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DDCA row | Shatrughan Sinha calls Kirti Azad a hero, says Jaitley should follow LK Advani’s example

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The BJP MP praised Kirti Azad for raising the issue of corruption and irregularities.

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A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reacted to the District Cricket Administration (DDCA) controversy, BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha has said that Jaitley should follow come clean and follow LK Advani’s example. The BJP MP also praised Kirti Azad for raising the issue of corruption and irregularities.Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Sinha tweeted, “Kirti Azad-hero of the day. Humble appeal to friends. Avoid knee jerk reaction/coercive action against friend who’s fighting against corruption.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a series of tweets he said, “Have often quoted Newton’s 3rd Law. Feel that untimely action could boomerang. Sadly Party with a Difference has become Party with Differences.”He further added, “As for FM, issue should be fought politically not legally. As advised by our dashing dynamic PM, our FM could follow Advaniji’s eg & come clean.”Meanwhile, in a strong show of support for Jaitley, Modi had on Tuesday said the Finance Minister will come through “with flying colours” against the charges of corruption levelled against him by the opposition in the same way that L K Advani had in the Hawala case.LK Advani had resigned as MP in 1996 during the infamous Hawala scam and was later re-elected in 1998.Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday escalated protest against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley demanding his resignation.The political slugfest over DDCA affairs intensified on Monday after Jaitley filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders.The one member Commission of Enquiry will be headed by former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium.

DDCA row: Kirti Azad calls Arun Jaitley a ‘napunsak’, later claims Twitter account was hacked

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Finance minister Arun Jaitley arrives at Patiala House court in New Delhi on Monday to file a defamation case against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad, who has been raising the issue of corruption and irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Administration (DDCA), has once again targeted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter on Monday night Kirti Azad tweeted, “I was visited at home by so many agencies to take precaution against threat to my life. Dear @arunjaitley darta nahin hoon napunsako se.”However, Azad later tweeted, claiming that his Twitter account was hacked and it was not his post. “My A/C is hacked. Statement on @arunjaitley as napunsak is not my tweet,” he said. DDCA row: Ram Jethmalani to appear for Arvind Kejriwal in defamation case filed by Arun JaitleyA day ago, Kirti Azad had dared Arun Jaitley to file a defamation case against him too.While speaking to ANI, he said, “I am upset that the defamation suit is not against me. I wish the case was against me because I am the one who raised this issue.”The political slugfest over DDCA affairs intensified on Monday after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of AAP for allegedly defaming him in the DDCA controversy before a Delhi court which took cognisance on his plea.Meanwhile, Congress has latched on to BJP MP Kirti Azad’s claim that the government had asked CBI in October this year to probe alleged financial irregularities in DDCA, to demand the immediate resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.The one member Commission of Enquiry will be headed by former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium.

Tamil Nadu govt files defamation against Ramaswamy for his alleged remarks against CM Jayalalithaa

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In his complaint filed on behalf of the Chief Minister, City Public Prosecutor M L Jegan submitted that the speech of Ramaswamy against Jayalalithaa and her administration about the distribution of flood relief, circulated through Whats App during the floods, was highly defamatory.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa
File Photo
PTI
Tamil Nadu government on Monday filed a criminal defamation complaint against social activist “Traffic” Ramaswamy for his alleged remarks against Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa during the torrential and floods.In his complaint filed on behalf of the Chief Minister, City Public Prosecutor M L Jegan submitted that the speech of Ramaswamy against Jayalalithaa and her administration about the distribution of flood relief, circulated through Whats App during the floods, was highly defamatory.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The speech was disparaging, insinuating and highly provocative and had been made deliberately with an intention to cause harm to her reputation and the administration, it was submitted. They constitute an offence under IPC section 499 (defamation) and sec 500 (punishment for defamation), Jagan submited.The case was posted for hearing.

Upset that defamation case not filed against me: Kirti Azad

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“The AAP and the Congress Party are taking my issue that I raised eight years ago. The issue is associated with me, former cricketers and the members of the DDCA,” he added.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad, who has been in the line of fire for raising the issue of corruption and irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Administration (DDCA), on Monday said he was upset that the defamation case was not filed against me.”I am upset that the defamation suit is not against me. I wish the case was against me because I am the one who raised this issue,” Azad told ANI.”The AAP and the Congress Party are taking my issue that I raised eight years ago. The issue is associated with me, former cricketers and the members of the DDCA,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed criminal defamation case against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders.Jaitley has filed criminal defamation cases against AAP leaders Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai in the Patiala House Court.The Finance Minister had earlier filed civil defamation suit in Delhi High Court of Rs 10 crores against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders, amid a raging row over irregularities in the DDCA and allegations of corruptions against him by the Delhi Government.

Helpline, FB page launched for North East people in Chandigarh

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The page ‘Chandigarh Administration for the people of North East’ and toll-free helpline number- 1800-180-2130 was inaugurated by Vijay Dev, Adviser to the Administrator, UT Chandigarh.

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Chandigarh administration on Saturday launched a dedicated helpline number and Facebook page to provide timely help to the people from North East residing in Chandigarh and in adjacent areas. The page ‘Chandigarh Administration for the people of North East’ and toll-free helpline number- 1800-180-2130 was inaugurated by Vijay Dev, Adviser to the Administrator, UT Chandigarh. Speaking on the occasion, Dev said such initiatives will provide a sense of assurance and safety to the North-East community.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> An official release said that UT Chandigarh DC Ajit Balaji has constituted a committee to safeguard the rights and freedom of the people of North East and it comprised Tapasya Raghav, SDM (E) and SP Roshan Lal as the nodal officer, along with the representatives of the North-East community. “With the united efforts of the committee along with strict action taken by the Chandigarh Police in cases of assault, the objective of safeguarding and protecting North-East people against any type of crime would be achieved,” said Adviser. Notably, five students from Sikkim were injured at a college here after they were allegedly assaulted by another group of students from Himachal Pradesh over racist remarks. The incident had taken place on Tuesday evening at a private college in Mullanpur, on the outskirts of the city, following which police had arrested 10 people.

Critical for Pakistan to improve ties with India: US

Olson also said, “We hope the high-level talks between Indian and Pakistani officials will be used to increase ties between the two nations.”

India-Pakistan flags

It is critical for Pakistan to improve its relations with India, and the entire region will benefit substantially from increased economic cooperation between the two neighbours, a top Obama Administration official told lawmakers on Wednesday. “It is also critical that Pakistan improve relations with its other neighbour India,” Richard G. Olson, Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing on Pakistan. “We hope the recent high-level talks between Indian and Pakistani officials and the announcement of the resumption of formal dialogue will be used to reduce tensions and increase ties between the two nations,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “More broadly, the entire region stands to benefit substantially from increased economic integration,” Olson said in his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The hearing on Pakistan was chaired by Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Maharashtra government appoints Chandrakant Patil for border dispute with Karnataka

A notification in this regard was issued by the General Administration Department (GAD), which comes under the chief minister. First time a nodal minister has been appointed for the border dispute with the neighbouring state which is pending since six decades.

Chandrakant Patil is said to be well-informed about the issue

Giving a big boost to the “Belgaum movement” and its supporters, the Bharitya Janta Party (BJP) led government on Tuesday appointed Chandrakant Patil as the “nodal minister” for the border dispute with Karnataka. A notification in this regard was issued by the General Administration Department (GAD), which comes under the chief minister. First time a nodal minister has been appointed for the border dispute with the neighbouring state which is pending since six decades. PWD and Textiles minister and BJP stalwart Chandrakant Patil hails from Kolhapur which is close to Belgaum. He has also taken part in the Belgaum movement earlier and said to be well-versed with the issue. His appointment is seen as government’s renewed assertion on the disputed area and a big support to the people associated with the movement for years.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Patil couldn’t be reached for comments, PS Meena, additional chief secretary of the GAD confirmed the development. “Mr Patil will coordinate with the people of Belgaum. The nodal ministry under his guidance will try to help people of Belgaum who often approach Maharashtra government with complaints of harassment. Until now, all these people used to do approach the chief minister and GAD.” Situated near the foothills of the Sahyadri mountain range, a mineral rich Belgaum has been a bone of contention between two states. There are 865 villages spread in Belgaum, Karwar, Bidar and Gulberga districts for which Maharashtra has been staking its claim for past 60 years on linguistic grounds. In 2004, state approached the supreme court challenging the government of India’s decision of inclusion of 865 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka. The case is still on. People from these Marathi-speaking areas of Karnataka often complain about discrimination and harassment by the Kannada speaking civic authorities. They led several agitations in the past with some of them turning violent. Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) and some other groups are still fighting for the cause. Soon after BJP government came into power, the organisations fighting for the merger of disputed district of Belgaum with Maharashtra had intensified their stir with re-branding their movement as “Second Samyukta Maharashtra Andolan”. On the other hand, Karnataka recently erected Assembly building in Belgaum. Devendra Fadnavis had also maintained that the people of the state have deep emotional connect with residents of Marathi-speaking areas in adjoining Karnataka and their fight for a merger will continue till the goal is achieved. “The emotional strength of 12 crore Maharashtrians is with their brethren on the Karnataka border fighting to be part of this state. We will get justice,” Fadnavis was quoted as saying in an event at Mumbai in August this year. Welcoming the institution of nodal ministry, Deepak Pawar, professor of Mumbai University who is associated with the movement, said, “A politician of Patil’s stature can really do justice to the Marathi-speaking Belgaum people who often face apathy of bureaucrats.” Pawar who had dug out all legal documents in this case to understand the complexity says, “Geographical contiguity, wish of the people and linguistic majority since 1951 census, all prove that Maharashtra’s stand is right.” Box: Hearing in the case this monthThe matter in the Supreme Court is expected to come for hearing later this month, said PS Meena adding that at present, the court commissioner is recording the statements of the witnesses. “We are hopeful about the verdict soon,” said Meena insisting that the state has hired a battery of best lawyers, including Harish Salve, in the case. What is the issue The Belgaum district was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency. After India became independent in 1947, it became a part of the Bombay State. In 1948, the Belgaum Municipality requested the Indian Constituent Assembly and the Boundary Commission to include the Belgaum Municipal District in the proposed Samyukta Maharashtra state due to large Marathi-speaking population. But, in 1956, the Belgaum district was incorporated into the newly formed Mysore state (now Karnataka) in accordance with the States Reorganisation Act of 1956. Following protests from Maharashtra, the Centre constituted a Commission headed by justice MC Mahajan in 1966 which recommended that Belgaum should be part of Karnataka. While Centre and Karnataka accepted Mahajan Commission’s recommendation, Maharashtra approached the court.

NMMC opts out of Smart City race as politics weighs over development

The NCP-controlled Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) on Tuesday opted out of the race for Smart City after the general body of the Ganesh Naik-led corporation rejected the proposal on the basis of numerical strength as politics weighed heavily over core development issues.”Navi Mumbai is already a developed and smart city because of the vision of NCP leader Ganesh Naik,” was the common opinion expressed by party corporators during the special general body meeting held to discuss future course of Smart City at the civic head office.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition Shiv Sena and BJP have trained guns on the ruling party and are planning to approach chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in this regard.”The ruling party has no interest in Smart City project because there is no percentage (bribes) that they will get here. NCP leaders in NMMC are only interested in percentage politics and are least bothered about development. Since there is no money riding on this project, they have no interest and thus have rejected the proposal. We will approach chief minister Fadnavis in this regard,” said leader of opposition Vijay Chaughuley.Earlier, during the day, while discussing the subject, standing committee chairman Netra Shirke, drew parallels between Centre’s Smart City project and the idea of One Time Planning model floated by Naik in his capacity as Thane guardian minister. “There is nothing new in this project. It is similar to One Time Planning model which was once floated by Naik. Navi Mumbai is already a developed city thanks of the vision of Naik,” said Shirke.Municipal commissioner DT Waghmare, said, “The consent of general body was one of the important requirements for entry into Smart City project. Now that general body has rejected the proposal, the civic body is out of the race.”Recently, NMMC had inked an agreement with European Business and Technology Centre for Smart City project. Administration had entered into agreement with this European organisation without consulting the mayor and other elected representatives.According to sources, “This is what had disturbed the ruling party in Navi Mumbai and might be one of the reasons for opting out of the Smart City race.”Meanwhile, Belapur MLA Manda Mhatre who had played a major role in Smart City project, said, “Navi Mumbai will be part of the Smart City project and there is no doubt about it. There is no one who will come in between Navi Mumbai becoming a Smart City. By rejecting the proposal Navi Mumbai NCP leaders have shown the people of the city their real colours. I am meeting chief minister Fadnavis tomorrow and will ensure that Navi Mumbai is in the Smart City race.”

Safety and security standards of Indian aviation get thumbs up from United Nations body

In a recently done security audit by the ICAO, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, (BCAS) fully met the target of implementation of security norms thus steering clear from the threat of a possible downgrading of India’s safety ranking.

An Air India plane

India’s aviation safety and security security has got a thumps up from the UN oversight body International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).In a recently done security audit by the ICAO, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, (BCAS) fully met the target of implementation of security norms thus steering clear from the threat of a possible downgrading of India’s safety ranking.ICAO carries out periodic audits of member countries and assesses their implementation of norms of security and safety measures in handling all areas of civil aviation security and safety including full ground handling at the airports, aerodromes, including the track record of companies involved, airlines and flight schedules and paths managed by the air traffic control (ATC) etc.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The audit done by ICAO in October this year certified that effective implementation of aviation security in India stands at respectable score of 99.23% while India’s compliance of ICAO security requirements stands at 99.59%.The ICAO team conducted audit of Indian civil aviation security and security at Delhi airport in October across nine audit areas including legislative and regulatory architecture, performance of security personnel, security training, catering services and ground handling etc.The move, officials said, will help upgrade US regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation security rating of India thereby enabling starting more flights to US destinations that were in limbo because of bad rating of security and safety measures. In an earlier audit done in 2011, the ICAO had given 89% compliance to civil aviation security ans safety ratings.To fall in line with ICAO measures, country’s nodal aviation security body BCAS started the process of hiring around 400-500 personnel to help tide over the acute manpower shortage. The ministry of civil aviation also set the ball rolling to induct 21 personnel at different levels in the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB).

Obama says U.S. has to do something about guns after Colorado shooting | Reuters

WASHINGTON Expressing what has become regularly repeated frustration on the issue, President Barack Obama said on Saturday the United States needs to “do something” to make it harder for criminals to get guns after a shooting in Colorado killed three people and injured nine.

“We have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period,” Obama said in a statement. “Enough is enough.”

In Friday’s shooting, an assailant opened fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic, a center that provides health services including abortions, in Colorado Springs.

It was the latest in a long series of U.S. mass shootings during Obama’s seven years in office. He has called the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, his toughest day as president.

Obama said it was too soon to know the Colorado Springs shooter’s “so-called motive” but said the tragedy was more evidence pointing to the need to reform firearms laws.

“This is not normal,” said Obama, who has become increasingly forthright in urging gun control measures when he makes statements after such events. “We can’t let it become normal.”

Obama tried to tighten up gun laws after the Newtown shootings, but met resistance in the U.S. Congress, including from some of his fellow Democrats, and failed to push a measure through.

After another deadly shooting at an Oregon community college last month, Obama said White House lawyers would pore through existing laws to look for new ways he could use his executive powers to enforce regulations.

One of those options would require more gun dealers to get a license to sell guns, which would lead to more background checks on buyers.

The White House had drafted a proposal on that issue in 2013, but was concerned it could be challenged in court. Administration officials are now hopeful they can find a way to advance the plan.

Obama has also pledged to elevate the issue of gun laws during his remaining time in office, and has denounced lawmakers for bowing to pressure from the powerful National Rifle Association lobby group.

On Saturday, he said Americans could not “offer up our thoughts and prayers” for the families of the dead police officer and of the two other victims of the shooting “with a truly clean conscience” unless they also pushed for changes to make it harder to get guns.

“May God bless Officer Garrett Swasey and the Americans he tried to save – and may he grant the rest of us the courage to do the same thing,” Obama said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Frances Kerry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Meet the young man who helped more than 1000 families during the recent Chennai rains

Arun was also among the many people in Chennai who came forward to help people who were hit badly by the torrential rains and floods across the state last week.

Arun Krishnamurthy, Founder, EFI. Image credit: Facebook

This young man set up the Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) in 2006 in Chennai when he was just 19. Today, Arun Krishnamurthy’s NGO has won three UN awards for conservation, Google’s Social Impact Award and Jane Goodall Institute’s Youth Leadership Award. Arun and EFI were also among the many groups in Chennai that came forward to help people who were hit badly by the torrential rains and floods across the state last week.In an exclusive interview with dna, Arun Krishnamurthy talks about how EFI and its volunteers helped in the flood relief efforts. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When did EFI get involved in the flood relief efforts? EFI got involved in the flood relief efforts because communities that volunteered with us in cleaning lakes were badly affected and we got into action as early as November 15, 2015. We contacted most of our partners and got an overwhelming response from them for the flood relief effort. We did not collect money from any donor, however, asked people to donate Flood Relief Kits which then could be directly given to those affected. We had donors across corporates, sporting groups, schools, colleges and senior citizens.EFI collects food and other items from donors.What are you providing for families that have been affected?We divided our approach into – Primary Response: The initial response with basic needs such as fresh drinking water, bread, biscuits, blankets, mosquito repellents, fruits (banana and apple). We ensure each family in the community centres got one kit comprising of all these items. We provided these kits to families over five continuous days. In Secondary Response: With the help of the District Administration we identified families that have lost everything and provided them with an essential family kit of 5-8 kg of rice, 2-3 kg of pulses, blankets, dhotis-sarees, sleeping mats, vessels-plates-tumblers, milk powder, salt, sugar, sanitary pads, torch/candles with matchbox, water strainer. All of this in one kit per family. The Tertiary Response is flood relief at natural habitats. A large amount of garbage is piling up along the coast and it is imperative that we clean them at the earliest before the start of the sea turtle season. We have sought permission from the government and are roping in as many volunteers as possible to execute a sustained voluntary clean-ups all through December.Arun and other volunteers distribute food and other items to peopleHow many people have you helped out across the state so far?In Mudichur Panchayat and Perungalathur Panchayat which are the suburbs of Chennai, a total of approximately 2,700 people. In Cuddalore district— 300 families in Kattralai village, 100 families in Kurunjipadi taluk, 150 families in Thillai village and 350 families in Sirupalaiyur village.What are your plans for the next two weeks?The tertiary response of natural habitat clean-ups followed by a detailed study to adopt one of the villages for complete re-development.
If you want to volunteer with EFI, check out their Facebook page here.

When Chennai believed crocodiles had escaped from Madras Crocodile Bank in the rains!

This caused panic among the residents in the area who began to expect a crocodile to enter their homes any minute. But again, it was a hoax.

A crocodile at Madras Crocodile Bank (Image courtesy: Madras Crocodile Bank)

First, it was a WhatsApp message that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had stated that there would be heavy rainfall and a cyclone on November 21 and 22 in Chennai that caused panic in the city.That message effectively turned out to be a hoax. Then came the message that more than 40 crocodiles had escaped the Madras Crocodile Bank on East Coast Road that started doing the rounds.Some local TV channels thought it true and even flashed it as news. This caused panic among the residents in that area who began to expect a crocodile to enter their homes at any minute! But again, it was a hoax.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Zai Whitaker of the Madras Crocodile Bank tells dna, “We got several calls but from media. Perhaps people are learning, from experience, that not all news is true… and the “crocodiles have escaped” rumour has happened before as well including during the 1985 cyclone. Many media persons came over and it was good to meet several who have been well-wishers of the Crocodile Bank for a long time.” The security measures in place are quite extensive so it’s really not possible for crocodiles to just crawl out of the bank so easily. “We watch special news portals very carefully every time there’s a build-up of weather in the region. Regarding security measures, this would mean writing a small book because there are many things we consider. In brief, there are four major areas here: Pen construction: The height, breadth of walls, the slope of ponds, ratio of land and water, and other factors are important and the fact that the Crocodile Bank advises and helps other crocodile facilities in India and abroad, means that after 40 years of being in this field, we have cracked it! There is a secure wall all the way around the crocodile farm,” explains Whitaker. The staff is trained in what to look for in case of a storm surge or any other natural or human-made disaster as well. “The most difficult one is groups of drunken tourists who start throwing things at the animals, and fight with and abuse our staff when told to stop. Natural disasters are easier to deal with than irresponsible humans,” adds Whitaker.

Black money: BJP says legal action against Preneet Kaur and son likely

BJP spokesperson M J Akbar said whenever information is received on people having black money and illegal money stashed in swiss banks, “action will be initiated”.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
As the government stepped up its efforts to curb the black money menace, BJP today said legal action would be initiated against former Congress minister Preneet Kaur and others stashing away unaccounted cash “if proper evidence is found”. BJP also hinted that some legislative measures were on the anvil in the upcoming parliament session against black money.”If proper evidence is found, which we feel we will get soon, legal action against them would be initiated,” BJP spokesperson M J Akbar said when asked about action against former Union minister Preneet Kaur and her son Raninder Singh.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said, “Action is being initiated. For the first time there have been serious investigations being carried out (against black money). These names had come up during UPA (government). At that time, efforts were made to save them and they were successfully saved. But now, that era has ended.” He said whenever information is received on people having black money and illegal money stashed in swiss banks, “action will be initiated”.Akbar said, “I feel some more measures to curb black money are also on the anvil in the upcoming Parliament session.”Asked about the opposition move to discuss the issue of intolerance and get a resolution passed in Parliament, the BJP leader evaded a direct reply and expressed hoped that the winter session will run smoothly.”We shall reply forcefully and accurately against all canards. It is good that Parliament debates such issues. That is what Parliament is for. We hope you are also telling me that Parliament is not disrupted,” he said.On Rahul Gandhi’s attack on the Modi government over its foreign policy, Akbar said, “If it is just criticism, one can reply. I think he should change his advisers.” India has sought assistance in the investigation into black money from the Swiss authorities into accounts allegedly held by former Congress minister Preneet Kaur and her son.Under the Swiss norms for ‘assistance’ in tax matters, which could involve sharing of account and other details, the Federal Tax Administration (FTA) of Switzerland also asked Kaur and Singh to file an appeal within 10 days for “exercise of the right to be heard”.

Watch: When Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son messed up his oath!

The elder son, Tej Pratap Yadav, couldn’t pronounce the word ‘apekshit’ correctly in the first time.

Image Courtesy: iamin.in
File Photo

At the swearing-in ceremony of Bihar cabinet on Friday, all eyes were set on Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejaswi, the two sons of RJD President Lalu Prasad. Tejaswi has been appointed as the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar while Tej Pratap will be given three ministries. But, during the oath-taking ceremony, 28-year-old Tej Pratap, made mistake, not once, but twice. Governor Ram Nath Kovind asked Tej Pratap to repeat the oath after he pronounced the word ‘apekshit’ as ‘upekshit’. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Chief Minister Nitish Kumar retained Home, Information and Publicity and General Administration departments with him, he gave Road Construction and Buildings Construction portfolio to 26-year- old Tejaswi, his Deputy CM. Tej Pratap has been given Health and two other ministries.Watch the following video at 4.40 seconds to see Tej Pratap’s oath-taking:

Nurses at Delhi civic body-run hospitals go on strike over staff shortage, pending promotions

New Delhi: Nurses at the major municipal corporation-run hospitals in the national capital launched an indefinite strike on Monday, causing inconvenience for the patients admitted at these facilities.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The striking nurses are demanding recruitment for filling of staff shortages and clearance of pending promotions.

Among the hospitals where nurses have gone on strike are the Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, Swami Dayanand Hospital, Kasturba Hospital and Rajan Babu TB Hospital.

“We have raised these issues several times with the municipal corporation. Nurses have repeatedly requested the authorities concerned to look into these issues.

“The administration has not responded. We are launching an indefinite strike from today. Promotions for nurses who have been in the department for years are still pending. How can we continue to work under such conditions?” said Sushma Kumari, president, Delhi Nurses Union.

“Nurses from Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, Swami Dayanand Hospital, Kasturba Hospital and Rajan Babu TB Hospital have joined the strike,” she added.

A senior nurse at Rajan Babu TB Hospital, said, “Patients are being inconvenienced; the administration should initiate negotiations to settle the issues. There is acute staff shortage and the administration should take stock of the situation.”

Meanwhile, authorities said that more nurses have been pressed into service recently and the administration is looking into the demands of the nurses.

PTI

End sale of defence equipment to Pakistan: Think-tank to United States

In parallel, the Task Force asked the US to demand that Pakistan tackle terrorism and prepare to cease US funding for defence sales and coalition support funds should Pakistan prove unwilling, said Richard N Hass, CFR president.

The new fighter planes will add to Pakistan’s sizeable force of fighter jets which include more than 70 F-16s and dozens of French and Chinese attack aircraft (Representational Image)

AFP
Ahead of the visit of Pakistan army chief Gen Raheel Sharif, a top US think-tank on Friday asked the Obama Administration to end sale of any defence equipment to the country if it is not willing to “rein in terror”. “The US should demand that Pakistan meet its obligations as a state to tackle terrorism emanating from its territory, in both India and Afghanistan,” the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a top American think-tank, said in a report. “If Pakistan is not willing to rein in terror, Washington should be prepared, at minimum, to end US taxpayer funding for defence equipment sales and reimbursement of coalition support funds,” CFR said in the report prepared by top American thinkers drawn from various sectors including Alyssa Ayres, Ajay Banga, Nicholas Burns, Ashley Tellis, Charles R Kaye, among others.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Recognising the challenge to US-India relations posed by US policy toward Pakistan, as well as the drag on India’s rise presented by the risk of conflict with Pakistan, the Task Force report recommends that India for the sake of its own future pursue an improved relationship with Pakistan. In parallel, the Task Force asked the US to demand that Pakistan tackle terrorism and prepare to cease US funding for defence sales and coalition support funds should Pakistan prove unwilling, said Richard N Hass, CFR president. The US is planning to sell eight new F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan. The new fighter planes will add to Pakistan’s sizeable force of fighter jets which include more than 70 F-16s and dozens of French and Chinese attack aircraft.In its more than 90-page report, the Task Force found that US policy towards Pakistan is one of the main challenges to India-US relationship. Indian officials remain skeptical that the US can ever fully be trusted as a security partner when they see Washington appear to acquiesce to Islamabad’s continued inaction on terror groups that have targeted India and the US, the report said.The CFR report comes days before Gen Sharif’s visit to the US during which he is likely to meet top American defence, military and political leadership.

Four months after suicide, failed student declared class topper

Distraught after being declared failed in his favourite subject, a 17-year-old electronics engineering student had committed suicide but four months on a re-evaluation has found that he not only passed the subject but topped his class.

Distraught after being declared failed in his favourite subject, a 17-year-old electronics engineering student had committed suicide but four months on a re-evaluation has found that he not only passed the subject but topped his class.The “callous” evaluation process has left the parents of Mohammad Adnan Hilal numbed, who feel that it is not a case of suicide but “murder” as their son actually secured 48 marks in Physics and not 28 as declared earlier.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the re-evaluation, Hilal, a first semester student of electronic engineering at Government Polytechnic College in Srinagar, secured around 70% aggregate marks in the first semester of the course, making him the class topper.However, it took authorities four long months to realise Hilal’s correct score.In Jammu and Kashmir, 33 out of 100 is the minimum marks required to pass an examination.Declared failed in Physics, a subject his family and friends claim he had mastery over, Adnan committed suicide in June soon after he checked his results on Internet. He jumped into River Jhelum and his body was fished out four days later.Adnan’s father, Hilal Ahmad Gilkar says his son’s death was not a suicide but a “murder” as he was forced to take the extreme step by the callousness of some people in the system.”It is a murder and people responsible for it need to be identified and acted against as per the service rules of the government,” said Gilkar as tears rolled down his eyes.Shattered by the loss of his son, Gilkar, recalls how his son had told him that he had answered all the questions in the Physics paper with ease.”When Adnan returned in the evening on the day of his examination, he informed me that he did well in Physics paper.”He told me there was no continuation sheet at the examination center so he had to write the rest of the answers on another answer sheet. He was confident that he had done well,” Gilkar, a guest faculty at Institute of Management and Public Administration (IMPA) here, said.After the death of his son, Gilkar applied for re-evaluation of his son’s Physics answer paper and was pushed further into grief as Adnan was declared pass in the paper The Jammu and Kashmir State Board of Technical Education (JKSBOTE), while admitting it as a “mistake”, said, “Such things happen in other universities as well”.

Maharashtra GR asks all offices to compulsorily hang a photo of PM Narendra Modi

A GR, issued on Friday, doesn’t spare even the offices of ministers and ministers of state. Though it doesn’t specify what action it would take in case of non-compliance, the latest directive has surprised many.

Sudhir Shetty
dna
The Maharashtra government wants all government and semi-government offices across the state to hang a photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A GR, issued on Friday, doesn’t spare even the offices of ministers and ministers of state. Though it doesn’t specify what action it would take in case of non-compliance, the latest directive has surprised many. For one, rules asking photographs of the incumbent President, Prime Minister and other personalities to be hung at all government and semi-government offices across India are already there.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bombay High Court, and the offices of the Auditor General, Lok Ayukta and district collectors have been sent copies of the GR issued by the General Administration Department (GAD). The GAD has even specified the size of the photograph (16 X 20 inches), with the instruction that a frame has to be there around the photo. The photographs will be available at the offices of the government press in Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Aurangabad and Nagpur. The directive comes at a time when the PM has already completed almost one and a half years in office. What seems to have prompted the government to issue such a directive now is the apparent resistance from bureaucrats. “Despite protocol, many government offices don’t have the PM’s photograph. This is due to a personal disliking of the babus of the concerned departments. The GR aims to enforce the implementation of the rule,” said a highly placed source in Mantralaya. The move has drawn quick reaction from political parties. Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam said: “This order shows the over-enthusiasm of the BJP in asserting their power over the administration.” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik linked the move to the CM’s admission about non-cooperation of the babus. “This GR only proves the extent of displeasure of the babus with the BJP.” Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had admitted last week that the state bureaucracy was not fully cooperating with the new government. The government had already initiated against about 800 bureaucrats. The GAD portfolio is with the chief minister. Milind Mhaiskar, secretary at the CMO, didn’t respond.

Jammu & Kashmir: Four months after suicide, failed student declared passed

Father of deceased 17-year-old J&K boy Adnan Hilal Gilkar calls this a clear case of murder

Adnan Hilal Gilkar

Shock, anger and disbelief has descended upon Jammu and Kashmir after a 17-year-old engineering student, who committed suicide after being marked failed in an examination, was declared successful after re-evaluation, four months after his death. Adnan Hilal Gilkar, who was pursuing a diploma in electrical engineering at Government Polytechnic College, Srinagar, committed suicide on June 18, the day he was declared ‘failed’ in his physics paper by the J&K state board of technical education. Adnan had jumped into the River Jhelum on June 18 after checking his result on the internet, which declared that he had failed his Physics paper. Seemingly depressed, he climbed atop Abdullah Bridge and jumped into the river. Four days later, his body was fished out from Jhelum in the old Srinagar city.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> After the re-evaluation process, Adnan has secured around 70 per cent aggregate marks in the first semester of the course. In the subject, in which he was previously failed, he has secured 48 marks contrary to the earlier 28, for which he committed suicide. “It is a clear case of murder. We are completely shattered. My son has always been a bright student all through. He got a distinction in matriculation. He was one of the first 100 students to crack the entrance test for the engineering course. Now, after his death they say he had actually passed the exam and not failed as declared by them earlier,” Hilal Ahmad Gilkar, Adnan’s father, told dna. Gilkar, a guest faculty at Institute of Management and Public Administration (IMPA), said that he had applied for re-evaluation of his Physics paper since Adnan had told him that he had answered all the questions with ease. “After Adnan wrote the paper he told me that he had insisted on a continuation sheet because he needed to write more. He was given a second answer script to write his answers. I went for the re-evaluation and came to know that he had actually got 48 marks and not 28. Insensitivity and callous attitude of the evaluators has cost me my son,” lamented Gilkar. Gilkar has decided not to back down and take legal action against the authorities for callousness. “I will fight for justice. I will highlight this issue and take legal action against the authorities because their follies have claimed an innocent student’s life,” he said. Facing flak, the J&K State Board of Technical Education tried to deflect blame, saying that they just compiled the results. “Our re-evaluation is a fair system of marking. A student having doubt can come and see his answer paper. We get it evaluated from two experts. Some students pass and some fail in the re-evaluation process,” said Nazir Hussain Malik, secretary of the board.

Karnataka, Gujarat lift ban on Maggi noodles after clean chit given by 3 govt-approved labs

New Delhi: Paving the way for Maggi noodles’ return, Karnataka and Gujarat have lifted ban on manufacturing and sale of Nestle India’s popular instant food brand.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The announcements by the two states follow clean chit given by three government-approved laboratories to Maggi noodles, which was banned by central food regulator FSSAI and various state-level watchdogs in June on quality issues.

Last week, Nestle India had said that all samples of Maggi cleared tests conducted by three laboratories, as mandated by the Bombay High Court. The company is now planning to relaunch the product soon.

The Congress-led Karnataka government on Monday decided to allow manufacture and sale of Maggi noodles in the state as it decided to withhold the Centre’s directive banning it, saying it lacked clarity.

The state government would withhold the implementation of central order on not allowing the production and sale of Maggi because of lack of clarity on the permissible limits of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and lead, Karnataka Health Minister UT Khader told reporters in Bengaluru.

Similarly, the BJP-ruled Gujarat government also lifted the ban on sale of Maggi.

The Gujarat Food and Drug Control Authority (FDCA) on Monday said it lifted the ban on sale of Nestle India’s ‘Maggi’ noodles after the Bombay High Court lifted the nationwide ban on it in August.

According to sources, central food regulator FSSAI will go through test reports by three labs before taking any decision on lifting the ban it imposed in June this year.

FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles saying it was “unsafe and hazardous” for consumption after finding lead levels beyond permissible limits. The company had withdrawn the instant noodles from the market.

Nestle India had challenged the ban by FSSAI in the Bombay High Court. In August, the court lifted the nation-wide ban imposed by the Indian food regulators on Maggi noodles but ordered a fresh test of samples of the product in three independent labs across India.

The court had set aside the 5 June order of the Central government’s Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). It also quashed the order of Maharashtra’s Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) banning production and sale of Maggi noodles in India and the state.

PTI

Indian Air Force planning to induct women in fighter aircraft stream: Arup Raha

Hindon (UP): The Indian Air Force is now planning to induct women into the fighter aircraft stream, IAF Chief Arup Raha said on Thursday.

Indian Air Force. ReutersIndian Air Force. Reuters

Indian Air Force. Reuters

“We have women pilots flying transport aircraft and helicopters. We are now planning to induct them into the fighter stream to meet the aspirations of young women in India,” Air Chief Marshal Raha said here as IAF celebrated its 83rd anniversary.

The plan to induct women into a fighting arm is a first in the three services which were earlier not open to the idea of women taking part in combat role.

IAF currently has women in seven areas of administration, logistics, meteorology, navigation, education, aeronautical engineering – mechanical and electrical – and accounts.

The air force currently has about 1500 women on its rolls of which 94 are pilots and 14 navigators.

The move is in sync with global trends and will help IAF overcome shortage of officers in the fighter aircraft stream.

PTI

Dadri lynching: Akhlaq’s family demands slapping of NSA against accused

They were speaking at a peace meeting organised by the Gautam Budh Nagar District Administration involving several village heads at the Jarcha Police Station here, where Bishada’s pradhan urged politicians to stop visiting it

Family of Mohammed Akhlaq on Wednesday demanded slapping of the National Security Act (NSA) on those accused of lynching him in Dadri, and hearing of the shocking case by a fast-track court, even as they vowed to restore peace in the village since marred by tension.They were speaking at a peace meeting organised by the Gautam Budh Nagar District Administration involving several village heads at the Jarcha Police Station here, where Bishara’s pradhan urged politicians to stop visiting it. “Our demand is that the case be heard by a fast track court and those involved are slapped with charges of NSA,” Akhlaq’s younger brother Jaan Mohammed, said on the sidelines of the meeting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While it is for sure that “more than 10 persons” were involved in the murder, the number could be anywhere around “150-200”, he claimed. “This is a matter of investigation by administration, which will have to look into it.” The 50-year-old man was on September 28 night bludgeoned to death in Dadri’s Bishara village in Uttar Pradesh over rumours of eating beef, triggering nation-wide outrage. Bishara’s pradhan Sanjeev Rana claimed that politicians, who have made a beeline to the village since the incident, have “disturbed peace”.Also Read: Amid political slugfest over Dadri killing, villagers meet for peace”I want to ensure peace for Hindus and Muslims in the village. I don’t want any politician to come and disturb peace here. Their visits has disturbed peace here,” Rana said.’Sadbhavna committees’ and corner meetings have helped restore and maintain peace in the village, he said. “During the incident, attempts were made to molest women in our family. What the women witnessed that day would shake souls of anyone. We don’t want to go. But we may stay out of village for a month or so to ensure their mind is diverted from the horrific incident,” he added.However, in a separate statement, Mohammed Sartaj, son of Akhlaq said the family has moved to Delhi last night but there is no clarification about the members of his extended family including Akhlaq’s brothers.

Dadri killing: Victim’s family moves to Delhi, peace march held in village

Meanwhile, the victim Iqlakh’s son Danish has been shifted from the ICU and has started communicating with family members.

Outsiders including mediamen are being stopped outside the village.

PTI
Family members of Iqlakh, who was lynched over rumours of alleged beef consumption, have moved to Delhi from Bishada where the administration and police conducted a peace march and held peace committee meetings on Wednesday in an effort to maintain communal harmony. Mohammed Sartaj, whose father Iqlakh was beaten to death and his 22-year-old brother Danish critically injured by a 200-strong mob, said the family has moved to Delhi last night. As fragile peace returned to Bishada, the District Magistrate held a peace committee meeting in Bishada and adjoining villages while police conducted a peace march to cool tempers. With leaders of various outfits still thronging Bishada, the administration stepped up measures to keep visitors at bay, restricting entry only to residents. Appealing to visitors not to disturb the communal harmony by their speeches, District Magistrate N P Singh said nobody will be allowed to disturb peace in the village.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Administration officials said that prohibitory orders are still in force. Moreover, the victim’s family members are not present in the village. The village boundary is still barricaded and police force is deployed. Officials were scanning all the vehicles entering the village. Outsiders including mediamen are being stopped outside the village.According to villagers, had the media kept away the leaders would not have got the chance to play politics of hate which has disturbed the communal harmony in the area. Villagers have appealed to the media to refrain from highlighting communal speeches and stop the debates as it only escalates the situation. Meanwhile, the victim Iqlakh’s son Danish has been shifted from the ICU and has started communicating with family members.Iqlakh was attacked by a 200-strong mob at Bishada village after a public announcement by a local temple that the family had slaughtered a calf and eaten its meat last Monday night.

Meat sale ban: Chhattisgarh? government reduces ban period to two days

All the meat shops and slaughter houses will remain closed for any two days of the eight-day-long festival, which would be decided by the respective district magistrates, official sources said.

Getty Images
A day after announcing meat sale ban for the eight days of the ‘Paryushan’ festival of Jain community, the Chhattisgarh government on Saturday said the order would be enforced only for two days.All the meat shops and slaughter houses will remain closed for any two days of the eight-day-long festival, which would be decided by the respective district magistrates, official sources said. The Urban Administration and Development department had earlier issued directives to civic bodies to keep all the slaughter houses and meat shops closed from September 10 to 17 for the Jain ‘Paryushan’ festival and Ganesh Chaturthi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on September 17. The state government has been imposing ban on sale of meat during Paryushan since 2011. Notably, there has been a row over such a directive in Mumbai where ruling BJP’s ally Shiv Sena and opposition MNS hit the streets to protest.The Rajasthan government had also ordered ban on sale of meat and fish on September 17 (Paryushan), 18 (‘Sanvatsari’ – another Jain festival) and 27 (‘Anant Chaturdashi’). While the ruling BJP in Maharashtra has defended the ban imposed by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the Sena as well as opposition MNS, Congress and NCP have vehemently opposed it, alleging that the move was aimed at polarising voters and appeasing a section of society before the crucial MCGM polls in early 2017.A similar ban has also been imposed by Mira-Bhayander and Navi Mumbai municipal corporations in Mumbai’s adjoining Thane district. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had earlier said his party would ensure that there was no ban on sale of meat.

Bihar Home Secretary, 9 District Magistrates and 7 SPs transferred by Election Commission

Last month, the Election Commission had ordered transfer of officials connected to the conduct of elections, who are either posted in their home districts or have served in places for long, as part of its procedure to ensure free and fair elections.

During the Model Code of Conduct, the Election Commission has superintendence over the administrative machinery and is free to transfer officers.

Ahead of Bihar assembly polls slated next month, the Election Commission on Friday ordered the transfer of state Home Secretary Amir Subhani, nine district magistrates and seven senior police official including SPs and SSPs and said those transferred from districts should not be posted to any election-related post. It asked the state Chief Secretary to send the poll body with a ‘compliance report’ within 24 hours along with copies of transfer orders.The EC also appointed Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, 1983 bath IAS officer, as the new Home Secretary.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Since Subhani was also Secretary in charge of General Administration Department besides being the Home Secretary, the EC said the state government could post any other secretary-rank officer to the post. It said Subhani “may be given any other assignment/post by the state government, as deem fit.”During the Model Code of Conduct, the EC has superintendence over the administrative machinery and is free to transfer officers.District Magistrate-cum-District Election Officer of Patna Pratima Verma and Patna SSP Vikas Vaibhav are among the senior administrative and police officers transferred by the poll watchdog.Last month, the Election Commission had ordered transfer of officials connected to the conduct of elections, who are either posted in their home districts or have served in places for long, as part of its procedure to ensure free and fair elections.In a letter addressed to Chief Secretary and Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar, the poll watchdog, however, had made it clear that the transfer-posting order will not apply to Sector Officers though they are directly involved with the poll process.”The Commission, in its task of conducting free and fair elections has followed the consistent policy to ensure that officers, who are connected with the conduct of elections in the state, do not serve in their home districts or places where they have served for long,” it had said.

Pakistan lost terribly in 1965 war with India, admits Pak historian

Karachi: Pakistan “lost terribly in the 1965 war” with India, a Pakistani historian has admitted.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Historian and political economist Akbar S Zaidi dispelled “the victory myth’, saying that there can be no a bigger lie as Pakistan had lost terribly, Dawn reported on Saturday.

Zaidi said that people are unaware of this fact because the history taught in Pakistan is from an ideological viewpoint.

Delivering a lecture titled ‘Questioning Pakistan’s history’, he said: “Students are not taught the history of the people of Pakistan rather it is focused on the making of Pakistan.”

Zaidi, who teaches history at the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, was speaking at the event organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Karachi University.

“With the celebration of the victory in the 1965 war round the corner, there can be no bigger lie that Pakistan won the war. We lost terribly in the 1965 war,” he said.

He asked people to read political and strategic analyst Shuja Nawaz’s book Crossed Swords that exposed the reality of the war.

The remark comes with with Pakistan just two days away from observing Defence Day and marking the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war.

During his lecgture, Zaidi asked: what is Pakistan’s history and is there a need to question Pakistan’s history. And when was Pakistan formed? 14 August, 1947 or 15 August, 1947? For him, the fact we are still talking about historical events 68 years later that are apparently settled is interesting.

On when was Pakistan created, he said one obvious answer is it did so on 14 August, 1947 but he read out an excerpt from a Pakistan Studies textbook in which it was claimed it came into being in 712AD when the Arabs came to Sindh and Multan. “This is utter rubbish!” he said, rejecting the textbook account.

Later while responding to queries, Zaidi explained that Parsis and Hindus contributed hugely in the educational development of Karachi and in a similar manner the Sikhs in Punjab.

“History in Pakistan is taught from an ideological viewpoint. Pakistan needs to be seen as a geographical entity.”

On separate identities, he replied there was no need to do so. “I can be a Sindhi, Hindu and Pakistani simultaneously.”

IANS

Twitter outburst in Pakistan over Dawn article on 1965 Indo-Pak war

Dr Zaidi also talked about the poor quality of history taught in Pakistan’s schools.

Major outrage broke out as article called Pakistan’s claim of winning the 1965 Indo-Pak War, the ‘biggest lie’.

Twitter saw an outburst on Saturday after Pakistan’s newspaper Dawn published an article on the 1965 Indo-Pak war on its website titled ‘History in Pakistan has been badly treated’, which spawned the trending hashtag #DawnPawnOfModi, where the national daily was branded as the mouthpiece of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The article by Maleeha Hamid Siddiqui discussing the speech by noted historian and political economist Dr S. Akbar Zaidi at an event organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Karachi University, saw a flare-up on Twitter. Major outrage broke out on the issue of Dr. Zaidi calling Pakistan’s claim of winning the 1965 Indo-Pak War, the ‘biggest lie’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”With Pakistan just two days away from observing Defence Day and marking the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war, historian and political economist Dr S Akbar Zaidi dispelled ‘the victory myth’, saying that there can be no bigger lie, as Pakistan lost terribly,” read the article in Dawn. As the title suggested, Dr Zaidi talked about the poor quality of history taught in Pakistan’s schools, which left students ‘completely unaware about the history of the Baloch and the Pakhtun’.”History in Pakistan is taught from an ideological viewpoint. Pakistan needs to be seen as a geographical entity,” the article quoted Dr Zaidi. Dr Zaidi is a history teacher at the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi.

Ceasefire violations: PDP calls for immediate Indo-Pak DGMOs meeting

Leaders from both sides to rise to the level of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s statesmanship to resolve all issues cordially,” Mufti said.

There should be an immediate meeting of the DGMOs of the two countries to sort out the issue amicably: Mufti

Ruling Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti called for an immediate meeting of the DGMOs of India and Pakistan to sort out the issue of ceasefire violations amicably so that innocent lives are safeguarded. “I appeal for ending the bloodshed of innocent people residing near the borders. There should be an immediate meeting of the DGMOs of the two countries to sort out the issue amicably so that lives of innocent civilians, including women and children who are under virtual siege from the past several months, are safeguarded,” Mehbooba, an MP from south Kashmir, said in a statement here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Condoling the death of three civilians in continued shelling from across the border, Mehbooba said the border skirmishes have brought untold miseries upon the people, in particular those residing near the International Border and the Line of Control (LoC). Terming as unfortunate the cancellation of NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan, Mehbooba said the meeting was supposed to discuss critical issues like cross-border shelling and terrorism. “The need of the hour is for leaders from both sides to rise to the level of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s statesmanship to resolve all issues cordially,” she said. The PDP President conveyed her sympathies to the bereaved families and prayed for peace to the departed souls. She also asked the Divisional Administration to provide advance medical treatment to those who have been injured in the shelling.

FDA to discuss albumin shortage with producers today

Mumbai has been facing acute shortage of this drug for last one year forcing the patients’ relatives to run pillar to post and also pay extra money.

Taking a serious cognisance of dna report ‘Mumbai faces albumin shortage'(published on August 11) state’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet the producer of the product on Friday. In this meeting FDA wants to know the exact reason of the shortage and try to take measures overcome it.Mumbai has been facing acute shortage of this drug for last one year forcing the patients’ relatives to run pillar to post and also pay extra money.Dr Harshadeep Kamble, FDA commissioner, said, “We have received several complaints about the albumin shortage. Patients’ relatives are struggling to procure it. We spoke to officials from Reliance Life Sciences, one of the companies that produces albumin in the state. Now we have planned a meeting with them on Friday. A company official has informed us that they unable to get sufficient raw material to make albumin, so, they are not able to meet the demand for it. There is a huge gap between demand and supply.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Albumin, a component of human blood, is produced by the liver. Its function is to maintain levels of calcium in the body and to transport nutrients or drugs through the bloodstream. The body can suffer a shortage of albumin if a patient is affected by liver disease, kidney failure, burns or malnourishment. Also, after major surgeries such as kidney or liver transplant, the body does not produce adequate albumin.”In this meeting we will also try to understand their (producer’s) problem and try to resolve it. If they need any kind of permission from the state government or central government to increases the production of this product we will definitely try to help them. There is an urgent need of this injection,” said Dr Kamble.On the condition of anonymity, a senior doctor said most doctors, who prescribe albumin are aware that it is not so easily available in market. “We have been facing a shortage of albumin for over a year. No action has been taken by the government so far. In June also, the city had faced an albumin shortage. This albumin shortage has hit the treatment of patients with kidney diseases, acute liver failure and burns,” said the doctor.Transfusion of human albumin is needed for proper healing or to reduce water retention and swelling caused in the body due to infection or disease. Only a few companies, three to four, say chemists, manufacture this medicine.”Luckily this week our patient got an albumin by paying additional money. This is a great step by FDA to look in to the shortage and resolve it at the earliest,” said Dr Shrirang Bicchu, Nephrologist, Bombay Hospital. Helps maintaining levels of calcium Albumin, a component of human blood, is produced by the liver. Its function is to maintain levels of calcium in the body and to transport nutrients or drugs through the bloodstream. The body can suffer a shortage of albumin if a patient is affected by liver disease, kidney failure, burns or malnourishment. Also, after major surgeries such as kidney or liver transplant, the body does not produce adequate albumin.

DU fails 60 law students after allegedly marking them absent

The university has failed about 60 law students saying that they were absent for the exam.

File Photo

Delhi University failed a large number of its law students saying that they did not appear for the exam, the Hindustan Times reported.The report stated that the detailed marksheet for each subject was released recently and 60 students were marked absent and hence declared as failed. The list includes both second year and final year students. Now, the final year students are worried as they will lose a year because of this error. While a large number of students visited DU’s examination department on Thursday asking for a solution, they were told to wait for another 15 days until the matter is looked into, the daily reported. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One of the students, Tarun Narang, who was marked failed told HT, “We had given the examination and now have been marked absent in the Evidence Law paper. When we have taken the examination how can we be marked absent. Now the examination department is asking us to bring the attendance sheet, how will students access it?” The incident is similar to one that took place last month where a large number of off-campus Sociology students had been failed and only after they staged a protest outside the dean’s office did the administration ask the examination department to re-evaluate their papers for free.

This is how Robin Hood Army will steal hearts of India and Pakistan on Independence Day

The campaign started by the Robin Hood Army will try to assimilate students from both the countries where they are going to rally together to provide food to the hungry people of India and Pakistan.

Representational Image
File Photo

The Robin Hood Army of India and Pakistan has decided to send some cheer across the country by aiming to feed thousands in both the countries on Independence day. The charity organisation operates in both India and Pakistan where volunteers arrange extra food from eateries and restaurants and give them to around 4000 hungry people every day. The organisation, on the occasion of Independence day, have launched a new mission #Mission100k where they are aiming to feed almost a 100,000 hungry people in both the countries, according to Huffington Post. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The campaign started by the Robin Hood Army will try to assimilate students from both the countries where they are going to rally together to provide food to the hungry people of India and Pakistan. Talking to the news website, founder of the Robin Hood Army Neel Ghose said, “We wanted to do something unique which would inspire students to give back to the community.”Talking about their volunteers present in Pakistan, Ghose said, “What started in Delhi in June 2014 has now reached across the borders. We have over 45 volunteers in Pakistan.” The organisation has around 750 volunteers all over India. Ghose emphasises that this isn’t a one-time publicity exercise. “We are on a mission to curb the waste of food and stamp out hunger. The effort will continue,” he said. The campaign has already started getting attention from both sides of the border as these tweets suggest.The organisation has contacted students from various colleges from the countries including St. Xavier’s Calcutta and Mumbai, PEC University of Technology (Chandigarh), Shri Ram College of Commerce (Delhi), Indian School of Business (Hyderabad), Institute of Business Administration (Karachi), Lahore University of Management Sciences (Lahore).

Supreme Court asks Centre to reply on PIL challenging CVC, VC appointment

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, who also appeared in the case supporting the plea, sought the court’s permission to inspect the records filed by the central government in this regard.

The Supreme Court on Thursday sought response from the Centre and recently appointed Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) K V Chaudhary and Vigilance Commissioner (VC)M Bhasin on a fresh plea challenging the appointments on the ground that the two persons do not have clean record.A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu sought their response within two weeks on the PIL filed by NGO Common Cause.The bench, meanwhile, asked lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, to file an application for seeking various records pertaining to the CVC and the VC.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, who also appeared in the case supporting the plea, sought the court’s permission to inspect the records filed by the central government in this regard.”Records should come to us first. Records must be inspected by us first,” the bench also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy said.The plea had challenged the appointment of the CVC and the VC alleging that they did not have “clean record” and that a “complete non-transparency” procedure was followed while appointing them.While Chaudhary was appointed as the CVC on June 6, this year, Bhasin took charge as the VC on June 11.The PIL alleged that their appointments were “arbitrary, illegal and in violation of the principle of institutional integrity”.”The government did not even place the names of short- listed candidates in public domain or the fact that Chaudhary and Bhasin were being considered for the appointment to such important positions,” the plea said.It said that this complete non-transparency renders the appointment “void and illegal”, and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.The apex court, which has been hearing a similar petition filed by NGO Centre for Integrity, Governance and Training in Vigilance Administration, had on May 13 lifted its embargo and allowed the Centre to go ahead with the appointment of CVC and VC from the list of candidates shortlisted by it.In December last year, the apex court had asked the Centre to take its prior “leave” before going ahead with appointments for which 10 candidates each were shortlisted after scrutinising 130 applications.

West Bengal flood situation improves, toll climbs to 125

Administration of all the 12 flood-hit districts have been asked to set up ‘Task Forces’ for relief and restoration works with constant monitoring by the District Magistrates.

West Bengal floods

File Photo
The flood situation in West Bengal is gradually improving, even as the death toll climbed to 125. Five more deaths were reported today taking the toll to 125, Disaster Management Department (DMD) officials said. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was now in New Delhi, was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow and place her demands for adequate funds from the Centre for post-flood reconstruction work, where loss of property has been estimated by the state government at about Rs 30,000 crore.Administration of all the 12 flood-hit districts have been asked to set up ‘Task Forces’ for relief and restoration works with constant monitoring by the District Magistrates. As flood waters receded, the affected people were found suffering from diarrhoea and snake bites. Some breached embankments of rivers were being repaired by the irrigation department engineers. “Altogether, 2,450 relief camps have been set up to shelter nearly 5.07 lakh marooned people and 824 medical camps opened,” DMD officials said, adding, the total number of affected people was over 1.06 crore.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 7.43 lakh houses were damaged and crops over an area of 12,92,372 hectares has been badly hit. The affected areas included 236 blocks, 55 municipal bodies, four municipal corporations and 814 gram panchayats covering 21,885 villages. So far 22,716 cattle heads were also lost, they said.Steps have been taken to protect the affected people from health hazards, while medicines and drinking water pouches were being distributed, the officials added.

Delhi police nabs ISIS sympathiser after he turned up at Iraq Embassy with his CV!

Zuber claimed that he wanted to become a spokesperson for the extremist organisation.

Representative Image

Zuber Ahmed Khan, a 48-year-old man who wanted to join the Islamic State was nabbed by the Delhi police on Friday. The Mumbai police were on the lookout for him after he had shared some controversial posts on social media. After the execution of 1993 Bombay blasts convict Yakub Memon, Zuber had expressed a desire to join the Islamic State.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The man has been put in detention after he reportedly went to the Iraq Embassy and gave them his CV so they could forward it to ISIS! Zuber claimed that he wanted to become a spokesperson for the extremist organisation. The man had two Masters degrees, one in Mass Communication and another in Public Administration and his wife is a teacher. Before 2007, he used to work in the administration department of a hospital and was later made the hospital owner’s secretary. In 2007, he grew a beard and became overtly jealous, after which he was asked to leave the hospital. Since then, he has reportedly tried to approach media organisations for jobs but has been rebuffed and remained unemployed.Zuber came to Delhi a few days ago and went to the Press Council office, asking for a certificate as a journalist, which he believed would help him become a spokesperson in Iraq. After that, he went to the Iraq Embassy, who then intimated the Vasant Vihar police.Earlier, Khan had written an open letter to ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, expressing his desire to become the official spokesperson of the group. He also had claimed that he had done research on the various ‘atrocities’ carried out by the government, police and Hindu terrorists.In his social media posts, he had claimed that Yakub Memon was innocent and accused the judiciary of being biased.

FSSAI approved lab finds ‘2-minute’ Maggi noodles safe

FSSAI had also said that Nestle violated labelling regulations on taste enhancer ‘MSG’ and ordered company to submit compliance report on its orders.

Representational image

AFP
In a major boost to Nestle India, FSSAI-approved laboratory of Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has found Maggi noodles to be in compliance with the country’s food safety standards.CFTRI had tested five samples sent by Goa Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when Maggi was banned in June in the wake of findings in Uttar Pradesh and other states that the instant noodles brand had lead levels beyond permissible limits.”CFTRI finding shows that samples are in compliance with the food safety standards as per the Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2011,” Goa FDA Director Salim A Veljee told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa FDA had sent the Maggi noodles samples to Mysore-based CFTRI for retesting of the safety of instant noodles after FSSAI expressed apprehensions on state FDA’s initial report, which had found lead within permissible limits.In June this year, Nestle had to take Maggi off the shelves, after few states decided to ban the noodles. FSSAI had also banned Maggi instant noodles terming them “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption.FSSAI had also said that Nestle violated labelling regulations on taste enhancer ‘MSG’ and ordered company to submit compliance report on its orders.Meanwhile, Nestle India’s new chief Suresh Narayanan had said that bringing the instant noodles brand back to the market is his top priority as he sought to strike a conciliatory note with authorities.

Pakistan’s ‘Indian spy drone’ claim: China puts strict restrictions on exporting drones

Under the new rule announced by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and the General Administration of Customs on Friday, companies making certain drones and computers specified on the MOC website will have to register with the Ministry and get a licence before exporting them. The items include unmanned aerial vehicles with a flight duration longer than one hour.

File Photo of the drone shot down by Pak Army

China has imposed strict restrictions on the exports of drones in the backdrop of the controversy over Pakistan’s claims of shooting down an “Indian spy drone” along the LoC, which was later found out to be a China-made UAV. Chinese tech companies will have to get official approval before exporting powerful drones or computers from August 15, as the government fears they could compromise national security, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.Under the new rule announced by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and the General Administration of Customs on Friday, companies making certain drones and computers specified on the MOC website will have to register with the Ministry and get a licence before exporting them. The items include unmanned aerial vehicles with a flight duration longer than one hour. The companies will now need to provide copies of export contracts, and documents showing the products’ technical specifications and by whom they will be used. The status of the their application will be notified within 45 working days, said the MOC.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Commerce authorities will inspect exports of these items, and violators will be given administrative penalties or be held criminally liable, it said. The announcement which came in the backdrop of last month’s controversy over Pakistan’s claims of shooting down a spy drone along the LoC, however, made no reference to it.The allegations put Islamabad in a spot after the Chinese official media confirmed that the drone was made in China, backing Indian stance that it was of Chinese origin. While denying flying a drone along the LoC, India had said that such type of drones were not part of its inventory.Later, Chinese firm DJI, which manufactured the drone, said aerial vehicle was not sold to any government, reinforcing Indian government’s stand that it was not in its inventory. DJI, announced that governments are not their direct customers, in response that the alleged Indian “spy drone” shot down by Pakistan was made by it.The drone shot down by Pakistani military was recognised in Beijing as the Chinese made DJI phantom 3, the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC)-run People’s Daily had said, adding that it cost about $1200.

Maggi row: Nestle violated laws, alleges Maharashtra FDA

The court was hearing a petition filed by Nestle against FSSAI’s June 5 order banning nine variants of Maggi, and Maharashtra government’s order prohibiting their sale.

Both FSSAI and FDA have claimed that they had issued notices to Nestle India keeping in mind the health hazards the product may have had due to the high lead content.
File Photo
Reuters
The Food and Drugs Administration of Maharashtra on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that Maggi noodles manufacturer Nestle India violated laws with the lead level in the popular instant snack being above the permissible limit.The court was hearing a petition filed by Nestle against FSSAI’s June 5 order banning nine variants of Maggi, and Maharashtra government’s order prohibiting their sale.”If they (Nestle) had problems with the FDA report of laboratory tests showing lead content in Maggi, they could have told us, following which we could have referred the case to other accredited labs. Instead, the company challenged our authority,” argued FDA counsel Darius Khambata.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He further said, to a question by the judges, that of the 20 samples which were sent to the labs, only five tested positive.To another question by the division bench of justices V M Kanade and B P Colabawalla, Khambata said FDA had tested only two variants of Maggi, but banned all the nine variants available in the market. He would continue the argument tomorrow.The lawyer of Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had earlier argued that it had not banned Maggi, but only asked the company to stop the manufacture and sale as it contained lead beyond the permissible limit. FSSAI also said that it was ready to give a hearing to the company.Both FSSAI and FDA have claimed that they had issued notices to Nestle India keeping in mind the health hazards the product may have had due to the high lead content.Nestle has argued that a particular batch may have contained lead beyond permissible limit but the blanket ban was “unfair and illegal”.

JDS moves no-confidence motion against Siddaramaiah govt

The motion was admitted by the Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimappa last week. BJP, the principal opposition party, is not supporting the motion, noting that with numbers stacked in favour of the ruling party, it would not serve any purpose and claiming that the government would fall on its own because of its follies.

Siddaramaiah

File Photo
Opposition JD(S) on Monday moved a no confidence motion against the Siddaramaiah government in Karnataka with an all round attack on it, alleging it has failed to fulfil expectations of the people. Initiating the debate, former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy said he moved the motion to discuss various issues and conceded that their move will not be able to bring down the government, which came into power two years ago, as his party lacks the numbers.The motion was admitted by the Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimappa last week. BJP, the principal opposition party, is not supporting the motion, noting that with numbers stacked in favour of the ruling party, it would not serve any purpose and claiming that the government would fall on its own because of its follies. Congress has 123 MLAs in the 225 member Assembly, while BJP and JD(S) have 44 and 40 MLAs respectively. “This government has failed to meet the expectations of the people.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They have not been able to fulfill the promise they have made, so I move this no confidence motion against the government,” Kumaraswamy said. “They had promised of giving a clean, transparent, and corruption-free government, but there is corruption and illegalities at various departments. Administration had completely failed,” he added.His allegations against the government met with a stiff opposition from the Treasury benches with his arch-rival, Power Minister D K Shivakumar, and Home Minister K J George leading from the front. Kumaraswamy first took on the government over its alleged failure in handling various farmer-related issues and the increasing number of farmer suicides in the state. “Government has completely forgot what they had promised to farmers before coming to power. They have not been able to fulfill the expectations of the farming community. They have completely lost the track. No concrete steps have been taken to improve the financial status of farmers,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir: People moved to safer areas as Basantar river crosses safety mark

More than 100 people residing in villages of Ramgarh sector in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir have been moved to safer places after the Basantar river breached the safety mark, a senior official said on Monday.

PTI
More than 100 people residing in villages of Ramgarh sector in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir have been moved to safer places after the Basantar river breached the safety mark, a senior official said on Monday.”As a precautionary measure, more than 100 villagers were asked to move out of their houses from various villages in the Ramgarh sector of the district,” Samba Deputy Commissioner Sheetal Nanda said.The measures were taken by the Civil Administration after the water in the Basantar River breached various embankments and entered the houses in villages of the district. “These people are kept in a local school in Samba and we are waiting for the weather conditions to improve, as soon as the weather improves and water recedes we will send these people back to their houses,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She further added that steps will be taken to prevent soil erosion in order to restore the parts of land that got washed away due to the heavy water currents of the river.

ITBP jawan goes on shooting spree, kills officer in IAS academy in Mussoorie

An ITBP jawan on Friday went on a shooting spree killing his officer and injuring another personnel inside the prestigious IAS academy, a day after he was punished by the senior.

PTI
An ITBP jawan on Friday went on a shooting spree killing his officer and injuring another personnel inside the prestigious IAS academy, a day after he was punished by the senior.The misery for the force did not stop here as the accused constable, Chandra Shekar, ran away with an assault rifle and 70 rounds of bullets from Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration.The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force guards the premier institute located on this hill station in Uttarakhand.The story of the gory incident is said to have begun on Thursday when Sub Inspector Surendra sentenced Shekar for a day’s punishment over disciplinary issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Apparently peeved over the decision of his superior, the constable opened fire with an LMG killing Surendra and injuring constable Mohammed Alam at around 6 pm.ITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary told PTI that he has ordered a court of inquiry into the incident and directed for the “immediate” replacement of the unit from the task.Officials said the incident was reported around evening when it is suspected that an altercation broke out between the two men and subsequently Shekhar grabbed an LMG and pumped at least three bullets into the SI and also shot at few others standing nearby.They said the firing of the bullets led to some panic inside the Academy, however, senior officials soon announced that the situation was under control.Senior ITBP commanders of the force and those from local police and administration rushed from state capital Dehradun to the Academy.Officials said a search has been launched to nab the accused who joined the force in 2012. The (LBSNAA) was established here in 1959. ITBP has close to 80 troops drawn from their 34th battalion posted in Mussorie.

After Maggi, Yippee noodles and Bambino Macaroni banned in Gujarat

According to Koshia, of the 23 samples of Sunfeast Yippee, one sample failed the safety test as it showed higher lead content while some samples showed presence of MSG.

Gujarat government announced a ban on another two instant food products after test results indicated presence of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in some of the samples tested by the state Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA).’Yippee’ noodles of Sunfeast by ITC and ‘Bambino Macaroni’ by Bambino Agro Industries were banned on Thursday, FDCA commissioner H G Koshia said.The government had extended the ban on Nestle’s Maggi noodles for one month last Saturday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to Koshia, of the 23 samples of Sunfeast Yippee, one sample failed the safety test as it showed higher lead content while some samples showed presence of MSG.”In one of the samples of Yippee, lead content was found to be 3.44 PPM (particle per million) instead of prescribed limit of 2.5 PPM. Such an excess of lead is harmful if consumed. We also found MSG in some other samples, while some samples were found safe,” said Koshia.”We had collected only one sample of Bambino Macaroni and found that lead content was 4.1 PPM,” he added.Gujarat government had banned the sale of Maggi for one month in June and later extended the ban for another month. Similarly, the one-month ban on Hakka noodles manufactured by S K Foods was also extended this month.According to Koshia, FDCA has widened its net now.”Till now, we have collected 133 samples of 22 companies selling instant noodles and pastas. Of these, 33 samples have failed the test till now, including Maggi. Results of some of the brands are awaited,” said Koshia.”Apart from noodles, we have also collected around 60 samples of other food products, such as soft drinks, wafers and ice cream. We will test them in coming days,” he added.

Haldiram products under scanner in Maharashtra

Minister of State for FDA Vidya Thakur said she has written to FDA Commissioner Harshdeep Kamble regarding collection of samples and their lab testing. She has also sought a report from FDA at the earliest.

Representational image

Maharashtra government on Wednesday asked its health regulator to check samples of Haldiram’s packaged snacks to find if they are fit for human consumption.Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been asked to collect packaged food samples of the Nagpur-based leading domestic snack-maker from all over the state after reports emerged that its products have been banned in the US.Minister of State for FDA Vidya Thakur said she has written to FDA Commissioner Harshdeep Kamble regarding collection of samples and their lab testing. She has also sought a report from FDA at the earliest.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The decision was taken in view of reports that Haldiram’s packaged products had been banned in USA as pesticides and Salmonella bacteria were found in them, she said.”This is a very serious matter. Since Haldiram products are manufactured in the state and consumed by a large number of people, it is necessary to find out if the snacks are fit for human consumption,” Thakur stated in the letter.The decision to check Haldiram’s products comes on the heels of the `Maggi’ controversy. The Nestle’s noodles brand faced the heat and was recalled from markets after tests showed it contained lead beyond permissible limits.Haldiram could not be immediately contacted for comments on the issue.

Haryana FDA finds food samples flawed

The Health Minister said that apart from this, the samples of mineral water ‘Thanda Jal Brand’ and ‘Shri Om Brand’ were found unsafe.

Representational image
Agencies
Getty Images
The Haryana Food and Drugs Administration Department (FDA) inspected 24 samples of loose and canned food products and beverages in the state, out of which maximum samples were found unsafe, substandard and misbranded.Following the directions of Haryana Health Minister, Anil Vij, the department has collected samples from various districts of the state, an official release said.The department is planning to take strict action against concerned companies and its officials, it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the release, Vij said that the sample of Khoya kept in open and collected by FDA from Fatehabad was not up to the mark.Similarly, samples of cow milk being sold loose and two samples of Abhinandan Desi Ghee taken from Kurukshetra were found to be substandard, the release said.Also, the samples of mango shake taken from Panipat, ice cream being sold loose at Kurukshetra, three samples of mixed milk and cow milk from Kaithal and tomato juice being sold loose at Palwal could not meet the standards.The Health Minister said that apart from this, the samples of mineral water ‘Thanda Jal Brand’ and ‘Shri Om Brand’ were found unsafe.He said that two samples of Mirinda of ‘Coca Cola Company’ taken from Hissar were found misbranded.Likewise, samples of Doaba Desi Ghee, Easy Max Brand Desi Ghee and Flavored Milk collected from Hissar, samples of ‘Leeladhar Brand’ Desi Ghee, Madhusudan Brand Desi Ghee taken from Gurgaon and samples of sweetened carbonated beverage ‘Mast 3 Orange Brand’ collected from Kurukshetra were found misbranded.Vij said that the State Government is committed towards providing high quality food products for better health of the people. Therefore, sampling of all loose and canned food and beverage products is being carried out in the state on regular basis, the release added.

Maharashtra government to upgrade airports at Shirdi, Solapur

Meanwhile, the state government’s proposal to provide flights on low-connectivity routes from bigger cities to smaller towns has come as a cropper because of its unfeasibility, he said.

File photo.

Maharashtra government plans to upgrade airports in Solapur, the religious town of Shirdi and Amravati as part of its efforts to encourage air connectivity.”A new airport will come up in 550 hectare area in Solapur. Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) will sign a MoU with Airport Authority of India (AAI) soon,” an official in General Administration Department (GAD) said.Similarly, the existing air strips at Shirdi and Amravati will be expanded. MADC plans to have a Special Purpose Vehicle to execute the project, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, the state government’s proposal to provide flights on low-connectivity routes from bigger cities to smaller towns has come as a cropper because of its unfeasibility, he said.When overnight trains are available from Mumbai and second class AC tickets are around Rs 1,500, the air fare higher than that price is not feasible, he said.”Similarly, large planes have landing and take off issues on smaller airports and passenger traffic is not adequate, the GAD official said.Currently, there are 22 airports in the state, but there is no air connectivity from bigger cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad to smaller towns.

Mumbai hooch deaths: Police, govt, excise dept learnt nothing from a similar tragedy in 2004

Mumbai: Eleven years after a hooch tragedy took the lives of 107 people in Mumbai, the police and excise department seem to have not learnt a thing. The evidence of the same stares back at us in the form of 102 deaths due to yet another hooch tragedy in Malvani in Mumbai’s suburbs.

The deaths were caused due to the consumption of spurious alcohol, primarily by residents of the Lakshmi Nagar slum area in Malad.  There are 46 more people struggling for their lives in hospitals, eight of them are critical.

Some people who have been arrested have been remanded in police custody.

This is the worst hooch tragedy in the city since December 2004 when 107 people lost their lives due to consumption of spurious liquor in Vikhroli and Chinchpokali, say officials from the state excise department.

While the police and excise officials are awaiting the forensic lab report, they say that the chemical substance, methanol, in the hooch is responsible for the deaths.

“Normally, this doesn’t happen. The methanol must have been used by mistake. Or it could be result of their internal business rivalry. To prevent such incidents, we need to regulate the sale of methanol,” said SD Shinde, state excise commissioner adding that sale of methanol is not regulated in Maharashtra at present and does not come under the purview of the excise department.

Image courtesy: PTIImage courtesy: PTI

Image courtesy: PTI

“We will soon be writing to the union government through the state government demanding the classification of methanol as a poison. So that its sale can be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That in turn will make sure they are screened stringently during transportation,” Shinde added.

Interestingly, a similar recommendation was made immediately after the 2004 tragedy. Anil Deshmukh, the former state excise minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader (NCP) had said following the 2004 incident, that a high-powered committee will be set up by the then state government to look into the the sale of country liquor and recommend ways to deal with such incidents in future.

“The committee had come up with various recommendations to prevent such tragedies in future. Amongst them was the classification of methanol as a ‘poisonous substance’ by the Centre. It also suggested conducting joint raids by police and excise officials to curb the illicit liquor trade in the state. But, it seems nothing has happened over the past ten years. Apart from regulation of the sale and manufacture of methanol, increasing the joint raids by police and excise can only deter the bootleggers and prevent such tragedies. But, it seems that these officials were in connivance with the bootleggers,” Deshmukh told Firstpost.

“Also, the people are turning to hooch due to the higher excise duty on country made liquor. The excise duty has been increased by state government to get more revenue. Now, there is marginal difference in prices between country liquor and foreign made liquor. So, people will obviously go for hooch that is cheaper and affordable to them,” he added.

A retired bureaucrat, who worked as state excise commissioner, said that the proposal sent by the state government to Union seeking classification of methanol as a poisons substance was put in cold storage following the strong opposition from the petroleum industry. “The industry may oppose the proposal now also. But, the regulating the methanol is the not the solution. Malvani incident is complete failure of law and order and excise department. The destructive action should be taken after seizing the materials during the raids,” he said.

Deshmukh fears that the death toll in the Malvani tragedy will go up.  “People who consume spurious liquor should be ideally treated within two hours of drinking it. In this case, people got treated ten to twelve afters consuming the alcohol. The delay is most likely take a few more lives,” the bureaucrat said.

While the police and excise officials claim that raids were conducted in Malvani and other areas of the city and action was taken against bootleggers, the people arrested usually get out on bail within two to three days. They resume their business soon. “In past-one-and-half year, 117 raids have been conducted in Malad and nearby areas in suburban Mumbai. Several people have been arrested but they have been let off on bail. We had also filed the case earlier against one of the accused in this case. After getting the bail, they again start their businesses in couple of days,” said a senior excise official.

Officials from the Mumbai Police said it’s true that the there was a syndicate and the local police were in connivance with these bootleggers. “The families have alleged that the money was paid to the local police. But, they have not named anyone so far. Still, we are investigating into that as well and if found, necessary action will be taken,” said a senior IPS officer adding that the police is also looking out at two other states outside Maharshtra based on their inputs in connection with the Malvani tragedy.

Mumbai police is now considering invoking the section 302 of Indian Penal Code – which can earn an accused death penalty on charges of murder –  in the case as death toll continues to rise. “We haven’t yet decided on it but we may invoke the section,” said Atulchandra Kulkarni, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime).

Now, dead worms found in Complan pack in Lucknow

After failing the Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) test, Nestle India had to withdraw all Maggi noodles packets across the country.

While the Maggi row is still raging, a woman in Lucknow reportedly found dead worms in her pack of Complan, an energy drink.After failing the Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) test, Nestle India had to withdraw all Maggi noodles packets across the country.Immediately after Tanisha Rai Singhania reportedly found worms in a Complan packet, the FSDA authorities have ordered for a test of its sample. Acoording to reports, a notice was also issued to the manufaturer of Complan for selling poor quality product.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to a Hindustan Times report, Singhania recently bought the Complan pack and added a few spoons of the powder to the milk. Immediately, several worms were floating on the surface of the milk. Her husband Darshan Singhania filed a complaint with the FSDA who shot a mail to the companu complaining about the substandard product.There has been no response from the manufacturer of Complan as of yet.Meanwhile, in a major setback to Nestle India Ltd, the Bombay High Court on Friday refused to stay orders of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Maharashtra government, imposing a ban on sale of nine variants of the company’s Maggi in the Indian market for being “hazardous” to public health.On June 5, the FSSAI and its CEO passed an order, asking the company to withdraw and recall all its nine variants of Maggi from the market as they were unsafe and hazardous for human consumption. The impugned orders also asked the company to stop production, processing, import, distribution and sale of their products with immediate effect, said Nestle.

Nestle moves Bombay High Court against FSSAI order over Maggi noodles

New Delhi: Embroiled in the Maggi controversy, Nestle India on Thursday said it has approached the Bombay High Court to seek a judicial review of the food safety regulator FSSAI’s order over quality of its instant noodles.

Nestle moved Bombay HC against the FSSAI order against Maggi. AFP

Nestle moved Bombay HC against the FSSAI order against Maggi. AFP

“As part of the efforts to resolve the Maggi noodles issue, Nestle India has today approached the Bombay High Court raising issues of interpretation of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2011 while seeking a judicial review of the order dated June 6, 2015, passed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Maharashtra and the order dated June 5 passed by FSSAI,” it said in a filing to BSE.

“At the same time, we are continuing withdrawal of Maggi noodle products. This action will not interfere with this process.”

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued an order last week banning all variants of Nestle India’s Maggi noodles, terming them as “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption.

Nestle India had to recall the product from the market after several states banned the ‘2-minute’ instant food as tests showed it contained taste enhancer MSG (monosodium glutamate) and lead in excess of permissible limits.

The Maharashtra government, too, had banned Maggi noodles after some samples were found to contain lead above the stipulated limit.

“We shall proceed further as per orders that may be passed by the Bombay High Court,” it added.

Nestle was trading 0.44 percent higher at Rs 6,083.35 on BSE on Thursday.

PTI

In dry Gujarat, alcohol found in Gandhidham-based energy drink

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA) conducted a statewide search and seizure operation on Tuesday, after a Gandhidham-based beverage manufacturer was found to be selling an “energy drink” with a considerable amount of alcohol in it, an FDCA official said.

“The manufacturer of the beverage called ‘U-Star’ claimed it is an energy drink and sold it Rs 100 per bottle.

Representational image. Ravages/FlickrRepresentational image. Ravages/Flickr

Representational image. Ravages/Flickr

Recently, we came to know that it contained a considerable amount of alcohol, which is not permissible,” Gujarat FDCA Commissioner H G Koshia said.

“The drink was sold mainly at paan shops. Our teams raided several parts of Saurashtra and Northern Gujarat region, such as Morbi as well as Mehsana, to seize several bottles of the drink.

“One can easily smell alcohol in the drink. To verify the contents of the drink, we have sent its samples for laboratory tests,” Koshia said.

Since a primary investigation established that the drink contained alcohol, FDCA officials also raided the manufacturing facility of ‘U-Star’ at Gandhidham in Kutch.

“It is a small company with a plant in Gandhidham. When we raided the premises, we learnt that the owner had already shut the plant a few days ago and gone underground. We will approach the Home Department and the police to book the culprits under relevant sections of the law,” Koshia said.

He said that when FDCA officials checked the labels on U-Star bottles, they found a registration number provided by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which meant that the manufacturer got a clearance certificate from the central authority.

“However, we are doubtful about the claim made by the manufacturer have received FSSAI clearance. Though the labels carry the FSSAI number on it, we will cross check it with the central authority, since we doubt that it could be fake,” Koshia said.

PTI

FDA chief, minister have different takes on Maggi

The state Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is at its confusing best, when it comes to Maggi.On Friday, FDA commissioner Dr Harshadeep Kamble had said that lead levels in upto noodle packets from Mumbai and Thane were below the permissible limits.Later in the night, in a separate statement, FDA minister Girish Bapat said that three samples collected from the Pune division had lead levels above the permissible limit of 2.5 parts per million (PPM).Thereafter, on Saturday, Dr Kamble issued a statement saying, of the 20 samples collected from across the state, five have shown lead levels above the permissible limit. However, he did not specify from which areas the additional five samples were collected.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dr Kamble said, “Of the 20 samples taken for analysis, in five samples, lead content was found to be in excess of the permissible limit – at 2.55, 2.59, 2.60, 2.62 and 4.66 ppm. The five samples were manufactured at Nestle’s units in Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Uttarakhand.” Nestle has no manufacturing unit in Maharashtra.Bapat did not respond to queries regarding conflicting statements from the FDA. Dr Kamble also said that all 20 samples contained Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), while the manufacturer had printed, ‘No added MSG,’ on the label. “Printing No added MSG on the label is misleading to the public,” he said.In the results submitted to the FDA on Saturday, sources said that it was revealed that MSG was present in the taste maker spice of the noodles.The content of the Maggi Tastemaker is hydrolyzed groundnut protein and mixed spices including onion, coriander, chilli amidst other ingredients. Hydrolyzed groundnut protein is the major source of MSG, said sources. It is derived by treating groundnut in hydrochloric acid to produce monosodium glutamate (MSG).“Thin layer chromatography (TLC) tests were conducted on the tastemaker. We have received a high peak for MSG content in the Tastemaker. The results pertaining to presence of MSG were communicated to the FDA commissioner by the lab on Saturday morning,” said a source from FDA.On June 5, Food Standards and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) had issued orders to Nestle India to remove misleading label declaring, “No Added MSG,” from the product label and instructed that all nine variants of the product off the shelves across the nation.Dr Altaf Patel, former professor, medicine, JJ hospital, said that some people are allergic to food stuff containing MSG. It is also known as the Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.“I get at least one patient, who is allergic to MSG, in two months. Such patients can suffer from headaches, rapid heart rate, chest pain, nausea and tightness on the face. They develop allergic rashes or migraine-like symptoms. They should be wary of any product which says ‘hydrolyzed,’ on the food pack,” said Dr Patel.

Maharashtra Government bans Maggi; 820 kg of noodles seized in Ahmedabad

The announcement was made by Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat at a press conference in Pune tonight.

Reuters
Maharashtra Government on Friday night decided to put a ban on Maggi noodles after some samples were found to contain lead above the permissible limit.The announcement was made by Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat at a press conference in Pune.Three of the six samples collected from places including Pune, Kolhapur and Aurangabad were found to contain lead above the permissible limit, the minister said.The ban on Maggi will be in force from June 6, the minister said, adding that action will be taken against anyone found selling it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra’s action came in the wake of several states banning the popular noodles following controversy over its content.Earlier on Friday, the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Maggi noodles samples it tested were found to contain lead within permissible limits.Maenwhile, following imposition of one-month ban on Maggi by the Gujarat government, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation raided 1,296 shops in the city and seized more than 820 kgs of the instant noodles of the company.”Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation raided over 1,269 units in the city and seized 820.6 kg stock of Maggi noodles,” an official statement said.The Gujarat government on Thursday banned sale, procurement and distribution of Maggi noodles after the tests results showed presence of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and higher-than-prescribed lead levels in samples.A sample each of instant noodles of Sunfeast and S K Foods too were tested. Following which, S K Foods noodles were also banned for one month as a high lead content beyond 4 part per million (ppm) was found in the sample.The AMC health department has also issued notice to around 403 shops and imposed a fine of Rs 36,100 in total for improper storage, lack of hygiene, etc. (With PTI inputs)

FDA refutes ‘clean chit’ verdict for Maggi in Maharashtra

Officials say testing samples is an elaborate affair and results of first batch of 8 samples will be out only on Friday

The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refuted the reports that Maggi by Nestle India has been given a clean chit in the state. FDA commissioner Dr Harshadeep Kamble said that the first round of result of tests on Maggi samples would be made available on Friday. Sources at FDA said that conducting chemical tests on Maggi is an elaborate affair for which they have to first arrange for many raw materials. It will then take at least three days for the process to carry out the tests at state-run food laboratories in Mumbai and Pune. So far, authorities have collected 15 samples – eight from the city, six from Pune and one from Nagar. The content of lead levels in Maggi will be tested by processing the noodles in ultra pure nitric acid, which costs about Rs25,000 for 500 ml.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “Eight samples are under testing. We need at least two more litres of ultrapure nitric acid for conducting the tests on the remaining samples. We’re trying to source the acid from ISRO and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,” said a senior FDA official. While results on eight samples are expected by Friday, the outcome of tests on the remaining samples are expected later next week. Another process to ascertain lead in the sample that the FDA lab is struggling with since last week is ‘Ashing’. It is a test to deduce the amount of ash-forming material in a food product. “To perform ‘Ashing’ on Maggi noodles samples, we require platinum bowls. Each bowl costs close to Rs 3.5 lakh,” the official told dna. Currently, the FDA labs have 13 such bowls, which have been used to perform Ashing on 13 samples. The official said, “We are trying to procure two more bowls for the remaining two samples. We are not reusing the bowls during the Maggi noodle sample tests as we do not want to risk cross contamination of the noodle samples.” While Monosodium Glutamate, which is an amino acid, naturally occurs in wheat flour and gluten, it can also be processed and additionally added to enhance taste. “We will check if MSG has been added, as the Maggi pack claims they don’t add it additionally. Trace elements of lead are carried forwarded in the food product from the soil. World Health Organization says that the permissible limit of lead metal element, which is highly toxic, is 0.01 parts per million in a food product. The Uttar Pradesh FDA has found 17 times more lead than the WHO limits in Maggi samples. We will ascertain these claims by checking if there is lead and the amount in samples collected from Maharashtra.” Nestle India has manufacturing units in Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, Mysore, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal. FDA officials said that it was mandatory for the Food Safety authorities in those states to carry out Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point tests in the factories to ensure that good manufacturing practices are followed while sourcing raw materials like wheat to make noodles amongst other things. “Lead is naturally occurring in soil and may percolate to wheat. Soil samples should be checked too,” said Suresh Annapure, joint commissioner (food), FDA Maharashtra. “This will ensure safety of the product from farm to plate.” Complex, costly & time-consumingFDA officials said the noodles will be first processed in ultrapure nitric acid. The process of digestion takes an entire day. Later, it will be put in a spectrometer to measure the presence and levels of lead. The interpretation of this test will take another day. “We should get the results for eight samples on Friday,” said an FDA official.

Army issues advisory asking personnel not to consume Maggi noodles

The order issued in the evening, comes in the wake of a controversy over alleged presence of lead and taste enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the noodles beyond permissible limits.

An Indian shopkeeper carries a box of Nestle ‘Maggi’ instant noodles through his shop in New Delhi on June 3, 2015.
Agencies
AFP photo
The Army on Wednesday issued an advisory asking its personnel not to consume Maggi noodles and directed military canteens to set aside the existing stock of the popular snack until further orders.The order issued in the evening, comes in the wake of a controversy over alleged presence of lead and taste enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the noodles beyond permissible limits.The order, in a fresh setback to brand owner Nestle, covers over 1000 army canteens and the complete 13-lakh strong army.”The advisory is effective till further order,” an Army official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maggi is one of the most consumed food item among the army personnel.The Union government has referred the Maggi issue to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to take appropriate action, even as more states — Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal — lifted samples for laboratory testing.Consumer cooperative society Kendriya Bhandar is withdrawing Maggi noodles from its 130 stores in and outside Delhi.The noodles brand, a household name, was today also banned in Delhi for 15 days and existing stocks were ordered to be withdrawn while retail major Future Group stopped sale of the popular instant snack at its Big Bazaar outlets.Maggi noodles has been at the centre of a controversy after UP Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) tests found higher than stipulated levels of lead and MSG in it.However, Nestle India claimed it got the samples tested in an external laboratory as well as in-house and that the product was found “safe to eat”.

Maggi samples sent for lab testing in Gujarat

Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration on Tuesday collected 39 samples of Maggi noodles and sent them for laboratory testing.

Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration on Tuesday collected 39 samples of Maggi noodles and sent them for laboratory testing.”We today collected 39 samples of Maggi from across the state including Ahhmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot and sent them for laboratory testing,” Commissioner of Food and Drug Control, H G Koshia told PTI.”We are expecting the results by the end of this week and after that we will decide further course of action,” he said.The tests will be conducted to find out whether the ingredients in it are the same as the ones disclosed on the packages, and whether it is safe to consume.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fine can be imposed if it is found that ingredients have been disclosed incorrectly or differ from what is mentioned on the package. But a criminal case can be registered if the instant noodle is found to be unsafe for consumption, he said.The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has also tested Maggi samples collected from different states in the wake of Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) finding monosodium glutamate and lead in excess of the prescribed limits in the popular snack.

Maggi row: Karnataka government orders random lifting of samples for test

The Karnataka government on Tuesday ordered random lifting of samples of Maggi noodles from across the state for laboratory testing after allegations of lapses in food safety standards came to the fore.

The Karnataka government on Tuesday ordered random lifting of samples of Maggi noodles from across the state for laboratory testing after allegations of lapses in food safety standards came to the fore.”We have directed officials to randomly lift the samples of Maggi noodles from the (manufacturing) units and retail shops, across the state for laboratory testing…,” Health Minister UT Khader told PTI over phone from Mangaluru.He said there were four Maggi manufacturing units in the state. He also said the collected samples would be sent to national-level laboratory units situated in Mysuru and another private laboratory in Bengaluru.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If need be, we will send the samples to laboratories situated in other states – that could include Kerala. However, we have not taken any decision on it,” he added. Khader said he has directed his officials to submit a report as early as possible.”… they may take two to three days, let us see,” he said.Asked whether the government would take stringent action against the company if found guilty, he replied, “In that case, the law will take its own course, but I will take a decision once I go through the report.”Maggi noodles came under the scanner last month after the Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration asked Nestle India to withdraw a batch of the noodles “which were manufactured in February 2014” after it found presence of non-essential taste enhancer monosodium glutamate and high levels of lead in the samples.The Centre has also asked central food safety regulator FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) to test samples of the noodles from all states.

Food and Drugs Administration sends notices to e-cigarette distributors

FDA commissioner Harshadeep Kamble said, “In India, for any kind of medicine to be sold, one has to take permission from the Drugs Controller General of India. The DGCI has not yet approved e-cigarettes that contain liquid nicotine. On this ground, we have sent notices to these agencies.”

On the eve of World No Tobacco Day, the Food and Drugs Administration on Saturday slapped notices on 25 distributors of e-cigarettes, asking them why action should not taken against them for violation of law. According to the law, there is no provision in India to sale the e-cigarettes. FDA commissioner Harshadeep Kamble said, “In India, for any kind of medicine to be sold, one has to take permission from the Drugs Controller General of India. The DGCI has not yet approved e-cigarettes that contain liquid nicotine. On this ground, we have sent notices to these agencies.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The FDA action comes in the wake of a growing trend among college students using e-cigarettes, which are promoted as devices that help people kick the butt. However, doctors contradict the claim. They say it is more sinister than nicotine. Experts say there is evidence that e-cigarettes can cause death and poisonings. E-cigarettes are slender pencil-like battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine, flavorings (e.g. fruit, mint,and chocolate), and other chemicals via an inhaled aerosol. E-cigarettes contain cancer-causing agents like formaldehyde, which in some brands reach concentrations close to that of some conventional cigarette. They deliver nicotine, which contributes to cardiovascular disease.

UP FDA gives nod to prosecute Nestle India over lead content in Maggi

Uttar Pradesh FDA on Friday went ahead and gave its nod to prosecute Nestle India over the quality standards of their flagship instant noodles, Maggi, an NDTV report said.

The Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration (FDA) will file a court case against Nestle India over detection of high lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) content in a batch of Maggi.

Maggi. Youtube Screengrab

Maggi. Youtube Screengrab

“We have forwarded the recommendation to our designated district officer to file the case against Nestle India,” UP FDA Additional Commissioner (Administration) Ram Araj Maurya was quoted by a Business Standard report as saying.

The ‘contaminated’ batch of Maggi was picked up by the FDAfrom Barabanki, about 25 km from the state capital Lucknow, the case would also be filed in a district court there, the report said.

On Friday, taking a “serious” note of quality issues related to global giant Nestle’s famous noodle brand Maggi, the government had asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to look into the matter.

Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said on Friday that a class action suit could be initiated into the matter if a complaint with National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) was filed.

In April, the UP Food Safety and Drug Administration had asked Nestle India to withdraw a batch of Maggi noodles “which were manufactured in February 2014” after it found high levels of added MSG, a taste enhancer, in the noodles and lead beyond permissible limits.

Disputing the claim, Nestle India had said: “The company does not agree with the order and is filing the requisite representations with the authorities.”

“It is a serious issue. We have referred the matter to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Under the current law, FSSAI has the power to take action, including imposing fine and hefty punishment,” Paswan told reporters on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi.

Madhuri Dixit landed in a soup for endorsing Maggi, served FDA notice

Dehradun: Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit seems to have landed in a soup for endorsing Maggi with the Haridwar Food and Drug Administration on Friday serving a notice to her on the claims made in the advertisement.

A screengrab from the Maggi ad. Image Courtesy: YouTubeA screengrab from the Maggi ad. Image Courtesy: YouTube

A screengrab from the Maggi ad. Image Courtesy: YouTube

The notice seeks a report from the actress within 15 days on claims made in the advertisement regarding the nutrition value of the ‘2-minute noodles’, an official of Haridwar Food and Drug Administration said.

Maggi recently came under the scanner after samples collected by Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration were reported to be containing Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG) and lead more than the permissible limits.

Nestle India was asked to withdraw a batch of the popular snack from the market by the authorities in Uttar Pradesh recently.

Dixit has been asked to explain how Maggi is good for health and the basis of making the claims.

If the actress fails to respond to the notice within the stipulated time frame, a case could be registered against her, Food Security Officer Mahimanand Joshi said.

PTI

Kumbh Mela to handle crowd with Incident Response System

The focus of the training conducted by Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA) at the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences from May 18 to 20 was disaster management.

Training was held by Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration at the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik

Senior officials, including the divisional revenue commissioner, district collector, Nashik municipal commissioner, commissioner of police, and superintendent of police, completed a three-day training to deal, implement and manage the mega event of Kumbh Mela in Nashik.The focus of the training conducted by Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA) at the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences from May 18 to 20 was disaster management.The training was solely for the Incident Response System (IRS) developed by YASHADA and which will be implemented for the first time in the world to manage an event.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Having planned thoroughly to deal with any kind of emergencies the administration has used principles of scientific management in doing so.Col (R) Vishwas Supanekar, director at the disaster management training at YASHADA, has worked very keenly to adapt, develop and implement the IRS for the Kumbh Mela.Speaking exclusively to dna, he said IRS comes from the Incident Command System (ICS) largely used in the US to manage disasters. It is a concept used in coordination by several agencies in a multi-hazard situation. The adaptations have been made to make it workable to our Indian situations, he added.”In any disaster situation, a single response is not sufficient. Responses have to come from many agencies and they have to be coordinated efforts,” Supanekar said.There are five functions in ICS — command, operations, planning, administration and finance. While adapting ICS to its Indianised version, IRS Finance has been replaced with Logistics. “For Kumbh Mela, the first responding agencies belong to the government and as such finances would come under one big roof. We have added logistics because that is an important aspect which will involve delegation of authority and responsibility to all those involved in the system,” the retired colonel said.The IRS works with a unified command, where all commands are grouped together with a disaster. The structure is based on unity of command and chain of command. “This means that one person heads the tactical operation and then there are operational section chiefs handling their own responsibilities,” he said.In 2010, the National Disaster Management Authority had laid down guidelines for disaster response mechanism, which includes rescue and relief measures. The IRS incorporates these principles. “In the Indian context, not just rescue but relief also is an important aspect of disaster management,” Supanekar said.”Space constraints is an issue around the Ramkund area. We will need tactical handling of the crowd that is going to occupy the space. Geographical areas have been identified and divided and institutions have been earmarked to man those as well as handle the crowd. Hold and release is one mechanism that will be used. For this, holding areas have been recommended.”The IRS has also incorporated an effective communication channel. It includes information and media officer who will be responsible for smooth communication between agencies involved. Every task is specific and hence positional selections have been done on professional competencies.Aspects of crowd psychology, crowd movement, density and direction, all have been considered in the IRS. “The moment the event starts, management has to begin and emphasis has to be on controlling the incidents. IRS also focuses on prevention, for which mitigation of risks has been done before the event to minimise the occurrences,” said Supanekar.

Kejriwal vs Jung: Delhi CM’s attempt to regain babus’ trust fails

Amid the on-going tussle between the Delhi Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a futile attempt to regain trust and confidence of the ‘babus’ in the Delhi government has apparently failed.

A meeting called by Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia on 20 May to remove the ‘trust deficit’ between the bureaucrats and the government didn’t cut much ice.

Delhi Chief Minsiter Arvind Kejriwal. AFPDelhi Chief Minsiter Arvind Kejriwal. AFP

Delhi Chief Minsiter Arvind Kejriwal. AFP

Despite a three-hour long meeting on Wednesday, the CM failed to instill faith among the bureaucrats in the Delhi government. Now the biggest fear among bureaucrats is related to their annual confidential report (ACR), which they dread might get adversely affected due to the ongoing feud between the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) and Kejriwal.

“Openly maligning acting Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin or locking out Principal Secretary (Services) Anindo Majumdar of his office was just symbolic. The main apprehension of the working bureaucrats is that their careers may get spoiled. The ministers in the Delhi government may damage their ACR by making an oblique remark,” revealed two bureaucrats in Delhi government on condition of anonymity.

The ACR is based on the review of performance of an official and points are awarded. “On the basis of ACR, one gets promotion. Even, if six points out of a total score of ten are awarded, it’s termed as ‘good’. But, in fact it goes against an officer. In this age of stiff competition, one has to get around eight points or above, which is outstanding, and only then chances for promotion are better. But, now the fear is that they may go for average marking and an officer’s career will get spoiled due to their whims and fancies,” the bureaucrats added.

In a directive issued on 17 May, Kejriwal had asked the bureaucrats including the chief secretary to first consult him and other ministers about any communication from the L-G before acting. The government had said that the meeting with the senior bureaucrats was called to provide a ‘correct and coherent understanding of the constitutional provisions and other norms in handling administrative affairs’.

Former Secretary of Delhi Assembly, SK Sharma said, “There’s a confusion that Delhi functions like an independent state, which is not true. One needs to understand that Delhi is a union territory and is run by L-G, who is the representative of the President of India. If one goes strictly by the Constitution, working in Delhi is considered as working in service of the Union. Here the L-G’s authority is final.”

Added Sharma, an authority on Constitutional matters, “Earlier, when the BJP formed government under Madan Lal Khurana as CM in 1993, the Congress was at the Centre. Again, when Sheila Dikshit became Delhi’s CM, it was the NDA at the Centre. The four chief ministers Khurana, Saheb Singh Verma, Sushma Swaraj and Dikshit occasionally clashed with the L-G on issues and petitioned union government for full statehood in their own varied way, but there had been no major feud or disturbance like now. Since then, there has been no change in Constitution or in business rules.”

It’s not only Gamlin and Majumdar, who faced Kejriwal’s ire; member-secretary of the Delhi Dialogue Commission, Ashish Joshi was the first to get axed. The other casualties are Special Secretary Ashutosh Kumar and Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Ray.

Both the bureaucrats in service and the retired ones feel that the damning comments on officials by the CM, Dy CM or ministers has not only dampened the morale and tarnished their image, but it’s a threat to their career as well. “The way they maligned Ms Gamlin or Anindo Majumdar, who was just performing his duty as per law, they may damage any officer’s ACR any day. Who would like to work in such a negative atmosphere,” a retired bureaucrat remarked.

The IAS Association, Delhi Chapter in its resolution has strongly condemned the humiliation recently meted out to senior bureaucrats. It has urged the President, Minister for Home Affairs, Delhi CM and Deputy CM to create a conducive working atmosphere.

Former member-secretary, Delhi Dialogue Commission, Ashish Joshi said, “The way senior civil servants were humiliated and their image publicly tarnished are tantamount to attack on civil services institution, which is an integral part of constitutional democracy. Good governance can only be successful, if civil servants are given due respect. It’s high time that a code of conduct is also defined for political executives in the line of code of conduct of civil servants.”

Fearing damage in ACR, many ‘babus’ in the Delhi government are looking for deputations at the Centre. “As per the Supreme Court order, Civil Services Board needs to be constituted and a government has to give valid reason, if an officer is transferred prematurely before two years,” remarked a senior bureaucrat, who was a part of the meeting with the CM and Deputy CM.

Added Joshi, also former member (Finance), Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, “It’s hoped that the recommendations of the second Administrative Reforms Commission that stresses on security of tenure of civil servants among others be implemented sooner than later. The system of integrated finance system existing in central government needs to be implemented in states to check arbitrary expenditure and pressure on civil servants.”

Joshi’s three-year tenure was abruptly ended by the AAP government and he was shunted out.