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Congress mouthpiece row: Haryana Minister Anil Vij grabs opportunity, attacks Nehru

The Health minister in the BJP government, who is known to even take on his own government at times, has in the past also attacked Indira Gandhi. “This is the same Indira Gandhi who crushed all democratic rights to impose Emergency. Her soul is still alive among all Congress leaders,” he had earlier tweeted.

PTI
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Maneka Gandhi launches ‘e-Office’

Gandhi urged that applications along with the necessary documents for important programmes of the Ministry like STEP should be received online and processed on the new system. WCD Secretary V. Somasundaran, DeitY Secretary J. S. Deepak, WCD Additional Secretary Nutan Guha Biwas and other senior officials of the WCD Ministry and NIC were present on the occasion.

ANI

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Jaypee gets green nod to expand limestone mining capacity in Andhra Pradesh<!– /.block –>EPL 2015: Tottenham leapfrog Manchester City, Arnautovic sinks Everton<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Arun Jaitley turns 63; PM Modi wishes him long life

BJP President Amit Shah also tweeted, “Wishing Shri @arunjaitley ji a very happy birthday. My prayers and wishes for your long and healthy life.” Those wishing him on his birthday also included union ministers Piyush Goyal, Ram Vilas Paswan and Jeetendra Singh, as also Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

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Andhra Pradesh House passes Bill to set up and regulate private universities

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The Bill aims at creating world-class centres of learning with an objective to establish universities, said Minister for Human Resource Development Ganta Srinivasa Rao.

Andhra Pradesh Assembly
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Aiming to promote higher education, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Monday passed a Bill for establishment and regulation of private universities in the state.The Bill aims at creating world-class centres of learning with an objective to establish universities, said Minister for Human Resource Development Ganta Srinivasa Rao. He said the Government would like to see world-class universities like Stanford set up institutions in the State.”Ultimate intention is to develop Andhra Pradesh as a sustainable ‘Knowledge Hub’ which would provide high quality, research-oriented and industrial relevant education,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking on the Bill, BJP floor leader Vishnukumar Raju said the private universities should not become money- spinning institutions and Government should exercise control on them. The courses offered by them should be guided by requirements of the country and state.Sravan Kumar (TDP) said the Government should have a role in appointment of Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of these varsities. A Satyanarayana (BJP) said the State should not acquire land for the private universities and let them do it on their own.Replying to the debate, the Minister said there will be no compromise with regard to public interest. An expert committee and a screening panel have been proposed to look into establishment and regulation of the private varsities.The House also passed the Andhra Pradesh Metropolitan Region and Urban Development Authorities Bill, Andhra Pradesh Value Added Tax (Third Amendment) Bill and Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board Bill.

India to offer site in Andhra Pradesh to Russia for nuclear plants

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The two countries are likely to sign an agreement for the two units with provisions for involvement of India’s private sector in the project including in supply of various components.

Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi
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India is expected to offer a site in Andhra Pradesh to set up units five and six of Kudankulam nuclear power plant by Russia in sync with broad principles of ‘Make in India’ initiative and a decision in this regard is likely to be finalised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow this week. The two countries are likely to sign an agreement for the two units with provisions for involvement of India’s private sector in the project including in supply of various components. “We will follow principles of ‘localisation’ as per Make in India initiative for setting up Kudankulam nuclear power plant five and six,” sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> They said a site in Andhra Pradesh has been finalised for the project in line with government’s policy for ensuring optimum use of the available nuclear sites in various states to accommodate more atomic reactors. Incidentally, Centre has already shortlisted the Kovvada site to build a project with the assistance of US-based nuclear vendor, GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy. Modi is scheduled to visit Russia from December 23-24 to hold an annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Russia has been a key partner of India in the civil nuclear energy sector. In the last summit between Modi and Putin, it was decided that Russia will build at least 12 nuclear reactors in India by 2035. In April last year, India and Russia had signed an agreement to build units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam project at a cost of Rs 33,000 crore. However, work on the ground is yet to start. The units 3 and 4 are be coming up in Tamil Nadu’s coastal district of Tirunelveli. Earlier this month, Nikolai Spasskiy, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Rosatom – the Russian counterpart of the India’s Department of Atomic Energy, visited India and he is believed have discussed with DAE brass about various aspect of the proposed pact for Kudankulam 5 and 6. Units 5 and 6 of VVER technology are expected to be of the same MW like units 1-4, but the cost details of the project are yet to be finalised. The government is constructing six reactors in new projects like Jaitapur (EPR 1000×6) in Maharashtra built with French technology, Kovadda in Andhra Pradesh (1000MW x 6) and Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat.

ACB unearths assets worth several crores amassed by 2 Andhra Pradesh babus

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In a statement issued in Hyderabad, the anti-graft agency said that searches were conducted at the office and residential premises of G Suseela, Tahsildar, Sangam Mandal in Nellore district today.
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dna Research & Archives
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday claimed to have unearthed assets worth crores of rupees amassed by two government officials through illegal means, in two separate cases. One of the officials has been arrested, the ACB said.In a statement issued in Hyderabad, the anti-graft agency said that searches were conducted at the office and residential premises of G Suseela, Tahsildar, Sangam Mandal in Nellore district today.”The searches resulted in unearthing of immovable assets of two houses at Bangalore, four houses in Nellore, 25 acres of land at Chegerla Nellore district and five plots at various places worth about Rs 2 crore,” it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The officer has been arrested and will be produced before the ACB court, Nellore, the release added.In another case, the ACB conducted searches at the houses of D Ravikumar, Assistant Executive Engineer, Quality and Control, Panchayat Raj Department in Visakhapatnam, and his relatives. The searches were conducted on the tip-off that Ravikumar allegedly possessed disproportionate assets to his known sources of income, an official release said. Total assets, whose market value is about Rs 6 crore have been found, it added.

Call money racket: Andhra assembly suspends 58 Opposition MLAs over uproar

The Andhra Pradesh Assembly saw the suspension of 58 Opposition MLAs including YSR Congress Party president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday.

The Andhra Pradesh Assembly saw the suspension of 58 Opposition MLAs including YSR Congress Party president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday.The Members of Legislative Assembly were suspended after an uproar over the Call Money scam.A massive blackmail, extortion and sex racket linked to Call Money was exposed in Andhra Pradesh, in which 80 people from different political parties have been arrested.Call money is a loan that is just a phone call away, with money delivered at one’s doorstep.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: ‘Call money’ racket: 19 held in East Godavari, Rs 23 Lakh seizedThe flipside is that the lender can demand it back at any time and if the borrower cannot repay, the lender can take away property.According to the police, women were coerced into sexual exploitation on not being able to return the amount.The lenders demanded rates of interest that were as high as 120 percent to 200 percent. Promissory notes and blank cheques were taken against the loans. Meanwhile, nineteen people have been arrested in connection with the ‘call money’ racket and over Rs 23 lakh cash seized from them, police said.

‘Call money’ racket: 19 held in East Godavari, Rs 23 Lakh seized

Out of the Rs 23,20,500 seized from the arrested persons, Rs 18 lakh was handed over to the Income Tax department as the accused could not show any valid documents of the money in their possession, he said.

Nineteen people have been arrested in connection with the ‘call money’ racket and over Rs 23 lakh cash seized from them, police said on Friday.The 19 people were arrested from different areas of the district last evening during raids and searches conducted on unlicensed businessmen who were collecting high interest from the borrowers, Rajahmundry (Urban) Superintendent of Police S Harikrishna said.During the raids, police also seized Rs 23,20,500 cash, 447 signed blank promissory notes, 80 signed blank cheques, 60 blanked signed white papers, a General Power of Attorney and 26 other miscellaneous documents, the SP said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’Call money’ refers to a mode of private lending where loan is made available instantly at borrower’s doorstep but at exorbitant rates of interest, and the lender can demand repayment anytime over a call.”The station housing officer and DSP of Rajahmundry Urban district limits conducted surprise raids and searches on call money businessmen and unlicensed businessmen who are collecting high interest from borrowers,” he said.A total of 18 cases have been registered against the 19 accused who were produced in a local court today which remanded them in 14-day police custody.The arrested persons include two rowdy-sheeters.Besides, two more cases of alleged harassment by ‘call money’ operators were also registered on a complaint lodged by some people and an inquiry was on in them, Harikrishna said.Out of the Rs 23,20,500 seized from the arrested persons, Rs 18 lakh was handed over to the Income Tax department as the accused could not show any valid documents of the money in their possession, he said.The SP said the victims of ‘call money’ rackets should inform police about such operators and assured them that their identity will be kept secret while police will initiate action against the culprits.Notably, the ‘call money’ racket issue rocked the Andhra Pradesh Assembly yesterday leading to its adjournment and suspension of two YSR Congress MLAs for two days even as police picked up promoters of two private finance companies in Visakhapatnam in connection with the scam.The state government has decided to order a judicial probe into the illegal private lending and alleged sexual exploitation of women borrowers in some cases.So far, over 80 call money operators have been arrested across the state, of whom 27 had links allegedly with YSR Congress, six with TDP and three with CPI, according to Information Minister Palle Raghunadha Reddy.

Andhra Pradesh: Judicial Commission to probe ‘call money rackets’

‘Call money’ refers to a mode of private lending where loan is made available instantly at borrower’s doorstep but at exorbitant rates, and the lender can demand repayment anytime over a call. The pressure on the Chandrababu Naidu government to act against such private lenders, who sometimes usurp the mortgaged assets of borrowers, is increasing.

The Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday decided to appoint a judicial commission to probe the illegal private lending in the state which is in news due to the infamous ‘call money rackets’, and the alleged sexual exploitation of women borrowers in some cases.In a related development, Vijayawada Police Commissioner D Goutam Sawang today said he had cancelled his leave in view of the ongoing investigation.’Call money’ refers to a mode of private lending where loan is made available instantly at borrower’s doorstep but at exorbitant rates, and the lender can demand repayment anytime over a call. The pressure on the Chandrababu Naidu government to act against such private lenders, who sometimes usurp the mortgaged assets of borrowers, is increasing.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu told reporters after the cabinet meeting that the commission would be headed by a retired High Court judge.”We are planning to bring Money Lending Bill in the Assembly Session (which starts today). The cabinet also gave approval. There is a need to go deep into the issue of illegal money lending and related sexual harassment. So the cabinet has decided to appoint a judicial commission which will submit a report to the government,” Ramakrishnudu said.He did not specify when the commission would be appointed and the time-frame for submission of report.Information Minister Palle Raghunadha Reddy said so far 80 call money operators had been arrested in the state barring in Vijayawada. Of them, 27 had links with YSR Congress, six with TDP and three with CPI; others had no political affiliation.

Issue of Telangana’s share in Krishna water may be referred to Tribunal: Centre to Supreme Court

The tribunal may be asked to decide the share of Telangana out of the water already allocated to Andhra Pradesh.

The limited aspect of sharing of Krishna river water between the newly created state of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh can be referred to the Water Dispute Tribunal instead of dragging other stakeholders Karnataka and Maharashtra into it, the Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court. Telangana, which was carved of Andhra Pradesh on June 2, 2014 has sought to be considered as an entity separate from the parent state in distribution of Krishna water among the stakeholder states. It seeks fresh determination of its share in Krishna water.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant that there was no need for a fresh adjudication of the entire issue. The tribunal may be asked to decide the share of Telangana out of the water already allocated to Andhra Pradesh. The bench, meanwhile, asked the Centre to file an affidavit in the matter and fixed a batch of petitions for hearing on December 12. Earlier, the court had on September 30 fixed for today the final hearing on the petitions filed by Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra relating to a row over distribution of Krishna river water among them.Senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, representing Telangana, had sought a direction to the Centre to set up a statutory tribunal to determine its share of the Krishna river water. He had also said that a fresh reference was required to be sent to the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal II for fresh allocation of water in view of passage of the Reorganisation of the State of Andhra Pradesh Act. Taking note of the plea of Telangana, the court had said it seemed that its request had got “independent character qua Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh” even though the tribunal had passed its award in December 2010.It said one of the questions to be considered was whether the quantity of water already allocated to Andhra Pradesh could be demarcated between Andhra Pradesh and Telanagana or Telangana could get separate allocations. The court, however, kept all the issues under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act of 1956 open for consideration. It had also said that the inter-state water disputes “should be put to rest at the earliest.”

Chennai is fighting back and we are with you, says Sachin Tendulkar

Latest government reports put the death toll at 270 in Tamil Nadu, 54 in Andhra Pradesh and two in Puducherry.

PTI
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar on Friday expressed his solidarity with the people in Chennai battling flood waters that disrupted normal life in the city. He also expressed condolences for the people who lost their lives after the century’s heaviest rains pounded Chennai.With people in the city rallying together to pitch in help with resources, rescue and essential supplies, Tendulkar urged them to fight back in the challenging times.Latest government reports put the death toll at 270 in Tamil Nadu, 54 in Andhra Pradesh and two in Puducherry. The estimate of loss to property that was earlier pegged at Rs 10,000 crore plus by the Tamil Nadu government but is expected to go up substantially. Meanwhile, the situation seems to be easing with no fresh rains and a sharp fall in water levels of Adyar and Kumbh rivers that were in spate following torrential rains as rescue and relief operations continued in full swing. On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Chennai and announced Rs 1,000 crore more aid to Tamil Nadu.With Chennai airport inundated following heavy rains, the Navy’s base at Arakkonam is serving as the makeshift airport for supplying relief material as well as for bringing in National Disaster Response Force teams.Also Read: No lessons learnt about handling disasters by government or planners

Centre declares Tamil Nadu rains highly critical; PM Modi announces immediate assistance of Rs 1,000 crore

A general view of buildings in Chennai on Thursday. Thousands of rescuers raced to evacuate residents from the deadly floods.

AFP
Giving top priority to the exigent situation in Tamil Nadu due to unprecedented floods, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited Chennai and announced immediate assistance of Rs 1,000 more crore to the state government. This is over and above the Rs 940 crore given by the Centre to Tamil Nadu during the earlier spell of rains in November. With the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasting 100-mm plus rains for next three days in already inundated Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu, the Centre on Thursday revised its alert from critical to highly critical and very alarming.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Latest government reports put the death toll at 269 in Tamil Nadu, 54 in Andhra Pradesh and two in Puducherry. The estimate of loss to property that was earlier pegged at Rs 10,000 crore plus by the Tamil Nadu government is expected to go up substantially after the fresh rains. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Union home minister Rajnath Singh described the situation in Chennai as most serious, comparing it to a submerged island. “In 24 hours, from December 1 to 2, Chennai received 330mm rainfall, which is 252mm more than the average rainfall it receives in the entire December, breaking a record of the last 100 years. This has created an unprecedented situation,” said Singh. The home minster said the rains have adversely affected telephone connectivity rendering 40% mobile and 20% landline connections non-functional that has increased the anxiety of the people. Out of the 1,500 stranded passengers at the Chennai airport, 1,200 have been evacuated by road and the remaining 300 are expected to be evacuated by night. With all routes leading to Chennai – rail road and air – disconnected, the Centre is using Arakkonam air strip, some 70 km from Chennai, to rush supplies and send troops and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel from where helicopters are being pressed into service to launch rescue and relief operations. As Chennai railway station has also gone under 2 feet water, the railway ministry is making plan to bring trains to the nearest possible place to evacuate stranded people from other states. Giving details of rescue operations, Singh said 28 NDRF teams, comprising of 944 personnel with 102 boats, seven Army columns, consisting of 434 personnel, 255 Navy personnel along with 20 divers and 12 boats have been pressed into action. Besides, the Indian Navy has dispatched INS Arihant, along with 20 divers and three boats, a medical team and a helicopter from Vizag to Chennai. The Army has had 40 rescue and relief teams and five engineer teams carrying out rescue operations in the most critical areas of Chennai on Thursday. These teams have been operating in areas which are the worst hit by the floods, namely Tambaram, Mudichur, Kothurpuram, Pallavaram, Thiruneermalai, Urapakkam, Manipakkam, T Nagar and Gudvancheri towards the outskirts of Chennai and also along areas adjacent to the Adyar river. The rescue teams have evacuated over 4,000 stranded people till Thursday evening and Military Hospital at St Thomas Mount has been made functional and treatment is being given to many flood-affected patients. NDRF and Army teams have also been dispatched to the affected parts of Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry. MPs, cutting across party lines in both Houses, asked him to press more men and material into rescue-and- relief operations. Cabinet secretary P K Sinha chaired the meeting of the national crisis management for the second day in succession to review the Tamil Nadu situation and held simultaneous meeting with the chief secretary of the state to assess the rescue efforts.

Cabinet approves six new IITs

At present, there are 16 IITs in the country.
File Photo

Six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will be set up in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Karnataka with the Union Cabinet on Wednesday clearing a proposal in this regard.A meeting of the Cabinet presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for operationalisation of these IITs initially by forming of Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in order to give them legal status till the amendment for their incorporation in The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 is enacted. At present, there are 16 IITs in the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Each new IIT will have an initial intake of 180 students in its first year which would increase to 450 in the second year and to 928 (840 Undergraduates, 80 Postgraduates and 8 PhDs) in the third year of their operation, an official statement here said. The total cost for running these IITs is Rs 1,411.80 crore and will be incurred between 2015-16 and 2018-19, it added.The new IITs will be operated from their temporary campuses for the initial period of three years before shifting to their permanent campuses in the 4th year. Each IIT will have a sanctioned strength of faculty members, with a faculty-student ratio of 1:10. The statement also added that the six new IITs will be registered as Societies as the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, contains no provision to enable establishment of new IITs.”Every new IIT commenced since its enactment has required an amendment to the Act itself. In light of this, it would be appropriate to establish the new IITs through the formation of Societies as it has not been possible to amend the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 to make provision for establishment of new IITs, before the admissions to academic session 2015-16 in these new IITs,” the statement added.

Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu reviews arrangements for next month’s investment summit

The three-day ‘CII Partnership Summit’ will be held in Visakhapatnam, about 350 km from Hyderabad, from January 10 with ‘Sunrise Andhra Pradesh’ as its main theme.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday reviewed the arrangements for next month’s CII summit that will see participation of delegates from 19 countries and seek to attract investments in the state. The three-day ‘CII Partnership Summit’ will be held in Visakhapatnam, about 350 km from Hyderabad, from January 10 with ‘Sunrise Andhra Pradesh’ as its main theme.The Information and Public Relations Department, in a release, said delegates from 19 countries, including US, UAE, Japan, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia and New Zeland, besides representatives from various industrial organisations in the country, will take part in the conference. Naidu, at a meeting here, took stock of preparations being made in the port city for the business event with officials concerned.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The focus of the summit will be on attracting investments and promoting industries and tourism in the state, he said. The summit is being organised by CII in association with the Andhra Pradesh government and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

Andhra Pradesh govt eyes 15% growth in 2016-17

The target was set in the meeting Chief Minister N Chadrababu Naidu had with the heads and secretaries of all departments here at the Secretariat today.

The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction that agriculture and allied sectors performed well in this quarter.

The Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday said it aims to achieve 15% growth during 2016- 17.The target was set in the meeting Chief Minister N Chadrababu Naidu had with the heads and secretaries of all departments here at the Secretariat today, a government statement said. Naidu suggested setting up performance indicators on the lines of the Malaysian Government for monitoring performance of departments and sectors in the state government. According to this, sectors will be evaluated based on red, yellow and green bands.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Recalling the disaster management efforts during recent incessant rains in Nellore, Chittoor and Kadapa districts, the Chief Minister stressed on increasing storage capacity of water tanks, it said.Underlining the need to revamp the delivery system and staffing for future, Naidu pointed out the dire need for integration among all the departments at state level, district, mandal as well as village level. “In spite of allotting huge funds for welfare programs, delivery mechanism is weak. We need to speed this up and improve performance by ensuring delivery. Our approach has to be need-based and result-oriented,” he was quoted as saying in the release. The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction that agriculture and allied sectors performed well in this quarter.He also stressed on the need to strengthen horticulture and fisheries, to achieve better results in the state. Stressing on establishing a multi-pronged approach to strengthen skill development in the state, Naidu suggested appointing an agency to evaluate the state’s position in skill management. “Skill, knowledge, capacity building is crucial for achieving the double-digit growth”, he added. State ministers, members from 150 government departments, 33 secretaries, 20 ministries and local administrative agencies were present in the meeting, the release said.

Maharashtra poll panel issues notice to 280 parties

Of 280 political parties, most of them are from Mumbai, Thane and Western Maharashtra, while few of them are from Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, State Election Commissioner J S Saharaiya said.

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The State Election Commission (SEC) has issued show cause notices to 280 political parties in Maharashtra for not submitting audit and income tax return, announcing they will face de-registration if they fail to submit it before December 30.Of 280 political parties, most of them are from Mumbai, Thane and Western Maharashtra, while few of them are from Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, State Election Commissioner J S Saharaiya said.Mumbai has 40 political parties which are on radar of the SEC, while 20 are from Thane district, 25 political parties got notice from Jalgaon, 24 from Pune, 22 from Ahmednagar, 13 from Solapur, 21 from Satara, 13 from Sangli and 14 from Kolhapur includes Tararani Aghadi Paksha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The show cause notice, issued to 280 parties includes Ramdas Athawale’s Republican Party of India (RPI), Prakash Ambedkar’s Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, ruling BJP ally Mahadeo Jankar’s Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP), underworld don turned politician Arun Gawli’s Akhil Bhartiya Sena (ABS), Rajan Vichare’s ‘Dharmarajya Paksha’, and Sharad Joshi’s ‘Swatantra Bharat Paksha’.These 280 political parties might lose the recognition and registration if they fail to submit their accounts, income tax returns and audit report to the SEC till December 30, the SEC said.On the same ground ‘Lok Bharati’ a party represented by MLC from teacher’s constituency, Kapil Patil in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, was de-registered recently by SEC.”In June 2015, the SEC has issued notices to 19 political parties including Lok Bharati, RPI (A), Swabhimani Paksha and Jansurajya Paksha. Of 19, 3 turned up while others failed to submit IT returns and audit accounts. The SEC, thus de-registered 16 parties. After which RPI (A), Swabhimani Paksha and Jansurajya Paksha pleaded SEC and sought more time to submit relevant documents to save registration. Now they have time till December 30 to file documents,” Saharaiya said.

Rains in Tamil Nadu abate; death toll touches 79

Chennai: The toll in rain-related incidents across Tamil Nadu on Tuesday touched 79 with eight more deaths reported from three districts, even as the MeT department said the low pressure area is likely to dissipate in a day or two, with likelihood of only scattered rains.

The state has been largely free of rains since last evening.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The eight deaths in Villupuram, Vellore and Kanchipuram districts were due to electrocution, wall collapse and drowning.

“There is no depression as of now. The probabilty of the present system (low pressure area) turning into a depression is low. The low presure area is likely to dissipate in a day or two,” Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, Regional Meteorological Centre, S R Ramanan told PTI.

The well marked low pressure area now lies over West Central and adjoining south west bay off South Coastal Andhra Pradesh and North Tamil Nadu coast, he said.

As a result, scattered, mild showers may be expected in Tamil Nadu, including Chennai and south Coastal Andhra Pradesh regions like Nellore would get more rains, he said.

In Kancheepuram district, the Army and Air Force were deployed to rescue stranded citizens as torrential rains left residents marooned, as rain water inundated a large part of suburban Tambaram locality in Chennai.

The Navy and Coast Guard have also joined rescue operations.

Coast Guard choppers airdropped 500 kg of bread, biscuits and drinking water in Tambaram in two sorties, a CG release said and added their helicopters have been kept on standby to augment state government’s relief efforts.

The Navy said it had already sent in a well equipped team, comprising of divers, swimmers, inflatable crafts on Monday which had been positioned at Tambaram and that more boats and personnel have been sent to Tambaram, Kotturpuram and Manali.

A naval helicopter from INS Rajali at neighbouring Arakkonam was also on standby, the navy said, adding it was also ready with its ‘assets’ in Chennai and at Vishakapatnam to assist the state government as and when required.

Meanwhile, Southern Railway on Tuesday announced cancellation of 15 trains bound for various destinations due to the water logging on tracks.

Fifteen trains, scheduled to leave from Chennai and Puducherry and passing through Chennai Central on Tuesday and Wednesday have been cancelled, SR said in release.

In Chennai, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced Rs four lakh relief to the next of kin of the eight killed while opposition DMK pledged Rs one crore for relief and demanded all-party panels to monitor it.

On Monday Jayalalithaa had announced allocation of Rs 500 crore towards relief and rehabilitation.

Jayalalithaa also announced setting up of 50 more farm fresh outlets on a temporary basis in Chennai to tackle rising prices of vegetables due to reduced arrivals of fresh stocks as a result of rains. Already, 42 state-run farm fresh outlets are selling veggies in Chennai.

The new outlets would sell veggies like onions, potato and tomato, which are largely used by the people, an official release said.

Meanwhile, the DMK, which had expressed solidarity with the state government’s relief and rehabilitation efforts, announced that Rs one crore would be given for disaster relief.

DMK chief Karunanidhi in a release said the amount was being given to the government towards disaster relief on behalf of his party.

“The announcement of Rs 500 crore towards relief and rehabilitation is very less considering the scale of damages,” he said, referring to Jayalalithaa’s announcement.

He said efforts should be made to get Central government’s disaster relief fund on a large scale and wanted the government to try “to solicit funds from the rich in Tamil Nadu for disaster relief”.

The DMK chief also urged setting up of “all-party committees in all the districts to extend adequate relief to the general public.” Relief distribution should be made in the presence of such committees, he said.

Echoing the DMK demand, CPI State Secretary R Mutharasan suggested setting up up all-party monitoring committees to ensure speedy disbursal of relief to those affected “without any discrimination.” He also urged the state to make efforts to get Central funds towards relief measures.

PMK chief Ramadoss demanded “Rs 5,000 as financial aid to each of the families that had lost job opportunities and livelihood resources due to the rains and flood.

PTI

6 killed as heavy rain lashes Andhra Pradesh, thousands shifted to relief camps

HYDERABAD: Heavy rains continued to batter three districts of Andhra Pradesh, killing at least six people, damaging crops in over thousands of acres and paralysing vehicular transport, officials said on Tuesday.

rains_AFPrains_AFPChittoor, Nellore and Kadapa districts bordering Tamil Nadu received heavy rains for the second day on Tuesday, inundating dozens of villages and disrupting road and rail transport.

The rains, under the impact of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, resulted in large-scale damage to crops and wreaked havoc in Tamil Nadu.

Officials said 14,000 people were shifted to relief camps in Nellore and Chittoor districts.

Flash floods also claimed the lives of 80 cattle and damaged 80 houses. For the second day, all educational institutions in Chittoor district remained closed.

Rivers, rivulets, tanks and streams in the affected districts overflowed. In Nellore district, 40 villages were marooned.

Officials said at least 100 tanks have been breached.

Hundreds of vehicles were stranded as national and state highways passing through the districts were damaged.

The Indian Railways cancelled several trains between Nellore, Tirupati and Chennai as tracks were submerged at a few places.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel rescued passengers from a bus and a car in Nellore district.

Six NDRF teams were pressed into service to rescue people caught in flood waters in the district.

Two helicopters flying from Chennai dropped food packets in the marooned villages.

Municipal Administration Minister P. Narayana earlier told reporters in Nellore that 10,000 food packets were ready for air-dropping in the marooned villages.

Traffic between Vijayawada and Chennai came to a halt as part of the Chennai-Kolkata national highway was washed away in Nellore district.

For the second time in three days, the Mumbai-Nellore highway was breached by the authorities to make way for flood waters which had entered some villages.

The highway at Naidupeta-Sullurpeta was also flooded, disrupting vehicular traffic between Tirupati and Kanchipuram.

Eight mandals in Chittoor district received 20 cm rainfall since Monday. Some places in Nellore district received as high as 30 cm rainfall.

Krishna, East Godavari, West Godavari districts were also receiving heavy rains since Monday night, damaging standing crops.

With the Met office forecasting more rains over the next two days, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu directed officials to be on alert and take all measures to prevent loss of lives.

He said very heavy rainfall in a short period triggered floods. He announced Rs.5 lakh compensation each for the families of those killed.

IANS

Six killed in rain-related incidents in Andhra Pradesh

Naidu said two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) helicopters from Chennai have arrived in Chittoor and Nellore districts to rescue people stranded in flood waters.

Naidu said two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) helicopters from Chennai have arrived in Chittoor and Nellore districts to rescue people stranded in flood waters. (Representational Image)

File Photo
Six persons were killed in rain-related incidents in Andhra Pradesh as heavy rains triggered by north east monsoon continued to lash several districts in the state. “Six persons have died due to rain related incidents in many districts and an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of the victims is being announced. About 15,000 people were shifted to relief camps from the affected areas,” Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said. In a tele-conference held to take stock of the incessant rains in the state, Naidu directed the officials to remain alert for the next 48 hours.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I have asked officials of Nellore, Kadapa and Chittoor districts to be vigilant for the next 48 hours,” he said here.He told the officials to complete the relief, restoration and rehabilitation works, including restoration of electricity, on a war-footing. The Chief Minister directed the officials to distribute 20 kg rice and two litres kerosene to the flood victims within a day. Naidu said two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) helicopters from Chennai have arrived in Chittoor and Nellore districts to rescue people stranded in flood waters. He also appealed social organisations and political parties to voluntarily take up relief activities for the affected in these 3 districts. Naidu announced compensation for completely and partially damaged houses. “As per primary investigations, crops in about 3,155 hectares (of land) were damaged. Two helicopters have been pressed into service in Nellore and 5 helicopters kept standby to meet any kind of emergency,” he said.

Deadly rains wreak havoc in southern India, Sri Lanka | Reuters

CHENNAI, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Floods in south India and Sri Lanka have killed over 70 people — inundating homes, farmland and highways — forcing authorities to shut down schools and colleges in some areas, officials and media reports said on Monday.

The floods, triggered by incessant rains over the past seven days, have submerged parts of Tamil Nadu, including its capital Chennai, where most of the deaths and devastation has taken place.

Caused by a depression formed in the Bay of Bengal, the heavy rains have also affected Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, as well as neighbouring Sri Lanka.

Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said a 5 billion rupee ($75 million) relief fund has been set up. She brushed aside criticisms the government was poorly prepared to deal with the flooding in Chennai, one of India’s biggest cities.

“The rain that was meant to be spread out over the monsoon months has poured in just a few days,” Jayalalithaa told reporters during a visit to a flood-hit area in Chennai.

“No precautionary measures would have managed to prevent water logging and damages. In areas where flooding and damage have been caused, relief, rescue and repair works are being taken up on a war footing,” she said.

There are no official figures on the number of deaths, but media reports suggested at least 71 people have died from drowning, collapsing walls and electrocution.

Television pictures showed children in Chennai crammed into boats on water-logged roads, commuters wading through waist-deep waters to get to work and bridges submerged as lakes overflowed.

In Sri Lanka, floods in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean island have affected 58,000 people. One person has reportedly died.

India’s southeast coast is vulnerable to annual cyclones in November and December, severe low pressure formations in the Bay of Bengal have resulted in heavier than usual rainfall, say weather officials.

In Chennai, Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Villupuram districts, 23 to 37 cm (9 to 14 inches) of rain was recorded on a single day, much higher than the usual annual average.

Government officials said around 10,000 people living in low-lying coastal areas have been evacuated from their homes and given refuge in relief camps.

The National Disaster Response Force and the army have been called in to help distribute food rations and rescue people stranded due to damaged roads and bridges.

India’s weather department forecasts the rains would cease in Tamil Nadu but predicted heavy rain for Andhra Pradesh in the coming days.

(Reporting by Sandhya Ravishankar in Chennai. Additional reporting by Shihar Aneez in Colombo. Editing by Nita Bhalla. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit www.trust.org)

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

Heavy rains in coastal Andhra Pradesh; Tirupati pilgrims affected

Normal life was disrupted and streets filled with water as the North East Monsoon was especially fierce over Rayalaseema.

Reuters
As the low pressure moved upwards from Tamil Nadu, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema received heavy rains on Monday. Normal life was disrupted and streets filled with water as the north-east monsoon was especially fierce over Rayalaseema. A report in The Hindu states that meteorological authorities said that Sullurpeta in Nellore received 26 cm rainfall, Tada 25 cm, Venkatagiri 17 cm, Gudur 16cm, Atmakur 16cm, Kavali 11 cm, Nellore 11 cm, Avanigadda in Krishna recorded 2 cm, Ongole 1 cm and Bapatla 1 cm. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Rayalaseema region, Tirupati recorded 22 cm, Thottambedu, Chittoor 22 cm, Puttur 20 cm, Satyavedu 20 cm, Kodur in Kadapa 17 cm, Srikalahasti 15 cm, Palasamudram 15 cm, Nagari 13 cm and Ananthrajpeta in Kadapa 11 cm. In Nellore district and Chittoor District, many roads that connected villages were flooded and traffic was affected.Tirupati pilgrims affectedMany people heading to Tirupati and Tirumala cancelled plans. But those who did make it faced problems as the traffic on the second ghat road was diverted to the first ghat road because of the heavy rains, says the report. Those who were walking up the hills to Tirumala also had a difficult time trying to climb up the Alipiri footpath. The footpath from Srinivasa Mangapuram was closed as repair work was on and landslides had also occurred. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reportedly held a teleconference with the collectors of six districts, including Chittoor, Kadapa, Kurnool, Anantapur, Nellore and Prakasam. He is said to have asked them to repair canal breaches and to monitor water levels in the state. Rain water is to be diverted to rivulets and rivers to increase ground water.

Respite for Chennai: Low pressure over southwest Bay of Bengal moves northward

The intensity of the rainfall in Chennai and Tamil Nadu will reduce as the low pressure moves further upwards.

Vendors push a cart on the waterlogged Marina Beach in Chennai on Saturday.

PTI
The Regional Meteorological Department has given some good news for those in Chennai and Tamil Nadu. The low pressure over southwest Bay of Bengal has now moved north westward. The low pressure caused severe rainfall over the last few days in Chennai flooding the city. All educational institutions were shut and offices declared November 16 as a holiday.A report in The New Indian Express states that Ponneri received 37 cm rains in 24 hours while Tambaram and Mahabalipuram recorded 33 cm rains. The four reservoirs in Chennai have reached 70% of their storage capacity. The shutters of Chembarambakkam reservoir was opened as it received 17,000 cubic feet per second and amount of water discharged into the Adyar River was increased.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, there is likely to be more rain for the next 24 hours over parts of north Tamil Nadu till the low pressure area moves to southern Andhra Pradesh. Coastal Andhra and areas like Rayalaseema will receive heavy rainfall. The intensity of the rainfall in Chennai and Tamil Nadu will reduce as the low pressure moves further upwards. Fishermen have been asked not to venture to sea.Also read: More trains to Chennai diverted and some partially cancelled

Widow can claim absolute right on ‘maintenance’ property: Supreme Court

A bench, headed by Justice M Y Eqbal, while upholding a Andhra Pradesh High Court verdict in favour of a widow who had transferred the property willed to her by her husband for her lifetime to a relative, said it was the woman’s “absolute right” and she was free to bequeath the property.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The right to maintenance of a Hindu widow is not a “mere formality” but a spiritual and moral right that can be judicially enforced upon by claiming “absolute right” on the property given to her for sustaining herself, the Supreme Court has ruled.A bench, headed by Justice M Y Eqbal, while upholding a Andhra Pradesh High Court verdict in favour of a widow who had transferred the property willed to her by her husband for her lifetime to a relative, said it was the woman’s “absolute right” and she was free to bequeath the property.​<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is well settled that under the Hindu Law, the husband has got a personal obligation to maintain his wife and if he is possessed of properties, then his wife is entitled to a right to be maintained out of such properties. It is equally well settled that the claim of Hindu widow to be maintained is not a mere formality which is to be exercised as a matter of concession, grace or gratis but is a valuable, spiritual and moral right,” the bench, which also comprised Justice C Nagappan, said.Referring to various judicial pronouncements, it said that though the right of a widow to be maintained does not create a charge on the property of her husband but she can certainly enforce her right by moving the Court for passing a decree for maintenance by creating a charge.Discussing the details of the case at hand, the bench said, “In our opinion in whatever form a limited interest is created in her favour who was having a pre-existing right of maintenance, the same has become an absolute right by the operation of Section 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act.”The apex court’s verdict came on an appeal filed by one Jupudy Pardha Sarathy, who had purchased a house from the son of Andhra Pradesh resident P Venkata Subba who had three wives. Subba had in 1920 willed one of his properties to his third wife, Veeraraghavamma, who did not have a child. Veeraraghavamma executed a will in 1971 and transferred the property to Pentapati Subba Rao. After her death in 1976, Subba’s son from his second wife sold the property to Sarathy.The trial court had upheld the sale to Sarathy saying the woman had a limited right to enjoy the property and after her death, it would pass on to the male heirs.However, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had reversed the trial court findings, saying the case fell under Section 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act and “Veeraghavamma became the absolute owner of the suit property and she had every right to bequeath the said property in favour of the first defendant P Subba Rao.”

Dr.NTR University MBBS 1st Year Results Aug/Sept 2015 | Check @ ntruhs.ap.nic.in

The result of Dr.NTR University MBBS first year for August/September 2015 has been released.

Representational Image

The results for Dr.NTR University MBBS first year for August/September 2015 has been released. Candidates can check their results on the official website.Students will have to enter their registration number or roll number to download the result. ntruhs.ap.nic.in.Provisional list of registered numbers of all the successful candidates at FIRST M.B.B.S., Examinations held in AUGUST 2015 given below.To check marks <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To check results PDFDr.NTR University of Health Science Announced MBBS 1st Year August 2015 Exam Results on 31-10-2015 at NTR university Official website. These First Year Exams was Conducted in the month of August and September 2015.The Andhra Pradesh University of Health Sciences, first of its kind, was established in 1986 by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, with Vijayawada as Headquarters. It is a statewide University with the aim of ensuring efficient and systematic education, training and research in allopathic and Indian systems of medicine, Dentistry and Nursing. Act No.6 of the AP Legislature was passed accordingly and the University was inaugurated on 9th April 1986 by the then Chief Minister Dr. N.T.Rama Rao. The University started functioning from 1st November in the same year.

Hyderabad: High Court reserves judgment on proposed distillery by MP SPY Reddy

A public interest petition was filed by YSRCP MLA Kodali Srivenkateswara Rao.

The Hyderabad High Court reserved its judgement on a public interest petition which challenged the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to extend the time limit for the letter of intent for the proposed distillery to be set up by MP SPY Reddy, on Wednesday.The PIL was filed by YSRCP MLA Kodali Srivenkateswara Rao. He challenged the decision and said that the state was giving favours to MP SPY Reddy who joined the Telugu Desam party after being elected as an MP on a YSR Congress Party ticket, a leading daily reports.The report adds that in his petition Rao has stated that the letter of intent given by MP SPY Reddy had expired and he hadn’t established a distillery. Thus, the matter was over was Rao’s claim. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, MP Reddy’s lawyer states that the state government can extend the time limit and asked that the petition filed by Rao be dismissed. Acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice SV Bhatt have reserved the case judgement.

Supreme Court tells Modi govt to scrap reservations from institutes of higher education

The apex court also referred to a body of judgments, asking government authorities to refrain from relaxing the eligibility criteria basing it on various kinds of reservations.

Supreme Court

PTI
The Supreme Court on Tuesday called for the end of the reservation system in all institutions of higher education, regretting that ‘some privilege remains unchanged’ 68 years after Independence. It urged the Modi government to take steps to remove reservations in ‘national interest’.According to Indian Express, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and PC Pant noted that despite several reminders to the central and state governments to make merit the primary criteria for admissions into super-specialty courses, the reality is that reservation is given preference over merit.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The fond hope has remained in the sphere of hope… The said privilege remains unchanged, as if (it is) to compete with eternity,” the bench remarked. The court said it agreed with two of its own judgements from 1988. The two cases refer to reservations in super-speciality medical courses, wherein the Supreme Court had stated that ‘there should really be no reservation’. The rationale given was that improving higher education was in the general interest of the country, and quality of medical services needed to be good.“We hope and trust that the Government of India and the state governments shall seriously consider this aspect of the matter without delay and appropriate guidelines shall be evolved…” these judgments had stated.The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it was ‘inclined’ to convey the same message it did 27 years ago, according to Indian Express. “Therefore, we echo the same feeling and reiterate the aspirations of others so that authorities can objectively assess and approach the situation so that the national interest can become paramount,” the court said. The apex court also referred to a body of judgments, asking government authorities to refrain from relaxing the eligibility criteria basing it on various kinds of reservations, since it would defeat the very purpose of imparting the best possible training to selected meritorious candidates.These observations were made by the Supreme Court while delivering judgement on a slew of petitions which had challenged an eligibility criteria for admissions into certain super-specialty medical courses in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. The bench said it could not interfere with the admission process in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana since a Presidential Order had been created and the constitutionality of the order not challenged.Recently, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had caused a controversy by opining that the reservation system in the country needed to be reexamined, sparking protests from across the political spectrum. Even the BJP had disagreed with Bhagwat and stated that there were no plans to scrap reservations.Read: RSS Mohan Bhagwat pitches for review of reservation policy, Amit Shah thinks otherwise

All’s fair in war and Bihar polls: Quota narrative gets a communal twist, courtesy Modi

It is back to Mandal and Kamandal in Bihar.

On Monday, when he spoke for almost half an hour at Buxar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proved that in the end the Bihar election always boils down to just one question: What can divide voters more — caste or religion?

“I will not allow any change in the existing system of reservation. I was the chief minister of Gujarat for several years, and there wasn’t any change in the quota criteria. Even during Atal Behari Vajpayee’s tenure, there was no change in the reservation policy,” Modi thundered at the rally.

File image of PM Narendra Modi. PTI

File image of PM Narendra Modi. PTI

So far so good.

The next two rounds of polling in Bihar are in constituencies dominated by Dalits and backward caste voters. Since the Nitish Kumar-led Mahagathbandhan has turned the election into a fight between upper caste (agda) and backward caste (picchda) voters by claiming that the BJP wants to review the existing reservation system, Modi is justified in countering the campaign.

Modi then went on to claim that the Mahagathbandhan is scheming to introduce religion-based quotas. “They will take away five percent of your share for reservation on religious basis,” Modi said, adding that it was his duty to expose the conspiracy.

Quota on religious lines is an old debate triggered by the previous UPA government. In 2011, just before the UP elections, the Centre had carved out 4.5 percent quota within the 27 percent reservation available to OBCs. The sub-quota was for backward communities belonging to religious minorities who form part of the OBC list. The proposal was later struck down by the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The Centre had filed a review petition against the order in the Supreme Court, but the proposal died a slow death after the Modi government called it unnecessary.

By raising it again, Modi has attempted a masterstroke: He has not only countered a canard with another canard, but has given a communal twist to the quota narrative. By arguing that Nitish Kumar will give away to minorities something that rightfully belongs to the picchdas, Modi has gone back to the core BJP strategy of obliterating the vertical caste divide with a horizontal communal line.

The Mahagathbandhan’s success depends on its ability to keep the Muslim-Yadav-Kurmi-Picchda vote bank intact. So, its leaders are trying to unite them by claiming that the upper caste voters — the core supporters of the BJP — are their common enemy.

The BJP’s future, in an election dominated by the debate triggered by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s call for a review of the reservation policy, depends on its ability to divide the Mahagathbandhan supporters by claiming that their real rivals are people from other religions.

You’ve got to pity the Bihar voters. In the end, they are the ones who will have to decide which brand of divide-and-rule politics is the lesser evil for them.

There are, of course, the known perils of playing with the quota fire and speaking in different voices for electoral gains on this contentious issue.

In 2003, Rajasthan BJP leader Vasundhara Raje had indicated to Gurjars that her party would support their demand for a separate sub-quota. When the BJP came to power, the Gurjars, who were part of the OBCs till then, launched two violent agitations for reservation that led to death of more than 100 persons and days of arson and rioting. A few months ago, Raje included Gurjars into a separate category of specially backward castes and recommended 5 percent quota for them. If this law is implemented, the total quota in Rajasthan (currently 49 percent) would exceed 50 percent.

Incidentally, at his Buxar rally, while talking about the quota for religious minorities, Modi claimed that this 5 percent reservation can only be at the cost of the existing beneficiaries. Modi argued since the Supreme Court has already ordered that reservation should not exceed 50 per cent, it can be extended to others only after curtailing the existing quota meant for Dalits, Mahadalits, Backward Castes and Extremely Backward Castes.

Wonder what Gurjars would be thinking after hearing Modi declare quotas exceeding 50 percent illegal!

Bihar Polls: Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee asks Bihar-bound passengers to vote for ‘grand alliance’

The Congress leaders explained them in detail about how the BJP “cheated” the residuary part of Andhra Pradesh by “not fulfilling” the promises of granting special status, giving funds for backward regions of Rayalaseema and north coastal Andhra, financing the building of the new capital and bridging the huge revenue deficit the state has inherited post-bifurcation, a party statement said.

The Grand Alliance — Congress, JD(U) and RJD.
File Photo
PTI
The Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on Sunday requested passengers of a Patna-bound train at Secunderabad railway station here to vote in favour of ‘Maha Gatbandhan’ (grand alliance) in Bihar elections. However, the party workers were arrested for campaigning at the station without having the permission for it.APCC president Raghuveera Reddy and scores of party leaders entered the compartments of the express train heading to Patna on platform no 1 of the station this morning and requested the passengers to vote for the grand alliance in the eastern state.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress leaders explained them in detail about how the BJP “cheated” the residuary part of Andhra Pradesh by “not fulfilling” the promises of granting special status, giving funds for backward regions of Rayalaseema and north coastal Andhra, financing the building of the new capital and bridging the huge revenue deficit the state has inherited post-bifurcation, a party statement said.”All of them were arrested by the railway police on the grounds that the party had not taken any permission for campaigning in the railway station,” it added.Congress, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal United (JDU) are fighting together in the ongoing Bihar polls for the 243 Assembly seats.

Over 15,000 tons of pulses seized from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Haryana

About 7,033 tonnes of lentils were seized from Maharashtra, 5,487.74 tonnes from Karnataka, 2,051 tonnes from Rajasthan and 764.07 tonnes from Haryana.

Getty Images
Intensifying crackdown against hoarding, four states including Maharashtra and Karnataka on Friday seized over 15,000 tonnes of pulses, while prices saw a modest dip in some parts of the country. This takes the total seizure of pulses so far to 50,656.79 tonnes, recovered in 3,149 raids carried out in 10 states. The seized lentils will be offloaded in the market to boost supply.”Raids to check hoarding are continuing in various states. Today, four states reported that they have seized 15,335.95 tonnes of pulses, mostly imported tur dal,” a senior Consumer Affairs Ministry official told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Of which, about 7,033 tonnes of lentils were seized from Maharashtra, 5,487.74 tonnes from Karnataka, 2,051 tonnes from Rajasthan and 764.07 tonnes from Haryana, according to the statement issued by the Consumer Affairs Ministry.”As a result of action taken by states, there has been a decrease of about Rs 200/quintal in mandi rates in Mumbai and also in futures trading of chana,” the Ministry said. Retail prices of pulses have also declined in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, it added. So far, the largest quantity of pulses has been seized in Maharashtra at 30,373 tonnes, followed by Karnataka (5,967 tonnes), Chhattisgarh (4,525 tonnes), Telangana (2,546 tonnes), Madhya Pradesh (2,295 tonnes), Rajasthan (2151 tonnes), Haryana (1,932 tonnes), Andhra Pradesh (859.87 tonnes), Tamil Nadu (4.32 tonnes) and Himachal Pradesh (2.44 tonnes). Raids are being carried out after state governments were exhorted to intensify action against hoarding.Earlier on Friday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met importers to discuss problems faced by them in procuring pulses from the global market. Dal prices have risen across the country due to a shortfall in domestic output by 2 million tonnes in 2014-15 hit by poor rains. There is also global shortage of lentils.(With Agency Inputs)

Upset with ‘anti-people’ acts, Maoist couple surrenders

A Maoist couple carrying cash reward on their heads, surrendered along with weapons in Raipur on Thursday citing disappointment with the “anti-people” activities by the outlawed CPI (Maoist) in Bastar, police said.

A Maoist couple carrying cash reward on their heads, surrendered along with weapons in Raipur on Thursday citing disappointment with the “anti-people” activities by the outlawed CPI (Maoist) in Bastar, police said.”Sannnu Poyam (40) and his wife Maini Majji (22) turned themselves at the police headquarter, Naya Raipur, expressing their desire to join the mainstream,” Additional Director General of Police (anti-naxal operations) R K Vij said in a press conference.The commander of military platoon No. 13 of Maoist, Sannu, a native of Jangla in Bijapur district, has been involved in several naxal incidents in south Chhattisgarh during past a decade, Vij said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He surrendered along with an AK-47 rifle.Sanuu had joined the banned outfit as a member of its frontal wing-Dandakaranya Adivasi Majdoor Sangh in 2003 and since then has served in different capacities within it, the ADG said adding he was carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh on his head.Similarly, Maini was also a crucial member of the outfit who was delivering the role of a doctor for Bhairamgarh Local Guerilla Squad (LGS) in Bijapur.She also worked in the press section of the rebels for sometime as she had studied till class seventh, he said.A reward of Rs 1 lakh was announced for her arrest.The two will be rehabilitated as per the policy of the state government, Vij said.Talking to reporters, surrendered cadre Sannu said, “I was disappointed with the activities of my colleagues like destroying school buildings, halting development works and snatching ration and ration card of villagers.People were both afraid and troubled with the activities of Maoists which prompted me to quit the movement.”Besides, exploitation of local leaders from senior cadres of Andhra Pradesh was also one of the reasons for surrender, he said.Moreover he claimed that the platoon that he had left has been going through a tough time in dearth of cadres and armoury.

dna Must Reads for morning: From Pakistan’s large nuclear stockpile to foundation of new Andhra’s new capital

1. Pakistan has at least 130 nuke weapons stockpile; will be fifth largest nuclear power by 2025: ReportPakistan has a nuclear weapon stockpile of 110 to 130 warheads, a rise from an estimated 90 to 110 in 2011, a US think-tank said. Read more here. 2. How can I bury them with my own hands, says father of Dalit children burnt alive<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“How can I bury them with my own hands,” wailed Jitender Kumar, the father of the two Dalit children who were burnt alive allegedly by upper caste men on Tuesday. Read more here.3. India v/s South Africa 2015: It’s now or never for IndiaWith India trailing 1-2 in the series, home team skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has no other option but to win the last two games and salvage some pride as the limited-overs leg of the Freedom Series gives way to the four-Test series. Read more here.4. Pakistan tells US about ‘India’s subversive role’; won’t accept limits on tactical nuclear armsPakistan on Wednesday said it has handed over to the US three “dossiers”, which it claims to contain “evidence” about India’s role in “subversive activities” in that country, nearly a month after it gave such an alleged document to the UN which paid no heed to it. Read more here.5. PM Modi to lay foundation stone of Andhra’s new capital Amaravati todayPrime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Andhra Pradesh’s capital city Amaravati at a village in Guntur district on Thursday, in a mega event for which the state government has made elaborate arrangements. Read more here.6. Ranveer-Vaani go back to school for ‘Befikre’!Aditya Chopra is in Paris doing a recce for his next film Befikre. The romantic drama that stars Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor as the leads will be shot extensively in the French capital. Read more here.7. UEFA Champions League: Big stars fail to impress as Real Madrid, PSG clash ends in a stalemateReal Madrid took a big step towards finishing top of Champions League Group A game when they held Paris St Germain to a 0-0 draw in the French capital on Wednesday as both teams remained unbeaten. Read more here.

PM Modi to lay foundation stone of Andhra’s new capital Amaravati today

The Prime Minister would spend about 90 minutes at the event during which he will perform the ‘shila nyas’ for the capital city, about 40 kms from Vijayawada, the commercial capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Andhra Pradesh’s capital city Amaravati at a village in Guntur district on Thursday, in a mega event for which the state government has made elaborate arrangements.About four to five lakh people are expected to attend the function to be held at Uddandarayunipalem village on the banks of river Krishna.The Prime Minister would spend about 90 minutes at the event during which he will perform the ‘shila nyas’ for the capital city, about 40 kms from Vijayawada, the commercial capital of Andhra Pradesh.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi is expected to be shown a presentation on the ‘past, present and future’ of Amaravati, a place of immense historical, mythological and cultural significance.Amaravati, situated in Guntur district, was once the seat of power of Satavahana rulers.The state government has invited several Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, important political leaders from across the country, eminent personalities, top industrialists and also foreign dignitaries for the event.Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has personally invited the Prime Minister, several Union ministers, Governor ESL Narasimhan and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, among others.Ministers and delegations from Singapore and Japan are also expected to attend the event.

PM Narendra Modi to lay stone of mobile hub in Tirupati

A number of Indian mobile vendors like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn and Celkon will set up their campuses at the 122-acre electronics manufacturing hub.

PM Modi will lay foundation to set up a dedicated mobile handset manufacturing facility in Tirupati tomorrow (File Photo)

Getty Images
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of country’s first mobile manufacturing electronics cluster in Tirupati tomorrow. “The Prime Minister will lay foundation to set up a dedicated mobile handset manufacturing facility in Tirupati tomorrow. This will be another important milestone to leverage the Andhra Pradesh’s ability to attract further investments,” Indian Cellular Association (ICA) President Pankaj Mohindroo said in a statement.A number of Indian mobile vendors like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn and Celkon will set up their campuses at the 122-acre electronics manufacturing hub. Celkon will get 20 acres, Micromax 15 acres, Karbonn 15.28 acres and Lava 20 acres in this Hub. All the 4 companies together are targeted to produce more than 7 crore mobile handsets per annum, the statement said. Celkon in a release said that manufacturing companies have agreed to invest a total of over Rs 2,000 crore and the cluster will create over 45,000 direct and indirect jobs. “Celkon will hire 80 per cent people with 10th and higher secondary passed students for assembly lines,” Celkon Chairman MD Guru said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The company has set target to start production of mobile phones at this cluster within next six months. “We will hire 60 per cent women for assembling lines to empower rural women,” Guru said. Mohindroo said that the Hub at Tirupati will create more than 10,000 jobs within a year and expects this hub to contribute at least 5 per cent of all-India target of 15 lakh jobs by the year 2019 from mobile manufacturing activities. Foxconn has already started operations in Andhra Pradesh for manufacturing brands like Xiaomi, Gionee etc.

Over 35,000 tons pulses seized from hoarders in 10 states: Centre

To control skyrocketing prices, the Centre has taken several measures such as creating a buffer stock of 40,000 tonnes, sale of imported pulses at cheaper rates and imposition of stock limits on traders as well as departmental stores, licensed food processors, importers and exporters.

Congress workers distributing Tur Daal packets to slum dwellers during their protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over price hike of pulses, in Bhopal on Tuesday.

PTI
The Centre on Wednesday said over 35,000 tonnes of pulses have been seized from 10 states in two days after the state governments intensified crackdown against hoarding and black marketing of the commodity.”De-hoarding operations have been further intensified by the states to check hoarding of pulses. More than 35,000 tonnes of pulses have been seized in 10 states,” the Consumer Affairs Ministry said in a statement.The state governments were exhorted to carryout surprise inspections and raids to prevent hoarding. As a result, a total of 35,288 tonnes of pulses have been seized during 2,704 raids carried out in 10 states, it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A maximum quantity of 23,340 tonnes was seized in Maharashtra, followed by 4,525.19 tonnes in Chhattisgarh, 2,546 tonnes in Telangana, 2,295 tonnes in Madhya Pradesh, 1,168 tonnes in Haryana, 859.8 tonnes in Andhra Pradesh, 479.6 tonnes in Karanataka, 68.47 tonnes in Rajasthan, 4.32 tonnes in Tamil Nadu and 2.44 tonnes in Himachal Pradesh, the statement added. The Centre has also asked Haryana state cooperative Hafed has been asked to procure pulses from the market and sell thought its outlets in the state.In Uttarkhand, mandi samitis have opened retail outlets in Dehradun, Haridwar and Udhamsingh Nagar for selling tur dal at Rs 145/kg. The state government has also been directed to distribute pulses at decided rate via ration shops, it added. In Delhi, tur dal is being sold at Rs 120/Kg through outlets of Safal and Kendriya Bhandar, while in Tamil Nadu, the government is selling 1 kg urad at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 30 per kg. Whereas the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments are distributing one kg of red gram at Rs 50 per kg to provide relief to consumers.Following action against hoarding in some states, tur prices on Wednesday declined marginally to Rs 205 per kg from Rs 210 yesterday in retail markets. Prices of moong, masoor and gram (chana) also showed a slight decline to Rs 130, Rs 110 and 82, respectively, while urad rates remained unchanged at Rs 198 today from over yesterday’s level, government data showed. Prices have shot up due to a fall in output by two million tonnes in 2014-15 on deficient and untimely rains.To control skyrocketing prices, the Centre has taken several measures such as creating a buffer stock of 40,000 tonnes, sale of imported pulses at cheaper rates and imposition of stock limits on traders as well as departmental stores, licensed food processors, importers and exporters.

Telangana, Punjab CMs to attend Andhra Pradesh capital foundation stone event

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, his Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal, Rosaiah, some top judges, besides Governor ESL Narasimhan, would attend the event, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said here tonight.

Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs,M Venkaiah Naidu,Union Minister for Civil Aviation,Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu unveiling the plaque to inaugurate the New Terminal building at Vijayawada airport, in Gannavaram, Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh on Monday.

PTI
Chief Ministers of Telangana and Punjab, ministers from Japan and Singapore, Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah would be among the dignitaries attending the foundation stone laying ceremony of Andhra Pradesh capital Amaravati on October 22.Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, his Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal, Rosaiah, some top judges, besides Governor ESL Narasimhan, would attend the event, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said.Prime Minister Narendra Modi would lay the foundation stone for the capital city on Vijayadashmi (October 22) and the state government is making elaborate arrangements for the event.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu visited the place, where the foundation stone would be laid and reviewed the arrangements made with ministers and senior officials stating that there could be some rumour- mongers out to create some trouble during the function, he appealed to the people to remain alert and not be carried away by any such thing.Replying to a query, Naidu found fault with Congress for dividing Andhra Pradesh without due diligence, which he said created a crisis for Seemandhra (New Andhra Pradesh).Congress bifurcated the state without the new Andhra Pradesh not even having its own capital city, he said.He also disapproved of Opposition Leader and YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy announcing that he need not be invited for the event and that he would not attend.On the opposition’s demand that the PM should announce special category status for Andhra Pradesh during his visit, Naidu reiterated that the Centre should hand hold the state till it stood on its own feet so that it can contribute to the national growth.

Bihar Elections: Centre blames Nitish government for rise in prices of pulses

With the rise in prices of pulses becoming an issue in the ongoing Bihar elections, the Centre on Tuesday blamed the state government for the decline in production of pulses and for not utilising special central fund for price stabilisation.

With the rise in prices of pulses becoming an issue in the ongoing Bihar elections, the Centre on Tuesday blamed the state government for the decline in production of pulses and for not utilising special central fund for price stabilisation.”The Centre wrote six letters to the state governments, including the Bihar government to take benefit of ‘Price Stabilisation Fund’ to provide succour to the consumers, but the politically motivated Nitish Kumar government deliberately did not utilise it,” Union Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh told reporters.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Delhi and West Bengal which used the ‘Price Stabilisation Fund’, are selling pulses at Rs 120 to Rs 130 per kg through retail outlets,” he said.The Price Stabilisation Fund is raised by the state to which the Centre contributes 50% of the money.The Agriculture Minister accompanied by Union Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan was replying to Nitish Kumar raising accusing fingers at the central government for price rise, particularly that of pulses.”The production of pulses saw a steady decline in Bihar since 2012-13 but it did not take appropriate measures to boost production of pulses despite assistance from the Centre,” the Agriculture Minister, who also hails from Bihar, said.Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD leader Lalu Prasad have been raising the issue of price rise, particularly spiralling of prices of pulses to attack the Narendra Modi government in the ongoing Bihar polls.Kumar had yesterday used Modi’s ‘na khauanga na khane doonga’ remark to hit out at him over spiralling prices of pulses.Lalu Prasad has also been frequently referring to the issue in election meetings, saying, “Pulses have vanished from the plate of the poor due to rise in prices of pulses.” Paswan charged Kumar with not taking appropriate steps to contain prices of pulses with an aim to sullying the image of the Modi government during polls.”The Bihar government could have imported pulses if it had any concern for the people as there is ‘zero’ import duty on it. Who had stopped the state government from importing pulses?” Paswan asked.”Not only this, the Bihar government did not tell the Centre about the requirement of pulses when the Centre was planning to import it,” Paswan said attacking the Nitish Kumar government.Singh referred to figures to highlight declining trend of production of pulses in Bihar in recent time.Pulses production in Bihar was 5.43 lakh tonnes in 2012-13 which declined to 5.22 lakh tonnes in 2013-14 and further went down to 4.20 lakh tonnes in 2014-15, he said.”This shows that the Nitish government neither showed any interest in taking steps/measures for increasing pulses output nor took the benefit of the Agriculture Ministry’s scheme meant to contain the prices of pulses,” he added.Paswan claimed that a future NDA government in Bihar would take appropriate measures to bring the prices of pulses below Rs 100 a kg.”Prices of pulses would come below Rs 100 a kg after November 10,” he maintained.Paswan accused the Bihar government of neither fixing stock limit nor taking action under Essential Commodities Act and Prevention of Black Marketing Act to put a check on hoarders.He alleged that the Bihar government was “hand-in-glove with hoarders”.Paswan gave details of action initiated by the Union government to contain prices of pulses. He listed efforts like keeping import duty at zero, ban on export of pulses, increasing minimum support price (MSP) of arhar by Rs 75 per quintal along with a bonus of Rs 200 a quintal on it. The Centre recently also decided to create a ‘buffer stock’ for dal, he said.Holding that prices of rice, wheat and sugar are under control, the Food and Consumers Affairs Minister said that pulses and edible oil have always witnessed a gap in production and demand in the country.Paswan said that the Centre has floated tenders to import 10,000 tonnes of unmilled pulses to meet the shortage of domestic supplies. Out of 10,000 tonnes of order placed for pulses import, 4500 tonnes have been imported in the country, he said.”Out of 4500 tonnes of imported pulses, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have taken 1800 tonnes and 250 tonnes respectively” and “no other states, including Bihar, lifted anything from this imported stock,” he said.

NJAC issue: Back after 6 months, collegium stares at 400 vacancies

As per the data collated by the Department of Justice in the Law Ministry, as on October 1, there were 406 vacancies in the high courts.

No judge could be elevated as chief justice of a high court, transferred to another high court or elevated to the Supreme Court as there was no system in place for the purpose

With the collegium system staging a comeback after a gap of six months, it has its task cut out — to fill over 400 vacancies in high courts and appointing full-time chief justices in eight states. The government on its part will have to decide on nearly 120 recommendations made by the collegium before the system was overturned by the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act (NJAC) which came into force on April 13. In a landmark judgment on Friday, the apex court had struck down as unconstitutional the NJAC Act that was brought in to replace the over two-decade-old collegium system of judges appointing judges in the higher judiciary. The judgment, that will enable the collegium system to continue, also declared as unconstitutional the 99th amendment to the Constitution to bring in the NJAC Act.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the data collated by the Department of Justice in the Law Ministry, as on October 1, there were 406 vacancies in the high courts.The approved strength of the 24 high courts is 1,017 and they are at present functioning with 611 judges. The data states that the High Courts of Bombay, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Punjab and Haryana, Karnataka, Patna, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Gauhati have acting chief justices. While the new law scrapped the collegium system, the Chief Justice of India had refused to take part in a meeting with the Prime Minister of the selection committee of the panel under the NJAC law, thus leaving the new system in a limbo.Therefore, no judge could be elevated as chief justice of a high court, transferred to another high court or elevated to the Supreme Court as there was no system in place for the purpose. With no system in place to elevate judges as chief justices of high courts, the high courts of Gauhati, Gujarat, Karnataka, Patna, Punjab and Haryana, Rajasthan and the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana high court are at present headed by acting chief justices.According to Law Ministry officials, Article 223 of the Constitution states that when the office of the Chief Justice of a high court is vacant or when any such Chief Justice is, by reason of absence or otherwise, unable to perform the duties of his office, the duties shall be performed by one of the other judges of the court as the President may appoint for the purpose. Government had used this provision recently to appoint acting chief justices in some high courts. To overcome shortage of judges, government had also recently sought permission of the apex court to give extension to additional judges in various high courts whose tenure of two years was coming to an end. Except for Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura, the rest of the 21 high courts faced shortage of judges. The Allahabad High Court had a shortage of 85 judges as on October 1.

Jagan rejects invite he is yet to get, manages to steal a march over Chandrababu Naidu

Hyderabad: Has YS Jaganmohan Reddy delivered a political masterstroke or has he scored a self-goal by declining to attend the foundation laying ceremony of Amaravathi, the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh, even before an invite is extended to him?

The answer is both yes and no. Yes, because he has managed to hog the limelight when the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) appeared to be running away with all the propaganda points in the run-up to the mega event. No, because he has drawn flak for “dishonouring” the invite that was yet to be extended and “disrespecting” the popular sentiment over the construction of a new capital city for a state that’s struggling hard on many counts.

Y S Jaganmohan Reddy: ReutersY S Jaganmohan Reddy: Reuters

Y S Jaganmohan Reddy: Reuters

But Jagan, as it appears, is ensuring that he is steadily in the news, either for the right or the wrong reasons. He sat on an indefinite fast on 7 October demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh as promised in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

A week later, his strike was medically foiled when he was administered fluids by force and admitted to Government General Hospital in Guntur for a day. The forcible removal of the Leader of the Opposition from the hunger strike camp and the subsequent smear campaign by the pro-Telugu Desam media and opinion leaders only helped him get publicity.

He has stated eight reasons for declining the expected invite. He has gone hammer and tongs against the “coercive methods” used by the state government in the land pooling for the new capital. He says the state had undertaken work by imposing ‘prohibitory orders’ under Section 30 and Section 144 of the CrPC. He has hauled the government over the coals for “ignoring the stay orders issued by the National Green Tribunal”.

He said: “The Centre is generously helping the state and has already given Rs. 1,850 crore for the construction of the capital. It has further promised to help build the capital and release funds upon claiming of bills. Why has the CM roped in private firms of Singapore to build the capital? Structures like assembly, secretariat, high court and other such government offices can be built in the available government land, leaving the private lands for the landlords to decide whether they want to take up real estate or agriculture.”

Jagan has made a serious allegation that the chief minister and his cronies and some family members bought huge tracts of land in the new capital region but none of that was pooled and the land belonging only to the poor is taken by force.

His charge that the government is being extravagant by spending Rs 400 crore for the foundation stone laying has not only embarrassed the government, but also yielded the desired result too. As a knee-jerk reaction to the charge of the YSR Congress and the subsequent “enquiries from the corridors of power in Delhi,” the AP government eased out event management company, Wizcraft, which it had contracted for Rs 9.5 crore from managing the capital event.

The chief minister himself had to hurriedly do the explaining that the government was moderating the expenditure and that it was not indulging in extravagance. However, this is contrary to the news from the government sources that the hospitality should be terrific and the function should remain etched in the minds of the people forever.

Jagan’s act of writing to the chief minister, asking him not to extend the invitation for the foundation stone laying may sound churlish. But it appears to be politically smart.

Tamil Nadu blocks sale of power to Karnataka

CM Siddaramaiah was planning to buy power from private generators in Tamil Nadu but now that is not possible with the decision by Tamil Nadu.

Getty Images
With the power shortage in Karnataka and people in the state facing severe power cuts, CM Siddaramaiah had stated that they would be buy power from Tamil Nadu. However, the Tamil Nadu state government is said to have immediately invoked Section 11 of the Electricity Act which prevents sale of power outside the state.A report in a leading daily states that the lack of a power corridor in Karnataka and the massive shortage has had the state government look for alternatives. CM Siddaramaiah was planning to buy power from private generators in Tamil Nadu but now that is not possible with the decision by Tamil Nadu.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The states of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala are said to be self-sufficient as far as power goes. Tamil Nadu also buys power when required.

The case for pesticide lockers: Suicide ‘relief packages’ for farmers may not be the answer

By MA Deviah

Last Saturday, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced a comprehensive suicide relief package for farmers in Karnataka.

In a nutshell:

-Cash compensation increased from Rs one lakh to Rs five lakh

-Government will pay for education of the dead man’s children till post-graduation

-Children will be covered by insurance and healthcare benefits

-Widow’s pension increased from Rs 2,000 a month to Rs 5,000 a month.

-In case of the suicide of women farmers, a member of the family will get a pension of Rs 2,000 a month.

At the end of his working day, a farmer puts his pesticide back into a pesticide locker. WHO Facebook page/S Manikandan

At the end of his working day, a farmer puts his pesticide back into a pesticide locker. WHO Facebook page/S Manikandan

The announcement was decried by his opponents as something that would actually encourage farmer suicides, but Siddaramaiah was just doing what his peers in other Indian states have already done. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Punjab, to name just a few, already have “suicide packages” in place. Well-meaning they may be, but is this the solution to the problem?

And, more importantly, are farmer suicides really the big problem that political parties make it out to be?

Every suicide is tragic. It brings darkness to the home and destroys families. With around 1,35,000 Indians taking their own lives in 2013, India has the highest number of suicides in the world. However, when compared to the size of its population, the Indian rate of suicide is just slightly more than Germany, but less than half of China.

Nor is the suicide rate among Indian farmers extraordinarily high. According to a 2011 University of Manchester study, reported in The Economist last year, the suicide rate among Indian farmers was just under 30 per 1,00,000. This was lower than the rates among farmers in France and Scotland. It gets even more interesting. Farmers in India are 60 percent of the population, but account for only around 15 percent of all suicides in the country. This means that farmer suicides are less than suicides in other professions!

Suicide rates in poorer states like Bihar and UP are lower than states like Gujarat. The five richer states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, and Karnataka account for around 53 percent of all suicides in India. The other 23 states and seven union territories make up the remaining 47 percent. This suggests that suicide may have little to do with poverty.

Other studies have backed this up. An earlier report published in the Lancet says the highest number of suicides in India actually occur among male urban youth aged 15 to 29, not farmers. In fact, the study said, young men in that age group were more likely to die from suicide, than from road accidents!

Given the facts, it is likely that this emphasis on farmer suicides has less to do with reality and more to do with politics. Farmers constitute the majority of voters in this country and every party will do its best to woo this constituency, even if it means interpreting statistics differently. This does not mean that the problem of farmer suicides does not exist. It does, but it needs to be addressed from the point of view of prevention.

The greatest focus is required on urban youth suicides. Cities do have support systems by way of counselling from professionals, families, and friends; but it is not enough. The government largely ignores the problem here because politicians don’t see how they can convert urban depression into votes. Instead, the focus is on rural areas, which offer fertile grounds to announce populist schemes and take photos with suffering farmers.

A major cause of farmer suicide is debt, resulting from failed crops. Rural India is heavily dependent on moneylenders, who tie up farmers in several ways. Moneylenders are involved in all aspects of the farming cycle. Many supply inputs like seeds, fertilisers, and pesticides, payment for which is collected at harvest time. The farmer also borrows money from them for his living expenses, which also must be paid at harvest. By the time harvest comes around, the farmer ends up having to hand over a large part, if not all, of his crop to the moneylender who, and this should not come as a surprise, is also a commodities trader, hoarder, and price manipulator. The government has periodically moved against these ghouls but this only cuts off the farmers’ sources of finances.

The dependence on moneylenders could be eliminated by bringing farmers into the banking system. The government’s Jan Dhan Yojna is a good start. Coupled with mobile phone banking, this should empower every farmer to access banking. But, it will be a while before banks start lending money to farmers with no existing credit history.

Solutions can come sometimes from the strangest places. Studies have shown that the leading method of suicide is by drinking pesticide. Many farmer suicides are impulsive. Farmers keep pesticide inside their homes, which makes it easy for them to access it during vulnerable moments. The World Health Organisation is funding trials in India, Sri Lanka, and China to test the effectiveness of pesticide lockers. Farmers deposit the pesticide in the lockers, located centrally in the village, taking them out in the morning for use and returning the bottles by night time.

More than anything else, suicides have deep-rooted psychological causes. While we address the triggers to suicides, these efforts would be futile if counselling in some form is not made available to rural folk. The government should aim to prevent suicides; relief packages that do not benefit the dead person are not permanent solutions. Whatever the causes, whatever the solutions, politicising suicides is deplorable.

AP govt splurges on stone-laying ceremony of new capital; Green Tribunal frowns

Grandiose arrangements with minute precision are afoot on a sprawling 250-acre land for the foundation-laying ceremony of the dream capital of Andhra Pradesh by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 October.

The auspicious time as fixed by the pundits advising Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is 12.45 pm on the Vijayadasami Day, marking the end of Dusshera Navaratri. The government has chosen the North-East corner of the capital region for the foundation. Narendra Modi, who scrupulously observes fasting during the Navaratri days, will lay the foundation stone amid 4,000 specially-invited guests, including several of his cabinet colleagues, governors and chief ministers of different states.

PM Modi and AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu. PTI

PM Modi and Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu. PTI

The Andhra government will also extend invites to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Leader of the Opposition YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who is currently on an indefinite fast, and also leaders of different political parties. Naidu is demonstrating political grace by personally calling on his Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and inviting him for the gala inaugural. A galaxy of leaders, jurists, bureaucrats, industrialists, business tycoons, movie stars and a host of global and national level celebrities being invited for the never-before event.

Naidu has drawn up a plan for a 10-day festival to involve every nook and cranny of the state. He held a teleconference on Sunday with over 5,000 representatives of different villages. The government plans to have people bring soil and water from all the 13,000 villages and 3,000 wards in urban areas to a site near Nagarajuna University and cart them in a caravan to the foundation-laying site. The state is also planning to felicitate all the farmers – rythu vandanam — who donated their land as part of land pooling for the construction of the new Capital for which the Singapore government and companies have delivered a master plan.

Coming to the expenditure part, the state is literally splurging funds on the ceremony. It will be managed by global event management company Wizcraft. Here is the ballpark estimate of the ‘capital’ expenditure as provided by the government sources:

  1. Six connecting roads from different places in the Capital region to Uddandaraynipalem (seed capital) – Rs 35 crore
  2. Four new roads (from Gannavaram to Mangalagiri- Penumaka) – Rs 15 cr
  3. Black-topping of existing roads – Rs 5 cr
  4. Electrification of four villages and laying of new roads – Rs 8 cr
  5. Land levelling and fortification of 250 acres – Rs 2 cr
  6. Event management consultancy (Wizcraft) – Rs 9.5 cr
  7. Lighting, art, hospitality, invitation consultancy  – Rs 10 cr
  8. Publicity – Rs 10 cr
  9. Electronic publicity – Rs 10 cr
  10. Chartered aircraft (10) – Rs 2 cr
  11. Helicopters (15 to 19) – Rs 2 cr
  12. Hotel rooms (1,500) — Rs 1 cr
  13. New clothes to farmers who gave land (15,000) – Rs 60 lakh
  14. Construction of 5 helipads – Rs 1.5 cr
  15. Cultural programs, mementos, gifts – Rs 50 lakh
  16. Weeklong programmes across 13 districts – Rs 25 lakh
  17. Tents (including rainproof tents)) – Rs 50 lakh

Floor leader of the Congress in the AP Legislative Council C Ramachandraiah has slammed the government for its extravagance. “The government is yet to clear farm and DWCRA loans and several of its electoral promises are left unfulfilled,” he said, adding “even the treasury bills are being asked to be put on hold.”

Former Secretary to Union government EAS Sarma wrote to the Prime Minister on Sunday urging him not to “endorse the splurge” by participating in the foundation laying of the new Capital, the construction was stayed by the National Green Tribunal. Dr Sarma recalled that the Sivaramakrishnan Committee constituted by the Centre for the capital construction recommended “least possible dislocation to the existing agricultural system and minimum resettlement.”

Citing brewing resentment among people of North Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema on the concentration of development and huge expenditure on proposed projects in the capital region, he said his experience in the creation of capitals of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttaranchal in his capacity as Secretary to government also suggested that what the AP government was doing was uneconomical and unwise.

Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal on Saturday threw the proverbial spanner in the works of AP’s over the top arrangements with lavish expenditure. An NGT bench consisting of Justices UD Salvi, and MS Nambiar, members AK Agarwal, AR Yousuf and Ranjan Chaterjee, in response to a petition, filed by one Pandalaneni Srimannarayana extended the stay on the construction activity in the capital region and directed the state not to “bulldoze the agricultural lands”.

The NGT expressed its dismay over the state’s counsel AK Ganguly’s response that it had yet to apply for some environmental clearances. The counsel also admitted before the bench that the government did not complete the survey of flood-prone areas on the banks of the Krishna in the capital region.

The government is, however, proposing to challenge the decision of NGT in the Supreme Court.

Will be foolish for TDP to withdraw support to NDA, says Chandrababu Naidu

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday said his party was supporting the NDA government at the Centre in the interest of the people and for the overall development of the state.Talking to reporters after a day-long meeting of his Cabinet in Vijaywada , Naidu said, “YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy’s demand that TDP should withdraw support to NDA government is only for his own political and personal gains.” “TDP is supporting the NDA only for the benefit of the people and not for any personal benefits. Jagan is waiting for an opportunity to join hands with the NDA to withdraw cases against him if I withdraw the support from NDA. It is foolish to withdraw support,” Naidu said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said the Centre has been allocating funds to the state for various development projects, particularly the Polavaram irrigation project, and for the construction of the new state capital. “The Centre sanctioned 12 central institutions like AIIMS, IIT, IIM, and also some industries like BHEL, DRDO missile projects in view of the state’s development,” the chief minister said, adding that if TDP withdraws its support, all such projects may face problems. “Ultimately people have to decide what they need,” he added.

Andhra Pradesh govt stops operation of Dr BR Ambedkar Open University; four lakh students in jeopardy

It is alleged that there is no co-operation between the Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Central governments.

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The Dr BR Ambedkar Open University is now no longer functioning as the state government has issued orders to stop its operations in Andhra Pradesh due to complaints.A report in Deccan Chronicle states that the future of four lakh students is now uncertain as a result. Prof Ch C Prasad, assistant director of the university’s regional coordination centre at Vijayawada, has told the newspaper that the students will lose one year of studies. Prof Prasad has alleged that there is no co-operation between the Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Central governments. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The High Court has however asked the Telangana government to continue running the 92 study centres. The report adds that the HC has also asked the government to pay salaries to the employees of the varsity. The state government had stopped paying salaries. Students will not be admitted for the coming year and entrance exam results have not been announced. The first, second and third year degree exam results were announced adds the report. Those with arrears will not be able to write the exams now.

Andhra Pradesh: Four year-old beheaded in alleged occult ritual

Once they found him they accused him of witchcraft and murder beat him up and burnt him alive.

In a horrifying incident, a four-year-old boy was beheaded in an alleged human sacrifice ritual for an occult ritual in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, reports The New Indian Express.The child, L Manusagar, was picked by a certain Tirumala Rao from anganwadi in the village. His mother Adilakshmi got worried when the boy did not return home and went to the anganwadi where he was studying. When she came to know about Rao taking her child, she went to his home.When no one his house answered, she let herself in only to find her son’s beheaded body and a vessel filled with blood. The mother raised an alarm and then fainted at the spot.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hearing the screams, the vilagers ran to the spot. The gruesome picture lying infront of shocked them after which they led a search for Rao. Once they found him they accused him of witchcraft and murder beat him up and burnt him alive. The police which was alerted about the incident escued him and shifted him to Kandukur Government hospital and later to Ongole RIMS. Rao’s is in a critical condition now.The Kandukur police has registered a case and inspected the spot.

Will take low-cost broadband to 5 lakh villages in India, says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

San Jose: Expressing his intention to become a partner in the ambitious Digital India programme, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Sunday said his company will take low-cost broadband technology to some five lakh villages across the country.

In his remarks, Nadella said Microsoft’s plan is to partner with the Indian government to bring in low-cost broadband connectivity to 500,000 villages in India.

“We believe that low-cost broadband connectivity coupled with the scale of cloud computing intelligence that can be harnessed from data can help drive creativity, efficiency and productivity across governments and businesses of all sizes,” the first Indian-American Microsoft CEO said.

Satya Nadella. Image courtesy: APSatya Nadella. Image courtesy: AP

Satya Nadella. Image courtesy: AP

This in turn, he argued, would drive more affordable products and services and access to opportunity to all of India.

To that end, next week Microsoft would announce availability of its cloud services operating out of India’s data centers. “This is a big milestone,” he said.

“A key part of both Make in India and Digital India, bringing world class infrastructure into India, respecting India’s digital security, sovereignty and privacy is a key milestone for us,” Nadella said.

Meanwhile speaking to a news channel, Nadella said that India is in a great spot with “world class entrepreneurs and human capital”.

India can “leapfrog” in the technology infrastructure space to drive the next level of productivity, efficiency and creativity for Indian government, businesses and consumers, he said.

Narendra Modi‘s vision is absolutely right and I think he is pushing the right agenda,” he added.

Citing an example, Nadella said Microsoft is working with the Andhra Pradesh government to take the enrolment data of schools and using machine learning to understand which students and schools have higher drop out rates.

Asked if he was worried about the regulatory hassles that often trouble multinational firms, Nadella said the the company has been present in India for over 20 years.

“We are committed to the long term. We understand the legitimate rights of each country, when its come to digital security and that is one of the fundamental reason why we invested in cloud in India,” he said.

PTI

Demand quota in jobs with etiquette: UP CM Akhilesh Yadav tells youth

Jaipur: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday called upon youth to demand “quota” in jobs with etiquette so that no one can raise a finger.

Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav. AP

Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav. AP

“Every one says there should be reservation, there should be a debate on it, some wants that there should be too much discussion and debate on it so that no one left for quota demand and they get defame”, Akhilesh said, while addressing a national convention of All India Yuva Yadav Maha Sabha in Jaipur.

“Hence you (yadav community) have to keep a vigil on it and if you want quota in jobs then demand it with etiquette so that no one can raise finger against you”, the UP CM said.

“It is not only you (Yadav) demanding reservation, there would such more on streets or doing agitation some where else…So my appeal is to knit people, have your heart big so that people could unite with you”, he said.

Referring to his Friday’s entry into Birla Auditorium when media men stopped him to raise certain questions, Yadav said, “There was a question that RSS has raised Quota issue recently. I told them I do not know about RSS.”

Kaun si baat mere se nikal jai, kis raste pe ye media wale meri baat ko le chalein….breaking news ke naam par (I don’t know how the media will interpret what I’m saying for breaking news)”, he rapped media.

“If any clash or any adverse thing happen in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, then there would a news only. And if such thing happen in Uttar Pradesh, there would be two pictures; one of incident, another of CM running in breaking news…I tell you media is doing free publicity of UP government,” he quipped.

PTI

Andhra Pradesh: Red sanders logs worth Rs 26 crore seized from three smugglers

On September 21, the police arrested Ashok Kumar Agarwal (55) residing in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and seized 3.5 tonne of red sanders logs worth Rs 6 crore from his godown, the police oficial said.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
The Andhra Pradesh police has arrested three red sanders smugglers and seized red sanders logs worth Rs 26 crore from smugglers across three states, a police official said in Hyderabad on Thursday. Kadapa Superintendent of Police Naveen Gulati said that two special anti-red sanders smuggling squads arrested three red sanders smugglers from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The police arrested one Nafeez Hussain (40), a resident of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh on September 19, while on September 20, Badrul Hassan (54) alias Hassan Bhai, residing in Delhi was arrested, after which eight tonnes of red sanders logs worth Rs 16 crore was seized from a godown located in Maharashtra state, the police official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On September 21, the police arrested Ashok Kumar Agarwal (55) residing in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and seized 3.5 tonne of red sanders logs worth Rs 6 crore from his godown, the police oficial said.The special police team, which has obtained transit warrants from local courts to get all three accused to Kadapa, is expected to reach here tonight, along with the arrested red sanders smugglers, the police official said.

Visakhapatnam: Revenue officer in ACB net for taking Rs 50,000 bribe

A Village Revenue Officer (VRO) working in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh was trapped by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000.

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dna Research & Archives
A Village Revenue Officer (VRO) working in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh was trapped by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000.V Mutyalu, VRO of Gudivada village in Ravikamatham mandal of Visakhapatnam was caught red-handed by the ACB Officials in his private office room while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000 from a complainant for doing an official favour, a ACB release said in Hyderabad.The case is under investigation.

Explosives recovered in Falaknuma Express may have been on their way to Maoists

A huge cache of explosives – directional landmines seized from Falaknuma Express sent shockwaves in the administrative circles and passengers of Howrah Station on Wednesday.

Explosives recovered from Falaknuma Express

Image courtesy: ANI
A huge cache of explosives – directional landmines seized from Falaknuma Express sent shockwaves in the administrative circles and passengers of Howrah Station on Wednesday.While the six directional landmines was successfully diffused by the state’s investigating agency – Bomb Disposal Squad of CID, a strong opinion is gaining ground that this cache could be dispatched to some Maoist-infested location in West Bengal.There are reasons to apprehend that the cache was being sent from Andhra Pradesh to Bengal, as the ultra-Left group is once again gaining more ground in several pockets.On Wednesday morning, as many as six cylindrical objects containing explosives were placed inside two abandoned bags which were found in the general compartment of the train. GRP and RPF officials had rushed to the spot and informed the West Bengal CID.The Bomb Disposal Squad immediately reached the Howrah station and took the abandoned bags to a deserted area near platform one. The area was cordoned off and all six cylindrical objects, in the form of cylinders was defused.Forensic officials had also gone to the spot to carry out further scientific examinations over the explosives. Meanwhile, the railway authorities have begun an investigation into this case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Falling through the cracks

This is not the first time when severe drought conditions have led to crop failure, mounting debts and farmer suicides across the Deccan Plateau from Marathwada in Maharashtra to Telangana and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Chennai: M-Tech student of IIT Madras found hanging in his hostel room

dna Research & Archives
A 23-year-old IIT-Madras student committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of his hostel room on Monday.According to reports, M-Tech second-year student N Narendra Kumar Reddy of Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh was reportedly depressed after he failed to clear the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering to study abroad.”At this time, we have no indication of the reason for death. The student’s parents have been notified. The institute offers its deepest condolences to the parents for the unfortunate and devastating loss,” reported NDTV quoting the institute’s director.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kumar had returned from his native place on Monday. When he did not come out his room for lunch and dinner, his friends checked in on him and found his body hanging.The police is investigating the death and the institute is cooperating with the Police, reported ANI.

IIM-Visakhapatnam to start sessions from today

IIM-Bangalore will be the mentor institute

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IIM-Visakhapatnam opened the institute for sessions on Monday. The institute is currently operating from the Andhra Bank-sponsored building at the AU Management Block.The orientation classes for the new session were held in the building on Monday, however, regular classes are expected to begin from September 28. Around 60 students have enrolled in the first batch of the institute. Recruitment of the teaching faculty and the administrative department will begin after six months, till the time being teaching faculty from IIM- Bengaluru will fly in every week to conduct classes for the students of IIM-V. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As for accommodation facilities, apartments have been provided at a complex for students. The foundation for building the IIM at Visakhapatnam was laid on January 17, 2015 at Gambheeram village, about 25 km from Visakhapatnam. IIM- Visakhapatnam is listed as the 14th IIM in the country.

Farmers suicide: Telangana government hikes ex-gratia from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh

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The state cabinet, which had met yesterday, reviewed the situation arising from the spate of farmers? suicides and decided to enhance the ex-gratia. Besides Rs 5 lakh, the government will provide Rs 1 lakh to clear the crop loans obtained from the banks, as one time settlement.

The Telangana Government on Saturday announced a relief package of Rs. 6 lakh to the kin of farmers who had committed suicide, increasing it from Rs. 1.5 lakh that was fixed by the then combined Andhra Pradesh Government in June 2004.The state cabinet, which had met on Saturday, reviewed the situation arising from the spate of farmers? suicides and decided to enhance the ex-gratia. Besides Rs 5 lakh, the government will provide Rs 1 lakh to clear the crop loans obtained from the banks, as one time settlement.The Telangana Government has paid ex-gratia of Rs 1.5 lakh each to families of 141 farmers who had committed suicide during the last 15 months.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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One of 2 Indians abducted in Libya flees from captivity

Samal and Ramamurthy Kosanam, a resident of Andhra Pradesh, were abducted from Ibn-e-Sina in Sirte where they were working. The sources said efforts are on to secure Kosanam’s release.

Libyans gather at the site of a car bomb explosion near a prison in the centre of the capital, Tripoli, on September 9, 2015.
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One of the two Indians, who were abducted in Sirte in war-devastated Libya, has managed to flee from captivity. Sources said Pravash Ranjan Samal, hailing from Odisha, escaped from the captors and conveyed to one of his friends that he was fine.Samal and Ramamurthy Kosanam, a resident of Andhra Pradesh, were abducted from Ibn-e-Sina in Sirte where they were working. The sources said efforts are on to secure Kosanam’s release.In July, four Indian teachers were kidnapped in Libya allegedly by the Islamic terrorists and release of two of was secured by the government. The two other nationals remain in the custody of Islamic militants for past more than one-and-a-half months.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swarup had said on Wednesday that abduction of the two Indians from Sirte has been taken up at diplomatic level. Sirte is under the control of the Islamic State terror group, which is steadily expanding its influence in central Libya.The Andhra Pradesh government meanwhile said that three Telugu-speaking persons, who were abducted in Libya, are safe. Besides Kosanam, two other persons from Hyderabad — T Gopikrishna and Ch Balram — are in the custody of Islamic militants.”All the three are safe. The Andhra Pradesh Bhavan officials are in constant touch with the Indian Embassy officials at Libya,” an official said.Steps are being taken by authorities for their safe release, the official said, adding necessary measures are being taken to establish contacts with the local leaders, in the wake of snapping of all communication mechanisms in Sirte.

Two Indians abducted in strife-torn Libya: MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup

MEA said that all efforts are being made to ensure well being and secure early release of our nationals.

Our mission in Tripoli is making further inquiry for confirmation of the incident., Swarup said.

Two Indian nationals, one from Odisha and another from Andhra Pradesh, have been abducted in Tripoli, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. “Our mission in Tripoli is making further inquiry for confirmation of the incident. The matter has been taken up at diplomatic level,” he said.Swarup said that all efforts are being made to ensure well being and secure early release of our nationals. The two Indians have been identified as Pravash Ranjan Samal from Odisha and Ramamurthy Kosanam of Andhra Pradesh.Earlier four Indians had been detained near the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, an area that is under the control of Islamic State militants, but that it had secured the release of two of them.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian men, who have been in Libya for more than a year and were working at Sirte University, were detained at a checkpoint about 50 km outside Sirte late on Wednesday while on their way back to India, Foreign Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said in a statement.Separately, in Iraq, a group of 39 Indian construction workers have been held captive by Islamic State in Mosul for more than a year, despite attempts by the Indian government to secure their release. Swaraj said she was also worried about many Indian nurses who were returning to Yemen, torn by civil war, a few months after being evacuated. “Situation not normal and we do not hv Embassy there,” she tweeted.

16 killed in road accident in Andhra Pradesh

The lorry carrying about 35 agricultural labourers tilted at Gandepalli in east Godavari district in the early hours, according to H Arun Kumar, Collector, East Godavari district.

At least 16 people were killed and several others injured when the lorry they were travelling in tilted on the roadside in east Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh on Monday.The lorry carrying about 35 agricultural labourers tilted at Gandepalli in east Godavari district in the early hours, according to H Arun Kumar, Collector, East Godavari district.The victims had boarded the lorry in neighbouring west Godavari district. The vehicle which was carrying clinker material met with the tragedy after the driver lost control allegedly due to sleepiness, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The clinker material fell on the victims and 16 bodies have been taken out so far, they added.The driver was absconding after the incident