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Delhi Nursery admissions: Govt tightens grip over pvt schools flouting norms

Tightening the noose around the private schools violating norms by setting abolished criteria for the nursery admissions, the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education (DoE) has started examining the regulations set by such schools.The admission process in the entry-level classes at 1,700 private unaided recognised Delhi schools kicked off on Wednesday. While most of the schools are giving heavy weightage to the ‘neighborhood’ criteria — children residing within the 0-3 km radius, arbitrary regulations issued by several schools are giving nightmares to parents seeking seats for their wards.”We have been receiving complaints against several private schools. We have already started examining the criteria set by these schools and are in the process of sending showcause notices to them,” said Atishi Marlena, Advisor to Education Minister Manish Sisodia.In blatant violation of the DoE guidelines, while some schools, including Mahavir Senior Model School on GT-Karnal Road, are granting extra points to “vegetarian”, “non-smoker” and “teetotaler” parents, some like the Apeejay School in Sheikh Sarai are preferring children/grandchildren of former school promoters or office bearers.Some schools, including St Michael’s Junior School in Prasad Nagar and Vidya Bal Bhawan School in Shakarpur are even violating the Right to Education (RTE) Act guidelines by calling parents and their wards for”interaction”. In another violation of the DoE norms, Abhinav Public School in Pitampura and Sachdeva Public School in Rohini have asked parents to give details of their monthly income, educational and professional qualification in the forms.”Some schools have issued absurd admission criteria which are nowhere mentioned in the DoE’s circular issued on December 19. DoE’s intervention only can stop them from following these unreasonable criteria,” said Ritika Singh, a parent seeking admission for her 3-year-old daughter.Meanwhile, experts have welcomed the government’s decision to intervene.”Schools are not only violating the DoE’s norms but also the RTE guidelines. It is good that the DoE has started looking into the matter,” said Sumit Vohra, founder of www.admissionsnursery.com.VIOLATIONIn blatant violation of the DoE guidelines, some schools, including Mahavir Senior Model School on GT-Karnal Road, are granting extra points to “vegetarian”, “non-smoker” and “teetotaler” parents. Some other schools like the Apeejay School in Sheikh Sarai are preferring children/grandchildren of former school promoters or office bearers.

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

J&K: Tassaduq Mufti joins sister Mehbooba’s cabinet, gets tourism portfolio

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today allotted the key tourism portfolio to her younger brother Tassaduq Mufti who along with another PDP legislator Javaid Mustafa Mir was inducted into the state cabinet.According to an order issued by the chief minister, Tassaduq Mufti was allotted the tourism ministry, a portfolio earlier with Mehbooba Mufti.Mir was given the portfolios of disaster management, relief and rehabilitation, and reconstruction and floriculture, the order said.In addition, the state’s Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs minister Abdul Rehman Veeri was given additional portfolio of Hajj and Auqaf, while Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Social Welfare, Health and Medical Education Asiea Naqash was given the additional charge of power development, industries and commerce.Minister of State for Forest, Environment, Animal Sheep Husbandry, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Mir Zahoor Ahmad was given additional charge of public health engineering, irrigation and flood control.Also readMufti Tassaduq to be PDP candidate for Anantnag LS seatOn December 22, Minister of State Haj and Aquaf (Independent Charge), Power Development Department, Public Health Engineering, Irrigation and Flood Control and Industries and commerce Syed Farooq Andrabi resigned as a prelude to the inclusion of Tassaduq Mufti into the cabinet.

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

Madras HC refuses to stay eviction of slum-dwellers; says they are forced out of homes without notification

The Madras High Court refused to stay eviction of residents from 36 slums in the city saying a blanket order cannot be granted without hearing the state government’s version.Refusing any interim relief, a vacation bench headed by Justice MS Ramesh ordered notice to the state government returnable by January 5, 2108 on a PIL moved by Pennurimai Iyakkam, a women’s welfare organisation.Charging the Public Works Department and Chennai Corporation with resorting to mass eviction of slum-dwellers without abiding by the provisions of Tamil Nadu Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act of 1971, it claimed slum dwellers across the city were being evicted forcibly without notification of their residential areas as slum areas, as required under the law.According to the petitioner, already residents of about 22 slums in MK Stalin Nagar and Thideer Nagar had been evicted fully and those in five slums had been evicted partially.Residents of about 36 slums in the west, east and south of Cooum, Tiruverkadu and Melpakkam, among other places, were facing the threat of eviction, the petitioner added.The petitioner further contended that alternative accommodation provided for such evicted families at far-off locations, has led to loss of livelihood and educational opportunities for their children.”The displaced children, without the possibility of continued education, fall in the hands of anti-social elements, and which is not good for society,” the organisation said in the plea.

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

Ministerial panel’s report on Lokpal under examination: Govt

The government is still examining the recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee on the Lokpal act, two years after a parliamentary panel submitted its report on the proposed law, the Lok Sabha was informed today.The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 — that has provisions for establishment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants — came into force with effect from January 16, 2014.However, an amendment bill was moved in the Lok Sabha in December 2014 to remove certain difficulties in the operationalisation of the Act, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.The bill was referred to the Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice for examination and report.”The said Committee has submitted its report in the Parliament on December 7, 2015. The recommendations of the said Committee were presented before an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) comprising seven Union ministers. The recommendation of the IMC are under consideration of the government,” Singh said.

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Delhi Nursery Admisions: School has ‘novel’ way to curb population

Landing itself in controversy yet again, this year as well, the popular Salwan Public School in Delhi has barred parents with more than two children from seeking admission for their wards in nursery. The school will mention this criteria in its admission form, to be uploaded on Wednesday. According to Sushil Salwan, chairperson of the Salwan group, India’s rising population has become a major hurdle in its development and everybody should contribute to help the nation in curbing it. “ It is our way of motivating people to have less children. We have already mentioned this in our admission form, which will be uploaded on Wednesday,” he said.Last year, both branches of the school — Salwan Montessori and GD Salwan — located in Rajendra Nagar in west Delhi, were slammed by parents for mentioning this clause in its admission form, which stated: “Parents having more than two children, including whose admission is sought, need not apply.” The Delhi government had issued a show cause notice to the school.Unfazed by the criticism, Salwan said: “We are ready to take all the media gagging for the sake of our country. We are not afraid. Criticising those who take bold initiatives has become a norm these days.” When contacted, the Delhi government officials said they will take action against the school, if this happens. “Strict action will be taken against any school for setting such unjustified criteria,” said Atishi Marlena, advisor to Delhi deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia.Experts also slammed the move and termed it “arbitrary”, with no mention in the Directorate of Education (DoE) guidelines. “Last year also, the school had included this clause and faced criticism from parents as well as the government. This is no way of contributing to the country’s development. If the school actually wants to do something for the welfare of the nation, it should provide underprivileged children with more opportunities to study,” said Sumit Vohra of the admissionsnursery.com.Meanwhile, parents who were preparing to apply at the Salwan School, are in a fix. “How can a school accept or reject us on the basis of how many children we have? This is the most bizzare regulation one can put,” said Ankit Saini, a Rajendra Nagar resident.Admissions in entry-level classes in 1,700 private, unaided, recognised schools in the national Capital will begin on Wednesday. Strange solution Salwan Public School in New Delhi has barred parents with more than two children from seeking admission for wards in nursery as a way of motivating people to have fewer children.

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Surgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher

The Indian Army troops planted explosives on Pakistani side to surprise the enemy during the ‘mini surgical strike’ it carried out on Monday.According to the new details emerging from the last night’s cross-border raids, the IED blasts were targeted for initial damage on the Pakistani side. It was followed by heavy firing by the Indian troopsThe DNA had first reported on Monday about the ‘mini surgical strike’. The sources say that the toll in the cross-border raids could be much higher than the three dead and one injured identified on Monday.The Indian security forces had crossed over to the Pakistani side on Monday to retaliate the Saturday’s ceasefire violation in Rajouri that had killed three including an Indian Army officer.The Pakistani soldiers killed in the Monday raids have been identified as sepoy Sajjad, sepoy Abdul Rehman and Sepoy M Usman. The injured soldier on the Pakistani side has been identified as sepoy Athzaz Hussain.”We got a go ahead to cross over and carry out an operation to avenge the killings of four soldiers including a major rank officer,” said government sources confirming the army strike in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.According to a statement by Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations, the Indian forces opened fire along the Line of Control killing three of their soldiers. The raid happened in 12 Division of the 59 Balooch Unit in PoK, sources said.

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Indian Army crosses LOC to retaliate, kills three Pak soldiers

Indian Army troops crossed over the Line of Control killing three Pakistani army soldiers and leaving one injured in a cross border raid on Monday retaliating to the death of four India army personnel including a major on Saturday. Based on ground intelligence and surveillance intelligence, agencies have identified the Pakistani soldiers killed as sepoy Sajjad, sepoy Abdul Rehman and Sepoy M Usman. The injured soldier on the Pakistani side has been identified as sepoy Athzaz Hussain. “We got a go ahead to cross over and carry out an operation to avenge the killings of four soldiers including a major rank officer,” said government sources confirming the army strike in PoK. According to a statement by Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations, Indian forces opened fire along the Line of Control killing three of their soldiers. The raid happened in 12 Division of the 59 Balooch Unit in PoK, sources said. This comes a day after Indian Army said one Pakistani soldier was killed in retaliation to the Pakistani Army firing killing four Indian Army personnel. ISPR said one other than the casualties one Pakistani soldier was injured. There have been frequent skirmishes on the line of Control with Pakistan Army indulging in repeated ceasefire violations. There has also been an increase in infiltration attempts from Pakistan trying to send terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir.

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L-G: Fast track construction of Rani Jhansi flyover project

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal took stock of the long-delayed construction of Rani Jhansi flyover being built to ease out congestion by the municipal corporation in north Delhi on Saturday. The L-G has directed the civic agency to put work on a “fast track mode”.The 1.6 km flyover was proposed to be built since the erstwhile MCD was in power and has missed a number of deadlines since. The latest deadline was of January 2018.”The officials were told to expedite the development of the portion by putting all the resources so that commuters on the route can get relief by availing services at the earliest,” said a statement issued by the L-G’s office.He also directed the Public Works Department (PWD) and traffic police to study traffic pressure for its smooth flow at the entry and exit points of the grade separator from both sides so that it may not become a bottleneck.Also, officials of the North MCD have been asked to put up a weekly report on any hurdles being faced by them in the completion of the project.Four times the initial cost, the flyover was earlier given December-end as its deadline. From Rs 177.70 crores in 2008 to Rs 722 crores in 2016, the delay has caused the cost to go up manifold.The grade separator to link Filmistan to St Stephens Hospital, Tis Hazari was to ease traffic movement in areas including Civil Lines, ISBT Kashmere Gate, Karol Bagh, Paharganj, Sadar Bazar, Azad Market, Kamla Nagar and Mandir Marg, among others.However, civic officials have been claiming that they faced many complications in shifting utilities as well as the traders from the area.Fresh ordersThe L-G also directed the PWD and traffic police to study traffic pressure for its smooth flow at the flyover’s entry and exit points.Officials of the North MCD have been asked to put up a weekly report on any hurdles in the project’s completion.

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Upbeat Congress rocks Parliament

Already up in arms on the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s insinuatory remarks against former PM Manmohan Singh of conspiring with Pakistan to influence Gujarat polls, the Congress got a shot in the arm when the CBI court acquitted all the accused in the 2G spectrum case on Thursday.An upbeat Congress stepped up their attack forcing two adjournments in the Rajya Sabha and continued to protest in the Lok Sabha that managed to function amid disruptions because of BJP being in the majority. Outside the House too, the Congress was on offensive with many of its MPs venting out their anger.Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad who was seeking clarification from the government on PM Modi’s “false allegations” against Singh raised the issue of 2G in tandem almost immediately after he was told about the judgement.”The second clarification we are seeking is Rs. 1,76,000 crore worth 2G scam because of which we are here (opposition benches) and they (BJP) are there (treasury benches). Prove it here, where has it gone?” asked Azad.Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu was quick to rebut Azad by disallowing his submission.”This is not the issue. You have not given any notice. This is not the way Azad ji,” said Naidu instructing nothing will go on record. The citing May 22, 1990 ruling of then Rajya Sabha Chairman Shankar Dayal Sharma, Naidu said the Chair’s ruling on not allowing suspension of a Question Hour or allowing a discussion was final.But the Congress members refused to relent and started swelling the well of the House, forcing Naidu to adjourn the House till 2 p.m.When the House met again at 2 p.m., Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal came in support of the Congress raising the point of order — whether CAG reports can be leaked to newspapers before they are tabled and can the House summon people responsible for tarnishing those in constitutional offices on the basis of CAG reports.Agarwal also asked whether the image of those in constitutional offices can be tarnished on the basis of CAG reports when ‘99% of the points’ raised in them are settled after they reach the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for scrutiny.Naidu disallowed him too for suddenly raising the issue without quoting the rules. But the pandemonium did not stop forcing Naidu to call it a day.House adjournedCongress members refused to hear RS chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and started swelling the well of the House, forcing Naidu to adjourn the House till 2 p.m.

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2G scam verdict: CAG report triggered furore over 2G

A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on allocation of 2G licences pegging the presumptive loss to Rs 1.76 lakh crore in November 2010 triggered the political slugfest which led to the arrest of A Raja within three months in February in 2011.The CBI had registered an FIR in 2009 but did not name any accused. As the agency failed to take any action the CAG report opened the floodgates for the opposition to slam the UPA government.Petitions were filed in the Supreme Court that eventually began monitoring the investigations by CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.Regular status reports were filed by the investigating agencies in the apex that finally culminated in the charges being filed against then Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK leader Kanimozhi for being part of the conspiracy and receiving kickbacks.Parts of the CAG report were leaked before it was tabled in Parliament creating a furore. It finally became the basis on which criminal action was initiated as it gave a blow-by-blow account of how Raja bypassed procedures, ignored suggestions from Prime Minister Office (PMO), Ministries of Law and Finance.The report was taken by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. There was no consensus and it was rejected by one vote by the committee.

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Retired govt servants to help docs in reducing patient load

With an aim to meet the acute shortage of doctors in various state government hospitals, the Delhi government has decided to engage retired government services for the various posts in the hospital. The move is aimed at bringing down the existing burden from the hospital.A letter by department of health family welfare has directed all medical superintendents to designate a nodal officer in their respective hospitals for receiving the applications for the post.”These officers will help in handling the posts in medical/paramedical/nursing and other administrative posts. The vacant posts will be identified by the medical institutions and thereafter these will be filled by the officers,” said a senior official from the health department.The latest CAG report had also highlighted the problem of shortage of doctors and paramedical staff in the government-run institutes. “There was limited availability of medicines and equipments in 17 states, while 428 equipment (ultrasound, X-ray, ECG, cardiac monitors, auto-analyser, incinerator, OT equipment, blood storage unit etc.) costing Rs30.39 crore were lying idle/unutilised due to non-availability of doctors and trained manpower to operate the equipment, lack of adequate space for their installation. In 13 states at least 67 Public Health Centres were functioning without any doctor,” the CAG report pointed out.At Maulana Azad Medical College, 80 per cent seats for pre-clinical posts in post-graduation courses are vacant. However, the resident doctors are not too happy with the decision.”If they will hire the retired officers, what will happen to the young doctors who are looking for a job,” said Dr Vivek Chouksey, president, Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA).”The government needs to have a recruitment policy that ensures all courses get adequate applicants who graduate as doctors in various departments,” says Dean Dr Siddharth Ramji.India has seven doctors for every 10,000 people, half the global average, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Data from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) shows the country needs more than 50,000 critical care specialists, but has just 8,350.The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is responsible for the recruitment of regular doctors at hospitals run by both the Delhi government as well as the Centre. Hospitals themselves hire ad-hoc and contractual doctors. Experts say the UPSC’s recruitment process is tedious. From advertisements about vacancies to final interviews, the commission spends years to hire a doctor, they say.

Hanuman idol land: Delhi High Court orders probe

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to find out how the 108-feet Hanuman idol in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh was built encroaching public land.The HC bench has asked the investigating agency to find out civic officials under whose tenure the structure came up. Also, the court stressed that the enquiry be taken up in a fast-track manner and that officials of all concerned agencies, including municipal corporation, Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Land and Development Office and Mandir Marg police station, must join the probe.The court also asked the Delhi Police to handover to the CBI the documents of the enquiry conducted so far. “The fact that you (officials) have done nothing shows your culpability. It is high time that all public officers are held accountable,” the bench said.The trustees running the temple must not be permitted to reap the benefit of money derived from the public land, the court said and directed the concerned bank branch to freeze the accounts of the trust. The court further said the bank should only allow deposits and not withdrawals from the account.

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IIT B leads the way, bags most offers in first phase of placements

Keeping its earlier clout in campus placements intact, the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), recorded the highest number of offers amongst all IITs in the first phase of placements held between December 1 and December 16, 2017.As per the figures released by the institute, a total of 1011 job offers (including a 100 pre placement offers) were rolled out to the students at the institute during the first phase. Of this, 911 offers were accepted. With this, IIT-B leaps ahead of other IITs with more offers in its kitty. “IIT Bombay has been consistently preferred as the top destination amongst the recruiters. The rise in the number of International offers and the PPOs were some of the highlights of the phase-1 of placements.Phase-2 is expected to add in some more numbers” said the spokesperson at the institute.IIT-Kanpur also saw a very successful phase I with 890 offers including pre-placement offers (PPOs) in the first phase. At IIT Madras, a total of 877 students were placed in the first phase that ended on December 10. IIT Roorkee saw 843 offers made by 205 companies that visited the campus until December 15.The average cost-to-company (CTC) for the domestic offers at IIT Bombay is 13.60 lakhs per annum while the gross salary is 11.50 lakhs per annum. For International offers, the CTC offered was 43.5 lakhs per annum while the gross salary was 40 lakhs per annum.This year, over 65 international offers came in the first few days at IIT B with some of the prominent companies being- Uber, Microsoft-Redmond, Samsung and Goldman Sachs.More PSU offersMost IITs saw a great number of Public sector undertaking companies like ONGC, ISRO, UIDAI coming to hire in the first phase. At IIT B, a total of 21 offers were made by three PSUs in the first phase. IIT Roorkee also saw the participation of 5 PSUs in the first phase. “This time, the number of PSUs hiring at the institute have gone up considerably as compared to the last time. The profiles and packages offered are also better than last year” said Prof Tom Matthew, Professor in charge of placements at IITB.Start-ups on a rollA good number of start-ups came to IIT campuses this year, after the ban was lifted this year. A total of 32 start-ups made 85 offers to IIT Madras students. Most of the start-ups were looking to recruit for the Analytics / IT job profiles. At IIT Roorkee, 37 startups came to the campus in the first phase. Several prominent start-ups like Zomato and Pay U visited IIT Kanpur this placement season.

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UP Police looks to ensure peaceful Christmas after Hindu Jagran Manch’s warning to Aligarh schools

The Uttar Pradesh Police today directed all district police chiefs to ensure that Christmas festivities go smoothly without any untoward incident, two days after the Hindu Jagran Manch warned Aligarh schools against celebrating the festival.ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar also directed all district police chiefs of the state to ensure the freedom of practising one’s religion is protected and appropriate action should be taken in this regard. “The Aligarh SSP (senior superintendent of police) and all district police chiefs have been directed to take strict legal action against those indulging in intimidation of any sort,” he said.This directive comes after the Hindu Jagran Manch, an RSS affiliate, issued a circular on Sunday, threatening the management of all Aligarh schools against celebrating Christmas saying, if they did so, it would be “at their own risk”. “The circular would be reaching all schools very shortly and we will decide a course of action on receiving their response,” Sonu Savita, city president of the Hindu Jagran Manch, told reporters in Aligarh on Sunday. Aligarh SSP Rajesh Pandey has, however, made it clear that the district authorities would not allow anyone to force any school not to observe or celebrate Christmas.Also readDon’t celebrate Christmas where Hindu students are majority: Hindu outfit warns Aligarh schoolsAll school managements have been assured that full security would be provided to them on Christmas and no one would be allowed to take law into their own hands, Pandey told PTI yesterday. Expressing concern over this, Praveen Agarwal, president of the Public School Development Society (Aligarh), said, “Each year we celebrate festivals belonging to all communities and this experience helps our children to play a responsible role as citizens of this country.”The Manch was in the news last month when it announced its decision to launch a “reverse love jihad” campaign by setting a target of 2,100 Muslim brides for Hindu men in the next six months under a campaign called “beti bachao, bahu lao”. Last year, the right-wing group launched its “anti-love jihad” and “save Hindu girl” campaign in Uttar Pradesh, where they planned to hold classes in all schools run by its parent organisation to “educate” youngsters about the “ill-effects” of marrying a Muslim.

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Sebi to regulate Bitcoin-inspired illicit investment schemes

Market watchdog Sebi will come down heavily on illicit ‘initial coin offers’ seeking public investments with promise of high returns from Bitcoins and other virtual currencies, amid a mushrooming of such schemes in the absence of any regulatory regime.However, Sebi is not keen to take on the mantle of a regulator for such ‘trading’ — currently being offered on a number of so-called exchanges despite there being no rules in this regard — as the underlying product, which is Bitcoin or any such crypto currency, is not an approved product by RBI or any other agency, top officials said.At the same time, Sebi cannot allow gullible investors to be taken for a ride with unlawful promises by these exchanges and those claiming to ‘mint’ crypto currencies. A number of them are suspected to be indulging in fraudulent activities without actually minting any such virtual currencies that require very complex algorithms, the officials noted.Also readBitcoin surges past $17,000 for first time as concerns mountA number of ‘coin offerings’ being made in India are nothing but fraudulent Ponzi or pyramid schemes, including some offering secondary trading in Bitcoins or other established virtual currencies, while many others are plain frauds without any such currency actually being in play, they added.RBI has already made public its disapproval for all such currencies and has said it has not approved any of them, while tax authorities recently conducted searches at various exchanges and are believed to have collected information on lakhs of entities including HNIs who could have ‘traded’ there.Also readRBI reiterates warning about trading in bitcoinsThe regulators and government agencies are in a state of quandary as even imposing a tax would amount to giving a legal status to such currencies, for which any consensus remains elusive given the huge risks, including money laundering and terrorist financing, attached with such activities.However, there is a kind of unanimity emerging about subjecting such trading to laws against black money, money laundering and frauds so that the interest of general public remains safeguarded, a senior official said, while adding that any final decision would be taken at highest level and a multi-regulatory panel may be assigned that job.A gravity-defying bitcoin rally to over Rs10 lakh a unit, interspersed with ‘stories’ of people making crores from thousands, has left the regulators flummoxed.The RBI has been issuing warnings since 2013, the first time when the surge in bitcoins caught the attention of Indians, but the risks have multiplied manifold now in the wake of a significant spurt in the valuation of many such virtual currencies and a rapid growth in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).Modelled on the Initial Public Offers or IPOs for issuance of new shares in the stock market, some entities have begun resorting to ICOs to raise funds from investors, including HNIs and other individuals, who are getting lured into claims of huge returns from bitcoins and other such variants — apparently getting minted in the digital world but also reaching the real world including as wedding gifts.

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More than 80K MCD students dropped out

As many as 85,412 students dropped out from the schools run by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs) during the academic year 2016-17, a report released by NGO Praja Foundation stated on Thursday.”The estimated drop out percentage in schools run by the North MCD is 6.1 percent, South MCD is 6 percent and state government schools is 3.4 percent,” the report titled ‘State of Public (School) Education in Delhi-2017’ said. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), however, has not provided any information on the number of dropouts in their schools.On average, from the three Municipal Corporations, in the last three years (2014-15 to 2016-17), the EDMC has witnessed the maximum dropout followed by North Delhi Municipal Corporation.”Number of drop outs from state government schools has been increasing in the past three years (2014-15 to 2016-17),” the report stated.The data has been compiled on the basis of RTIs received from 640 schools of MCD and 749 schools of state government.SCHOOL-STUDENT RATIO

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‘Alarming’ transition rate in Delhi govt, MCD schools

Almost half of the students studying in Delhi government schools did not move to the secondary level through examinations between 2015-17, while in primary and middle classes, they were promoted irrespective of their learning levels, states a report released by an NGO on Thursday.“The transition rate of students in state government schools from Class 9 to 10 at 56.95 percent whereas it is 98.55 percent from Class 7th to 8th for the academic year 2015-16 to 2016-17,” says the report titled ‘State of Public (School) Education in Delhi-2017’ which has been compiled by NGO Praja Foundation on the basis of information collected by RTIs and Surveys.Calling the transition rate “alarming”, the report said, “It clearly shows that students were promoted irrespective of the learning levels in the earlier years and the teachers either were ‘callous’ in their approach or the monitoring of RTE norms was not stringent.”Under Right to Education (RTE) 2009, it is mandatory to promote students to higher classes every year till Class VIII. The policy was instituted to check the high number of dropouts, but gradually experts cited it as a reason for high failure and drop-outs in Classes IX and X.“44 percent of the students enrolled in Class 9 in 2013-14 could not reach Class 12 in 2016-17. Similarly, 43 percent did not go to Class 10 in 2016-17 from Class 9,” the report said.However, adviser to the Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia Atishi Marlena said that the transition rate in state government schools have increased after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government came in power.“The failure rate in Class IX was constantly high because of no detention policy until last year as the AAP government has been taking constant efforts to help students,” she said.The report further highlighted the drop in enrollment numbers both in schools run by the AAP-led Delhi government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs), with highest drop of 30 percent being reported in class I, between 2010 to 2017.“Enrollment in class I has gone down from 1,92820 in 2010-11 to 1,35,491 in 2016-17 in MCD and state government schools,” it stated.While Delhi government officials held “deteriorating state” of MCD schools, responsible for the drop in enrollment in class I, officials at the civic bodies cited “insufficient resources” as the reason behind this. “Primary education in Delhi is under the MCDs and the condition of their schools are really bad. Why would anyone prefer to send their children in these schools,” Marlena said.Besides, the overall drop in enrollment was reportedly 7 percent from 2013-14 to 2016-17 in these schools. “Total enrollment fell down by 1,76743 students, including 93,444 MCD students and 83,299 state government students, from 2013-14 to 2016-17,” the Praja report said.Meanwhile, the report also revealed that 85 percent students from Municipal schools and 74 percent from state government schools are taking private tuitions “It shows that the parents are not satisfied with the quality of education being offered in these schools,” it added.

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Will prayer reach God if you pray on illegal property?

“Will prayer reach God if you pray on illegal property? What is the sanctity in that?”, the Delhi High court asked on Tuesday while dealing with encroachments around the 108-feet tall Hanuman statue in the Karol Bagh area of Central Delhi.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar made the remarks while hearing a host of matters relating to illegal constructions in the Karol Bagh area of the national capital. The bench directed the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC)’s additional commissioner to inspect all the buildings in Old Rajinder Nagar within a week from Tuesday.”No status report filed. Additional Commissioner of NDMC to physically inspect the building in Old Rajinder Nagar within one week from today,” the court said in its order.The bench also directed the additional commissioner”to place the details and records pertaining to the construction of the Link Road and the pavement on which the encroachments have come up”. The court’s direction came when the additional standing counsel of the Delhi government, advocate Satyakam, informed the court that one paw of the Hanuman Idol at Karol Bagh is on the pavement maintained by the Public Works Department (PWD) of the Delhi government and the rest on the land possessed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).To this the court posed a query about the ownership and maintenance of the Hanuman idol to which it was informed that the idol is maintained by a trust run by one Om Prakash Giri and his father had started the trust in 1981. It was also said that the bank statements of the trust are being examined.”Who is maintaining the idol? Who is the owner of the trust? Where do they get the authority to maintain it,” the court asked as it expressed its displeasure on the ongoing commercial activities and illegal car parking in the area.The court also said that all the encroachments “will be dealt with,” thereby stating that it will prosecute the officers under whose tenure the encroachments had come up.

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21 posts still vacant in many tribunals, councils

As many as 21 vacancies in various councils and tribunals of Rajasthan continue to remain unfilled since past two years despite Rajasthan high court’s directions.Various departments had filled their vacancies after a sou moto cognisance was started by the court in 2015. However, certain political postings, including the post of the chairman of Rajasthan Public Servant Council has not been filled till now.Rajasthan Kisan Ayog under the Agriculture Department as total nine positions sanctioned and all of them are vacant till now.In addition to this, two out of three positions continue to remain empty in the waqf tribunal. In the latest hearing on Monday, the court verbally directed advocate general NM Lodha to provide an explanation regarding vacant posts and what steps are being taken by the government for the same.“The court has asked the reason for these vacancies. It is of the view that the time taken to fill it could be around one or two months, and not years.The Human Rights commission did not have a chairman for five years, and now two members are not there for years. Even Waqf tribunal doesn’t have members from years. You can’t say it is an ongoing process,” said Prateek Kasliwal, amicus curiae of the case.“It was only after the court had taken the cognizance that most of these departments had started filling their posts,” Kasliwal added. While explained the reason behind the cognisance, Kasliwal said that the court has taken cognisance as these tribunals and commissions have been created to ease out the work, and for proper administration and adjudication of the dispute.“However, if the vacancies remain unfilled, the burden is shifted to the courts.There is no proper administration of the justice for which these tribunals were formed,” Kasliwal said. It is to be noted that Sharma was appointed for a short period of three months in July 2017.

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KEDL organises meet to dispose doubts on smart meters

Amid rising protest against the installation of smart meters in Kota city, Kota Electricity Distribution Limited (KEDL) on Sunday evening organised a consumer meet on the benefits of Smart Meter. KEDL team comprising of technical experts, through a PowerPoint Presentation, explained how a consumer gets all the information about his power consumption easily on his mobile or laptop after installing a Smart Meter.The consumers can also keep a track of the electricity savings as this information is available in every 15 minutes of power consumption. With the smart meter, a meter reader is also not required to take the readings at the consumer’s residence. Furthermore, there is absolutely no possibility of error in bill reading due to human negligence.The experts also informed the consumer does not have to bother to file a complaint if power is shut down as the Smart Meter automatically updates the information at the company’s command station.Meanwhile, the locals in the city have been protesting against the installation of smart meters in the city alleging the smart meters records high reading of power consumption. Locals in various areas of the city have formed separate ‘Sangarsh Samitis’ to fight against the installation of smart meters.‘Smart meters are the machine of robbery and the government has given a free hand to the private company to loot the public’, told Brajesh Vijayvergya, spokesperson of a protesting group against smart meters. The smart meter runs fast and records very reading but the private company is covering this fact and highlighting only the technical benefits of the smart meters, he said. Brajesh Vijay also pointed out that the smart meters are being installed only in those localities where the consumers pay bills regularly while it has left the localities developed on encroachment areas where people do not pay any electric bills.The public is forced for installation of smart meters and it is unfortunate that no public representative is coming up for public support, told OP Saxena, a resident of Dadabari area. ‘Smart meter is a tool to open loot from the public in the name of consumption’, he said adding the power company and the government should first ensure payment from the consumers as a large number of power consumers still do not pay bills in encroachment localities. Protest by local residentsThe locals in the city have been protesting against the installation of smart meters alleging the they records high reading of consumption. Locals in various areas have formed separate ‘Sangarsh Samitis’ to fight against the installation of smart meters. ‘Smart meters are the machine of robbery and the government has given a free hand to the private company to loot the public’, told Brajesh Vijayvergya, spokesperson of a protesting group against smart meters.

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

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

The Delhi High Court today asked the historic Delhi Public Library (DPL) to preserve its books which are locked since November last year.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar observed that since the DPL is locked and its members have been prohibited from entering the premises, the books and other valuables lying there might get damaged.It directed the authorities to remove the books, CDs, computers, catalogues and other important material lying in the library to be shifted to the head office or any other safe location.The court passed the order after it was informed that the books may get damaged as the building has been locked since November 15 last year.The first Delhi Public Library was started by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru across the old Delhi railway station way back in 1951.The bench refrained from passing any order on the DPL Board’s application seeking direction to repair the holes in ceiling of the library so that it can be used partially. The bench said it will deal with this aspect on January 16 next year. The court on December 4 last year had extended till March 20 its order restraining North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) from demolishing the building.
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Deadline by NGT ends today

With deadline issued by National Green Tribunal (NGT) to recover a penalty from illegal sand crushers coming to an end on Thursday, the local administration at Kotputli tehsil along the Jaipur-Delhi National Highway has swung into action to attach the properties of the people involved. The 134 offenders had to deposit a penalty of Rs 10 lakh each, as the penalty to replenish the green cover they have damaged. Or else their property would be attached and auctioned.This action is in compliance with the NGT order is case number 116/2013 against illegal sand crushers. It had been filed by activist Nityendra Manav of Jeevan Bachao Aandolan against Rajasthan government. The NGT had on November 6, 2017, sought compliance with its order and decided December 7, 2017, as the date for ensuring compliance.Speaking to DNA, Jaipur collector Sidharth Mahajan said, “Attachment of moveable and immovable property of these offenders is being done under the Public Demand Recovery (PDR) Act. We are also making lien entry in revenue records so that the land cannot be sold or mortgaged.” “We are also writing to banks to not provide loans against these lands,” confirmed Mahajan to DNA.Further, seven illegal stone mines have been shut down in Kalyanpura village of Kotputli tehsil and a penalty of 212 crores slapped on them. Also, the police force has been deployed in the Buchara village to check illegal mining and crushers. This action is being taken to comply orders of NGT in case number 45/2017 also by Manav. These villages had been identified as having the largest number of illegal stone mines and crushers.NGT has sought a list of those engaged in legal mining and stone quarry with their environment clearance (EC). As per NGT, now all engaged in mining would have to make roads from the mines to the closest government roads and plant trees on both sides.Speaking to DNA, petitioner Nityendra Manav said, “The entire area of Kotputli has been ransacked by illegal mining. The NGT has taken a very welcome step. Especially, replenishing the green cover at the cost of the offenders and also asking them to make roads.” “The damage is irreparable, we hope it can be contained,” Manav told DNA.The shutdownThis action is in compliance with the NGT order is case number 116/2013 against illegal sand crushers.7 illegal stone mines have been shut down in Kalyanpura village of Kotputli tehsil
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Tarun Tejpal rape case: SC asks Bombay HC to start examining witnesses

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Bombay High Court to conduct a trial and examination of the witnesses in the rape case against former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal.The apex court has also asked the state high court to decide on Tarun Tejpal’s plea seeking discharge. Earlier on September 28, a Goa court charged Tejpal with rape, sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of a woman. Public Prosecutor, Fransisco Tavora informed that charges against Tejpal have been farmed under section 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (assault or use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe), 341 and 342 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).Tavora also informed “Tejpal has pleaded not guilty.” Earlier, 54-year-old Tejpal couldn’t get any relief from the Bombay High Court at Goa. The High Court refused to stay the process of framing of charges against Tejpal at a lower court in Mapusa in North Goa.Also readTarun Tejpal, former Tehelka editor, charged with rape by Goa court; next hearing on November 21This is the first case in recent times in which the probe has relied on “position of trust” as a crucial aspect in an allegation of rape. Tejpal is indicted of sexually assaulting a junior woman colleague inside a lift at Hotel Grand Hyatt during an event organised by the Tehelka magazine in Goa in November.
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Will an app solve perils of potholes?

City residents may soon have a mobile app to report about potholes in their areas. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, in a review meeting to discuss the state of potholed roads, asked the Public Works Department (PWD) to launch a mobile application for residents where they can report and share their feedback on potholes. “The app would facilitate identification of the location using GPS besides informing the complainant about the details of the road-owning agency concerned,” said the L-G. Besides, PWD Minister Satyendar Jain, who was also present in the meeting, emphasised on the need for immediate repair of potholes to take care of road safety as well as pollution mitigation through dust control. “PWD will work as the nodal agency for the repair of potholes. These potholes are one of the major causes of fatal incidents on the roads. The PWD will coordinate for repairs among various road-owning agencies in Delhi such as DDA, NDMC, MCDs, NHAI, and Delhi Cantonment Board,” Baijal said. Meanwhile, construction of Barapullah Flyover, widening of the road near Savitri Flyover and greening of central verges was also discussed in the meeting. The L-G instructed the DDA and PWD to conduct a joint site inspection to resolve their issues so that the work on the flyover and the road near Savitri flyover can be completed at the earliest. “In view of the directions of Delhi High Court, the LG has asked PWD principal secretary to commence the road widening work near Savitri Flyover at the earliest,” said a statement issued by the L-G. Baijal also stressed that roadside greening and plantation at central verges must be expedited. It was also discussed in the meeting that other road owning agencies such as local bodies, DDA, NHAI, NDMC and Delhi Cantonment Board should also do greening of central verges in their respective jurisdiction.
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DNA EXCLUSIVE: Maha forms panel to prepare startup policy for public univs

Maharashtra government has launched an exercise to put in place policy to promote startups by public universities. The objective is to create an ecosystem for the startups on the lines of IITs, IIMs and the Stanford University.The government has formed a 14 member committee headed by the vice chancellor of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University Dr Vilas Gaikar with a mandate to prepare a draft startup policy in next six months.The committee comprises representatives of industry, leading educational institutes including IIT, Mumbai and education experts. The government’s move comes against the backdrop of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2017 which came into effect from March this year. The policy will be applicable in 11 public universities and universities such as SNDT Women’s University and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University.”The committee will prepare a policy and a broad framework, guiding principles for students who will be part of startups and also work out a framework for the inclusion of various industries in the startups. According to the section 53 of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2017, the public universities will lay emphasis on innovation, incubation and enterprise for creation of cultivation of an enabling environment to propagate the concept of innovation and to convert the innovative ideas into working models through a process of incubation. This is expected to lead to the creation of enterprise. The public universities will establish a separate Board for this purpose.Further, the public universities will set up an independent Centre for innovation, incubation and enterprise and it will exercise the powers and perform the duties designed by the Board.The officer said the public universities will take a cue from existing startups and innovation ventures by IITs and IIMs. He referred to the SINE, Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, hosted by Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay which is an umbrella for promotion of entrepreneurship at IIT Bombay. Similar setups also exist at IIM Ahmedabad and Kolkata.
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Delhi High Court seeks status report on non-release of bailed undertrials

After a plea contended that over 300 undertrials were rotting in Tihar jail even after being granted bail, the Delhi High Court has sought a status report from the Delhi government.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar told the government to file the report by Saturday. The report must include details of the prisoners, cases in which they were involved, orders on bail or sentence, and reasons for not letting them out.The bench also appointed former Director General of Police, Sudhir Yadav, as amicus curiae to assist the court in this matter.The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Ajay Verma, who claimed that despite judicial bail orders, 326 prisoners are languishing in the jail and their release has not been facilitated due to non-furnishing of the surety bonds.The plea sought the formulation of guidelines and directions. It mentioned that many of the undertrials have not been released despite bail orders, due to non-fulfillment of conditions attached to the bail orders due to poverty and ignorance.”In most of the cases, no one on their behalf had even bothered to move to the court for relaxing, waving or reduction of the conditions imposed on them,” the plea said, adding, that the apex court had also directed that the legal services authorities take up those cases before the concerned court to relax the bail conditions.
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Train derailed in Delhi; no casualties reported so far

Updated: Nov 28, 2017, 12:45 PM IST, ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A passenger train derailed in Delhi on Tuesday; however no one was hurt in the incident, confirmed Northern Railways here.The Palwal-New Delhi-Ghaziabad passenger train (64055) derailed after one of its wheels went off the track at Okhla.”The Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) and other officers have reached the spot while arrangements were being made to evacuate the passengers,” the Northern Railways’ Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) further informed.The CPRO also stated that there was no major disruption to traffic due to the derailment.

Live updates | Gujarat Elections: PM Narendra Modi addresses rally in Bhuj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) kickstarted the election campaign in Gujarat on Sunday with “Mann Ki Baat, Chai Ke Saath”–an event where party leaders of the saffron party listened to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address while sipping tea at all the polling booths across the state. As the battle for Gujarat Assembly elections 2017 intensifies, PM Modi has reached Gujarat on a 3-day visit where he will address at least eight rallies in different parts of Kuch, Saurashtra and south Gujarat.In a fortnight starting today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address between 32 and 35 rallies in his home state Gujarat.On Monday, the Prime Minister begins his campaign from Bhuj, a BJP stronghold that also has 33 percent, Muslim voters. Here are the live updates of PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Gujarat:Watch: PM Modi addresses Public Meeting in Kutch, Gujarat​I am grateful for all the ‘kichad’ being thrown at me, after all, a lotus blooms only in ‘kichad’ so, I don’t mind if more is thrown at me: PM Narendra Modi10:45 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met locals outside Ashapura Mata temple in Gujarat’s Kutch9.54 am: Prime Minister Modi reaches Ashapura templePreparations underway for PM Narendra Modi’s public meeting in Bhuj

Delhi police employ less than 4% minority members: Report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite having a strength of around 80,000 personnel, the Delhi Police employs less than four per cent of members from minority communities in its ranks, according to a report by the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC).The annual report, released by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday, also shows that Muslims, the largest minority group in Delhi, form less than two per cent of the police force in the Capital.The report said the force has 1,388 Muslim personnel and 697 Christian personnel. It added that the Delhi Police employs just 856 Sikh personnel. “The Delhi Police has 1.79 per cent personnel from the Muslim community. In total, it has 3,035 personnel from minority communities who form 3.91 per cent of the total strength of the force,” the commission said in its report.In the report, the DMC has identified twelve departments and corporations of which members of the minority communities are a part. Apart from the police, the Delhi Fire Service (DFS) has a total of 26 members from minority communities which is the lowest among 12 departments and corporations.The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) employs 283 members from minority communities. However, the Directorate of Training tops the list at 13.33 per cent, followed by the Public Grievance Commission at 7.69 per cent and the Directorate General of Home Guards at 5.22 per cent.The report further flagged the scarcity of graveyards and cemeteries in the city due to the lack of availability of land. As per the report, at present, there are just 131 graveyards while at one point of time there were over 650 graveyards.With an increase in population, the problem has increased with graveyards being overtaken by buildings and other structures.According to the Census 2011, the Muslim Population in Delhi is 21,58,684, while the Christian population is 1,46,093.

IIT-B students bag pre-placement jobs, software leads the numbers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), are looking forward to having a great placement season this year with 137 pre-placement offers (PPOs) already in the institute’s kitty. The number has seen a good increase as compared to 2016 wherein the institute had got 119 offers.The IT or Software sector has attracted the most number of offers like the last few year with 37 offers followed by core engineering and technology companies with 32 offers. This is followed by the Finance Sector from which the institute has got 29 offers so far. Tom Mathews, professor in Charge of Placements, at the institute, said overall pre-placement scene at the institute is better as compared to that of last year. “We are getting more offers this year and are hoping to get a good number of companies during the placement season” added Mathews.So far, seven Fast Moving Consumers Goods (FMCG) firms have come up with PPOs at the institute. When asked about startups and Public Sector Undertakings, Mathews said many companies from both these sectors have shown interest but refused to share any further details. Mathews also confirmed that some offshore companies have shown interest this year. A member of the institute placement committee said that after the ban on startups was lifted, a good number of startups have shown interest in participating this year.

SC rules stringent bail provision in PMLA unconstitutional

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a stringent provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), deeming it unconstitutional. SC bench led by Justice Nariman deemed section 45 of the act as unconstitutional, reports ANI. The Modi government had strongly defended the provision dealing with stringent bail conditions, saying it is an effective tool to curb the menace of black money. According to News 18, the apex court accepted the contention of petitioners that this provision is bad in law, as it adheres to the principle of ‘jail is rule and bail an exception’. In essence, SC has set aside all orders in which bail was denied using the stringent provision and those case have to be heard afresh. Here’s what the section 45 in PMLA is45. Offences to be cognizable and non-bailable.—(1) 1Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), no person accused of an offence punishable for a term of imprisonment of more than three years under Part A of the Schedule shall be released on bail or on his own bond unless—(i) the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release; and(ii) where the Public Prosecutor opposes the application, the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail: Provided that a person who is under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm, may be released on bail, if the special court so directs: Provided further that the Special Court shall not take cognizance of any offence punishable under section 4 except upon a complaint in writing made by—(i) the Director; or(ii) any officer of the Central Government or State Government authorised in writing in this behalf by the Central Government by a general or a special order made in this behalf by that Government.28 (1A) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), or any other provision of this Act, no police officer shall investigate into an offence under this Act unless specifically authorised, by the Central Government by a general or special order, and, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.(2) The limitation on granting of bail specified in 29 *** sub-section (1) is in addition to the limitations under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or any other law for the time being in force on granting of bail.

Believe it or not, Cement bag costs Rs 8000 at this border town in Arunachal Pradesh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>People living in Vijoynagar town of Arunachal Pradesh pay Rs 8,000 for one bag of cement, that too if it is available.Vijoynagar, a sub-divisional town under Changlang district with just 1500 residents, has no proper surface communication. People have to walk for five days from the nearest thoroughfare in Miao to reach the town.Though there is a weekly helicopter service for transporting supplies but that is largely subjected to weather condition.”People in this town, mostly inhabited by Chakmas and Hajongs, charge Rs 8,000 for a bag of cement and flat Rs 2,000 for WC pan,” Public Health Engineering department junior engineer Jumli Ado told PTI.The PHE department is undertaking construction of Individual Household Latrine (IHHL) in the town, a project partially funded by Centre – Rs 10,800 from the central government and Rs 9,200 by the state for one IHHL.”All materials are transported to Vijoynagar, at the India-China-Myanmar tri-junction, through Namdapha National Park by Chakmas. They charge Rs 8,000 per bag of cement (Rs 150 per kg),” Ado disclosed.They carry those materials physically and walk down 156 km for five days to reach the destination, Ado said, adding one could imagine the challenges this hilly state faces in achieving the open defecation free (ODF) status by December.Ado, while taking part in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – Gramin (SBA-gramin) awareness programme at Namphainong village of the district on November 4, had said despite numerous challenges IHHL project is moving at a fast pace.State Civil Supply Minister Kamlung Mossang, who represents Miao assembly constituency, said the state government has approved a road construction project for the area.Bordumsa village (headman) Shekhep and ODF consultant Nyabon Pongtey added that journey to Vijoynagar by foot is a herculean task. Development naturally moves at a snail’s speed in this part of the state, they said.”Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had announced in Itanagar in July 2014 a central government proposal to populate nearly 100 villages situated along the border. Though Arunachal shares international boundary of 1,680 km with Bhutan, China and Myanmar, the the project has not seen the light of the day,” Shekhep lamented.Development is still a mirage in this sensitive border state for lack of connectivity even after three decades of establishment. Many of the inhabited villages in far-flung areas are inaccessible and deprived of essential commodities.The North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA), largest among seven NE states, was created in 1954. It became a union territory and was renamed Arunachal Pradesh on January 20, 1972 and finally statehood on February 20, 1987.The Central Purchase Organization (CPO) with base at Mohanbari in Assam’s Dibrugarh district, now known as the public distribution system (PDS), was very effective in the 80s when essential items were airdropped in many remote areas.With the PDS proving ineffective, today salt which costs Rs 20 per kg in state capital is about Rs 250 in many border areas, including Vijoynagar.”People living in the border areas are forced to migrate to urban places for lack of basic amenities. These ghost towns along the border are one of the reasons why China is entering the territory,” former finance minister Late Kalikho Pul had told a tribal ministers’ conference in New Delhi on October 28, 2014.

Affidavit before Calcutta High Court: Bengal govt revises dengue deaths to 38

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Calcutta High Court expressed its displeasure over the affidavit submitted by the Bengal government over dengue deaths, the state on Thursday revised the dengue toll in the state to 38 and claimed that the media was sensationalising the issue by creating a situation “out of nothing”.Advocate General (AG) Kishore Dutta submitted before a division bench of Acting Chief Justice J Bhattacharya and Justice Arijit Banerjee that 23 people had died of the vector-borne disease in the state-run hospitals and another 15 in private facilities since January. He said the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed on the basis of newspaper reports only and that it was not clear whether Elisa test was performed on all those dead.Justice Arijit Banerjee said dengue was a social menace and the state should tackle the problem. The court also observed that it was not satisfied with the data submitted by the state and asked how was the state so sure that private hospitals were not carrying out Elisa test.Lawyer for the petitioner, Partha Ghosh claimed that on Friday they would prove that the figure of death put forward by the state was not true. “They have said the total death was 38. We will prove tomorrow that it was misleading. The actual figure is a lot more. Several deaths have been tagged death owing to ‘unknown fever’. People have the right to know how many lives have dengue claimed in the state. They have provided technical details which people are not interested in. They want to know how many people have actually died and what the state was doing to tackle the situation and to prevent a re-run of the thing next year,” he said.Two BSF jawans have also died of dengue. A senior BSF official said while head constable V Bala Naik died on November 12, another, Abhay Kumar Singh died on Wednesday.In another development, CPM MLA Sujan Chakraborty has been diagnosed of dengue and has been admitted to a private hospital off EM Bypass.

PIL seeks third gender column for state exams

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Calcutta High Court, filed on November 13, has sought that the state government introduce a third gender column in all forms for state public examinations.Filed by Arnab Nandy, a High Court lawyer, the PIL was in accordance with a Supreme Court judgement on April 15, 2014 for a PIL filed by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) that also sought the creation of a third gender status for members of the transgender community. The apex court had ruled that public examination of Central and all state government should have a column for the third gender, but the state had not done so, even in forms of recruitment examination through the West Bengal Public Service Commission. “Which is why we have filed the PIL seeking an intervention of the High Court for the immediate implementation of the SC order,” said Kaushik Gupta, Nandy’s lawyer.Vice-chairman for the West Bengal Transgender Development Board, Manabi Bandopadhyay, however, said that for the true development of transgenders, more than a separate column there should be reservations for members of the community just like there is for Scheduled Caste, Scheculed Tribe and Other Backward Class members.

No FIR can be filed against a judge: Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>SC bench headed by Arun J Misra in their judgment have said, “There cannot be registration of any FIR against a High Court Judge or Chief Justice of the High Court or the Supreme Court Judge without the consultation of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India and, in case there is an allegation against Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, the decision has to be taken by the Hon’ble President, in accordance with the procedure prescribed” It all started when the matter pertaining to an alleged bribery scam in which retired Orissa High Court Judge IM Quddusi was arrested, among others, and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) lodged an FIR. The FIR said, Quddusi allegedly used his influence to help Uttar Pradesh-based Prasad Education Trust in “settling” a matter involving their plea to set up medical colleges pending in the Supreme Court.The Trust owned one of the 46 medical colleges barred by the central government from admitting students. The accused were subsequently granted bail, but the same was not challenged by CBI. Following granting of the bail, two parties (advocate Kamini Jaiswal and the NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms represented by Bhushan) filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking the constitution of an SIT to investigate the allegations, with a retired judge monitoring the same.On Thursday, a Supreme Court bench, consisting of Justices J Chelameshwar and Abdul Nazeer, referred the Public Interest Litigation, in the matter, to a five-judge bench, scheduled to conduct a hearing on Monday. However, the case took an interesting turn on Friday, when another Supreme Court bench comprising the current CJI Deepak Misra, pronounced the order by Justice J Chelameswar null and void. The matter was then heard by a three judge bench comprising of Justices A K Agarwal, A M Khanwilkar and Arun Mishra, where the petitioners refused to argue on the merits of the case, citing the presence of Justice AM Khanwilkar on the Bench, since he was one of the judges who had heard the controversial medical college case. More drama unfolded as the matter was being heard by the bench and they raised questions on propriety and “forum shopping” by the petitioners. However, some key highlights of the judgment passed today cast a shadow of doubt in our minds. SC says, “There cannot be registration of any FIR against a High Court Judge or Chief Justice of the High Court or the Supreme Court Judge without the consultation of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India and that independence of judiciary cannot be left at the mercy of the CBI or that of the police is a red herring.” Further more Justice Arun Mishra left no stone unturned while pronouncing the judgment, he said, ” The FIR is not against any judge in SC and neither is it possible to register FIR against a judge. The senior councils attempted forum shopping to seek a favourable order and it was unethical of them to do so. They did not verify the position of law and unnecessary doubt was raised on this institution. Proper verification of facts were not made before filing this petition. We expect that good shall prevail in this institution. Let us unite and work together for the welfare of this great institution. We are not initiating contempt procedure and the matter should stop at this.We have also observed that even we are not above law”. Refuting special investigation team (SIT) probe in the medical college bribery matter, SC has defended itself completely and has questioned the basis of the allegations, SC said, “No Judge can be held responsible for what may, or has happened in the corridors, or for ‘who purports to sell whom’. The alleged actions of a retired Judge of a High Court, allegedly assuring and promising, a ‘favourable’ decision in the aforesaid circumstances of the case which was then pending before this Court, in the aforesaid circumstances and has assured favourable orders, begs the question, and we wonder, as to what favourable orders have been passed. As is apparent from the aforesaid narration of facts, there was no favourable order granted by this Court in favour of the medical college for the current academic session 2017-18, rather its inspection for considering confirmation of letter of permission for the next yearn 2018-19 had been ordered”. The issue related to “Conflict of Interest ” which questioned the CJI’s involvement in the case was also lucidly clarified, SC said, “There is no conflict of interest in such a matter. In case Judge is hearing a matter and if he comes to know that any party is unscrupulously trying to influence the decision making or indulging in malpractices, it is incumbent upon the Judge to take cognizance of such a matter under Contempt of Courts Act and to deal with and punish such person in accordance with law as that is not the conflict of interest but the purpose for which the entire system exists. Such things cannot be ignored and recusal of a Judge cannot be asked on the ground of conflict of interest, it would be the saddest day for the judicial system of this country to ignore such aspects on the unfounded allegations and materials. It was highly improper for the petitioner to allege conflict of interest in the petition filed that the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India should not hear on judicial side or allocate the matter on the administrative side” Judge Vs Judge and the contest of intra-judicial authority seems to have gone back to the dark cave. This showdown in the apex court has now received its happy ending or as some may call it good riddance from high voltage drama.

UGC rules not followed, says Arun Sawant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a letter addressed to the office of the governor, Arun Sawant, Former Pro-VC at the University of Mumbai has alleged that the state government and the office of the governor are not following the norms laid down by the University Grants Commission (UGC) with respect to the formation of the Search Committee for the appointment of the University’s Vice-Chancellor post.In his four-page letter, Sawant has objected to the appointment of Dr K Kasturirangan, former Chief of ISRO as the chairperson of the search committee.”I am surprised your office has not bothered to check the constitutional validity of process of appointing VC. Wrong rules are set out again in Maharashtra Public University Act to appoint University VC.Now, as many times before, appointing an eminent scientist as chairman of the Search Committee for selecting VC of Mumbai University is absolutely wrong. No doubt he is an expert in Space Science but is not a distinguished “academician” as set out in UGC Regulations,” states the letter citing the 2009 UGC guidelines.Criticising the provisions of the Maharashtra Public University Act of 2016, as per which the retired Judge of the Supreme Court or retired Chief Justice of a High Court or an eminent scholar can be a member of the committee, Sawant said that “a judge or an eminent scholar is not suitable for making appointments to the post of VC.The state government cannot form its own rules for VC appointment when a set of rules made by the apex body — UGC — already exists.On October 25, the Governor of Maharashtra Ch Vidyasagar Rao constituted a Search Committee, under the chairmanship of Dr K Kasturirangan, for the appointment of the VC at University of Mumbai, days after Dr Sanjay Deshmukh was removed from his post for the unprecedented result mess.THE APPOINTMENTOn October 25, the Governor of Maharashtra Ch Vidyasagar Rao constituted a Search Committee, under the chairmanship of Dr K Kasturirangan, for the appointment of the VC, days after Dr Sanjay Deshmukh was removed from his post for the result mess.

Gujarat High Court reserves order on appointment of regular DGP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat high court has reserved its order on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking appointment of a regular Director General of Police (DGP). The state government’s submitted that its police force was under the Election Commission at present because of the Model Code of Conduct and so the state government can’t make a move.Former IPS officer Rahul Sharma moved a PIL alleging that since 2016, the state has been avoiding the appointment of a regular DGP and continues with an in-charge. According to the petitioner, because of an in-charge DGP, the force is demoralised. There is a possibility that a political party in power can influence the in-charge officer, which is less probable if there is a regular DGP.His further contention was that the regular DGP builds confidence of the force for policing. For the safety of the society and the state, a regular DGP is a must. It is the state’s obligation to appoint a regular DGP from the three seniormost IPS officers, who can serve in the office for a minimum of two years from the date of taking over.The petition was heard by the first division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi. On its last hearing, the state government submitted that the Assembly elections had been notified and the Model Code of Conduct was in place, but the state can’t appoint a regular DGP.The state government’s stand was challenged on Friday by the petitioner’s advocate IH Syed citing the EC’s Model Code. He drew the court’s attention to transfers and posting of officers. In this section it is clearly mentioned, “No appointments or promotions in government/public undertakings will be made during this period, without prior clearance of the Commission.”which clearly means that the state government is duty bound to move a request to the EC seeking permission to appoint the regular DGP.Advocate General Kamal Trivedi submitted that the entire force was under the EC and the state government can’t transfer or make any appointment. After both parties submission concluded, the first court has kept its order reserved for Monday.

Maharashtra: 15,000 auto drivers on strike in Palghar District, commuters stranded

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 15,000 autorickshaw drivers from Vasai-Virar region and in the adjoining areas of entire Palghar District went on strike demanding the immediate construction of brake test track, which was ordered by the Bombay High Court this month.Thousands of commuters were left stranded due to the strike.The Bombay High Court on September 14, had granted time till April end next year to provide 250-metre-long tracks to conduct brake tests of vehicles in all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs).A division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice Riyaz Chagla was hearing Srikant Karve’s PIL alleging that RTO officers were issuing fitness certificates to various vehicles without mandatory checks laid down under the Motor Vehicles Act. “We have been told to visit Kalyan RTO for the brake test despite the closest being Vasai RTO. The government should ensure that they construct the track as soon as possible so that we do not suffer. The strike is called against the government for failing to develop the brake test track.”, said Vijay Khetle,President,Auto Rickshaw Taxi Chalak Mahasangh.”The Public Works Department should allocate the land and develop the track. Thousands of new transport vehicle owners will have to go at Kalyan and get the test conducted which will be a major hassle.”, said Khetle.

Ramp at Andheri station FOB a bane

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A ramp built on the foot overbridge (FOB) at Andheri railway station to facilitate the movement of the differently abled and senior citizens has not only been termed ‘dangerous’ by them, but is also seeing able bodied commuters slip and fall.The ramp located on the busiest Borivli end of the FOB that connects to the skywalk seems to have been designed ignoring the fact that the differently abled, the elderly or those with knee issues would find walking on such a steep ramp even more challenging than stairs.In fact, this FOB sees maximum footfall as it also leads to the skywalk as well as the Andheri Metro station. Andheri west resident Rahul Deshmukh, who suffers from polio, said that the ramp was nothing short of a joke played on those with a disability.”I take the two stairs to alight and never use the ramp as I ?feel it’s risky. I find it sad that while other nations take so much effort to design public spaces to ensure the disabled are not inconvenienced, we can’t even design a ramp properly,” he said.Architect Pranav Naik said that this is a problem that comes from the apathy of the people who designed the two bridges, and that the ramp was an afterthought. “The slope (1:2) is too steep for any person to walk safely. The only solution now would be to make steps in its place, or break a larger portion of both bridges and make a ramp with the correct slope (1:12). This problem cannot be solved without extensive structural changes,” he said.Jitendra Satam, a senior citizen who almost slipped while taking the ramp, said that those who design such a flawed public amenity should be fined.”I would have certainly twisted my ankle as I slipped while walking down the ramp. Also, some tiles are missing at the end of the ramp,” he said adding that it’s surprising that the Railways has not even bothered to rectify this ramp.Meanwhile, Western Railway Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO) Ravindra Bhakar said that the ramp will be broken and replaced by a proper slope. “We have received complaints and it will be rectified soon,” he said.WR REACTSWR Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO) Ravindra Bhakar said that the ramp will be broken and replaced by a proper slope.

Shiv Sena to contest over 50 seats in first phase

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ally in Maharashtra, will contest over 50 seats in the first phase of Assembly elections in Gujarat, a top party leader said here on Thursday. It will contest mainly in Surat, Saurashtra and Kutch and will come out with a manifesto soon.Party leader Anil Desai said that Gujarat elections are very important. Hindutva and development will be the main issues on which it will seek mandate of the people. “Hindutva is an important part of the core of Shiv Sena’s ideology. Just like Maharashtra, Gujarat is progressive in education, health and other sectors but still a lot needs to be done,” Desai told mediapersons here. He was non-committal on whether party president Uddav Thackeray will come to Gujarat for polling. However, he clarified that they are not in negotiations with any of the party or political formations for an alliance.The party has, however, not finalised the seats it will contest in the first phase. It also has plans to contest in the second phase for which announcement will be made at a later stage. Replying to a question, Desai said that BJP has deviated from its original goal of Hindutva and building Ram Temple.He came down heavily on the proposed Bullet Train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which was recently launched with much fanfare, and said that instead of taking the country in the right direction, the proposed train will take the country in reverse direction. Instead of focussing on such costly projects, the government should focus on improving the existing infrastructure and services,” said Desai.On demonetisation, which happened a year ago as well as Goods and Services Tax (GST) which was rolled out in the country four months ago, the party leader said that both in Maharashtra and Gujarat, businesses have slowed down. “The unorganised sector has been hit the most. The small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are in trouble and its cascading effect is being felt on other sectors as well,” he said.The government’s decision to merge Public Sector Banks (PSBs) has also not gone well with the party. Asked if the party would be able to make any impact in elections, Desai said that the party will put candidates for a win and not to enable anyone to win or lose.WHAT’S ON TABLEDevelopment and Hindutva will be the main issues on which the party will seek people’s mandate Sena is not in talks with any party for any sort of alliance However, it still hasn’t finalised all the seats it will contest in the first phase

In one year since DeMo, Rs 445-crore gold seized at airports

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Industrial Security Force, in charge of airport safety, has seized gold worth more than Rs 445 crore and silver worth over Rs 2.4 crore being transported illegally by passengers at various airports since demonetization. Apart from this, cash Rs 87.1765 crore was also recovered, CISF said on Thursday.A senior officer said that following demonetization and acting on an advisory from the Ministry of Finance, the CISF had issued directions to all its units at 59 airports to keep a close watch on movements of high volume of cash and gold in hand baggage. It was also directed to inform the Air Intelligence Unit of Income Tax Department of the respective airports for further action.Hemendra Singh, Assistant Inspector General and the Public Relations Officer, CISF, said that between November 8, 2016 and November 7, 2017, the CISF has recovered 1491.504 kg of gold, 577.637 kg of silver, and cash worth Rs 87.1765 crore.”During this period, the airports that witnessed highest gold recovery were Jaipur with 203.544 kg and Mumbai with 342.989 kg, while Delhi topped with 498.356 kg. Jaipur, however, saw the highest recovery of silver at 266.362 kg, followed by Ahmadabad with 103.704 kg and Delhi at 74.55 kg,” Singh said.Mumbai saw the most cash, Rs 33.29 crore, being recovered. Interestingly, Imphal witnessed recovery of the second highest amount of cash at Rs 16.60 crore, while Delhi saw only Rs 6.25 crore.The data showed that a major chunk of Rs 71.48 crore of cash was recovered within less than two months after demonetization was announced on November 8 last year. Only Rs 15.6871 crore was recovered in 2017 up to November 7.Also, no airport witnessed ‘no recovery’, even though Trivandrum, Madurai, Nagpur, Patna, Jodhpur and Bhavnagar saw minimal recoveries in that period.A senior officer said that the airports which lie in states sharing international boundaries or those with sea route connectivity witnessed a large number of recoveries.”Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Imphal, Jaipur saw major recoveries. These states either touch with international boundaries or have sea routes. There is a possibility of easy cross border movement from these location, which might have been one of the reasons of airports here seeing major portion of total recovery,” the officer said.RECOVERYCISF has recovered 1491.504 kg of gold, 577.637 kg of silver, cash worth Rs 87.1765 crore.
None of India’s 59 airports witnessed ‘no recovery’.

Schools continue classes, parents in a fix

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the Delhi government ordered all primary schools to shut down due to severe pollution, parents of children studying at the branches of DAV Public school were in a fix since they did not receive any notification about classes being suspended on Wednesday.Hassled parents waited for an email or SMS from the school until Tuesday night. “I had to send my seven-year-old son to school as no notification was issued by the authority until Wednesday morning,” said a parent of a Class II student at DAV Public School, Jasola Vihar.Several parents also raised the issue with Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on social networking sites. “Even after the government’s order, DAV Public school, Janakpuri remained open on Wednesday. I’m concerned about my child’s health. Plz do something,” tweeted a parent of a nursery student. There are around 30 branches of DAV school across the city.When contacted the Jasola Vihar Branch, officials claimed that they could not suspend the classes as they did not receive any notice from DAV’s management committee. “We can’t make any announcement until we receive instructions from the head office. Also, there were exams in some classes and we can’t re-schedule them at this short level,” the official said.However, officials at DAV primary school, Daryaganj, claimed that only a handful of students turned up in primary classes. “The strength of students in primary classes was very less. We did not conduct normal classes. Only indoor activities were organised for students,” an official said.According to Dr Nisha Peshin, Director of Public Schools, DAV, the head office had received the orders late on Tuesday.

Indian Americans raise $2.4 million for public health in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raised at the second annual gala of WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) in New York over the weekend, organisers of the event said USD 2 million of this was donated by Chirag Patel, co-CEO and chairman, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, and his family.This donation will go towards the soon-to-be established WHEELS India Niswarth (WIN) Foundation, which will be based out of the IIT-Gandhinagar and Indian Institute of Public Health-Gandhinagar campuses.The foundation will work on core areas of water and sanitation and maternal and child health groups.At its inaugural gala last year WGF had raised USD 200,000.”The increase in donations this year demonstrates that donors see the urgency of the issues faced and that WGF is a dedicated partner in alleviating issues faced by rural areas.We are deeply gratified by the generous donations of attendees, sponsors and raffle and auction prize donors,” said Suresh Shenoy, president, WGF.With a vision to use “technology to enable philanthropy,” WGF provides funds to develop Clean Drinking Water Plants (CDWP) in remote villages to alleviate health issues related to poor-quality drinking water, a media release said.

Centre advocates talk as it gains time in SC over Art 35A

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre on Monday bought itself a few months time in the issue pertaining to the constitutional validity of Article 35A that grants special status to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted that the Centre had recently appointed former Intelligence Bureau (IB) director Dineshwar Sharma as the interlocutor in the valley and sought an adjournment for six months.In August, the top court indicated that matters challenging the validity of Article 35A is an issue that should be decided by a five-judge bench. The apex court’s observations were made in response to a petition filed by a Kashmiri woman Dr Charu Wali Khanna, who is settled outside the state of Jammu & Kashmir.Article 35A empowers the state legislature of J & K to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to them. Under this article, Indians, except the original inhabitants of the state, are barred from acquiring immovable property in the state or obtain jobs under the state government, and availing state-sponsored scholarship schemes.In her petition, Khanna contended that Article 35A of the Constitution read with Section 6 of the Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir, related to inheritance of properties by non-state subjects, violates the fundamental right to equality guaranteed under Article 14.Khanna challenged the April 20, 1927, notification issued by Maharaja Bahadur of Kashmir, where widows and wives, who lived outside the state had no rights which are otherwise available to state subjects.In 1954, the 90-year notification was given Constitutional sanction under Article 370 by the Jawaharlal Nehru-led government and issued by President Rajendra Prasad.A Delhi based NGO — We the Citizens — filed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the scrapping of Article 35A claiming it to be unconstitutional and violative of fundamental rights. The PIL pleaded that a new article to the Constitution cannot be simply aided by a presidential order as has been done in 1954. According to the law, only Parliament can amend the Constitution. In its plea, the NGO has contended that taking refuge behind the provisions of the article, J&K has been discriminating against non-residents.So far, the Centre has avoided taking a stand. In an earlier hearing, A-G Venugopal submitted, “A conscious decision has been taken not to file any counter affidavit in this case, because the issues which are raised for adjudication, are pure questions of law.”

Don’t step on gas but beware the sting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After swine flu now the woes of dengue are increasing in the state as more than a thousand people have been reported positive. Till now, two deaths have been reported across the state in the last 15 days. In Sawai Man Singh Hospital, the largest hospital in the state, not a single death due to dengue has been reported so far this year.As per the health department, from January 1, 2017 a total 3,651 dengue positive cases have been detected and five deaths have occurred across the state. Kota is on top with 1,192 dengue cases reported this year followed by Jaipur with 1089 cases. Out of total 5 deaths in the state, 3 deaths have been reported in Kota and 2 were reported from Jaipur. As per official stats, in SMS Hospital, a total of 226 dengue patients were admitted from January till last Friday and no deaths have been reported in the hospital so far. Though, 18 dengue patients have been admitted in the hospital during last 24 hours but doctors said there was no need to panic.“Conditions are not alarming so far,” Dr Raman Sharma, senior professor, Sawai Man Singh Medical College told DNA. “There are patients coming with usual complications but in such cases the best treatment is oral fluid or intravenous (IV) fluid (in case of patient can not take it orally)to reverse the mortality,” he added.It is worth mentioning that despite increasing numbers in recent days, dengue has been on a leash this year compared to last year. In 2016, a total of 5264 dengue cases were registered. The respective figures read 4043 and 1243 in 2015 and 2014. Similarly, 16 deaths occurred due to dengue in 2016 and 7 deaths occurred in 2015 and 2014 each.Weather likely to change equation Weather likely to change equation Experts are sure that with the advent of winter, dengue cases will decrease in the state. “So far, cases are being reported because the environment is suitable for mosquito breeding. It has been observed that dengue cases decrease with the dip in temperature, yet the department is fully prepared in terms of medicines and facilities to handle the situation,” Dr VK Mathur, Director Public Health said.

Delhi High Court mulls action against PWD Secy over project’s deadline

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Friday summoned the Secretary of the Public Works Department (PWD) after it failed to stick to its deadline to finish the construction of the Barapullah bridge and cleaning the Kushak drain. The PWD had said that work on the Barapullah bridge would be over by June this year.A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva sought the response of Ashwani Kumar, secretary, PWD, as to why no action should be taken against him for not finishing the work on time as promised to the court. It also directed him to be present on the next date of hearing on November 8.The court’s ire came after the PWD moved an application seeking early hearing of its plea for permission to move earth into the drain at some stretches in connection with the construction of the bridge. At this, the bench came down heavily on the PWD and questioned them about their “casual attitude.”

Jail, fine for property damage in J&K now

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir government promulgated an ordinance on Friday that says people calling for strikes and demonstrations — if they result in damage to public or private property — can be jailed for two to five years and fined a sum equivalent to the market value of the property damaged or destroyed.Since the state legislature is not in session, Governor NN Vohra, on the recommendations of the Chief Minister, promulgated the Jammu and Kashmir Public Property (Prevention of Damage) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017. It has come into force with immediate effect.Strife-torn Kashmir has witnessed a series of separatist-sponsored agitations in which property worth thousands of crores of rupees has been damaged and destroyed from 2008 to 2016. A total of 34 schools were burnt during the 2016 unrest.The ordinance amends the existing law to more effectively discourage/prevent deleterious activities of individuals/organisations which result in damage to public and private property.The amendment has been made to implement the directions given by the Supreme Court in a case titled “In Re-Destruction of Public and Private Properties vs State of A.P and others (2009)”.The ordinance has been promulgated to make damage to public and private property due to direct action punishable, and to make any person calling for direct action liable for abetment of such an offence, the government said.Further, the scope of the existing law which was earlier restricted to public property has been enlarged to also include private property.The CPM said the move will have a grave implication and will trample the legitimate democratic rights of people.”Government needs to answer that if people protest for livelihood issues, mis-governance and excessive use of force, will they also be booked under this new law? Many illustrations from the past reveal that such laws have often been widely misused. These are authoritarian laws which trample civil and democratic rights of the people”, said MY Tarigami, state secretary, CPM.

Court calls Subramanian Swamy’s Sunanda plea ‘political interest litigation’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming it a textbook example of ‘Political Interest Litigation dressed up as a Public Interest Litigation’, the Delhi High court on Thursday dismissed a plea filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy which sought a court-monitored probe either by an SIT or the CBI in connection with the death of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar.A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and IS Mehta dismissed the plea while stating that Swamy had failed to disclose the full facts and information in his possession to substantiate the claims and hence had concealed the facts.”….this is perhaps a textbook example of a ‘political interest litigation’ dressed up as a PIL. The Court should be careful in not letting the judicial process be abused by political personae for their own purposes, whatever the nature of the matter may be….””The Court has to be satisfied that the allegations are based on some credible material and are made with a sense of responsibility,” the bench said in its order.Heated arguments were exchanged between Justice S Muralidhar and Swamy, after he was told to furnish proofs to substantiate claims.Swamy has made claims of botched up investigation by the Delhi Police at the ‘behest of rich and influential’.”I bear 100 per cent responsibility of this PIL. This is not my first PIL. I have appeared before many courts. I have filed several petitions in the past. Many of them are reported judgements and I have been successful in most of them. I have also been the Law Minister of the country,” he said, adding that he can file another affidavit to substantiate the sweeping allegations.This, however, did not go well with the court which said that the facts have been concealed and it is not some casual thing.”Is there is any personal investigation. If you have proof then why it has not been submitted in the court. It is very unfortunate that the court is being used for this,” the bench observed.”Although Swamy claims in the said affidavit that he has not concealed any data/material/information which may have enabled this Court to form an opinion as to whether it should entertain the petition, when asked specifically about the basis of the allegations made by him in the petition, his response is to seek further time to file another affidavit. This is a clear admission that what should have disclosed in the first place to this Court was not disclosed by him,” the court said.The bench also questioned the move of the BJP leader to not declare its political affiliation as well as that of other people whose names have been mentioned in the plea thereby terming it as a ‘failure to disclose a material fact is a serious omission which cannot be easily condoned’.While dismissing the plea, the court directed both Swamy and his counsel Ishkaran Bhandari to be careful in the future while making averments in their petitions.”The credibility of the judicial process hinges upon the petitioners in a PIL,” the court said directing that “hereafter, every writ petition (which includes a PIL petition) filed in the Registry should be supported by an affidavit which apart from complying with the legal requirements in terms of the governing Rules of the High Court, should clearly state which parts of the averments is true to the petitioners ‘s personal knowledge derived from records or based on some other source.”The bench refused to entertain the PIL and said, ” The court is unable to be persuaded that the investigation being carried out by the SIT is botched up or under the influence of anyone.Appearing for Late Sunanda Pushkar’s son, Shiv Menon, his counsel Vikas Pahwa informed the court that one day prior to the petition being heard in the court, it was available on the internet.The court, while terming this as a ‘disturbing feature’, observed that in petitions where allegations of a very serious kind are made against individuals the petitioner should be extremely circumspect in placing such petition in the public domain even before it is properly considered by the Court.”Placing of such material on the net or in the social media can have irreversible consequences. This caution should be exercised particularly in matters where the reputation and privacy of the individuals may be involved,” the court said in its order.Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a five star hotel under mysterious circumstances on January 17, 2014.

Teachers upset with new GR scale

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Many teachers are upset with a government resolution (GR) on new criteria for seniority scale and selection grade (promotion) that school education and sports department of state government has issued on Monday.The new criteria states that only those teachers will benefit with seniority scale and selection grade who complete the training and their school has ‘A’ grade according to progressive school program and shaala siddhi (National Program on School Standards and Evaluation), and also to those whose results are 80 per cent and above in Class 9 and 10.The government resolution that came for teacher’s to upgrade their scale brought uproar among teachers community. Many teachers and their organizations showed disappointment over the new criteria in the resolution. Teachers who complete 12 years gets training from education department for seniority scale and one who completes 24 years for selection grade. The GR states that from this year the training will be given in new way. Only those teachers will benefit with this promotion that fulfill the criteria. For primary section teachers the criteria is of having ‘A’ grade to schools according to Shaala Siddhi and for secondary section teachers it is about having 80% and above results of grade IX and X.Anil Bornare, Shikshak Parishad Mumbai division President, said, “After giving training to teachers for their seniority and selection grade they will be eligible for promotion that is raise in their salaries only if their school has got ‘A’ grade and 80% and above result in IX and X grade. The criteria have not gone well with teachers. Government should have not put such criteria for teachers and deprive them from their rights.”Uday Nare, secondary school teacher of Hansraj Morarji Public School, said, “How can the government put such criteria for teachers despite of them giving best in their teaching career.”Added benefitPrincipal Secretary, School Education department, Nandkumar, said the teachers do get their increments from schools and this is an additional benefit they are getting from government

BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra’s appointment to ONGC Board challenged in HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra’s appointment as an independent director on the board of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Ltd was on Tuesday challenged in the Delhi High Court by an NGO.The NGO, in its plea, also sought cancellation of the appointment of Shashi Shanker as ONGC Chairman and Managing Director.The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Energy Watchdog could not be taken up for hearing as the bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal did not assemble today.The matter has been fixed for hearing on November 1.The PIL was filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, who alleged that Patra, being an active member of the ruling BJP, “cannot play the role of an Independent Director or non- official director (NOD) in ONGC as it would be a violation of the Companies Act.”The plea claimed that the selection process was also “flawed” as the BJP leader’s name did not appear in the data bank of eligible persons for the post.”State largesse cannot be passed on to a private political person in this manner,” it claimed.Efforts to reach Patra for his comments on the issue did not fructify.Opposing Shanker’s appointment, the NGO has contended that he was suspended in February 2015 by the vigilance department of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for alleged “gross misconduct” in connection with a tender matter while he was Director (Technology and Field Services) in ONGC.However, his suspension was revoked in July 2015 citing the Supreme Court’s general observation that a suspended officer should be reinstated if an agency fails to file a chargesheet within 90 days, the plea said.The petition has sought setting aside of the September 25 and September 29 orders appointing Shanker and Patra respectively to the ONGC board.The NGO has sought directions to the Centre and the Central Vigilance Department to produce the records they have in connection with the suspension of Shanker.It has also sought the grades awarded to Shanker and Patra by the Public Enterprises Selection Board which had interviewed them for the posts.

Kashmir: 72 assaulted in braid-chopping incidents in Valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Kashmir, there were 72 cases of people beating up innocents on the suspicion of them being braid-choppers and cases would be registered against all those who took law into their own hands, Director General of Police (DGP) Dr S P Vaid said on Monday.He also said if needed, those accused of beating up the innocent would be slapped with Public Safety Act (PSA), but no innocent person being branded as braid-chopper by the public on suspicion would be booked.”In 72 cases (of braid chopping), people took law into their own hands and beat up the innocent (in Kashmir Valley)”, Vaid told PTI on Monday.Asserting that FIRs would be lodged in all the 72 cases, he said, “The police will deal with miscreants sternly.” The DGP said police would not book any innocent person and in cases where an innocent person have been handed over to the police by the public on the suspicion of being a braid- chopper, police authorities should tell the facts to the media clearly.Vaid said all districts now have Special Investigation Teams (SITs) and officials from Social Welfare and Health department have be involved in it.The health department should depute teams to meet braid- chopping victims and probe the matter, he said.The DGP said, “It (braid-chopping incidents) took place in many parts of northern India and then it was reported in Jammu. Such cases were also reported in south, central and north Kashmir”.”But the difference is that, in Kashmir, there are elements who do not want peace and normalcy,” Vaid said, adding such elements were trying to exploit people’s sentiments to trigger unrest.

CM Vasundhara Raje ‘lifts’ development prospects for Dholpur.

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A recently approved lift irrigation project for eastern Rajasthan will pave way for new development corridors for Dholpur. Aspirations of early implementation of the ambitious project were kindled at public hearing held by chief minister Vasundhara Raje in the district on Friday. “Work on the Rs 852 crore Dholpur lift irrigation project is expected to commence by end of this year. The project will bring new wave of prosperity for the entire district,” said the chief minister.On completion the project, it is expected to irrigate more than 13,000 hectares of land. However, at the public hearing the chief minister also assured of many more development works to commence soon in the district. “The foundation stone for Rs 100 crore district hospital will be laid by December, 50 bighas of land has already been allotted for the purpose,” the CM said.At the public hearing held on next day of Diwali, large number of local citizens turned up to greet the chief minister on the festive occasion and express their gratitude for the development works being held in the area. The chief minister in return further assured them of her commitment to betterment of all sections.The chief minister said that efforts are being made by the government to ensure that all eligible applicants under the DDUGJY are sanctioned electricity connections by end of June, 2018. She also highlighted the progress achieved in development of road and electricity infrastructure over the past four years of her government. As she instructed the officials to provide immediate solution to the issues brought to her notice at the public hearing, she also invoked the party workers to act as a link between government and the public. She asked the party workers to inform common people about the development works initiated by BJP government at state.

BMC chief to hold meet over public toilets’ condition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to maintain its newly-re-validated status as an Open Defecation-Free (ODF) city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will expedite the construction of public toilets. The civic chief will personally review the current status of public toilets and oversee the construction of new ones.In the first week of October, urban Maharashtra was declared Open Defecation-Free (ODF), even as Mumbai had already staked claim to the tag last year, which was re-validated this year.A senior civic official said, “There have been complaints of no water and electricity connection in public toilets, which is why people have to go outside for nature’s call.” According to the official, there are around 8,415 public toilets, with a plan to construct around 4,000 new ones. Earlier this week, DNA had reported about the present status of public toilets in the city. “The BMC has been taking a number of measures to make the city ODF,” said the official.

RTI applicant asked to pay GST for info

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Don’t be surprised if the next time you file an application under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, GST is levied on the fees to be paid for receiving the information. A Pune-resident, who filed an RTI application with the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) recently, was told this by the Public Information Officer (PIO).Sanjay Shirodkar was asked to pay Rs 14 to receive six pages of information. As per the rules of the Right To Information (RTI) Act, an authority can charge Rs 2 per A4 sheet. For six pages, Shirodkar paid Rs 12, plus Rs 1 at 9% of SGST and Rs 1 at 9% for CGST.However, State Information Commissioner (Konkan bench) Thanksy Thekkekara says GST does not apply to RTI. “As far as I am aware, there is no GST on RTI,” he said.On September 26, Shirodkar had sought true copies of publications printed and published by the MSRTC, list of sundry debtors and creditors for last 10 years, a list of bad debts along with name of the party/ entity and reason for bad debts, copy of the list of write-offs for last 10 years, along with name of party, and CAG audit report.”I have been seeking information through RTI for 12 years and have used the Act more than 5,000 times in my career,” said Shirodkar. “This is the first time I have received such a unique and hilarious reply. Where is the copy of notification stating this provision? Where is the copy of amendment in RTI? Where is the copy mentioning RTI information in the GST list? And what is the logic of 18%? Why not 28% or 12% or 6%?.” Bhaskar Pabhu, who runs Mahiti Adhikar Manch that propagates RTI, said, “Information sought under RTI is neither goods nor service; it is entitlement. It is totally wrong to charge GST when there is no clarification from government. The government has not harmonised any rate of interest for RTI. Even food grains do not have GST. It is laughable.”Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner, said, “I feel GST should not be levied to RTI, but I concede to have not studied the GST law. To make a fare comment, one must understand GST. When you make laws, words do not necessarily convey what you had in mind. Prima facie, GST should be charged over a turnover of a certain amount.”Pay for infoAs per RTI rules, Rs 2 is to be charged per A4 sheet needed to give info. For 6 pages, Sanjay Shirodkar was charged Rs 12, plus Rs 1 at 9% SGST & Rs 1 at 9% CGST

Buying mawa this Diwali? Test it first

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is festive times and also time when sweets are consumed in large quantities. It is also the time when adulterated sweets flood the markets. While the Flying Squad of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation routinely checks samples to check adulterations, experts show how simple it is to see if the sweets you are eating are safe.”Mawa is a common ingredient used in most sweets and hence it is also the most adulterated. It is often adulterated with palm oil and rice starch. It is quite simple to see if the mawa you bought is pure,” said Atul Soni, quality manager of AMC’s Public Health Laboratory.”One can test the mawa sample using this simple test. Boil a small portion of mawa in water. Let it cool. Then add a few drops of iodine solution. If it turns blue, it means starch has been added to mawa for volume,” he said.”Rub a little mawa on palm. Buy only if it leaves hands greasy and taste slightly sweet,” he said.He also revealed simple secret to identify if that silver foil used to garnish sweets is pure or not.”The silver foil has to be 99.9 percent pure if it is going to be used as a food item. If the foil has spread out smoothly on the surface, it is indeed pure. If it’s breaking, it’s not. To double check, rub a bit of the foil between fingers. Silver will not disintegrate while aluminium will roll up into a ball,” Soni said.

Students brandish knives on a local train in Chennai, four arrested

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four students have been arrested after a video of them brandishing knives while hanging out of a moving train in Chennai, went viral on social media.In a video, boys were seen hanging on the local train and brandished long knives and metallic rods.The boys were also shouting ‘Pachayappa’ (a prominent college in Chennai), said reports.After getting off the train, the students created a ruckus at the station as well.The students have been booked under the arms act, for rioting and criminal intimidation.Two other students are also being questioned about their alleged involvement.Admitting the videos were alarming, the Public Relations Officer M.Boopathy said that it wasn’t enough to file a case. “The videos could have been taken even a year back and may have been circulated now,” he explains. “We don’t know which station it is or if those students even really belong to Pachayappa’s college,” he told the NewsMinute.Efforts are on to identify the others involved, said police.

Fire safety in schools: High Court seeks government reply

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court (HC) on Monday issued a notice to the Delhi government on a plea that sought information about how many schools in the city, both private and government, are complying with the fire safety and building stability norms.A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar directed the government, along with the municipal bodies, to furnish a response, fixing the next date of hearing on January 29. The directions came while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which sought the compliance of the Supreme Court (SC) directions on fire safety and building stability norms by private and government schools in the city.The petitioner, advocate Kush Kalra, had alleged that the Delhi government and its various authorities have not responded to his queries following which he knocked the doors of the court. It further alleged that the Directorate of Education, the Fire Services, and the Public Works Department have behaved negligently, while performing their duty to take steps to ensure that schools were complying with safety norms.The PIL, filed through counsel Rajesh Gogna, said the petitioner came to know about the lack of data with the authorities on this issue after he raised a query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. It sought directions to the local authorities to ensure compliance with the Apex Court’s order as well as the National Building Code of India, claiming that the “safety of school-going students in Delhi isat risk”.“School-going children are an easy target of any mishap and it must be the duty of the respondents (authorities) to check and identify which schools in Delhi have no fire safety and building stability certificate. “And the respondents must derecognise those institutions till the time the safety norms are implemented,” the petition stated.

Another student molested, thrashed in BHU; accused arrested

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Barely a fortnight after a girl at Benares Hindu University (BHU) was molested comes another case of molestation within the campus that was reported on Thursday. In this case, the victim was not only molested, but also thrashed by the accused when she objected to his advances.Ironically, the incident took place on the day when Rekha Sharma, Chairperson National Commission for Women, was in the BHU campus on Thursday to probe the molestation incident of September 21 in which a female student was sexually assaulted and the incident led to large-scale violence in the campus two days later.The victim was subjected to lewd remarks by a MA Third semester student of the Public Administration department, identified as Sheetla Sharan Gond. When she objected, she was thrashed by Gond in her classroom in front of other students.The female student immediately lodged a complaint with the Proctorial Board and went to the Lanka Police Station to lodge a named FIR. Prompt action by the Proctorial Board and the Police resulted in immediate arrest of the accused.The victim alleged that Gond met her at staircase on Thursday and started abusing her. He dragged her by hair and continued hitting her until she fell down. He also allegedly broke her mobile for objecting to his lewd remarks.Gond, however, told police that the he was in relationship with the girl for the past three years but for the past few days she had started ignoring him and taking his calls.The Chief Proctor Dr Royana Singh said that the accused has been arrested. “An inquiry has been ordered and besides police we will initiate strict action against the accused,” she assured.

Has Mumbai become India’s most unliveable city?

A deadly stampede is the latest tragedy in a city that seems to be crumbling at the seams.

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