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Short-staffed Rlys extends age limit for re-engagement to 65

In an attempt to handle exigencies in services, the Railway Board has decided to increase the age limit of retired employees for re-engagement from the current 62 years to 65 years.The move has come as Indian Railways is facing an uphill task to augment services at par with the increase in railway traffic and introduction of new routes and trains and facing the crunch because of staff shortage.Moreover, the railways also wants to play safe and arrest the mounting numbers of accidents. Accidents because of problem in tracks have seen an increase from 21 in 2014-15 to 24 in 2015-16 and 38 in 2016-17.There are about 1.25 lakh vacancies in Railways which are related to the running of trains and maintenance of tracks. Vacancies for profiles such as drivers, guards, gangmen and other technical staff such as supervisors and technicians involved in services like deep screening etc have not been filled. Besides, there is a shortfall of about 1.25 lakh non-mechanical staff such as clerks and travelling ticket examiners (TTEs).In an order to all the General Managers (Personnel), the Railway Board has also asked them to extend the validity of the scheme of re-engagement of retired employees from the existing validity till September 14, 2018 to December 1, 2019.Sources said, this would enable in smooth running of railway operations as the retired staff is well experienced and can deliver the results till the time new recruitment are mad and trained. The order will benefit existing railway personnel to re-engage and also those who are retiring.ACCIDENTS INCREASEPending vacancies (mechanical staff): 1.25 lakh Pending vacancies (clerical staff and TTEs): 1.25 lakh Number of accidents in 2014-15: 21 Number of accidents in 2015-16: 24 Number of accidents in 2016-17: 38

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CBI books 5 DoPT officials for siphoning of funds

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked five Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) officials, including Under Secretary Sanjay Mehta, and four companies for siphoning off Rs 18.17 lakhs through fraudulent ways of issuance of sanction orders and bills. The agency also carried out raids at 11 premises of the accused officials and private persons in the National Capital Region.The agency had registered a case against Under Secretary Sanjay Mehta, Section Officer Hemant, Assistant Section Officer RK Arora, Section Officer Vijay Pal and Assistant Section Officer Mahendra Singh, all posted in the Training Section of DoPT, on charges of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code. The agency has also booked Ashok, a data operator, and five private companies — Institute of Public Administration, Institute of Public Science, Kavita Ahluwalia, Kapil Book Stories and Sahej Trading Corporation — in the same the case.According to the CBI official, all the accused were booked after a complaint from DoPT Director (Training) VK Sinha on September 9. Sinha in the complaint alleged that the DoPT officials had siphoned off government funds through fraudulent sanction orders.The DoPT carried out an internal inquiry after they received a complaint of financial irregularities. During inquiry they found that out of total 67 payments made during 2017 under Training for All schemes amounting to Rs 9.21 crore, eight bills amounting to Rs 18.17 lakh were fraudulently issued in the name of five vendors. On further enquiry, the DoPT found that the three bills were were fraudulently issued last year also.Thereafter, all the suspected accused persons are placed under suspension.

IBPS RRB Officer scale result declared, check ibps.in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) has released result for Regional Rural Bank (RRB) Scale 1 main examination result. It has simultaneously declared results for Scale 2 and Scale 3. The official website of IBPS has confirmed that the result has been declared. However, candidates will have to wait a few more hours to get hold of the result. IBPS is still in process of updating the result on their website, and hence in a few hours candidates can know their fate. Candidates who qualify in this written exam will be called for interview. The interviews are expected to take place in December and the entire hiring process will be over by January 2018. In November this year, exams for these posts were conducted by IBPS. We wish all the students very best of luck. Check your results here.

Govt considering Baswan panel report on age-limit in civil services exam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Nearly eight months after its submission, the report of Baswan committee that suggested changes in civil service exam pattern and age limit is under examination, the government has said.The committee had submitted its report to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on August 9, 2016. “The Baswan Committee’s report along with UPSC’s recommendations on it has been received on March 20, 2017 and the same is under examination,” the Department of Personnel and Training said in response to an RTI query filed by a PTI correspondent. Thousands of aspirants appear in the civil service exam conducted annually by the UPSC in three stages–preliminary, main and interview–to select officers for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.The UPSC had constituted the expert committee under the chairmanship of former human resource development secretary and retired IAS officer B S Baswan, to review the scheme of civil service examination in August 2015.The committee is understood to have recommended reduction in upper age limit of 32 years to appear in the civil service exam, official sources said. “The recommendations made by the committee including on pattern of civil service examination and age limit are presently under consideration of the UPSC,” Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh had told Rajya Sabha in a written reply in November last year. In a related development, the UPSC has fixed a seven-day time frame for candidates to report mistakes or discrepancies in questions asked in the various examinations conducted by it.

CM Yogi Adityanath vs IAS officers? UP panel to screen ‘corrupt, inefficient’ babus, bureaucrats say not your jurisdiction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Uttar Pradesh government gave ‘forced retirement’ to over two dozen government officers, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has constituted a committee to screen ‘corrupt’ and ‘inefficient’ IAS officers who are above 50 years of age.The committee will be headed by the Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar. Senior IAS officers Anu Badhawan, Suresh Chandra, Deepak Trivedi and Praveer Kumar will be its members. The Committee will screen corrupt and inefficient IAS officers on the basis of their ACRs (Annual Charatcter Rolls).It may be recalled that after assuming power, the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced to forcibly retire government officers and employees who are corrupt, inefficient and not keeping pace with the work assigned.The Chief Minister had stated that such employees and officers will be given the option to take VRS or salary of three months or face legal action.The Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar said that the committee will screen ACRs of above 50 IAS officers and submit a report within a month. The confidential report will be submitted to the state government for action.Uttar Pradesh is the largest and one of the most prestigious cadre of civil servants in the country. Currently, about 621 IAS officers are posted in the state. In 1997, the UP IAS Association had created flutter in the cadre when it had selected three most corrupt IAS officers through a secret ballot during their annual general meeting (AGM).The Association had submitted the names of the three most corrupt IAS officers to then Kalyan Singh government which had, however, refused recommend any action against them to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) questioning its selection process.IAS officers are up in arms against the Yogi government’s move to force retirement of their colleagues above 50 on the basis of screening of their ACRs. “ACRs can be prejudiced if your senior is not happy with you. How can that be formed the basis for initiating any action against any officers of the UP cadre,” pointed a former Secretary of the UP IAS Association.“We are governed by services rules framed by the DoPT. How can state government decide on our service matters. We are not against action against corrupt ones but then charges against them have to be proved legally,” said another senior IAS officer, not wishing to be quoted.IAS officers are likely to raise the issue during their four-day AGM, beginning December 14. “We will certainly take up the issue during the AGM to lodge our protest against any such move,” claimed the senior officer.

Defence Ministry seeks voluntary fund from govt staff for martyrs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An appeal seeking voluntary contribution of minimum Rs 200 has been issued to government employees by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare for welfare and rehabilitation of martyrs’ families.The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has forwarded the appeal to all the government ministries, an official order said. There are about 49.26 lakh central government employees. The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, under the Defence Ministry, has been working for the welfare and rehabilitation of war widows, wards of martyred soldiers and ex-servicemen (ESM) by providing financial assistance for their identified personal needs such as medical grant and orphan/disabled children grant.This financial assistance is provided out of the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF) for which contributions are received from the general public on the Armed Forces Flag Day (AFFD) which is celebrated on December 7 every year. “All citizens of India are requested to take the opportunity on this Flag Day on December 7, to connect with the cause of war-widows, ESM, wards of the martyred soldiers and contribute generously to the AFFDF in solidarity with our soldiers and their next of kin/dependents,” the appeal said.The contributions to the AFFDF are exempt from income tax, it said. “DoPT is requested to kindly solicit the cooperation of the staff/officers of all ministries/departments to voluntarily donate a minimum amount of Rs 200 out of their salaries for the month of November 2017 so that the amount so collected is available before the Flag Day,” the Department of ESM said in the order. The request seeking voluntary contribution has been sent to all government ministries and departments by the DoPT.

JMI signs MoU with Army for higher studies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to contribute to nation-building, the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Army under which the university will offer graduate and post-graduate programmes to Indian Army personnel.”Indian Army personnel can now register at the university’s Centre for Distance and Open Learning to complete their higher education under the aegis of ‘Taleem-e-Taraqqi’,” the University said in a statement.Elaborating on the reason behind the courses, Jamia Vice Chancellor Talat Ahmad said that the arrangement will help army personnel complete their higher education and improve their career prospects. “It will be Jamia’s way to contribute to nation-building,” he said.Reminding the gathering about Jamia’s rich nationalist past and its role in the freedom struggle, Ahmed said, “There is a collective realisation that our forces sacrifice a lot for us and so it is our duty to ensure a better future for them through higher education”.Lieutenant-General Ashwani Kumar, who was present at the event, said that the MoU will help Army personnel to find job opportunities outside the uniform. “They join the Army at a very young age and retire early often in their 30s. It is imperative that they are provided with opportunities to complete their education, enabling them to find job opportunities outside the uniform.”Appreciating Jamia’s efforts to uphold national pride and patriotism, he said that the MoU has been signed on the auspicious occasion of Ashtami which augurs well for the coming together of the two great institutions.With this MoU, Jamia has become the first university in the country where officers and personnel of all three forces — Army, Navy and Air Force — can pursue degrees of their choice.The University had signed similar MoUs with the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy in the past.Bright futureIndian Army personnel can register at the university’s Centre for Distance and Open Learning to complete their higher education.This will also help them find job opportunities after they retire from service

In mid-level bureaucratic reshuffle, 17 new joint secretaries appointed by Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 17 new joint secretaries have been appointed in various central government departments as part of a major mid-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected today.Of these, 11 officers are from Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and six from other civil services.IAS officers Anil Malik and Vivek Bharadwaj will be joint secretaries in Home Ministry.Anurag Agarwal, also from the same service, has been appointed joint secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.IAS officer N Saravana Kumar will be joint secretary, Department of Higher Education.Ruchika Chaudhry Govil, an officer of Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax cadre), has been named JS, Ministry of Steel.Manohar Agnani and Vijoy Kumar Singh will be joint secretaries in Department of Health and Family Welfare, and DoPT respectively.Amit Sahai, an Indian Forest Service officer, will be joint secretary, Department of Defence Production.Ravinesh Kumar, an officer of Indian Defence Accounts Service, has been named Financial Advisor, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).Sanjay Goel and Gopalakrishnan S have been appointed joint secretaries in Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.IAS officer Anuradha Thakur will be joint secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management.Kalpana Rajsinghot and Manju Pandey have been appointed joint secretaries in Ministry of Labour and Employment, and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry.Niranjan Kumar Sudhansu will be joint secretary, Ministry of Coal. S Suresh Kumar has been appointed Additional Chief Executive Officer, Government e-marketplace Special Purpose Vehicle– a portal to procure goods and services by all government departments and public sector undertakings.IAS officer Rajiv Arora, joint secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment has been sent back to his cadre state Haryana before completion of his central deputation tenure.

Creamy layer income cap for OBCs raised to Rs 8 lakh per annum

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ‘creamy layer’ ceiling for OBC reservation has been raised to Rs 8 lakh from the existing Rs 6 lakh per year, according to an official order issued today.This means that children of persons having a gross annual income of Rs 8 lakh or above for a period of three consecutive years would fall under the creamy layer category and would not be entitled to the benefit of reservation available to Other Backward Classes. “It has now been decided to raise the income limit from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh per annum for determining the creamy layer among the Other Backward Classes,” the order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.In 1993, the limit was kept at Rs 1 lakh. It was raised thrice — to Rs 2.5 lakh in 2004, Rs 4.5 lakh in 2008 and Rs 6 lakh in 2013. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had on August 23 announced that the Union Cabinet had been formally apprised of the decision to increase the limit for central government jobs. He had said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hinted in Assam that the bar defining creamy layer would be raised. The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry had proposed that OBC families which earn more than Rs 8 lakh per year should be under the creamy layer category.”These measures are part of the government’s efforts to ensure greater social justice and inclusion for members of the Other Backward Classes,” an official release issued recently said. The government has already introduced in Parliament a bill to provide Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes. It has also decided to set up a commission, under Section 340 of the Constitution, to sub-categorise the OBCs so that the more “under-privileged” among them can avail the benefit of reservation for government jobs and seats in educational institutions.

Government declines to share details of CBI chief appointment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Personnel Ministry has refused to share details on the appointment of the CBI chief citing confidentiality clause under the Right to Information Act.Replying to an RTI appeal, it said the appointment of CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma was done through the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), which is exempted from the ambit of the transparency law. Verma, a former Delhi Police Commissioner, was on January 19, named as Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He is a 1979 batch IPS officer of (AGMUT) union territories cadre. His name was cleared by a three-member selection panel, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, comprising Chief Justice of India and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge as members.Kharge had reportedly recorded his dissent note on Verma’s name, during the meeting of the selection committee held on January 16, on the ground that the officer had never served in the CBI. The Ministry of Personnel, nodal agency for the CBI, was asked to provide details on the appointment including the file notings “from proposal to fill the vacancy to issuance of order of appointment of Mr Verma”. It has been observed that note portion contains the information about vigilance status of officers which has been supplied by a third party–Ministry of Home Affairs–and has been treated as confidential by them, the Personnel Ministry said replying to the appeal.Accordingly, view of third party is being obtained, it said.The appeal was made after the ministry earlier refused to share this information. The transparency law has provision for appeal in case an applicant is aggrieved over the response by the Central Public Information Officer–first authority to give response to any RTI application. The ministry said the selection of the Director was made through the ACC which is exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act, 2005. The Section bars disclosure of information related to cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the council of ministers, secretaries and other officers.However, the section mandates that the decisions of council of ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over. The DoPT was also asked to provide names of all officers who were shortlisted for appointment as CBI Director. All IPS officers of senior most four batches i.e. 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982 were considered for post of Director, CBI by the selection committee, the reply said.

Sirsa: ‘The land of donators’ serve breakfast to Army personnel, paramilitary forces on job near Dera

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sushil Kandoi and his neighbours wake up around 4 am everyday to prepare breakfast for Army personnel, paramilitary forces, police and media persons, who are on the job near the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa, popularly known as the “land of donators” in Haryana.Throughout the day, a group of people served snacks, tea, lassi and food to security and Army personnel on motorbikes, gypsy cars and tractors.The Army is deployed in the vicinity of the Dera headquarters to maintain law and order in the nearby areas where curfew is in force since Thursday night.There are around 120 social organisations engaged in social work in the Sirsa Assembly constituency, which has a population of around 2.5 lakh.People have also constructed a long wall called “Neki ki diwar” on the Dabwali road where locals keep items they do not need so that the needy could use them.Also, a “Roti Bank”, which works on the principle of collecting food from do-gooders and distributing it among the poor, was launched here recently.Kandoi, who is a supplier of mustard oil, said there are 40 people in his group who serve tea, snacks, lunch and dinner to security personnel and media persons.”The people of Sirsa, popularly known as ‘the land of donators’ in Haryana, believe in serving humanity. Thus, we decided to serve Army, paramilitary forces, police personnel and media persons when the administration imposed curfew in the area,” Kandoi said.Another resident, Mahender Kumar, said the residents come forward and donate money everyday for the purpose of serving tea, snacks and food to security personnel.”We will continue to make such arrangements for security personnel till they are here,” Suresh Soni, a resident of the Beghu area, said.

Army personnel ‘beat up’ 2 policemen for opposing harassment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army personnel allegedly thrashed two policemen in Kupwara district of Kashmir today after they objected to “harassment” of a civilian by the soldiers, sources said. Two policemen were beaten up after they asked the soldiers to let go a motorist, who was held by the Army personnel, the police sources said. They said one of the policemen was taken to hospital for first aid. However, senior police officers downplayed the incident, saying there was a minor altercation between the soldiers and the policemen but no manhandling took place. “The Army had siezed the vehicle of a local commuter and the Munshi of the Kupwara police station had gone there to get his vehicle released. “However, the Army personnel did not release the vehicle which resulted in a minor altercation. The matter was later resolved amicably,” a police officer said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt challenges SIC order on info disclosure panel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government has filed a writ petition challenging the order by the state information commission (SIC) which stated that a committee including citizens be formed to help the government in suo motu disclosure of details under the Right To Information (RTI).Former state chief information commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad had passed an order asking for an institutional mechanism to be put in place including citizens so that there is better implementation of disclosure of information by the government. Given on July 31, 2015, it directed the then chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya who had told DNA that the order will be complied with.The commission order had said that a technical advisory committee (TAC) be formed on the lines of BMC, which helps the latter better disclose information. The order was passed after a complaint was filed by Bhaskar Prabhu, a member of the BMC’s TAC seeking measures wherein corrective inputs for better implementation of RTI Act can be given.When the SIC order was not implemented, SK Nangia, an RTI activist filed an application to check on it. In its reply dated July 17, the government said that the SIC order has been challenged in the high court.”They have challenged that directive which is a stupid move. This does not speak well of the government because it was a positive directive. The idea of the approach was to have people’s participation in government with the spirit to improve the suo motu disclosure and compliance of RTI applications. Government officers do not give proper and full information. With the implementation of this order we were looking to have a regular dialogue with government,” said Nangia.Prabhu said, “By challenging the order, the government has shown that it is not interested in transparency. Even Department of Personnel and Training, the nodal agency for India in RTI implementation, has issued an advisory that there will be dialogue with citizens. Maharashtra was the first state to enact its own transparency law. However, this move does not aid in ensuring transparency.”Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis did not respond to SMS from DNA.

CCL intensifies search operation in Barka-Sayal mine

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Central Coalfields Limited, a subsidiary of Coal India Limited, today intensified search operation in the Barka-Sayal underground mine to trace two workers trapped after water gushed into the mine on Wednesday. CCL Chairman-cum-Managing Director Gopal Singh, Director Personnel R S Mahapatra, Director Technical and Operation Subir Chandra, and Director General of Mines Safety Mihir Chaudhary visited underground mine of Barka-Sayal area in Ramgarh district and ordered to intensify search operation for safe recovery of the missing miners, an official of Barka-Sayal mine area said. As many as six workers were in the coal mine during the incident. While Saheb Mahto, Deep Narayan Singh, Jitan Ram Bedia and Shiv Pujan-escaped, two miners – Ashok Kumar and Parvez Monia were reportedly trapped inside, sources said. Ajay Sen, officiating General Manager of Barka-Sayal area told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sea glory: All-women Indian naval crew eyes record

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A six-member all-women crew of the Indian Navy is set to embark on an eight-month voyage in September to circumnavigate the globe, the first such navigational attempt from Asia. The naval officers led by Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi will set sail in the naval auxiliary vessel INSV Tarini from Goa and are expected to depart early next month. “We will be passing through some of the roughest patches of sea during the voyage. It will be a tough journey but our spirits are high,” Joshi told reporters today. A native of Rishikesh in Uttarakhand, she will skipper, the 55-feet INSV Tarini, built indigenously and inducted in the Indian Navy earlier in February this year. Her team members on-board the sister vessel of INSV Mhadei would be — Lt. Commander Pratibha Jamwal from Kullu, Himachal Pradesh; Lt. Commander Swathi P from Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh; Lt. Aishwarya Boddapati from Hyderabad; Lt. Shourgrakpam Vijaya Devi from Manipur and Lt. Payal Gupta from Dehradun. “This all-women circumnavigation attempt would be the first of its kind, not only from India but also Asia. They are well-trained and with their maritime odyssey, they will also set sail into the record books,” Naval Chief of Personnel Vice Admiral A K Chawla said. “They are going to set benchmarks not just for India but for the entire world,” he said. The crew had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday. Jamwal, who had joined the Naval Academy in 2011, said the voyage is daunting but they are all trained and set for it. The expedition — ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ will be covered in five legs, with stopovers at four ports — Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), and Cape Town (South Africa), the Navy said. Capt. (retd) Dilip Donde, the first Indian to undertake a solo circumnavigation, trained the six naval officers, who he said, volunteered to be a part of the expedition. “They will be passing through the Southern Ocean, where the temperature could drop to as low as 4-5 degrees Celsius. Besides, they would also have to navigate through gusty winds and high waves,” Donde said. Joshi said they would be stocking up food supplies, water, books and recreational material, mostly dry items as the voyage span is long. “We will begin with 600 litre of water and we would also have an RO plant on-board. We would carry books and DVDs for recreation,” she said. Asked about the safety measures taken for the crew, Vice Admiral Chawla said, “As per the international maritime convention, the ship’s immediate distress call would be picked up by the nearest search and rescue authority, who would then relay it to us. Also, the vessel is equipped with satellite phones and other modern communication gadgets.” Indian Navy’s Lt. Cdr. Abhilash Tomy, who became the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe, solo and non-stop over a 150-day voyage in 2013, said, “There is no quit word in maritime circumnavigation.” “I think what these six officers are attempting is very courageous. In an mountain expedition, you can stop and climb back, but once you are in the sea, you are in the sea. Only your faith and courage can help sail you through,” he said. INSV Tarini, having a wood core and fibre glass sandwich structure, was built by a shipyard in Goa and the vessel has sailed approximately 8,000 nautical miles till date, the Navy said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Army, Navy, IAF chiefs review country’s security preparedness

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The powerful Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) comprising chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Indian Air Force today reviewed the security preparedness of the three services including along the Sino-India border, official sources said. The standoff between armies of India and China in Dokalam and attempts by Chinese troops on Tuesday to enter the Indian territory along the banks of Pangong lake in Ladakh were also discussed at the meeting, they said. “Issues relating to the country’s external security as well as situation along the borders were discussed,” a source said. The meeting came two days after Indian border guards foiled an attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory along the banks of Pangong lake. Soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) tried to enter the Indian side in two areas– Finger Four and Finger Five– twice between. But on both the occasions their attempts were thwarted by alert Indian troops. Personnel from both sides received minor injuries and the situation was brought under control after the customary banner drill under which both sides hold banners before stepping back to their respective positions. The incident was discussed at a flag meeting between the two sides at Leh’s Chusul sector yesterday. The Indian and Chinese troops are locked in a bitter face-off at Dokalam in India-China-Bhutan tri-junction for little over two months. China has been ramping up rhetoric against India, demanding immediate withdrawal of Indian troops from Dokalam. The Chinese state media, particularly, has carried a barrage of critical articles on the Dokalam stand-off slamming India. In the face of heightened rhetoric by Beijing, India has poured in more troops along the entire stretch of its border with China in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. The “caution level” among the troops has also been raised, according to officials. The decision to increase the deployment along the nearly 1,400-km Sino-India border from Sikkim to Arunachal Pradesh was taken after carrying out a detailed analysis of the situation and considering China’s aggressive posturing against India on Dokalam, the officials had told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Indian troops foil China’s incursion bid in Ladakh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian border guards today frustrated an attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory along the banks of famous Pangong lake in Ladakh resulting in stone pelting that caused minor injuries to people on both sides, officials said. Soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) tried to enter the Indian side in two areas–Finger Four and Finger Five– twice between 6 am and 9 am. But on both the occasions their attempts were thwarted by alert Indian troops, they said. After Chinese troopers found their path blocked by Indian soldiers who formed a human chain, they began hurling stones, prompting a swift retaliation by Indian border guards. Personnel from both sides received minor injuries and the situation was brought under control after the customary banner drill under which both sides hold banners before stepping back to their respective positions. An Army spokesman in New Delhi declined to comment on the incident which came amid continued stand-off between the armies of the two countries at Doklam in Sikkim. Chinese troops had managed to enter upto Finger Four area in the region from where they were sent back. This area has been a bone of contention between India and China as both claim it to be a part of their territory. When the Indian side staked claim to the area during negotiations in late 1990s, the Chinese army constructed a metal-top road and insisted it was part of Aksai Chin, which is under the latter’s control, officials said. China had constructed a road up to Finger Four which falls under Siri Jap area and is five km deep into the LAC. Earlier, the Chinese patrols used to come frequently from the northern and southern banks of this lake, whose 45 km stretch is on the Indian side while 90 km is on the Chinese side. Indian forces are now armed with high-speed interceptor boats, bought from the US, which can accommodate nearly 15 soldiers and are equipped with radars, infra-red and GPS systems. These boats are said to be as good as Chinese vessels and are used to conduct reconnaissance and area domination patrols. The situation along the banks of the lake has always remained volatile with Chinese troops being intercepted by Indian Army patrol several times after the three-week long stand-off in the Depsang plains of Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) in May 2013.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Naval Academy to increase cadet intake by 2020: Vice Admiral

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Naval Academy has plans to increase its cadet intake by 2020 to meet the shortage of officers in the force, a senior official said today. Chief of Personnel Vice Admiral AK Chawla said the deficit was due to multiple reasons and one of them was the stringent entry procedure. “We have an intake of 1,200 cadets. The Navy faces a shortage of around 12 per cent. We are right now in the process of expanding our infrastructure. As soon as we complete the second phase by around 2020, we will increase the intake by 1,700,” the officer said. The chief of personnel made the comments at the launch of the trailer of a National Geographic documentary on the Indian Naval Academy, the largest in Asia. “Inside the INA — an hour-long documentary accurately captures how the men and women of the Indian Navy are trained and shaped into future Naval heroes who serve the nation. “It gives a riveting view into the meticulous mental and physical training that each candidate undergoes … The documentary will be aired on Independence Day at 9 pm,” said Swati Mohan, Business Head, National Geographic.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre to celebrate 70th I-Day as Sankalp Parva

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre will be celebrating 70th Independence Day on August 15 as ‘Sankalp Parva’, the Ministry of Personnel said in an order issued last week. It also asked people to dedicate themselves to social causes and share their ideas to make a new India.DNA last week had reported about the government’s plans to celebrate Independence Day on the theme of ‘Sankalp to Siddhi’ as mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his latest monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat.”This five-year period, from 2017-2022, gives us a unique opportunity of ‘Sankalp’ to ‘Siddhi’ towards a new India. Hence, 15 August 2017 will be celebrated as the ‘Sankalp Parva’ or the Day of Resolve, and in 2022 our nation will transform that resolve into ‘Siddhi’ or attainment,” the order stated, adding that this five-year period can ignite the transformation that will create an India, which our freedom fighters will be proud of.”In this spirit, let us go to www.newIndia.in, to make the Sankalp, take a pledge to become a builder of new India. Let us also encourage others to do the same. The text of the pledge will be shared by the ministry of information and broadcasting,” the order said.It also called the ‘Quit India Movement’ an important milestone and asked people to take a pledge to create a new India which is strong, prosperous and inclusive.”Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, people across India, in every village, city, transcending all barriers came together with a common mission to uproot imperialism,” it stated.

Chief Justice of India, Governor’s office not under RTI Act: Government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The office of Chief Justice of India and Governor are not covered under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the government said on Wednesday.The Act empowers a citizen to seek time bound response on governance-related query from a public authority or a government department.”The office of Chief Justice of India and Governor are not recorded as public authority on the records of Central Information Commission,” Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

Macchil encounter: Justification for granting bail scary, says

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today termed as “unbelievably scary” the “justification” for the Armed Forces Tribunal decision’s to grant bail to five army personnel convicted in the 2010 Macchil fake encounter case. The Armed Forces Tribunal suspended the life sentence awarded to the Army personnel, including two officers, for allegedly staging the killing of three Kashmiri men in Macchil and granted them bail. “They wore Pathan suits, which are worn by terrorists… What an unbelievably scary justification. You can be killed for what you wear!” Abdullah wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter. He was reacting to a media report that claimed the tribunal had suspended their sentence and granted them bail on the grounds that the victims of the encounter were wearing Pathan suits which are worn by terrorists. The five army personnel had approached the tribunal challenging the punishment given to them following court martial proceedings in 2014. The encounter of the three civilians on the intervening night of April 29 and 30 in 2010 in Macchil sector had triggered widespread outrage and violence in the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Armed forces’ officials in forward bases will continue to get

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Armed forces’ officials serving in forward bases will continue to get their free ration without any change while those posted in peace stations will be provided the benefit in cash, government sources said today. The clarification came amid widespread anguish among Army officials serving in peace stations against a recommendation by the seventh pay commission to scrap free rations to them. A senior army official recently had even sent a legal notice to the defence secretary over the scrapping of free rations to those posted in peace stations. The sources said the cash would be credited directly into the bank accounts of the officers and the decision will benefit nearly 43,000 officers. The seventh pay commission in its recommendations on pay and allowances of the armed forces had said that the provision of free rations and the grant of ration money allowance to officers of defence forces posted in peace areas should be withdrawn. However, the government while considering this recommendation took a different view, given the important role of the armed forces, the sources said. “While those in forward stations, will continue to get their free ration without any change, officers posted in peace stations will be provided this benefit in cash. There is no change in ration allowance for (JCOs) junior commissioned officers and PBORs (Personnel Below officer rank) numbering more than 9 lakh. As far as an ongoing case in this regard in the tribunal is concerned, the government will give the rationale behind the decision, in the judicial process as and when a notice is received, said the sources.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Darjeeling unrest | GJM preparing for underground armed movement with Maoists: West Bengal police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) is preparing for a prolonged underground armed movement for a separate state and has hired Maoists from neighbouring countries as mercenaries to train its cadres, according to senior West Bengal government officials.”We have inputs from intelligence agencies that Maoists from neighbouring countries have been hired by the GJM. And it may target government properties and senior police and administrative officials so as to further aggravate the situation,” said ADG (Law and order) Anuj Sharma.The GJM leadership has, however, refuted as “completely baseless” the allegations that it was taking help from Maoists.”These are completely baseless statements. These statements are being made to malign us and derail the democratic movement,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said.A senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the GJM has hired 25-30 Maoists mercenaries to train its cadres.”The GJM has a huge cache of arms and ammunition. They have stockpiled arms for the last few years. And we have intelligence reports that they are preparing for underground armed movement in the hills,” said the official.Another senior official said the government is “prepared for any situation and steps are being taken to tackle any sort of armed struggle”.In the last 38 days of the indefinite shutdown, there has been several instances of attack on police stations and outposts.Arms and ammunition were also looted, a trademark of Maoists movement.After receiving the intelligence inputs, the state government has send for several top IPS officers, including those who have wide experience in countering Maoist menace in the Junglemahal areas of Bengal from 2009-2012.Senior IPS officer Manoj Verma, who has vast experience in countering Maoists insurgency in West Midnapore district from 2009-2011 and later on in counter insurgency force, has been posted as IG Darjeeling. Several other mid-level officers of the counter insurgency force have also been sent to the hills to tackle the situation.According to the police, the GJM is training its cadres in the guise of its “peacekeeping” outfit Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP).

Sanjay Kothari appointed Secretary to new President

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sanjay Kothari, Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board, has been appointed as Secretary to President-elect Ram Nath Kovind. Senior journalist Ashok Malik has been named as Press Secretary to Kovind, said an order issued today by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Senior Gujarat-cadre forest service officer Bharat Lal will be Joint Secretary to Kovind, it said. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has cleared these appointments for an initial period of two years, it said. Kothari, a 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, retired in June last year as DoPT secretary. He was in November 2016 appointed as the chief of the government’s head-hunter the PESB. Malik is at present Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation–a policy think tank. Lal, a 1988-batch officer of Indian Forest Service, is at present Resident Commissioner of Gujarat government in Delhi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM condoles loss of lives in Himachal bus accident

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today condoled the loss of lives in a bus accident in Himachal Pradesh. A bus carrying 36 passengers plunged into a 500-feet deep gorge at Khaneri in Rampur on the Hindustan-Tibet National Highway in Shimla, leaving 28 people dead. “My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones in the tragic bus accident in Himachal Pradesh. May those injured recover quickly,” the prime minister tweeted. Personnel of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) were at the spot to supervise relief and rescue operations.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ticket booking no basis for foreign travel leave nod

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Civil servants belonging to IAS, IPS and IFS cadre will not be granted leave for foreign visit or tour on the pretext of booking tickets in advance, the Department of Personnel (DoP) has clarified, saying that such applications will not be entertained.The department has issued guidelines on the issue of foreign travel of senior civil servants, comprising IAS, IPS and IFS officers posted with Rajasthan cadre.It was highlighted by the department that the officers used to book air tickets prior to applying for the leave.According to the department, this ploy was used by many officers as a tool to exert pressure on the administration to sanction their leave.To stop and discourage such practice in future, the department has come up with fresh guidelines, restricting the booking of air tickets in advance as the basis for sanctioning the leave to personnel for foreign travel.The department has clearly stated that any official who wishes to go on a foreign tour must seek the permission before booking air tickets and hotel accommodation.“Henceforth, IAS, IPS and IFS officers planning to travel abroad must make necessary arrangement only after getting the leave sanctioned by the department.In future, booking of the ticket and other arrangements for the stay will not be taken as the basis for sanctioning the leave,” read the guidelines issued by department secretary Bhaskar A Sawant.A copy of the same was sent to the chief minister Vasundhara Raje who is also having the charge of DoP.PERMISSION MUSTAccording to the department, this ploy was used by many officers as a tool to exert pressure on the administration to sanction their leave.To stop and discourage such practice in future, the department has come up with fresh guidelines, restricting the booking of air tickets in advance as the basis for sanctioning the leave to personnel for foreign travel. The department has clearly stated that any official who wishes to go on a foreign tour must seek the permission.

Staff who got jobs on fake caste certificates to be sacked:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Employees who have got job on the basis of fake caste certificates are to be sacked from the government service, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said today. In order to discourage unscrupulous activities, state governments and union territories have been asked to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the errant officers who default in timely verification of caste certificates or issue false certificates, he said. The central government had in 2010 undertaken an exercise to collect information about appointments secured on the basis of false/fake certificates. An instruction had also been issued on June 1, 2017 to all departments to collect such information and send consolidated report on this to personnel ministry with details of action taken report thereon. Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, said extant instructions provide that if it is found that a government servant had furnished false information or produced a false certificate in order to secure appointment, he should not be retained in service. “Thus when an appointing authority comes to know that an employee had submitted a false/fake caste certificate, it has to initiate action to remove or dismiss such an employee from service as per the provisions of relevant service rules,” he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Singh had, in another reply, on March 29 said that 1,832 appointments were allegedly secured on the basis of fake caste certificates. Of these, 276 had resulted in suspension or removal, 521 were entangled in litigations and disciplinary proceedings were pending in the remaining 1,035 cases, he had said. A total of 1,296 cases of jobs secured allegedly through fake caste certificates were under the Department of Financial Services. As many as 157 such cases were in State Bank of India, 135 in Central Bank of India, 112 in Indian Overseas Bank, 103 in Syndicate Bank, and 41 each in New India Assurance and United India Assurance.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Karnataka flag row: Siddaramaiah defends move, BJP says ‘know of only one flag’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said he knew of only the national flag and cannot comprehend the Karnataka government’s plan to have a separate flag for the state. “I do not know what it means. We all agree with one Constitution and one national flag. I do not know of any other flag. The country cannot think of any other flag,” he told reporters here.BJP leader was replying to a question on Karnataka government’s move of setting up a nine-member committee to examine the legality and desirability of having and designing a separate flag for the stateThe minister said there were flags for Army, Navy and Air Force, but that he was not aware of a state flag. The Karnataka government has initiated a move for having a separate flag for the state, sparking a row today but Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stoutly defended the step.As the move by the Congress government to set up a panel for this purpose ahead of the state Assembly polls due next year came under attack, the Centre made it clear there is no provision in the Constitution for a separate flag for any state and that the tricolour is the only flag for India.A nine-member committee has been formed by the state government and tasked with submitting a report on designing a separate flag for the state and providing a legal standing for it, an official said in Bengaluru today.If the flag comes into being, Karnataka will be the second state to have its official flag after Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoys a special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.The committee, headed by the principal secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture, was set up last month following a representation from noted Kannada writer and journalist Patil Puttappa, and social worker Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada.Puttappa and Gadada in their representation had requested the government to design a separate flag for ‘Kannada Naadu’ and accord it legal standing.The panel comprises secretaries to the departments of Personnel and Administrative Services, Home, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, as also president of Kannada Sahitya Parishat, chairman of Kannada Development Authority, and vice-chancellor of Kannada University, Hampi, as its members.The Director of Department of Kannada and Culture will be the member-secretary of the committee.”We are one nation, one flag. Legally there is no provision either for providing or prohibiting a separate flag for any state,” a union home ministry spokesperson said in Delhi.Home ministry officials said Karnataka already has a flag which represents only the “people and not the government”.That flag is not used in national ceremonies like Republic Day or Independence Day but on occasions like state foundation day, the officials said.Asked about the panel by reporters today, Siddaramaiah sought to know if there was any provision in the Constitution which prohibits the state from having its own flag.”Is there any provision in the Constitution? Have you come across any provision in the Constitution? Did BJP people come across the provision? Then why they are raising?” he said defending the move.On taking the step ahead of 2018 state assembly polls, he said, “Election will be in the month of April-May not now, not tomorrow, not next month.”Hitting out at the BJP, Siddaramaiah said, “Did BJP people say they do not want flag for Karnataka state? Let them make a statement that ‘we do not want flag for Karnataka state’. The BJP people always level such a false allegation.”Union Minister and BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said he only knew of the national flag and could not comprehend the Karnataka government’s plan for a separate state flag.”I do not know what it means. We all agree with one Constitution and one national flag. I do not know of any other flag. The country cannot think of any other flag,” he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.Condemning the move, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut demanded imposition of President’s rule in Karnataka.Raut contended that the state government’s demand is “anti-constitutional and against the nation’s integrity.” “I think it is anti-constitutional for a state to make such a demand in a federal structure and is against the national integrity. Such a government should be immediately dismissed and President’s rule be imposed there,” he told reporters in Delhi.The un-official but widely seen red and yellow ‘Kannada flag’ that is hoisted across the state on November one every year to commemorate the state formation day and used in the form of a scarf by Kannada activists was designed by Veera Senani Ma.Ramamurthy in the 1960s.The Siddaramaiah government’s move to form a committee is being considered as a departure from the stand taken by the earlier BJP government.The Sadananda Gowda-led BJP government in 2012 had informed the Karnataka High Court that it has not accepted the suggestions to declare the bi-colour Kannada flag as the state’s official flag, as having a separate flag would be “against the unity and integrity of the country.

Police nab man accused of businessman’s murder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a special drive to nab criminals across the city, the Ghaziabad police have arrested an accused involved in a case of a 35-year-old businessman’s murder on Saturday from the Ghazipur border.The accused identified as Bobby, said to be the main accused in the case, was arrested after a tip-off and was.nabbed at UP gate area.”We got a tip off so we placed a check post near up gate. He was coming on his bike. He even tried to fire but was nabbed by the personnel.” said Akash Tomar, SP, (City) Ghaziabad.Bobby is said to be the sharp shooter of Dharamveer Sethi’s gang. Also involved in many serious crimes. He is an accused in a double murder case, an attempt to murder case, and in a number of other cases of loot, extortion, kidnapping, and murder.On Wednesday, a 35-year-old businessman was shot dead while his driver sustained bullet injuries after seven unidentified bike-borne miscreants opened fire at them near the Hindon river in Indirapuram of Vasundhara, Ghaziabad.Police are conducting raids to nab the others.

3 Army personnel injured in militant attack in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three Army personnel, including a Captain, were injured when militants fired at a patrol team in Kashmir’s Bandipora district, police said today. The militants opened indiscriminate fire on the Army patrol at Hajin in Bandipora late last night, a police official said. The militants managed to escape under the cover of darkness, he added. The injured were admitted to the 92 Base Hospital here.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No pot bellies, only ‘fit’ IPS officers may get promotion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>IPS officers with pot bellies may soon have to shed those extra kilos to earn promotions. The Centre is considering a proposal to link promotion with the fitness of the officers concerned. The move comes after the Home Ministry recommended physical fitness of IPS officers as a mandatory measure before promoting them to various levels. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has finalised draft service rules to include this recommendation and has asked all states and union territories administrators to give their comments. “Promotion of IPS officers to various grades will be subject to the physical fitness as per the instructions as may be issued by Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time,” the draft rules say. Existing rules do not have any such provision for the promotion of the officers of Indian Police Service (IPS). They get promotions to various levels, scales and grades after completing required years of service. Such fitness-linked-promotion for the IPS officers, if comes into force, would be at par with Group ‘A’ officers of Central Armed Police Force, the recommendations said. The IPS officers will also have to possess expertise in three domains — areas of operations– like intelligence, economic offences, cyber crimes, VIP or industrial security, counter insurgency and anti-terrorism among others. “The Home Ministry has felt the need for domain expertise training programme for IPS officers. The ministry has proposed that an lPS officer should complete three domain expertise training programme of duration of at least one week before their promotion to DIG, IG and ADG,” the draft rules by the DoPT said. There are 20 domain assignments identified by the ministry. The rules are being drafted to ensure that IPS officers complete their probation in time. “The Ministry of Home Affairs have opined that many IPS officers do not complete their probation within the stipulated two years period, but they are given the benefit of seniority from the batch in which recruited. “The aforesaid Ministry has felt a need to curb the tendency of delay in completing the probation period in respect of IPS officers,” the DoPT proposal said, suggesting timeline for completion of the probation.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Man held for ‘misbehaving’ with CISF woman constable

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A man has been arrested for allegedly misbehaving with a 28-year-old CISF woman constable, who was on duty at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in plainclothes. The incident happened on the intervening night of June 27 and 28. The accused, Purushottam Lal Bagga, who is 45 and belongs to Punjab, was departing for New York through Kuwait Airways, police said. He reached a help desk in the check-in area where he saw the woman. Initially, he started staring at her and then initiated a conversation. Later, he “misbehaved with the woman, shouted at her and even made lewd gestures”, they said. Much to his surprise, he found out that the woman was a constable posted in the intelligence wing of the CISF (Central Industrial Security Force). She overpowered the accused and informed her seniors and the police. Personnel of the intelligence wing of the CISF in plainclothes keep an eye on suspicious elements at sensitive areas like the airport and Delhi Metro stations. Bagga, who was found to be drunk, was arrested under section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman, punishable with a maximum term of one year or a fine, or both) of the IPC.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Soft-spoken Ashok Jain steals Goel’s thunder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief minister Vasundhara Raje has picked Ashok Jain to lead the bureaucracy in Rajasthan. The soft-spoken bureaucrat who stays at an arm’s length from the media hawks was appointed the chief secretary of Rajasthan Friday evening.His appointment belied the frenzied name calling of two bureaucrats, both ACS—Nihal Chand Goel and Devendra Bhushan Gupta—in the political circles and got one of the senior most officers, instead, to helm the bureaucracy.Jain was largely instrumental in conducting polls in 2013 and 14 that saw an unprecedented turnout of voters and the return of Vasundhara Raje as chief minister in state.As per the Department of Personnel officials, Jain will retire in January next year. Around 6.30 pm Friday evening when Ashok Jain came out of the Chief Minister’s Office, it was clear which way the wind was blowing. His selection was a deja vu moment for bureaucrats when CS Rajan was replaced by OP Mina at the last moment in 2016. Even then Goel was being considered among the front runners. In current seniority list of IAS officials, Jain stands at the third number. Two other bureaucrats senior to him are home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi posted at the Centre and Ashok Shekhar who is serving as chairman of the revenue board. An 81-batch officer, Jain is a native of Jodhpur. He has served in the UDH department and has helmed the post of chief election officer.

Vijay Keshav Gokhale appointed economic relations secy in MEA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior diplomat Vijay Keshav Gokhale was tonight appointed as the economic relations secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said. Gokhale, a 1981-batch officer of Indian Foreign Service (IFS), is at present India’s envoy to China. He was the High Commissioner of India to Malaysia from January 2010 to October 2013. From October 2013 to January 2016, Gokhale was the Ambassador of India to Germany.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Deadwood under radar: Govt reviews service books of 67K staff

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The central government has undertaken an exercise to review the service records of about 67,000 employees, including IAS and IPS officers, to identify non-performers. The review exercise is a part of the government’s efforts to further improve the service delivery and governance system. A senior official in the Department of Personnel and Training said the exercise may result in punishment to those who do not conform to the code of conduct framed for them. “The service records of nearly 67,000 central government employees are under review to check non-performance,” he said. Nearly 25,000 of these are from all Indian and Group A services — including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Revenue Service (IRS), among others, the official said. When contacted by the(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jammu and Kashmir: One civilian injured in cross-fire between terrorists, ITBP in Qazigund

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One civilian was injured in a cross-fire between terrorists and Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel in the Qazigund area of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.The injured civilian has been shifted to the nearby hospital.Ammunition has also been recovered from the location.On June 3, one Indian Army soldier was killed in an attack by terrorists on a convoy in Qazigund.Two others have been injured while two other personnel are critically injured.On the same day, one civilian was also injured in ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Poonch sector.Yesterday, at least five terrorists were gunned down, as the Indian Army continued to thwart cross-border infiltration along the Line of Control (LoC).Yesterday’s security operation took place in the Uri Sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

Two jawans killed as militants attack Army convoy in J-K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two jawans were killed and four others injured when militants attacked an Army convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district today. The militants attacked the convoy near Lower Munda toll post in Qazigund area of the district, 100 km from here, injuring six army personnel, an army official said. He said the injured were evacuated to Army’s 92 base hospital here where two jawans succumbed to their injuries. The other four are being treated, the official said. He said a hunt is underway to nab the attackers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J&K: 1 Indian Army personnel killed, 4 injured in terrorist attack

Sat, 3 Jun 2017-12:30pm , Srinagar , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least one Indian Army personnel was killed on Saturday in an attack by terrorists on an Army convoy in Anantnag’s Qazigund in Jammu and Kashmir.Two others have been injured while two other personnel are critically injured.Earlier today, continuing its relentless assault on the Indian Army along the Line of Control (LoC), the Pakistan Army initiated indiscriminate firing along the LoC in Krishna Ghati sector.This comes after its fresh provocation earlier in the day in Poonch. One civilian was injured in the incident. The ceasefire violation started yesterday night at around 11 p.m.The Indian Army posts are retaliating strongly and effectively. The firing is presently on.On Thursday, two civilians were injured in shelling by Pakistan at Krishna Ghati sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

CBI files FIR against army officers for alleged illegal transfer and postings

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered an FIR against Army officers involved in the racket of illegal transfer and postings. The accused have been identified as Lt. Col. Ranganathan Suvramani Moni, Army Officer Purshottam, proprietor Gaurav Kohli along with other unknown persons. The FIR, registered on Thursday, has been filed under the Sections 7, 8, 12, 13 (2) r/w 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act, 1988 and Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The officers have been charged with criminal conspiracy, demand and acceptance of illegal gratification and using influence over public servant. Information was received that Ranganathan, entered into criminal conspiracy with Gaurav Kohli, Purshottam and others for ensuring transfer/posting of different officers posted in different field formation to their place of choice in lieu of payment of huge illegal gratification. Information has also revealed that Purshottam contacted army officers, who are either posted in different field formation or facing imminent transfer and desirous of posting at different locations, and then contacted Gaurav Kohli, who is having close acquaintance with many officers posted in Personnel Division of Army Head Quarter, for pursuing transfer of these officials in lieu of payment of huge illegal gratification to those senior officers posted in the Army HQ.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CBI busts transfer racket at Army HQs; Sr officers involved

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI has today busted a major transfer racket operating in the army headquarter here involving senior officers who were manipulating postings of officers in lieu of huge illegal gratification. The agency has registered a corruption case against a Lt Colonel posted at the army headquarters here and two other army officers for alleged irregularities in transfers. The name of a Brigadier posted in the personnel division has also cropped up in the CBI FIR. It is believed that an operation is underway and there may be some arrests but CBI officials refused to divulge. The case has been registered against Lt Col Ranganathan Suvramani Moni, Personnel Division, Army Headquarter; an army officer, Purushottam, based in Hyderabad; Bengaluru-based army officer S Subhas, and alleged middleman Gaurav Kohli. It is alleged Moni had entered into a criminal conspiracy with Kohli and Purshottam, an army officer posted in ESD, Kakinara, for influencing transfer of officers. It is alleged that Purshottam contacted army officers who are either posted in different field formation or facing imminent transfers and desirous of getting transferred to their preferred location. He used to contact Kohli, who has close acquaintance with officers in personnel division of army headquartes here. He used these contacts to pursue transfers of army officers in lieu of huge illegal gratification, the FIR alleged. Purshottam allegedly requested Kohli to pursue posting matter of one DSRK Reddy and Subhas in lieu of huge bribe, it claimed. Both wanted posting from Bengaluru to Secunderabad or Vizag. Moni assured he would help in getting Subhas transferred through one of the senior officers in the army headuquarters against payment of illegal gratification, it alleged. Subhas allegedly delivered Rs 5 lakh as bribe to Kohli through Hawala operators. “…Kohli visited residence of…Moni and conducted a meeting with some senior officers at the army headquarter in Delhi. Information also reveal that…Moni is in contact with Brigadier SK Grover DDG (Personnel) of Army Headquarter for the transfer matter of Subhas,” the CBI FIR alleged. It is alleged that Rs 2 lakh was to be paid by Kohli to Moni for transfer of Subhas.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Visually impaired Pranjal Patil shines again in UPSC exam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite all the challenges that came her way, 29- year-old Pranjal Patil has achieved the feat of clearing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam for the second time in a row with an impressive All India Rank (AIR) of 124.Patil, a visually-impaired student from Ulhasnagar had cleared the exam in 2016 with AIR of 773 and was allotted the Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS). In July 2016, Patil got a letter from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) that she has been allotted a job in the IRAS and that the training would begin in December 2016. After receiving no response, Patil approached the DoPT, a central body that does the allocations for all the selected candidates and was told that the railways had sent an email stating that a fully blind candidate cannot join the service in their department. The DoPT later allotted her the Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service, considered to be a lower cadre than the railway. She joined training at Faridabad but did not give up and applied for the exam again, making it to the top cadre-IAS. “I was determined to get a better cadre than what was allotted to me and reappeared for the UPSC. I gave my best, which is reflected in my rank,” said Patil, adding that, “I am confident about getting IAS this time. This is an answer to all those who doubted my potential,” she says.

EC asks Govt to reconsider changes made to poll funding laws

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after describing a budget session proposal to issue electoral bonds as a “retrograde step” that would compromise transparency in political funding to the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, the Election Commission has gone a step further by writing to the Law Ministry on the issue.In its letter, the EC has asked the government to reconsider and modify amendments made in the Representation of People’s Act and the Companies Act that would exempt political parties from disclosing donations received through electoral bonds, thus removing any cap on corporate funding.The ministry is yet to respond.Asking the government to remove the amendments, the EC wrote: “In a situation where the contribution received through electoral bonds are not reported, on perusal of the contribution report of political parties, it cannot be ascertained whether the political party has taken any donation in violation of provision under Section 29(b) of the RP Act which prohibits the political parties from taking donations from government companies and foreign sources.”Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said electoral bonds would ensure that only ‘white’ money would enter the political system.In the Budget Session, the Parliament had also accepted the omission of the first proviso in Section 182 of the Companies Act 2013, which consequently removed the limit on corporate donations to political parties. Earlier, a company could contribute no more than 7.5 per cent of its net profit over last three years.On this change, the EC’s letter states, “This opens up the possibility of shell companies being set up for the sole purpose of making donations to political parties.Another cause of worry for the EC is Section 182(3) of the Companies Act, which has been diluted to exempt companies from revealing party-wise details of their political donations in their profit and loss statement. The Commission wants the government to reinstate the old section to disclose party-wise details.”The Commission is of the view that the earlier provisions ensured that only profitable companies with a proven track record could provide donations to political parties and accordingly it is recommended that the provision may be re-introduced,” the EC’s letter says.

Finance Ministry allowed WiFi facility, but not us: DoPT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has alleged that the Home Ministry is not allowing use of Wi-Fi in its offices due to security reasons but the facility is being allowed for Finance Ministry offices in the same building.The issue was raised during a recent meeting chaired by newly-appointed Joint Secretary in the DoPT, Srinivas Ramaswamy Katikithala, to discuss modalities for the implementation of e-office or computerisation of office works.During the meet, Katikithala, a Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, enquired about availability of the Wi-Fi network facility in the offices of DoPT. It was submitted by an officer of National Informatics Centre (NIC) “that due to security reasons, Wi-Fi is not being allowed by MHA in this office”, as per the minutes of the meeting.However, it was also brought into notice that Ministry of Finance is allowed to use it in the same building, it said. The North Block has Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Personnel Ministry (that includes the DoPT) and Finance Ministry.The Joint Secretary has asked the authorities concerned in the Finance Ministry and in the NIC to duly examine the issue and discuss the modalities for facilitating the use of Wi-Fi or wireless network to use internet in the DoPT.

‘We do not support state funding of polls’, Election Commission tells Parliament panel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Election Commission has told a parliamentary committee that it does not support state funding of elections but instead seeks “radical” reforms in the way funds are spent by political parties.State funding of polls imply the government providing funds to parties and candidates to fight elections, replacing the existing system of ploughing in private or party funds for the job.”The Election Commission is not in favour of state funding as it will not be able to prohibit or check candidates’ own expenditures or expenditures of others over and above that which is provided by the state (government).”The Election Commission’s view is that for addressing the real issues, there have to be radical changes in the provisions regarding receipt of funds by political parties and the manner in which such funds are spent by them so as to provide for complete transparency in the matter,” it said in a written submission before the parliamentary standing committee on Law and Personnel.The committee is examining the issue of EVMs, paper trail machines and electoral reforms.
ALSO READ No returning to paper ballot system, EVM challenge on June 3: Election Commission On Friday, the committee had discussed electoral reforms with senior EC and Law Ministry officials.In a consultation floated ahead of its 30 March, 2015 meeting with stakeholders on the issue of political finances, the EC had said, in view of the high cost of election campaigning in terms of media advertisements and public rallies, use of “big money” in politics is a major concern.”If wealthy individuals and the corporate pay to the political party or the candidate in order to make them listen to them, this undermines the core principles of democracy and transfers the economic inequality to political inequality,” the EC consultation paper had said.

EC tells Par panel: We do not support state funding of polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Election Commission has told a parliamentary committee that it does not support state funding of elections but instead seeks “radical” reforms in the way funds are spent by political parties. State funding of polls imply the government providing funds to parties and candidates to fight elections, replacing the existing system of ploughing in private or party funds for the job. “The Election Commission is not in favour of state funding as it will not be able to prohibit or check candidates’ own expenditures or expenditures of others over and above that which is provided by the state (government). “The Election Commission’s view is that for addressing the real issues, there have to be radical changes in the provisions regarding receipt of funds by political parties and the manner in which such funds are spent by them so as to provide for complete transparency in the matter,” it said in a written submission before the parliamentary standing committee on Law and Personnel. The committee is examining the issue of EVMs, paper trail machines and electoral reforms. On Friday, the committee had discussed electoral reforms with senior EC and Law Ministry officials. In a consultation floated ahead of its 30 March, 2015 meeting with stakeholders on the issue of political finances, the EC had said, in view of the high cost of election campaigning in terms of media advertisements and public rallies, use of “big money” in politics is a major concern. “If wealthy individuals and the corporate pay to the political party or the candidate in order to make them listen to them, this undermines the core principles of democracy and transfers the economic inequality to political inequality,” the EC consultation paper had said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gujarat-based educationist Manoj Soni appointed UPSC member

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat-based educationist Manoj Soni was today appointed as a member in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), that conducts recruitment exams to select the country’s top bureaucrats. His appointment has been approved by President Pranab Mukherjee, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said. Soni was the former vice-chancellor and an alumnus of the Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) of Baroda. He will hold the office for a term of six years from the date on which he takes the charge or until he attains the age of 65 years. Soni, 52, had been the vice-chancellor of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, Ahmedabad and holds Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree, according to his profile on the MSU website. With his appointment, the strength of the UPSC has gone up to eight. The UPSC, headed by a chairman (Prof David R Syiemlieh at present), can have a maximum of 10 members. The Commission conducts civil services examination annually in three stages — preliminary, main and interview — to select officers for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

EVMs used by EC are tamper-proof, parliamentary panel told

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The electronic voting machines used by the Election Commission are tamper-proof and reliable, the poll panel told a parliamentary standing committee today. The stand of the commission before the parliamentary panel comes a day before it is to announce its ‘EVM challenge’ at a press conference here. Senior officials of the Commission, who appeared before the parliamentary standing committee on Law and Personnel, said the EVMs are tamper-proof and very reliable. The commission was represented by Deputy Election Commissioners Umesh Sinha and Vijay Dev, besides other officials. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel and Law, headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma, had today summoned the Election Commission officials and the Legislative Secretary of the Law Ministry over the issue of electoral reforms. Senior officials assured the parliamentary panel that the EVMs are tamper-proof and the commission has decided to use VVPAT or paper trail machines in all future elections which will further enhance the confidence of voters in these machines, a member of the panel said. After several opposition parties urged the EC to revert to ballot paper system, the parliamentary committee had summoned senior officials of the poll panel to discuss issues related to the reliability of EVMs. The EC has also thrown a challenge to political parties to prove that the EVMs used in the recent assembly polls were tampered with after several opposition parties questioned their reliability and demanded going back to the paper ballot system. Last week, after a meeting with 55 national and state political parties, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had said that in all future elections they will use EVMs with VVPAT. Amid concerns raised by the opposition, the Union Cabinet had last month cleared the Election Commission’s proposal to buy VVPAT machines for the EVMs to ensure transparency in the voting process. The proposal involves getting 16,15,000 VVPAT units for EVMs at a cost of around Rs 3,173.47 crore for use in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Par panel summons senior EC officials over EVM issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With several opposition parties urging the Election Commission (EC) to revert to ballot paper system, a parliamentary committee has summoned senior officials of the poll panel to discuss issues related to the reliability of electronic voting machines (EVMs). EC has thrown a challenge to political parties to prove that EVMs used in the recent assembly polls were tampered with after several opposition parties questioned their reliability and demanded going back to the paper ballot system. The planned challenge could take place later this month. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma is scheduled to meet on May 19 over the issue of electoral reforms. The panel has summoned senior officials from EC, including a deputy election commissioner and a principal secretary, and secretary from legislative department, Law Ministry to appear before it and brief the members about the EVMs and the reliability, a source in the committee said. Last week, after a meeting with 55 national and state parties, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had said that in all future elections they will use EVMs with voter- verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT). The poll panel announced a hackathon, which will offer the parties an opportunity to prove that voting machines used in the recent polls were tampered with. Amid concerns raised by the opposition, the Union Cabinet last month cleared the Election Commission’s proposal to buy VVPAT machines for the EVMs to ensure transparency in the voting process. The proposal involves getting 16,15,000 VVPAT units for EVMs at a cost of around Rs 3,173.47 crore for use in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Spike in fire incidents, dept cancels leaves of its personnel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi fire department has cancelled leaves of all its personnel amidst a spike in calls related to fire incident. At least, 150 such calls are being received daily on an average at the fire department this summer season. “Normally, in summer, we receive 130 calls every day on an average. This time, we have seen that there has been an increase in the average number of calls to 150 daily,” said a senior officer. He attributed the increase to the dry weather conditions. The department, that is short on manpower, has cancelled the leaves of personnel. “All the firemen have been working tirelessly and aren’t allowed to go on leaves. Only in cases of medical emergencies or some unavoidable crises are leaves granted during this period,” he said. With three major fire incidents today, including a cylinder-blast that left five people injured, the department has had a busy day.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Donning low waist pants, skin-tight shirts, cops served

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Flaunting low waist pants and skin-tight shirts have landed over 400 Punjab police personnel, including women, in a soup as they were served notices for allegedly violating rules concerning uniform. “Out of 460 personnel we checked, we found that the uniforms of 417 were not as per the rules. Therefore, they have been served notices,” Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhruman H Nimbale said today. “They were wearing low-waist pants, short sleeve shirts, skin-tight shirts and narrow bottom pants. In some cases, the sleeves were short by two inches and the bottom of the pants was even less than 15 inches as against 18 inches rule,” he said. “Even women cops were found flouting the norms as they were found wearing tight-fit shirts and low-waist pants,” Nimbale said. Among the erring cops, six are Assistant Sub-Inspectors (ASIs) and the rest constables and head constables, he said. The DCP said the “show off” on part of the personnel would not be acceptable as far as the uniform is concerned. “The major disadvantage of low-waist pants or a tight-fit dress is that cops would not be able to sit down whenever a situation warrants, he said. Nimbale said they (cops) have been asked to get necessary alterations done as per the Punjab police uniform rules. “If they do not obey rules, then departmental action can be taken against them,” he vowed. Most of personnel, who were served notices, have been in service since 2010, the DCP said. While the 417 police personnel had to face the wrath of their seniors, 17 were handed over certificates of appreciation for donning the uniform conforming to rules.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Forest staff deployed to look after two orphaned lion cubs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat forest department has deployed staff to look after two orphaned lion cubs found roaming in Nevasa area of Amreli district. The personnel were deployed four days ago to take care of the two orphaned cubs, Rambhai Mor, Range Forest Officer (RFO) of Amreli, told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Suspected poacher killed, 8 policemen injured in clash in Raj

“The eight-member police team had gone to arrest Pusa last evening near Silaria village but members of his tribe attacked it, prompting the personnel to fire in the air,” SP, Nagaur, Paris Deshmukh told <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 40-year-old man was killed and eight policemen were injured when members of a nomadic tribe attacked a police party which had gone to arrest him for allegedly poaching wild animals. “The eight-member police team had gone to arrest Pusa last evening near Silaria village but members of his tribe attacked it, prompting the personnel to fire in the air,” SP, Nagaur, Paris Deshmukh told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Why were you silent over allegations of rape in Manipur, SC asks Army

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tuesday rapped the Indian Army, asking why it had maintained silence over allegations of rape and murder against its personnel in Manipur and questioned the state government for not proceeding with these cases against them.The apex court asked the Manipur government to explain whether it was a “sheer helplessness” on their part or a “tacit understanding” that they would not proceed against the Army personnel despite there being serious allegations of rape and murder against them.”You may have two alleged rapists. Why you have kept quiet,” a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who was appearing for the Army and the Assam Rifles.Responding to the query, the Attorney General said, “these are allegations only. The question is whether rape was committed by the Army personnel”.The court posed this query to Rohatgi after it was told that there were allegations against two Army personnel that they had raped a 15-year-old girl in 2003 following which she had committed suicide.The bench was also told that an inquiry commission report had also indicted some officials of Assam Rifles in a separate case in which a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted before being shot dead in Manipur.When Rohatgi said an inquiry was conducted on the allegations of rape, the bench shot back, “we would want to know what kind of inquiry you have conducted. We would like to see the inquiry report also”.The Attorney General also said that state government had set up commission to inquire into these matters but it had no power to do so.During the hearing, the counsel appearing for Manipur told the bench that “in cases where personnel of armed forces are involved, we have stopped from proceeding ahead”.To this, the bench said, “the reports clearly suggest that the girl was subjected to rape. You are creating a stonewall and you do not want to break that stonewall. You have not tried anything. You have not asked the Army to handover the custody of the alleged culprits”.”Is it just a sheer helplesness or is it a tacit understanding that you will not proceed against the Army personnel. You see, she was a young girl and there are no allegations that she was an insurgent. She was working in a farm where two people came and raped her. She committed suicide and you are saying what can we do. Are you saying that let Army people come and rape,” the bench said.The court is hearing a PIL seeking probe and compensation in alleged 1,528 extra-judicial killings in Manipur from 2000 to 2012 by security forces and police.During the hearing, the court was told that there were 265 cases of deaths which have to be examined and there were various reports of the commission of inquiry in which serious allegations have been levelled against armed forces personnel.Dealing with a murder case of a woman, who was allegedly subjected to sexual assault by army personnel, the bench asked the Centre as to whether it was their case that “alright some Army personnel have committed the murder, so what”.The Centre’s counsel said it was not their case and they have also given Rs 10 lakh compensation to the victim’s family as per the apex court’s order.”Don’t you want to inquire even if somebody makes such allegations against your people (Army personnel)? Are you saying whatever was done was legitimate,” the bench asked.Responding to this, the Centre’s counsel said, “It was a bonafide military operation based on intelligence input. Army is not averse to conducting an inquiry.”He claimed that allegation of sexual assault was not substantiated during the inquiry and it was found that there was some violation of laid down procedure in conducting the operation.On the issue of payment of compensation by the Centre, the bench asked whether the government was supposed to pay Rs 10 lakh as compensation for violation of procedure.”Government of India do not have so much money that they can say okay, there is some violation of procedure, so we will pay the compensation. Rs 10 lakh is a big amount,” the bench said.The apex court had earlier asked the Centre to segregate the cases related to the armed forces from the list of 265 incidents of extra-judicial killings in Manipur, which it would deal with first on a plea seeking probe into such alleged fake encounter killings.It had also asked the Manipur government to distinguish among these the cases related to the state police.There are 35 matters related to commission of inquiry and 37 cases of judicial inquiry or high court matters. Similarly, 23 matters of National Human Rights Commission would be heard along with 170 cases based on written complaints.The Centre had said that out of the 282 cases, which were referred to it for verification, 70 matters were found to be related to the Army and Assam Rifles while the rest may be concerning the state police.In July last year, the apex court had directed a thorough probe into the alleged fake encounter killings in Manipur saying that the use of “excessive or retaliatory force” by the armed forces or police was not permissible in ‘disturbed areas’ under the controversial Armed Force Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

C K Kumar takes over as AOC of Begumpet Air Force station

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Air Commodore C K Kumar today took over as Air Officer Commanding of Air Force station Begumpet here. Prior to this appointment the Air Officer was commanding the Air Force Station Palam. Kumar, was commissioned into the Indian Air Force on 13 June 1987 and during his career, he has flown a wide variety of transport and trainer aircraft like An-32, HPT-32, Boeing 737-200 and Boeing Business Jet, a Defence release said. The Air Officer has served in an operational transport squadron in the East. He is a qualified flying instructor and a post graduate from Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. The Air Officer has tenanted the important staff appointment of Director Personnel Officers (Transport) at Air Headquarters and also as Command Flying Training Officer at Headquarters Training Command, Indian Air Force, it added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Conflict in intellectual space when thoughts are dishonest’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Most of the conflicts in the intellectual arena arise when the thought is devoid of honesty and influenced by extraneous considerations, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said here today. Speaking at Vivekananda International Foundation, a right- wing think tank, Singh said intellectual honesty is as important as intellectual thought. He said most of the conflicts in intellectual arena arise when the thought is devoid of honesty and instead influenced by extraneous considerations. In his inaugural address as Chief Guest at the one-day conference themed “Communicating India”, Singh said a constant introspection coupled with critical appraisal of one’s inner self is what finally churns out an unbiased belief or conviction.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

1.5 lakh youths apply for 5,000 posts in J&K police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 1,50,000 youths in Jammu and Kashmir have applied for 5,000 posts in new police battalions to be raised in the state. The process of recruitment in the five India Reserve Battalions (IRBs) has started and authorities have received around 1,50,000 applications, 40 per cent of which are from the Kashmir Valley. “This is a very encouraging response as there are 30 applicants against one post,” a senior government official said. The IRBs are being raised with an aim to provide jobs to the local youths and 60 per cent of vacancies in the new battalions will be filled from border districts of the state. The cost of raising each battalion is around Rs 61 crore and 75 per cent of it will be provided by the central government. Personnel of India Reserve Battalions are normally deployed in their respective states but they can be deployed in other states too if there is a requirement. At present, there are 144 India Reserve Battalions in various states. In addition, four IRBs each are being raised in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, 12 in Maoist-hit states besides the five battalions in Jammu and Kashmir.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt proposes new RTI draft rules, seeks public opinion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government has proposed a new set of rules for processing Right to Information applications, complaints and appeals and has sought suggestions from the public by April 15. The proposed rules, aimed at replacing RTI rules of 2012, have been placed by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on its website for comments from public. “The time given is too less. There is no official press release in this regard as well. How will people know that something like is placed on website for them to give opinion,” RTI activist Commodore (Retd) Lokesh Batra told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

168 CRPF jawans fall ill with suspected food poisoning, probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 168 jawans attached to the CRPF camp at Pallipuram were taken ill due to suspected food poisoning, prompting authorities to order a board of inquiry into the matter. The jawans had their dinner around 7.15 PM last night and after a few minutes they complained of uneasiness. The personnel were shifted to hospitals after they showed symptoms of vomiting, headache and stomach cramps, a senior CRPF official said. “We rushed the people to our hospital at the camp and later took them to various hospitals,” he said. All the jawans, except about 50, were treated as out patients, he said. According to Trivandrum Medical college hospital, 111 patients were admitted there and their condition was stable. Initial investigations suggested that the jawans fell ill after consuming fish curry, the official said, adding the fish had been sourced from a nearby market. “A board of inquiry was ordered today and the report is expected in 7-8 days,” the official told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

RTI applications increase, but so do rejections without reasons

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While there has been a jump of 22.67 per cent over the previous year in the filing of RTI applications in 2015-16, there has also been a steep increase in the number of applications rejected by various ministries, which have used the mysterious pretext of citing ‘others’ as the reason.Under the provisions of the RTI Act, a public authority can reject an application and refuse to provide information citing security and privacy reasons governed by the sections 8, 9, 11 and 24 of the Act. But most of the ministries who rejected the application cited none of these permissible clauses. Against 28,444 applications rejected under the ‘others’ category the previous year, in 2015-16, the number has increased to 36,913.A whooping 43 per cent of the rejections were recorded under the ‘others’ category, while 47 per cent were rejected under the permissible clauses. Out of 11,138 received by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in 2015-16, it rejected 2,227 applications citing ‘others’ as the reason. The CIC has reported that there has been a decrease in the number of first appeals received, but an increase in the number disposed by the first appellate authorities.Venkatesh Nayak, Programme Coordinator, Access to Information Programme at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), described the increase in applications to be a positive trend, but also raised concern at the increasing number of rejections without valid reasons mentioned under the RTI Act being cited. The CIC disposed of 28,188 appeal and complaint cases in 2015-16, while 25,960 cases were registered during the same period.While the President’s Secretariat received only 123 more RTIs in 2015-16 as compared to the previous year, the proportion of rejection plummeted from 9.30 per cent to 1.2 per cent in 2015-16. In 2015-16, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) reported a rejection rate of 20.1 per cent of the RTIs received. While this a significant drop from 22.10 per cent in 2014-15, only seven RTI applications were rejected by the PMO invoking section 8. A whopping 2,227 RTIs were rejected under the ‘others’ category.The proportion of rejection of RTIs by the Supreme Court fell to 21.1 per cent in 2015-16, while it received only six more RTIs as compared to the previous year. The proportion of rejections by the Delhi High Court also registered a fall of more than 1 per cent in 2015-16, even tough the number of RTIs received went up by 127.While the number of RTIs received by the Comptroller and Auditor General fell to 716 in 2015-16 from 796 the previous year, the proportion of rejections zoomed to 17.2 per cent from 6.3 per cent reported the previous year. This alarming increase requires an in-depth study.The Cabinet Secretariat also witnessed a jump in the proportion of rejections from 4.3 per cent to 6.65 per cent in 2015-16, although it received only 73 more RTIs. The Ministry of Personnel and Training reported a significant decline in the proportion of rejections at 3.4 per cent in 2015-16 as compared to 9.4 per cent during the previous year, even though it reported receiving 9,000 more RTIs in 2015-16. This appears to be a positive trend.Among key ministries, the proportion of rejections in the Ministry of Defence fell significantly to 11.5 per cent in 2015-16 as compared to 15.90 per cent the previous year. In the Ministry of Finance, the proportion of rejections fell to 18.3 per cent in 2015-16 as compared to the 20.2-per cent rejection rate the previous year.

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