen to welcome the ASEAN leaders as the Chief Guests at India’s 69th Republic Day celebrations. The Ministry of External Affairs had confirmed that the ASEAN leaders “graciously” accepted PM Modi’s invitation to attend the two events. Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN has Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam as its members. The ASEAN region along with India together comprises combined population of 1.85 billion people, which is one fourth of the global population and their combined GDP has been estimated at over US $3.8 trillion. Investment from ASEAN to India has been over US $70 billion in the last 17 years accounting for more than 17% of India’s total FDI. India’s investment in ASEAN during the same period has been more than US $40 billion.(With PTI inputs)

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

RTI reply: 19000 Kashmiri migrants moved to Delhi, 40000 still settled in Jammu

Since 1990, due to militancy issues in the Kashmir valley, 61,000 Kashmiri Pandit families along with some Muslim and Sikh families have migrated from the valley. However, surprisingly 40,000 are still residing in the state, and are in Jammu, while 19,000 have come to Delhi and remaining 2,000 to various other parts of the country. This has been revealed in an RTI reply from the Ministry of Home Affairs (Jammu and Kashmir Division), Government of India. The RTI was filed by a Pune based entrepreneur Prafful Sarda seeking details on how many Kashmiri Pandita have been affected by the militancy. He had posed an array of questions, of which the ministry replied only this much. For the remaining ones he has been asked to apply under RTI rules prevalent in Jammu and Kashmir state, which is different from the rest of the country. The RTI reply reads, “Due to militancy in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the early 1990s most of the Kashmiri Pandit families along with some Sikh and Muslim families migrated from the Kashmir valley to Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country. More than 40,000 registered Kashmiri Migrant families are residing in Jammu, about 19,000 registered Kashmiri Migrant families are living in Adelphi and about 2000 families are settled in other states.” Also readKashmiri pandit’s sweet gesture: Candies for Eid processionSarda claims his reason for seeking this information was that, “With this RTI figures, I wish to highlight our courts do have time to know and understand Rohingya Muslims issue but the citizen of this country “Kashmiri Pandits” are fighting for justice and courts have not given any firm decision in last 30 years.”

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Officers to get Rs Rs 20 lakh, informers Rs 2 lakh for info on drug trafficking

In order to crackdown on drug trafficking across the country and motivate police personnel, informers, and common citizens to report such instances, the Central government has issued new guidelines on Tuesday announcing rewards for those whose information would lead to seizures of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The government, however, has also clearly stated that any work done by an individual officer in his normal course of duties is not eligible for the reward.The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has come up with ‘guidelines for grant of rewards to be paid to the officers, informers, and other persons, 2017’. It will also regulate the grant and payment of reward to informers and government officers.As per this policy, an officer is eligible for Rs 20 lakh reward during his entire career and Rs 50,000 at a time. However a maximum reward of Rs 2 lakh may also be given to an individual in exceptional cases by the Apex Central Rewards Committee.”Up to 50 per cent of the total admissible reward amount can be given at pre-trial stage if the test report from chemical lab turns positive,” the ministry said.Further the reward sanctioning authority should also consider several factors — like accuracy of the information, degree of risk involved, extent and nature of the help rendered by the informer, and whether the information also gave clues of the person involved in the drug trafficking racket — while granting reward to informers.Narcotics Control Bureau has been made the coordinating agency to process the reward proposal of other central and state agencies working in the field of drug interdiction.As per the new policy, reward should not be granted as a matter of routine and provision for special efforts made by the government officials in developing the information, effecting the seizure and post seizure investigation should also be taken into consideration.The reward scheme will be made applicable to informers whose information leads to seizures of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, controlled substances, forfeiture of illegally acquired property under NDPS Act and contravention of rules made there under, which is booked by any central and state agencies.It is also applicable to the officers of central, state and union territories who make seizures, successful investigation and prosecution and conduct post investigation work in respect of contravention of provisions of NDPS Act.The new reward guideline has not only included new drugs and psychotropic substances in the revised reward policy but also increased the rate of reward of the seized drug. The highest reward has been kept for cocaine and its salts which is Rs 2.4 lakh per kilogramme but it should be 90 percent or more of anhydrous cocaine and thereafter heroin and its salts which is Rs 1.20 lakh per kilogramme but it should 90 percent or more of diacetyl morphine. In Ganja, the reward is Rs 600 per kilogramme and it should be commercially acceptable as ganja. Even Mandrax tablets attract Rs 2000 per kilogramme. The destruction of illicit cannabis and opium poppy crop attracts Rs 10,000 per hectare and destruction of poppy straw calls for Rs 240 which is 20 percent of the present street price.In case of controlled and psychotropic substances, the maximum reward is 25,000 per Kg for seizure of Buprenorphine or Tidigesic and its preparations but it should be 100 percent pure. Interestingly, diazepam and its preparations can get reward Rs. 0.53 per tablet of 5mg, alprazolam and its preparations can get reward Rs 0.20 per tablet of 5 mg, lorezepam and its preparations Rs 0.296 per tablet of 5 mg and alprax and its preparations can get Rs 0.52 per tablet of 5 mg.The ministry has put up a clause wherein the rewards shall be reduced pro-rate if the purity is less than the prescribed level.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

PMO asks NITI Aayog to examine Isha Foundation’s river revival plan

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) have constituted separate committees to examine Isha Foundation’s draft policy to revitalise rivers that was submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October. This information was revealed by the MoWR in reply to a Right to Information application filed by Noida-based environmental activist Vikrant Tongad. DNA has reviewed the RTI response and also confirmed it independently with Ministry of Water Resources.The PMO has constituted a group under the Chief Executive Officer, Niti Aayog, to examine the issue while MoWR has formed a committee under the National Institute of Hydrology chairman Sharad Kumar Jain. The group headed by Niti Aayog CEO will consist of respective secretaries of MoWR, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change( MoEF&CC), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Rural Development, and Agriculture Ministry.The non-profit Isha Foundation led by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev ran a month-long Rally for rivers campaign across the country. Jaggi Vasudev campaigned across states along with volunteers for rejuvenation of rivers through afforestation. The draft policy submitted to the Centre has recommended, among other things, that there should mass plantation on 1km of land on either side of rivers.MoWR has noted in its preliminary reply to the PMO that “plantation is an important component for revitalising rivers, but it cannot be the sole activity.” The Ministry also said that the feasibility of the move needs to be examined in detail after ascertaining the present land-use pattern and in discussion with stakeholders, mainly the farmers.MoWR has also sought inputs and recommendations from concerned ministries on the NGO’s plan. So far only the environment ministry has replied, a senior official from the ministry said. Environment ministry officials could not be reached for comment.”As this requires in-depth work, the ministry is constituting a committee for detailed examination of the book and its recommendations,” the ministry added in its response to the PMO.CAMPAIGN SO FARIsha Foundation led by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev ran a month-long Rally for rivers campaign across the country. The organisation also submitted a draft policy to the Centre with recommendations. It suggests that there should be mass tree plantation on 1km land on either side of rivers.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Government issues guidelines for tariff-based wind power procurement

Ministry of Power today said it has issued guidelines to procure wind power through ‘transparent’ tariff based competitive bidding process.Government has issued guidelines providing a framework for procurement of wind power through a “transparent process” of bidding including standardisation of the process and defining of roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders.“These guidelines aim to enable the distribution licensees to procure wind power at competitive rates in a cost effective manner,” read the gazette published by Ministry of Power.The guidelines are applicable for procurement of wind power from grid-connected Wind Power Projects (WPP) having individual size of 5 Mega Watt (MW) and above at one site with minimum bid capacity of 25 MW for intra-state projects; and individual size of 50 MW and above at one site with minimum bid capacity of 50 MW for inter-state projects.“These guidelines will give boost to the wind power sector as it would facilitate the windy states to go for bidding process for procurement of wind power themselves. After transition of tariff regime from feed in tariffs to bidding route, it was mainly central government bids through SECI which were helping the sector. State bids from Tamil Nadu and Gujarat had objections from the wind sector in absence of guidelines,” the ministry’s announcement statement said.Commenting on the issuance of guidelines, ICRA Ratings observed, “The guidelines address some of the key concerns for the sector pertaining to off-taker’s credit profile, grid curtailment and termination payments. The guidelines require the procurers to direct sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) with wind power developers to provide a payment security through letter of credit equivalent to one month average billing and a payment security fund to support payment for at least three months of receivables for the projects tied up. “In addition, the procurer may also choose to provide state government guarantee in a legally enforceable form, both for payment of energy charges and termination compensation.” As per the latest set of rules, the developer will have to compensate the procurer in case of the generation falls below a prescribed Capacity Utilisation Factor (CUF) agreed at the time of signing of the PPA. The minimum declared CUF should be 22% as per new guidelines.The norms are important as the government had decided to put for bidding 10 GW wind capacities each in the fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-20 to meet the target of 60 GW of power generation through clean energy by 2022. The present wind power installed capacity is 32 GW.In the two rounds this year, the government has 2 GW wind capacity. As part of the third round, government has floated tender for another 2 GW capacity.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Western Railway move can promote solar energy in Mumbai: Experts

Even as experts on solar power cheered the move by Western Railways of going for solar rooftops by setting up solar panels on top of the platform sheds, they also said that this move could also end up becoming the biggest promotion for solar rooftops in Mumbai.”The solar rooftops at Lower Parel station are being viewed by lakhs of commuters daily and it will atleast provoke them to think or get more information about solar energy. Infact we would suggest that every station going for solar rooftop should display information on benefits of solar power,” said a senior official working with Government of India to promote solar rooftops.Infact officials as well as environmentalists who have been promoting solar energy said that despite so much awareness and having the facility of Net-metering’ ,which enables to send the unused or excess electricity generated by solar plant back into the grid of the energy supply and even earn credits still there was not much demand for solar rooftops and only very limited buildings or societies were coming forward.”There will have to be a policy making it mandatory for a building or a commercial space of a particular area and depending on their electricity usage pattern to compulsorily have solar rooftop installed and only then the rise in solar rooftops will see an increase,” said another solar expert working with a solar energy provider firm.Infact environmentalist Rishi Aggarwal who has been promoting solar rooftops said that it was strange that while Mumbaikars actively speak about reducing carbon footprints and search for means of reducing their electricity consumption yet there was not a sharp rise as expected in solar rooftops in the city. “BMC or the The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) needs to study what was the factor that was stopping people from going for solar rooftopsA study initiated in 2015 to assess the solar rooftop potential of Greater Mumbai had shown that Mumbai has a potential of generating 1720 megawatt (MW) of solar energy across rooftops including residences, educational institutions, government buildings and industry. Infact one of the key highlights of the study was that it provided a ready database of the solar capacity that can be generated on rooftops to BMC or any other Government organisation. The study listed out structures with good rooftop potential and it includes hospitals, commercial buildings, Government offices, railway stations and even industries. The rooftop solar generation was also presented wardwise.Unfortunately experts claim that BMC and government offices themselves are yet to go for solar rooftops despite being obligated to do so and those who have already done it were not bothered promoting it amongst those visiting these offices.WHAT IS NET-METERING:Under net-metering, customers who generate their own electricity using solar power can send the unused or excess electricity generated by their solar plant, back into the grid of the energy supply provider and even get compensated for it. However the compensation is not directally monetary but the energy provider simply reduces the units of power send to the grid, which helps reduce the energy costs. Net-metering was approved by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) in 2016

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Green clearance must for rail projects on forest land: MoEF&CC

Railway projects passing through forest lands, national parks and eco-sensitive zones will not be exempted from the forest clearance process, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) told the Railways Ministry and state forest departments. The Environment Ministry’s clarification on the matter comes after the Railways had argued that Railways Act, 1989, gives it the power to acquire land, including forests, falling in its right of way. MoEF&CC clarified its position on the issue after referring the matter to the Ministry of Law and Justice, who seconded the Environment Ministry’s opinion.DNA has reviewed the MoEF&CC letter to Railways Ministry and state forest departments.The MoEF&CC told Railways, that as per the Law Ministry, despite provisions of the Railways Act, 1989, allowing Railways to acquire any land for its projects, forest land falling in the right of way attract provisions of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. MoEF&CC added that even if the forest land is under the possession of the Railways, it will need to seek forest clearance for non-forestry work. Further, projects passing through protected areas would need the approval of the National Board for Wildlife.“Railway projects passing through wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, and tiger reserves amount to destruction of habitat within the meaning of various sections of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The need of seeking approval for railway projects passing through a wildlife sanctuary is in pursuance of Supreme Court order of 2002,” the MoEF&CC said.The Railways had raised the issue of applicability of Forest Conservation Act, 1980, and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, for its projects citing the upcoming conversion of Akola-Khandwa railway line from metre gauge to broad gauge. The railway line passes through a reserve forest, Wan sanctuary and the Melghat Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. Of the 176-km track, 40 km passes through forested areas and of that 18 km lies inside the tiger reserve. According to government documents, the project would require diversion of 160.94 hectares of forest from the critical tiger habitat of Wan Sanctuary, a part of Melghat Tiger Reserve.OVERRULEDThe Railways had argued that Railways Act, 1989, gives it the power to acquire land, including forests, falling in its right of way. MoEF&CC clarified that Railway projects passing through forest land, national parks, eco-sensitive zones will not be exempted from forest clearance process.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Medical cover for sex change ops on anvil for transgenders

The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has sought to make a few changes to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill before introducing it in the Winter Session of the Parliament. Significant among these changes — nine to be precise — include the expansion of the definition of transgender to include the hijra community, inclusion of the definition of intersex, and providing medical cover for sex reassignment surgery.Ministry officials said the reason behind the changes was a report on the Bill that the Standing Committee submitted to the Parliament in July this year. The committee, headed by BJP MP Ramesh Bais, pointed at several loopholes in the Bill and said that transgenders “remain at risk of criminalisation under Section 377 of the IPC”, if the Bill was implemented.To bring in these changes, the ministry first sent the changes to the law ministry, which approved it.In a note to the Cabinet that the ministry sent out in November, it wrote: “The Standing Committee has made recommendations, of which nine have been accepted by the ministry. In the above backdrop, based on the report of the Standing Committee, the ministry proposes to make official amendments to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016,” read the note.One of the key changes is the redrafting of the definition of transgender. As per section 2 (i) of the Bill: “Transgender person means a person who is a) neither wholly female nor wholly male or b) a combination of female and male or c) neither female or male, and whose sense of gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at the time of birth. It includes trans-men and trans-women, persons with intersex variations, and gender-queers.”Yet, as per the new changes mooted by the ministry, a transgender person is one “whose gender does not match to the gender assigned to the person at birth and includes trans-man or trans-woman (whether or not such person has undergone sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy or laser therapy or such other therapy), gender-queer, and persons having such socio-cultural identities as kinnar, hijra, aravani, jogta, kothi, or other similar identity.”A “person with intersex variations”, an addition to the Bill proposed by the ministry, is defined as “one who at birth shows variation in primary sexual characteristics, external genitalia, chromosomes, or hormones from a normative standard of male or female body.”Apart from that, the government has also proposed defining of “family” as “a group of people related by blood or marriage or by adoption made in accordance with law”. The government has also proposed doing away of the District Screening Committee for the issuance of a transgender certificate, and doing away of the minimum number of 100 individuals that need to be in an organisation to make it mandatory for the organisation to have a complaint officer.Another addition is that of children to the list of people that cannot be separated from a transgender, and the provision for “coverage of medical expenses by a comprehensive insurance scheme” for sex reassignment surgery.Yet, the proposed changes to the Bill do not reflect some key recommendations of the Standing Committee report, including addition of a section on “discrimination” against transgender people, specifications of the division of the share of responsibilities of the Centre and the states, defining the role of the National Council for Transgender Persons, provision for counselling for better mental health, provision of meaningful livelihood options, and the inclusion of a section on transgender in application forms or other such forms.Bill’s journeyDMK Rajya Sabha MP Tiruchi Siva introduced a private member’s Bill titled The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 in December 2014, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha in April 2015. His Bill, with several expansive sections, was rejected by the government because they felt it suffered from some “infirmities” and the government drafted its own Bill and introduced it in the Lok Sabha. When appraised of the changes that the government was mooting, Siva said that unless the Bill has provisions for employment, education, reservation, self-identification of gender, and a tougher National Council for Transgender Persons, it was lacking in will. “The Bill will not realise the goals it sets out to make,” Siva said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Don’t allow any deals of our land: Defence Ministry

The Defence Estate Officer (DEO) of the Ministry of Defence has written to the Charity Commissioner’s office that no transaction be allowed on a plot of land given by the ministry on lease to members of the Anglican Church, and where the head office of the Bombay Diocesan Trust Association (BDTA) currently stands.A similar letter has also been sent to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation asking that no permission for any kind of construction be allowed.”We have written a letter last week to the Charity Commissioner’s office to not allow them any kind of transaction on our land,” said Prasad Chavan, DEO.The letter follows a public notice that the DEO had issued warning anyone from creating any third party rights on the land.The 38,394 sq ft plot of land stands on Hazarimal Somani Marg close to the Bombay Gymkhana and Azad Maidan.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Govt will take all possible steps to ensure extradition of Vijay Mallya: MEA

As the extradition trial of Vijay Mallya continues in a court in London, the government today said it would take all possible steps to bring him back to the country.”The government of India would take all possible steps to ensure that we do not lag behind in our efforts towards extradition of Vijay Mallya to India,” spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Raveesh Kumar said in reply to a question on the issue. The extradition trial of Mallya, wanted in India on charges of Rs 9,000 crore fraud and money laundering, began at a UK court on Monday.The tycoon has been on self-imposed exile in the UK since he left India on March 2, 2016.Asked about the recent arrest of British national Jagtar Singh Johal by Punjab Police in connection with targeted killing cases in the state, the MEA spokesperson said the British High Commission has been given consular access to him. Kumar said Johal has been investigated for “very serious crime” including cases relating to targeted killing of certain individuals in India.Also read’No evidence’ to justify extraditing Mallya to India, defense lawyer tells UK Court”All due process of law are being followed since he is a British national. The British High Commission has been given consular access. We expect the law of the land to take its own course,” Kumar said.Asked about reports that 23 Indians from Tamil Nadu are stuck in Senegal as their employers refused to pay them their salaries, Kumar said the two companies where they were working have agreed to pay their dues following government’s intervention. He said eight workers have already returned to India and others are also coming back.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Centre introduces ‘Challenge Method’ for introducing new Kendriya Vidyalayas

The central government has introduced “Challenge Method” for opening up of new Kendriya Vidyalayas. A Committee under the chairmanship of Secretary Education will be formed which will examine the proposals received by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) for opening up of new KVs.Challenge Method would mean those interested in opening new KVs will have to bid for it and the committee will examine the proposal. So far, it was only KVS that would approve opening up of new schools, but with the Challenge Method, a bidding process will be done and approval will come from the committee. There are around 1,125 KVs in the country, and these schools are directly under the HRD Ministry.Official notification regarding this was released by the Department of School Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development on December 4. “In Pursuance of the guidelines issued by the Cabinet Secretariat for selection of sites/locations for projects/institutions/schemes through “Challenge Method”, it has been decided to constitute a Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary for examination of the proposals received by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan for opening of new KVs.”Also readIn a first, HRD ministry to rank over 1,000 Kendriya VidyalayasThe committee will examine proposals which have been prime facie found to be fulfilling the norms of KVS for opening of new schools and make recommendations thereon having regard to the guidelines issued by Cabinet Secretariat for selection through “Challenge Method” and submit its recommendations for placing before the Board of Governors and process further for EPC/CCEA approvals.The committee will consist of Secretary Education, members of NITI Ayog and members of KVS.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

300 coal power plants throw pollution norms to wind

Even after two years of setting emission standard norms, more than 300 coal power plants across the country continue to violate them. Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) emissions in India have been increasing alarmingly since 2012, said activists.Satellite data suggests that SO2 emissions have increased by approximately 32% in the last 5 years. Also particulate matter 2.5, the most lethal of all dust-related pollutants has increased by 13%. The hotspots where air pollution due to coal plants is rife are Singrauli, Korba – Raigarh, Angul, Chandrapur, Mundra and Delhi National Capital Region.The report states that the PM 2.5 levels have rampantly increased in India, while China at the same time reduced its levels by 17% due to time-bound implementation of pollution-control action plan. Specifically mentioning Delhi’s air pollution, the report states that emissions from thermal power plants within a radius of 300 kilometres from Delhi need to be curbed along with other sources.According to the Central Pollution Control Board, if the new standards are implemented, it will cut down approximately 40% of PM emissions and 48% of both nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide as pollutant from power generation sector.Sunil Dahiya, Senior Campaigner, Greenpeace India said, “The inaction by government to implement emission standards for coal-based power plants is a clear indication of the lack of political will, and demonstrates that the interests of some industries like coal is placed above public health. This needs to change immediately. Big polluters should be brought to book for releasing toxic emissions into the atmosphere, as it is the government’s responsibility to ensure a healthier and cleaner environment for its citizens. This will not be achieved without imposing stringent controls on polluting emissions by the power sector.””These norms were to come into effect by December 7. But despite being given two years to implement these norms, the Ministry of Power and Central Electricity Authority, along with power industry, is attempting to push the dates further by 5-7 years till 2022-24 and also relaxing the water usage limits,” said Dahiya.According to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) new norms have limited emissions of particulate matter (PM), sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury and reduced water usage by coal-powered thermal power plants. These emissions are a key contributor to surging particulate matter levels in India, with the coal power sector being a key contributor to air pollution.Avijit Michael from Jhatkaa.org said, “It is disappointing to note that power plants have not taken sufficient action in the past 2 years, and are now requesting even more time to install the necessary emission reduction technology. Thousands of Indians have petitioned Dr Harshvardhan. The MoEFCC must penalise defaulters to clearly demonstrate that they consider the health of Indian citizens as a priority. “Emphasizing the impact on public health due to emissions from sources like the coal-based power plants, the Indian Medical Association Chairman, Dr KK Agrawal said, “As a representative of the medical fraternity, I cannot emphasize enough the necessity of reducing emissions from thermal power plants. Smog is a complex mixture formed by various pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and dust particles, which interact with sunlight to form ground-level ozone, leading to the buildup of haze that hangs in industrial cities. This is a high-alert situation for not only Delhi but villages and towns near these plants as well, with children and older adults at high risk. Those with lung disorders and breathing issues are also highly vulnerable to the ill effects of this condition. Air pollution is responsible for premature deaths in Delhi and across the country. Its repercussions may not be immediately obvious but the long-term implications of air pollution are fatal.”
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Flashpoint, as India asks China to give back drone

India has requested China to return the Indian Army drone operating in north Sikkim, which went down in the Chinese territory on Thursday, even as Beijing accused India of violating its air space and infringing upon its territorial sovereignty.The possibility of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) being shot down or electronically taken over cannot be ruled out, sources said. They added that if the damaged drone was broken into, sensitive data could be accessed.The Army first contacted its Chinese counterparts on the hotline. Then, through diplomatic channels, New Delhi asked them to return it. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, however, said the country has lodged a diplomatic protest with India over the drone violating their sovereignty. The UAV was on a regular training mission inside the Indian territory when it lost contact with the ground control due to some technical problem and crossed over the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Sikkim Sector.As per standard protocol, the Indian border security personnel immediately alerted their Chinese counterparts to locate the UAV.”In response, the Chinese side reverted with the UAV’s location details. The exact cause of the incident is under investigation. The matter is being dealt with in accordance with the established protocols through institutional mechanisms to deal with situations along the Indo-China border areas,” a Ministry of Defence statement read.The Chinese claim of India violating its air space comes ahead of Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s visit to New Delhi to take part in the Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers’ meeting, to be held on December 11.Shuang told journalists on Wednesday that Wang will meet top Indian officials on the meet’s sidelines. This will be the first visit by a top Chinese official to India after the Doklam crisis and commencement of second five-year term of Chinese president Xi Jinping. The drone incident comes in the backdrop of a recent 73-day standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam, which also happens to be in the Sikkim sector where the UAV was operating.The Chinese troops retreated in August, putting an end to their road construction. India had objected to Chinese road building activity at the tri-junction in Doklam, which falls in a territory disputed by China and Bhutan. India had raised security implications of the proposed road.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

India admits its drone lost contact and crossed into China

Responding to China’s statement that over a drone crashing into Chinese territory, the Ministry of Defence on Thursday issued a statement where they admitted to the incident taking place.“An Indian UAV which was on a regular training mission inside the Indian territory lost contact with the ground control due to some technical problem and crossed over the LAC in the Sikkim Sector. As per standard protocol, the Indian border security personnel immediately alerted their Chinese counterparts to locate the UAV. In response, the Chinese side reverted with the location details of the UAV. The exact cause of the incident is under investigation. The matter is being dealt with in accordance with the established protocols through institutional mechanisms to deal with situations along the India- China border areas,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statementEarlier, Beijing expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with New Delhi on Thursday after ‘recent crash’ of the drone in its territory.Also readIndia drone crashed near our border, invaded our air space, claims ChinaBeijing also said that the ‘incident’ that could cause further friction along the two countries’ disputed border.”This action by India violated China’s territorial sovereignty. We express strong dissatisfaction and opposition,” said Zhang Shuili, a senior military official in China’s western battle zone command, according to a Defence Ministry statement.”China’s border defence forces took a professional and responsible attitude in conducting an inspection of the device,” Zhang said, adding that the military would resolutely defend national sovereignty and security.It said only that the drone crashed in “recent days” and did not give a location.The drone report comes months after the border stand-off near Doklam in Sikkim sector..In June, July and August, Indian and Chinese troops had been confronting each other at the Doklam plateau .The two sides agreed to an “expeditious disengagement” of troops there about a week before Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in an effort to mend ties at a summit hosted by China in September.In November, China again ‘criticised’ a visit by President Ram Nath Kovind to Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims, saying China opposed any activities by Indian leaders in disputed areas.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

India drone crashed near our border, invaded our air space, claims China

Months after the Doklam stand-off resolution, China on Thursday claimed that India ‘invaded’ its airspace.Beijing expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with New Delhi on Thursday after ‘recent crash’ of an Indian drone in what the Chinese military said was Chinese territory.Beijing also said that the ‘incident’ that could cause further friction along the two countries’ disputed border.”This action by India violated China’s territorial sovereignty. We express strong dissatisfaction and opposition,” said Zhang Shuili, a senior military official in China’s western battle zone command, according to a Defence Ministry statement.”China’s border defence forces took a professional and responsible attitude in conducting an inspection of the device,” Zhang said, adding that the military would resolutely defend national sovereignty and security.It said only that the drone crashed in “recent days” and did not give a location.The drone report comes months after the border stand-off near Doklam in Sikkim sector..In June, July and August, Indian and Chinese troops had been confronting each other at the Doklam plateau .The two sides agreed to an “expeditious disengagement” of troops there about a week before Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in an effort to mend ties at a summit hosted by China in September.In November, China again ‘criticised’ a visit by President Ram Nath Kovind to Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims, saying China opposed any activities by Indian leaders in disputed areas.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

India reacts to Donald Trump’s Jerusalem move, says ‘our views not determined by any third country’

Hours after US President Donald Trump dramatically announced his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, India on Thursday reacted with a firm resolve.In response to queries regarding India’s position on recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel by the US, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affair said, “India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country.”Even as the world leaders reacted to President Trump’s decision, the eight countries have called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council.Also readDonald Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in reversal of US policyBolivia, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Uruguay want a meeting by the end of the week, the Swedish mission to the 15-member body said.Japan, which currently holds the council’s rotating presidency, had not set a time for the meeting by Wednesday afternoon.Also readWorld leaders call emergency meeting after Donald Trump’s decision on JerusalemJerusalem’s status can only be resolved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said following Trump’s announcement.Guterres added that he had “consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures.””There is no alternative to the two-state solution.” Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz called Trump’s move “a reckless and a dangerous decision which goes against international law, the resolutions of the Security Council.””It’s a threat not just to the peace process, but also it’s a threat to international peace and security,” said the envoy.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Prime Minister’s Office help sought for Mumbai Metro execution roadblocks

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) executing several Metro projects in the city has sought help from Prime Minister’s office (PMO) for tackling several issues involving land acquisition and getting clearances from several state and central government agencies for construction of Metro corridors in the city.According to MMRDA, PMO’s ‘pragati portal’ monitors the Metro projects in the city and regular assistance is sought from the PMO for clearances from Central government agencies like Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Defence for acquiring their land for Metro projects.Pravin Darade, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, said, “We seek assistance from PMO where central government agencies are involved. At several stretches we either require land from the Defence Ministry or require no objection certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Railway, as our Metro alignment is going above railway tracks at several locations. In this case, seeking assistance from PMO helps in getting approvals smoothly.”A senior MMRDA official, said, “We may also seek assistance from the PMO regarding roadblocks for procuring loan from international banks. We want the 75 per cent of the Metro coaches to be manufactured in India under ‘Make In India’ but the banks that are going to finance the Metro projects have reservations about it.”The MMRDA official, added, “In this case, we will seek assistance from PMO who will certainly intervene along with the Union Ministry of Finance for having banks agree with having 75 per cent coaches made in India.”
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Centre offers Rs 2.5 lakh for every inter-caste marriage involving a Dalit

The government has removed the income ceiling of Rs 5 lakh per annum for recently married inter-caste couples, where either the bride or the bridegroom is a Dalit, to become eligible for a financial incentive of Rs 2.5 lakh. The ‘Dr Ambedkar scheme for social Integration through inter caste marriage’, which was started in 2013 to promote inter-caste marriages, was till now applicable only for couples with a total annual income of Rs 5 lakh or lower. The objective of the scheme is to “appreciate the socially bold step,” and to extend financial help to the couple to enable them to “settle down in the initial phase of their married life.”Also readOdisha doubles incentive to encourage inter-caste marriagesThe scheme targets at least 500 such marriages each year, though it has not crossed 100 in any year so far since its inception. Other eligibility criteria of the scheme is that the marriage should be registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.Other pre-conditions are that it should be their first marriage and the proposal should be submitted within a year of marriage.According to a report by The Indian Express, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, in a recent order to states, has directed that “the condition that the total income of the newly-wedded couple will not exceed Rs 5 lakh per annum” be scrapped , and there will be “no income limit for incentive under the scheme”.Also readRamdas Athawale blames inter-caste marriages for atrocities against Dalits; demands right to carry gunsThe ministry also made it mandatory for the couples to submit their Aadhaar numbers and details of their Aadhaar-linked joint bank account. Although the Centre has target of 500 couples a year, it has never been met since the scheme was started in 2013. Only five couples were given the incentive in 2014-15. In 2015-16, 522 applied under the scheme but only 72 applications were approved. Last year, only 45 of the 736 applications were approved.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Delhi HC seeks govt stand on PIL for changing Muslim inheritance law

The Delhi High Court today sought the Centre’s response on a PIL to amend the Muslim personal law on inheritance, alleging that Muslim women were discriminated on issues relating to sharing of property.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar asked the Ministry of Law and Justice to examine the issue of alleged discriminatory practice in the Muslim law on inheritance.It directed the government to submit its stand positively before the next date of hearing on April 9 next year.Central government standing counsel Monika Arora told the bench that the Law Commission was examining the issue.The court was hearing a plea by a social organisation — Sahara Kalyan Samiti– which has sought equal inheritance rights for Muslim women.The petition, filed by advocate Raghav Awasthi alleged that Muslim women in India have been discriminated as far their rights of inheritance were concerned in comparison to their male counterparts.It said the discrimination based on customary law as well the statutory law was violative of their fundamental right to equality enshrined under Articles 14, 19, 21 and other relevant provisions of the Constitution.The plea contended that Article 13 of the Constitution included personal laws including Muslim personal laws. “It is erroneous to assume that personal laws are excluded from the ambit of judicial examination,” it said.It claimed that a bare perusal of the law shows that a wife shall receive 1/8th of the property of her husband on his death if they have children. In case there are no children borne out of marriage, she is entitled to 1/4th of the property. A daughter shall receive half of the share of a son.In stark contrast, the men shall receive 1/4th of the property of his wife on her death if they have children. In case there are no children borne out of the marriage, he is entitled to half the property. A son shall receive double the share of the daughter, the plea alleged.”Thus, it is clearly perceivable that women under the present Islamic law in force are, by the mere factum of their being women in the nature of a wife or a daughter, are only entitled to half of the share of their male counterparts,” it said.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

New Indian envoy Gautam Bambawale presents his credentials to Xi Jinping

India’s new envoy to China Gautam Bambawale today submitted his credentials to President Xi Jinping, a formality which would enable him to officially function as the Ambassador.Xi received the credentials of Bambawale, and 10 other envoys, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The Chinese President welcomed the ambassadors to China and asked them to convey his sincere greetings and good wishes to the leaders and people of their countries. The Chinese government will provide convenience and support for the work of the ambassadors, Xi said, adding that he hopes they will actively contribute to bilateral relations between China and their countries.Xi said China will enhance mutual political trust, promote practical cooperation, deepen cooperation in international affairs, achieve common development with the countries and contribute to world peace, stability, the report said. Bambawale, a seasoned diplomat, arrived here last month. Till recently, he served as High Commissioner to Pakistan and earlier as India’s envoy to Bhutan. A 1984-batch India Foreign Service (IFS) officer, Bambawale succeeded Vijay Gokhale who took over as Secretary (Economic Relations) at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).A deft hand in Sino-India relations, Bambawale earlier handled the China desk at the MEA which also included relations with Japan, China, South Korea, Mongolia and North Korea. A Mandarin-speaker, he had also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian Embassy in Beijing earlier. He came ahead of India and China resuming a high-level dialogue this month after Xi assumed his second five-year term after an endorsement by the National Congress of the ruling Communist Party in October this year.Bambawale’s posting here came at a time when the two neighbours are trying to put behind the Dokalam standoff, and work on a “forward-looking” approach in their ties.The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is to take part in the Russia, India and China (RIC) dialogue mechanism, expected to be held in Delhi on December 11. During the visit, he is also expected to hold talks with his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj and meet top Indian leadership, officials said here.Following the RIC dialogue, the 20th round of India-China border talks will be held in Delhi between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi. Both Doval and Yang have been designated as ‘Special Representatives’ who are also mandated to discuss all issues related to India-China relations. For the first time after the Doklam standoff, the two countries held their border consultation and coordination mechanism meeting here last month during which they reviewed the situation in all sectors of their border and exchanged views on confidence building measures and military contacts.The 10th round of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was held in Beijing on November 17. The India-China border dispute covers the 3488-km long Line of Actual Control (LAC). China claims Arunachal Pradesh as Southern Tibet while India asserts that the dispute covered Aksai Chin area which was occupied by China during 1962 war.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Government to promote entrepreneurs using desi cow by-products

With an aim to double farmers’ income, the government would promote entrepreneurs keen to manufacture products using desi cow by-products like urine and cow dung among others, an official source said.Various products which can be manufactured using cow milk, urine and cow dung have been identified and the Ayush Ministry has been asked to give its views, the source said.The issue was deliberated in detail in a meeting called by Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Raj on Tuesday. Senior officials from various ministries attended the meeting.Once the products are identified for business scale up, the small enterprises will be encouraged by providing financial help under a scheme run by MSME Ministry.Use of cow dung as natural pesticide/fertiliser, and for production of gobar gas as also for making gobar bricks, household mats and air purifier – have been identified. Using cow urine for making facial and beauty products like soap and face wash has also been thought about.The Ayush Ministry has been asked to submit a report in this regard soon, the source added.Besides milk-based products, the government wants to encourage small enterprises to take advantage of benefits of cow by-products for creating jobs in rural India and enable more income to milk farmer.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Thanks to Narendra Modi govt, 10 crore farmers now have soil health cards

Gujarat elections apart, the Narendra Modi government is silently penetrating and empowering its core votebank — the peasants. In a blitz planned to be unveiled on World Soil Day on December 5, the Ministry of Agriculture will celebrate its feat of having distributed soil health cards (SHC) to 10 out of the 12 crore farmers in India.The ministry has roped in veteran Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar to feature in videos prepared to sensitise and ensure pan-India SHC usage. The actor, ministry sources said, didn’t take payment for the ad campaign. The SHCs have already covered 95 per cent of the total agricultural expanse of the country.Adding another feather to the Modi dispensation after the runaway success of such of flagship schemes as Ujjawala and Mudra, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh would be launching a mobile app on Tuesday in Jhajjhar district of Haryana through which farmers will have access to all information on soil health cards. Ministry officials will travel the length and breadth of the country with smartphones and feed details of farmers and their crop patterns to the app; crops will also be registered. The results of the soil tests will be published on the app, which the farmers can refer to.”The ministry will be organising farmer sammelans at the districts level via the Krishi Vigyan Kendras. The agenda will be to popularise the use of SHCs by putting up hoardings and distributing leaflets across the country. News and television channels have also been roped in to spread the message,” the minister said.Singh also attacked the previous UPA regimes for neglecting soil health and agriculture, as such. “In the previous seven years, before we came to power, the UPA allocated Rs 75 crore towards soil testing. No one knows what happened to the fund. No parameters were set, neither were the states given any money. In the last three years of UPA, before the NDA came to power, there were just 15 soil testing labs; we have installed over 1000 more in the past three and a half years,” he said.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in one of the editions of his ‘Mann ki Baat’ underlined the significance of the soil tests for agricultural growth, and the ministry has planned the health tests of the soils across the country to be a biennial exercise.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Twitter users come to rescue of young boy stranded at Jaipur Railway station

One of our worst fears during train journey’s in childhood was the fear of getting lost or stranded in a busy railway station. Unfortunately, some kids inevitably lose their way in busy train stations. Something similar happened with Archit, a boy stranded at Jaipur Railway station. An alert Twitter user on Monday posted a picture of a boy stranded in Jaipur Railway station. He was unfortunately left behind by his family who boarded the 19329 Udaipur Express. The only information Archit could provide was that his father’s name is Bharat Bhushan.After the tweet was retweeted close to 100 times with many tagging the Railway Ministry, help was received. Twitter user Phoenix Fire later tweeted that the boy has met his local guardian in Jaipur station. The boy clearly looked shocked in the picture and one can only imagine what would have happened without the intervention of Twitter’s good samaritans. Here’s how the event unfolded:Twitter user Phoenix Fire later deleted the main tweet after the child found help. In the last few years, there have been increasing number of interventions by Railway Minister after being alerted on Twitter. The practice started with ex-Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu at the helm, but has continued even after change of guard and Piyush Goyal taking over. There have been cases where some Twitter users have even tweeted asking for baby food from the Railway Ministry! But all in all, interventions on Twitter have definitely cut down on number of unfortunate and unforeseen incidents which happen while travelling by train.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

© 2019 Yuva Sai Sagar. Theme by Anders Norén.