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Probe, identify & take action against violators: BJP leader Vivekanand Gupta

Seeking an inquiry into the illegal structures and fire compliance of all rooftop restaurants, malls, shops, and establishments, BJP leader Vivekanand Gupta filed a petition before the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission asking for action against those violating the building code and legal provisions.This comes after the death of 26 people in two fire-related mishaps at the Bhanu Farsan shop at Saki Naka and the Kamala Mills compound. Gupta, who is the secretary of the Mumbai BJP, has called on the commission to direct the state government, the police, the BMC and the chief fire officer to probe the open space violations, fire compliance and building violations in all commercial establishments and then revert with the action taken against the offenders.The petition, which was filed before the commission on Saturday, has sought that the Human Rights Commission call for all documents and noting from the BMC and the fire department about the steps taken regarding the illegal structures at the farsan shop and the Kamala Mills compound, complaints received, and subsequently, the action taken.The petition also calls for an inquiry into the violation of human rights and for information about the steps taken by these agencies to prevent such incidents from recurring in the future.“In a span of just around 10 days, 26 deaths have occurred due to massive fires. This is because of the negligent attitude of the civil servants,” said Gupta after filing the petition. He added that those who lost their lives in these tragedies must be given compensation by state agencies. The petition seeks that the commission must conduct an inquiry into the violation of human rights, negligence and abetment by the state government officials.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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Assembly session on Jan 4, 5

This is going to be first ever session after the recent assembly polls. The session will be held at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar as the main assembly building is under renovation. The budget session of assembly will be called in the last week of February and this will be over a month long session.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Saturday 30 December 2017 2:35 ISTMust readCM Vijay Rupani retains Home, Dy CM cut to sizeFTA, GST hurting Apparel exports: AEPC<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>The first assembly sesson of 14th term is likely to be held on January 4 and 5. The two days’ special session will be called for oath taking of 182 elected MLAs. Governor OP Kohli would administer the oath to all these MLAs.The election for speaker and deputy speaker also will be held in the same session. There is no confirmation from the assembly secretary yet, the sources informed that the government has sought an appointment with the Governor for these two days.This is going to be first ever session after the recent assembly polls. The session will be held at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar as the main assembly building is under renovation. The budget session of assembly will be called in the last week of February and this will be over a month long session.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
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Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
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WATCH: Congress MLA slaps female cop, gets slapped back

Needless to say this isn’t the first time that the Indian politicians have put their foot in their mouth. To show another example of this, a video of a politician from Himachal Pradesh is doing rounds on Internet where she has slapped a constable. Congress Leader and Himachal Pradesh MLA Asha Kumari is seen slapping a woman constable in the video, only to be slapped back.The video of the incident was shared on Twitter handle of ANI news agency and was presumably shot on Friday.Kumari visibly was stuck in a huge crowd and was trying to make her way and gain entry to a Congress meeting that was being held by Rahul Gandhi to review the party’s loss in recent elections.Asha Kumari is a MLA from Dalhousie, All India Congress Committee secretary and AICC in charge in Punjab. She has also served as the education Minister of the state from 2003-2005.

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

Cyclone Ockhi: Central team visit parts of Chennai, Kanyakumari to assess damage

A Central team today visited parts of Chennai and Kanyakumari districts to assess the damage caused by torrential rains and cyclone Ockhi.While one group visited parts of Chennai and its neighbourhood, the otherheld discussions with fisherfolk in Kanyakumari, which was battered by Ockhi last month.Members of the fishing and farming communities expressed their grievances to the team members.Relatives of missing fishermen wanted the government to expedite search and rescue of the fishermen still missing in the aftermath of the cyclone.Revenue Secretary B Chandramohan told reporters here that the team will continue their survey of the affected areas in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur till tomorrow.The officials will study the extent of damage to roads, infrastructure, loss of lives and areas that faced inundation during the downpour in these districts.It will later submit its report to the Centre, he added.The Central team, headed by Sanjeev Kumar Jindal, Joint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry, is likely to meet Chief Minister K Palaniswami tomorrow.The team members are drawn from various central ministries like Finance, Power and Water Resources, according to officials.The state government had sought a central relief package of about Rs 9,300 crore from Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards taking up rehabilitation efforts in cyclone-hit areas of the state, including Kanyakumari, during his visit to the district post-Ockhi.The state government had wanted the Centre to declare the cyclone as a “national disaster” on account of its “severity.”It sought Rs 5,255 crore assistance towards implementing permanent rehabilitation measures in Kanyakumari and another Rs 4,047 crore to cater to other parts of the state, including Chennai, affected by the north east monsoon.

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

Cow vigilantism: Don’t ferry cattle at night to avoid misunderstanding, advises Jamiat

Concerned over attacks on people transporting cattle in Alwar, the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has asked dairy farmers and cattle owners to not ferry bovines in the night hours to avoid any trouble.The Jamiat leaders, who gathered in Alwar district on Tuesday to discuss the issue, said many dairy farmers and cattle owners from the Mev community transport cattle for dairy farming purpose but get targeted by cow vigilantes or mobs under the impression that the animals were being transported for slaughtering.”We have advised the dairy farmers and owners of the cattle to prefer transportation of the cattle in day time and not in the night because the chances of attack on them are high due to misunderstanding. It creates trouble and disturbs peace and harmony,” Maulana Hakimuddin Qasmi, secretary of the organisation, told PTI over the phone today.Also readSlaughter cow and get killed, BJP MLA warnsHe said that close to 50 leaders of Jamiat and the Mev community were present in the meeting held in Alwar on Tuesday.”Several incidents have taken place in the Mewat region comprising Alwar and parts of Haryana where those transporting animals were targeted and attacked. There should be no illegal transportation but they should also not be targeted,” he said.Also readCow vigilantes murder cattle trader in AlwarHe also said that those transporting cattle should also carry valid documents.Qasmi said to strengthen peace and harmony, both the communities should sit together and ensure that no valid transportation of the cattle is targeted or hampered.A 55-year-old man from Haryana was attacked and killed by a mob in Alwar earlier this year. Besides, several cases of cow smuggling have been detected in Alwar district in the recent past.In reaction to a recent incident of alleged cow smuggling in which a smuggler was beaten by locals. A BJP MLA from Ramgarh, Alwar even gave a controversial statement saying anybody who indulges in cow smuggling or cow slaughtering will be killed.

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

New law has ensured development of areas in which mines are located: Centre

A new law, which has made it mandatory for spending of a part of revenue made from auctioning mines in developing the areas they are located in, has resulted in improved living conditions of people in these regions, government claimed today.Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the Lok Sabha that district mineral foundations, which were created after the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act came into being, have received Rs 13,398 crore and Rs 2,260 crore have been spent so far in developing local areas.This money will be spent on the affected people and areas, Tomar said while replying to a question during the Question Hour.”The changes in the MMDR Act are benefiting people. Their living condition is changing,” he said.To supplementaries regarding the steps Centre has taken to curb illegal mining, he said the law against it has been made more stringent as it now entails five-year jail term and Rs 5 lakh fine instead of a two-year term and Rs 25,000 fine earlier.States have also been asked to set up special courts to try cases of illegal mining, Tomar said.To a question from NK Premachandran (RSP) about lack of action against illegal miners in Kerala, the minister said it was for the states to act against them.Tomar also acknowledged that there was a crisis in the availability of sand and his cabinet colleague Nitin Gadkari, who is in charge of highway constructions, has also spoken about it.A committee under the mining secretary has been formed to ensure easier availability of sand, he said.The government has made it mandatory to auction mines of major minerals, he said, adding it has suggested to the states to go for auctions of minor mines too.Nine states have earned Rs 1.69 lakh crore by auctioning 33 of 88 blocks of mines, he said.

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‘Jammu and Kashmir extremely safe destination for women travelling alone’

Thanks to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), tourism honchos are cashing in on the positive indicators about women safety to promote the sector in order to ensure the increased footfalls of tourists to the valley.The 2016 NCRB report has revealed that Jammu and Kashmir recorded zero crimes against the foreigners, bringing smiles on the sullen faces of the tourism players in the valley.According to NCRB report, 382 crimes were committed against foreigners in India, of which 154 were committed in Delhi alone. Accordingly, 12 foreigners were murdered, 19 raped, 19 robbed and 38 foreign women assaulted in the country.“J&K is an extremely safe destination for women travelling alone. The feedback from women travelers from all over has been tremendous with respect to how safe they felt there”, said Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department.Post Burhan Wani killing unrest has cost the hotel industry Rs 1100 crore. Curfews, hartals, stone pelting and encounters have shaken the confidence of the tourists who have given Kashmir a miss after the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8 last yearFigures reveal around 7.9 lakh tourists visited Kashmir this year. They include over 2.6 lakh Amarnath yatries who visited the cave shrine this year. Last year 11.27 lakh tourists visit Kashmir most of them before July 8 when Burhan Wani was killed.Official figures reveal that the tourism sector suffered a loss of Rs 3000 crore due to the unrest in 2016. Official data revealed that around three lakh tourists had visited Kashmir between July 2015 and September 2015. The footfalls of tourist, however, were reduced to a trickle in the corresponding period of 2016 because of the post-Burhan Wani killing unrest. Tourism players are hoping that NCRB figures will help in diluting the negative perceptions about Kashmir. “People have apprehensions about visiting Kashmir, but I must tell you that Jammu and Kashmir is one of the safest tourist destinations”, said Priya Sethi, Jammu and Kashmir Minister of State for tourism.

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Day after meeting Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, wife, mother meet Sushma Swaraj

A day after meeting ‘convicted’ ex-Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav in Islamabad, his family met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Tuesday.Jadhav’s father along with his mother and wife met Swaraj at her New Delhi residence. Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh, who went to Islamabad with the family, also accompanying them. Foreign Secretary Jaishankar also attended the brief meeting.Jadhav’s meeting with his family members was not any ordinary meeting as they were separated by a glass barrier.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav meets his mother, wife from behind Pak smokescreenThe Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), to this end, clarified that the screen was placed due to security reasons and that Jadhav already knew this would be the setting.”It was there due to security reasons. We had already told them that you will be able to meet him but a security barrier would be there,” Dr Mohammed Faisal, Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, replied to a poser by ANI, in a press briefing in Islamabad.Also readFeel ashamed for acts against Pakistan and its people: Kulbhushan Jadhav in new ‘confessional’ videoFaisal substantiated his stance by adding that Islamabad considered Jadhav as “the face of Indian terrorism, especially in Pakistan.”In addition to this, the MoFA released another ‘confessional’ video of Jadhav’s, in which the convicted alleged spy was seen confessing that he did cross from Iran to Pakistan two years back.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother for 40 minutes; thanks Pak govt for ‘grand gesture’Jadhav, in the video that was apparently shot before he got to meet his kin, also said that he had requested to meet his family members and that he was grateful to the Pakistan Government for letting that happen.Jadhav’s wife and mother, before meeting him, had visited the Indian High Commission in the Pakistani capital, after which they moved to the MoFA building.Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad JP Singh was also present during the meeting.Pakistan had agreed to facilitate the visit of Jadhav’s family and also assured their safety, security, and freedom of movement in the country.Jadhav was arrested in March this year, in Balochistan, Pakistan, over charges of alleged involvement in ‘espionage and subversive activities for India’s intelligence agency – the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).’India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.(With ANI inputs)

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Identify heroes of 1857, assist their kin, BJP MP tells Centre

In yet another attempt to change the popular perception of Indian history to suit the right wing, BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh Sharad Tripathi has claimed that freedom fighters from the anti-colonial uprising of 1857 were not well-known to the people, and has urged the Centre to identify them and extend benefits to their families.Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have long asserted that the uprising of 1857 — dubbed as the First War of Independence by none other than Sangh ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar — has not been given the pride of place in Indian history, and that the history has been dominated by Gandhi and Nehru under the ‘Congress-Left hegemony’.Balmukund Pandey, organising secretary of RSS’ history rewriting project Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana (ABISY), had earlier told DNA that it was conducting a research to find the national heroes who were missing from Indian history books. Several martyrs from 1857, such as Tantia Tope and Jhalkari Bai, figured in this list.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raked up the issue at a Meerut rally in 2014 accusing the Congress of having ‘insulted’ martyrs by forgetting them.Tripathi too had earlier this year demanded in Parliament that a martyr’s gate be built in Delhi to honour freedom fighters who laid down their lives between 1857 and 1947.A list containing the names of such freedom fighters should be released by the government, he said adding that, so far there was no such authentic record. “While the names of Indian soldiers who fought the World War-II were inscribed by the British on India Gate, there is no such commemoration for the Indians who died for the country’s freedom from 1857 to 1947,” he said.In a similar push, RSS and BJP had in 2008 organised events to commemorate 150 years of 1857.More recently, RSS-affiliated historian Satish Chandra Mittal, associated with ABISY, had said in a seminar this year: “Instead of calling it a revolt, we should rather say it was a fight to protect the Indian culture.”Ironically, Savarkar had considered the Hindus-Muslims unity during the uprising as the cornerstone of Indian nationalism in his book ‘The Indian War of Independence 1857’ first published in 1909.”I believe that India’s fight for Independence began in 1857 led to the freedom in 1947. The government should do a study and recognise such heroes as martyrs. Their family members should be given benefits,” he said.

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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar receives praise for grand hosting of Shukrana Samaroh

Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal with her husband and former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and praised him for the “grand arrangements” for Shukrana Samaroh of 350th Prakash Parv of Guru Gobind Singh.The couple, who met the CM at his official residence 1, Anney Marg, were here to take part in the “Shukrana” (thanksgiving) function of 350th Prakash Parv (birth anniversary) of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru.Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union minister for Food Processing Industries and former Dy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal hailed Kumar for the “grand arrangements” for Shukrana Samaroh (thanksgiving), an official release said.Also readAssembly elections 2017 results​: Nitish Kumar congratulates PM Modi, Amit Shah on Gujarat, Himachal victoryKumar welcomed them with a bouquet and presented them with a memento and “Angvastra”, it added.They presented a “Saropa” to Kumar, the release said.”This (Patna) is the birth place of 10th Sikh Guru Guru Gobind Singh jee Maharaj. Its a matter of pride for the people of Bihar. It is our duty and privilege to do whatever we can do to celebrate the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh jee Maharaj,” Kumar said on the occasion.The state government had organised inaugural programme of the Prakash Parv on a grand scale in January this year to mark the 350th birth anniversary of the 10th Sikh guru and now the state govenrment has organised “Shukrana Samaroh” (thanksgiving or closing ceremony) of the anniversary function which is a 351st Prakash Parv also, Kumar said.Sukhir Badal’s father and former Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal while sharing dias with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kumar at the inaugural function of 350th Prakash Parva in Patna in January this year had appreciated Kumar’s hosting of the great sikh religious event in a well organised manner.Prominent among those who were present during today’s meeting included- Delhi’s Rajauri Garden MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa, Bihar Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, former Bihar Chief Secretary G S Kang, CM’s Principal Secretary Chanchal Kumar and others.

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Speak up Delhi: Autorickshaw finance mafia – a menace staring at govt’s face

Last week Delhi Government suspended licenses of two automobile dealers— Bagga Link Services Limited and JS Automobiles— after complaints filed by social workers and Presidents of Autorickshaw Unions for charging extra money from the customers. The government, in a show cause notice, asked the two dealers to reply with the reason for the extra charge else their licenses will be cancelled.An autorickshaw which should cost close to Rs 1,80,000 on road is sold for Rs 5,50,000 in the market. There are several extra charges on top which include logistic charges, annual maintenance charges etc. An extra handling charge was also added along with the GST since August, about which most of the drivers did not know.In petitions filed by Narendra Giri, President of the Pragatisheel Auto Union, and social workers from different NGOs, in the High Court, the discrepancies and the stronghold of auto finance mafia were highlighted which led to the temporary suspension of the two market leaders in autorickshaw dealing.“Supreme Court had passed 1,00,000 auto rickshaws in 2011, out which 55,000 were already on the road, 35,000 more were issued between 2011 and 2014. The last 10,000 got delayed and then were eyed by finance mafias. Those who bought had to pay hefty amounts as procuring ‘Letters of Intent’ to secure an auto unit became a difficult task. But most importantly, buyers had to pay additional charges with GST etc, thus in-total, the Autorickshaws have become very expensive,” said Giri.Even though the license was suspended for a short while, the Union members now look for stronger steps by the government. They are demanding cancellation of these dealer’s license and formation of a committee which looks into these permit procurements.EXPERT SPEAKThese dealers had been charging logistic charges of Rs10,000 which was not required, but nobody ever highlighted/questioned. Out NGO challenged this in the High Court. In 2010, I also filed a PIL against Auto finance mafia in High Court, which raised two main points of Permit trading i.e., auto rickshaw black marketing, and true ownership of Autorickshaws i.e. where drivers are driving autos granted on other’s names. The PIL was first dismissed in HC on technical grounds, then moved to Supreme Court which then sent to back to High Court, we are still awaiting a response on this Rakesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Nyaya Bhoomi, a registered NGO working for the welfare of societyIn complaint letters written to the Prime Minister’s and Lieutenant Governor’s office, we highlighted the extra costs that we have to pay for getting an autorickshaw. I requested them to take strong actions against these dealers who are charging optional AMC (auto maintenance charges) to everyone, handling charges etc since GST came. We have also raised a complaint against Rajesh Kumar Meena, MLO, Transport, who had a partnership with these dealers and earned money out of poor drivers’ pockets. I hope this suspension is not just the only step taken against these dealers and their licenses are cancelled tooYashpal Arora, General Secretary, Azad Hind Auto/Taxi Chalak UnionVOICES“I have been driving an autorickshaw since last seven years, I bought this second hand rickshaw for Rs 2 lakhs, whereas a new one should come much lower than this. It was easy then but, now, it has become very difficult to procure a new one”— Vipin Kumar, autorickshaw driver“A new autorickshaw costed me Rs 5 Lakhs, I had to sell my land in the village for this. But now the earning is not much as people generally do not pay by the meter and ask us to reduce the rates.”— Faizan Ahmed, autorickshaw driver“Recently a social worker told me that I can get a new rickshaw for Rs 1,80,000, but I paid three times of this price in August. How could nobody ever knew this? I hope they take away the licenses of the dealers who have been ripping poor drivers.”— Bikram Singh, autorickshaw driver “It was so difficult to get a permit for the autorickshaw and the ‘Letter of Intent’, as the mafia members already take so many permits on different names. The ones who need them the most always have to run around and pay more than needed.”— Sandeep Verma, autorickshaw driver “I had to sell my father’s land in Uttar Pradesh to buy myself an auto. Now they tell me that it was not required after running around for months first to sell the land and then to get the permit. Those people should be punished harsher than just seven days suspension”— Rakesh Kumar, autorickshaw driver

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Centre denies NDMA lacks direction

“It is not true. The NDMA is headed by the Prime Minister,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in its response to the PIL. The ministry further informed a bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C Hari Shankar that the rules provide that the chairperson may designate one of the members to be the vice-chairman of the authority. “At present, there are four members in the NDMA,” the reply filed by the Centre stated, adding that “weekly meetings were held regularly.””
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JNU VC urges Centre to install Army tank on campus as ‘symbol of patriotism’
Former ISRO chief UR Rao, man behind India’s 1st satellite Aryabhatta, passes away
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Centre denies NDMA lacks direction DNA
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Monday 25 December 2017 3:52 ISTMust readCops’ neighbourhood watch schemes failed to uncover sex racketYogi Adityanath meets distressed homebuyers, promises quick action<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>The Centre has refuted the claim made in a PIL that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) members were working on their own, without any direction and coordination, due to vacant posts.The bench was hearing a PIL by a lawyer who claimed that several key posts, including that of the vice-chairperson and secretary of NDMA, were lying vacant for the last two years.“It is not true. The NDMA is headed by the Prime Minister,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in its response to the PIL. The ministry further informed a bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C Hari Shankar that the rules provide that the chairperson may designate one of the members to be the vice-chairman of the authority. “At present, there are four members in the NDMA,” the reply filed by the Centre stated, adding that “weekly meetings were held regularly.”

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Those who did not fight for Cong will face action: Rahul Gandhi

Those within Congress who did not work to make party candidates win will have to face disciplinary action, said Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Ahmedabad on Saturday. He also assured that those who had worked for the party will be rewarded and that the grand old party also has a bright future.Addressing the party workers in Ahmedabad after a review meeting with the party leaders and MLAs, the newly elected party President said, “90% of workers fought for the party. 10% did not help the party. We will act against them, whoever they are, however big they may be. Everything will happen in a gradual manner.”Rahul thanked workers for their fine show even if the party did not get majority. Terming the performance a victory of sorts, he said that it was an uneven fight with BJP putting all the might of central and state governments besides ‘money power’, while Congress had only truth to rely upon.”We fought with love and we have won,” he said adding that during the course of the campaign, Congress was successful in bursting myth about development during Narendra Modi’s rule in Gujarat. “Inspite of asking so many questions, the PM was not able to reply,” he said.Gujarat Congress in-charge Ashok Gehlot said that PM Modi and BJP President Amit Shah had a tough time countering the onslaught of Congress and they had to take resort to sea plane and ‘Son of the Soil’ aspects to emotionally appeal to the masses. He said that the situation has changed in Gujarat and the countdown has begun for BJP, which will be reflected in the 2019 polls.THANKS PARTYMENRahul gave credit to AICC General Secretary and in-charge of Gujarat Ashok Gehlot as well as the party leadership for the results and termed the party manifesto a landmark document

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India, Russia address dip in relations, review ties

India and Russia on Saturday attempted to address the perceived dip in their relations by undertaking a comprehensive review of economic cooperation in key areas, including energy, trade and investment.The meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. Deepening the special and privileged strategic partnership, Swaraj welcomed Rogozin, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.”External affairs minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Rogozin undertook a comprehensive review of economic cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, transport, energy, agriculture, industry and space under IRIGC-EC (framework),” Kumar said.Rogozin later called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who noted with satisfaction the marked increase in high-level exchanges between the two countries this year. Modi also recalled his own visit to St. Petersburg in June this year for the Annual Bilateral Summit.The deputy Russian Prime Minister also called on the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Russian delegation comprised of senior government officials and representatives of trade and industry.Earlier this month, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov visited Delhi for Russia-India-China trilateral meeting. He created a flutter here while arguing for the inclusion of Taliban in the political dialogue process in Afghanistan.Addressing a gathering at a think-tank, he said that Russia had in the past contacted the militant group to sit down for negotiations, adding that American strategy of defeating extremism and terrorism in Afghanistan was not viable as the military method of the last 15 years had not reduced violence in the country.”You cannot resolve the situation without having everybody on board and around the table. The government of Afghanistan, the Taliban, and those who can influence the situation, including neighbours who feel the bad influence of what is going on in Afghanistan should find a political solution,” he had said.The two nations also agreed on raising the level of the Joint Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation to that of Deputy Minister / Commerce Secretary level and creating a mechanism to discuss and remove barriers to trade; creation of a Working Group on Agriculture; creation of a Working Group on Pharmaceuticals; an agreement to actively promote inter-regional cooperation which has significant untapped potential for cooperation; decision to expedite implementation of the Green Corridor for exchange of pre-arrival data between Customs Administrations of the two countriesWhat was achieved?Representatives of the two countries’ governments reviewed economic cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, transport, energy, agriculture, industry and spaceDmitry Rogozin, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, also called on PM Narendra Modi who noted the increase in high-level exchanges between the two countries

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MEA’s new outreach for Indian-origin leaders

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

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BJP toes Congress line of caste-niti

Accusing Congress of resorting to caste politics in recently concluded assembly elections at Gujarat, the BJP itself seems to have learned lesson of the same. Ahead of by-elections scheduled at Rajasthan BJP has begun to strengthen its caste cadre and focus on the new voters at the state. Party’s organisation secretary, P Chandrashekhar on Thursday took a session at party state headquarters at Jaipur on its proposed ‘Nav- Matdata Abhiyan’ aimed to increase association of young voters.A day earlier Chandrashekhar along with party state president Ashok Parnami has held a session of the Dalit public representatives of the party. The party at Rajasthan has divided its legislators into caste base categories and tends to assign them a responsibility to ensure support from their respective community. “The meeting of Dalit MLA’s was first in the sequence, we will be soon holding similar meetings of public representatives of other castes,” BJP state president Ashok Parnami briefed on the party plans. BJP at Gujarat was unable to keep intact the ‘Hindu’ votes as several caste swung towards Congress, it also suffered a decline in the share of young voters below 25 years of age. Thus as the responsibility of caste votes is handed over to MLAs of the respective caste, the task to associate young voters has been assigned to the party’s youth wing, Yuva Morcha. On Thursday, BJP’s state organising secretary Chandrashekhar attended a workshop of the Yuva Morcha along with state general secretary Bhajanlal Sharma and state Yuva Morcha president Ashok Saini. Here the participants were briefed on the campaign by a trainer from Delhi. “The nav-metadata program is being launched on instructions of the central leadership and will cover all universities and colleges of the state,” said Bhajanalal Sharma. It is, however, the backward caste votes that remain a major concern for the party. Vote bank Dalits are estimated around 20% of total voters were traditionally Congress supporters but switched sides in the last y elections. Ajmer and Alwar where by-elections where dalit voters hold the key, which is why BJP has given prominence place to their leaders in party like Kalisah Meghwal.

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UGC’s letter on trips to North East upsets Delhi University faculty

A letter from the UGC to the Vice-Chancellors of all the central universities encouraging them to organise excursions to northeast states has created an uproar among the faculty members at the Delhi University (DU) with many of them terming it a “political move”.In the letter, Jitendra K Tripathi, Joint Secretary, University Grants Commission (UGC), directed the universities to implement the ‘action points’ that emerged out of a recent meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the tourism sector. “Universities to be encouraged to organise excursions to the North East,” the letter said. The regulatory body also urged the universities to make tourism a part of course curriculum of students to sensitise them about the sector.University officials, however, said that by mentioning a particular part of the country where the Assembly elections are scheduled next year, in its letter, the incumbent government is trying to”propagate its political agenda”.”I have been teaching in a central university since the last fifteen years but this is the first time that a government is asking educational institutes to take its students on a trip to a prescribed place,” said Rajib Ray, president of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA).Four northeastern states — Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram – will go to the polls next year.

Horse dies after drowning inside Thane’s Masunda lake

In a shocking incident a horse died after drowning inside Thane’s Masunda lake on Wednesday afternoon. While the animal rights activists have alleged negligence by the owner, police officials have so far registered a case of accidental death.According to cops from Naupada police station, the horse owner claimed that they had just purchased the 14 year old horse named Baba from Kalyan on Tuesday. “The owner said that due to the road journey the muscles of the horse were stiffened and it was finding it difficult to move. As a traditional practice the handlers decided to splash some water from the lake on its body and as the horse was standing on the edge of the lake it slipped and since its leash got stuck in its feet it fell on its back,” according to a cop. By the time some bystanders could help pull out the horse from lake, a lot of water seemed to have entered its lungs and it died as it was being rushed to the animalhospital.However several animal rights activists have raised questions over how could the handlers take the horse so near to the lake. “We are sure they wanted to give the horse a proper bath and being noon with less people near the lake they decided to quickly allow a dip and the horse must have slipped causing its death,” said an activist adding that there have been several complaints about the horse owner who runs horse carriages during the evenings.Dr Suhas Rane a Vet and Secretary Thane SPCA said that ideally the owner or handlers should have consulted a vet or even if they wanted to give it traditional treatment they could have relied upon hot fermentation rather than risking its life by taking it to a lake.Meanwhile another cop from Naupada said that the owner informed them that due to this incident he has suffered a huge financial loss as the horse was just bought. “We have simply taken the statement of the owner and made a diary entry about the accident. However if animal rights activists come forward and lodge a complaint we will surely register a case,” said the cop.

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Why can’t condom ads be telecast after prime time deadline, Rajasthan High Court issues notices to authorities

‘Why can’t the condom ads be telecast outside the currently affixed hours between 10 pm-6 am,’ asked the Rajasthan High Court as it issued notice to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Principal Secretary to Centre and Union Health Secretary on Wednesday.The High Court also sought a reply from authorities as to why the ads can’t run beyond the prime time deadline.The notice comes after the Smriti Irani-headed ministry on December 11 issued an advisory to all TV channels to restrict condom advertisements to late night between 10 pm and 6 am. “All TV channels are hereby advised not to telecast the advertisements of condoms which are for a particular age group and could be indecent/ inappropriate for viewing by children,” the I&B ministry advisory said.In the advisory, the ministry cited 7(7) and 7(8) of the Cable Television Networks Rules that state that no advertisement which endangers the safety of children or creates in them any interest in unhealthy practices or shows them begging or in an undignified or indecent manner shall be carried in the cable service” and “indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or treatment shall be avoided in all advertisements”.This advisory was issued after the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) had requested the I&B ministry to take a call on such ads and their telecast timing after receiving several complaints from various corners about telecasting advertisement of condoms. While many on social media felt that the deadline won’t solve the purpose, traders body CAIT welcomed the government ban on condom advertisements on TV channels saying such ads often violate social values and have an adverse impact of growing children especially teenagers. “Such ads in fashion what they appear often violate our social values and have an adverse impact on growing children especially teenagers,” the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a statement.(With inputs from agencies)

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Yogi Adityanath-led govt to set up cow protection panels in all UP districts

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to set up cow protection committees in all districts of the state.The ‘Gau Sanrakshan Samiti’ would be headed by the district magistrate and it would ensure that cow sheds in the region operate efficiently, said a statement issued by the state government here on Tuesday.”The committee will be headed by the district magistrate, while the superintendent of police and the district’s chief development officer will be its vice-chairmen. The chief veterinary officer will be its member secretary,” Principal Secretary (Animal Husbandry) Sudhir M Bobde said.Apart from this, to make the committees self-reliant various cow-related products such as biogas, compost, soaps, incense sticks, mosquito repellant coil, phenyl made from cow’s urine would be sold, he said.

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After saffron sweep in Assembly polls, Mamata trying to appease Hindus, alleges Bengal BJP

After BJP’s victory in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, Bengal unit of the party believes CM Mamata Banerjee is looking for an image correction. After a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday, state education minister Partha Chatterjee said that Rs 17 crore has been allotted for the renovation of 74 ghats centred around Dakshineswar and Belur.“The decision has been taken in today’s cabinet meeting. It is a message to those who had been spreading canards about our party,” he said. He also said that a total of 1220 new posts have been created including 460 in the Home and Hill Affairs department, 82 in the Health and Family Planning department and 42 in the Finance department.With the panchayat election next year and BJP getting a shot in the arm in the shape of the defection of former TMC Rajya Sabha member Mukul Roy to BJP, TMC leaders have been trying their best to give out the message that they are for inclusive development of the state, irrespective of the person’s faith. At the district level too it is being used as a tool. In Birbhum district of West Bengal, a Brahmin Sammelan will be conducted on January 8, 2018. District TMC president Anubrata Mondal told DNA that it was being done in accordance with a party circular. “About 15,000 brahmins across the district will gather. They will perform pujas and each of them will be given a Gita, a religious shawl and a photograph of Ramkrishna Paramhansa and Saradha Ma,” he said and denied that it had any political connotation. “We had done this earlier at a block level but going by the party’s instructions, this year I am doing it at a district level,” he said.Also readHow BJP’s victory in Gujarat and Himachal will impact Bengal political equationsBJP leaders, however, said that the Mamata Banerjee-led government was doing those out of fear that the party and the government was growing unpopular among the members of the majority community. “They had taken appeasement of the minority to such a level that members of the majority community was disturbed and sensing it, they have now turned to do some damage control but I don’t think these will work. I have also heard that ahead of panchayat polls the TMC will donate cows to people in the rural areas. I have have seen Mamata chant mantras full of mistakes on stage to show people that she is a Hindu,” said Rahul Sinha, BJP national secretary and former party state president. He alleged that Mamata had started the politics of division in Bengal and had she done politics on the basis of developmental work in the state, there would have been no question of appeasing members of any religion.

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Picture perfect: the effectiveness of pictorial health warnings on tobacco products

The Karnataka high court on Friday struck down the 2014 amendment rules that mandated pictorial health warnings to cover 85% of tobacco product packaging space on all tobacco products sold in India. It is worth mentioning that the pictorial warnings on both sides of packages of tobacco products came into effect in April 2016 following the direction of the Rajasthan High Court and subsequently the Supreme Court too made it mandatory. After the decision of Karnataka High Court, health activists and doctors in Rajasthan have expressed their worries about the adverse effects of diluting the pictorial warning.“The second edition of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) says that in Rajasthan 50.4% of cigarette smokers,47.4% of bidi smokers and 60.5% of smokeless tobacco users thought of quitting smokeless tobacco use because of warning label on the packets. These figures show that the bigger pictorial warning on pack is critical to protect our youth from the dangers of tobacco and the government’s earlier decision of 85% pictorial warnings on all tobacco packages should be defended,” said Jayesh Joshi, Secretary of Vaagdhara, an NGO working for tobacco control in Rajasthan. Highlighting the severity of tobacco triggered cancer, Dr Naresh Somani, senior consultant, Medical Oncology Department at Bhagwan Mahavir Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur said that in Rajasthan 30% of total cancers patients suffer from the cancer caused by tobacco use. “It is estimated that 30,000 new cancer patients every year reach to the hospital due to tobacco generated cancer. Cancers of oral cavity and lungs in males account for over 50% of all cancer deaths in India,” he added.Raj takes the first step:Bigger pictorial warnings were first mandated by a notification issued in October 2014. Followed by the removal of the then Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan and the then Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju, the notification was then taken up suo motu by the Lok Sabha Committee on Subordinate Legislation, which asked the government to put the implementation on hold. While the implementation was then stayed, Rajasthan HC in July 2015 asked the government to implement it.Bigger the picture, bigger the impact:As per GATS-2, there has been a change in perception. 92% of adults surveyed under GATS-2 believed smoking caused serious illness, and 96% said use of smokeless tobacco causes serious illness. It was also found in survey that in Rajasthan 50.4% of cigarette smokers,47.4% of bidi smokers and .60.5% of smokeless tobacco users were planning or thinking of quitting tobacco use.Pictorial warning impact across IndiaIn India, more and more people of those still consuming tobacco are thinking of quitting on seeing pictorial warnings. AS PER GATS-262% feetcigarette smokers…54% feetbeedi users…46% feetsmokeless tobacco… …users are thinking of quitting because of pictorial warnings, compared with 38%, 29% & 34%, respectively during GATS-1

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Rohit Jigyasu first Indian to be elected to ICOMOS board

The newly elected board of International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which includes an Indian on the board of members for the first time, held its first meeting in Delhi recently. ICOMOS Triennial General Assembly was hosted by Indian National Committee of ICOMOS (ICOMOS India) in Delhi from December 11-15, followed by meetings on December 16-17.Headquartered in Paris, France, ICOMOS organised its 19th Triennial General Assembly in Delhi and the theme of the assembly was ‘Heritage and Democracy’. This event of heritage professionals from around the world was held for the first time in India and third time in Asia. It was attended by nearly 900 professionals from more than 80 countries.During the assembly, elections of the new ICOMOS board were also held. Dr Rohit Jigyasu, conservation and risk management professional and president of ICOMOS India was elected as the Vice-President of ICOMOS. He is the first Indian to get elected to the bureau of ICOMOS. Toshiyoko Kono from Japan has been elected as the President.This year’s General Assembly elected 20 members of the board by a secret ballot for a term of three years. The members then elected a president, a secretary geICOMOS Triennial General Assembly was hosted by Indian National Committee of ICOMOS (ICOMOS India) in Delhi from December 11-15, followed by meetings on December 16-17neral, a treasurer, and five vice- presidents.India supported the ICOMOS India initiative and hosted the General Assembly through the engagement of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Culture, the Archaeological Survey of India, and Wild Life Institute of India. Regional states, such as the government of Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha and Bihar too supported the initiative.”It is a great honour to be selected as the vice-president. It is very important to bring Indian perspective to world heritage. I will do my best to do the same,” said Jigyasu.Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism and Civil Aviation, gave a concluding speech at the session and emphasised on the importance of protecting and managing living heritage through engagement of communities.WHAT IS ICOMOS?ICOMOS is an association that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage around the world and offers advice to UNESCO on world heritage sites.

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Don’t celebrate Christmas where Hindu students are majority: Hindu outfit warns Aligarh schools

The Hindu Jagaran Manch in Uttar Pradesh, which is affiliated with Yogi Adityanath’s Hindu Yuva Vahini, has warned Christian schools in Aligarh to not celebrate the festival where there are students with Hindu majority, WION has reported.A media report quoted the president of Hindu Jagran Manch, Sonu Savita as saying that the students are being asked to bring toys, gifts and celebrate Christmas. The group claims that the Christians lure Hindu students and converts them.Claiming that such kind of activities can affect the mentality of Hindu students the group said it will talk to the parents and request them to oppose the activities.The state secretary of Hindu Jagaran March has warned the schools of dire consequence in case they fail to follow their directives.

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Having A Ball

Even before they have taken to the field to ply their trade, the women athletes of para-volleyball have stamped their victory against the taboos they have been fighting since long. These fearless women have touched down in the city to play interstate sitting para-volleyball federation cup that will commence on December 16 at SMS Stadium. To everyone’s awe, these women have defeated physical challenges as well as social stigma to rise above self pity in an attempt to become the first to represent the nation at the International Paralympic games 2018. It is for the first time that a women’s team will be playing at the national level tournament. “Shy of exposing themselves and the challenges that came along kept many girls away from taking up para sports,” said H Chandrashekar, president Paralympic Volleyball Federation of India (PVFI). “It has been for a decade that we at the federation have been trying to build a national women’s team. This task will thankfully get accomplished this year,” he added. The federation has recently added a trained 8 women’s team across the country, six of these will play their first national level tournament in Jaipur over next couple of days. “We have held demo games in several states to set an example and motivate more girls to take up sports,” said a member of a women’s team. The teams from Telengana, Kerala, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan will participate in the tournament supported by BMVSS (Jaipur Foot) organisation. These girls are motivated to play at Paralympic 2018.Moreover, sitting volleyball is a regular paralympic event since 1980s. Played with a lower net and smaller court, this game requires players to be seated at a particular position. In India, the sport has been officially been recognised for over a decade. Its for the first time that such national level tournament of the game is being held in Jaipur.Dissolving disparityIn course of deciding the winners’ award, the organisers were faced with the gender disparity. An initial proposal regarding the award money had differences in awards for men and women achievers. This, however, came to notice of the tournament’s local partner BVMSS and it was resolved. “Sports dissolve differences and thus it is only right that we should not discriminate on the basis of gender while awarding the achievement,” said Deependra Mehta, secretary BMVSS. The federation admitted that it was due to fund concern that the difference was proposed, but was delighted that it got noticed on time.Raj’s tryst with the sportThe game has been catching up among able-bodied athletes of Rajasthan. The state has delivered couple of national and international level players, like Kaptan Singh and Papu Singh. The men’s team had emerged as a runner-up in the last National Para-Volleyball tournament and had qualified in the quarter-finals the previous year. The state got its first women’s team registered in beginning of this year.Jaipur Foot to the rescue of playersThe Paralympic tournament organisers have to face the challenge of attracting big and fancy sponsors and that is why it often lacks proper facilities. The Sitting Volleyball Cup in Jaipur though has found support from the Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayta Samiti (BMVSS). “Our aim is to help in rehabilitation of people challenged by physical disabilities,” said Dr DR Mehta, chairperson of BMVSS. Also, it was BMVSS that volunteered to be a sponsor. Introduced to the game by an para volleyball player from Rajasthan, the BMVSS chairman was impressed with the enthusiasm of the players. Moreover, 12 men and 6 women teams will take part in the event. This year the winners will also be given a cash award. Journey of Indian Sitting VolleyballIt was in 2006 that the PVFI came in formal existence and since has been able to develop associations in 15 states. The PVFI team have participated in Asia Cup held by Para Volleyball Asian Oceania. Participated in Para Volleyball World Cup at Cambodia 2008, 2009 & 2011 Took part in Para Volleyball World C’ship 2010-11 in USA Won silver medal in Beach Volleyball 2011 held at Germany.

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Cuffe Parade locals back plastic ban with march

The Cuffe Parade Residents Association (CPRA), in their aggressive approach towards the plastic ban, held a march to promote plastic ban in Cuffe Parade with actress Juhi Chawla and local public representatives, on Sunday.The residents will now also use pet bottle flaking machine to dispose of plastic bottles which will be proceeded for recycling. More than 300 residents and school students from the locality were present during the march. On October 2, the residents had announced a complete ban on use of plastic in Cuffe Parade. Shopkeepers were given cloth and paper bags to be handed out to residents for groceries and household items.Actor Juhi Chawla handed over these bags to residents and guided students on the use of environment-friendly products.”We will be using pet bottle flaking machine which will flake the plastic bottles and later it will be sent for recycling. We will urge the residents to deposit the plastic bottles at designated centres which will be later flaked in the machine.”, said Hansu Pardiwala, Chairman of Waste Management committee for CPRA.Moreover, the local shopkeepers have been told to completely ban the use of plastic bags and discourage selling their products to the residents in the plastic bags.Padmakar Nandekar, Secretary-General, CPRA, said, “If the shopkeepers do not follow the rules, we will ask the residents to boycott such stores. We have ensured that the cloth and paper bags do not fall short for the shopkeepers which can be easily given to the residents after taking a nominal deposit fee which will be returned back to the residents once the bags are handed back to the shopkeepers.”

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Cabinet approves landmark bill to set up National Medical Commission to replace Medical Council of India

On Friday, the Cabinet approved a landmark bill – the National Medical Commission, Bill 2017 – which will replace the Medical Council 1956 Act. Earlier, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said cabinet approved a bill to set up the National Medical Commission. The bill will seek to replace the Medical Council of India and will seek reforms in the field of medical education, move towards outcome-based regulation of medical education, create accountable and transparent procedures for maintaining standards in medical education and create a forward-looking approach towards ensuring sufficient health workforce in India.Sources told DNA that provisions in the ball will end heavy regulatory control over medical education institutions and help facilitate a shift towards outcome-based monitoring. It’s also expected to introduce a national degree examination, the first time such a provision with be added in higher education, similar to NEET and common counselling for undergrads.The bill also seeks to regulate up undergrad and postgrad seats which will ensure that at least 40% seats are reserved for meritorious students irrespective of their financial status.The draft bill provides for the constitution of four autonomous boards entrusted with conducting undergraduate and postgraduate education, assessment and accreditation of medical institutions and registration of practitioners under the National Medical Commission, a senior government functionary said.According to the draft bill, the commission will have government nominated chairman and members, and the board members will be selected by a search committee under the Cabinet Secretary.There will five elected and 12 ex-officio members in the commission.The draft bill also proposes a common entrance exam and licentiate exam which all medical graduates will have to clear to get practicing licences, the official said.As per the provisions of the draft bill, no permission would be needed to add new seats or to start postgraduate courses.The deterrence for non-compliance with maintenance of standards is in terms of monetary penalty.The draft bill is aimed at bringing reforms in the medical education sector which has been under scrutiny for corruption and unethical practices, the official said. With inputs from PTI

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No show on Day 1 of Winter Session as RS and LS adjourned

The proceedings of the Lok Sabha on the first day of the Winter Session were adjourned today after the House paid tributes to three sitting and seven former members who died during the inter-session period.Rajya Sabha also adjourned for the day as uproar by Cong members continued. Opposition leaders protested the rejection of their notice in the Rajya Sabha demanding an explanation and apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “conspiracy with Pakistan” remark involving his predecessor Manmohan Singh.The House would now meet on Monday.Also readWinter Session of Parliament begins, Congress seeks PM Modi’s apology over Pakistan remarkAs soon as the House assembled, newly-elected Congress member from Gurdaspur Sunil Kumar Jakhar was administered the oath, which he took in Punjabi.Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted Jakhar with a handshake when the former greeted him with folded hands after taking oath.Also readManmohan Singh meets Venkaiah Naidu on eve of Parliament sessionThe Gurdaspur bypoll was necessitated following the demise of BJP member and cine star Vinod Khanna.After the oath of the new member, Modi introduced new ministers to the House. These included Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman who were elevated as Cabinet ministers in the September 3 rejig of the council of ministers.The new faces are ministers of state (independent charge) R K Singh, Hardeep Puri, K J Alphonse and ministers of state Shiv Pratap Shukla, Virendra Kumar, Ananth Hegde, Gajendra Shekhawat and Satyapal Singh.Making obituary references, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan informed members that three sitting Lok Sabha MPs — Sultan Ahmed (TMC), Chand Nath (BJP) and Tasleem Uddin (RJD) had passed away recently.Seven other former members — Vikram Mahajan, Ram Singh, R Keishing, P C Barman, Dhanraj Singh, Amal Datta and Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi also died during the inter-session period.The House was also introduced to the new Secretary General, Snehlata Shrivastava, who took over on December 1. A former IAS officer, she is the first woman Secretary General of the Lok Sabha.Before the proceedings began, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met leaders of various parties.When the Prime Minister entered the House, he greeted the members from the opposition benches with a ‘namaste’ and bowing his head.Rajya Sabha also adjourned for the day as uproar by Cong members continued. Opposition leaders today protested the rejection of their notice in the Rajya Sabha demanding an explanation and apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “conspiracy with Pakistan” remark involving his predecessor Manmohan Singh.The leaders termed the comment “unfortunate” and told reporters outside the House it was “disappointing” that Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not allow a discussion on the notice.They also objected to the “illegal disqualification” of rebel Janata Dal (United) leaders Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar Ansari.In place of Yadav and Ansari, Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar should be disqualified for breaking away from the grand alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, they said.”We gave a notice, but the chairman adjourned the House and did not let us raise the issue. We are disappointed. The chairman should have given us permission. This is a national… International issue,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.At an election rally in Gujarat on Sunday, Modi had suggested that Pakistan was trying to influence the state assembly polls.He had claimed that some Pakistani officials and Manmohan Singh met at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house over dinner on December 6.Azad said the prime minister should come to the Rajya Sabha and explain his remarks to its members.His party colleague Anand Sharma, Naresh Agarwal of the SP and D Raja of the CPI said the people concerned should be punished if the allegations levelled by Modi were true.”But if it is false, if he levelled such a big allegation to polarise the people in view of the Gujarat polls, then he should apologise not only to the House but also to the people of the country,” Azad said.Raja said it was “not correct” on Modi’s part to cast aspersions on Singh.The CPI national secretary said Modi should have called up his predecessor if he had any information on the “conspiracy” issue.”He should have done it, but the way he raised the issue in an election campaign… It is highly objectionable. It is not good for democracy,” Raja said, asking the government to respect the Opposition.Sharma said it was “undemocratic” that the Opposition’s voice was being “muzzled”.He said the prime minister was “aware” of the notice and could have “used the opportunity to clarify his remarks, express regret and apologise”.”But the prime minister and the dispensation are arrogant and confrontational. And this is most unfortunate. This attitude does not augur well for democracy. It is an ominous development on the first day itself,” Sharma said.

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

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

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Plaints on Noida’s stray dog menace fall on deaf ears

While the stray animal menace tops the civic woes of residents across the city, residents of Noida also are no stranger to the problem. In fact, they are now claiming that the number of cases of attacks by dog have gone up and despite repeated complaints, the Noida Authority refuses to even acknowledge the scenario.”We have been continuously holding meetings in the society campus against the nuisance being created by street dogs. We have knocked the doors of the Authority to take this matter seriously. They always take a written statement form us but do not act on it,” said AN Dhawan, secretary, Federation of Noida RWAs (FONRWA).According to the police, they are just helpless as when some residents register a complaint about the nuisance, some dog lovers cross register another FIR.”Last month, while shopping in Sector 37, my wife had to face a stray dog attack. She fell and broke her arm, and had to be taken for surgery. Ever since, I have been following the issue of sterilisation of street dogs with the Noida Authority, but nothing is really happening on that front,” said PR Chandna, RWA secretary of Mecon Apartments in Sector 62.Currently, according to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, you can get away with being cruel to most animals by paying a fine of anything between Rs 10 and Rs 50 in India. For repeat offenders, the penalty may go up to anything between Rs 25 and Rs 100. You could also be thrown in jail for three months. But that’s about it.”Every sector has about 20 stray dogs. This number should be checked,” a resident said.According to the chief veterinary officer (CVO) of Gautam Budh Nagar, routine sterilisation of stray dogs is very important in all urban and rural areas to control their burgeoning population. Also, it calms them down and prevents them from getting violent with other dogs and humans.Noida has an estimated 13,600 stray dogs, and the mating season, when they get territorial and aggressive, is from August to December. This has got the animal lovers worried.On September 26 this year, the Noida Authority appointed Delhi-based Dr Chawla’s Pet Hospital for the sterilisation project.Dr Nischal Chaudhary, a vet at the shelter in Sector 94, said the sterilisation drive had begun in October. “The Noida Authority asked us to sterilise at least 25 stray dogs every day, and so far, we have operated on 380 dogs. The dogs are kept in the hospital for about seven days for post-surgery care. After that, they are released in their home territory,” he added.Only time will tell whether this sterilisation drive will help normalise the man-animal conflict in the city.

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Nephrology congress begins in city today

The Indian Society of Nephrology (ISN) is organising the 48th Annual Congress of the Indian Society of Nephrology (ISNCON 2017) from December 14 to 17. The conference will have a comprehensive discussion on the latest developments and trends in the field of nephrology, dialysis, and transplant.Statistics indicate that 1 in 10 persons in the general population is estimated to have some form of chronic kidney disorder (CKD). Nearly 175,000 new people have kidney failure every year in India and require dialysis or kidney transplant.Dr Sanjeev Gulati, nephrologist, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, said certain other kidney disorders, such as glomerulonephritis (which is the third most common kind of kidney disorder), polycystic kidney disease, and lupus, can cause damage to kidneys’ filtering units and also affect the body’s immune system adversely. “ISNCON 2017 will surely prove to be a good platform to learn, interact, and support educational and research activity in the field of clinical nephrology. This conference will have international and national stalwart nephrologists and experienced speakers to further enrich our knowledge,” he said.Speaking further, ISNCON Organising Secretary Dr Shyam Bihari Bansal, Associate Director, Nephrology, Kidney and Urology Institute Medanta, said: “CKD causes 2.39 per cent of all deaths due to non-communicable diseases. It is the ninth most probable cause of deaths, as per 2016 statistics. The two most common causes of chronic kidney diseases are diabetes and hypertension.”NOT IN GOOD HEALTHStatistics say 1 in 10 persons is estimated to have some form of chronic kidney disorder (CKD). Nearly 1,75,000 new people have kidney failure every year and require dialysis or transplant.

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Ex-Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda found guilty in UPA-era coal scam

A Delhi court on Wednesday convicted former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and ex-coal secretary HC Gupta after they were found guilty of criminal conspiracy and corruption in a coal-block allocation scam case.Special Judge Bharat Parashar convicted the duo along with three others for irregularities in the allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to Kolkata-based private company, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL).Besides the former chief minister and Gupta, others who have been held guilty are former Jharkhand chief secretary AK Basu, Koda’s close aide Vijay Joshi, and the company VISUL under Section 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code and Section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, which entails maximum punishment of seven years.Arguments on the sentence will be heard on Thursday.Four cases have been so far decided among the 30 cases arising out of the coal block allocation scam unearthed during the previous UPA regime.The court, while announcing the conviction, also acquitted four persons — VISUL’s former director Vaibhav Tulsyan and two public servants Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan of all charges.Koda is also an accused along with Gupta in another case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.Gupta, who was the coal secretary from December 31, 2005 to November 2008, was earlier awarded a two-year jail term for cheating, criminal conspiracy, and corruption in a different coal scam case.

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NGT declares Amarnath cave shrine ‘silence zone’, prohibits religious offerings beyond entry point

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

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DLB Pawan Arora to receive award from President Ram Nath Kovind

Urban Local Bodies Department will receive National Energy Conservation Award for the second consecutive year. On the best work in energy conservation works (Street Lights) from the Ministry of Energy, the local body department will be conferred National Energy Conservation Award-2017. On December 14, 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind will give the award on Energy Day. Director of the Local Bodies Department and Joint Secretary Pawan Arora will receive this award.It is worth mentioning that last year the local bodies department was awarded this award. Last year, the Principal Secretary Manjit Singh received this award. Director Local Body Pawan Arora said that so far, 8.67 lakh LED street lights have been installed in 162 urban local bodies across the state. The highest is compared to other states.Throughout the country on 12 December 2017, a total of 41,30,007 pieces of LED street lights have been installed. Thus, Rajasthan has the highest number of LED street lights in the country. The most energy saving state is by putting LED street lights.TO BE NOTEDIt is worth mentioning that last year the local bodies department was awarded this award. Last year, the Principal Secretary Manjit Singh received this award.

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Condom ad ban: Traders body hails move, says such ads adversely impact children

Traders body CAIT today welcomed the government ban on condom advertisements on TV channels between 6 am and 10 pm, saying such ads often violate social values and have an adverse impact of growing children especially teenagers.The information and broadcasting ministry yesterday issued an advisory to all television channels to restrict condom advertisements to late night between 10 pm and 6 am. “Such ads in fashion what they appear often violate our social values and have an adverse impact on growing children especially teenagers,” the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a statement. The ministry said it was brought to its notice that some channels carry advertisements of condoms repeatedly which are alleged to be indecent, especially for children.”Condom ads presently are being shown in a vulgar manner which can’t be accepted by civil society,” CAIT said, adding that there should be a policy as to what kind of sexual education, to what extent and to which age group such kind of advertisement is required. Asking the government to formulate specific guidelines for endorsing products, the traders body said even brand ambassadors should be made accountable and responsible for such ads which they promote.Also readCondom ads should only be aired between 10pm and 6am, says I&B ministry advisory CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said the body had objected telecast of such advertisements in September 2016 and complained to the ministry regarding condom ad endorsed by bollywood actor Sunny Leone.The recent advisory by the government has faced criticism from people across social media including twitter, who are betting for more such ads to create awareness in the world’s second-most populous country and third biggest hub of AIDS patients.

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CBI outsources forensic auditing in chit fund scams

Unable to manage volume of documents seized during raids and lack of technical expertise to unravel the intricate maze of illegal financial network, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Alok Kumar Verma has decided to rope in private players to carry out “forensic auditing” in chit fund scams the agency are probing.To start with, the CBI has decided to outsource the forensic auditing of Prayag Group of Companies in connection with the investigation of case number 35/2014 being probed by Special Investigation Team based in Kolkata. In the case, the agency had filed a charge-sheet against Basudeb Bagchi, former CMD of two companies of Prayag Group — Prayag Infotech Hi-Rise Ltd and Prayag Infotech Network Pvt Ltd — and then MD Avik Bagchi.In a note accessed by DNA, CBI sated, “On the order of Supreme Court, CBI is conducting investigation in huge chit fund scam where large number of financial statements, bank accounts statements are to be analysed and expert opinion is required as to its general result and finding clinching evidence of crime committed.”It further pointed out that the purpose to outsource is to assist the investigating officers and court in explaining the various documents and its analysis by way of submitting a detailed forensic audit report and depositing before the court.The agency said documents can be audited at the office of auditor. However, there should be a clause of secrecy. Also the private auditor has to spend some days in CBI office for understating the case, and discussions with investigating officers. “The firms should be registered with the Indian Institute of Chartered Accounts, New Delhi,” the note stated. The agency has also put up a clause that there should not be conflict of interest with the private auditors.A senior CBI officer stated, “Forensic auditing is a technique to legally determine whether accounting transactions are in consonance with various accounting, auditing and legal requirements and eventually determine whether any fraud has taken place. Forensic auditing is a blend of accounting, auditing and investigative skills. In doing so, the veil of corporate entity is pierced to establish the intentions of persons behind such transactions.”Also the CBI is probing more than 60 high-profile chit fund cases spread across the country and are facing huge problems with the investigation while goring through maze of financial illegal dealings.‘CAG WOULD HAVE BEEN A BETTER CHOICE’On decision of CBI outsourcing the work of forensic auditing, a senior IPS officer in the agency stated that in place of bringing a private auditor in an investigation the best would have been to rope in Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). Currently, former Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi is the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. CAG only is empowered to audit all expenses from the combined fund of the Union or state governments, whether incurred within India or outside.

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BJP releases Salman Nizami’s pictures with Shaktisinh Gohil to counter Congress claims of non-association

On Saturday, to counter allegations of Congress that Salman Nizami didn’t belong to the Indian National Congress, the BJP’s Gujarat unit released photographs of Salman Nizami with Congress national spokesperson and senior leader in Gujarat, Shaktisinh Gohil. Gohil is also a candidate from the Mandvi seat in Katch.Earlier, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao also shared a tweet showing Congress had appointed Nizami as Joint Secretary PCC. Also readGujarat elections: Prime Minister Modi accuses Congress of ‘misleading Muslim community’, targets Salman NizamiEarlier, Congress leader Rajiv Shukla on Saturday responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on Salman Nizami and said that he didn’t know any individual in the party by the name of Nizami.Shukla’s remark has come hours after, Prime Minister Modi, while addressing a public rally in Gujarat’s Lunawada, took on Nizami, an alleged Youth Congress leader, over his tweet where he questioned the family background of the prime minister.Also readWho is Salman Nizami? Congress leader has had Twitter trouble in the past as wellTo this end, Shukla said, ‘Salman Nizami kaun hai, hum jaante hi nahin. (We don’t even know who Salman Nizami is). He does not hold any position in the party. We can also say that there is some random person Ram Lal in BJP who said something.””Kahin aap hi ka toh aadmi nahi hai (Is this a plant by you’),” he added.Earlier in the day, Nizami had tweeted: “Rahul Gandhi, son of Rajiv Gandhi. Sacrificed his life for India. Rahul Gandhi, grandson of Indira Gandhi. Sacrificed her life for India. Rahul Gandhi, grand son of Jawaharlal Nehru, fought for India’s independence. Narendra Modi, son of …’ Grand son of …’”As the voting for the first phase of Gujarat assembly polls took-off this morning, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been canvassing for the public’s mandate by berating every attack made by the Congress Party, especially over Prime Minister Modi’s humble beginning.BJP leader and spokesperson Sambit Patra also said Prime Minister Modi was the son of India, and that the Congress Party was trying to insult the son of the soil.

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BJP to celebrate Vajpayee’s 93rd b’day as ‘Sushasan Yuva Mahotsav’

The youth wing of the BJP, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), would be commemorating the 93rd birthday of the party’s first Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ‘Sushasan Yuva Mahotsav’ (Good Governance Fortnight) from December 10 to 25.While the occasion would be used to propagate the achievements of Narendra Modi government, the gamut of pan-India programmes that has been planned would target all sections of the society.”The BJYM is reaching out to youth throughout India to highlight the good governance model of the BJP as well as information related to government’s programmes. The efforts put in by our PM Narendra Modi to improve the lives of the average citizen will bring about positivity among the youth,” said BJYM national president Poonam Mahajan.To target the youth, on the back of whose support the Modi regime came to power, Yuva Samvad (conversation) and Yuva Sammelans (conferences) would be organised in colleges and varsities, apart from Sankalp Goshti (symposia on sanitation).At youth conferences, senior party leaders would address the youth in nearly 150 cities and towns and district headquarters.To impart a renewed push to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, sanitation drives involving children and youth would be launched. The youth wing of the ruling party would also honour the safai karamchari’s or sanitation workers as ‘True Swachhta Ambassadors’, in their respective areas.”BJYM’s legal committee would hold publicity programmes about the amendments or changes made in various laws in public interest by the Modi government. Meanwhile, the cultural committee would publicise the government’s achievements through creative cultural groups of respective states,” said BJYM secretary Anoop Antony Joseph.”The sports committee will organise programmes to honour eminent and excellent sportspersons at district and state levels during this period and uprise the people about the decisions taken by government to promote sports in the country. BJYM will also run social media campaigns at various levels during the period and publicise the achievements of Modi government,” Anoop said.SWACHH PUSHTo impart a renewed push to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, sanitation drives involving children and youth would be launched as part of the programmes. The youth wing of the ruling party would also honour the safai karamchari’s or sanitation workers as ‘True Swachhta Ambassadors’, in their respective areas.

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Decision is an example to other hospitals, nursing homes: Dr Kirti Bhushan

As the Delhi government cancelled the license of Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, DNA speaks to the Director General of Health Services (DGHS), Dr Kirti Bhushan, who played an active role in preparing the enquiry committee report and suggesting ways to the government.This is the first time that any government has taken such a bold step against a major private hospital. How did this work out?A life has been lost in this case. The baby survived for five more days in another private hospital. The hospital had registered the child as a stillbirth. When the baby was handed over to the patients, his heart was beating. As a result, we could not ignore the hospital’s actions in this case. This is a case of error of judgement, where the hospital failed to understand the situation of the newborn.What about the other private hospitals?The decision will set an example to other hospitals and nursing homes. All these private institutes will now be more vigilant in dealing with sensitive cases. They will properly follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in all cases.The hospital’s licence has been cancelled. What will happen to the existing patients who are availing treatment there?We have asked them to treat the existing patients till the time they are completely cured. For the rest, all the OPD services have been suspended with immediate effect. They cannot admit any new patient in the hospital.Delhi still does not have the Clinical Establishment Act, so what is the government doing about this? (Recently, Union Health Minister JP Nadda also wrote to various CMs to enforce the act in their respective states)We have submitted a report to the Secretary (Health) to introduce the Clinical Establishment Act in the Capital. The matter is being discussed with the stakeholders. The act, if enforced in Delhi, will help us in getting hold of the large number of diagnostic centres and pathology labs that are operating without following any guideline.

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Abhishek Banerjee files defamation case against Babul Supriyo over coal smuggling comments

Trinamool MP and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee has filed a defamation suit against BJP MP and Union minister Babul Supriyo on Friday, saying that the singer-turned-politician had made defamatory statements against Abhishek on the basis of rumours and hearsay.The letter quotes Supriyo saying, ‘There is a horrible syndicate of coal smuggling running. Everyone knows what the impact this is’… ‘Small Banerjee means Abhishek Banerjee has been given Rs 17 crores to Rs 18 crores’ … I spoke to the Coal Minister, Coal Secretary and Chairman of Coal India to stop coal smuggling. But Centre cannot deploy armed forces! Local police-administrative has to be active to prevent coal smuggling’.It also said that Abhishek had sent him a notice to desist from making such comments and to apologise for the ones made but since Supriyo didn’t comply, a suit defamation and injunction had been filed at the City Civil Court.Also readWB CM’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee sends defamation notice to Mukul Roy for levelling graft charges Supriyo has also been ordered to refrain from making such comments.Supriyo, when asked on December 5 if he thought his comments would attract legal action from the other camp, had said, “We all have cases against us be it me, Kailashji (Vijayvargiya) or Dilipji (Ghosh). I would like it if the court orders any kind of probe by any investigating agency into the allegations made by me. It would be clearer in that case.”Also read ‘Maa Mati Manush’, Mamata Banerjee’s favourite slogan, is the name of a private company owned by her nephewToday, however, Supriyo was not available for a comment but sources in BJP said that it would be dealt by the legal cell of the party.

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Centre introduces ‘Challenge Method’ for introducing new Kendriya Vidyalayas

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

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Legends remember the legend of ML Mehta

The third M L Mehta memorial Oration was the perfect occasion to relive the glorious past of Rajasthan bureaucracy. Senior bureaucrats of yester years who contributed in shaping the state of today all congregated to remember the architect of progressive Rajasthan – former chief secretary ML Mehta. Star-officers of past Anil Kumar, Arun Kumar, Narendra Sisodiya Inderjeet Khanna, C S Rajan and Krishna Bhatnagar to name a few descended at Rajasthan State Institute of Public Administration (RIPA) to relive the bonding they had shared during their hey days. Few existing senior bureaucrats were also seen exchanging notes and seeking tips from their seniors at the Officers Training School.The atmosphere got even more charged up when Election Commissioner Sunil Arora displayed his oratory skills to connect the importance of interpersonal skills of bureaucrats with the development of the state. He remembered his relationship with M L Mehta, with whom he worked closely during Bhairon Singh Shekhawat’s government.“I was secretary to CM and he was the chief secretary. I can’t forget efficient working style and learnings I had. Mehta’s relationship with Bhairon Singhji was unmatched. Both of them had true respect for each other and they both used to think about reaching the last mile while implementing any policy,” he said.Former secretary to Vice president of India Anil Kumar, who chaired the oration said that Mehta was an institution in himself. He said that Mehta more than a senior, remained a trainer. The role of trainer was more apparent for Mehta than holding any other prestigious offices during his illustrious career.“It was all because of that instinct even after superannuation Mehta continued to work for promotion of the latent talent within the society,” he said.Director general of RIPA Gurjot Kaur, M L Mehta’s son and daughter Sunil Mehta and Rashmi Jain also remembered Mehta and his life. Before start of the programme, DNA Editor Jagdeesh Chandra welcomed Sunil Arora. Meanwhile, Arora, speaking for the first time in his new role of Election Commissioner, said that the country can progress only when policies are made and implemented keeping in mind the needs of middle class. He said that statistics stand witness to growth of the country, yet, socio economic disparities continue to remain challenge for governance and policy makers of the country.“It is only appropriate for us to, every once in a while, step back from our localised trials and tribulations and asks what is going to define India for the medium term ?” he asked.As he held that the country indeed has evolved in a ‘regional’, if not a global giant with a treasure trove of statistics including GDP growth, investment levels, foreign exchange reserves, number of billionaires, number of unicorn start-ups, improvement in health and literacy parameters of now vs three decades back conveniently validating the idea. He expressed concern on lost focus and empathy for the much larger middle class.“For India to peak; its human capital should be nurtured and harnessed much more. This, implies taking a fresh holistic outlook aiming not just to improve statistics but also qualitative aspects of development, A good starting framework to target this problem would be to look at income inequality,” he implied.In its support, he quoted the latest annual Global Wealth Report of Credit Suisse, which states that ‘while wealth has been rising in India, not everyone has shared in this growth’. This has resulted in 92 per cent of adult population with wealth below Rs 6.5 lakh while 0.5 per cent population has net worth of Rs 65 lakh.Arora, 1980 batch Rajasthan cadre officer had contributed his bit in the development of new Rajasthan. In his career spanning over 35 years, he held important posts irrespective of parties in government. His style of working has left many followers in current bureaucracy of the state.
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Special Court to pronounce verdict next week in coal scam case against ex-Jharkhand CM Koda

A special court will pronounce on December 13 its verdict in a coal scam case against former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta and others.Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar has directed all the accused to remain present before court on the date of judgement in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to Kolkata-based Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL). Besides Koda, Gupta and the firm, the other accused in the case include ex-Jharkhand Chief Secretary A K Basu, two public servants — Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, VISUL’s Director Vaibhav Tulsyan, Koda’s alleged close aide Vijay Joshi and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan.The eight accused persons were earlier granted bail by the court after they had appeared before it in pursuance to the summons issued against them. They were summoned as accused after the court took cognisance of alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) of IPC and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.During arguments, the CBI alleged that the firm had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007. It said although the Jharkhand government and Steel Ministry did not recommend VISUL’s case for coal block allocation, the 36th Screening Committee recommended the block to the accused firm. The CBI said that Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who then headed the Coal Ministry too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block.Koda, Basu and two accused public servants conspired to favour VISUL in the coal block allocation, the agency added. The accused have refuted the allegations levelled against them.
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‘Dresses worn by Hindu girls embarrassing,’ says Bihar college principal banning jeans, mobile phones

In a bizarre incident, a Bihar college principal has introduced dress code in the college as the ‘dresses worn by Hindu girls are an embarrassment’ to the college.Shashi Sharma, Principal of Magadh Mahila College in Bihar, on Wednesday introduced a ban on dresses, jeans and Patiala suits on campus.”Was requested by girls to bring in dress code as there’s social disparity here. Muslim girls don’t wear jeans so they never objected. Dresses worn by Hindu girls were embarrassing,” Shashi Sharma said.The principal has also imposed restriction on mobile phone use. Any offender will have to pay a fine of Rs 1000. “There’s mobile-free zone where phones can be used, not in classrooms. Ours isn’t a modern college that it can take such modernity. We think traditionally & are miles away from modernity. It’ll take us 50 years to reach there,” the principal added.A student also expressed support for the administration’s decision saying the ban will remove differences among girls.”Ban on jeans is an old rule. Phones in classrooms were always prohibited. Girls never objected to dress code, in fact they requested for it in first place. Uniformity will remove differences among girls. Phones can be used in mobile free zones,” said Laila Qazmi, General Secretary of Magadh Mahila College.
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Cyclone Ockhi: 39 dead in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, 167 fishermen missing

As many as 39 people have perished and 167 fishermen were still missing after cyclone Ockhi hit Tamil Nadu and Kerala coasts while 809 others were swept away to Maharashtra, the Union Home Ministry said today.Joint Secretary in the ministry Sanjeev Kumar Jindal also said the cyclone is slowing down and would have no impact in Gujarat, where the first of the two-phased assembly elections is due four days later.”As of now, 10 people lost their lives in Tamil Nadu and 29 others in Kerala. Even though the exact number of missing persons were not known, as per available information, whereabouts of 74 fishermen in Tamil Nadu and 93 fishermen in Kerala is not known yet,” he told reporters here.A total of 556 fishermen were also rescued by relief and rescue teams from seas.The state governments are verifying with the affected villages to find the exact number of missing fishermen.Also readCyclone Ockhi: Schools in Mumbai, other parts of Maharashtra to remain open on Wednesday Altogether 809 fishermen with their boats from Tamil Nadu and Kerala were swept away and reached Maharashtra coast where they were provided food and shelter.While 33 tourists, both domestic and foreign, were safe in Lakshadweep, 250 fishermen could also reach safely in the islands from the high seas after being hit by the cyclone.Also readCyclone Ockhi: Search intensified to find 92 missing fishermenJindal said two merchant ships with eight sailors each were rescued and brought to Lakshadweep by Navy and Coast guard teams.Asked whether the cyclone would affect the election process in Gujarat, Jindal said there was no such possibilities as it has already slowed down.Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) today asked fishermen in both eastern and western coasts not to venture out in the sea for the next three days as heavy rainfall is expected in many areas due to cyclone Ockhi.Asking people not to panic in case of a cyclone alert, the NDMA said in an advisory that fishermen along and off Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coasts should not venture into the sea from December 6 to 8 while fishermen along and off Andaman and Nicobar Islands are advised not to venture into sea till tomorrow.Fishermen living along and off South Gujarat and North Maharashtra coasts have been advised not to venture into the sea till tomorrow morning.The severe cyclonic storm Ockhi will move over east- central Arabian sea and move further north-northeastwards with a speed of 21 kmph and lay centred over east-central Arabian sea at latitude 17.5 N and Longitude 70.4 E, about 480 km southwest of Surat and 300 km west-southwest of Mumbai.The NDMA said light to moderate rainfall is expected at most places in Maharashtra with isolated heavy rainfall also likely over north Konkan, Palghar, Thane, Raigarh, Greater Mumbai, Dhule, Nandurbar, Nashik, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar and Pune districts.It is very likely that the cyclone will to continue to move north-northeastwards, weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by tonight.Minor damage to loose unsecured structures and minor damage to banana trees, agriculture near coast due to salt spray is expected. Damage to ripe paddy crops and minor damage to ‘kutcha’ embankments are expected.The NDMA predicted formation of a depression over southeast Bay of Bengal during the next few hours and it will further intensify into a deep depression during subsequent two days.The well marked low pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman sea persists.It is very likely to move west-northwestwards towards north Tamil Nadu, south Andhra Pradesh coasts during next three days.The NDMA said people when asked to evacuate, should move to a designate cyclone shelter with safety kit and store dry food and water in abundance, keep torch and hurricane lantern/emergency light handy and keep listening to battery operated radio for latest information.
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PM to lay foundation stone of Barmer refinery in second half of Dec

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to lay the foundation stone of Barmer Refinery-cum-Petrochemical complex some time in the second half of December. The state machinery has swung into action in wake of PM visit’s and a meeting under the chairmanship of ACS (finance) DB Gupta has been scheduled on Tuesday to discuss loaning to the project with the officials of HPCL (Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited).“The meeting will be chaired by the ACS Gupta and attended by mines and petroleum principal secretary Aparna Arora along with HPCL officials. All aspects, including loaning process with the banks and how to plan the event, are the agenda of the meeting,” said an official unfolding details of the proposed meeting at the Secretariat.The official said that state’s various agencies have been geared up for the event slated to be held in Pachpadra and officials at the district level have been instructed to be ready for it. Notably, the union minister for petroleum and natural gas, and skill development and entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan, who was in Jaipur in November, had informed that the refinery project has got environment clearance and the PM will lay the foundation stone any time next month, (December).The Raje government has been working on the war-footing to launch the project at the earliest. The reason is that the previous Gehlot government, which claims the refinery its brainchild, had signed an MoU with HPCL (Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited) before the Assembly elections in 2013 but failed to turn into reality.When Raje came into power, she said that state needed to renegotiate the project. After almost three years of negotiations, the state government signed a new MoU with HPCL in April this year for setting up the complex.As per the agreement, the HPCL has a 74 per cent stake while the state government holds a 26 per cent stake in the new firm which is called HPCL Rajasthan Refinery Limited (HRRL). The total cost of the project is Rs 43,129 crore. Raje at the time of signing MoU claimed that new agreement led to significant saving of Rs 40,000 crore. Also, the state would receive 12 per cent return on investment instead of earlier 2 per cent mentioned in Gehlot’s agreement.OFFICIALS TO CONVENE TODAYThe state machinery has swung into action in wake of PM visit’s and a meeting under the chairmanship of ACS (finance) DB Gupta has been scheduled on Tuesday. The meeting will be chaired by the ACS Gupta and attended by mines and petroleum principal secretary Aparna Arora along with HPCL officials.
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Admin braces for Ockhi storm

Gujarat government reviewed pre-calamity preparations on Monday in view of the onset of Ockhi storm, which could reach state’s coast at the midnight of December 5. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and chief secretary Dr JN Singh convened two different meetings in a day at Gandhinagar and ordered the concerned authorities to stay alert taking serious view of the possible natural calamity.The storm had settled at 870 km in South-South West direction at Monday afternoon and is proceeding towards Gujarat. However, the intensity of the same is gradually decreasing, chief secretary Singh said.”The winds can blow at the speed of 50 to 60 km per hour and heavy rain in parts of Saurashtra and South Gujarat are likely due to deep depression. When the Ockhi would reach at Gujarat coast, its intensity is likely to be weaker, but the Gujarat government is fully prepared to combat with the situation. We have alerted all the district administrations of coastal area in state. Control rooms have been made active round the clock at every taluka and district headquarters of coastal zone,” he said.”Our administration has been on high alert since last 24 hours and we are continuously keeping watch over the situation. We request the fishermen to not to go for fishing and other people to not to go close to seashores in state. Moreover, the officials of fisheries department also have been directed to stay put at headquarters,” added Singh.The Chief Minister Vijar Rupani, amidst the busy schedule of poll rallies, reached Gandhinagar and reviewed the condition through meeting with the senior officials of the state government.Rupani said, “As many as 50 boats of fishermen from Kerala have drifted towards the shores of Gujarat due to heavy blow of winds and all have been provided shelter in Veraval. The state administration is fully prepared to combat with the situation and sufficient precautionary measures have been taken.”Revenue secretary Pankaj Kumar said, “The Ockhi may bring heavy rains in parts of Valsad, Surat, Navsari, Dangs, Bharuch, Tapi in South Gujarat, Amreli, Gir Somnath and Bhavnagar districts in Saurashtra region and Diu-Daman and Dadra Nagar Haveli union territories. One NDRF team each has been deputed in Surat and Navsari districts while two teams have been deputed in Rajkot.”DANGER ALERT“Our administration has been on high alert since last 24 hours and we are continuously keeping watch over the situation. We request the fishermen to not to go for fishing and other people to not to go close to seashores in state,” chief secretary Dr JN Singh said.
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Will an app solve perils of potholes?

City residents may soon have a mobile app to report about potholes in their areas. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, in a review meeting to discuss the state of potholed roads, asked the Public Works Department (PWD) to launch a mobile application for residents where they can report and share their feedback on potholes. “The app would facilitate identification of the location using GPS besides informing the complainant about the details of the road-owning agency concerned,” said the L-G. Besides, PWD Minister Satyendar Jain, who was also present in the meeting, emphasised on the need for immediate repair of potholes to take care of road safety as well as pollution mitigation through dust control. “PWD will work as the nodal agency for the repair of potholes. These potholes are one of the major causes of fatal incidents on the roads. The PWD will coordinate for repairs among various road-owning agencies in Delhi such as DDA, NDMC, MCDs, NHAI, and Delhi Cantonment Board,” Baijal said. Meanwhile, construction of Barapullah Flyover, widening of the road near Savitri Flyover and greening of central verges was also discussed in the meeting. The L-G instructed the DDA and PWD to conduct a joint site inspection to resolve their issues so that the work on the flyover and the road near Savitri flyover can be completed at the earliest. “In view of the directions of Delhi High Court, the LG has asked PWD principal secretary to commence the road widening work near Savitri Flyover at the earliest,” said a statement issued by the L-G. Baijal also stressed that roadside greening and plantation at central verges must be expedited. It was also discussed in the meeting that other road owning agencies such as local bodies, DDA, NHAI, NDMC and Delhi Cantonment Board should also do greening of central verges in their respective jurisdiction.
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After claiming 25 lives in Kerala, Cyclone Ockhi to make landfall in Gujarat by Tuesday midnight

After leaving a trail of destruction in the southern coast, Cyclone Ockhi is expected to make landfall in coastal Gujarat tomorrow midnight with squally winds, which may cause heavy rains in several parts of the state during the next two days.An India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast said, “The severe cyclonic storm Ockhi is now laid centred about 850 km south-southwest of Surat and is likely to cross south Gujarat and adjoining North Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by mid-night of December 5.” Following the IMD prediction, Gujarat Chief Secretary J N Singh today took stock of the administrative preparedness to deal with any eventuality.Revenue department’s Principal Secretary Pankaj Kumar told reporters in Gandhinagar that the authorities concerned in the coastal region of the state have been directed to take all precautionary measures.Also readCyclone Ockhi: Death toll in Kerala rises to 25, Centre assures all help Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams each have been deployed at Surat, Navsari, and Rajkot.The officer said the Army, Navy, and the Border Security Force (BSF) have been alerted in the view of the cyclone’s landfall.Also readCyclone Ockhi: Schools to remain closed on Tuesday, Mumbai University and all its affiliated colleges to remain open “According to the IMD forecast, Cyclone Ockhi would enter south Gujarat tomorrow midnight. This will the impact coastal areas from Umargam (in south Gujarat) till Gir Somnath district (in Saurashtra).”We have directed local civic officials as well as the collectors to remain prepared and take all necessary steps for the safety of the people,” Kumar said.The principal secretary said collectors of the coastal districts have been asked to ensure that fishermen do not venture into the sea as it will remain rough.”Those fishermen who have already gone into sea should return now. Many such fishermen are already on their way to the coast,” he said.Kumar said according to the IMD forecast, wind velocity would remain between 50 KMPH to 70 KMPH when the cyclone would make landfall.In view of the adverse weather conditions, the RoRo ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej across the Gulf of Khambhat has been suspended. The service, inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would resume on December 6 subject if the weather conditions are suitable.According to the IMD, Gujarat is very likely to experience a wet spell during the next four days.”Heavy rainfall might occur in Valsad, Surat, Navsari, Bharuch, Dang, Tapi, Amreli, Gir-Sonath and Bhavnagar districts on December 5,” it said.In a port warning issued here, the MeT Centre said, “Sea condition would be rough. Fishermen (have been) advised not to venture into the sea till December 6. Hoist Distant Warning Signal Number 2 at all ports”.According to an official release, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held an urgent meeting with senior officials to take stock of the preparedness.During the meeting, he was apprised that as many as 50 boats from Kerala had drifted towards Gujarat’s Veraval coast due to the cyclone, it said.
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Don’t know anyone by name of Shehzad Poonawalla: Tehseen disowns his own brother

Tehseen Poonawalla, Shehzad Poonawalla’s older brother, disowned his brother saying he didn’t anyone by that name.He said: “First of all, I don’t know anyone by the name of Shehzad Poonawalla. Me, my wife & my mother are no longer associated with this gentleman. Any questions he had could have been raised legitimately in forum within the ‘maryada’ & ‘daayra’ of the party.”Tehseen Poonawalla, brother of Maharashtra Congress Secretary Shehzad Poonawalla, on Monday came out in support of party vice president Rahul Gandhi, saying his entire family wanted him to lead the party.Also readSardar Patel was insulted by Congress, feeling the same way now, says ‘whistleblower’ Shehzad Poonawalla Speaking to ANI, Tehseen said, “I would like to clarify that me and my family are completely with Shri Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party. We want Rahul Gandhi to take over as the leader of the party.”Tehseen further said that the Poonawalla family had cut off their relationship with his brother Shehzad.Also readEntire party wants Rahul to become Congress President: Party’s Karnataka chief on Shehzad Poonawalla’s allegations”We have cut off all our family ties with Shezad; he is no longer a part of our family. We would just say if he had any issues with Congress, he should have raised it in the inter-party forum rather than the media,” said Tehseen.However, Shehzad Poonawalla, who had called out the party’s president election ‘rigged’, called the entire procedure to be a coronation.Also readShehzad Poonawalla questions Rahul elevation”I have objection with this election procedure which is rather a coronation. I would like to tell Rahul to ask his people to wait with a crown and coronate him as soon as he reaches the place,” said Shehzad.Shehzad also expressed his concern regarding the presentation of a dummy candidate in the election procedure.”As per my sources, Congress will take support of a dummy candidate, so the entire procedure seems like an election. I think people shouldn’t be deceived,” added Shehzad.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday took a dig at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on his unopposed nomination to the post of party chief, saying that such an election was only possible in a feudal setup.Speaking to ANI, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi congratulated Rahul for ‘promotion without performance’‘I congratulate Rahul Gandhi for his promotion without performance. This can only be possible in a feudal setup. I fully know that the way Congress is in ventilator, Rahul Gandhi standing in elevator will not do anything different. He failed in all the exams,’ Naqvi said.Earlier in the day, Rahul filed his nomination papers for the post of party chief at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters here.The election, if necessary, will be held on December 16.If elected, Rahul will succeed his mother Sonia, who has been holding the post for nearly two decades. Rahul Gandhi on Monday filed his nomination papers for the post of party chief at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in Delhi.
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Cuffe Parde residents look to solar panels for savings

To protect the environment and cut their expenses on bills, Cuffe Parde residents have decided to install solar panels to generate electricity for the supply of water to their open space.“At present, we are using electricity at commercial rates for our open space with a monthly bill of Rs 15,000,” said Padmakar Nandekar, secretary general of the Cuffe Parade Residents Association.The move, according to residents, is to ensure that they contribute to the preservation of the environment, and make the most of the money they are spending without any benefits. “Cost is secondary to us. We are nature-friendly people and look to have a cleaner source of electricity. The panels will cost us around Rs 9 lakh. Now, the money we pay for our bills does not give us any returns. The input cost is high but in the long run, it will be cost-effective,” said Nandekar.The residents have been trying to adopt other environment-friendly measures such reducing the use of plastic bags and purchasing a plastic crushing machine. The drive for the same will start on December 10. They said that they have managed to get a sponsor and are waiting to start the work once the collector office gives them the extension for caretaker status to maintain the open space.The 1.85 lakh sqft open space has over 15,000 trees. “We are asking for caretaker status to be extended,” said Nandekar.
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Newborn, declared dead by Delhi hospital, found alive later

A newborn, who was declared dead along with his still-born twin by Delhi’s Max hospital, was about to be buried when his family found him alive.After this, both the mother and newborn were admitted to another hospital. Delhi Police Spokesperson Deependra Pathak told ANI that the police were taking into account all details of the situation, and were also consulting legal experts. “It is a very shocking incident, and shows height of negligence. We have started immediate inquiry and investigation in this case. We are also consulting legal experts,” Pathak said. The Delhi Police will take further action if a case of negligence surfaces.”Under the court’s direction, we will also consult Delhi Medical Council or Indian Medical council, and convey to them details of all circumstances. Then, we’ll take legal action if a case of negligence surfaces,” Pathak said, adding that the police will also look if there are more cases of criminal negligence in the hospital. Meanwhile, Union Health Minister JP Nadda has spoken to Health Secretary in this connection.
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DNA SPECIAL: Power tussle between Lok Nayak Hospital, MAMC

The Delhi government’s biggest medical institute—Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) and Lok Nayak Hospital are in a power tussle as few of the department heads have refused to cooperate with the medical director (MD) of the hospital.According to the sources, in the last few months, regular confrontational incidents have taken place between the MD and few professors, with both writing letters to each other, marking the secretary and even Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.In one such letter, a departmental head wrote to the director,”The memorandum is without jurisdiction as MD Lok Nayak Hospital is not competent enough to issue such memorandums. It is beyond his jurisdiction to issue such a notice to Director Professor and head of the department who is under direct administrative control of Dean MAMC.”The MD had issued a memorandum as the department head and his colleagues failed to turn up for a meeting.MAMC Dean had issued a circular last week asking all the professors to extend their support to the MD to ensure smooth functioning of the hospital.”There are few HODs who have issues with MD. But even then, they must cooperate with him as he is the administrative head. I had been receiving such communications, and therefore, I decided to issue a circular to make things clear,” said Dr Sidharth Ramji, dean, MAMC.Dr JC Passey was appointed MD of Lok Nayak Hospital by the AAP government. The government had, last year, bifurcated the administrative systems of the Delhi hospitals.”All the doctors are doing their clinical practice in the hospitals. If anyone is spending 99 per cent of time here, how can they refuse to participate in the work? We are trying our best to sort out issues and work for the hospital upliftment,” Dr Passey told DNA.UNCONSTITUTIONALHospital sources said that the appointment of the MD was unconstitutional.”There is no document to substantiate this post. Neither the L-G, nor the Centre had given an approval for this post. We are following our head– dean of the college,” said a senior doctor.
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Yashwant Sinha’s ‘celebration’ tweet on GDP numbers targets Modi govt

Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Thursday refused to second the Centre’s joy over the improved the GDP estimates in the second quarter.Data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) on Thursday showed India’s GDP growth recovering to 6.3 per cent in the second quarter from a three-year low of 5.7 percent in first quarter.Sinha, who in the past has also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) economic policies, took to Twitter to train his guns at the government.Also readIndian economy back on track, GDP expands 6.3% in July-Sep quarter: Who said what“Agri production has declined sharply, manufacturing has fallen, construction is down yet wait to see how we go gaga over this figure of growth,” Sinha tweeted.He further said India’s GDP needs to grow at 8 per cent to 10 per cent to create jobs for the youth.Also readAhead of Gujarat polls, GDP brings cheers for PM Narendra Modi, grows at 6.3% in Q2“India must grow at 8% to 10% to create the jobs we need for our youth. But let us celebrate 6.3% as a great achievement of our government. All our problems now stand resolved,” he said sarcastically in the second tweet.Sinha’s scathing attack on the government came after Union Finance Minster Arun Jaitley hoped that the GDP will further improve in the coming quarters.“Demonetisation and GST’s (Goods and Services Tax) impact is behind us. The economy now seems to have weathered the transitional challenges experienced earlier in the year and hopefully in coming quarters, we can look for an upwards trajectory,” Jaitley said.He further added that ‘encouragingly, the rate of growth of gross fixed capital formation has also increased from 1.6 per cent in the first quarter to 4.7 percent in the second quarter. Real private consumption growth has broadly held steady at 6.5 percent”.Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia also said the GDP number may go up when it is finally revised.Sinha’s sour relations with his party led Union Government are not new.On September 28, Sinha described the implementation of the GST from July 1 as the second major blow to the Indian economy after demonetisation.
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Hizbul chief Salahuddin’s son injured in scuffle with security guards in Tihar jail

Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin’s son, who is lodged in Tihar jail in connection with terror-funding cases, was among the 18 prisoners injured in a scuffle with security guards, officials said today.All the 18 prisoners, including Syed Shahid Yusuf, were injured when the personnel of the Tamil Nadu special force intervened after one of their physically handicapped officers was assaulted by three inmates at Tihar central jail number 1 on the intervening night of November 21-22 during checking.These facts were conveyed by Tihar jail authorities to the Union Home Ministry in a report submitted yesterday, a ministry official said.Also readHizbul chief Syed Salahuddin’s son Shahid Yousuf suspended from J&K government jobThe injured prisoners are being examined by a three- member team of doctors from the AIIMS here.A fact-finding team, headed by a district judge rank officer, has been constituted to investigate the entire incident.Also readTerror funding case: Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin’s son Shahid Yusuf arrested by NIAThe commandant of the Tamil Nadu special force battalion deployed in Tihar jail has also been asked to conduct a separate detailed probe into the incident and take appropriate action against anyone found negligent, the official said.Giving details of the incident, the official quoting the Tihar jail report said, three prisoners, including a Kashmiri, were found to be having unauthorised materials and when Tamil Nadu special force sub inspector Muthu Pandee tried to remove them, the inmates resisted and assaulted him.Also readMehbooba Mufti writes to Home Secy after attack on Hizbul chief’s son in TiharAs the officer, who is physically handicapped, was alleged beaten up by the three inmates, other policemen intervened in which the 18 prisoners, including Yusuf were injured.After the incident, the team of Tamil Nadu special force was removed from the active jail duties.The jail authorities have deposited the relevant evidence, including CCTV footage, to the probe teams, the official said.All employees of the Tihar have been sensitised and asked to ensure that inherent dignity of the prisoners, while carrying out searches, are protected, the official said.On Tuesday, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had telephoned Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba to enquire about the Tihar incident.Mehbooba spoke to Gauba about social media reports on the alleged assault of Kashmiri prisoners in Tihar jail and urged him to ensure their safety.”A prison is considered to be the safest place but the alleged incidents that have come to light put a question mark on it,” she said in a statement.
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Padmavati: BJP’s Suraj Pal Amu, who offered Rs 10 crore for Deepika, Bhansali’s heads quits party post

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Haryana BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu, who threatened Deepika Padukone for her role in Padmavati and its director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, on Wednesday resigned from the party’s state Chief Media Coordinator post.The Haryana BJP leader had been up and arms against the release of bollywood film ‘Padmavati’ and had hit the headlines for offering Rs 10 crore for anyone who beheads Deepika and Bhansali.Earlier, his violent statements had drawn show cause notice from his own party BJP, asking him to explain his remarks. BJP National Secretary Anil Jain had also condemned his threats on the party’s behalf and said the national party is not in support of such threats. A case was also registered against the controversial Haryana BJP leader.However, Suraj Pal defended his threats saying he made the remarks in his ‘personal capacity’. He further said that he was willing to quit party if he was being asked but would not let anyone ‘insult’ his community. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus has been marred in a controversy, where a group has alleged that the film ‘distorts’ the history of Rajput queen Padmini. Rajput Karni Sena (RKS) has been protesting against the film demanding a nationwide ban on its release. Ministers and erstwhile royals are also adding voice to the protest.Several states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has banned the screening of ‘Padmavati’ starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. The film was slated for release on December 1. But on Sunday, it was confirmed that the Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama has been delayed. The film was submitted to the CBFC for certification but it was returned to the makers because of ‘incomplete application’.The production house, Viacom18 motion pictures, sent out an official release on Sunday confirming the delay in the release of Padmavati.

‘Provide evidence or stop crying’: LeT founder Hafiz Saeed’s son-in-law tells India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>.A day after 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed filed a plea in United Nations to remove his terrorist tag, his son-in-law has asked India to stop crying and provide evidence against him. The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder and banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) head, who carries a USD 10 million American bounty on his head for terror activities, walked free on Friday after the Pakistan government decided against detaining him further in any other case. He was under house arrest since January this year.“India is always crying internationally. Why don’t you provide evidence instead of just using television clips of the Mumbai attacks?,’’ Khalid Waleed, the son-in-law of Hafiz Saeed told Hindustan Times.He also said that the America has asked for Hafiz Saeed’s re-arrest only because of pressure from India and he would continue to fight for the liberation of Kashmir. ALSO READ ‘I am not a terrorist’: LeT founder Hafiz Saeed files petition in UN to remove tagHe also questions how Saeed can be rearrested when he has been released by a three-judge bench of the review board.Meanwhile, influential Democratic lawmaker Tulsi Gabbard termed as ‘ridiculous’ the release of Hafiz Saeed from house arrest.”Not only did Pakistan give refuge to Bin Laden, responsible for attacks against US on 9/11, Pakistan set free a terrorist who has a USD 10 million American bounty on his head,” she said.The US has sought immediate re-arrest of Saeed, warning Islamabad that there would be repercussions for bilateral ties if it fails to act. ALSO READ Remembering 26/11: Hafiz Saeed’s release shows Pakistan not serious about bringing perpetrators to justice”If Pakistan does not take action to lawfully detain Saeed and charge him for his crimes, its inaction will have repercussions for bilateral relations and for Pakistan’s global reputation,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders Sanders said.India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said that Saeed’s release confirmed once again the lack of seriousness by the Pakistan government in bringing to justice perpetrators of terrorism, including individuals and entities designated by the UN.”It also appears to be an attempt by the Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists. Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non-state actors and its true face is visible for all to see,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in New Delhi. ALSO READ Committed to implementing UN sanctions, says Pak as US seeks Hafiz Saeed’s re-arrest

CBI books 5 DoPT officials for siphoning of funds

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

In bureaucratic shuffle, govt transfers 10 IAS officers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the fiasco over the farm loan waivers in Maharashtra, the state government has transferred Vijay Kumar Gautam as the principal secretary of the Information Technology (IT) department. Gautam will now be the Principal Secretary (Accounts and Treasuries) in the state finance department.The charge of the IT department will now be vested with SVR Srinivas, who was the officer on special duty (slum development). The state government transferred 10 IAS officials on Tuesday.Earlier, Gautam was sent on leave in a move which raised eyebrows after huge technical glitches in the loan waiver process. This included dummy and incorrect Aadhaar numbers and duplication of names of beneficiaries. Lok Sabha MP and farmer leader Raju Shetti had also claimed irregularities in the scheme, though this was denied by the state government.A total of 56.59 lakh farmer families comprising of 77 lakh individuals had applied for the loan waiver named after Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Despite the loan waiver being announced on June 24, just 15.42 lakh people have been covered under the Aadhaar linked amnesty scheme of which 3.25 lakh farmers have received Rs 9,284.71 crore in their bank accounts.Additional chief secretary Vandana Krishna, who was in charge of accounts and treasuries, will hold charge of reforms, while R.A Rajeev, will be the principal secretary (expenditure). Rajeev was earlier the principal secretary (reforms).Other IAS officials who have been transferred include director (disaster management) Rajiv Niwatkar, who will be the joint secretary of the chief secretary’s office. Suraj Mandhare, who was posted in the chief secretary’s office will now be the chief executive officer of the Pune zilla parishad, while D.B Desai, who held the charge earlier will be transferred in Niwatkar’s previous position.Dr Manik Gursal, who was the CEO of the Latur zilla parishad will be the Commissioner of the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme and his earlier post will be held by Vipin Itankar.MORE CHANGESDr Manik Gursal, who was the CEO of the Latur zilla parishad, will be the commissioner of the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme

NK Singh will head Finance Commission

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

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