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Saurabh Patel takes charge as Finance Minister

Saurabh Patel has got one of the important portfolios, finance, which was with Nitin Patel in the last government. Both these leaders are considered as friends. However, Saurabh avoided to comment on Nitin Patel's sulkiness. Sources from the government informed that CM Vijay Rupani asked Saurabh Patel to assume the charge of his office immediately, and he rushed to Gandhinagar.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Sunday 31 December 2017 4:49 ISTMust readGujarat: Dy CM Nitin Patel wants portfolios back, threatens to quitGujarat elections 2017: 30 seats saw other parties making it to third spot<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Finance and Energy Minister Saurabh Patel assumed the charge of his office on Saturday. Patel was at Botad, in his constituency, on Friday when the portfolios were allocated late on Thursday. Patel also held meetings with officials of his department during the day.Saurabh Patel has got one of the important portfolios, finance, which was with Nitin Patel in the last government. Both these leaders are considered as friends. However, Saurabh avoided to comment on Nitin Patel’s sulkiness. Sources from the government informed that CM Vijay Rupani asked Saurabh Patel to assume the charge of his office immediately, and he rushed to Gandhinagar.

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Inside details of India’s cross border raid: ‘Exact replica’ of Pak attack on December 23

Indian Army’s action across the Line of Control on the evening of December 25 which resulted in the killing of three Pakistani soldiers was today described as “selective targeting across the LoC”, a “short-distance raid” and a “localised tactical operation” by highly-placed sources in India’s defence establishment.The cross-border raid across LoC was first reported by DNA.The raid was also acknowledged as a “tit-for-tat” reply for the attack carried out of Pakistan troops on December 23 in the Keri sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district in which one Major and three Army jawans were killed. In fact, sources said that Monday’s raid was almost an “exact replica” of the raid conducted by the Pakistani soldiers on December 23.Also readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher The Pakistani troops who came under fire were from 59 Balooch Unit of the Rakhchakri Battalion of the Rawalkot Brigade. The engagement with Pakistani troops happened at around 6 pm on Monday when a temporary post and a patrol party came under fire from the Indian Army. Firing from both sides continued for a long time even after the raid had ended and the situation continued to be tense in that area.On Monday evening, first an explosion was conducted 200-300 meters across the LoC and following that the 8-10 member strong Pakistani patrol party came under fire from Indian Army’s Ghatak team. Around four Indian Army troops conducted this raid, sources added. Sources added that the Pakistani patrol party was probably in this area to lay a counter-ambush. “We were able to locate and target them,” a source said. “”The Indian Army will continue to exploit such fleeting opportunities,” the source added.While initial details suggests that three Pakistani troops got killed and one injured, sources said that intelligence reports indicate that the toll could climb. Sources also added that this was a localised tactical operation conducted by Indian Army Commanders on the ground and that the decision to conduct this raid was taken at the Brigade/Battalion level.

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Scurry within AAP leaders for Rajya Sabha seats

The race has started within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to get Rajya Sabha seats a day after the Election Commission (EC) announced polls on January 16 to fill up vacancies. Three top leaders — Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Kumar Vishwas — who are waiting for four years for a Rajya Sabha seat have started lobbying.But CM Kejriwal wants to give the seats to a Muslim, a woman and a representative of the trading community. Sources in the party has hinted that two of them are Imran Pratapgadi, who campaigned for the party in Punjab and hails from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi-based businessman Sushil Gupta. Sources, however, rejected speculations on Swati Maliwal being rewarded with a Rajya Sabha seat.Even though chances are less, all the three leaders are doing their best to garner support fore themselves.In case of Vishwas, his relationship with Kejriwal deteriorated after he called him an autocrat. “I am a human being. I also have ambitions. My supporters also feel that I should go the the Rajya Sabha where I will be an articulate voice against the BJP and the Congress. I founded the Aam Aadmi Party with Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia. Yet I have never even had the tea of Delhi Secretariat,” he had said.For Sanjay Singh, Kejriwal has stood by him through eups and downs. He maintains a healthy relationship with both Congress and BJP leaders. During the President’s Rule in Delhi in 2014, Sanjay Singh played a crucial role in bringing back the party from the verge of collapse. In Punjab Assembly polls this year, Sanjay Singh was made the state-in-charge but with the loss of Punjab, chances of him getting the seat is almost impossible.When it comes to journalist-turned-politician Ashutosh, who was behind making Kejriwal a national leader from an RTI activist , chances are low too. Ashutosh joined when AAP went to fight the Parliamentary polls in 2014 against two veterans — Congress Kapil Sibal and BJP Harsh Vardhan.Earlier, the party approached former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan to be its candidate, but he is believed to have declined the offer.The AAP has 66 members in the 70-member Delhi Assembly and its victory on all three seats looks certain.

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CBI, ED to appeal against verdict

Shocked over the special court’s judgement to acquit all the accused, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) stated that they had been filing monthly status reports before the Supreme Court and the investigation was appreciated at every step. However, sources said they fail to understated why the judgement went against them. The agency decided to appeal against the court order.Also Enforcement Directorate decided to appeal against the order. ED said the Special Court appears to have failed to appreciate the money laundering offence that probed by it should have held ground and not linked to CBI’s corruption case.”Besides the observation and findings of the Supreme Court in this case appear to have not been considered by the Special Court,” the ED added.Sources in the CBI said, “Our key contention was not taken into account by the special court. We are going through it for as it is lengthy judgement. The key points which struck us immediately was that there written and documentary evidence and it was not given due to importance.”Sources further pointed out that the court has relied on oral evidence of the accused and also failed to see the bribe trail wherein Rs 200 crore ‘pay-off’ happened wherein a company take loan on 14 percent and given at 5 percent. “We had documentary evidence running into lakh of pages, the court relies on accused statements,” the source said.CBI in a statement said, “The judgement relating to 2G scam case today has been prima facie examined and it appears that the evidence adduced to substantiate the charges by the prosecution has not been appreciated in its proper perspective by the Learned Court. CBI will be taking necessary legal remedies in the matter. In due course, CBI will be filing an appeal.”In the meantime, ED pointed out that the Special Court prima-facie appears to have failed to appreciate the offence of money laundering as defined under Section 3 is, based on the term proceeds of crime.ED also said the special court has appreciated the material evidence qua offence of money laundering at the time of framing of charges against the accused persons but the same material appears to have not been considered while deciding the prosecution complaint under PMLA and the accused persons have been acquitted from the offence of money laundering only on the basis of no commission of offence and not the occurrence of criminal activity.”We have decided to move in appeal against the judgement of the Special Court on a number of grounds based on the facts as well as legal provisions,” the ED said in a statement.

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CBSE schools in Noida get notices

Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate BN Singh has issued notices to all CBSE-affiliated schools in the district asking them to submit a memorandum on the measures adopted by them to ensure the safety of their students on Tuesday.The schools have to respond within the next 15 days . The notice has come after the schools failed to comply with two deadlines issued earlier by district administration in September and October this year. Sources revealed that the district administration shall forward such information to CBSE Board if the schools fail to comply with the directives.Parents across Delhi-NCR have been demanding better security measures on school premises and in buses following the murder of an eight-year-old student at Ryan International School, Bhondsi, Gurgaon in September this year. In response to this, the Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate had issued two deadlines, one of September 30 and another of October 10, to all schools in the district to fix security loopholes and submit a memorandum.”We have been working hard for the security of the students as well as in gaining the confidence of the parents following the recent tragedy (Pradyuman’s death). We had already served two notices earlier to all private schools in the district. This time the compliance report will be submitted to the CBSE Board, thereafter the school authorities will be solely responsible for any action,” said Singh.According to district information system for education report (2016), there are 821 private schools in Gautam Budh Nagar. In order to assure parents that their wards are safe inside the school premises, some school managements across the district have introduced unique identification cards, installed extra CCTV cameras, started background checks and regular counselling of children, parents, teachers and non-teaching staff members.After the Ryan International incident, the district administration formed two teams to inspect school buses and school premises on a random basis.

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Kupwara killing: Army not happy with senior cop

Even as the Jammu and Kashmir government ordered a time-bound magisterial probe into the killing of 28-year-old taxi driver Asif Iqbal in Kupwara, Indian Army is not happy with a senior police officer in the district over handling of the case.Sources said the Army’s main grouse is that the police officer ‘without any proof’ told media persons that locals have alleged that “the Army opened fire” in which Iqbal got killed at Thandipora village in Kupwara district.Army has maintained that Iqbal was killed in a cross-fire on Saturday night. On Sunday, the defence spokesman at Srinagar said that Army placed ambushes to maintain surveillance over the area on Saturday night based on information about the presence of terrorists in the area.”At around 10:55 pm the ambush party observed suspicious movement of three persons near Nallah in Thindipora village. After being challenged by troops, the terrorists opened fire towards the ambush party which was retaliated. Asif Iqbal Bhat was killed in the cross-fire due to a gunshot wound. Investigations are in progress,” he said.Kupwara District Commissioner Khalid Jahangir had ordered a magisterial enquiry and asked the inquiry officer to submit the report within three weeks.However, the army is not happy the way the senior police officer dealt with the issue. “What prompted him to point fingers at us when probe was yet to be completed? The government has set up enquiry, and law should take its own course. Why did the police officer jump gun? This is a serious issue and one cannot brush it under the carpet”, said an officer.The issue has also created a friction between the two alliance partners of the government. Sources in the BJP said that leaders were not happy at the finger pointing at the Army.

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Western Railway set to run city’s first air-conditioned train

In all likelihood, the Western Railways (WR) will run the much-awaited air-conditioned (AC) local train from December 25, as promised by Union Railway minister Piyush Goyal. On December 19, the WR received permission from the Railway Board to run the 12-car AC local between Churchgate and Dahanu Road.”The dates have not come from the Railway Board, but we are ready to run on any day,” said AK Gupta, General Manager, Western Railway.The Railway Board, in a letter submitted to the WR, have set out a few directives that need to be followed while operating the AC local trains, which are expected to run at maximum speed of 100kmph. Sources said that as the coaches are different from a regular Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) or local trains, the Board has asked the WR to ensure that height of platforms from rail level should not exceed 900mm, Provide CCTVs in every coach of the AC train within a year, install fire alarms, smoke detection system and at least two fire extinguishers in each coach”Technicians have been asked to educate the commuters, apart from standing inside the coaches; to open the doors at the time of emergency,” said a WR official.

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Tourism goes tech-savvy: Book your tickets to 32 heritage sites online

In coming days, booking a ticket for visiting monuments or museums in the state will become totally online and IT-enabled. Department of archaeology and museums is working on a scheme in which the private partner will be roped in to provide this service in PPP mode. While in Jaipur online ticketing is being done at several other places, however, this facility will cover more areas. Sources informed that, attempt is being made to set up a state of art Web-based and onsite Integrated, Interactive, end to end, IT-enabled System integrated with payment gateway to provide an easy, transparent and secure avenue for visitors to procure tickets for visiting the monuments and museums through web-based, mobile application and Point of Sale (POS) counters as well as on-site presence is being worked out.Currently, 32 state monuments and museums have been selected under this project. At present, the Department has manual ticketing system at these monuments & museums with no or minimal IT/ technology interventions except the online ticketing system for monuments in Jaipur which has been initiated recently. The visitors can log onto the website of the department of archaeology and museums to book the tickets online for monuments in Jaipur currently.To enrich the experience of tourists, streamlines the processes, increase efficiency & of services this new initiative is being planned informed the sources. If this system, works well, then in coming times the facility travel insurance, FORX services etc may also be offered from to the visitors. GOING DIGITALTo visit the famous cellular jail in Andaman, you can book the tickets online sitting in Jaipur. One has to provide the details of Aadhar card, the name of group leader and few other details. There is no waiting manually at the ticket counter. Similarly, 10 monuments in Jaipur are offering online tickets.

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Nitish Kumar faces flak on Sameeksha Yatra Day 1

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar started his ‘Vikas Karyon ki Sameeksha Yatra’ on Tuesday to take feedback from the masses about implementation of developmental works and social awareness campaigns run by the state government.His Sameeksha Yatra commenced from West Champaran’s Patilar village, the same village from where he commenced his ‘Vikas Yatra’ in 2009. “The purpose of the yatra is to take stock of the progress on the ground. The government runs on the feedback of the people,” said Nitish, who has undertaken almost 10 yatras in the last 12 years.The CM, however, had to face protests by the people on Day 1 itself. Sugarcane farmers in Bagaha police district raised slogans to draw the CM’s attention to their condition. The CM said a proper platform would be given to them to put forth their grievances. In the same district, a section of women also protested against exclusive progress of certain villages. They alleged that the officials only worked for development of those areas where the CM’s visits were scheduled.On Tuesday, Nitish laid the foundation stone as well as inaugurated developmental schemes worth over Rs 100 crore in West Champaran. “The CM will take stock of implementation of Saat Nischay (seven resolves) scheme, total prohibition, Right to People’s Grievance Redressal Act and the Right to Public Service Act. He will also check the awareness campaigns run to discourage dowry and child marriage across the length and breadth of Bihar,” said a senior Bihar government official.The Opposition targeted Nitish’s yatra as a “gimmick” and Leader of the Opposition in Bihar legislative assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said, “The school building he had laid the foundation stone could not get four-wall in eight years, a primary-health centre is being launched thrice… What Vikas? He should undertake Prayashcitt (repentance) Yatra and Deemak (termite) Yatra.”Sources said Nitish is likely to face more protests, especially from contractual employees, who are demanding regularisation of job and equal pay for equal work, and have created ruckus at Nitish’s yatras over the last few years.

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Terror recruitment in J&K at a 7-year high

Close to 100 local youth have joined terror groups in strife-torn Kashmir valley so far this year. The number of locals joining terror outfits this year is the highest in the last seven years. Despite the unrest after Burhan Wani killing, only 88 youth had turned to terrorism in 2016. In 2015, only 66 youth had joined terror groups as compared to 53 in 2014.Data reveals that parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging in 2013 had also failed to motivate youth to join terrorism with only 16 locals taking to arms.South Kashmir emerged as a breeding ground for jihadists to recruit youth in 2017. Sources said that 75 per cent of the youth who joined ranks this year hail from four districts in south Kashmir. More than 25 youth who had joined ranks have already been killed in different encounters, and over a dozen have been arrested.Officials said relentless social media campaign by Pakistan and jihadists, besides religious exploitation, are some of the main reasons for young boys to take up arms.Videos of terrorists have flooded Facebook and other social networking sites to romanticise terror activity and lure gullible youth to join their ranks besides outwit the security forces and garner public support.”We are targeting local leaders of terror outfits because they are influencing the youth to join them, particularly in the south Kashmir region,” said a top police officer.Security forces, however, have opened a window of opportunity for locals to shun violence by promising proper rehabilitation for them. So far four youths, including footballer Majid Khan, have given up violence and returned home to start life afresh.2017 also saw the highest number terrorists — over 200 — being killed since 2010. Figures reveal that 270 terrorists were killed by security forces in 2010.The figure came down to 119 in 2011. Around 84 militants were killed in 2012 followed by 100 in 2013, 110 in 2014 and 113 in 2015. Despite unrest, security forces killed 165 ultras in 2016.The success against militancy in 2017 is attributed to ‘Operation All Out’ launched by the security forces early this year. The operation saw top leadership of militants being neutralized. They included Burhan Wani’s successor Sabzar Bhat, Lashkar-e-Tioba chief Abu Dujana and Abu Ismail, two nephews – Abu Musaib and Obaid –of Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Talha Rashid nephew of Pathankote attack mastermind Moulana Masood Azhar and others.RETURNING HOMESecurity forces are providing rehabilitation for the youth who come back after shunning the path of terror and violence. This year, four such misguided youth returned to their homes so far, including footballer Majid Khan.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Cabinet approves proposal to harvest bamboo on private lands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’s (MoEF&CC) proposed amendments in the Indian Forest Act (IFA), 1927, that will allow bamboo grown on non-forest areas to be felled and transported without permits, sources said. MoEF&CC has received various representations to free bamboo on private lands from the permit process, but experts said that this move may be open to misuse as it does not involve Gram Sabhas in the permit process.The amendment of the Act’s Section 2(7) effectively means that bamboo will be no longer considered a tree in non-forest areas, as it is currently defined, thus exempting its harvest without permissions. Sources said that the decision was taken to push for bamboo plantation on private lands and ease regulatory restrictions on inter-state movement of bamboo.Bamboo grown on forest areas though, will continue to be covered under the ambit of Forest Conservation Act, 1980, thus requiring felling and transit permissions.The proposed amendment to ease bamboo harvesting on private land has been pushed ahead even as the the entire Indian Forest Act itself is being overhauled. Last year, MoEF&CC had set up an expert panel to rework the Act and sources privy to developments said that the process is in the drafting stage.The amendments also comes in the backdrop of letters that MoEF&CC wrote to states, urging them to free bamboo grown on private lands from the regulatory regime. In May this year, Director General of Forest Siddhanta Das, wrote one such letter, pointing out that states can exempt bamboo on non-forest areas using Section 41 of the IFA.”Many states have raised the issue that since bamboo is defined as a tree, it attracts the provisions of the felling and transit regulations of respective states and hence bamboo needs to be excluded from the definition of tree…I would like to reiterate once again to exempt all bamboo growing on non-forest area from transit regime using powers granted to states,” Das said. DNA has reviewed a copy of this letter.Das had also mentioned in this letter that the ministry had received suggestions from many quarters seeking exemption of felling and transit permits for bamboo grown on private lands. Das and Environment Secretary CK Mishra were not available for comment.Delhi-based environmental lawyer Sanjay Upadhyay said that this amendment leaves open scope for misuse. “Do we have the mechanism to identify whether the bamboo is from forest or non-forest areas. It is regressive step in the sense that is liable to be misused if Gram Sabhas are not made the nodal body for providing adequate safeguards to protect the resource.”

Ring Road: Dilemma over China link now

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A new hurdle has stalled much awaited Jaipur ring road project. NHAI is in dilemma over China connection of Haryana based ‘Gawar’ company, which placed the lowest bid for this project. The matter was sent to union ministry of surface transport and national highway, which forwarded it to ministry of external affairs. Now, the NHAI will wait for foreign ministry’s nod to go ahead with bidding process.Ring road project has been facing problems from the beginning. Initially, the company, which was awarded contract in 2011 couldn’t complete the project in stipulated 24-months due to tussle with its partner. Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) then handed over project to NHAI but went too slow in annulment of contract with the old company. Now, there is a new hurdle. Of the 15 companies in race for this project, Gawar had the lowest bid but before NHAI could issue letter of interest (LOI) to the company, it was revealed that a Chinese has 5% stake in Gawar. The NHAI then sent the matter to union surface transport ministry and subsequently it reached ministry of foreign affairs. Sources said that LOI can now be issued only after clearance from the foreign ministry.After years of delay, the government was hoping that the NHAI would complete the project by September 2018.MONEY MATTERSProject cost Rs 1,190 crore
Rs 960 crore for first phase of six-lane CC road
Rs 230 crore second phase, includes three flyovers

90% dip in stone-pelting incidents: J&K DGP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Call it National Investigation Agency (NIA) or demonetization effect, stone pelting has dropped by 90 percent in the restive Kashmir valley this year.Data available reveal there were over 2,000 incidents of stone pelting last year which has dipped to 700 till August-end this year. Over 1,000 CRPF men were injured in stone pelting last year. This year, 720 stone-pelting incidents were reported from different parts of Kashmir till August-end, in which 331 CRPF men were injured. The figures exclude thousands of policemen injured in the stone-pelting in Kashmir in the last two years.“Stone pelting incidents have roughly dropped by 90 percent this year. Earlier, there were 50 incidents of stone pelting reported daily and now there is not even one incident in a week or 10 days”, Dr Shesh Paul Vaid, director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir told DNA.The DGP said credit goes to the people of Kashmir. “You tell me hasn’t situation improved? Credit goes to people”, he said.Sources said demonetization and NIA raids have hit the stone-pelting syndicate and militants hard in Kashmir. Sources said the militants require huge money to pay their cadres, buying logistics, including smartphones, SIM cards and paying for transport and other facilities.Figures reveal that around 12 banks have been looted since demonetization was announced in November last year.NIA raids in the terror funding cases too have dealt a blow to stone pelting because fund flow has suddenly stopped, which has hit the morale of the separatists. “Every transaction is now under watch and every possible financier under surveillance. This has hit the morale of the stone throwers and their backers in the Valley”, said an officer.

TMC should clarify horse-trading allegations against Mukul Roy: Kunal Ghosh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On November 10, after former TMC second-in-command Mukul Roy spilled ‘part-I’ of the beans he had promised, top TMC leadership was in a hurry to clear themselves and immediately called a press conference, where party national secretary general Partha Chatterjee, perhaps inadvertently said admitted that Roy had been engaged in buying public representatives.“Everyone knows that he had been buying and selling public representatives…” Chatterjee said in a somewhat knee-jerk reaction to one of the questions shot by a reporter.It has led to a severe controversy fuelled by ousted TMC leader Kunal Ghosh who was quick on to latch on to it on Saturday, saying, “Partha Chatterjee had specifically alleged that Roy used to engage in horse trading. He should clarify who had been bought and how. In turn, Roy should also come clean about who did he buy the leaders for, why did he do so and what did he pay in return?”
ALSO READ Mukul Roy blasts Mamata’s nephew in first speech, claims company which sponsored U-17 WC run by nephew Abhishek Sources said that prior to 2015 when Roy was called by the CBI for the first time in connection to the Saradha multi-crore ponzi scam, Roy was known to be the closest to Mamata in the party and in order to gain political strength had engineered several defections from all political parties across the board. Opposition leaders had alleged that their leaders from all levels were being poached by enticement or threat. “While some had been promised with posts and money within the ruling party others who did not give in to such allurements were threatened with being implicated in false narcotic cases and other non-bailable sections,” said state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury.Asked about Chatterjee’s allegation against him, Roy said, “If he has said that I was engaged in horse trading, he must have financed those,” and quipped that after Gujarat elections he would come up with part – II of his revelations.

Mumbai: Aaditya Thackeray calls for better nourishment for BEST drivers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to ensure BEST drivers are healthy, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray wants the staff on the bus service to seek the help of nutritionists. “The BEST administration, apart from conducting regular health check-ups, should also take help of nutritionists. The drivers should be provided drinks with glucose to keep them hydrated,” said Thackeray at Wadala bus depot after inaugurating electric buses on November 10.The BEST officials said that they can make provision to offer energetic drinks to drivers and conductors when they arrive at the bus station or depot after their trip, especially during summer. This has been proposed so that drivers don’t get dehydrated riding buses for long hours.Thackeray asked BEST General Manager Dr Surendra Bagde to personally look into this as he is also a nutritionist. Earlier, Four buses have been added to the fleet on Thursday. The introduced buses can run up to 200 km at a stretch once fully charged for three hours.For the initial phase, the buses will run on routes around Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSTM) and Churchgate station, including Route Number 138.The buses cost Rs. 1.61 crore each, which is more than double the price of regular buses and have a seating capacity of 30 people.Meanwhile the BEST employees are struggling to get their salaries on time for which the administration is taking monthly loans of Rs 180 crore. Sources said that if they take the extra effort of having nutritionists and having diet plans for their drivers and conductors then it would add up to the cost.Normally a BEST bus driver operates for 6-9 hours depending on his schedule and route allotted. A single bus runs up to 180 km each day in Mumbai. BEST’s fleet has 3700 buses and operates 504 routes every day.With ANI Inputs

Air connectivity between Jaipur and Agra soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaipur and Agra would soon get air connectivity under the regional air connectivity scheme of the government.Supreme Airlines which has been offering intrastate air services in the state has conducted a trial for Jaipur-Agra route which has been successful. If a permission is given by the state’s aviation department, the service may be started soon.“We have conducted a trial for Jaipur-Agra recently and it was successful,” informed Ammeet Agarwal, speaking to DNA.If the proposal is accepted and permission is given, there will be an increase in the number of tourists coming to the state. Jaipur Agra and Delhi together make a triangle in terms of tourism and both these cities.While this airline has conducted the trial run, sources informed that many other airlines are also planning to soon start service in this sector. In many media reports, it has been informed probably a flight from mid of December will be started connecting the two tourist cities.Meanwhile, Supreme Airlines are also getting ready to start flights for Sriganganagar and Sawaimadhopur.ON November 3, Directorate of Civil Aviation has asked supreme airlines to inform about the plans and tentative date to start intrastate flights at these places in the state. Notably, Sawaimadhopur has also gained a lot of popularity in the tourism circuit thanks to its wildlife tourism.,After the regional air connectivity scheme was introduced, places like Kishangarh, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Kota etc have got connected putting Rajasthan on air map of the country. A few days back only, flight connecting Delhi with Jaisalmer was started by Spice jet while Jaipur was connected directly with Varanasi. Sources informed that feasibility of many other places for air connectivity is being studied in the state linking other places across the country.BACK ON THE MAPAfter the regional air connectivity scheme was introduced, places like Kishangarh, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Kota etc have got connected putting Rajasthan on air map of the country. A few days back only, flight connecting Delhi with Jaisalmer was started by Spice jet while Jaipur was connected directly with Varanasi.

NCR hosp sees 30% hike in patients with breathing trouble

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The district hospital of Gautam Buddha Nagar has registered a 30 per cent hike in the number of cases with respiratory problems over the past two days, with the pollution levels touching ‘severe’ in the Delhi-NCR region.According to Anurag Bhargava, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), the district hospital has seen a 40 per cent increase in the OPD footfall of patient with respiratory stress, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the last 48 hours.”Earlier, the respiratory disorders were common in people of age above 55 years, but with the increase in pollutants, such problems are now common in people as young as 25 years,” Bhargava said.He added, “Earlier, we used to have around 350 people visiting us daily for such problems after Diwali, but now on an average we are getting 470 people from the past two days which is dangerous. We have noticed that most of the first-timers are coming from construction site areas, from Sectors- 46, 76, 77, 78, 125, and 126.Asked as to what symptoms he was witnessing, Bhargava said, “Most of the patients are complaining of irritation in the eyes. I’d suggest people stay at home and not go for morning walks, or yoga classes in the open. Pollution levels are the highest early in the day due to low wind movement.”On Thursday morning, the AQI level was recorded at 678 in Noida. The air quality is marked ‘severe’ if the index is above 400. It has been hovering between ‘very poor’ — 301 to 400 — and ‘severe’ over the last week.Considering the alarming levels of air pollution in the city, the Noida Authority has asked all construction activities to be stopped. All hot mix plants, industries doing any emissions, all transportation of building materials has been stopped immediate effect.”We have made a note of all the activities which lead to pollution to be stopped immediately. No crop residue burning in the open will take place for the few days,” said a senior authority officer.However, there is a fallout to all these efforts. Sources say that construction work is stopped, how will home-buyers get their promised flats on time?

Pre-wed shoot inside aircraft, offers galore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The dream of having a pre wedding shoot in air is a dream, however having it inside the aircraft is a reality now. While in Europe, UAE etc pre wedding shoots in airport hanger have been done, closer home, in Rajasthan, Supreme airlines which has been operating intra state flights in the state has brought this new offer of getting a pre wedding shoot inside the aircraft. Officials informed that this service will be offered by the airlines only on Sundays and it will be charged at Rs 1,49,000. “We are offering this service to shoot inside the aircraft for pre wedding shoot on Sundays,”confirmed Ammeet Agarwal, CEO of Supreme airlines. Sources informed that the shooting can be done by taking the flight to places like Sawaimadhopur or Sikar.Shooting in the aircraft will give new creativity idea to the wedding planners.

Mum realty sees clean-up after Demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While demonetization may not have been good news for the real estate industry in Mumbai in terms of sales, transparency did become the new buzz word, and a year on, a greater number of realtors insist on ‘all white’ payments. Industry insiders, however, reveal that circulation of black money continues in the property business. Realtors continue to accept bookings with part payment in the form of cash, and cash changes hands in resale property deals too.Meanwhile, the sluggishness in the real estate market persists a year after momentum in the sector came to a grinding halt. Along with demonetization, however, the contributing factors for this are RERA and GST. While the real estate industry was trying to recover from the impact of demonetization, two more policy decision impacted the industry – the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 and the Goods and Services Tax Act.Builders are critical about the impact of demonetization. “In the past one year, our sector has witnessed a sea change as far as regulatory policies are concerned,” said Rahul Shah, CEO of Sumer Group. “The real estate industry was already under tremendous pressure, and demonetization just added to the woes. Prices have remained stagnant with little demand from buyers and investors in anticipation of a price drop or discount from developers. This period also saw a significant rise in incremental costs owing to subdued demand.”Experts feel that the next 12 to 18 months are likely to be the ‘under observation’ period for the sector. They advise industry stakeholders to use the period to reorient businesses in line with the new changes.”Time and again, back-to-back policy regulations reinforced a slowdown in an already sluggish market,” said Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing Director of Knight Frank India. “The residential sector in particular has been affected the worst. New projects dried up, home sales slipped to newer lows, and piles of unsold stock at stacked up”Small time developers feel the pinch more than organized and big developers. A developer operating in the suburbs said, “Profit margin has come down to 12 to 15 per cent. Sources of cash dried up and the the real estate market runs heavily on it. Also, buyers are expecting prices to come down, and hence are not investing. Small developers are getting into joint ventures with big developers as most of us were dependent on direct money coming from home buyers. Many have even exited the market.”Sources say that post-demonetization, the cheque-to-cash ratio has reduced, but builders have been either asking for or accepting cash at a reduced percentage – earlier, developers asked for cash payments of around 40% to 45%, it now at 25%.At times, it is the buyer who wants to dispose off their own cash-in-hand and requests the realty company to take part payment in cash. As is the norm, the deal value is under-reported in the sale agreement or sale deed when there are cash transactions, so that black money remains in circulation.”Corruption has not stopped within government offices or with local political leaders,” said an industry player. “We are still asked for ‘gifts’ to move our project file ahead and secure mandatory clearances.” In order to meet this demand, developers rely on black money from customers. If they do not honour the demand, clearances get stuck and local political leaders too raise hurdles.

Hardik Patel’s critic is claimant for BJP ticket from Unjha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mehsana-based developer RP Patel, who had come down heavily on Patel reservation stir leader Hardik Patel last week, is believed to be eyeing a ticket from the BJP from the Unjha seat in Mehsana district.Patel, who is convener of Patidar Organisation Committee, which has representatives from six highly influential Patidar organisations, had accused the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convenor Hardik of turning the Patidar reservation agitation into a “Private reservation agitation”.However, insiders say that the attack on Hardik could be driven by his own political ambitions. Sources in the BJP as well as the Patidar community informed that Patel is seeking a ticket from BJP for contesting from Unjha Assembly consituency in the upcoming elections. The seat is presently represented by Naran Lallu Patel, a five-time MLA.RP Patel could not be reached for a comment despite several attempts. However, at the November 1 press conference, he had clearly denied that he would be contesting the elections.”There are many people in our community who are interested in contesting elections. However, I personally am not,” he had said.At the press conference, he had accused Hardik and others of leading the community’s youths on the wrong path, “Some misled youths are misusing the Patidar community’s name for personal gains.”While coming down heavily on the Congress for “misleading the Patidar community for electoral gains”, Patel had also defended the state government saying that it had already accepted the community’s key demands about withdrawal of court cases against Patidars, giving jobs to kin of dead Patel youths, granting reservation benefits, among others.

Driving licence tests to be held at bus depots

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra Transport Department is looking at bus depots to train motorists applying for driving licenses. This comes after the Khatua Committee asked the transport department to ensure proper training of people applying for driving licences.The transport department on behalf of Borivali Regional Transport Office (RTO) has sought temporary land from the BEST at Dahisar. This will be mainly used as a test track for motorists coming in to procure learners and permanent driving licenses. At this point of time, the two RTOs of Wadala and Borivali don’t have designated test track; tests are conducted on busy roads where regular vehicles ply.The remaining two RTOs at Tardeo and Andheri have badly damaged test tracks. Sources in Borivali RTO — that caters to vehicles falling between Goregaon and Dahisar — said that they have asked the BEST Undertaking to let them use almost over 3,000 sq ms of plot lying unused inside Kandarpada depot.The total land space of this depot is 6,050 sq m, which can accommodate 70 buses easily. “The transport department asked us to give land for a period of four months,” said Surendra Bagde, General Manager, BEST Undertaking.BEST will get Rs 1 lakh per month as rent from the RTO for using this space. Sources said that initially they had asked for this plot for two hours but then they decided to take it for a period of 4months in totality. The RTOs are looking at acquiring a 250-metre stretch of land to set up driving test tracks.Presently, driving schools are also taking their students to RTOs where they are asked to drive in front of RTO officers. “It becomes risky as there are pedestrians and other regular vehicles plying on the same road where we conduct the tests,” said an RTO official.The Wadala RTO, too, is in bad shape. It doesn’t have a dedicated testing track and learners end up driving near Wadala truck terminal. The Andheri RTO has not maintained the driving track well, which is nothing but a bumpy stone-filled ground.The BC Khatua Committee, in its recently submitted report to the Maharashtra government, asked the transport department to setup driving institutes and also provide refresher courses to people from time to time. The committee has pointed out that the quality of driving needs improvement for which steps have to be taken.

Lead: Soon, local coaches to have

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two crime cases involving local trains remain pending for the lack of CCTV cameras inside the coaches. In September this year, 32-year-old Aarti Salian fell off a moving train at Nallasopara while trying to nab a robber. In the same month, another 19-year-old girl was pushed out of a moving train by a mugger at Virar station. For both cases, the railway police are only scouting for proof using the CCTVs installed in rail platforms. This, however, may change soon.The Western Railway has already mooted a plan to install 1,848 CCTVs inside all coaches — both ladies and general compartment — of local trains. Sources said that they shall be installing these high definition CCTVs inside 308 coaches, for which a proposal has been prepared. Each coach will have six CCTVs installed that would cover most of the spaces inside and near the doors. This will be the first time that CCTVs inside coaches will be installed at such a large scale.”This would surely give more confidence to commuters as far as the safety of women is concerned. This will also help nab commuters who travel in groups and block seats and doors, resulting in arguments and fights,” said Sandeep Salian, husband of Aarti who fought the mobile thief. “There is also a need to post two railway police staff at the end of every platform at least during the lean hours so that such robbery cases can be tackled”.As per plans, the WR will install high -resolution CCTVs. The first lot of CCTVs installed had a problem — that images generated were blurred and pixelated. The effort was going waste. “The problems that had cropped up earlier have been tackled in the new lot of CCTVs. We will also have an integrated security system to cover 32 railway stations,” said a WR official.The railway ministry has given full freedom to its authorities vis-a-vis spending funds to tackle safety issues. The integrated security system would cost Rs 114 crore; it would have a dedicated room at stations that would be beamed with live images to montior passenger activities, face recognition, identifying areas where there is large crowd, auto-alert of suspicious movement of people at rail premises, alerting trespassing on rail tracks through a network of CCTV cameras, etc.”We have already installed CCTVs inside 51 women’s coaches. The process to install them in all coaches has begun,” said Ravinder Bhakar, Chief PRO, Western Railway. The WR will be installing more than 2,700 CCTVs at railway stations, which would also include replacing the 1,100 CCTVs that are of inferior quality.”The railways should ensure that these are properly monitored and timely action is taken. People should be assigned particular responsibilities to address any lacuna in alerting their staff at station premises in case an untoward incident is reported,” said Kailash Verma, member, Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh.The electronic surveillance inside ladies’ compartments was first planned in mid-2015. The recorder can save data for upto 30 days.WHAT’S IN STOREAs per plans, the WR will install high -resolution CCTVs. The first lot of CCTVs installed had a problem — the images were blurred and pixelated. An integrated security system will be built, too. It will cover 32 stations. There would be rooms broadcasting live images through CCTVs to monitor passenger activities.

Income Tax department unearths income of Rs 15 cr

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Income Tax department has concluded I-Ts survey of three cI-Ty-based financiers. After four days of the survey, the I-T department’s investigation branch has successfully unearthed undisclosed income of Rs 15.15 crore. The I-T officials made a sensational recovery of Rs 3.2 crore cash from a benami locker of a finance broker in Ratnasagar private vault in Moti Singh Bhomio Ka Rasta in Johari Bazaar.Thereafter, the I-T officials tightened the noose on companies providing private locker services. There are seven such companies Biyani, Ratnasagar, Jyotsana, Kuber, Chordia, Bardia and Ganpati lockers.The I-T department has targeted 370 lockers wI-Th these companies for not adhering to KYC norms. As a result in the last three days, Jewellers and brokers have stopped visI-Ting these lockers and the jewellery business has come to a halt. However, there was no official confirmation of notices to owners of these lockers. Meanwhile, Jaipur jewelers association called an emergency meeting to discuss the matter but heaved a sigh of relief when the survey was closed.During the survey, Rs 3.57 crore cash and foreign currency worth Rs 3 lakh were recovered. Sources said that the I-T action will have an impact on finance business as well. Even those who invested money through brokers but their money was not seized by the I-T officials may be shortchanged by the brokers who refused to return their money.

India uncles get life for raping niece, aged 10

Two men convicted of raping and impregnating their 10-year-old niece are jailed for life in India.

Mumbai BJP chief to look after 16 Surat segments

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP national president Amit Shah deployed Mumbai BJP city unit president ​Ashish Shelar to chip in for 16 Assembly segments in Surat during the Gujarat assembly election. Sources within BJP state unit said Shelar is being asked to use his Mumbai experience so that party’s prospects are realized in Surat. Shelar said that he will start working in Surat from Tuesday itself.BJP sources said that the Patidar agitation started from Surat, from where traders also started exhibiting their resentment towards the GST. There was a lathi charge on them during the agitation. Shelar’s confidante said that it was Amit Shah who has given the responsibility to work in Surat. Shelar is known to have handpicked 45 of his trusted men to manage election related work in 16 Assembly segments in and around Surat. Shelar played a key role in bringing BJP in power at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation election.Shah had recently held a meeting of state unit presidents and Shelar was present for this meeting in New Delhi. Taking in to account Shelar’s experience in Mumbai, he was handpicked by Shah and Shelar has been asked to work for election management not only in Gujarat but also in parts of Karnataka. Shelar would be sparing his time for both the adjoining states for coming month. BJP’s planShelar played a key role in bringing BJP in power at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation polls. BJP thinks his experience will help in Gujarat polls.

STs remain off roads for third day in a row

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite a marathon seven-hour meeting that went past midnight on Wednesday, negotiations failed and state transport buses remained off roads for the third day in a row.Talks between transport minister Diwakar Raote and the labour unions on Wednesday, who have been demanding salary revision through a 25 percent hike based on 7th Pay Commission, among other demands, proved unfruitful. The unions remained adamant on their strike almost after 13 rounds of discussions. “We have offered whatever we can,” said Raote.”We cannot give one penny extra. Now the union leaders have to take a call”. Sources said the government had offered a hike up to Rs 7,000, and even an increase in pay to those hired on contractual basis.Many people were forced to use private buses or go by special trains, and private operators and taxi services continue to levy higher-than-usual rates. Some sectors, such as Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Kolhapur and Konkan have seen a 100 percent jump in rates.The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) is the largest public transport body in the country with fleet of more than 18,000 buses.

Stop Mayor from using red beacon, says officials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Politicians and their penchant for beacons on top of their vehicles continue despite the Union government wanting to end VIP culture. In the latest case, Mumbai’s Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar of Shiv Sena has allegedly been found flouting the ban on red beacons on cars of dignitaries and officials. The Regional Transport Office (RTO) of Tardeo has now sent a notice to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asking them to remove the red beacon from his vehicle.The officials from Tardeo RTO said that both old and new cars belonging to the Mayor have a beacon atop them in violation of rules.”This notice was sent to the BMC on October 13 after the administration installed red beacon on Mayor’s Innova Crysta (MH-01-CT-1935) car that the civic body brought after paying Rs 19 lakh and was registered with us on October 4,” said an official from Tardeo RTO.The limit to be spent for Mayor is Rs 15 lakh set by the state government. Sources said that Mahadeshwar was also using a red beacon on his old car XUV 500 (MH-01-AN-5424).When contacted, Mahadeshwar said that he has not received any notice from the RTO and he does not use a red beacon. He said that the beacon is covered. Mahadeshwar’s predecessor as Mayor, Snehal Ambekar had also refused to do away with the red beacon.

Audit points at low resolution of CCTVs at CR stations in city

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The multi-agency teams sent out by Central Railway to audit railway stations in Mumbai have found that the resolution of CCTVs installed at these stations is very poor. Sources said the image pixelates and there is little clarity. Moreover, there is need for at least 194 improved version of CCTVs at railway stations on their network.To begin with, railway officials said there are several shortcomings that these CCTVs have which is causing hindrance. Not only do these CCTVs produce grainy images, but the connectivity to the system is also poor. The report at several stations mentions the need to augment the number of CCTVs and its quality.There are around 20 railway stations that are in need of more CCTVs on its premises to cover FOBs, subways and platforms. In fact on October 9, the Director General (DG) of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) from the Railway Board had visited a few of the stations like Parel, Dadar, Kurla, Panvel and travelled inside local trains and made note of the situation.Recently, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal promised that more CCTVs will be placed at railway stations. Also, every single coach of a local train will be covered by CCTVs in the next one year. Sources said this is one of the reasons why the DG visited Mumbai. “We are working towards getting more and better CCTVs into the system,” said a senior railway official on condition of anonymity.Some of the other problems that the CCTVs face is that the wires are exposed and hang precariously on platforms. In Navi Mumbai, the CCTVs are not functioning efficiently and even shut off during loadshedding.The issue of coordination between different agencies is also plaguing the working of CCTVs.JOINT INSPECTIONOn Monday, the BMC and Railways carried out a joint inspection of FOBs falling under the civic body’s jurisdiction. During the visit, assistant commissioner of respective wards and officials from the bridge department were present.

Railway ministry lays down the law to end VIP culture

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The railway ministry has asked its senior staff to slug it out – at home and at work – as part of steps to end the VIP culture in India’s national transporter.In an unprecedented move, the ministry has brought to an end a 36-year-old protocol where it was mandatory for general managers to present themselves on arrival and departure of the Railway Board chairman and other board members during zonal visits.As part of a massive overhaul of the culture of privilege prevalent in the ministry, the Railway Board has decided to do away with the instructions of a 1981 circular that mandated such protocol.In an order on September 28, the ministry said that the instructions and guidelines issued to the railways regarding the protocol to be observed at airports and railway stations during the visit of the Railway Board chairman and other board members stand withdrawn with immediate effect.Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani said no official will entertain bouquets and gifts at any time.However, it’s not just in the office that senior officials of the national carrier have to exercise restraint, but also at home. All senior officials have to relieve all the railway staff who have been engaged as domestic help in their homes.Officials say that around 30,000 trackmen work at the homes of senior officials. They have been asked to resume duties. Sources in the ministry say that in the past one month around 6,000-7,000 personnel have reported back to work.”No one will be exempt from the directive to rejoin work except under very special circumstances. We are hoping that all the staff will join work shortly,” a senior official of the ministry said.Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has also asked senior officials to give up travelling in cosy saloons and executive class travel privileges and start travelling in Sleeper and AC Three-tier classes, mingling with other passengers.These include members of the Railway Board, general managers of railway zones and divisional railway managers in each of the 50 divisions.”I believe that when these protocols were in place, people drafting them would have seen some reasoning behind them. It is difficult for me to say what they were though.However, now, these have no logic.”Also, there is a tendency in public organisations to not review protocols which have become archaic, but remain part of the dos and don’ts for officials. They should be reviewed on a regular basis,” said a former railway board member who didn’t want to be quoted

Fake ministry website dupes thousands, CBI files case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 3,236 aspirants across the country were overjoyed to know that they had been selected for the final round of interviews for 1,108 posts in the Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj. Their dreams of securing a government job, however, were shattered when they realised that they were victims of a nation-wide fraud.Reportedly, a website had invited online applications for 1,108 vacant posts for multi tasking staff, billing clerks, computer technical data entry operators, and other designations. Sources said the aspirants were charged Rs 3,000 per head for the interview. But in fact, the ministry had neither set up the website nor given any such advertisement.The CBI registered a case under various sections of the Information and Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the unknown accused on October 5, and has blocked the website.The fraud came to light only when some political leaders started calling up top officials, to recommend some of the influential aspirants. Sources said officials were surprised when politicians in states started calling up Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Narendra Singh Tomar, requesting him to “take care” of their candidates.The lid was finally blown off the racket on August 24 this year, when one of the job aspirants, Sudesh Kumar from Banka in Bihar, wrote a mail to Tomar and his personal secretary Navneet Mohan Kothari, inquiring whether the ministry was charging money for the interviews. A surprised Tomar asked Kothari and his Additional Secretary Arun Kumar about the issue. The officials checked with Rural Development Secretary Amarjeet Sinha, only to find out that there were no such vacancies.In the mail to the minister, Kumar had said: “Sir, I have applied for a post under the National Department of Land Reform in India (NDLRI). They are asking for money for an interview. We are confused whether this is a fake site.” He also attached his admit card.When checked, it was found out that not only was there no such vacancy but even the department mentioned did not exist. Further inquiry revealed that a website had been created in the name of Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, which had all the details about the ministry and the minister.Kothari then wrote a letter to the Rural Development Secretary on August 25, stating: “There is an email by Suresh Kumar, along with the enclosure. The email relates to recruitment notice no. 23192, purported to have been issued by the Department of Land Reform and Development Indian for filling up various posts. It has been alleged that money is being solicited in this regard. Hon’ble Minister has desired that matter may be enquired into for further necessary action.”After carrying out an initial enquiry, Joint Secretary Alka Upadhyay wrote a letter to CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma on September 15, requesting the agency to carry out an investigation into the matter. In the letter, Upadhyay said: “There are no sanctioned posts in their department. Prime facie, this case appears to be criminal culpability. The Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development has desired that the matter to be investigated by the CBI.”

70-yr-old Kashmiri killed on suspicion of being braid chopper

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Braid chopping hysteria claimed the first life on Friday when an elderly man was killed after being mistaken as a braid chopper in Anantnag. Meanwhile, protests over the mysterious braid choppings in the Valley have intensified, prompting authorities to impose restrictions in old Srinagar and suspend mobile net services there.Abdul Salam Wani, 70, died after he was hit by a brick when he had walked out of his home to defeacate at Danter village in Anantnag on Thursday night. Wani suffered grievous head wounds and was shifted to the district hospital in Anantnag where he succumbed on Friday morning.Police, however, dismissed that it was a case of mob justice, claiming the absence of any gathering at the site when the attack took place. Sources said Wani was hit by an individual on suspicion of him being a braid chopper. Police are suspecting the involvement of Wani’s kin in the incident.Altaf Ahmad Khan, Senior Superintendent of Police, Anantnag, said they have taken the cognizance of the case and are looking into it. “We are ascertaining the facts. We will do the needful,” he said.Fear has gripped the people after mysterious braid chopping incidents began in the Valley in the past few weeks. This has led to massive protests, with some taking law into their hands and thrashing suspects.Figures reveal that Jammu division alone has witnessed 192 cases of hair chopping, while Kashmir recorded more than 50 cases. In the three districts of central Kashmir — Srinagar, Budgam, and Ganderbal — police have registered around 24 cases of braid and beard chopping. Latest being the case of an Imam’s beard being chopped mysteriously while he was on his way to a mosque for early morning prayers in Budgam district on Friday.However, nobody has been arrested so far, prompting the police to double the reward money to Rs 6 lakh for any information leading to the culprit.The incidences have taken a political turn with separatists using it as a pretext to whip up passions and convert the anger into an `azaadi groundswell’.

Youth who witnessed attack on Dalit stabbed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Dalit youth of Limbodara village in Kalol taluka was attacked on Tuesday. This is the third incident of Dalits being attacked in the village in a week. Sources said Digant Maheria was stabbed while returning from school on Tuesday.Incidentally, Maheria is a witness in another case in which a Dalit youth Piyush Parmar was attacked by members of the dominant caste for sporting a moustache recently. One more youth was attacked for the same reason some days after Parmar was attacked.VN Solanki, DySP, Kalol Taluka, said investigations are on and it is too early to comment on the case. According to the complaint, Maheria was returning from a school in the village which was an exam centre. On his way back, he was stopped by two youths, one of whom held him while the other stabbed him in the back. Maheria was rushed to a hospital for treatment.Meanwhile, Dalit activists in the state plan to march to Gandhinagar to protest the rising incidents of attack on Dalits in the state.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim case: SIT suspects over 600 skeletons to be buried inside Dera headquarters in Sirsa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It appears that more skeletons are still to be unearthed from Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa in the literal sense of the word. According to an exclusive Zee News report, more than 600 skeletons are believed to be buried inside the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. Sources in the special investigation team (SIT) told Zee News that several skeletons are buried across the massive Dera campus, with saplings planted over them. Some of these saplings are now large trees.Dera followers, however, believe that this was just a religious ritual and not a criminal act. Dera followers said that ‘Baba’ Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh – chief of the Dera sect – had ordered the burial of the skeletons to attain ‘moksha’.Speaking to Zee News, former Haryana-based journalist Ramanand Tatia had claimed that if excavations are carried inside the Dera campus, a large number of human skeletons will be found, explaining the mysterious disappearance of nearly 500 people.The journalist said anyone opposing Singh was brutally murdered and then secretly buried inside the campus.Tatia has suggested that the excavations should be done in the presence of national media.A CBI special court on August 28 sentenced Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to 20 years in prison for raping two sadhvis inside the Dera premises.A massive search and sanitisation operation was launched inside Dera headquarters after the violence perpetrated by Dera followers. Secret tunnels and AK-47 magazine coverTwo secret tunnels found by the search team revealed things were really amiss inside the Dera headquarters. A window-like tunnel connecting Ram Rahim’s room (Dera Awas) to the room of Sadhvis (Sadhvi Niwas) had shocked everyone. Another fiber tunnel was also found inside Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s room. On the second floor of the same room, the search team found an AK-47 magazine cover. Illegal abortion clinicThe police also discovered an illegal abortion and skin grafting clinics inside the premises. Stock of licensed armsDuring the sanitisation operation, Haryana police found a stock of 33 licensed arms in September. The cops affirmed that pistols, revolvers, 315-bore rifles and customized armaments were recovered from Ram Rahim’s Sirsa headquarters. An illegal explosive factory was also found during the second day of the search operation.

BEST launches three new feeder routes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Buoyed by the success of the two feeder routes it started in south Mumbai to ferry commuters to and from Churchgate and CSMT, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport has initiated three more, one each in the central, eastern and western suburbs. The three routes, which became operational earlier this month, will benefit commuters in Wadala, Ghatkopar and Kandivili.Sources from the undertaking said that they started running the new new bus routes after noticing there was a growing demand from the passengers. The route numbers are: 110 for the Wadala-Sangam Nagar-Barni Naka-Wadala; 406 for Ramabai Nagar-Ghatkopar station; and 279 for Kandivili-Poisar depot-Kandivili stretches. “We started these feeder routes earlier this month after we got a good response on the first two routes,” said H Gophane, spokesperson for BEST.The feeder buses, smaller in size than the average buses, will directly compete with auto rickshaws and taxis ferrying passengers on a sharing basis in the respective areas. “The BEST want to compete with share-autos and share-taxis, so they are keeping the fares to a minimum of Rs 8,” a BEST official said. The BEST launched the feeder buses on Churchgate-Nariman Point and Churchgate-CSMT-Crawford market routes earlier in June. These buses ply on route numbers 99 (Churchgate-Nariman Point) and 113 (Churchgate-CSMT-Crawford Market). Sources said that they have seen reverse migration of commuters from taxis to buses, and on an average, at least 2,000-plus commuters are using each of these routes every day. The frequency on the feeder routes would be every 10-15 minutes. Since each bus is capable of carrying the number of passengers that would otherwise be accommodated by eight to ten taxis, they will help cut down congestion, pollution as well fuel consumption, BEST officials said. Some reliefNew routes to ferry commuters to suburban rail stations in Wadala, Ghatkopar and Kandivili. The buses would show up every 15 minutes at the stops.

Taxi unions decry delayed clearance for kali-peelis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than 3,000 black and yellow taxis have been off city roads for the last three to four days. The reason is that, these cabs have not been getting clearances from the Regional Transport Office (RTO). On Friday, taxi unions met officers from Tardeo RTO and raised two issues. First, fewer cabs have been getting a fitness certificate from the RTOs. Second, for the past four days, the Tardeo RTO has been inspecting cabs thoroughly. Sources said that they are using videography to capture the condition of a cab and also driving on the testing track to check its fitness, engine performance and other parameters.”Earlier, around 150-160 taxis used to get clearance and fitness certificate. Over the past few days, only 70-80 taxis are being inspected and getting fitness certificates on a daily basis,” said a union member.Earlier, fitness certificate was issued within 5 minutes; the same procedure now takes 20 minutes per vehicle. In fact, drivers claim that they are getting an appointment only in October and that their vehicles are running without fitness certificates.If they do get caught, drivers have to pay a fine as well as Rs 50 per day, from the day of the expiry of the fitness certificate, to RTO officials. However, officials claim that they do not have sufficient manpower and will try to find a solution.”We are strictly following section 62 of the Motor Vehicles Act. That is why black and yellow taxis are thoroughly being checked before its renewal,” said Praveen Gedam, Transport Commissioner.Moreover, the unions claim that RTOs have erred in the inspection of e-meters that were meant to be checked every two years. However, it is now being carried out annually. “The government had promised that once e-meters are introduced, its inspection will happen once every two years. But now they have made some changes and gone back to annual inspection. We are objecting to this as well,” said Al Quadros, taxi union leader.

India rape: Uncle did not father child’s baby – DNA test

DNA tests force Indian police to reopen the case of a 10-year-old who delivered a baby last month.

BEST facing heavy power fluctuation in slum pockets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) is grappling issues of power fluctuations and disruptions in several of its supply areas with heavy slums pockets.Owing to the heavy rains and water-logging on August 29, BEST had switched off electricity to avoid any untoward incident and technical failures at their substations. Sources said since then there have been complaints about the power fluctuations especially in slum pockets where consumers do not disclose electricity load. These areas are Worli, Sion, Dharavi, Antophill and Colaba with slum pockets.BEST fears that it’s the increasing electricity usage that’s at the base of the problem. There are cemented porta cabins built one over the other and with the same power cable and meter; people use power guzzling AC and geysers.”There is a need to strengthen our cable network by replacing the old ones. We will also hold camps at these slum pockets,” said Surendrakumar Bagde, General Manager, BEST undertaking. These camps will ask slum dwellers to disclose the electricity load consumed by them so that accordingly substations can be installed.FIGURES SPEAKColaba-Sion/Mahim has a maximum demand (950 MW in summer and 750 MW during monsoon). Of the 10 lakh power consumers in this area, around 2 lakh fall stay in slum pockets

Police to hunt blue whale

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government has sprung into action after two cases related to Blue Whale Game came to fore in the state. Taking cognizance, DGP Ajit Singh, has ordered to organise orientation courses at schools and colleges for creating awareness about the lethal game.He has asked the police superintendents of all the districts to run such orientation programmes of one hour which will apprise the students, teachers, and parents about the harmful effects of this game. For creating awareness, services of psychological motivators will be taken by the police authorities who will get in touch with the district medical officer, so that positive thinking can be developed in children and the ones who are using this game. The help of education department’s officials and NGOs is also being sought in this regard.After two cases, one of a boy in Jaipur and that of a girl in Jodhpur falling victims to game surfaced, police also alerted the cyber cell of the police department for controlling this game. Notably, senior officials of the department of home have also conducted meetings regarding controlling the reach of the game in the state. Sources informed that the home minister Gulab Chand Kataria himself took the feedback from the officers and the DGP, and also sought report about the game from all the IGs in all the ranges. Sources revealed that legal clauses related to preventing the reach of the game are also being studied by the officials of the department of home. Police are considering this game as a developed model of cyber crime.Meanwhile, HC judge and chairman of Rajasthan legal services authority, Justice Gopal Krishna Vyas has taken cognizance of the effects of this game. As per his order, a plan of awareness camps at 59 senior and secondary schools of Jodhpur has been made. In these camps, students will be educated on the harmful effects of the game.

State GSTR-1 filings likely to miss deadline: say experts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Most returns to be filed under Goods and Services Tax (GSTR 1) by today will not meet the deadline, fear tax experts. As data from GSTR-1 returns is necessary for filing GSTR-2, there will be issues in filing GSTR 2 as well, they caution.In GSTR-1, the details of sales, or outward supplies, are to be submitted. However, tax practitioners say that the system is extremely slow and that barely 10 per cent of returns will be filled through Tuesday’s deadline.”It was claimed that a return will be filed in 10 minutes. (The) Reality is it takes a couple of hours,” said Vaaris Isani, President of Gujarat Sales Tax Bar Association. Moreover, errors are encountered in most returns. “We are not able to file returns in such cases. There is a tremendous stress on tax practitioners. We have suggested to the government that instead of monthly returns, there should be quarterly returns,” he told DNA.Another tax practitioner, Lalit Ganatra, said “There is no seamless transfer of data from the systems used by businessmen to systems used under GST. There is no option to rectify errors. We also encounter different errors and its takes not less than a day to rectify them. There is no way all the returns will be filed.”As data for GSTR-2, for inward supply or purchases, is auto-computed with GSTR-1, inadequate filing of GSTR-1 will result in only partial data sync to GSTR-2. This will result in inaccurate reporting of GSTR-2, Ganatra told DNA. “We need to fill details of purchases not mentioned in GSTR-1. Then only can final returns be filed,” he said.Door-to-door survey for GST regnThe government has initiated a move to conduct door to door survey of businessmen who have not enrolled in GST. An official of the state Commercial Tax Department will have to mention the name, contact details of the businessmen, his sales turnover, his purchase turnover and whether he has the TIN Number or not. Sources said the department has been told to increase the number of traders registered by 30 per cent.

Police arrest male nurse in murder of elderly couple

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Police on Sunday evening arrested the male nurse who had murdered an elderly couple and fled with their belongings in northwest Delhi’s Ashok Vihar area. Police said that the man was arrested from his uncle’s home in Aarah, Bihar, where he had fled with his wife after the murder.A police team on Sunday evening arrested the accused, Dinesh, after raiding his uncle’s place in Bihar. Sources told DNA that a day before, Dinesh had told his wife to pack their belonging GSM added had also asked his landlord to terminate the rent contract as he was leaving for his home town permanently.”The accused was arrested by a team led by Inspector Surender Rathee, in-charge Special Staff, northwest district, under direct supervision of DCP Milind Dumbre,” a senior police officer told DNA.The septagenarian couple was killed in the early hours of Saturday by Dinesh, who was recently hired by them. Ramlal Bhutani, 79, a retired government official, who worked in audit department of the Home Ministry, was strangled to death while his wife Kaushal Bhutani, 73, had knife injuries on her throat. The couple was staying alone and did not have any children. Ramlal was bed-ridden for the last three years due to spine problems.

Doklam: Govt briefs opposition on easing of stand-off, Chinese have left with bulldozers, confirms official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government on Monday briefed the opposition leaders on the easing of Doklam border stand-off with China with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speaking to former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and other senior Congress leaders.The Congress, on its part, welcomed and supported the understanding between India and China to de-escalate the border tension at Doklam in the Sikkim sector. Sources said Swaraj called up Singh and Gandhi, besides Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and deputy leader Anand Sharma. Sources said Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar also called up Sharma separately and informed him about the current status and the easing of border tensions at Doklam.Sharma confirmed that the government has briefed Congress leaders about the Doklam stand-off ahead of the BRICS summit. “This understanding that has been reached is a positive development which we support,” Sharma said. Asked about the development at the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said this is a matter of national security but one should not go into a rejoicing mode. “There would be nobody happier than my party, than me, if what has just been stated by you, is not the momentary truth but the stable longer term or at least medium truth.
ALSO READ Omar Abdullah’s praise for PM Modi on ending Doklam standoff is a testament to our national unity”However, just like we should not go into panic mode as soon as something happens, we should not go into rejoicing mode the moment it is received,” he said. “I can only join you with the entire nation in hoping that this information which is coming is at least medium, if not long term true, stable and comprehensive and that unfortunately other conflicting information coming is untrue,” he added. He said both countries should engage to find a permanent solution in the light of the 2012 agreement between India- Bhutan and China about the location of the trilateral junction.”There must be an agreement to maintain the status quo until a resolution which is acceptable to all,” he said. Sharma, who is a former minister, said it is important that both the countries being strategic partners, neighbours and large developing countries work with sincerity guided by the principles and parameters of 2005 agreement between the two prime ministers on the border issues. Swaraj is also learnt to have talked to other opposition leaders, informing them about the development. CPI leader D Raja welcomed India and China agreeing to “expeditious disengagement” of troops, saying the move “is in the interest of the two countries”.
ALSO READ Doklam Stand-off | Expeditious disengagement of border personnel of India and China almost completed: MEAIndia and China have almost completed the disengagement of border personnel at Doklam, in a major diplomatic breakthrough that came a week before the BRICS summit in China which is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Chinese have left with bulldozers: Officials As part of the disengagement, the Chinese troops have left the dispute area of Doklam along with bulldozers and removed the tents which they had pitched, according to a top Indian government official. The official, on the condition of anonymity, said there were about 1700-1800 Chinese troops in the area where they proposed to build a road and all of them have left. The Indian troops, whose number was in a “few hundreds”, have also moved out of the stand-off area, the official told PTI tonight, adding it is a “demilitarised” area now.The stand-off had begun in June when the Indian troops objected to the Chinese building the road there. “The bulldozers have been taken away, tents have been removed and even a flag which they (Chinese) had hoisted there has been removed,” the official said. Earlier, in the morning, the External Affairs Ministry said “expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site in Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going.”Later, in the evening, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said the process of disengagement had almost been completed under verification, reflecting an end to the nearly two-and-half-month long stand-off. “This process has since been almost completed under verification,” Kumar said, referring to the disengagement. An official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the process of resolving the matter started after a brief interaction between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg in July.Subsequently, the Special Representatives of the two countries — National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi — were in touch, the official said. The breakthrough came just days ahead of the BRICS Summit to be held in Chinese city of Xiamen from September 3-5, which Modi is expected to attend.

Swine flu: 201 new cases, 10 more deaths

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swine flu continues to take a heavy toll in Gujarat. The state reported 10 more deaths and 201 new cases of swine flu on Friday, even as the state government claimed that the number of cases has declined.With this, the total number of swine flu cases in the state has crossed 4,000 this year.”With 4,062 confirmed swine flu cases since January 1, Gujarat has reported the second highest number of cases after Maharashtra, where the number is around 4,500,” said an official. Ten more swine flu patients lost their lives in the last 24 hours, taking the toll of the year to 316. The state government said in a press release that the number of new cases has declined, while number of patients recuperating has been on the rise.”As against 201 new cases, 315 patients have recovered and gone home. Even on Thursday, 307 patients were discharged as against 221 new cases. A total of 1,275 patients have been discharged in the past week,” the press release stated.However, the press release did not mention the number of patients still in the hospital. Sources said that the number of swine flu patients undergoing treatment, as of Friday, was 1,379. State CM Vijay Rupani had visited a special swine flu ward at Rajkot Civil Hospital last week to take stock of the situation.

Azad likely to represent Cong at Lalu rally, Gandhis to give

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is likely to represent the party at RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s rally in Patna on Sunday. Sources said the Congress supports the RJD and its rally and will be adequately represented, but the Gandhis are unlikely to attend it. “The Congress supports the RJD and the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad will be attending the August 27 rally of Lalu Prasad in Patna,” said a senior party leader. Rahul Gandhi had earlier indicated that he might be present at the Patna rally as Lalu has been a long-time friend and supporter of the Gandhis. Their presence at his rally, however, may affect its prospects as Lalu and his son are embroiled in cases of corruption, analysts said. Lalu is attempting a major show of strength after he was ousted from the Bihar government with the JD-U moving out of the grand alliance and joining back the NDA fold and the government with the BJP. The RJD chief is trying to put up a major show where he is seeking to showcase a formidable grouping of opposition leaders to take on the JD(U)-BJP combine in Bihar. The Congress is seeking to unite the opposition under a joint platform to take on Narendra Modi’s might and halt his winning streak in various states.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Two IMA cadets die after participating in a training session

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two cadets of the prestigious Indian Military Academy here died after being taken ill while participating in a 10 km-long run during training on the outskirts of the city three days ago. Dipak Sharma (22) and Nabin Kumar Chhetri (23) were among seven cadets who suffered from exhaustion and dehydration and were hospitalised after the exercise ‘Pahla Kadam’ on Friday, a training session organised for first term cadets of the academy, the Army said. Sharma, who died on Friday, hailed from Bathinda in Punjab. Chhetri succumbed at a hospital yesterday. He was from Darjeeling in West Bengal. “A total of seven cadets fell unwell due to dehydration and all of them were administered first aid at the exercise location,” the Army said in a statement It said Sharma’s condition was critical and he was rushed to nearby Lehman hospital at Vikasnagar where he succumbed to exhaustion and dehydration at 1:30 pm Friday. Chhetri, along with other cadets, was shifted to the military hospital in Dehradun. Sources said that from there he was shifted to Mahanth Indresh hospital where he died yesterday. “The other gentleman cadets have been treated at the military hospital and they are stable,” the Army said. It said, “Wreaths were laid for both the departed cadets in separate ceremonies which were attended by all officers, junior commissioned officers and gentlemen cadets of the IMA.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Railways amending guidelines on safety checks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With yet another train derailment claiming 23 lives, the Railways is going back to drawing board, amending guidelines on safety checks to avoid repeat of such incidents in future. There have been at least 23 rail accidents across India since 2014.Sources opined that though one might see a proactive Railway ministry on social media, the ground situation speaks a different story. Now, with the rescue work at Utkal Express mishap site over, the Railways feels that it is time to plug the loopholes and fix the problem areas.”We will issue necessary safety guidelines once the Commissioner of Railway Safety is through with his probe report,” said Vinod Kumar, Advisor (Safety), Railway Board. The Central and Western Railway officials claim that they too are expecting some sort of guidelines on maintaining safety in the days to come.Guidelines apart, one of the possible causes behind this derailment is said to be the lack of coordination between the rail authorities and gangmen who maintain tracks. Sources said the gangmen alone cannot be faulted as across Indian Railways there is a practise of gangmen being asked to do personal chores at rail quarters and bungalows.Not just this, the Railways pays little heed to the rail representatives and associations. For instance the Railway ministry has appointed commuter representatives and formed committees who discuss problems related to train travel. These are called Zonal Railway Users’ Consultative Committee (for the entire zone like CR, WR), Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee (Mumbai division), which are meant to discuss the issues faced by commuters.”For the last two years, there has been only two meetings with the Railways,” said Subhash Gupta, member, ZRUCC. These members take stock of the issues faced by people and then discuss it with the railway authorities.”Ideally, these meetings should take place once in every three months, but it rarely happens. Moreover, the rail authorities show scant interest in holding such meetings,” said Madhu Kotian, member, ZRUCC.Blaming the Railways for the accidents, they claim that the latter pay little heed to their suggestions concerning rail safety.

Centre amends cadre allocation policy to protect national character of all India services

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre has decided to amend its existing cadre allocation policy for all India Services, to ensure that an even mix of officers are placed across the country from all corners.The thought behind amending the policy, DNA has learnt, was fueled by the concern that all India Services such as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) are losing their “national character” and turning regional in nature.The problem arises as most candidates qualifying the civil services examinations prefer their own or neighbouring states when choosing their cadres, thus remaining confined to a specific region during their entire career span.Under the new policy, states will be divided into five zones and a candidate will first have to select a preferred cadre in each zone.After indicating one preferred cadre, the candidate will have to follow the same process and indicate their second preferred cadre in each zone.Sources said the revised policy will change this as a candidate now will have to choose a cadre from every region of the country. “Depending on the available vacancies in each state, a candidate from south India may be allocated a cadre in north or east India, and vice versa, instances of which were fewer earlier,” another official said.The new policy will also offer candidates under the “physically-disabled quota” an additional option to indicate their state preference, apart from their home state.Another crucial reason that led to the decision was dearth of officers in “less preferred states” such as northeastern states and Jammu and Kashmir. Sources across states said they are hopeful the new policy will tackle this problem.WHY THE NEW POLICYTo retain national character of AIS, cadre allocation policy will be amended.
“Physically-disabled” candidates will get option to indicate their state of preference apart from home state.

Indian rape victim, 10, and her baby ‘doing fine’

The girl gave birth on Thursday after the Indian Supreme Court rejected her plea for an abortion.

2 elephants electrocuted in Nilgiris district

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two elephants were electrocuted at a farm in hilly Nilgiris district, forest department sources said today. The carcass of the pachyderms – a 12-year-old male and an 18-year-old female – were found in the farm at Kothadi village in Gudalur, about 80 km from here, by some locals today and they informed Forest department officials. The farm owner claimed that a power cable snapped after some betel nut trees uprooted by the elephants fell on the animals. The elephants accidentally stepped on the wire and died on the spot, he maintained. Electricity department officials were inspecting the place to ascertain if the owner’s claim was true or if he had electrified the fence illegally with high voltage power to prevent wild animals from entering the farm, the sources said. Forest officials found the elephants lying on the snapped overhead high tension wire, the sources said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Indian rape victim, 10, gives birth by Caesarean section

The rape victim, who was not allowed to have an abortion by the Supreme Court, delivers a baby girl.

No confrontation between Indian, Chinese troops in Arunachal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Sources in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Wednesday described as false information relating to a reported confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops in the north eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. “The MoD sources said, “Please refer to certain queries regarding confrontation with PLA (People’s Liberation Army) troops in Arunachal Pradesh. It is clarified that the information is false. Meanwhile, the Army has also issued a statement saying that India’s 70th Independence Day on Tuesday was “well celebrated all across border areas.” It also confirmed that, “sweets were exchanged between the Indian Army and PLA troops in multiple border locations, including in the area of Doklam.” The army was apparently countering reports of a fresh clash breaking out with Chinese troops in the Doklam Plateau, where a nearly two-month-long stand-off over a trilateral border terroritorial ownership is still on. The army also refuted reports appearing in some media that both sides had commenced “Flag Meetings” to resolve the issue in Doklam and Ladakh that has strained bilateral relations between the two nations. It said, ” Report of flag meeting started is incorrect.” These comments attributed to the Ministry of Defence and the Army came hours after Indian and Chinese soldiers were reportedly involved in an altercation in the Pangong Lake area, further raising tensions between the two countries. Sources said Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel reportedly formed a human chain and foiled a bid by Chinese troops to enter Indian territory on foot in Ladakh, near the Pangong Lake. Chinese soldiers tried to enter Indian territory from Finger Four and Finger Five posts along the banks of Pangong Lake in Ladakh between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., but on both occasions, they were reportedly thwarted by alert Indian troops It was also reported that several Chinese soldiers carried iron rods and stones, and in the ensuing melee, there were minor injuries on both sides. China has also said that it was not aware of reports of PLA soldiers entering Indian territory along the banks of the Pangong Lake in Ladakh. Asked to comment on the incident,Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hu Chunying said, “I am not aware of the information. The Chinese side is committed to peace and tranquillity of the China-India border. We urge the Indian side abide by the LAC and relevant conventions between the two sides.” The two sides have frequently accused each other of intrusions into each other’s territories, but clashes are rare. The two armies are already engaged in a standoff in the Doklam Plateau further east, in another part of their 3,500-kilometer-long unmarked mountain border. China has repeatedly asked India to unilaterally withdraw from the Doklam area, or else face the prospect of a military-related escalation. The trouble started in June when India sent troops to stop China building a road in the Doklam area, which is remote, uninhabited territory claimed by both China and India’s ally Bhutan. New Delhi said it sent its troops because Chinese military activity in Doklam, near the trijunction of the borders of India, China and Bhutan, was a threat to the security of its own northeast region, especially in Sikkim. But Beijing has said India had no role to play in the area and diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis have not made much headway. Further updates are awaited.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

5 children suffer electric shock during I-day celebrations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five children received electric shock after coming in contact with dangling electric wire during Independence day celebrations at a primary school in Suti in Murshidabad district of West Bengal today. District police sources said while national tricolour was being hoisted on an iron pole, the electric wire suddenly came in contact with the pole and five children standing nearby received electric shock. Of the five injured, two were taken to nearby hospital while three others left for home after primary treatment. The hospitalised children are out of danger now, the sources added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Yuva Morcha activist attacked

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three RSS workers were today arrested for allegedly attacking an activist of Yuva Morcha, BJP’s youth wing, near here today, police said. Police said they were arrested based on a complaint by Aneesh Ponath, a 33-year-old Morcha activist, and were later let off on “station bail.” The workers had allegedly attacked Aneesh and slapped his face in the early hours of today, they said. Sources close to Aneesh alleged that he was attacked by RSS activists for putting a Facebook post against BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan in connection with corruption charges against some of the party leaders.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Over 200 BJP youth activists on Tiranga yatra held in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 200 activists of BJP’s youth wing, who were on a ‘Tiranga yatra’ to hoist the national flag at the Lal Chowk here, have been detained as a precautionary measure, the police said today. They have been taken to different police stations of the summer state capital, a police official said. While some activists were detained last night, several others were taken into custody this morning from Abi Guzar here. They were here to hoist the national flag at the Lal Chowk, the official said. Sources said the activists will remain in detention till the official function at Bakshi Stadium here concludes. Meanwhile, former chief minister Omar Abdullah termed the detention of the activists as a “fixed match” by the government in which the BJP is a coalition partner. “True definition of a fixed match. BJP government in J&K detains BJP office-bearers going out to hoist the National Flag,” he said in a tweet.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

8,000 suggestions to PM for I-Day address, more pouring in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To break the monotony of conventional Independence Day speeches, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought ideas from citizens to be incorporated in his address. He has also promised to finish the speech within an hour.His officials at the PMO were grappling with 6,000 suggestions received on the newly-launched Narendra Modi App and another 2,000 through the MyGov.in portal until Sunday afternoon to weave them into a speech. Three years ago, when Modi gave his first speech from the rampart, he revived the tradition of former prime ministers by referring to a piece of paper containing only the salient points.In his last Mann Ki Baat address, PM Modi urged people to share their ideas for his Independence Day address. “I’m happy to say that for the last three years, I have been getting suggestions from every corner of the country for August 15,” he said. “On August 15, I get an opportunity to communicate with the country from the ramparts of the Red Fort. I am merely an instrument. It is not one single person who makes that address, but it is the collective voice of 1.25 billion of my countrymen that resound from the Red Fort,” he had said.The PMO had begun preparations early this month seeking reports on the status of promises Modi made in his speech last year. Sources said that so far, eight specific promises have been identified. These pertain to the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, energy-rich India, farmers’ welfare, healthy India, saluting freedom fighters, and saluting tribals and giving an identity to every Indian.

Here are the top suggestions PM Modi received for his I-Day speech

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Education, cleanliness, environment, digitisation and girls’ literacy are the themes regarding which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received most of the suggestions from the public for inclusion in his upcoming Independence Day address.The suggestions have been made by the people in response to the prime minister’s invitation to them to share their ideas and inputs to be included in his Independence Day address, according to official sources.In his last ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme on July 30, Modi had said, “On August 15, I get an opportunity to communicate with the country from the ramparts of the Red Fort.”I am merely an instrument. It is not one single person who makes that address, but it is the collective voice of 1.25 billion of my countrymen that resounds from the Red Fort.” This has generated a tremendous response and thousands of comments and views are pouring in on the specially-created open forums on ‘Narendra Modi App’ and ‘MyGov’ portal, the sources said. Over 6,000 comments were received on the Narendra Modi App while more than 2,000 suggestions were made on ‘MyGov’ portal, they said.Most of the suggestions relate to the issues of education, ‘swachh bharat’, environment conservation, digitisation and ‘Beti Padhao’, the sources said. Modi, a believer in participative governance, regularly invites people to share their opinions and views on various subjects and incorporates people’s suggestions in his speeches. This is the routine he has particularly followed with regard to his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme.

Indian Army team crashes out of global tank race in Russia

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An Indian Army team has crashed out of international ‘Tank Biathlon’ held in Russia after its main battle tank T-90 developed technical snag. India was among 19 countries, including China, which participated in the high profile event. Official sources said the Indian team could not advance to the next level following breakdown of its two T-90 tanks. The Tank Biathlon commenced at Alabino Ranges on July 29. A total of 19 countries have participated in the event and the top 12 of them were to be selected for stage II relay race. The competition is an international event conducted as part of the International Army Games held every year since 2013 at Alabino Ranges in Russia. International Army Games involve 28 events which are organised in Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and China. The Indian Army team has been participating in the competition for the past three years. Sources said it was for the first time that the Indian team was participating with its own T-90 tanks at the competition. The competition simulates actual battle field conditions involving driving at high speed and entails switching from one mode of operation to another at a fast pace.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Staff salaries will add to financial burden

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The promise of disbursing salaries on the 10th of every month has been made, but it has only added to the financial burden of the BEST administration. Each month the Undertaking takes short term loans amounting to around Rs 200 crore to pay off loans and salaries. Sources said that over the past few months now, looking at the poor financial health of BEST, banks are tightening their purses before issuing loans.On August 7, political parties and unions who went on strike finally resolved the matter and the strike was called off. But when asked about how funds will be generated and salaries disbursed; they were simply non-commital. “We have ensured the strike has been withdrawn and promised that salaries will be given. Now it is for the administation to see how they manage to get funds for the same,” said A Kokil, Chairman, BEST Committee.Sources in BEST said that at this point, the administration is struggling as they only have two days to get a huge sum of funds to pay salaries. “Each month we need Rs 184 crore to pay salaries and other reimbursements to the employees,” said a BEST official. Off this, Rs 84 crore amount to salaries and the rest includes the amount given as reimbursements and gratuity.These banks charge an interest rate of anywhere between 7-9 per cent. The Undertaking has also taken Rs 1,600 crore from BMC, of which Rs 1,000 crore has been repaid. “We have been asking the BMC to at least waive off the interest that is 10 per cent,” said another BEST official.Until now, there has been no respite. Unions who went on strike had demanded converting the loan amounts to grants. But then the civic body is adamant on not giving a grant. BEST has asked for another Rs 2,000 crore grant from BMC. “Even now the administration owes Rs 600 crore to BMC and Rs 1,700 crore to other financial institutions and banks from whom they have taken money,” said S Ganacharya, BEST Committee member.BMC officials claim the Dearness Allowance given to BEST employees is much higher than industry standards, and they are entitled to more subsidies. They are entitled to a canteen allowance and still enjoy a subsidised canteen.BEST is the only State-operated establishment where Casual Leave is encashable.

Infiltration bid foiled in J&K, 5 terrorists killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five terrorists were killed on Monday when the Army foiled a major infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) at the Machil sector in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.The incident occurred in the afternoon, when the troops guarding the LoC noticed some suspicious movement near Z-Gali in the Machil Sector along the LoC and immediately swung into action. Sources said when the terrorists were attempting to sneak in, they were challenged by the alert troops.”A major infiltration bid has been foiled in the Machil sector. Five terrorists have been killed and their weapons recovered,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, a defence spokesperson in Srinagar.The operation is still underway, with troops busy in combing and sanitising the area. “The operation is still continuing,” said Colonel Kalia.Meanwhile, the Pakistan Army violated a ceasefire on Monday evening, when they fired at an Indian forward posts on the LoC in the Uri sector, leaving one soldier injured.

Finally, SOPs to dispose of military ammunition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A year after 19 defence personnel, including two Army officers, died in an ammunition depot fire in Maharashtra’s Pulgaon, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has come out with standard operating procedures (SOPs) for disposal of defective ammunition, but no action has been initiated for the negligence that led to the disaster.While the Army is miffed on no accountability being fixed for the criminal negligence, the MoD note on the new guidelines says, “The accountability and regularisation are being dealt under a separate SOP.”The timely disposal of unserviceable ammunition will ensure safety of personnel and stocks, the SOPs circulated on June 7 by the MoD said, adding that adherence to the guidelines was mandatory.On May 31, last year, a massive fire was triggered at the Pulgaon depot after defective anti-tank mines exploded due to leakage. Over 19,000 mines were destroyed and more than 4 lakh were declared unserviceable after the disaster.The Army’s Court of Inquiry (CoI) had concluded that lapses and error of judgment at various stages of manufacture and disposal by the Director General of Quality Assurance and the Ordnance Factory Board led to the fire.”The aim of the SOPs is to lay down responsibilities and timelines for management of defective ammunition for its timely disposal.”The SOPs also state that any ammunition with a malfunction caused due to an accident, defect or failure should be segregated within 72 hours. Within one month of a defect being noticed, a joint inspection team from the agencies concerned will submit a report. The classification of the defective ammunition should specify whether the ammunition is serviceable, repairable, needs factory repairs or is unserviceable and needs immediate disposal. The unserviceable ammunition needs to be disposed of within three months and that if declared unsafe or dangerous, it will be immediately disposed of, the SOPs state.”The SOPs are the only action taken document and that too after a year. Nobody has been held responsible for the death of 19 defence personnel due to negligence,” a source said.In a representation made on June 27, the Army expressed concerns to the MoD over the delay in fixing of responsibility. Letters were sent to Secretary Defence Production Ashok Kumar Gupta and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra. Several accidents between 2015 and 2017 took place but no responsibility for the lapses has been fixed, the letter said.The defects in the mines were detected in 2010 in some depots, including Pulgaon. Sources said since then at least a dozen letters were written to OFB and MoD officials but no action was initiated.There is a need to trace back and pinpoint responsibility both by production and quality assurance agencies to restore confidence in the system, sources said.There were clear lapses that were ignored while dealing with ammunition in Pulgaon. According to inquiry reports, leakage began within four months. Despite a warning that the ammunition needed to be disposed of, the ordnance factory tried to repair the defects. It was flagged off as a “safety hazard” in 2012 but no action was taken.PULGAON TRAGEDYThere is a need to pinpoint responsibility both by production and quality assurance agencies to restore confidence in the system.
19 defence personnel died in ammunition depot fire. SOPs are out but no action initiated for negligence.

Traffic police struggling to recover pending fines from auto, taxi drivers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai Traffic Police is struggling to recover fines, particularly from drivers of auto rickshaw, taxi and private buses. In the first six months of 2017, the traffic police issued 18.75 lakh challans and collected Rs 12.80 crore in fines. However 62 per cent of the challans remain unpaid.After the e-challan system was implemented in January, fine collection ent down, as many were reluctant to pay fines online. Hence, officials returned to impounding licences of offenders to improve collection of fines. But, it hasn’t helped much either. Sources in the department said maximum dues were against drivers of private public transport such as auto rickshaws, taxis and buses.On an average, each of these motorists have a pending fine of around Rs 5,000. Despite their licences being impounded, most drivers do not coming forward due to the huge amount of fines.After a licence is impounded, the driver has to pay all pending fines against the vehicle to free the licence. But, most of the taxis and autos are on given on rent to drivers in shifts. This makes it difficult to identify who committed the traffic violations”These drivers get surprised to know the huge amount of fines pending on their vehicles. On an average, 10 offences are registered against each tempo, taxi and auto. In case of the taxi and auto drivers, most claim that it wasn’t them but a driver on another shift,” said a traffic police officer.”My licence is with the Mulund traffic police chowky for the past two months. The auto I was driving had a find of Rs 8,000 against it, which I will have to pay to get my licence. I have not violated the rules. It was another driver who must have done it.” said rickshaw driver Rajaram Bhoir.

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