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CM Mehbooba Mufti urges voters to not shun panchayat polls

Days after separatists linked the recently announced Panchayat polls with the Kashmir issue to enforce a voter boycott, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday again called on the people to vote in large numbers to strengthen the grassroots democracy in the restive state.”The government is committed to empowering the grassroots level institutions. The proposed elections to the Panchayats and later to be followed by the urban local bodies polls are a major step in this direction and will fully empower the basic democratic institutions,” Mehbooba said.Seeking larger participation of the people in the Panchayat elections scheduled to be held from February 15, Mehbooba said her government had made a commitment on the floor of the House in June 2016 that the elections to the rural and urban local bodies would be held at the earliest.She added that the State’s Election Authority would formally set the process into motion after the Rural Development Department issues the requisite notification in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act.Mehbooba’s statement comes two days after Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL)of separatists called upon the people to boycott the Panchayat polls and claimed that India is using the election to negate Kashmiris demand for “self-determination and freedom”.JRL is an amalgam of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani, Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik.

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Cabbie & friend kidnap, gang-rape Thane woman

A 25-year-old woman from Thane was allegedly kidnapped, gang-raped and then thrown out of the car by two men near Vajreshwari in Virar. The woman got into the cab marked Ola, thinking it was part of the radio cab company’s fleet. However, police have found that the driver had not been working with the company for a week due to a money dispute.Kashimira police have arrested two men — the driver Suresh Gosavi (32) and Umesh Zala (31) – and seized the car. When the woman hailed the cab, it was already occupied by another man. Instead of ferrying her to Thane, the duo took her to Vajreshwari. They raped her at a lodge. She then alerted the owner. “We traced them through the CCTV cameras on the highway,” said Mahesh Patil, DSP, Thane Rural. “We suspect they have committed a similar offence earlier.”An Ola spokesperson said, “We confirm this incident has not occurred on the Ola platform. We have extended all support to authorities.”

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Anshu Prakash is Delhi’s new chief secretary

Senior IAS officer Anshu Prakash was appointed the chief secretary of the Delhi government on Thursday. The 1986-batch IAS officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre will take over the position on Monday.Prakash has been “prematurely repatriated” to his parent cadre from the Union Rural Development Ministry.”The competent authority in the MHA has approved the appointment of Anshu Prakash as Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi,” stated the order signed by TVSN Prasad, additional secretary in MHA.Prakash was working as additional secretary, Rural Development. He has served in various capacities, such as the transport secretary as well as joint secretary in the Health and Family Welfare department of Delhi government.According to sources, three senior AGMUT-cadre IAS officers were in the race for the coveted post.Meanwhile, Prakash’s predecessor M M Kutty has been sent to the Union Finance Ministry as an additional secretary last month. Kutty, a 1985-batch IAS officer, was made Delhi’s chief secretary in November last year. He shared a fairly acrimonious relationship with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Hitesh Bhatt announced as new IRMA director

The Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) has appointed Prof. Hitesh Bhatt as its new Director with effect from December 1.Prof. Bhatt has been with IRMA since 1995. He has specialization in field of General Management. He holds a B.Tech degree from IIT Delhi and an MS in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech, Atlanta. The appointment comes a few months after RC Natarajan, the institute’s director at the time, faced charges of sexual harassment by an employee.IRMA said in a release that Prof. Bhatt brings with him 18 years of industrial experience after having commenced his career with Reliance in 1979. He held senior positions in companies such as Mafatlal group of mills, garment factories in Tanzania, and a joint venture company (Indo-Bhutanese-South Korean) in Sanand.”He helped set up two major textile mills and turned around another textile and garment factory faced with near closure, making it work with the maximum efficiency in East Africa,” it said.As a dedicated academician he has been involved in teaching, training, and consulting extensively. He has trained diverse cadres of people in various organizations- including government and non-government, cooperatives, and corporations. He has also worked as Professor and Head of Centre for Management Studies at Dharmsinh Desai University in Nadiad, it added.AN ACADEMICIANAs a dedicated academician he has been involved in teaching, training, and consulting extensively.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Congress releases first list of candidates

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After much delay, Congress finally on Sunday night released its first list of 77 candidates for the upcoming Gujarat elections. Among senior leaders, Shaktisinh Gohil and Arjun Modhwadia have been given tickets. The election is to be held in two phases on December 9 and 14, and it’s result will be announced on December 18The first list was announced hours after a fruitful meeting between Congress and PAAS leaders. The leaders said that they have reached an agreement over the issue of granting reservation to Patels, if the Congress is voted to power in the state Assembly election.The official announcement about the nitty-gritty of the reservation formula and the PAAS’ stand on supporting the Congress during the Gujarat polls will be announced by Hardik Patel at a public gathering in Rajkot on Monday PAAS convener Dinesh Bambhania said after the crucial meeting on the issue. Hardik Patel was not present in the meeting.”Earlier, we had asked the Congress to clarify how they would grant Patidars a constitutionally valid reservation. Today, we held a crucial meeting on that issue and finally reached a consensus on various options offered by the party to us. Official announcement of this agreement will be made by Hardik tomorrow in Rajkot,” said Bambhania, a key aide of Hardik Patel.Here’s the full list: ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS – 2017 G U J A R A T The CEC of Congress has selected the following candidates for the forthcoming first phase of elections to the Legislative Assembly of Gujarat Sl. No. No & Name of Constituency Selected Candidates 1 2 Mandvi Shaktisinh Gohil 2 4 Anjar V.K. Humbal 3 5 Gandhidham – SC Kishorbhai G. Pingol 4 60 Dasada – SC Naushadji B Solanki 5 61 Limbdi Somabhai G. Patel 6 62 Wadhwan Mohanbhai D. Patel 7 63 Chotila Rutvikkumar L Makwana 8 64 Dhrangadhra Purushottambhai Sabariya 9 65 Morbi Brijesh A. Merja 10 66 Tankara Lalit K. Kagathara 11 67 Wankaner Mohammad Javed Pirzada 12 69 Rajkot West Indranil Rajyaguru 13 71 Rajkot Rural – SC Vashram A. Sangathia 14 72 Jasdan Kunvarji M. Bavaliya 15 73 Gondal Arjun Khataria 16 74 Jetpur Ravi Ambaliya 17 75 Dhoraji Lalit Vasoya 18 76 Kalavad – SC Pravinbhai N. Muchhadiya 19 77 Jamnagar Rural Vallabh Dharadiya 20 80 Jamjodhpur Chiragbhai R. Kalariya 21 83 Porbandar Arjunbhai Modhvadiya 22 84 Kutiyana Vejabhai L Modedara 23 85 Manavadar Jawahar Chavda 24 86 Junagadh Amit Thummar 25 87 Visavadar Harshadbhai Ribadiya 26 88 Keshod Jayeshkumar V. Ladani 27 89 Mangrol Babubhai K. Vaja 28 90 Somnath Vimalbhai K. Chudasma 29 91 Talala Bhagwanbhai D. Barad 30 92 Kodinar – SC Mohanbhai M. Vala 31 93 Una Punjabhai Vansh 32 94 Dhari J.V. Kakadiya 33 95 Amreli Pareshbhai Dhanani 34 96 Lathi Virjibhai Thummar 35 97 Savarkundla Pratap Dhuddhat 36 98 Rajula Amrish J. Der 37 99 Mahuva Vijaybhai Baraiya 38 100 Talaja Kanubhai M. Baraiya 39 101 Gariadhar P.M. Kheni 40 102 Palitana Pravinbhai J. Rathod 41 103 Bhavnagar Rural Kantibhai Chauhan 42 104 Bhavnagar East Ms. Nitaben B. Rathod 43 105 Bhavnagar West Dilipsinh A. Gohil 44 106 Gadhada – SC Praveen Maru 45 107 Botad Manhar Patel 46 148 Nandod – ST Premsinh D. Vasava 47 150 Jambusar Sanjaybhai J. Solanki 48 151 Vagra Suleman Patel 49 153 Bharuch Kiran Thakor 50 154 Ankleshwar Anil Bhagat 51 155 Olpad Yogendrasinh C. Bakrola 52 157 Mandvi – ST Anandbhai Chaudhari 53 158 Kamrej Nilesh Kumbani 54 159 Surat East Nitin Bharucha 55 160 Surat North Dinesh M. Kacchadiya 56 161 Varachha Road Prafulbhai C. Togadiya 57 162 Karanj Bhavesh G. Bhumbhliya 58 163 Limbayat Ravindra Patil 59 164 Udhna Satish Patel 60 165 Majura Ashokbhai M. Kothari 61 166 Katargam Jignesh Mewasa 62 167 Surat West Iqbalbhai D. Patel 63 168 Choryasi Yogeshbhai B. Patel 64 169 Bardoli – SC Tarunkumar J. Vaghela 65 170 Mahuva – ST Dr. Tusharbhai Chaudhary 66 171 Vyara – ST Punabhai D. Gamit 67 172 Nizar – ST Sunil Gamit 68 173 Dangs – ST Mangalbhai G. Gavit 69 174 Jalalpore Parimal N. Patel 70 175 Navsari Smt. Bhavnaben Patel 71 176 Gandevi – ST Sureshbhai Halpati 72 177 Bansda – ST Anantkumar H. Patel 73 178 Dharampur – ST Ishwarbhai D. Patel 74 179 Valsad Narendra J. Tandel 75 180 Pardi Bharatbhai M. Patel 76 181 Kaprada – ST Jitubhai H. Chaudhary 77 182 Umbargaon – ST Ashokbhai M. Patel ( Oscar Fernandes ) Incharge CEC 19th November, 2017 With PTI inputs

IRMA team into honey biz wins international accolade

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

Netas @ SMS: Toll reaches 14

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Khatolai village transformer blast toll on Wednesday reached 14 with four more succumbing to their injuries while the condition of seven injured was reported to be critical.Politicos thronged the hospital and blast site near Shahpura a day after the incident. Meanwhile, bodies five women victims were handed to the family members after post-mortem at NIMS hospital. An elderly woman and her granddaughter were cremated on the same pyre.MP from Jaipur Rural Rajyavardhan Rathore reached SMS hospital where he spoke with the doctors and the relatives of the patients. The MP then travelled to the site of the incident and met with the aggrieved family members. BJP state president Ashok Parnami also met the doctors and family members at the SMS hospital.Meanwhile, PCC Chief Sachin Pilot also reached the hospital along with other politicos from Congress party and took stock of the treatment and facilities provided to the injured.It should be noted that on Tuesday 10 people, including a five-year-old girl and a newborn child, were killed in a blast in an electric transformer installed in Khatolai village near Shahpura town. More than 20 people sustained serious injuries.A family was holding a function for the upcoming marriage of two sisters of the family at the spot when the incident occurred. As the news of the incident spread, cops, administrative officials, politicos and locals rushed to the spot. Villagers refused to remove the bodies from the spot.District collector Siddharth Mahajan rushed to Khatolai and announced a compensation of Rs10 lakh to deceased’s family. Furthermore, he also assured that the injured would get a compensation based on the percentage as prescribed.

Maharashtra’s latest venture ODF Watch will publicly shame those who defecate in the open: CM Fadnavis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said that the government has put in place a mechanism called ‘ODF Watch’, where people will be “shamed” if they defecate in the open.Fadnavis was addressing a gathering here, organised to declare urban Maharashtra Open Defecation Free (ODF).”Declaration of urban Maharashtra Open Defecation Free is not just a formality. A three tier validation process had been adopted where the cities, which became ODF were first inspected by the local administration, then by the state government and lastly a central agency gave its nod,” Fadnavis said.He added that making the state ODF will not achieve its objectives until the mindset of people changes.”Now we have a double responsibility at hand. We have to encourage people to use the record number of toilets created in the last two years,” he said.”We have put in place a mechanism called ‘ODF Watch’ where people will be forced, encouraged to use a toilet. If they defecate in the open, a whistle will be blown and people will be shamed for not using a toilet,” he said.He said the mechanism will work from morning until the dusk for the next six months, to ensure people use a toilet.Fadnavis added a record number of 40 lakh toilets have been constructed in the state in the last two years.The chief minister said by March next year, rural Maharashtra too will be declared ODF.He said the government will also focus on segregation of waste scientifically and treat sewage water.”We have formed a brand by the name ‘Mahacity compost’, where the compost from city waste is marketed among farmers. This provides good quality compost manure. Only if the quality of compost is good, does it get sold under the brand,” Fadnavis said.Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde, who was also present on the occasion, said when the present government took over, the state had 44 per cent toilets and the number has now gone up to 88 per cent.She exuded confidence that there will be 100 per cent toilets soon.”We want people to use the toilets, not just construct them. We have made the children pledge for cleanliness in district and rural schools,” she said.Munde added that her department is working on a ‘zero pendency policy’, where there is no clogging of files due to bureaucratic delays.

Over 5 lakh rural youths given skill training under govt scheme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union rural development ministry has provided skill training to over five lakh rural youths under its flagship skilling and placement initiative — Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, according to an official statement.The ministry organised an event, ‘Bharat ke Kaushalzaade , to honour beneficiaries of the scheme today.It was inaugurated by Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.”If India had adopted the skilling mission soon after it got Independence, the problem of unemployment would not have acquired such a dimension as it is today,” the statement quoted Tomar as saying.The event was organised to mark the third anniversary of the scheme, which focusses on building capacity of rural youths to address the needs of domestic and global skills requirements.Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana offers industry relevant skill training to candidates. The ministry also works closely with industry and leading corporates to strengthen the post-training employment scenario for its trainees.The ministry has been conducting skilling for self- employment through Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETI) with a total of 14.09 lakh candidates skilled and 9.70 lakh candidates settled till date, the statement added.

Sadhvi gang-raped in Mathura’s Sriji temple

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 45-year-old sadhvi was allegedly gang-raped inside a temple area in Barsana, police said on Friday. The incident took place on the night of September 11 at the Sriji temple in Barsana, near Mathura.According to the FIR, the woman was sleeping on the balcony of the temple when a watchman and another staffer forcibly took her to a secluded place and took turns to rape her.Police have arrested the temple’s watchman, Kanhaiya Yadav, while the other accused is on the run, SP (Rural) Aditya Kumar Shukla said.He added the victim has been sent to a hospital for medical examination.The woman told reporters that she approached police on the evening of September 13 but no FIR was registered.The FIR was lodged on September 14 after the intervention of SSP Swapnil Mamgai.​

WB Assembly passes West Bengal Panchayat Elections (Amendment)

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The West Bengal Legislative Assembly today passed the West Bengal Panchayat Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The objective of the bill is to make provisions of maintaining simultaneous memberships to the Legislative Assembly or Parliament and Panchayats by members of panchayat samitis and zilla parishads or Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad. “Earlier if a member of gram panchayat or zilla parishad was elected to Legislative Assembly or to the Parliament, then he had to tender resignation from any of the elected offices. But now after passage of this amendment bill, a member of panchayat samiti or zilla parishad after being elected to the Legislative Assembly or Parliament may hold simultaneous membership. He will not have to resign from any of the elected offices,” state Panchayat and Rural development minister Subrata Mukherjee told reporters.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Framing of law to regulate NGOs under process: Centre tells SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre today told the Supreme Court that it was in the process of taking a final policy decision, including the framing of a law to regulate the activities of NGOs across the country. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud considered the statement of Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Centre, and adjourned the matter for further hearing on August 21. The bench said that in all probabality, the Centre was going to come out with a legislation on the issue. The ASG sought some more time to apprise the court about the possible step to be taken by the government to regulate activities of the NGOs. The court was hearing a PIL filed by lawyer M L Sharma, in his personal capacity, seeking to regulate activities of the NGOs including financial ones. Earlier, the apex court had asked central government body CAPART to apprise it about the steps taken in pursuance to its direction to consider making a law to regulate the NGOs, disbursal of funds and consequential proceedings against them. It had sought an affidavit from the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) on action taken on its April 26 order, suggesting that the Centre should consider prosecuting NGOs or voluntary organisations if they were found misusing public funds. The apex court had in its April 26 order asked the Centre to examine enacting a law to regulate disbursal of public funds to over 32 lakh NGOs and voluntary organisations (VOs) and prosecute them in case of misuse or misappropriation. The court had suggested to the Centre that it can legislate under Entry 97 of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution which provides the list of issues on which the Centre or states or both can make laws to regulate NGOs. Favouring a fresh all-encompassing law, the court had said if the government “desires to extend statutory status to regulations, then they would not only provide for enforceable consequences, but also envisage civil and criminal action as may be considered by the legislation”. The CAPART, which works under the Ministry of Rural Development and disburses funds to voluntary organisations (VOs) working in rural areas, had earlier apprised the top court that it has recommended lodging of 159 FIRs against various NGOs for alleged misappropriation or misuse of funds. It had initially said it had blacklisted 718 NGOs for not following the due process and not submitting their accounting details, but had later removed 15 NGOs from the black-list after they complied with the accounting norms. While hearing the PIL filed by Sharma, the court had said the Centre and its departments were doling out crores of rupees but were not aware of the repercussion of non-auditing. Referring to details provided by senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, assisting the court as an amicus curiae, the court had said that a phenomenal amount of Rs 950 crore every year was being given by the Centre and state governments to NGOs. The bench had also said that “mere blacklisting” of these organisations would not suffice and civil and criminal action should be initiated for misappropriation of public money received by them from various government departments. The CBI had in September 2015 informed the apex court that less than ten per cent of over 30 lakh NGOs functioning in the country had submitted their returns or balance sheets and other financial details to the authorities.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pregnant woman turned away by hosp; gives birth in e-rickshaw

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A pregnant woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur city was allegedly asked to leave by the hospital staff in the middle of the night, following which she gave birth to a boy in an e-rickshaw, police said. Munawar, who was in labour, was admitted to the district women’s hospital on the night of August 14, but she was later asked to leave without being examined, SP Saharanpur (Rural) Vidya Sagar Mishra said yesterday. While the woman’s husband was taking her to another hospital in an e-rickshaw, she gave birth in the vehicle. She was admitted to a private hospital later, he said. Munawar’s husband lodged a complaint with the police and demanded action against the hospital, Mishra said. A case was lodged in Janapuri police station. The matter is being probed, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SSI killed, 4 policemen hurt as tractor trolley rams into jeep

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior sub-inspector of police was today killed and four policemen were injured after a tractor-trolley rammed into their jeep here. According to Deputy Superintendent of Police (Rural) Aditya Shukla, the incident occurred in the evening when a police party was on patrolling duty and a brick-laden tractor trolley, coming from the opposite direction, rammed into it. In the incident, Zakir Ali, a senior sub-inspector (SSI) attached to the Surir police station, was killed on the spot, while four other policemen, including the driver of the jeep, were injured, the officer said. All the injured were rushed to a hospital, he said, adding that the condition of the driver was serious. The body of the SSI was sent for a post-mortem, said the officer. The driver of the tractor-trolley fled the spot after the incident. A case has been registered in this regard.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

IT raids: Here is all you need to know about Karnataka Energy minister DK Shivakumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Income Tax Department on Wednesday conducted searches at multiple properties related to Karnataka Energy minister DK Shivakumar, who was overseeing the stay of 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat at a resort in Bengaluru, in connection with a tax evasion case.Here’s all you need to know►​ DK Shivakumar was born to Mr. Kempegowda and Mrs. Gowramma of Dodda Alahalli village in Kanakapura taluk.► As he was a student leader at the RC College in Bengaluru, he later joined youth Congress.► Shivakumar became the General Secretary of Karnataka State Youth Congress in 1983-85.► He was elected as a member of Rural Zilla Panchayat and remained its member till 1989.► In 1989, Congress chose him as an electoral candidate from Sathanur which he won with thumping margin.► He was elected as the Minister of State for Prisons in 1991- 1992.► He became the cabinet minister in the SM Krishna government in 1999-2002.► In 2004, DKS got elected again for the fourth time from Sathnur constituency.► He is a veteran politician of Karnataka being elected in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly for the sixth time in 2013.► An MLA from the Kanakpura constituency​, DK Shivakumar currently holds the portfolio of ‘Energy Minister’ in the government led by Siddaramaiah.► He was one of the richest candidates in the 2013 Karnataka polls.About raids on DK Shivakumar​’s properties► A total of 39 premises of the minister and his family are being raided by a team of about 120 Income Tax Department officials with the aid of central paramilitary forces.► The raids are taking place in Delhi and Karnataka.► The department is also investigating charges of alleged role of money power and huge transfer of illegal funds for polls.► The search, described as an ‘evidence gathering exercise’, is being conducted by the Karnataka Investigation Wing of the Income tax department.► According to IT department, the search is the continuation of an investigation which has been in progress for a considerable period of timeCash recovered► IT officials said Rs 7.5 crore cash was recovered from the search of the properties of the minister, who has been taken to his house in Bengaluru from the resort by the IT team.

Verbal battle over nature’s fury begins

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While people in flood affected districts are battling with the fury of nature, political leaders are busy with a bitter battle of words. The one to up the ante in the very verbose Minister of Rural Development Rajendra Rathore and in the firing line is the state Congress chief Sachin Pilot.Rathore has come out heavily on Pilot and accused him of politicising the floods. He issued a statement accusing Pilot of waking up from slumber 198 hours (almost eight days) after the floods hit the state. “When Pilot reached to the victims they asked him when he was so late in meeting them. This is the reason why he is making these false allegation against the government, saying that government did not provide relief to the victims in the initial 48 hours after the floods,” read his statement. The truth of the matter is that the chief minister did not waste even 48 seconds in initiating relief works, Rathore’s statement read. Sachin Pilot along with leader of opposition Rameshwar Dudi is on a two day visit to flood affected districts. Pilot had on Monday visited several affected areas and met the people. He had targeted the state government for not doing enough for the flood affected. He had demanded that state government speed up the relief process.Taking the opposition by the horns, Rathore went on accuse them of not contributing to relief fund. “Not a single penny was given by the leaders of Congress. Nor did they take part in the relief works in the areas worst affected by the flood.They have been too late in reacting to the situation and so they are making baseless statement to cover up,” said the minister. He added that the chief minister Vasundhara Raje had resonded on the very first day, asked ministers in charge of districts to camp in the affected areas. “She also went in the flood affected areas and personally monitored the rescue and relief works. It was due to her immediate response that 1309 persons have been rescued in the operations so far,” said Rathore.Incidentally, Rathore is not the first minister to spring to the government’s defense post Pilot’s statement. Health minister Kalicharan too had questioned the Congress about the whereabouts of Congress MLAs from Gujarat while the state suffered similar calamity.

Ramdas Athawale lands in soup after commenting that transgenders should not wear sarees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite batting strongly for the Transgender Bill, Union Minister Ramdas Athwale has landed in a soup for a particular comment that has not gone down well with the community.Speaking at an event, Athawale advised transgenders to not wear sarees.“They are not men or women. Hence, they shouldn’t wear sarees,” he said, however, immediately clarifying that he was just advising them and that they have the freedom to wear whatever they want.Speaking to ANI, Vidya Rajput of the Third Gender Welfare Board, Chhattisgarh, said that nobody can question the rights of the transgender community.She said, “I don’t understand that how can a person in his position question my rights. The constitution gives me the choice to wear or not wear a saree. It is my personal choice.”She stressed that a person of Athawale’s stature, especially the ones with a following, shouldn’t comment on the rights of the minority, adding that such comments have affected the lives of the transgenders for a long time“He should have thought it through before saying anything like this in public,” she added.Ironically, Athawale had earlier assured that the Centre would make efforts to soon pass the Transgender Bill, which seeks to empower the community by providing them a separate identity.He was speaking at a national workshop on ‘Developing Modules for Sensitising Transgender People and Stakeholders’, organised at the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj

Ramdas Athawale lands in soup for ‘advising’ transgenders to not wear sarees @ 7/31/2017 9:56:16 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Despite batting strongly for the Transgender Bill, Union Minister Ramdas Athwale has landed in a soup for a particular comment that has not gone down well with the community. Speaking at an event, Athawale advised transgenders to not wear sarees. ?They are not men or women. Hence, they shouldn?t wear sarees,? he said, however, immediately clarifying that he was just advising them and that they have the freedom to wear whatever they want. Speaking to ANI, Vidya Rajput of the Third Gender Welfare Board, Chhattisgarh, said that nobody can question the rights of the transgender community. She said, ?I don?t understand that how can a person in his position question my rights. The constitution gives me the choice to wear or not wear a saree. It is my personal choice.? She stressed that a person of Athawale?s stature, especially the ones with a following, shouldn?t comment on the rights of the minority, adding that such comments have affected the lives of the transgenders for a long time ?He should have thought it through before saying anything like this in public?, she added. Ironically, Athawale had earlier assured that the Centre would make efforts to soon pass the Transgender Bill, which seeks to empower the community by providing them a separate identity. He was speaking at a national workshop on ‘Developing Modules for Sensitising Transgender People and Stakeholders’, organised at the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD and PR).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ramdas Athawale lands in soup for ‘advising’ transgenders to not wear sarees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Despite batting strongly for the Transgender Bill, Union Minister Ramdas Athwale has landed in a soup for a particular comment that has not gone down well with the community. Speaking at an event, Athawale advised transgenders to not wear sarees. ?They are not men or women. Hence, they shouldn?t wear sarees,? he said, however, immediately clarifying that he was just advising them and that they have the freedom to wear whatever they want. Speaking to ANI, Vidya Rajput of the Third Gender Welfare Board, Chhattisgarh, said that nobody can question the rights of the transgender community. She said, ?I don?t understand that how can a person in his position question my rights. The constitution gives me the choice to wear or not wear a saree. It is my personal choice.? She stressed that a person of Athawale?s stature, especially the ones with a following, shouldn?t comment on the rights of the minority, adding that such comments have affected the lives of the transgenders for a long time ?He should have thought it through before saying anything like this in public?, she added. Ironically, Athawale had earlier assured that the Centre would make efforts to soon pass the Transgender Bill, which seeks to empower the community by providing them a separate identity. He was speaking at a national workshop on ‘Developing Modules for Sensitising Transgender People and Stakeholders’, organised at the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD and PR).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Assam flood damage ‘very profound, large-scale’: central team

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An inter-ministerial central team assessing the damages caused by floods in Assam today termed the destruction as “very profound and large-scale”. The seven-member team is in the state since July 25, on the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of the damages caused by the flood. The team headed by Union Joint Secretary Home Affairs V Shashank Shekhar called on Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal today and apprised him about their findings after visiting the flood-affected districts, official sources said. Shekhar told the chief minister that they personally saw the damages, distress and migration of the flood-hit people and observed that the destruction was “very profound and large-scale”. As part of their on-the-spot-assessment, the teams interacted with the affected people and respective district administrations to find out the intensity of the damages caused by the flood, Shekhar told the chief minister. The teams, divided into two groups, visited the flood-hit Brahmaputra and Barak valley districts of Biswanath, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Barpeta, Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj. Sonowal appreciated the central team’s visit to the state in the midst of floods as it helped them to see the real damages casued by the flood, the sources said. Sonowal said that most of the embankments which were constructed as safeguard to rural habitations had outlived their utility. He also informed the team that a proposal was submitted to the Union government to take up ‘Prime Minister’s Special Programme for Flood and Erosion Control’ for developing embankments as road-cum-embankments stretching upto 5,000 km in the state. The chief minister said that once the 5,000 km stretch is converted into road-cum-embankment, it would help rural people in terms of connectivity and benefit rural economy as well as tourism. This initiative would also facilitate implementation of PMGSY to connect every village in the state, he added. Sonowal also cited the survey report of international organisations that Brahmaputra holds the highest threat perception to adjacent areas due to heavy undercurrent of its water. The chief minister suggested that the team incorporate this information in its report so that a holistic approach involving both the central and state governments could be taken up for intensifying flood protection measures. Referring to the issue of resettlement of people, who became homeless and landless due to flood, he urged the team to include this in their report for release of funds by the central government. Considering the gravity of the situation and the intensity of flood damage in Assam, Shekhar told the chief minister that the team would submit its report to the Centre “at the earliest” so that funds for tackling the flood could be released expeditiously. The team also met Chief Secretary V K Pipersenia in the presence of senior government officials and briefed him about their findings. The team also included chief engineer CWC Shillong P M Scott, director (states-NE) Niti Aayog Sanjay Kumar, assistant director Ministry of Finance B K Mishra, assistant executive engineer of Road, Transport and Highways Sachin Kumar Gautam, assistant director Rural Development of National Rural Road Development Agency (NRRDA) Rakesh Kumar and UP Director of Sugarcane Development A L Wagmare.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt to upgrade rural dvpt board by forming body

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Wednesday upgraded its Rural Development Board (RDB) by announcing to form a new body which will carry out development works in urban villages of the national capital.The decision was taken in meeting of the board’s members, chaired by Development Minister Gopal Rai, which took in consideration that the RDB does not mandate to take up civic works in urban villages.Rai said the new ‘Village Development Board’ will be constituted within one month with the cabinet’s nod. “The government has decided to upgrade Rural Development Board with the new one — Village Development Board — in order to ensure development works in both urban and rural villages. We have set aside around Rs 600 crore for the same,” he said.MLAs are also members of the Rural Development Board which take decision to initiate development work in rural areas of the city while the irrigation department executes projects. “As per laid down rules, the RDB does not have any mandate to carry out development work in urban villages. Once the proposed Village Development Board is in place, the body can do it,” Rai said.The minister also said that the board has received around 600 development proposals from legislators and out of these, work orders have been given for 36 proposals.

From pasting posters to NDA’s VP candidate, Naidu has come a

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the ’70s when BJP’s precursor Jana Sangh was a marginal player with little clout in the south, a young party worker kept himself busy putting up posters of stalwarts such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani. Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu has come a long way since those days of political obscurity to be chosen today as the NDA’s candidate for Vice President, a post he is almost certain to occupy. From a humble agricultural family of Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, the former BJP national president is known for his oratory. A two-term member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, Naidu was never a member of the Lok Sabha. He was however elected to the Rajya Sabha three times from Karnataka and currently represents Rajasthan in the Upper House of Parliament. “A farmer s son, MVenkaiahNaidu Garu brings years of experience in public life and is admired across the political spectrum,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a Tweet, using a Telugu word of respect. “I know MVenkaiahNaidu Garu for years. Have always admired his hardwork & tenacity. A fitting candidate for the office of Vice President,” he added. Once an Advani protege, Naidu vigorously backed Modi for the prime minister’s post before the 2014 elections. Naidu currently holds the portfolios of Information and Broadcasting and Housing and Urban Affairs. He was also Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the Modi government. Earlier, he had served as Rural Development Minister in the previous NDA government led by Vajpayee. The 68-year-old veteran party leader also served as the BJP national president from July 2002 to October 2004 for two consecutive terms. He quit the post after the party’s defeat in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. Naidu was an ABVP activist during the Emergency and was arrested and jailed. As the first Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the Modi government, Naidu had defended the prime minister and the government whenever the opposition targeted them in both the houses of Parliament. He had also ensured high political outreach by meeting Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi when there was a standoff between the government and the opposition in Parliament. Several major legislations were cleared by Parliament when he was Parliamentary Affairs Minister, including the historic Real Estate Act and fast forwarding of the GST Bill. Known for coining acronyms, Naidu termed the mission of the Modi Government as ‘MODI- Making of Developed India’ which had become the official line of the Centre in its public outreach campaign on the occasion of three years of being in office. As the Minister for Information and Broadcasting, he was always quick to present issues in perspective with effective repartee as and when required. As Minister of Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, which was recently merged as Housing and Urban Affairs, Naidu pioneered the launch of several new urban missions, including the Smart City Mission, Atal Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission and Housing for All. As Rural Development Minister, Naidu was instrumental in launching the hugely popular ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana’. When the Congress swept the polls in Andhra Pradesh in 1978, Naidu got elected as MLA from Udayagiri Constituency as a Janata Party candidate. He was re-elected on a BJP ticket when N T Rama Rao swept the polls in the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP worker arrested after lab report says he was carrying beef

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Nagpur Rural Police have arrested Salim Shaha, a BJP worker who was allegedly beaten up by cow vigilantes earlier this week, under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act for possession of beef. Shaha was beaten up by some people on July 12 on the suspicion that he was carrying beef. Police had said yesterday that as per the forensic laboratory report, the meat which he was carrying that day was beef. Superintendent of police (Nagpur Rural) Shailesh Balkawde told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NABARD assesses Odisha’s credit potential of Rs 66,500 crore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NABARD has assessed a credit potential of Rs 66,500 crore for Odisha under the priority sectors, based on which, the state has directly prepared the targets for credit deployment for the banks, said Finance minister S B Behera. Behera, who attended a function marking 36th Foundation Day of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, lauded the role of NABARD in the state. He urged the Nabard to take awareness programmes on financial management, water and soil conservation in a proactive manner. The Minister said the economy of Odisha is striding through a growth trajectory in the recent years and the state has been able to achieve respectable growth rates, raising the per capita income and the human development index. He also emphasised on the growth of connectivity, rural development, SHGs bank linkages and other similar economic indicators. “NABARD has performed well in the field of creation of infrastructure, development of the irrigation projects, strengthening of cooperative institutions in the construction of godowns, SHG bank Linkage programmes, tribal development programmes and support to improve the livelihood,” Behera said. The NABARD has assisted substantially for rural connectivity like roads and bridges, irrigation and agriculture in the state, Behera said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Boat tragedy; Two bodies fished out; 5 feared drowned

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The desire to click selfies in the middle of a reservoir turned into a tragedy for a group of men with the boat carrying them capsizing in Vena Dam in Kamleshwar tehsil, police said today. While two of the bodies were fished out today, five others are yet to be traced after the incident that took place yesterday. One body was fished out last night. According to Shailesh Balkawade, SP, Nagpur Rural, two bodies were fished out this morning and searches are underway to trace the remaining persons. The deceased have been identified as Rahul Jadhav and Ankit Bhusekar. “It seems these youngsters had hired local fishermen for boating, which is not allowed in the dam. The boat they got into was narrow. It tilted and capsized when they started clicking ‘selfies’ on reaching the mid point of the reservoir,” the SP said. The boat carrying 11 people including three boatmen had capsized last evening. While three persons–two boatmen and a college student — were rescued, one body was recovered last night, police said. Those rescued are undergoing treatment at a private hospital here, the SP said. Police had yesterday said that out of 11 people, at least eight were from Nagpur and believed to in the age group of 20 -25. The incident, which occurred between 6 and 6.30 pm was witnessed by a local who in turn alerted the police control room, following which a rescue operation was undertaken. Efforts are on to look for survivors, if any, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Women dig wells to make village self-sufficient in water

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Breaking into male bastion, around 300 women have turned well-diggers in a nondescript village in northern Palakkad district of Kerala to find a solution to the acute water scarcity in the hamlet and earn a living. Even elderly women climb down pits using makeshift bamboo ladders and dig arduously for hours using pickaxe and shovel, removing mud and clay in search of water sources in Pookkottukavu, a village panchayat. Battling various challenges, these homemakers, aged between 35 and 70 years, have dug up over 190 wells across the drought-hit village since last August under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). Lack of skill training and physical limitations are no barrier for them to construct 10-12 metre deep wells single-handedly digging the harder and rocky terrains of the panchayat. Lakshmi, a 39-year-old homemaker hailing from Punchappadam in the hamlet, feels proud that they could take up the intense task and achieve success in it. She and other women in the village decided to take up the risky job to ensure steady daily wage to support their family. “We did not know anything about well digging initially. But, we relied on our group effort and confidence. We gradually learnt the basics of the work through our experience”, Lakshmi told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rajasthan: IAF plane crashes, pilots safe

Thu, 6 Jul 2017-03:20pm , Jodhpur , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A MiG-23 trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district, with both the pilots ejecting safely.The incident occurred in Balesar area, SP (Jodhpur Rural) Dr Ravi said. It was a MiG-23 UB trainer plane and both the pilot and co-pilot are safe, defence source said.A Court of Inquiry has been ordered.Further details are awaited.

Cops effect 2nd arrest on key accused in actress’ abduction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Kerala police today effected a second arrest on Pulsar Suni, the key accused in abduction of a Malayalam actress, for allegedly making phone calls from jail to threaten and blackmail other film industry people. The Infopark police which effected the second arrest on Suni, also secured his custody for five days from a magisterial court at Kakanad near here. The Infopark police, seeking Suni’s custody, said in its remand application to the court that it examined the CCTV footage at the Kakkanad prison and arrested Suni after it was found that he had made the phone calls from the prison. In its remand application for Suni, the police said the custodial interrogation of the accused is required to crack the case involving the purpose of phone calls from the jail. Suni’s second arrest followed days after the police recorded the statement of popular Malayalam actor Dileep on his complaint alleging blackmail by a man, who claimed to be a friend of prime accused Pulsar Suni. While being taken to the court from the jail, Suni told TV channels that names of the “sharks” involved in the conspiracy behind the abduction of the actress will be revealed soon. He had said yesterday that “sharks have to be netted in the case.” The fresh development comes a day after a magisterial court extended till July 18 the judicial custody of Suni and his accomplice Vijeesh following the expiry of their 14-day remand in the abduction case. Meanwhile, Ernakulam Rural SP A V George today hit out at the media for “doing guess work and spreading rumours” in connection with the probe into the “conspiracy angle” in the case. George, a key member of the team probing the case, said police cannot say if arrests would be made today or tomorrow. “The investigation is on the right track. We are not under any external pressure. This is a case of criminal conspiracy. So, we can’t say anything on arrest. How can we give answers to the guesswork and rumours carried on in the media?” George said in response to queries if arrests would be made soon. The actress, who has also worked in Tamil and Telugu films, was abducted and allegedly molested inside her car for two hours by the accused, who had forced their way into the vehicle on February 17 and later escaped.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bajwa orders eviction of encroachments from village pond lands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa today issued instructions to the officials of his department to remove the illegal encroachments from the village pond lands. He also directed them to ensure a proper maintenance and utilisation of the ponds. The minister ordered the officials to restore status quo ante (the previously existing state of affairs) after getting the records of the pond lands from the Revenue department. The lands should be marked on the basis of the records and the illegal encroachments should be removed from them, he said here in a statement. Bajwa said it was because of these encroachments that there were no outlets for the drains, leading to disputes among the people over the dirty, stagnant water. He also asked the officials to explore the possibilities of treating the sewage water for irrigation and added that the treated water could be supplied to the fields by installing solar-powered pumps in the ponds, for which the government was providing an 80-per cent subsidy. The ponds could also be used to harvest rain water as currently, the only outlet for the rain water were drains which resulted in its wastage, the minister said. “Rain water harvesting will also help raise the sub-soil water level,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt promoting social audit of work done under MNREGA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre is promoting the social audit of work carried out under MNREGA to bring more transparency in schemes and check corruption, officials said. As part of the social audit, gram sabhas review official records and determine whether state reported expenditures reflect the actual money spent on the ground, sources in the government said. Since the last few months, the Union Rural Development Ministry is promoting social audit of the work, they said. The rules for such audits have been framed in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). The members of gram sabhas have also been trained to supervise the entire process. The audit of accounts has to be carried out either by the director, local fund audit (LFA) or an equivalent authority or by chartered accountants appointed by the state government from among those empanelled with the CAG. When contacted, the Joint Secretary in the ministry Aprajita Sarangi said that at least one audit has to be held every six months. The purpose behind social audit is to bring more transparency, she said. The government has paid 86 per cent of wages of nearly one crore workers under the MNREGA scheme within 15 days in 2017-18 so far. Timely payment of wages under MNREGA has been a major concern for the government from some time. The Central government has ensured timely release of funds and states have responded by strengthening the implementation machinery to provide timely payments.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

86 pc wages of 1 crore workers paid within 15 days: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government today said it has paid 86 per cent of wages out of nearly one crore workers under the MGNREGS scheme within 15 days. Timely payment of wages under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has been a major concern for the government from some time. The Central government has ensured timely release of funds and states have responded by strengthening the implementation machinery to provide timely payments, the Union rural development ministry said. “..nearly 80 lakhs to 1 crore workers are coming everyday for work in different parts of the country under MGNREGS. Over 86 per cent of them are paid within 15 days. This is a remarkable improvement compared to earlier years,” the ministry said in a statement. The thrust of MGNREGS works is on agriculture and allied activities, and it is visible at the field level, it added. Works under MGNREGS have created over 91 lakh hectares of irrigation potential in the last two years which is currently being evaluated by the Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), New Delhi. 2,264 water stressed blocks have received special attention for natural resource management, water harvesting and water conservation. 2.62 lakh water conservation works have been completed in the current financial year including more than 1.31 lakh farm ponds across the country. Also, 1.45 crore assets of beneficiaries of MGNREGS have been geo-tagged so far and are in the public domain while 5.2 crore workers are already on the Aadhaar-based payment system (ABPS) and over 9 crore workers have seeded their Aadhaar details with consent in NREGA software. Eighty-seven per cent of job cards have been verified and 1.1 crore job cards have been deleted so far after giving reasons.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Uttar Pradesh: Girl burnt alive for resisting molestation bid in Bareilly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A girl was allegedly burnt alive by her neighbour for resisting a molestation bid in Shahiganeshpur area here, police said on Tuesday.The incident took place on Sunday when the 18-year-old was alone at her house and the neighbour’s son Hariom came to charge his phone and tried to molest her, they said.When the girl started shouting, he sprinkled kerosene on her and set her afire.The family members rushed the girl to hospital, where she died during treatment.SP, Rural, Khwati Garg that an FIR has been registered in the matter and a manhunt has been launched to nab the accused, who is absconding.

REC chairman discusses DDUGJY work with Arunachal Pradesh CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chairman and Managing Director of a leading public infrastructure finance company in the power sector today discussed with Arunachal Pradesh chief minister the ongoing work being carried out under a flagship programme to provide continuous power to rural areas. The Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) Limited chief Dr P V Ramesh along with a team of officers called on the Chief Minister Pema Khandu and discussed the work being carried out under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY) in the state. Khandu assured them of full support of the state government for rural electrification work, an official communiqu said. Arunachal Pradesh has the largest number of un-electrified villages in the country, numbering 1230. Under DDUGJY, 335 of these villages will be provided power through grid connectivity and the rest by solar installations. Khandu was informed that already 8 villages, 6 in Anjaw and 2 in Dibang Valley have been electrified this month. The chief minister gave a direction to the Commissioner (Power) for organising a review meeting in the first week of July. He also asked for regular updates on the status of rural electrification works. Khandu decided that the rural electrification programme would be taken up on a mission mode and the power department has drawn up a schedule to cover all the remaining un-electrified villages by December next, the communiqu added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

WB gets gold memento for implementation of MGNREGA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre has awarded West Bengal with a gold memento for its outstanding performance in convergence and livelihood augmentation in the implementation of MGNREGA. West Bengal has in total received five state-level awards and two for its districts for outstanding performance in several categories, state Panchayats & Rural Development Department Minister Subrata Banerjee today said. In the district category, Nadia has received award for excellence in MGNREGA while Coochbehar district was awarded for its outstanding performance in implementation of Geo-MGNREGA, he said. West Bengal has been pursuing convergence with 26 departments working in the field of rural development, thereby bringing synergy in development interventions, Mukherjee said. The state has also emerged as the first state in the country to complete the process of preparation of Permanent Wait List (PWL) in respect of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) recipients.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Swine flu loses steam as number of cases recede

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the change in weather, the swine flu virus that is highly active in the state for last four months, appeared to slow down, hence providing a much-needed relief to public and health department as well. With the decreasing number of reported cases of people tested positive for the H1N1 virus in June, officials at the health department are expecting that the number of positive cases will go as minimum as zero by the next month.According to the daily status report of influenza A (H1N1) in the state, only 20 people have been found positive for swine flu including 2 reported deaths during first 19 days of June month so far. A number of positive cases dropped drastically during last 10 days as 14 out of these 20 positive cases are reported before June 8.In June so far, 65 suspects were tested for influenza A (H1N1), out of which, only 6 have been tested positive and 59 are tested negative. In the capital Jaipur, where almost half of the total cases of across the state are reported, only 3 people tested positive for swine flu out of 26 total samples tested in June.“Till the date last year, more than 20 deaths and around 120 positive cases were reported,” Dr Aditya Atrey, Director, Rural Health said. “Along with the change in weather, it could be attributed to the active and passive surveillance by the health department that resulted in early diagnosis and treatment of vulnerable public and also immunity development in the community that decreased the number of positive cases,” he added.It is worth to mention that until last month, the H1N1 virus has put health department to be on its toes as 177 deaths, maximum in a month this year, occurred due to Swine flu in the state. Despite the hot conditions, 148 deaths were reported in April and 39 deaths were reported in March month.THE CASES SO FARIn June so far, 65 suspects were tested for influenza A (H1N1), out of which, only 6 have been tested positive and 59 are tested negative. In the capital Jaipur, where almost half of the total cases of across the state are reported, only 3 people tested positive for swine flu out of 26 total samples tested in June. It is worth to mention that until last month, the H1N1 virus has put health department to be on its toes as 177 deaths in state.

‘Forces with extremist nature behind protests by locals’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after caning demonstrators protesting against setting up of an LPG import terminal here, the police today said the ‘forces with extremist nature’ were behind the locals’ stir against the LPG terminal project. Amid demand for stringent action against police for the lathicharge at Puthuvype, that left at least 20 injured, the Ernakulam Rural police said they suspected that ‘forces and parties with extremist nature’ were behind the agitation. “We have information about the role of forces and parties with extremist nature in the protest. We are investigating their role. They (the protesters) are getting support from outside,” Ernakulam Rural Superintendent of Police A V George told reporters here. The protesters, meanwhile, said they would not attend a meeting convened by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday at his office in Thiruvananthapuram. They said there was no need to go to the state capital to attend the meeting. “If the meeting is being organised in Kochi, then we will think about attending it,” a leader of “LPG Terminal Virudha Janakyeeya Samara Samiti” told a TV channel. He also criticised the government for “branding” their agitation as a movement instigated by extremist forces. At least 20 people were injured yesterday when police lathi-charged protesters, who allegedly tried to breach a security cordon and storm the site. Vypeen area observed a dawn-to-dusk hartal today against the police action. The hartal was called by the Congress. The police action yesterday against the protesters was condemned by various parties, including Congress, the BJP and ruling LDF partner CPI. The protesters of Puthuvype have alleged that scores of people, including women and children, were injured in the “brutal” police action. Citing the chief minister’s intervention, Indian Oil Corporation yesterday announced temporary suspension of work on the project. In a release, District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla had referred to the IOC’s decision and urged the people to withdraw their agitation. The protesters, however, rejected it, saying they would continue their protests till their demands are met. Residents of Puthuvype have been up in arms for the past four months against the LPG terminal and the storage project in the densely populated area, raising safety concerns. Work on the facility was stalled for several days recently following intensified protest by people under the banner of “LPG Terminal Virudha Janakyeeya Samara Samiti” near the work site. They have alleged violation of environmental norms. The police were last week directed by the Ernakulam district administration to provide protection to the site. The Kerala High Court had recently ordered that the terminal, functioning in the Special Economic Zone in Puthuvype, should be provided police protection. Vijayan had earlier held a meeting with the protesters and appealed to them not to prevent the ongoing works at the terminal. The district administration has said the LPG terminal and storage facilities had received all clearances from various agencies, including the Environment Ministry.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Shifting liquor shops: Bedi asks villagers to petition excise

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lt Governor Kiran Bedi today asked PWD officials to file petitions before the Deputy Commissioner (Excise) for shifting of liquor shops situated on state highway. She told this to them during her week end visit to the village following complaints she had received from a voluntary organisation Udhavum Karangal, a press relese said. She promised them that desilting and deepening of the water bodies would be taken up under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Forget loan waiver, bank to auction farmers’ property

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a time when debt-ridden farmers from across the country are demanding a loan waiver, Gujarat State Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd (GSCARDB), popularly known as Kheti Bank, has issued newspaper notices for auction of properties of defaulting farmers. The move has met with a severe opposition from Khedut Samaj – Gujarat (KSG), which has urged the BJP ruled state government to immediately halt the auction process. In a press statement, Sagar Rabari, secretary of KSG, said that at a time when the government is unwilling to publicise the names of top corporate defaulters in the country citing reasons of loss of prestige, the bank is not at all concerned about giving advertisements in newspapers. He warned that when debt-ridden farmers from a number of states are seeking waiver of loans, such extreme measures will force the farmers to undertake mass agitation. Under such circumstances, the bank as well as the state government will be accountable for the consequences. DNA tried to reach out to bank chairman Dhiren Choudhary, but he could not be contacted. Calls and text messages to bank vice-chairman Dollarrai Kotecha and director Jetha Bharvad remained unanswered.

Pb SC panel seeks action-taken report into woman constable’s

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission has issued a notice to the Jalandhar division IG seeking action-taken report into the incident of a woman constable found hanging in a police station in Ludhiana. The body of a 23-year-old woman constable was found hanging from a ceiling fan in Nidhan police station in Ludhiana Rural police district on Friday night. It was alleged that she was being harassed by one of her colleagues. “Taking suo motu cognizance of the incident, the panel has sought an action-taken report for the Inspector General of Police of Jalandhar division within a week,” chairman of the state SC panel Rajesh Bagha said. The SC panel also asked police to probe all angles of the case, especially whether the woman constable was raped and murdered.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Growing supply glut threatens worse to come for restive Indian farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bountiful monsoon rains are unlikely to lift India’s rural economy this year, and may instead compound the woes of millions of debt-ridden farmers who are struggling with low prices amid a glut of produce such as lentils, oilseeds and cereals. The South Asian nation is still carrying a huge inventory of food grains from last year’s record harvest as exports were hit by an appreciating rupee, falling global prices and restrictions on overseas shipments. Another bumper harvest could accelerate the price slide and stoke discontent among farmers that has triggered protests in the big agrarian states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, where police shot dead five protesting farmers this week. Three years into his term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains popular and has no credible challenger. Yet unrest has flared in states ruled by his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), catching regional leaders flat-footed and providing a reality check on Modi’s promise to double farmers’ incomes over the next five years. “The next year will be challenging for the government in ensuring farmers get decent realisation,” said Harish Galipelli, head of commodities and currencies at Inditrade Derivatives & Commodities in Mumbai. Farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are demanding better prices for their produce and billions of dollars in debt relief after the new BJP government in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, recently announced a $5.6 billion loan write-off for farmers. Yet experts say such loan waivers amount to quick fixes that cannot compensate for flaws in farm policies, which have encouraged higher production of crops previously in short supply but offered scant protection on prices. Many farm commodities are trading below support prices set by the government. That is because the government only commits serious sums to buying wheat and rice, but not other crops that enrich the diet of India’s 1.3 billion people. Prices will fall further unless exports are revived, said Galipelli, adding “production has jumped but local demand hasn’t risen in the same proportion”. Ample world supply is likely to persist, predicts agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. “There is no export parity right now. Even after the recent correction in oilmeal prices, Indian supplies are expensive,” said B.V. Mehta, executive director of the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA), a Mumbai-based trade body. Indian grains production reached an all-time high of 273.38 million tonnes in the latest crop year, on record output of rice, wheat, oilseeds and pulses. But exports failed to revive, depressing local prices of corn < NMZc1>, wheat, soybean and turmeric. Exports of key farm commodities fell by a quarter in 2015/16 to $16.07 billion due to drought, and failed to revive in 2016/17 despite the recovery in output. RURAL DISTRESS A rising population, shrinking farm plots and increasing indebtedness among farmers have all hit India’s vast rural hinterlands. Farming accounts for 14 percent of gross domestic product – down from 47 percent at independence 70 years ago. Nearly a third of rural households are in debt, owing an average of more than 100,000 rupees ($1,560). Many farmers lack access to formal credit, forcing them to borrow dearly from money lenders or relatives. To mitigate this distress, state and central governments have ramped up purchases of red chilli, turmeric, corn, onion, sunflower, pigeon peas and groundnut from farmers. Still, farmers such as Sanjay Shinde from Maharashtra’s Nashik district are unhappy. “If Uttar Pradesh can waive all farmers’ debts, then why not Maharashtra?” he asked. Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel has warned that such loan waivers – forecast by BofA Merrill Lynch to reach $40 billion – would weaken already-strained state finances. “It is a path that we need to tread very carefully,” he said this week. Analysts and traders say good monsoon rains – forecast at 98 percent of the long-term average – will only complicate matters unless supplies are adequately managed. “There is an urgent need to restrict imports and promote exports. That’s how one can bring down the inventory level of food grains,” says Nitin Kalantri, a miller at Latur in Maharashtra. “Otherwise in the next season we will have much a bigger problem. And much bigger farmers’ protests.” ($1 = 64.2100 Indian rupees)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Khandu discusses rural connectivity issues with Tomar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu discussed the issues related to rural development, specifically rural connectivity with Union Rural Development minister Narendra Kumar Tomar. During the meeting held yesterday at New Delhi, Khandu informed Tomar that road connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh was gradually improving with all-weather access to eligible unconnected habitations in the state under the flagship programme of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju was also present at the meeting. The Arunachal Pradesh chief minister said connectivity has been facilitating access to economic and social service and helping generate increase agriculture income, productive employment and reduce poverty, an official release said here today. Khandu thanked the RD Ministry under Tomar for sympathetically considering the unique demographic as well as geographic characteristics of the state and liberally funding projects to improve connectivity. The state government during 2016-17 submitted a proposal for 162 road works and 53 long-span bridges with a total length of 2,447 km for consideration and sanction. The ministry cleared 119 road and 36 long-span bridges in November 2016 after its empowered committee approved the proposals in principle, the release said. The chief minister requested Tomar to consider approval and sanctioning of the remaining 43 roads and 15 long-span bridges. He said all required technical corrections and modifications have already been made in the detailed project reports as per the directives of the National Rural Roads Development Agency. Khandu requested early release of the first instalment for the PMGSY, as pending bills for payment against the works executed need to be cleared. Tomar assured support and cooperation of his ministry and said that it was the vision of the Prime Minister that all rural villages of the state are connected by 2019, the release added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Modi govt generated 813 cr person days of work in last 3 yrs’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Narendra Modi government generated 813.76 crore person days of work under its flagship schemes in the last three years, Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar today said. He said the expenditure on rural development increased from Rs 58,630 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 95,099 crore in 2016-17, a whopping 62 per cent increase, as improving the quality of life of the people in rural areas tops the Modi government’s agenda. The Union rural development minister said the government enchanced the expenditure to make gram panchayats poverty free. The Rural Development Ministry aims to increase it to Rs 1,05,448 crore for 2017-18, he said. “The ministry generated 813.76 crore person days of work in the last three years through various flagship schemes,” Tomar told reporters here. A person day is the amount of work done by one person in one working day. The maximum 636.78 crore person days of work was generated under MNREGA, followed by 98.97 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana and 78.01 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, he said. Tomar said the government is also enabling rural households to access self-employment opportunities. Under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay-Grameen Kaushal Yojana, around 1,35,000 candidates got jobs in 2015-16. Tomar said rural sanitation coverage under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan went up from 42.01 per cent in October 2014 to 63.97 per cent in May 2017. As many as 1.95 lakh villages, 137 districts and three states have been declared open defecation free as of May 2017 and the government aims to make 300 districts ODF by the end of the year. During 2016-17, more than 1.23 crore assets created under MGNREGA were geo-tagged and placed in the public domain and about 96 per cent of wage payments were electronically credited into the accounts of the workers. On the PMAY, he said that in line with the government’s objective of “Housing for All” by 2022, it intends to provide houses to 1 crore poor people by 2019 in rural areas. The pace of construction of roads under the PMGSY has increased to a record 130 kms per day, the highest average annual construction rate in the last seven years.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Modi govt generated 813.76 cr person days of work in last 3

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Narendra Modi government generated 813.76 crore person days of work under its flagship schemes in the last three years, Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar today said. He said the expenditure on rural development increased from Rs 58,630 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 95,099 crore in 2016-17, a whopping 62 per cent increase, as improving the quality of life of the people in rural areas tops the Modi government’s agenda. The Union rural development minister said the government enchanced the expenditure to make gram panchayats poverty free. The Rural Development Ministry aims to increase it to Rs 1,05,448 crore for 2017-18, he said. “The ministry generated 813.76 crore person days of work in the last three years through various flagship schemes,” Tomar told reporters here. A person day is the amount of work done by one person in one working day. The maximum 636.78 crore person days of work was generated under MNREGA, followed by 98.97 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana and 78.01 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, he said. Tomar said the government is also enabling rural households to access self-employment opportunities. Under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay-Grameen Kaushal Yojana in 2015-16, around 1,35,000 candidates got jobs. Speaking on the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Tomar said rural sanitation coverage has gone up from 42.01 per cent in October 2014 to 63.97 per cent in May 2017. As many as 1.95 lakh villages, 137 districts and three states have been declared open defecation free (ODF) as on May 2017, he said, adding the government is aiming to make 300 districts ODF by the end of the year. During 2016-17, more than 1.23 crore assets created under MGNREGA were geo-tagged and placed in the public domain and about 96 per cent of wage payments were electronically credited into the accounts of the workers. On the PMAY, he said that in line with the government’s objective of “Housing for All” by 2022, it intends to provide houses to 1 crore poor people by 2019 in rural areas. The pace of construction of roads under the PMGSY has increased to a record 130 kms per day, the highest average annual construction rate in the last seven years.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bihar Cabinet approves payment of Rs 5 lakh as ex-gratia to

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Cabinet today gave its nod to payment of Rupees 5 lakh as ex-gratia to the next of kin of civilians killed in incidents of violence related to terror, communal tension and cross firing on the borders. The incidents will also include activities of naxals and mines/IED blasts. Even foreigners will be paid ex-gratia under the new guideline, official sources said. Earlier the ex-gratia amount was Rupees 3 lakh per individual. As per the amended guidelines prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India for payment of ex-gratia to civilians, the Cabinet gave its nod to the state’s home department’s proposal in this regard, Cabinet Secretariat Department Principal Secretary Brajesh Mehrotra said. The said amount will be first paid by the state government to the victims of such incidents, Mehrotra said. While 70 per cent of the amount will be released immediately by the Centre to the state government, the remaining 30 per cent will be paid by the Centre after audit verification, he said. The ex-gratia payment will also be made to the injured if he/she has suffered permanent disability of 50 per cent or more, Mehrotra said. In another decision, the Cabinet also gave its nod to the Rural Works Department’s proposal to take loans of Rs 2310 crore from New Development Bank (NDB) (BRICS) for constructing all weather roads to connect villages having more than 250 residents in 26 Non-IAP (Integrated Action Plan) districts of Bihar except Kishanganj, Mehrotra said. A total of 4000 km roads has to be built on which Rs 3300 crore will be spent, he said adding that of the Rs 3300 crore, Rs 2310 crore will be taken as loan from NDB while the remaining Rs 990 crore will be borne by the state budget. The Cabinet also gave its nod to abolish the provision of reservation for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Backward Class, Extremely Backward Class in the 13 member management committee of block level 370 fisheries cooperative societies of the state, Cooperative Department’s Principal Secretary Amrit Lal Meena said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bihar Cabinet approves payment of Rs 5 lakh as ex-gratia

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Cabinet today gave its nod to payment of Rupees 5 lakh as ex-gratia to the next of kin of civilians killed in incidents of violence related to terror, communal tension and cross firing on the borders. The incidents will also cover those killed in naxal violence and and mines/IED blasts. Earlier the ex-gratia amount was Rupees 3 lakh per individual. As per the amended guidelines prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India for payment of ex-gratia to civilians, the Cabinet gave its nod to the state’s home department’s proposal in this regard, Cabinet Secretariat Department Principal Secretary Brajesh Mehrotra said. The said amount will be first paid by the state government to the next of kin of the victims of such incidents, Mehrotra said. While 70 per cent of the amount will be released immediately by the Centre to the state government, the remaining 30 per cent will be paid by the Centre after audit verification, he said. Even foreigners will be paid ex-gratia under the new guideline, official sources said. The ex-gratia payment will also be made to the injured if he/she has suffered permanent disability of 50 per cent or more, Mehrotra said. In another decision, the Cabinet also gave its nod to the Rural Works Department’s proposal to take loans of Rs 2310 crore from New Development Bank (NDB) (BRICS) for constructing all weather roads to connect villages having more than 250 residents in 26 Non-IAP (Integrated Action Plan) districts of Bihar except Kishanganj, Mehrotra said. A total of 4000 km roads has to be built on which Rs 3300 crore will be spent, he said adding that of the Rs 3300 crore, Rs 2310 crore will be taken as loan from NDB while the remaining Rs 990 crore will be borne by the state budget. The Cabinet also gave its nod to abolish the provision of reservation for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Backward Class, Extremely Backward Class in the 13 member management committee of block level 370 fisheries cooperative societies of the state, Cooperative Department’s Principal Secretary Amrit Lal Meena said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt may rejig development model in Naxal belt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With recent incidents showing that Maoists are getting significant support from local tribals to attack security forces, the Centre is mulling rejigging its development model in the Left-wing extremism (LWE) heartland by ensuring the rights and entitlements of local communities.Besides focusing on the security aspect during Monday’s mega meeting with the Chief Ministers of 10 LWE-affected states, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh would be paying special attention to the development aspect. The review meeting has lined up a full session on this aspect, which will be attended by the Ministries of Rural Development, Road Transport and Highways, Railways, Power, New & Renewable Energy, Civil Aviation and Telecom.Of late, the Centre has been criticised severely by experts such as former Union Minister P Chidambaram for making the security approach the fulcrum of its agenda to deal with Maoists and putting development on the back-burner and, in the process, alienating local tribals.The meeting is expected to be attended by the District Magistrates (DM) of the 35 worst LWE-affected districts along with the chief secretaries of those states that were identified during the UPA’s regime for faster local development to help assimilate the local population with the mainstream.CRPF’s anti-Naxal HQ now in ChhattisgarhThe central government has shifted the strategic anti-Naxal operations command headquarters of the Central Reserve Paramilitary Force (CRPF) from Kolkata to right in the heart of the Naxal violence-hit state of Chhattisgarh, in the wake of 37 paramilitary men being massacred by Naxals in a span of less than two months….& ANALYSISThe Left-wing extremism-affected states have shown a very poor record in ensuring the rights and entitlements of local communities
This is being seen as one of the key reasons for Maoists gaining in strength.

Cops illegally sell human body to medical college, probe

If found guilty, action would be taken against a constable posted in Kosi Kalan police station who was tasked with carrying out the last rites,” Superintendent of Police (Rural) Arun Kumar Singh said today. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The body of an unidentified person, who had been found dead, was allegedly sold to a private medical college here by policemen, prompting the authorities to order a departmental inquiry. “It is a serious matter and needs a thorough probe. If found guilty, action would be taken against a constable posted in Kosi Kalan police station who was tasked with carrying out the last rites,” Superintendent of Police (Rural) Arun Kumar Singh said today. He said efforts were on to unearth a racket involved in illegal sale of bodies. Mathura Chief Medical Officer R K Nayyar denied issuing any order to hand over the body to the private medical college.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Man killed by panther in Rajaji Tiger Reserve area in U’khand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 45-year-old man was mauled to death allegedly by a panther in a forest area of Rajaji Tiger Reserve between Rishikesh and Haridwar, officials said today. The body was found in a disfigured condition yesterday in Motichur Range of the forest adjoining a road stretch leading to Raiwala, about 2 km from the Motichur railway crossing. Superintendent of Police (Rural) Shweta Chaubey said the body is yet to be identified. Rs 1600, some religious books besides two trousers and a shirt were found from a bag which was recovered from near the body, she said. However, no document was found from the bag which could help establish the man’s identity, the official said. This is the second case of human killing by panther in the area in last six months. The tiger reserve spans over an area of 1075 sq km which includes Rajaji, Motichur and Chilla wildlife sanctuaries, parts of Dehradun, Shiwalik and Lansdowne forest divisions.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Akali men block road to protest killing of party workers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Several SAD-BJP workers today blocked the main GT Road (NH-95) near octroi post to protest the attack on the family of an Akali leader in which his father and brother were shot dead. As a result, dozens of vehicles remained stranded throughout the day and commuters faced problems as this road was the only way passing through the town which also links it to Bhatinda, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Ludhiana and other places. The protest was triggered after Harnam Singh and his son Joginder Singh were shot dead, while Balwinder Singh was wounded after an altercation allegedly over old enmity at Rukanshah Wala village here yesterday, police said. The incident had taken place when Lakhwinder Singh along with his accomplices had gone to meet Balwinder at his house last morning. Their discussion soon turned into an altercation and Lakhwinder allegedly shot at them, police said. Balwinder is the district vice-president of SAD (Rural), while her mother Amar Kaur is a member of village panchayat. Though, the police registered an FIR against Lakhwinder alias Lakha Dhillon, who is the main suspect, besides his brother Ranjit Singh, Karaj Singh and several others, all of whom have allegiance to Congress. The Akali workers have been demanding inclusion of more names in the FIR including that of Jasmail Singh Laddi Gehri, who is the spouse of sitting Congress MLA from Ferozepur (Rural) Satkar Kaur, alleging it has been excluded due to political pressure. Joginder Singh Jindu, ex-SAD MLA, said the the protest will continue tomorrow also, and they will not relent and allow the cremation to take place until they get justice. The road blockade was lifted in the evening after senior superintendent of police Gaurav Garg reached the spot around 5.30 pm and intervened. While rebutting allegations that the police was working under political pressure, the SSP said a thorough probe was being conducted into the incident and anyone found guilty would not be spared notwithstanding political lineage. He said the police has already launched a manhunt to nab the accused named in the FIR.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Wives of two cops end life in separate incidents in Solapur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a tragic coincidence, wives of two policemen ended their lives in unrelated incidents in Solapur city of western Maharashtra today. Charushila Bhangale (32) allegedly set herself on fire at around 7 this morning at Police Colony in the city. Her husband works with Railway Police in Mumbai. She was allegedly fed up with torture, abuse and beating up by the husband in the presence of family members, said a police officer investigating the case. The husband, the couple’s two children and in-laws were home when she set herself on fire after drenching herself with kerosene. She was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to injuries. In the second incident, Vijayalakshmi Birajdar (28) hanged herself at her house in Police Colony. She had married only eight months ago. Her husband, who works with Solapur Rural Police, allegedly harassed her, demanding that she bring money from her parents, police said. Unable to meet the demand, she committed suicide. “Jail Road Police have registered offences against both victims’ husbands,” said inspector S M Kane. In the first case police registered a case of abetment of suicide, while in the second, a case of dowry death was registered. Further probe is on.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre to work towards scheme on organic farming & millets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre would work towards formulating a national programme on organic farming and millet cultivation, Union Minister Ananth Kumar said today. A round table conference would be held on the issue, involving Union Ministers for Agriculture, Commerce, Food and Civil Supplies, Rural Development and Fertiliser, he said. “I would like to assure that with the help of all states, the union government will formulate a national programme…”, the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers said after inaugurating the national conference and exhibition on organic farming and millets ‘Organics & Millets 2017’, organised by Karnataka Agriculture Department here. Kumar stressed on the need for national mission towards encouraging organic farming and cultivation of millets, saying excessive use of fertilisers had destroyed soil fertility. “…in this backdrop I feel that government of India along with Karnataka and other state governments should start a national mission towards encouraging organic farming and cultivation of millets,” Kumar said. “I would like to assure that with the help of all states, the union government will formulate a national programme…” he added. The event was attended by Union Minister Sadananda Gowda, Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil and others. Kumar said supply of millets through public distribution system, as done by the Karnataka government, should be replicated in other states also. “I will personally speak to Food and Civil Supplies Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in this regard,” he said. The Minister also said extending Minimum Support Price to other millets, and scientifically increasing the MSP given to Ragi and Jowar, so as to ensure that farmers get proper returns, will be looked into. He said “we should think together regarding popularising consumption of millets in urban areas, by informing about their health benefits, and also look at ways to export them to other countries by ensuring they get market there.” Earlier speaking at the event, Krishna Byre Gowda had requested the central government to increase the MSP of ragi and jowar and to give priority towards distribution of millets under PDS. Highlighting his department’s efforts in successfully implementing neem coated urea, Kumar who is also Fertilisers Minister, said Indian Council of Fertilizer and Nutrient Research has been established and it has been tasked to find out whether there can be multi coating to urea. “…can we add boron and Zinc also to urea along with neem thereby providing other nutrients to farmers along with neem coated urea, we are trying to experiment that,” he added. Also noting that use of chemical fertilisers cannot be stopped at one go, Kumar said state and central governments should work together in this regard and formulate a policy. There is need educate farmers about organic and bio fertilisers and try to increase its usage by giving necessary input subsidy, so as to ensure that their earnings don’t get hit, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ministries start implementing Swacch Bharat Abhiyan action

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Acting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive, all the ministries have started implementing action plans regarding the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ with a commitment of about Rs 5,300 crore. The idea behind preparing these action plans is to integrate sanitation as core function of all Central government organisations and ministries in order to take the cleanliness drive to the next level, official sources said. The execution of the plans will be monitored by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation under the Rural Development Ministry along with the Urban Development Ministry, official sources said. Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Drinking Water and Sanitation, confirmed that all the central ministries have prepared the action plans and have started implementing the same. “All ministries have prepared the action plans for Swachh Bharat Mission for the current financial year 2017-18 and for 2018-19. The respective ministries have committed Rs 5,300 crore budget for sanitation this year,” he told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Prepare 2 yr action plan for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Govt to

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Prime Minister’s office has directed all the ministries to prepare a two-year action plan for implementation of the much-celebrated ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. The execution of the plans will be monitored by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation under the Rural Development Ministry along with the Urban Development Ministry, official sources said. Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Drinking Water and Sanitation confirmed that action plans have been prepared by all Union ministries and that they started implementing the same. “All ministries have prepared the action plans for Swachh Bharat Mission for the current financial year 2017-18 and for 2018-19. The respective ministries have committed Rs 5,300 crore budget for sanitation this year,” he told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Enact law to regulate NGOs, SC tells govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Months after ordering audits, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to explore enacting a law to regulate the government funds disbursed to the NGOs and prosecution in cases of misuse and misappropriation of funds, and non-filing of annual statements.Expressing its unhappiness over the current regulations, the SC observed that the existing ones were insufficient to monitor lakhs of NGOs across the country.”We get to know that Rs 950 crore is being given in total to all NGOs every year. This is a phenomenal amount… tax payers’ money. Since 78 ministries and departments were granting money to NGOs, a law on regulating funds and work by NGOs would be much better. Inform us in eight weeks whether you want to streamline NGOs through guidelines or through legislation,” a bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar told the government.During the course of the hearing, the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), a government agency under the aegis of the Ministry of Rural Development, said it had initially blacklisted 718 NGOs for not submitting accounting details. It had also recommended registration of 159 FIRs against various NGOs for misappropriation or misuse of funds disbursed to them.On April 5, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted these guidelines in court and on direction from a bench, a copy which was given to Amicus Curiae Rakesh Dwivedi.Apart from Dwivedi, all states and Union Territories have also been invited to pursue these guideline and give suggestions accordingly.The order for the guidelines came on the heels of a petition filed by advocate ML Sharma, who submitted that NGOs should be regulated.According to the draft, all NGOs/VOs are expected to register themselves on the NITI Aayog website, with NGO Darpan acting as a nodal agency. All requests for registration, accreditation and funds from the Union will be done through here.Upon registration, each NGO will be provided a unique ID. The organisations would be subjected to the laws under Income Tax Act and the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act. The NGOs will be monitored and their past track record will be taken into account before any accreditation is granted. In the event no work is done, they money granted for that specific purpose will be refunded along with a 10 per cent interest. If funds are misappropriated, criminal investigations against key officials associated would be initiated and the NGO blacklisted.The database would be maintained by NITI Aayog and information of the NGOs would be available on the website.In its previous order, the SC had also directed a financial audit of all NGOs/VOs by March 31, 2017 to bring accountability in the public money disbursed to these NGOs. During the previous hearing, Dwivedi had cited a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report which said there are more than 20 lakh NGOs receive funding from the Centre. However, only 10 per cent of them filed annual income and expenditure statements.The NGO-Partnership System (NGO-PS) Portal (NGO-DARPAN) maintained by the NITI Aayog invites all voluntary organisations, NGOs to sign up on the portal.
VOs/NGOs get a system generated Unique ID, as and when they sign up.
The Unique ID is mandatory to apply for grants under various governmental schemes.
The portal facilitates creation of a repository of information about VOs/NGOs.

Make a law to regulate NGOs, disbursal of funds: SC to Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to consider making a law to regulate NGOs, disbursal of funds to them and consequential proceedings on account of defaults and asked it to respond in eight weeks. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said the existing regulations were not sufficient to regulate the NGOs across the country, the disbursal of funds and consequential defaults. The bench, which also comprised Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, granted eight weeks to the Centre to mull over the idea of legislation and apprise the court about its stand. Earlier in the day, the government agency CAPART had recommended registration of 159 FIRs against various NGOs for alleged misappropriation or misuse of funds disbursed to them. The Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), which works under the Ministry of Rural Development and disburses funds to voluntary organisations working in rural areas, said initially it had blacklisted 718 NGOs for not following the due process and not submitting their accounting details. Subsequently it had removed 15 NGOs from the black-list after they complied with the accounting norms, it said. The Supreme Court had on January 10 said public money cannot go unaccounted for and those misappropriating must be prosecuted. Taking umbrage to the fact that no steps have been taken to evolve a regulatory mechanism even after the lapse of six years since a PIL was filed, the apex court had said the Centre and its departments were doling out crores of rupees to lakhs of NGOs, societies and voluntary organisations but were not aware of the repercussion of non-auditing. The bench had also warned that “mere blacklisting” of these organisations would not suffice and civil and criminal action should be initiated by CAPART/other government departments for misappropriating public money received by them from various government departments. CBI had in September 2015 informed the apex court that less than ten per cent of over 30 lakh NGOs functioning across the country had submitted their returns or balance sheets and other financial details to the authorities. The apex court had expanded the scope of the PIL, filed in 2011 against Hind Swaraj Trust, run by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare. The PIL had sought a probe into alleged embezzlement of funds.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

MGNREGA labourers denied compensation, allege activists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leading activists today alleged that the government was “denying” wages to a huge number of labourers working under the MGNREGA scheme and in many cases the compensation was not even being calculated. Nikhil Dey of Mazdoor Kishan Shakti Sangthan (MKSS), development economist Jayati Ghosh, CPI leader Annie Raja and few other activists in a press conference held here, also said there was “no accountability” despite the poorest of the poor being “deprived” of their just rights. “Payment of wages are not done to workers as per the legal provisions which amounts to forced labour. Instead, the compensation is being hidden and many cases not even being calculated to deny them their rights. Only a very low number of labourers are getting wages. This is diabolical,” Dey alleged. Ghosh and Raja termed the Modi government as “anti-poor” and “pro-corporate”. “Poor people are not under the radar of this government. In two years, this government could have done something for the poor, but ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ is a hollow slogan. It is a government of the corporate, by the corporate and for the corporate,” Raja alleged. The activists claimed that despite the enactment of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 10 years ago, the poor are not getting their due. “And this is despite the Supreme Court pulling up the Centre that it was not doing enough,” Dey said. The Centre early this month released its share of funds to the tune of Rs 12,230 crore to the states for the rural job flagship scheme, days after the Supreme Court had pulled it up for not releasing adequate funds. The apex court had also asked the Centre to give details of the expenditure on the scheme in drought-hit states, saying relief has to be provided now and not after one year. The MGNREGA aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. The activists also alleged that by linking the payment of wages through Aadhaar card was another “attempt to deny” the poorest of the people their due. “Some of the the state governments are complicit in this denial of wages by not writing to the Centre, despite knowing it. “Also, the Ministry of Rural Development is wilfully under representing the delays of wage payments, by only calculating the period of delay till the administrative process within a state. It does not calculate delays at the payment agencies level, nor the delays due to the inadequacy and delay of releasing funds from the Centre,” Dey claimed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sonowal directs ASLRM to provide rural employment to youths

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today directed the Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission (ASRLM) to achieve its target of providing rural employment so that youths do not have to leave the state. “The government is committed to provide meaningful employment to the unemployed within the state at the earliest so that youths do have to go out of the state to earn a living,” he said while chairing the governing body meeting of ASRLM here. The 88000 self help groups registered with ASRLM must be activated fully and financial assistance provided to them as per the norm of the mission so that youths in the rural areas can find employment, he said. Identifying and establishing linkage with banks for providing finance to the SHGs and giving access to market for selling their produced goods are the two key points for ASRLM to bring actual development in interior places of the state, Sonowal said adding that employment requirement of the youths must be also assessed to provide skill training. “If we can provide actual required skills to the youths to find employment within the state then only they would be interested to take training and the training would actually be fruitful for the youths,” the chief minister said. Sonowal said that banks must come forward to encourage women entrepreneurs and all women SHGs by providing hassle free finance through simplified procedures so that women can be encouraged to earn livelihood. He also directed ASRLM to convene review meetings every three months to check the progress of the various schemes.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre launches training prog for women panchayat leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre today launched a training programme for women panchayat leaders to skill them in governance and administration with a special emphasis on efficient usage of funds to achieve overall development. Union Ministers Maneka Gandhi and Narendra Singh Tomar interacted with select women village heads from Jhakhand through video conferencing during the programme, urging them to take keen interest in learning about various development schemes of the government. This, they said, would ensure that women representatives do not have to rely on male representatives in running the panchayats. Gandhi stressed on the need for them to learn how funds are allocated for various development programmes and how to spend it to ensure the budget released for a particular panchayat is efficiently utilised and the quality of the assets ensured. “Studies have brought the challenges faced by women panchayat representatives and the problems faced by them. The conditions and background warrant a support system for women leaders to enhance their capacity, capability and skill in governance and administration,” said Gandhi, the Women and Child Development Minister. She urged the women panchayat representatives to get an overall idea on how houses and sanitation infrastructures like toilets and drains are constructed and give special focus on women education in villages. She also asked them to ensure that there is no trafficking of women. “You should be aware of how many girls in area under your respective panchyats are attending school and try to figure out why girl students are dropping out and look for a solution. “You should also know how to spend the money allocated for various projects and maintain accounts so that no one is able to cheat you,” Gandhi said, and exhorted them to use cashless modes of payment including the Bhim app. The objective of the training programme is to build the confidence of the women representatives in dealing with the daily functioning of the panchayats and make them aware of the laws and rights of women under Constitution of India. She also advised them to form WhataApp groups to discuss and share among themselves their experiences/best practices along with achievements in order to empower each other. Union Minister of Panchayati Raj, Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation, Tomar said the women panchayat leaders can play an important role in addressing the problem of malnutrition in rural areas. He was also optimistic about them ensuring vaccination for every child. The National Commission for Women (NCW) with the help of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has developed training modules for empowering these elected women. They will be trained by experts from the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD and PR) in Hyderabad.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Assault’ of woman by police official; enquiry begins

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>: Police today began an enquiry into the April 11 incident of ‘assault’ of a woman by a police official during a crackdown on a protest against a liquor shop. The incident had led to outrage, following which government had ordered closure of the shop. Coimbatore Rural Superintendent of Police Ramya Bharathi, who began the enquiry, visited the area, accompanied by some other senior officials. Police sources said a detailed enquiry would be held from April 17. DGP West Zone IG I Pari ordered the enquiry by Rural SP and asked her to submit a report in a week, which would be sent to the DGP for follow up action, they said. The police official’s act, caught on camera, went viral drawing strong protests, leading to the administration ordering closure of the outlet at Samalapuram,about 20 km from Tirupur, the next day and an enquiry being ordered. The National Human Rights Commission had issued notice to the Chief Secretary and GDP, seeking their reports. The incident had occurred on April 11 evening when some people, including women, blocked a road demanding closure of state-run TASMAC liquor outlet, relocated to their locality consequent to the Supreme Court ban on sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways. As they refused to disperse, the Additional Deputy Superintendent of Police Pandiarajan ‘slapped’ a woman and pushed two others, asking them to move away from the road. As the video went viral, various political parties, including DMK and BJP, had condemned the ‘police brutality’.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

IRMA sends on leave director accused of sexual harassment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Institute of Rural Management Anand director, facing the allegations of sexually harassing a woman employee, has been asked to proceed on leave by the IRMA’s Board of Governors. The Board in a special meeting held today decided to send on leave the institute’s director against whom sexual harassment complaint was recently filed by a woman employee, a release issued here said. “Without prejudice to the claim made by either party/ stakeholders and keeping in view the interest of IRMA as an institution and its commitment to the fairness and justice, the board decided that the director be asked to be on leave until receipt of the submission of the Local Compliance Committee (LCC) report or till 100 days whichever is earlier,” it said. The Board also decided to extend the contract of the woman complainant which ended on April 30 “until the receipt of the submission of the LCC report or till 100 days, whichever is earlier,” it said. In the mean time, Rakesh Saxena will hold the charge of director, it said. The police had recently lodged an FIR under IPC sections 354(A) (making sexually coloured remarks) and 509 (outraging the modesty of a woman by indecent words or gesture) against the director on the basis of a complaint filed by the woman employee in which she alleged that the accused passed lewd comments on her and tried to hug her.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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