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India is Asia’s deadliest country for journalists, says report from media watchdog

Nine of those killings took place in France, which was second only to Syria as the most dangerous country for the press in 2015, said the report, according to which 40 per cent journalists died at the hands of Islamic militant groups such as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

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Also ReadIndiaHere are 15 best New Year WhatsApp messagesIndiaCubs death: Shiv Sena wants forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar to take moral responsibilityIndiaWoman raped inside Infosys campus in Pune by housekeeping staffIndiaWith one more engineer killed, Bihar getting unruly?IndiaKarti Chidambaram responds to DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s call for alliance with CongressIndiaGoa Governor pens song for ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Congress leaders hopeful of bouncing back to power in future<!– /.block –>Now you can order the Meizu m2 on Snapdeal<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Here are 15 best New Year WhatsApp messages

15. May your expectations in this New Year morning be realised with each and everyday of the year. This is to wish you a good health that will maintain the energy to flip your wing while soaring into greater heights towards your destiny.

dna Web Team

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Also ReadIndiaHere are 15 best New Year WhatsApp messagesIndiaCubs death: Shiv Sena wants forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar to take moral responsibilityIndiaWoman raped inside Infosys campus in Pune by housekeeping staffIndiaWith one more engineer killed, Bihar getting unruly?IndiaKarti Chidambaram responds to DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s call for alliance with CongressIndiaGoa Governor pens song for ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Australia defeat West Indies by 177 runs in thrilling finish, seal series 2-0<!– /.block –>Cubs death: Shiv Sena wants forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar to take moral responsibility<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Karti Chidambaram responds to DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s call for alliance with Congress

How do you think the Congress will fare at the polls?
I think it all depends on the electoral formation. We cannot make any predictions today without knowing who is on which side, how many formations are there and the relative strength of the formation. I think Bihar has clearly shown us that electoral arithmetic works and consistently Tamil Nadu has shown that larger alliances have a clear edge over other formations. If you read the papers today, my information is as good as ours. Everybody is keeping their options open so we need to see how the alliances form.

Latha Srinivasan

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Goa Governor pens song for ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaDDCA row: Gopal Subramanium writes to NSA Ajit Doval asking for officers from CBI, IBIndiaSC upholds Kerala government’s liquor policy; only 5-star hotels can serve liquorIndiaHere’s the list of holidays in 2016 in IndiaIndiaDownload GATE 2016 admit cards/hall tickets at www.gate.iisc.ernet.inIndia14-year-old girl allegedly gang-raped by armymen on Howrah-Amritsar ExpressIndiaMaharashtra: Building collapses in Bhiwandi, 10 rescued <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>’Tennis-brat’ Nick Kyrgios promises to be good in 2016 season<!– /.block –>Goa Governor pens song for ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Only unaccounted mufflers will be found if CBI raids my house: Delhi CM Kejriwal

Kejriwal had launched a scathing attack after the CBI raided the Delhi Secretariat and accused the Centre of orchestrating it. While Kejriwal alleged that his office was raided under the pretext of raiding his Principal Secretary’s office, the investigating agency refuted the charges.

PTI
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<!– /.block –>Kerala photographer’s studio burnt down days after he questions Islamic traditions <!– /.block –>
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NHRC must comment on rights of rape victims: Nirbhaya’s parents

Paving the way for a new juvenile system in which the age of criminal culpability will now be 16 years, subject to some conditions, the Rajya Sabha earlier this week passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015.

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<!– /.block –>Afghanistan break into top 10 of ICC ODI rankings, India retain 2nd spot <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndia’Akhand Bharat’ a cultural concept, not a political one: RSSIndiaRadhe Maa to Anupam Kher: 8 stars who ‘broke out’ in 2015IndiaGovernment committed to electrification of villages: PM ModiIndiaGovt’s plan to repeal over 1,000 obsolete laws stuck in Rajya SabhaIndiaMann Ki Baat: Address the disabled as ‘divyaang’, not ‘viklaang’, says PM ModiIndiaModi’s Pak visit: What happened behind the scenes to make it possible <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>GST, ease of doing business top priorities for New Year: FM Arun Jaitley<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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US deported student reveals airline’s ‘invalid visa’ excuse

“We have seen reports regarding deportation of Indian students from San Francisco,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a statement.

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<!– /.block –>India, Pakistan & Bangladesh will reunite to create RSS vision of ‘Akhand Bharat’, says Ram Madhav of BJP <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba ‘linked with Naxals’ surrenders<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Online jihadis abuse girls who went on an army sponsored tour

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Online moral police and separatists are gunning for the group of 30 girl students for going on an Indian army sponsored Bharat dharshan. From calling for social boycott to asking boys not to marry these girls, the online abuse against the students has broken all records.

It is turning out to be redux of the Praagaash controversy in the strife torn Kashmir.Online moral police and separatists are gunning for the group of 30 girl students for going on an Indian army sponsored Bharat dharshan. From calling for social boycott to asking boys not to marry these girls, the online abuse against the students has broken all records.Unfazed by the abuses, the girls put up a brave face as they arrived after the 10 days of tour on Wednesday. From saluting to shouting loud Jai Hind to singing patriotic and Bollywood numbers, the girls’ message was loud and clear that they cannot be browbeaten to submission by online abusers and separatists.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 80 girls had signed in for the 10 days tour to different parts of the country. However the army pruned the list and selected 30 girls who were taken to Delhi, Agra and other places. During their tour, the girl students met President Pranab Mukherjee, HRD minister Smriti Irani and visited parliament.But back home, the girls and the parents had to face abuse where in the online `jihadis’ posted pictures and videos on social networking sites calling for social boycott of the families. “Third rate girls from third rate families”, reads one abusive post on the face book.Another netizen asked the society to boycott these girls and their families. One face book user even went to the extent asking boys not to marry these girls. “Kis besharam baap ki beti (daughter of shameless father)”, reads another abusive post.The abuse had an eerie similarity with Praagaash all girls rock band which was disbanded after Grand Mufti of Kashmir Bashir ud-din Ahmad issued fatwa calling music un-Islamic in 2013. This had followed abusive and hate messages posted on the social networking sites against the three girls of the band.Unperturbed by the abuse, the girl students said the tour has helped them to open up vistas and horizons. “It was a great experience for all of us. World opened before us”, said one of the girlsLieutenant General Satish Dua, General Officer Commanding (GoC) 15 corps, admitted that some of the comments were so low that he could not even mention it here. “It is up to the civil society to take stock and whether young girls should be subject to such trauma”, he said.The army commander said it was very voluntary tour with the assistance of schools, education department and with the consent of parents. “In fact we had the list of 80 students. But we had to prune it down. And those who could not tour were disappointed”, he said.Lieutenant General Dua said India is a free country and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. “Social media even more so. Similarly the children and parents are entitled to their opinion and attitudes,” he said.

Swacch Bharat: Cleanliness and the muck in our minds

It is the height of centralisation where New Delhi grabs extra money from your pocket, ostensibly to clean your locality, but who will clean the muck in New Delhi’s mind that treats the states as irritants at best and revenue plunder zones at worst?

PM Modi promoting the Swacch Bharat campaign
File Photo

Those of us who do not live in Delhi and live far away from the inner-chambers of power, some aspects of the new Union government’s initial pronouncements were indeed exciting.Firstly, in consonance with the tone set by its leader in the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, the central government wanted to be an enabler and not a micro-manager in people’s lives and aspirations. Secondly, it talked about co-operative federalism, by which, real federalism would be ushered in, in a spirit of co-operation between the constituent states of the Indian Union. Right now, these feel like promises from a different planet.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is true that the government of India increased the percentage of tax money that would be given by the Centre to the states. But that came with a serious catch, the Union government at Delhi was simultaneously either severely cutting back or completely discontinuing their funding of many schemes run in the states where the money used to come primarily from the Centre. Hence, if the schemes were to be continued, the increased allocation for tax money to states would simply be used to continue earlier existing schemes.Many states have protested this because this is no real financial devolution at all. What is important here is how the Union government, that is the so-called Centre, constantly talks about federalism and decentralisation, and in practise has been continuing the centralising policies of the previous government. If the Union government was actually interested in federalism by empowering the states, why has it not given up the revenue collection rights from even a single revenue source in favour of the states? What is the point or meaning of decentralisation when the revenue is collected as before by the Union government only and the states are completely dependent on Delhi’s whims.After all, if states became revenue owners and collectors, they could plan projects and outlays completely, without the Union government as a meaning-less middle-man, which apparently collects the money with the intent of giving most of it up to the states. Then why collect it in the first place and why not let the states collect the revenues and also retain the money? We need to understand why Delhi retains these rights and does not give up any revenue collection rights to the states. Without that, it would not be able to allocate more money to a bullet-train project compared to the whole of a typical annual Indian Railways budget. If the amount of revenue available to Delhi decreased drastically, it would be able to announce financial “packages” for those states from whom the government party tries to gain power. This is precisely why there would be fat financial “packages” announced for Jammu and Kashmir or Bihar but never for West Bengal or Telengana or any other state where the party in power in Lok Sabha has no chance of gaining in the near future. With all its high talk of decentralisation and cooperative federalism, can New Delhi care or dare to give any revenue source back to state, not as alms from babus of finance commission but as an inalienable constitutional right? No, sir.Those constitutional changes are only meant for taking away taxation powers from the state. The feverish enthusiasm to pass the GST is a case in point. The GST takes away several taxation powers from the states. And yes, the Congress will also support it. It is a matter of time. When it comes to imposing the ideology and power of Delhi over the states, the Congress and the BJP are two sides of the same coin.But wait, it is not as if the Union government is content with having less money and less financial obligations. After having gotten out of major funding of various schemes, its has been slapping certain kinds of taxes called “cess”, which are cunningly outside the purview of its sharing-with-states “generosity”. What it means is that the Union government is actually extracting more money from the people, with the new extractions being called “cess”, that is, of the type that won’t be shared with the states. A cess is essentially a tax whose collections are ear-marked for a particular purpose. Among this extra money that the so-called Centre is extracting from us, the people, is the ‘Swachh Bharat’ cess. The money collected from this cess will apparently go in “cleaning up” this land. Given the vagueness of what “cleaning up” entails, this money can be used to pursue any number of pet projects conjured up by Delhi. One thing is for sure – such projects would often involve contractors and thekedars. This is all rather predictable and sad. The party that had come to power by promising decentralisation and being an enabler of people has now officially decided that cleaning your neighbourhood drain is its job, whether you like it or not, and you have to pay for it. The thing is, the real cleanliness issues lie elsewhere and inside the Indian Union itself, there are success stories of communities taking charge of their destiny in cleanliness and hygiene, even before the present bunch of decentralisers in Delhi decided to centralise even the job of cleaning your neighbourhood, or at least collect immense amounts of money under that ruse.It is the height of centralisation where New Delhi grabs extra money from your pocket, ostensibly to clean your locality, but who will clean the muck in New Delhi’s mind that treats the states as irritants at best and revenue plunder zones at worst? While photo-ops of broom-stick wielding khadi-wearers have been a hit, open defecation is something for which photo-ops are a rarity. And while a lot of money is to be made and is being made by building made-to-order government latrines by contractors big and small, communities in many parts of the Indian Union are leading by a very different set of examples. In the canal irrigated zones of the Thar in Rajasthan, IAS officer Arti Dogra, as District Magistrate of Bikaner, took the challenge of open defecation in these zones very seriously. Incidentally, the Indian Union is the top defecator in the world, with nearly half of its population defecating in the open, as per the 2014 Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation report. Ms Dogra empowered local communities through community-led total sanitation approach, a people-centric awareness triggering method that has had astounding success in the much more swachh and nearly open-defecation free People’s Republic of Bangladesh.Local elected representatives were taken into confidence, public meetings were held where women’s concerns were specifically highlighted. The results have been impressive which huge swathes in nearly desolate desert land having humble hutments with newly erected toilets – not sarkari public toilets but private ones built largely with people’s own funds. More than money, it is earnestness, community-centric empowerment and decentralisation of decision-making that matters, when it comes to solving most problems. If the government of India is at all seriously interested in what it calls the Swachh Bharat campaign, these are the examples it needs to look at seriously. It also might want to learn from Bangladesh – there is no shame in learning from areas where best practises have achieved success, especially in cash-poor zones such as the subcontinent.In Haryana, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, the presence of a latrine at home has been made a mandatory condition for qualifying as a candidate for local-body or panchayat elections. Such rules, made from above, only reflect non-engagement with reality and a deep contempt for communities. Such rules are biased against those who are usually excluded from their rightful share of money and power – the poor and the so-called backward castes. Communities do not need apathetic and criminal rulers from above. What lies behind such election qualifications is a mentality of prejudice and bias which in turn requires cleaning. Empowered communities can take care of themselves.

Murder suspect in Vipin Chaudhary and Ex-MLA Bharat Singh’s cases nabbed

Ravi Shokeen, part of a rival gang responsible for the two murders this year, arrested by Delhi police

Acting on a confidential tip-off, a joint task force from the Delhi police laid a trap and captured 22-year-old Ravi Shokeen, the prime accused in the murders of ex-MLA Bharat Singh and his driver Vipin Chaudhary late on Friday evening. Police personnel apprehended Shokeen at a CNG petrol Pump at Rajiv Chowk, Gurgaon and confiscated an English pistol and four live cartridges that were found upon his person at the time of the arrest.Shokeen alias Chuja is a sharpshooter and was considered to be the mastermind and executor of Chaudhary’s killing on December 8, 2015. Shokeen, along with three others, carefully planned and laid out a honey trap for Chaudhary that lured him near near Japanese Park in Sector 12 of outer Delhi’s Rohini sub-city where he was shot dead. A 19-year-old woman connected in Chaudhary’s murder was arrested by the police in Gurgaon earlier this week.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shokeen, a third year BA student at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), was also involved in the sensational murder of former INLD legislator from Najafgarh, Bharat Singh in March this year. Following the murder six persons, including the alleged mastermind Udaiveer alias Kaale, and Nitin Sherawat, the son of a former Delhi MLA were arrested for the crime. Hemant, Udaiveer’s nephew and Shokeen were absconding. In order to facilitate the quick capture of Shokeen, police personnel had announced a cash reward of Rs50,000 for information would lead to his capture.”Shokeen was one of the key members of Hemant’s gang and as such was involved in the planning and murders of Singh and Chaudhary,” Joint Commissioner of Police (south-western range) Dependra Pathak at a press conference held at the Delhi Police Headquarters on Saturday.Shokeen was produced before the court on Saturday where various charges relating to murder and attempt to murder were levelled against him.

Govt seeks Parliament nod to spend additional Rs 56,256 crore for defence pension, Clean India Mission

However, the net cash outgo will aggregate to only Rs 18,195.4 crore, while the rest of the amount would be matched by savings and enhanced recoveries.

Parliament

The government on Friday sought Parliament approval for an additional Rs 56,256.32 crore mainly towards defence pension and Swachh Bharat mission in the second batch of supplementary demands as part of grants for 2015-16 to meet the expenditure.However, the net cash outgo will aggregate to only Rs 18,195.4 crore, while the rest of the amount would be matched by savings and enhanced recoveries. The second batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants 2015-16 was tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. “Proposals involving net cash outgo aggregate to Rs 18,195.4 crore and gross additional expenditure, matched by savings of the Ministries/Departments or by enhanced receipts/recoveries aggregates to Rs 38,059.78 crore”, the supplementary demands said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The supplementary demands have also earmarked an additional Rs 5,735.4 crore for “meeting expenditure towards increased rate of relief on pensions and growth in pensions” for retired defence personnel.Government has sought an additional Rs 196.28 crore for clearing pending claims for maintenance of Prime Minister’s aircraft, pending bills on account of foreign travel expenses of Cabinet ministers and secret service expenditure of National Security Council Secretariat.The demands include Rs 2,169 crore towards Swachh Bharat Mission, Rs 3,000 crore towards Pradhan Mantari Gramin Sadak Yojna, and Rs 2,500 crore towards irrigation scheme. Jaitley also sought an additional Rs 952 crore towards loan to Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd and Rs 344 crore for financial relief to ITI Ltd. The supplementary demands have also sought additional Rs 300 crore for Polavaram Irrigation Project in terms of support under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. The second batch of the demands for grants includes proposals for “technical supplementary grants/appropriations’ for Rs 38,059.78 crore which are matched by additional receipts/recoveries or corresponding savings of Ministers/ Departments.The technical supplementary demands for grants include Rs 10,000 crore for providing ‘Ways and Means Advances’ to Food Corporation of India to meet cash flow requirements towards procurement of food grains for targeted public distribution system.The technical supplementary demands also include Rs 5,528.56 crore for Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Rs 1,000 crore for Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Rs 8,968.4 crore for Ministry of Rural Development.Besides, token provision of Rs 1.14 crore has also been sought, Rs 1 lakh each item of expenditure, for enabling re- appropriation of savings in cases involving new services or new instrument of services.

Teenage girl arrested for conspiring to kill prime witness in murder case of ex-MLA

“On 8 December, the woman had called Vipin on the pretext of meeting her near Rithala Metro Station and passed this information to her friend Aditya Shokeen.

A 19-year-old girl was arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with killing of Vipin Chaudhary who was a prime witness in ex-MLA Bharat Singh murder case of 29 March, 2015. The girl, who is a student in Outer Delhi area, had allegedly helped the assailants to lay a trap for Vipin.Vipin Chaudhary, was earlier this week gunned down by four car borne assailants in what looked like a planned execution. According to police, the girl, identified as Alisha, befriended Vipin earlier this month on the directions of Aditya Shokeen, the nephew of Udaiveer, the main accused in the Bharat Singh murder case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”On 8 December, the woman had called Vipin on the pretext of meeting her near Rithala Metro Station and passed this information to her friend Aditya Shokeen.Vipin wanted to take the accused for a movie, but she convinced her meet her on an isolated stretch of road between Japani Park. There the suspects Vipin and Aditya were waiting for the couple.” said DCP Outer District, Vikramjit Singh.Aditya’s family has a long running dispute with Bharat Singh over several issues, prominent among them being the ultimate control Outer Delhi’s badlands. Bharat Singh, a former INLD legislator was shot dead in March this year when he was attending a religious function in West Delhi’s Najafgarh area. Vipin, the driver of Singh, was the lone eye-witness to the case and had been instrumental for the arrest of Udaiveer. However the 23-year-old driver ran out of luck on December 8.According to sources in Delhi police, Alisha was arrested after informers told police that they had spotted Vipin and the accused on a motor-cycle. “The accused told police that Vipin was shot dead right in front of her. According to her, Vipin was shocked on seeing Aditya and couldn’t believe what was about to happen to him. The accused left as soon as Vipin was killed and so did the other accused,” a source told dna.The Police had been denying the involvement of any woman up till now and dismissed these reports as hearsay evidence. However the 19-year-old was finally was arrested by the Police on 10 December after she was traced to a PG hostel in Gurgaon, Haryana.”The investigation is ongoing, the police are trying to trace of the whereabouts of Hemant and Aditya,” the DCP added.In the year 2002 Udaiveer’s father Surajmal, his uncle Narayan Singh and his brother Sukhbir Singh were killed in Sonipat, Haryana and his family holds Bharat Singh’s brother Krishan Pehalwan and his associates responsible for this murder. Pehalwan is a local strongman and has over dozen criminal cases against him.

Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan total failure: CAG

Strap: Rs 10,000 crore spent in the last five years has not shown adequate results, CAG report finds

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the successor to Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, is an even more ambitious project

The Comptroller and Audit General of India (CAG) announced the tabling of 12 reports (of the promised 25) in the parliament on Tuesday. One of the tabled reports that focused on the Total Sanitation Campaign or Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan found alarming discrepancies in fund allocation and its misuse and also a clear failure in the implementation of the sanitation programme.According to the report, almost 60.69% Indians defecate in public – the highest in the world. At a time where India is being touted as one of the fastest growing economies, we are still struggling with basic sanitation. According to the report “Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: 2012” submitted by UNICEF and WHO, Pakistan and Bangladesh feature higher on the list of improved sanitation with 34% and 58% respectively. Among the Asian countries, Sri Lanka topped the list with 94%.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sanitation was one of the Millennium Goals adopted by India which culminates at the end of this year. The Central Rural Sanitation Programme – the first structured programme for rural sanitation, was started in 1986 and has been remodified in many avatars since. The latest avatar now known as The Swachh Bharat Mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project. Though, whether the declaration and goal for 100% eradication of defecation in India by 2019 will be achieved is yet to be seen.According to the CAG report, a few of the major reasons for the failure in our sanitation programme can be attributed to the lack of intent on the implementation level, effective monitoring and periodic evaluation of the programme. There was a lack of date integrity submitted by the ministries concerned forcing the auditors to deal with and interpret four different sets of data with conflicting numbers.Among the major findings in the report, it was stated that against an objective of constructing 426.32 lakh and 469.76 lakh Individual Household Latrines (IHHL) for Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Above Poverty Line (APL) project districts could construct only 52.15% and 44.18% respectively. In 53 districts that were audited for this purpose, it was found that 33% of the toilets were defunct due to poor quality of construction, incomplete structure, non-maintenance etc.Another disturbing find was that in the past five years, almost Rs. 10,000 crores has been spent on rural sanitation with not much to show for results. There have also been cases of financial irregularities, improper disbursement of funds, diversion of funds for other unrelated activities and even misappropriation of the allocated funds. Almost Rs 2.28 crore was misappropriated in six states (Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra) while cases of suspected misappropriation to the tune of Rs 25.33 was found in four states namely: Andhra Pradesh, Jharkand and Manipur.Where funds were allocated, it was found in that in the case of nine states, an amount of Rs 212.14 crore remained parked and unutilized at the implementation level for periods ranging from four months to 29 months. It was also noted that the accrued interest of Rs 5.58 crore accrued on the scheme fund was not accounted for.To get a wholesome view of the matter dna spoke to Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, an Indian sociologist and founder of Sulabh International, who said that for the Prime Minister to achieve 100% sanitation by 2019, he must allocate Rs 3.60 lakh crore. “To build a decent toilet, one needs Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000, anything cheaper will be shoddy and of no use.”Pathak, who has won various accolades on the national and international level including a Padma Bhushan for his work on hygiene and sanitation also states that with proper motivation and will, the government is capable of providing a toilet in every household should they assign at the very minimum one labourer per village who will build at a rate of 20 toilers per month.In it’s conclusion, CAG report number 28 strongly urges the ministry to step up its drive for Information, Education and Communication that will result in a rise in demand for toilets and basic sanitation. It also advises on the need to rope in various corporate houses and tie-up with their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to spread the word. Effective monitoring and periodic evaluation of the programme which was found missing is now of paramount concern. If India our country must compete with the world, the report finds that it must step up intensify its efforts by realistic planning and implementation, large scale information, behavioral changes in the target population and overall governance at the grassroot level. While the current prime minister does seem active on this front, auditors feel these initiatives though welcome are far to late in coming.

Hardik Patel’s call interception: Gujarat HC asks govt to file affidavit

During arguments, Hardik’s lawyer B M Mangukiya asked the government to share all orders given by Home Department permitting city Crime Branch to intercept calls of many Patel quota agitation leaders between August and October.
File Photo
AFP photo
The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to file an affidavit on a plea by Hardik Patel questioning the legality of interception of his phone calls as well as of his associates, but rejected the defence’s request to share details of certain Home Department orders.During arguments, Hardik’s lawyer B M Mangukiya asked the government to share all orders given by Home Department permitting city Crime Branch to intercept calls of many Patel quota agitation leaders between August and October.Mangukiya alleged that phone tapping was done without any prior permission from authorities such as Additional Chief Secretary (Home). He termed the act as a ‘breach of privacy’ of citizens. However, Public Prosecutor Mitesh Amin maintained due process was followed in getting permission. He said calls were intercepted after obtaining consent from authorities at regular intervals and objected to demand to share the orders.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After hearing the arguments, Justice J B Pardiwala ruled that government is not required to share these orders. He further asked the government to file a brief affidavit in this regard and posted further hearing for December 16. In October, Hardik moved the high court challenging the interception of his and his associates’ phone calls by the police and sought an independent inquiry into it.”The petitioner challenges the legality… of unlawfully tapping telephones not only of the petitioner but of several thousands persons of the Patidar community… which they (police) have admitted in the FIR against the petitioner,” said his plea.The petition alleged that no prior permission was taken to intercept as well as tape the phone calls of quota leaders and others associated with the stir. Hardik’s father Bharat filed the petition on behalf of his son, who was then in police custody and later sent to jail in Surat.Crime Branch had on October 21 registered an FIR against Hardik and his aides Chirag Patel, Ketan Patel, Dinesh Bambhaniya, Alpesh Kathiria and Amrish Patel on charges of sedition and waging war against the government. In a recent judgement, the high court struck down the charges of ‘waging war against government’ from the FIR.The FIR mentions details of call interceptions of the Patel leaders. It alleged these leaders, members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) – spearheading the quota stir – conspired to topple the state government and incited youths to resort to violence after a mega Patel rally here on August 25. The 22-year-old firebrand leader is facing another sedition charge in Surat for allegedly advising a fellow activist “to kill policemen rather than committing suicide”.

Chennai floods: Dogs from flood-hit from city find safe home in Bangalore hotel

With the skies opening up like never before, causing untold misery and devastation, Chennai-based “Hotel for Dogs” started getting distress calls from worried dog owners seeking help for their pets.

As the century’s heaviest rains pounded Chennai leaving lakhs of people stranded, a few lucky canines from the flood-ravaged city have found a safe home here, thanks to the efforts of a dog boarding facilities provider.With the skies opening up like never before, causing untold misery and devastation, Chennai-based “Hotel for Dogs” started getting distress calls from worried dog owners seeking help for their pets. It was then that they decided to move the canines to their Bengaluru hotel as they were unable to take in dogs at their facilities in Chennai, that is struggling to grapple with the nature’s fury. “As the rains keep pouring and our city is slowly sinking we have been getting a lot of distress calls from dog owners requesting us to board their dogs as they have been told to evacuate from their houses,” ‘Hotel for Dogs’ said. “As we can’t take in dogs at the Hotel in Chennai we have decided to help dogs to move to our Bangalore facility tomorrow,” it said in a December 1 post on their Facebook page with pictures of dogs boarded in a vehicle.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”All arrangements have been made for your dogs to travel safely to our Bangalore facility. They would be brought back once the situation is back to normal in Chennai.We have limited seats,” the post added. Shravan Krishnan is the founder of ‘Hotel for Dogs’ and T A Adhishwar is its Director, both alumnus of Loyola College, Chennai. The post on ‘Hotel for Dogs’ Facebook page has got good response with few even offering to board dogs once they are brought to Bengaluru. “If you need a place to board the dogs once they get to Bangalore, I can take in 2-3. I already have a dog, and they’ll be in friendly company,” Bharat Rameshwar said in his comment to the post.The service by ‘Hotel for Dogs’, of course, is charged for at different rates.

PM Modi leaves for Paris COP21 climate change conference

Prime Minister Modi is also likely to hold bilateral meetings with several world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, on the sidelines of the summit.

PM Narendra Modi

dna Research & Archives
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday left for France where he will take part in the Paris Summit on Climate Change along with 150 heads of nations.During his two-day visit, the Prime Minister will speak at the Leaders Event in which he is expected to touch upon issues pertaining to global warming and assert India’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.Prime Minister Modi is also likely to hold bilateral meetings with several world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, on the sidelines of the summit.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: Mann Ki Baat: PM Modi speaks about climate change, wants to turn ‘Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat’ into schemeThe two-week long summit is being seen as a key event aimed at addressing the climate change challenge. An international agreement on climate change focussed on curbing the emission of greenhouse gases is expected to come out of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.One of the important challenges looming over mankind in recent times is to keep the average global temperature rise below 2 degree Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. Prime Minister Modi has always taken a strong stand on climate issues. He has time and again urged the leading nations in the world to take steps to curb emissions in order to give clean environment to the future generations.Related Read: Climate change: India ready to be part of solution, says Prakash Javadekar

Climate change: India ready to be part of solution, says Prakash Javadekar

Javadekar said India expects an ‘equitable and just’ climate agreement in Paris and does not want the Paris summit to repeat the outcome of previous summits. He also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on ‘climate justice’ and sustainable lifestyle by developed countries to help combat the threat of climate change.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
India has said it is ready to be a part of the solution for tackling climate change. Ahead of the crucial climate change summit in Paris, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has emphasised on the need to look at the ‘polluter pays’ principle as one of the ways of tackling climate change. He said India would urge rich nations to deliver climate justice for developing countries at the United Nations Climate Change conference in Paris.Javadekar said India expects an ‘equitable and just’ climate agreement in Paris and does not want the Paris summit to repeat the outcome of previous summits. He also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on ‘climate justice’ and sustainable lifestyle by developed countries to help combat the threat of climate change.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, the Paris conference aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. The Paris conference is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants, including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society. Javadekar said that vigorous cleanliness campaigns need to be conducted before cleanliness becomes a way of life for the country.In the last phase of the flag-in ceremony of ‘Swachh Bharat, Swachh Himalaya’ campaign, organised by the Border Security Force at a function here, Javadekar lauded the BSF for undertaking the campaign as part of its Golden Jubilee expedition.Also read- Paris climate conference to start a day early: United NationsThe Border Security Force completes 50 years of service to the nation on December 1. The BSF carried out a ‘Swachh Bharat Swachh Himalaya’ in Himalayan region from October 12 to November 25. The 45-day expedition was conducted in four phases, covering approximately 1500 km across three states.The aim of the campaign was to create awareness among the civil population and various other stakeholders on the need to ensure basic cleanliness in day-to-day life, besides various measures for ensuring cleanliness of Himalayas that encompass many glaciers, the Ganges and connected environmental issues of the Himalayan valleys and foothills.The last of the four phases, included a cycling expedition from Rishikesh to New Delhi, has been campaigning for a safer environment. The expedition also organised a series of free medical camps and interacted with groups of civil society to spread awareness about cleanliness in daily lives.Speaking on the occasion, Director General of the Border Security Force D K Pathak said that the sentinels of the borders are not only confined to the assigned duties, but are also the sentinels of the environment.

Watch: The shocking video where Rajiv Gandhi justified 1984 anti-Sikh riots

Rajiv Gandhi saying, “Bada ped girta hai, toh Dharti toh hilegi hi.” (When a big tree falls, the earth will shake)

File Photo

Recently, HS Phoolka, senior lawyer, AAP Leader and a social activist who has been fighting for the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims released an old video which shows Rajiv Gandhi saying, “Bada ped girta hai, toh Dharti toh hilegi hi.” (When a big tree falls, the earth will shake)Phoolka also demanded that Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna be taken back. He was quoted saying: “A Prime Minister, who justified genocide and whose party was responsible for the massacre, can’t be a Bharat Ratna. We demand Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna’s be taken back.” Phoolka said at a press conference that, “In 1984, on this day, nation’s prime minister had justified the killing of 3, 000 Sikhs in his address at the boat club in national capital. He had said that when a big tree falls then the earth shakes. Instead of punishing the culprits of such mass murder, he was justifying it.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He added, “He not only failed to take action against accused Tytler and HKL Bhagat, he made them ministers in his cabinet. On November 16, 1984, the Home Minister of the country announced that the death toll in the Sikh riots was 684. It took him three years to realise how many had died after a report which assessed that 2733 Sikhs were killed”.Phoolka also claimed that the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress government had wiped the records of this remark. Watch the video below:

Swachh Bharat cess: Over 4% hike in upper class railway fares from tomorrow

The levy will not be applicable for general and sleeper class travel.

Railway fares for travel in the upper class categories will go up from tomorrow as a service tax levy of 14 per cent and a Swachh Bharat cess of 0.5 per cent become effective. According to a rail ministry circular, fares will go up by 4.35 per cent for First Class and all AC Classes from November 15. There was a notification by the government for imposing a Swachh Bharat cess on all taxable services on November 6. “Service tax of 14 per cent and Swachh Bharat cess of 0.5 per cent are chargeable on 30 per cent total passenger fare equivalent on 30 per cent of total passenger fare equivalent to 4.35 per cent of the total fare on first class and all AC fares,” the circular said.However, the service tax will not be applicable for tickets issued before November 15.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The levy will not be applicable for general and sleeper class travel. With the hike, AC-I fares on mail and express trains from New Delhi to Mumbai will go up by Rs 206 while the rise is of Rs 102 for AC-III fares from New Delhi to Howrah. On the Delhi-Chennai route, the increased fare works out to about Rs 140 for the AC-II segment.According to an estimate, the service tax levy and the Swachh Bharat cess are expected to fetch about Rs 1,000 crore in a year. Annual earnings for railways from the passenger segment are estimated to be at about Rs 35,000 crore.

Modi in UK: PM greets Indian diaspora on his arrival

The members of the Indian community raised slogans of ‘Modi! Modi’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ outside St. James’ Court, where Prime Minister Modi arrived a short while back.

PM Modi

Image Courtesy: Twitter (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in the United Kingdom on Thursday, greeted members of the Indian community here, saying that the diaspora has played a key role in the strengthening of the India-UK ties. Thank you @Number10gov. We are very proud of the Indian diaspora in UK. Their role in strengthening India-UK ties is immense,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.The members of the Indian community raised slogans of ‘Modi! Modi’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ outside St. James’ Court, where Prime Minister Modi arrived a short while back. The Prime Minister met the members of the Indian community and also exchanged pleasantries with them. Earlier, British Prime Minister David Cameron had welcomed Prime Minister Modi on behalf of Britain’s Indian community. “Welcome to the UK @narendramodi from Britain’s Indian community #ModiInUK,” UK Prime Minister’s official twitter handle said.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-day bilateral visit, was received at the Heathrow Airport by the Indian High Commissioner to UK Rajan Mathai, UK’s High Commissioner to India James Bevan along with several senior officials of the British Government and the military attach?s of the Indian High Commission. This is Prime Minister Modi’s first visit to Britain since assuming office last year and is also the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the UK in almost a decade.Prime Minister Modi will be given a Guard of Honour at Treasury Quadrangle, Kings Charles Street before being officially welcomed by his Britain counterpart David Cameron.

Government reviews Swachh Bharat Mission, one year later

The feedback gathered by the ministry so far suggests that lack of proper devices and vehicles in the open market has delayed the implementation of sanitation schemes.

One year after the launch of the Prime Minister’s pet project, Swachh Bharat Mission, the urban development ministry has initiated the process of relooking at the scheme and is exploring options of making it more viable, sustainable and user-friendly for states. The ministry has asked the states to submit their reports and feedback on the mission. It has also initiated the process of fine tuning its guidelines and is looking at ways to rope in corporate houses into the scheme. The feedback gathered by the ministry so far suggests that lack of proper devices and vehicles in the open market has delayed the implementation of sanitation schemes. The states have also suggested to the ministry to develop sustainable models for building toilets and that one design cannot be replicated throughout the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Currently every municipality has a different kind of vehicle for lifting garbage. “Under the mission, the states have suggested that the Centre should give the states options from vehicles available in the market so that procurement can be faster,” explained an officer of the ministry. The states have also written to the ministry for coming up with multiple toilet designs that can be adopted in different regions and can also be sustainable. For eliminating open defecation both the human resource development ministry and ministry of women and child development are involved in building toilet blocks. “States have written to us that while the toilets have been constructed, they are not sustainable designs. We are looking at options of creating multiple models that can cater to the different geographies of the country,” said the official. In the past one year, the government has failed to generate enough corporate support for the mission. The government had announced a fund of Rs1,700 crore for the Swachh Bharat Mission. The government was hoping to get corporate backing for the mission. But having failed to draw funds from the industry, the finance ministry has now imposed a 0.5 per cent cess on the service tax for the mission. The UD ministry is now of the view that by involving the industry in designing various models it will encourage their participation in the government scheme. “We are exploring the option of roping in vehicle manufacturers for designing vehicles to lift garbage. We will try to work out a mechanism, wherein the makers of the vehicles will also contribute to the scheme,” explained the officer. The UD ministry is yet to submit its report on the completion of one year and whether the mission has been a success or not. “We cannot call it a failure or a success. There are problems that that we have identified and are trying to iron out. We have to achieve our target by 2019,” said the officer.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani stresses on use of technology to strengthen school education system

The minister also felicitated all state education ministers for their efforts in fulfilling the Prime Minister’s vision of having toilets in each government school under the Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya campaign.

Union Minister for Human Resource Development , Smriti Irani launch smart apps e-pathshala, during the the National Conference on ICT in School Education, in New Delhi Saturday.

PTI
Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday said that use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) would strengthen school education system.Speaking at ‘edNEXT – National Conference on ICT’ in School Education in New Delhi, she said education ministers of some of the states are working to reduce burden of exams on students.Earlier, she appreciated the efforts put in by education ministers of all states in achieving hundred percent result in constructing separate toilet for boys and girls in schools during a period of one year. She said it was an outcome of the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India on August 15 last year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The minister also felicitated all state education ministers for their efforts in fulfilling the Prime Minister’s vision of having toilets in each government school under the Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya campaign. She also elaborated on paradigm shift where the stake holders were also asked to participate in the use of mobile apps tools and to find out the utility of these apps.Keeping in view the need to recognise the ICT initiatives being taken in the education sector, she made a clarion call to every citizen to come forward and contribute towards technology innovation for the benefit of school education. She also called upon the states to look into the issue of nutritional value of mid-day meal and prepare their own menu for mid-day meal keeping in mind the local climate and conditions.Prof. Ram Shankar Katheria, Minister of State for HRD, said the Prime Minister’s new initiative of Digital India would go a long way in ameliorating the prevailing poor conditions of our villages. He said concerted efforts of people across the country could find solution to varied problems, and stressed upon the need of digitalisation in school education.E-Pathshala, a web portal, which hosts educational resources for students, teachers, parents, researchers and educators, is available through especially-developed mobile app interface on Android, IOS and windows platforms for wider access and contains textbooks and other e-books as E-Pub 3.0 and Flipbooks in English, Hindi and Urdu.

APJ Abdul Kalam’s last book about ‘Make In India’ and ‘Swachh Bharat’ launched at IIM-A

The book ‘Advantage India-From Challenge to Opportunity’ has been co-authored by IIMA alumnus Srijan Pal Singh, who along with IIMA director Prof Ashish Nanda were present on the occasion.

In this book, Kalam tried to provide insight into how can the new initiatives, such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’, skill development and ‘Smart Cities’, can be used to unleash the country’s vast potential.
File Photo
PTI
Former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s last book about how can new initiatives like ‘Make in India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’ can be used to unleash country’s vast potential, was launched on Tuesday at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIMA) in Ahmedabad.The book ‘Advantage India-From Challenge to Opportunity’ has been co-authored by IIMA alumnus Srijan Pal Singh, who along with IIMA director Prof Ashish Nanda were present on the occasion.According to Singh, who had earlier co-authored ‘Target 3 Billion’ with Kalam in 2011, Kalam had completed 99 per cent of the book before he died in July this year. Singh has spend many years with Kalam after passing out of IIM-A.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In this book, Kalam tried to provide insight into how can the new initiatives, such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’, skill development and ‘Smart Cities’, can be used to unleash the country’s vast potential, Singh said.”This book also contains his last lecture which he was supposed to give at IIM-Shillong, but died while giving it. This book contains his thoughts and views about how India can surge ahead. Kalam sir also used some imaginary and humorous conversations in the book to put forward his point on difficult subject matters,” he added.As a tribute to the former President, Singh also announced to start a library project titled ‘Kalam Library’.”I believe that there should be a memorial of Kalam sir, and what could be better than a library as a memorial for him. I am planning to launch this project with 25 libraries across India, which will provide books to those children who can not afford to buy it” Singh added.When asked about what Kalam would have said about the ‘rising intolerance’ in the country if he was alive today, Singh said that righteousness is the key to tolerance and the legend himself gave an answer in the book about how to be more tolerant.”In the book, Kalam sir said that when there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in character, when there is beauty in character, there is harmony in home (country), when there is harmony, then there will be order in the nation, and it finally leads to peace in the world” Singh said while quoting the text in the book. Nanda recalled Kalam’s association with IIMA.”He was a dear fried of this institute. His association with this institute was from his early days, when he worked with our founding father Vikram Sarabhai in Mumbai. In recent years, despite his busy schedule, Kalam would make it a point to come to IIMA every year and interact with students,” he said.Kalam, the ‘missile man’ who became popular as ‘People’s President’ died on July 27 after he suffered a massive cardiac arrest and collapsed during a lecture at the IIM in Shillong.

PM Narendra Modi calls for ushering unity, peace and harmony

PM Modi paying a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary in New Delhi

PTI
Marking 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is credited for bringing together over 500 principalities to unite India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that ushering an atmosphere of “unity, peace and harmony” were the first conditions if India has to move forward and attain new heights of development.Addressing thousands of participants at Rajpath, who had come to join government sponsored event – Run for Unity – PM Modi said, “If the country has to move forward and attain new heights of development…, then the first condition is unity, peace and harmony…Unity is our biggest strength.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PM’s assertion assumes significance as it comes in the backdrop of warning shot given by international credit agency Moody’s Analytics and growing protests by artists, writers and scientists over rising intolerance.Moody’s Analytics, a division of Moody’s Corporation has advised PM Modi to keep his party members “in check or risk losing domestic and global credibility” and deliver promised reforms if he does not want to risk losing domestic and global credibility.Announcing that ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’ scheme will soon be launched under which one state will choose another state each year to learn about other state’s culture and language, PM said, “I have formed a small committee which is preparing its modalities.”PM also used the occasion to remember former PM Indira Gandhi for sacrificing her life on October 31 that coincides with Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary but at the same time did not forget to take a dig at dynastic politics. Recalling that Patel never promoted any family member in political life he said, it has become a bane of our politics in current times.But this did not find any favour from Congress that mocked at BJP’s attempts to appropriate the legacy of its leader Sardar Patel and asked the PM to release the communique signed by Sardar Patel for banning the RSS after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and the correspondence Sardar had with the then RSS chief MS Golwalkar and Syama Prasad Mookerjee of the Jan Sangh.“Sardar Patel had given a detailed order banning the RSS… First they should read it, then they will run in the opposite direction,” Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said.“They do not have heroes and icons and therefore they are borrowing them and borrowing them foolishly…. Sardar Patel had taken important decisions and one of them was banning the RSS,” charged Sharma.Meanwhile, upset at seeing posters put up by the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) mentioning Patel’s action of banning “deshdrohi” RSS, some swayamsevaks have sent a legal notice to the Congress.The notice sent on behalf of Sandeep Kulkarni and Rakesh Mudgal sought an apology “for making defamatory/spurious statement against RSS, failing which my clients shall be left with no alternative except to approach the court for criminal and civil legal actions entirely at your risk and cost.”The hoardings said “Many many salutations to ‘Iron Man’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who unified the country and banned anti-India RSS”.

Petrol price cut by 50 paise per litre but no change in diesel rates

New Delhi: Petrol price was on Saturday cut by Rs 0.50 per litre but there will be no change in rates of diesel.

Petrol will cost Rs 60.70 per litre in Delhi from midnight tonight as against Rs 61.20 currently, Indian Oil Corp, the nation’s largest fuel retailer, said.

This is first change in petrol price since September 1 when it was cut by Rs 2 per litre to Rs 61.20 in Delhi.

Representational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

Representational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

Subsequent fortnight did not see any rate change in petrol. Diesel rates though not changed on Saturday, had been hiked twice since then, by 95 paise on 16 October and by 50 paise on 1 October.

“The current level of international product prices and Rupee-US Dollar exchange rate warrant a price decrease, which is being passed on to consumers with this price revision,” IOC said in a statement.

Diesel prices on September 1 were reduced by 50 paise a litre.

There was no revision in the subsequent fortnight on September 16 even as a 98 paise per litre hike in petrol and Rs 2.28 a litre increase in diesel rates necessitated due to firming global oil rates.

State-owned fuel retailers — IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) — revise petrol and diesel prices on 1st and 16th of every month based on average imported cost and rupee-dollar exchange rate in the previous fortnight.

“The movement of prices in the international oil market and INR-USD exchange rate shall continue to be monitored closely and developing trends of the market will be reflected in future price changes,” the IOC statement added.

PTI

Run for Unity: PM Modi not suitable for his post, says Congress

“They only speak and do not take any action and everyday they do politics. Narendra Modi is not suitable for his post, he lacks knowledge,” said Anand Sharma

Congress leader Anand Sharma

The Congress on Saturday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his speech on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and said the former is not suitable for his post as he lacks knowledge.”They only speak and do not take any action and everyday they do politics. Narendra Modi is not suitable for his post, he lacks knowledge. He does not know how to maintain the decency of his post. If he would have maintained decency, then he would not have insulted those who have sacrificed their lives for the nation,” Congress leader Anand Sharma told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: PM Modi flags off unity run, honours Sardar Patel, says unity and harmony necessary”If he truly remembers Sardar Patel, then he should apologise first and clear it if he is sticking to the promise of undertaking of the RSS. He should also put the order of Sardar Patel beneath his statue in which he had ordered restrictions on the RSS. Then it will be a true respect to Sardar Patel,” he added.Congress leader Rajeev Shukla said that Sardar Patel has always belonged to the Congress and talking about his legacy is not right.”This family (Nehru-Gandhi) has sacrificed its lives for the nation. If he (Narendra Modi) wants to unite the nation, then it should be done with a pure heart,” Shukla told ANI.Honouring Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel”s immeasurable efforts in uniting the nation, Prime Minister Modi on Saturday reminded the nation that the legacy left behind by a great leader like Sardar Patel and Indira Gandhi must be passed to future generations.The Prime Minister pitched the “Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat” programme, where every year two states will connect and learn about each other”s language and culture.

PM Modi flags off unity run, honours Sardar Patel, says unity and harmony necessary

Modi also used the occasion to take a dig at dynastic politics, saying it had become a bane of our politics and recalled that Patel never promoted any family member in political life.

PM Narendra Modi flagging off run for unity

ANI
Invoking Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s work for national integration, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said “unity, peace and harmony” was the first condition if India has to move forward and attain new heights of development.”Unity is our biggest strength… We have to move forward with the mantra of unity, peace and harmony,” he asserted at an event marking the 140th birth anniversary of Patel, against the backdrop of protests by artistes, writers and scientists over alleged “rising intolerance” after the Dadri lynching, beef row and other incidents.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi also used the occasion to take a dig at dynastic politics, saying it had become a bane of our politics and recalled that Patel never promoted any family member in political life.At the National Integration Day to mark birth anniversary of India’s first Deputy Prime Minister, where Modi flagged off ‘run for unity’, Modi asked people to take forwards Patel’s message that the nation can sacrifice anything for its unity.”If the country has to move forward and attain new heights of development, then the first guarantee is….Irrespective of our language and attachment of our feelings and ideology to any inspiration or system from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Atak to Cuttuck, if our goal is to take Mother India to new heights in the world, then the first condition for that is unity, peace and harmony.”If 125 crore Indians with the mantra of unity, peace and harmony walk one step together shoulder to shoulder, then the country will move 125 crore steps in one go.”Our strength is a nation bound together by unity and which can sacrifice everything for unity and this is the message of Sardar sahab,” he said, recalling that Patel’s life was dedicated to national unity.The Prime Minister also announced that ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’ scheme will soon be launched under which one state will choose another state each year and then promote its language and culture. “I have formed a small committee which is preparing its modalities,” he said. At the beginning of his speech, Modi also remembered former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary, saying she sacrificed her life on this day and it cannot be forgotten.

Prima facie sedition case has been made out against Hardik Patel: Gujarat High Court

The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday held that “a prima facie case of sedition” was made out against the Patel quota agitation’s leader Hardik Patel booked by Surat police for advising a youth to “kill the police rather than committing suicide.”

File Photo
PTI
The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday held that “a prima facie case of sedition” was made out against the Patel quota agitation’s leader Hardik Patel booked by Surat police for advising a youth to “kill the police rather than committing suicide.””Prima facie, it could be said that the words spoken or the statement alleged to have been made by the applicant in the presence of the media…would amount to exhortation to the public,” Justice J B Pardiwala said.”…more particularly (it would amount to an exhortation to) the members of Patel community to resort to violence or create public disorder with a view to subverting the government by law established in the state of Gujarat,” the HC said refusing to entertain a plea seeking quashing of the FIR.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The applicant may not have stated in so many words that the members of Patel community should overthrow the lawfully established government of Gujarat by force or violence, but when the attack is on the police force which is one of the most important agencies of the state government, then a prima facie case under section 124-A of IPC could be said to be made out,” the order said.Hardik’s father Bharat Patel had filed a petition seeking to quash the FIR filed against his son.”The demand for reservation for the members of the Patel community by itself is not an offence. It is open to the members of the Patel community to seek reservation, if available in law or if the state government, by way of a policy decision, deems fit to provide,” said the HC.”It is also open to demand reservation by peaceful means, ceaselessly fighting public opinion that might be against them and opposing those who desired the continuance of the existing order of the society and the government,” added the HC order.”What is not permissible…is any act which has the effect of bringing or which attempts to bring into hatredness or contempt or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law,” the HC held.Surat police had also invoked the charges under sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), 505-2 (to incite one community against another) and 506 (criminal intimidation) under IPC. However, the High Court today quashed these three offences, holding that the police force cannot be termed as ‘community’, as submitted by the prosecution.”Although it could be said that the members of the Patel community have been provoked, but such provocation has nothing to do with any other religion, race or linguistic or regional group or community. The police force of the state cannot be brought within the purview of the term community,” the judge said.On Hardik’s defence that his statement at best reflected his injured feelings towards the police force, the HC noted that the law and order situation had deteriorated to a considerable extent due to the agitators and “many innocent persons lost their lives which included a police officer”.”Many police stations, public buses, were set on fire. Extensive damage was caused to the government properties. In this background, it would be appropriate to infer at this primary stage from the words spoken by the applicant that the same was intended and it did bring the government in the contempt with likelihood of eruption of violence and public disorder,” said the HC.Hardik, the 22-year-old Patel leader, had on October 3 allegedly advised a Surat-based youth from his community to kill the policemen rather than ending his own life.”If you have so much courage…then go and kill a couple of policemen. Patels never commit suicide,” Hardik allegedly told Vipul Desai who had announced that he would commit suicide in support of the quota agitation.Hardik had visited Desai’s house accompanied by a team of a news channel which broadcast the conversation later. The sedition case was filed by Surat police almost 15 days after his controversial statement. Ahmedabad police too have filed a sedition case against Hardik and he is now in the custody of city crime branch.

RSS mouthpiece hits back at cries of growing intolerance

The editorial slammed the “proponents of tolerance for attacking the very spirit of Hinduness with the ideology of political intolerance”.

The RSS Mouthpiece took a jibe at the authors who returned their Sahitya Akademi awards.

Citing Mamata Banerjee government’s restrictions on immersion of Durga idols on Muharram day, RSS has hit back at cries of growing intolerance in the wake of beef-eating and cow slaughter rows and said the edifice of Hinduism rests not just on tolerance but acceptance of all faiths.”Another round of secular inflammation is taking place in Bengal where Mamata Banerjee-led state government has extended the restriction on immersion of Durga idols on 23 and 24 October throughout the state on account of Muharram. Is it because of objection from any religious community?” an editorial in RSS mouthpiece “Organizer” said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The editorial slammed the “proponents of tolerance for attacking the very spirit of Hinduness with the ideology of political intolerance”.”….If the Bharateeya tradition of ‘acceptance’ is respected, then why can’t there be simultaneous procession of Muharram and Durga immersion? Then, perhaps communal politics in the name of secularism would not prevail,” the editorial says attacking West Bengal government.Taking a jibe at the writers who recently returned their awards to protest lack of tolerance in the country, the RSS organ invokes Swami Vivekananda to say that “Hindu-ness believed not just in tolerance but in acceptance”.”There have been heated debates over growing intolerance in Bharat. Many intellectuals and writers are suddenly concerned about it and are questioning the appropriateness of ‘Hinduness’ juxtaposed to secularism. What has held Bharat together for years as a civilisation is ‘tolerance’, is the argument put forth by proponents of secularism. Is it mere tolerance or something beyond tolerance that formulates the edifice of our ancient civilization?,” the editorial asks.Even when concepts of tolerance and secularism didn’t exist, it says, “Bharat was home to all persecuted faiths like Zoroastrians and Jews and it was the greatness of Hindu culture that land was provided to Islamic and Christian missionaries and merchants on the Southern coast of Bharat”. It recalls Swami Vivekananda’s famous speech in Chicago where he said “we believe not only in universal tolerance but we accept all religions as true.””Obviously, Hinduness cannot be the basis for intolerance. Then what is the reason for regular occurrences of religious strife since Independence?” the article said.”Two incidences that will explain the reason. Two unfortunate killings took place in the name of cow slaughter, one in Uttar Pradesh and the other in Karnataka; one for alleged beef eating, the other for protecting cows from slaughtering. Both are equally criminal. Still, the responses of our secular politicians and intellectuals were completely different to these incidences,” the RSS publication said.

PM Modi lauds media for "clean India" initiatives

In light of the upcoming festival of Diwali, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday lauded the efforts of the fourth pillar of democracy, the media, for its efforts in propagating the “Clean India” campaign.

In light of the upcoming festival of Diwali, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday lauded the efforts of the fourth pillar of democracy, the media, for its efforts in propagating the “Clean India” campaign.”I want you to remember that last year after the festival of Diwali, the media ran a great campaign. After Diwali, wherever they saw crackers lying, they showed it and condemned it. The media ran a campaign of awakening. And the result of this campaign was that just after Diwali, a cleanliness campaign was launched,” he said while addressing the nation in the 13th edition of his “Mann ki Baat” programme.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Modi highlighted the initiatives by various media groups in the country for the “Clean India” campaign.”On Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary and the Clean India campaign’s anniversary on October 2, I had the privilege of being a part of the ‘Safaigiri Conference’ by the India Today Group. They gave away the “Clean India Award” and I saw the various kinds of activities that are going on, I congratulated the India Today group for their initiative,” he said.”Through ETV, Mr. Ramoji Rao, is promoting the work of cleanliness from the past one year. ABP News has started a programme called “Yeh Bharat Desh Humaara” and through this they have highlighted cleanliness and created awareness,” he added.”NDTV has started an initiative called, ‘Banega Swacch India’. Dainik Jagran has also consistently pursued this campaign. The Zee family has initiated ‘Mission Clean India’ on India TV. Our country has hundreds of news channels and thousands of newspapers. Each one of them has pursued the ‘Clean India’ campaign,” he said further.The Prime Minister encouraged the people of the country to make the nation the cleanest by 2019.”Our country can become the cleanest country. And this will happen by the efforts of the countrymen. And when we celebrate the150th Gandhi Jayanti in 2019 then all of us will proudly be able to say – Look, we have cleaned our mother India of dirt,” he said.The “Swacch Bharat Abhiyan” was officially launched on October 2, 2014, at Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi’s samadhi at the Rajghat here where the Prime Minister himself cleaned the road.

RSS mouthpiece lashes out against ‘seculars’ and liberals for showing ‘Bharat’ in poor light

“They will create a fear psychosis and frighten minorities and others to claim that nothing is going right. They will not mind Bharat being seen in poor light across the globe. It seems they are winning the propaganda battle for now, but they will lose the ideological war, no doubt,” it said.

RSS cadre

Taunting ‘liberals’ for using cow slaughter as a “protein for their secular politics”, RSS organ ‘Organiser’ has accused them of using the Dadri lynching as an opportunity to attack Hindu beliefs as it termed the killing as “not something unprecedented” or “unheard of”.Citing the “killings” of Sikhs and kar sevaks in Godhra, it questioned those protesting against the Dadri incident saying why those incidents did not evoke their conscience earlier. “One fails to understand how a ban on slaughter of cows and calves would deprive people of a cheap source of protein. Were Constitution makers less protein-conscious than present liberals who of-late have shown almost athletic interest in the matters of Hindu sentiments. “But, as usual, liberals have got this one wrong as well. Beef is not the cheapest source of protein,” an article in the ‘Organiser’ said sarcastically to those protesting the Dadri incident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: RSS mouthpiece defends Dadri lynching, calls it a ‘natural reaction’ to ‘sin’ of cow slaughterWhile ruing that the body of Dadri victim had become a site of politics, it said, “Dadri’s incident is a cruel reminder of how a dead body can become a site of political maneuvering and out maneuvering.””Every murder is unfortunate, and cruel… and calls for strict action by law enforcing agencies. But what is different about Dadri’s case is that here a murder is being used by the media and self-proclaimed seculars and liberals as an opportunity to put the beliefs of Hinduism in dock,” it added.Another article in the ‘Organiser’ said, “Dadri killing is not something unprecedented, unheard of in the history of Independent Bharat. So about Kalburgi murder. The conscience of over two dozen eminent persons of literature got so severely pricked by these two incidents that they returned their awards in protest.”It, however, cited incidents when thousands of Sikhs were killed in 1984, 59 kar sevaks were burnt alive at Godhra railway station sparking the Gujarat riots and 16 policemen involved in killing of 42 innocent Muslims acquitted after 28 years a few months ago. The article while taking on RJD chief Lalu Yadav for saying Hindus also eat beef and used to eat it in Vedic times, remarks, “This is bogus.” On SP leader Azam Khan’s comparison of Indian Muslims with those in Iraq, the article says, “Azam Khan, a secular leader of a secular outfit, compared Muslims’ situation in Bharat to that of Muslims in Iraq. Phonetic similarity between Dadri and Babri provided him a poetic concern over their impact. Azam Khan, in past, has justified the acts of terrorism.” “I wonder, why no one has ever asked him and other liberals with same views why Hindus have not become terrorists in Pakistan and Bangladesh where their temples are demolished almost every month and why they haven’t become suicide bombers?” the article in RSS organ said.It goes on to question former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah’s recent remarks that while Islam prohibited pork eating, he wouldn’t beat up anyone eating pork, and asks, “Does he (Omar) wish to suggest that pigs have the same holy significance for him as cows have for Hindus?” Calling for a probe into Dadri death, it taunts “liberals” protesting the incident, asking what exactly is their idea of India.”So, what exactly is liberals’ idea of Bharat? Is it the idea of a Bharat, where cows are slaughtered publicly, beef festivals are organized regularly, Mahisasur Day is celebrated with fanfare and concepts like ‘Qaafir’, Dar-ul-ulum and Dar-ul-harb are ingrained in the minds of adolescent, on state subsidy.Related Read: Writers renouncing honours suffer from ‘disease of secularism’, says RSS”Is this their vision of a liberal Bharat, where terrorists like Yakub Memon’s cremation is attended by hundreds and books in favour of Afzal Guru are sold in the heart of the capital? And where beef becomes the singular source of protein?” the article questions.It accuses protesters of Dadri incident of creating a false sense of growing intolerance in India and says, “Ever since the unfortunate killing of Mohammad Akhlaq at Dadri, propaganda has preponderated policies and unsubstantiated allegations have replaced reasoning. And in the eye of storm lies once again the Hindus and their core beliefs. Self proclaimed seculars are worried that the idea of Bharat is under threat from fascists.” Another article in the RSS organ said the writers and protesters are trying to create a fear psychosis and do not mind presenting India in poor light across the world.”They will create a fear psychosis and frighten minorities and others to claim that nothing is going right. They will not mind Bharat being seen in poor light across the globe. It seems they are winning the propaganda battle for now, but they will lose the ideological war, no doubt,” it said.Yet another article said, “The present award returning spree in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘secularism’ depict the symptoms of selective amnesia of Left liberal intellectuals and literary figures. These double standards demean the individuals, awards and the institutions they represent.” It also said, “Left secular lobby with the help of electronic media has succeeded in creating an atmosphere in the country and also outside since last a few weeks as if all the Hindus are out on the street killing ‘minorities’ read Muslims to save ‘mother cow’ and stop beef eating. It seems Bharat is in a time warp for more than 15 days.”All TV channels seem to have plumbed to pessimistic depth. There has been outrage all round as if Bharat is up in flames with one person’s reprehensible killing; as if before that Bharat was living in blissful harmony for earlier 67 years. ‘Sahitya Akademi’ awardees’ drama has added fuel to fire.”

Hardik Patel sent to police custody till Oct 23 by Surat court

Just after he was granted bail last evening by a local court in the flag case, Surat police had arrested him in the sedition complaint which was filed in that city.

A case of sedition was filed against Hardik for his alleged controversial remarks instigating his community youth to kill cops instead of committing suicide. (File Photo)

PTI
A Surat Fast track court has sent PAAS convener Hardik Patel to police custody on Tuesday till 23 October. Hardik Patel was arrested yesterday on sedition charges.A day after he was arrested, Patel quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel today moved a petition before the Gujarat High Court seeking to set aside the sedition charges filed against him in Surat. Hardik’s father Bharat Patel moved the plea on behalf of his son through his advocate B M Mangukiya and stated that no offence can be attributed to the Patel leader. “No offence can be disclosed by spoken words of Hardik and no overt act can be attributed to him by those words, thus no offence has been made out,” the plea said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plea is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow. A case of sedition was filed against Hardik for his alleged controversial remarks instigating his community youth to kill cops instead of committing suicide. Hardik, who was detained by Rajkot rural police ahead of the India-South Africa One-Day International on Sunday as he had threatened to disrupt the match, was arrested yesterday by the Rajkot rural police for allegedly insulting the national flag.Just after he was granted bail last evening by a local court in the flag case, Surat police had arrested him in the sedition complaint which was filed in that city.Surat city DCP Makrand Chauhan had filed a complaint against Hardik in Amroli police station for advising a Patel youth to kill policemen. The sedition case was filed under section 124(A) of IPC at Amroli Police Station in Surat under which any accused, if convicted, can be sentenced to maximum of life imprisonment, while the minimum sentence is of three years.The section reads, “whoever, by words, either spoken or written..brings hatred or contempt, or excites disaffection towards the Government shall be punishable with imprisonment for life…or with minimum imprisonment up to three years.” Other IPC sections included in the FIR against Hardik are section 115 (Abetment of offence), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups, 505-2 (incite one community against another) and 506 (criminal intimidation).The 22-year-old emerging Patel leader had on October 3 allegedly advised a Surat-based youth from his community to kill cops rather than ending his life.

Muslims to play lead roles in Agra’s Ramlila

In the 44th year of performance, the railways’ Ramlila attracts a crowd of up to 60,000 on Dussehra.

An artist peeps out from behind a curtain as he waits backstage to take part in the Ramlila performance, a re-enactment of the life of Hindu Lord Rama, ahead of Dussehra.

Reuters
Inspired by Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan, a few Muslim men will play important roles in Agra’s Ramlila, organised by the railways. The actors auditioned and bagged the roles of Bharat, Shantanu, Shravan Kumar and a courtier at King Janak’s court, according to a report by an English daily.Mohammad Saif, a 19-year-old diploma holder in mechanical engineering told the daily that Salman Khan essaying the role of an avid admirer of Hanuman in Bajrangi Bhaijaan inspired him to take up the role of Bharat, despite his limited knowledge about the Ramayana. The other actors said they wanted to play the role out of love for the craft of theatre and spread the message of love.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the 44th year of performance, the railways’ Ramlila attracts a crowd of up to 60,000 on Dussehra.This story is a stark contrast to the Ramlila that is staged in another corner of the same state. The Ramlila in UP’s Mumtaznagar has always had Muslims playing the central characters, exemplifying communal harmony. But for a couple of years now, they have been barred from playing the main characters, because they eat meat.President of the Ramlila committee, Majid Ali, told the daily that locals had objected saying they could not enact the role of gods since they eat meat. So keeping their religious sentiments in mind, Muslim actors have been asked to play smaller roles, whereas lead roles have reportedly been given to Hindu actors.​

CMs’ panel bats for fuel cess to fund Swachh Bharat

Getting money for this ambitious project has remained a challenge. The government had so far set its eyes on corporates and individuals for attracting funds for the campaign.

PM Narendra Modi receives the report from chief ministers’ panel

PTI
A sub-group of chief ministers assigned to look into various aspects of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, one of the pet projects of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has come out with a novel idea to fund the campaign that is estimated to cost Rs 62,000 crore.Getting money for this ambitious project has remained a challenge. The government had so far set its eyes on corporates and individuals for attracting funds for the campaign.But now, realising that funding from both these sources was highly vulnerable and not dependable, the sub-group, including chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, and Uttarakhand Chandrababu Naidu, Manohar Lal Khattar and Harish Rawat respectively, has recommended raising Swachh Bharat bonds and also levying a Swachh Bharat cess on petrol, diesel, telecom services and also on accumulated waste produced by plants generating mineral waste like coal, aluminium and iron ore.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It has been recommended to reduce the subsidy on chemical fertiliser and increase the subsidy on compost to encourage its use. In order to improve the viability of waste management activities, the report proposes provision of tax exemptions by the Centre and the state government to the private sector.On the funding patterns, the group, which submitted its report on Wednesday to the Prime Minister has suggested funds should be shared by the Centre and states in the ratio of 75:25, while for hilly states it may be kept at 90:10.The sub-group of chief ministers on Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan was constituted on March 24, 2015 pursuant to the decision taken in the first Governing Council Meeting of the NITI Aayog held on February 8, 2015.The main recommendations of the report include bringing the behavior change and encouraging positive habits related to sanitation and cleanliness among the people. The report also talks about including sanitation and cleanliness in school curriculum and formation of a team of students to be called as ‘Swachhta Senani’ in schools and colleges.A National Technical Board has been recommended to handhold the States and Local Bodies in identification, evaluation, selection and procurement of technologies. The report recommends certain measures to attract private sector participation and public private partnership (PPP). It has been recommended that waste to energy plants may be set up on PPP mode in bigger municipalities and cluster of municipalities, whereas, composting method may be adopted for smaller towns and villages. The report proposes to enhance the assistance for construction of one unit of individual household toilet in both urban and rural areas to Rs 15,000. The report recommends integration of rag pickers into the waste management system so that their livelihood is not adversely affected.

Dadri killing: Rajnath Singh appeals to countrymen to maintain communal harmony

Communal harmony is everyone’s responsibility, he said.

I appeal to every citizen to maintain communal harmony, he said.

File Photo
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday termed “unfortunate” the lynching of a man over beef rumours in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri and appealed to the people to maintain communal harmony. “It was an unfortunate incident. I appeal to every citizen to maintain communal harmony, which is everyone’s responsibility,” Singh said on the sidelines of the 80th birth anniversary of Bharat Kisan Union founder Mahendra Singh Tikait.Meanwhile, UP government has sent its report to the Union Home Ministry on the Dadri lynching episode, in which 50-year- old Iqlakh was attacked by a mob following rumours that his family had consumed beef. Akhlaq was attacked by a 200-strong mob at Bishada village after a public announcement by a local temple that the family had slaughtered a calf and eaten its meat last Monday night. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Ministry had on October 1 sought a report on the incident from UP government and advised it to ensure that such incidents did not recur. Concerned over incidents of a communal colour, the Centre had yesterday asked all states to take strictest action against those who attempt to weaken the secular fabric of the nation by exploiting religious sentiments. In a statement, Home Ministry had said it was concerned over various incidents with communal overtones across the country, including the recent “unfortunate” incident at Dadri.

Delhi MLAs four-times salary hike — BJP calls AAP ‘Khaas’ Aadmi Party

‘AAP is showing their true colours. There is a huge gap between their words and actions,’ he said. ‘They are not ‘aam aadmi’ they are definitely ‘khaas aadmi’ as they seek everything, from cars, big offices, and even four times the salary. They want everything,’ he added.

Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Satish Upadhyay on Tuesday questioned the priority of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) following the recommendation that the salary of the MLAs be increased by four times and said the ruling party has in true sense become the ‘khaas aadmi’. ‘The AAP should decide what their priority is’ Is their priority to hike the salary of the MLAs or to tackle dengue, price rise, contractual employee problem and other problems of Delhi” he asked. He also criticised the AAP for not releasing funds for the ‘Swacch Bharat’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> ‘They don’t have funds to pay the MCD employees for Swacch Bharat. They have to decide their priorities,’ he said. Upadhyay also alleged that the common man has not got anything in the last seven months of the AAP’s rule.’AAP is showing their true colours. There is a huge gap between their words and actions,’ he said. ‘They are not ‘aam aadmi’ they are definitely ‘khaas aadmi’ as they seek everything, from cars, big offices, and even four times the salary. They want everything,’ he added. An independent panel has recommended a hike in the salary of the MLAs of Delhi. The panel has recommended that the MLAs’ salary should be increased to Rs. 50,000 from the current Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 70,000 for assistance. It has also recommended for a conveyance hike from Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 30,000. ‘We have gone into various aspects relating to the expenses and there are so many other considerations, on the basis of which we have decided that they should get this salary on these levels of allowances,’ Expert Committee member Rajiv Malik told the media.

Rajnath Singh, calls Dadri incident ‘unfortunate’, urges people to maintain communal harmony

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday termed the lynching of a man over beef rumours in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri “unfortunate” and appealed to the people to maintain communal harmony.

“It was an unfortunate incident. I appeal to every citizen to maintain communal harmony, which is everyone’s responsibility,” Singh said on the sidelines of the 80th birth anniversary of Bharat Kisan Union founder Mahendra Singh Tikait.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh. AFP

Home Minister Rajnath Singh. AFP

Meanwhile, UP government has sent its report to the Union Home Ministry on the Dadri lynching episode, in which 50-year-old Iqlakh was attacked by a mob following rumours that his family had consumed beef.

Iqlakh was attacked by a 200-strong mob at Bishada village after a public announcement by a local temple that the family had slaughtered a calf and eaten its meat last Monday night.

Home Ministry had on 1 October sought a report on the incident from UP government and advised it to ensure that such incidents did not recur.

Concerned over incidents of a communal colour, the Centre had on Monday asked all states to take strictest action against those who attempt to weaken the secular fabric of the nation by exploiting religious sentiments.

In a statement, Home Ministry had said it was concerned over various incidents with communal overtones across the country, including the recent “unfortunate” incident at Dadri.

PTI

Mumbai metro to become germ-free with this new hygiene initiative

Mumbai: Reliance Infrastructure’s Mumbai Metro is now all set to become ‘germ free’ with a new hygiene initiative, an official said here on Saturday.

A series of trials were conducted by an international independent agency to test the bacterial loads, identifying the right set of disinfectants and spraying them to successfully bring down the bacterial loads on washroom basins, floors and door handles to negligible levels.

Mumbai-Metro_ibnlive_380Mumbai-Metro_ibnlive_380

Mumbai Metro. Image from IBN Live.

“The highly effective sanitation and hygiene programme made a soft loanch at Ghatkopar, Andheri and Sakinaka Metro stations. As a part of its Swachh Metro Abhiyaan, the new initiative was formally unveiled to mark the first anniversary of the launch of the Swachh Bharat campaign,” the official said.

This has taken to a whole new level of sanitation and hygiene operations in Mumbai Metro that are comparable with the best practices adopted by most of the top-flight healthcare institutions for their public areas and OPDs, as well as five-star hospitality establishments around the world.

A commuter – Metro Hero Sameer Bhatt – was honoured for stopping a co-passenger from spitting on the Airport Road Station platform and later handing him over to the concerned authorities.

BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta felicitated Bhat, the Mumbai Metro staff, officials and others for maintaining cleanliness in the presence of Mumbai Metro One Pvt. Ltd. CEO A.K. Mishra

Its much-appreciated cleanliness model involved rigorous manual and mechanical cleaning of the trains, station premises, internal roof, station equipment and depot buildings.

While light cleaning work is done every night, heavy cleaning work is carried out every 45 days besides pest control every 90 days on the network which carried over 12 crore commuters since its launch last year.

IANS

PM Modi asks ‘Swachh Bharat’ critics to step aside

The cleanliness drive must become a public movement if it has to succeed, he said, insisting that change was happening and noted that Parliament had never debated the issue since Independence but discussed it in every session after he announced the scheme in his Independence Day speech last year.
File Photo
PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said linking ‘Swachh Bharat’ drive with government or a political party will lead to its failure and took a dig at the critics of his pet scheme, saying those who cannot be a part of it should step aside but not criticise.The cleanliness drive must become a public movement if it has to succeed, he said, insisting that change was happening and noted that Parliament had never debated the issue since Independence but discussed it in every session after he announced the scheme in his Independence Day speech last year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking at an India Today event, where he gave away awards to individuals and government and private entities in various categories for their work towards cleanliness drive, Modi invoked Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary today and said we all must come together to fulfil his wish for a clean nation.”If it is said that this is a government scheme, it will never succeed. The day you say it is Modi’s scheme, it has no chance. If you associate it with political parties, the drive will be harmed. This should become a people’s movement, a programme of us all. This work should be (away from) from controversies… If you can join it, join it, if you cannot then step aside but not criticise,” he said.Opposition parties, including Congress and Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, have taken potshots at the Centre over the “Swachh Bharat’ scheme, saying there was no visible improvement on the ground and it was all “showbaazi”.Modi lamented people’s mentality after Independence that whatever was to be done would be done by governments and no one else. Had it not been so, he said, things would have changed for good by 1960, but only reverse happened. Once cleanliness becomes a habit, people will no longer tolerate dirt, he said, adding that while personal hygiene is accorded priority in our culture, social hygiene is neglected.Noting that a lot of positive things had happened since the drive was launched last year this day, he said as many as 95 lakh toilets across the country were constructed against the target of 60 lakhs. Recalling an incident when a child fallen into a borewell, he said the entire nation was glued to TV sets to know the latest on his rescue and was concerned over his fate but few realise that 1000 children die every day due to diseases related to lack of hygiene. He wondered how long such a situation would be allowed to continue.Modi said he had announced ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign without thinking much about it and knew he had taken a “risk” and his hair could be “torn” over it.The Prime Minister said,”We have to go back to our traditional methods of recycling goods as this attitude of buying new things has also led to wastage and filth.” He hailed the awardees in all 13 categories, saying their work will inspire others to join the drive which would continue with even more vigour.Modi lauded the media, especially electronic media, for supporting the campaign. Media, he said, effectively highlighted the lack of hygiene in the society.

Kejriwal takes aim at PM Modi, says talk less and work more on Swacch Bharat

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that one should ‘work more’ and ‘talk less’ when it comes to realising the objectives of the Swachh Bharat mission.

Arvind Kejriwal

dna Research & Archives
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that one should ‘work more’ and ‘talk less’ when it comes to realising the objectives of the Swachh Bharat mission. “Since one year I havent seen any action, leaving along the advertisements. I want to say that we all should work on this. Let us all talk less and work more,” Kejriwal said “We have made toilet blocks in Majnu Ka Tila. The Delhi Government has also taken a pledge that by March 31, toilets of all slums will be cleaned and water supply will be provided,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched by Prime Minster Modi on the 145th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The campaign, which was launched nationwide on October 2, focuses on sanitation, hygiene and waste management. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan aims at making India a clean country by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi Jayanti: PM Modi, President Mukherjee, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

“Cleanliness was very close to Mahatma Gandhi’s heart. Let us reaffirm our commitment for Swachh Bharat and fulfill our beloved Bapu’s dream. A clean India will enhance our development journey and benefit the poor,” Modi said in a tweet.

Image credit: PIB
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 146th birth anniversary at his Rajghat memorial in Delhi.PM Modi was accompanied by senior BJP leader LK Advani, Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and other ministers.’PM Modi also used the occasion to re-emphasize Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of having a Swachh Bharat’ in a tweet.”Cleanliness was very close to Mahatma Gandhi’s heart. Let us reaffirm our commitment for Swachh Bharat and fulfill our beloved Bapu’s dream. A clean India will enhance our development journey and benefit the poor,” Modi said in a tweet.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress chief Sonia Gandhi paid floral tribute. She was accompanied by former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also present to pay his respects to the Father of the Nation. Indians all over the world are celebrating Gandhi’s 146th birth anniversary today. October 2 is also observed as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Infants urge Supreme Court through parents to seek cracker-free Diwali

Three infants, through their fathers, have moved the Supreme Court against the use of loud firecrackers during Diwali and Dussehra.

Three infants, through their fathers, have moved the Supreme Court against the use of loud firecrackers during Diwali and Dussehra.This is perhaps the first time in the history of apex court that such young petitioners (between the age of six months and 14 months) have approached it on any issue.These petitioners, children of three practising lawyers here, are seeking a court order directing the authorities to take appropriate measures to stop pollution caused due to fireworks during the festival season.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In their joint plea, the petitioners have highlighted the “alarming” rate of deterioration of the air quality in Delhi due to pollution caused by, but not limited to, traffic congestion, dust from widespread construction, industrial pollution and the seasonal use of firecrackers.The plea says that the widespread use of firecrackers in the national capital during the festive season exposes vulnerable infants to severe diseases such as asthma and worsens their lung condition.Filed through advocates Pooja Dhar and Zeeshan Dhawan, the petitioners Arjun Goyal, Aarav Bhandari and Zoya Rao Bhasin, say, “Diwali is a festival of lights and an auspicious occasion. Public places, monuments, roads etc are cleaned and beautified…But due to increase in population and demand for such fireworks, use of firecrackers has not only become more widespread around Diwali but also dangerous. Apart from the risk of death or grievous injury, it also now poses a silent threat to life around festival time.” The petition said, “It is necessary that the Central government and state governments take immediate steps to bring the Bharat Stage Emission standards in line with the highest international norms so that Euro-VI equivalent fuel, which is presently exported, will now be used domestically and uniformly across the country…” The petition is likely to be listed for hearing soon. “They are foremost prone to lung disease, asthma, coughing, bronchitis, retarded nervous system development and cognitive impairment,” the petitioners Arjun Goyal, Aarav Bhandari and Zoya Rao Bhasin, Delhi residents, submitted through their lawyer Gopal Shankar Narayan.The plea said the right of their kids to breathe clean air is essential for a conducive environment for growth and development and blamed the authorities for not laying down any guidelines regarding sale of crackers.”Authorities haven’t laid down any guidelines to ensure that manufacturers or sellers conform to environmental norms while distributing these crackers. A look at the licences will show that environmental and pollution concerns are furthest from the minds of the Government representatives,” it said.”The imminent advent of festivals that involve widespread fireworks are a clear and present danger to the health of the Applicants and the other children who are residents of Delhi,” the petition said.The plea also cited a study in Bangalore that shows how a widespread awareness campaign and enforcement mechanisms led to a sharp 32 per cent decrease in pollution levels there during Diwali time in 2013 compared to a year ago.The petition said that a 2005 top court ruling restricting use of fireworks beyond 10 pm had brought some respite to Delhiites but studies thereafter revealed that cases of wheezing, respiratory diseases, exacerbation of bronchial asthma and bronchitis increase by 40 per cent during Diwali.—With inputs from agencies

Reliance Foundation wins Porter Prize for social contribution

Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Reliance Industries Limited, has bagged the prestigious Porter Prize 2015 for its ‘outstanding contribution to society’.

Reliance Foundation logo

Reliance Foundation logo

The prize, named after Michael E Porter, Professor at Harvard Business School, aims to encourage companies on the basis of value creation, innovation and strategy.

The citation said the award went to Reliance Foundation for its “outstanding contribution to the society to meet the basic human needs, establishing blocks that allow communities to sustain quality of life and creating conditions for individuals to reach their potential”.

Established in 2010 with Nita Ambani as its founding chairperson, Reliance Foundation aims at sustainable growth through initiatives in five key areas: health, education, urban renewal, rural transformation and art, culture & heritage. It enables transformative changes in society through a segment-centric diversified approach to existing problems. For example, the Bharat-India Jodo (BIJ) programme aims to approach the problems faced by marginal farmers by bridging the gap between the two Indias through innovative use of technology, while in the health sector, it provides succour to the blind through its Drishti programme. Drishti is one of the largest private sector initiatives that enables corneal transplants to give the gift of sight to the visually disabled. It has also launched India’s first registered national Braille newspaper in Hindi. This newspaper has become so popular that it is now distributed not just in India but about 18 other countries.

Reliance Industries, the parent organization, is incidentally the biggest spender on corporate social responsibility. With a spend of Rs 712 crore (FY 2014) on this head, it far exceeded the minimum 2% mandated by the government.

The winners of the prize in other categories – 30 were shortlisted for selection – included JSW Steel, Mahindra Rural Housing and Finance, Abbott India, and DHL among others. The event was attended by top industry leaders, thinkers, and senior executives from the corporate sector, government and the media.

16-year-old wins Swachh Bharat’s green award

Gembali, who is currently taking coaching for AIPMT entrance exam in Kota, said that his idea talked about how vegetable vendors can collect the waste from the market at the end of the sales, and convert them into manure.

A 16-year-old AIPMT aspirant in Kota bagged the ‘OLX Ideathon -2015’ award, constituted under the Swachh Bharat Mission, for his eco-friendly idea of converting vegetable waste into manure. Jeswant Gembali, a native of Jeypore town in Odisha received the award from tennis star Sania Mirza for floating his innovative idea in ‘My Country My Idea campaign’ contest.”I floated the idea of recycling of vegetable waste into eco friendly manure. The idea struck me while I was moving in a vegetable market in Mahaveer nagar area in Kota,” Gembali said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The youth was awarded a Kindle Tab by Sania Mirza in a function in Gurgaon on September 17.Gembali, who is currently taking coaching for AIPMT entrance exam in Kota, said that his idea talked about how vegetable vendors can collect the waste from the market at the end of the sales, and convert them into manure. This manure can in turn be sold by the vendors, thus providing them extra income, he said. The little genius has also penned five books in English, apart from participating in various national level activities.Around 30,000 students from class 8 to 12 from across the country sent their entries to the contest, with 550 ideas presented online by the students in Swatch Bharat website. The jury comprised of noted film maker Sudhir Misra, environment expert Sunita Narain, OLX CEO Ervinpreet Singh Anand and tennis star Sania Mirza.A jubilant Gembali also expressed joy over getting the award from his favourite sports star Sania Mirza.”It was an amazing moment for me when Tennis star Sania Mirza appreciated my clean India Idea. She said that the idea can be a game changer,” the winner added.

Intensive Swachh Bharat campaign to be launched from September 25

The decision for re-energising of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), a flagship programme of Narendra Modi government, was taken at a high-level meeting of eight Ministers and over a dozen Secretaries of different departments of the Centre that held a brain storming session in Kota on Wednesday.
File Photo
PTI photo
With the aim of re-energising the Swachh Bharat Mission, government will launch an intensive countrywide campaign from September 25 till March 31 next year covering almost every part of the nation.Starting from ward level, the drive involving cleaning and awareness campaign will target railway stations, airports, bus depots, educational and medical institutions, religious places, heritage sites, taxi stands, markets, vegetable mandis roads and underpasses.The decision for re-energising of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), a flagship programme of Narendra Modi government, was taken at a high-level meeting of eight Ministers and over a dozen Secretaries of different departments of the Centre that held a brain storming session in Kota on Wednesday. SBM was launched with much fanfare on October 2 last year with many central ministers leading the campaign from the front in their respective areas.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After detailed discussions, an intensive campaign to be taken up at different levels from the ward to the state till March next year has been firmed up, said a senior Urban Development Ministry official. Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu who chaired the meeting stressed on the need to further energise the campaign for visible impact with the participation of all stakeholders focusing on citizen participation. He said that the Mission launched in October last year has stirred the imagination of the people across the country and needs to be converted into a ‘Jan Andolan’ as desired by Prime Minister Modi for desired results.Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapati Raju, Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (MoS) for Agriculture Sanjiv Balian and MoS for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore participated in the discussions.Ministers and Secretaries gave detailed accounts of actions undertaken so far and proposed to be undertaken for ensuring cleanliness in the establishments under their control.From September 25, which is the birth anniversary of late Deen Dayal Upadhyay, till the birth anniversary of late Jayaprakash Narayan on October 11, an intensive campaign will be taken up from ward to state level focusing on citizen engagement. Ministers in the meeting proposed grading of railway stations, airports, shipyards, hospitals, schools and colleges and tourist destinations based on the degree of sanitation. For the information of public such ranking would motivate towards improving sanitation.A senior official of Joint Secretary rank in Prime Minister’s Office referred to the need for separate sanitation strategies to be adopted for rural and urban areas. She suggested that in urban areas, habitations prone to open defecation need to be identified for an area based approach for better results and stressed that on the whole priority may be given to areas where poor people live.Stressing on the need for behavioural change, she referred to the recent elections in Delhi University during when a messy situation was created with regard to cleanliness. Javadekar informed that his Ministry would soon come out with final notifications in respect of management of Solid Waste, e-Waste, Plastic Waste and Bio-medical waste and this would mark the beginning of a significant change on ground.Naidu informed that policies to promote conversion of solid waste into energy and compost are under consideration and after finalization municipal waste would be effectively reused. Chairman, Railway Board, A K Mital stated that of the 1,500 major trains, on-board cleaning services have been introduced in 560 trains and another 400 would benefit from this service over the next two years.Out of the 45,000 coaches, bio-digester toilets have been introduced in 8,368 and these will be extended to another 4,400 this year. Mital said that while retrofitting of existing coaches with this kind of toilets takes time, all new coaches are being fitted with bio-digester toilets.Secretary, (School Education), in the Ministry of Human Resource Development said that introduction of modules on sanitation in school curriculum would be considered.Ward and City Sanitation Plans and achievements will be presented to the people during this period. It has been decided to undertake 11 theme based sanitation campaigns in urban areas.As per the finalised plan, a United Clean India drive will be taken up form October 11 till October 31, which is the birth anniversary of late Sardar Patel. During this period, focus would be on cleanliness drive in transportation sector including railways, metros, bus stands, airports, taxi stands, etc, as transport networks connect all.Agriculture mandis, vegetable and grain markets would be the focus of cleanliness drive during November 1, 2015. Religious places, Tourism and Heritage sites would be targeted during November 16-30. Educational institutions will focus on sanitation from December 1 till December 15.Resident Welfare Associations would take up intensive cleanliness drive during December 16-31. Cleanliness would be ensured at Underpasses, Areas under flyovers and main roads during January 1-15, 2016. Cantonment Boards would focus on sanitation efforts during January 16-31, 2016. Municipal Corporations would focus on cleanliness in Water bodies, Recreation Parks, Play and Rest Areas during February 1-15, 2015. Hospitals and Health Centres/Institutions would do so during February 16-28.Cleanliness drive would be undertaken in Old Cities and main markets during March 1-15. Government Offices/Buildings and Other Public Institutions would be the focus of sanitation drive during March 16-31, 2016.There will be discussion on ward level plans, administering Swachh Bharat Pledge, painting and quiz competitions, street plays and inauguration of new toilets will be taken up at ward level. Showcasing achievements, rewarding meritorious functionaries of urban local bodies, volunteers, NGOs, organizing walkathons, launching public toilet locator apps, launch of city level social media page, organizing competitions will be taken up at city levels.At state level, publicising the progress of Swachh Bharat Mission, walkathons with participation of public representatives and other prominent personalities, felicitating best performing urban local bodies, functionaries, visits to toilet complexes by dignitaries, showcasing technologies for segregation of solid waste will be taken up.

Unfaithful babus would jeopardise State’s integrity: Delhi Court

The court said six of the seven convicts were former senior officials of public sector undertaking Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and being the employees of the State, people had faith in them but they had committed the crime.

The integrity of the State would be in “jeopardy” if public servants are not faithful as corruption has spread like a disease even among professionals, a Delhi court has observed while awarding varying jail terms to seven persons in a 20-year-old graft case.The court said six of the seven convicts were former senior officials of public sector undertaking Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and being the employees of the State, people had faith in them but they had committed the crime.”Corruption has spread to such an extent in the society that it becomes disease among professionals, medical professionals, educational professionals or even the custodian of the nation i.e. politician of this country,” Special CBI Judge Jitendra Kumar Mishra said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”No corruption can take place until and unless the public opinion gives it sanctity. Sanctity only comes when it becomes the life-style of people of the country,” the court said, adding, “it is the duty of public servants that they should remain faithful to the State, otherwise integrity of the State would be in jeopardy.”The court awarded five-year jail term to five convicts, BHEL’s former Deputy General Manager V C Ramulu, its former senior manager Denis Barnabas, its former deputy manager O P Sharma, its ex-engineer P C M Jhammnani and a private person Anil Kumar Goel. It also imposed a fine of Rs five lakh on each one of them.Besides them, the court awarded four-year jail to BHEL’s ex-senior engineer P L Khadala and three-and-a half-year jail to its assistant foreman S N Jha. It imposed a fine of Rs three lakh and two lakh on Khadala and Jha respectively.CBI had chargesheeted the seven persons along with three others for causing a loss of Rs 2.8 lakh to the exchequer in passing bills for fixing of 242 ceiling fans at BHEL’s Noida township in 1990. Of the accused, one had died during pendency of trial and two others were discharged by the court in 2005.In its judgement, the court said out of the total fine, Rs seven lakh should be paid to the CBI towards litigation expenses and Rs 3.5 lakh to BHEL towards compensation.The court noted that these convicts were not only officers of the company but custodians of resources and assets of BHEL. However, they had joined hands with Goel and allowed commission of the crime by abusing their positions. It convicted them for offences under various sections of IPC, including 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and under provisions of the Prevention of corruption Act.During trial, the defence counsel had argued that CBI was unable to prove its case and testimonies of prosecution witnesses were not supporting the agency’s matter. The court, however, convicted them observing that they were not able to furnish any explanation in opposition to the evidence brought by the CBI against them. It further held that Goel, being a contractor, had “joined hands to get illegal benefit with malafide intention to cheat the BHEL and all such accused persons instead of making BHEL richer, joined hands to get illegal advantage for themselves.”

Ex-servicemen threaten to intensify agitation, as govt drags feet on OROP scheme

New Delhi: Ex-servicemen seeking immediate implementation of OROP threatened on Friday to intensify their agitation if their demands were not met.

Saying the government was planning to make a unilateral announcement of One Rank One Pension, Major General Satbir Singh (retired) said they would not allow the government to dilute the OROP’s provisions.

Image courtesy: FirstpostImage courtesy: Firstpost

Image courtesy: Firstpost

Addressing retired soldiers at the Jantar Mantar protest venue, Satbir Singh said they were fighting against “injustice” and were not against any government or political party.

He pointed out that unlike civil servants, only one percent of military personnel serve up to the age of 60 and that 85 percent retire before the age of 40.

“We will intensify our agitation if OROP is not in conformity with what we are asking,” Satbir Singh said, adding that they were, however, willing to make minor concessions.

“If any announcement (by the government) is against our interests, we will oppose it,” he added.

Satbir Singh described the Jantar Mantar protest site in the heart of the national capital as a “Sainik parliament”.

As he spoke, hundreds of former soldiers repeatedly raised slogans like “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Sainik Ekta Zindabad!”

IANS

VRS for Vijaylakshmi Joshi: Another IAS officer retires ahead of schedule

A couple of days after Home Secretary LC Goyal sought early retirement — 17 months before his term was to elapse — another IAS officer has filed a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) application. Gujarat cadre officer from the 1980 batch, Vijaylakshmi Joshi, who helmed the ambitious Swachh Bharat mission as secretary of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, has quit her post.

Vijaylakshmi Joshi. Image courtesy: Indian Sanitation Coalition

Vijaylakshmi Joshi. Image courtesy: Indian Sanitation Coalition

The Economic Times reports that Union Minister for Rural Development, Sanitation and Drinking Water Birender Singh has forwarded her letter of resignation to the Cabinet Secretariat. The ministry has so far kept silent on the development, and the report duly quotes a ministry official stating that there was “no comment to offer on the issue”.

The report adds that Joshi was secretary in the panchayati raj ministry, until 2011, when her Central deputation began as joint secretary, Ministry of Commerce, in the UPA-II government.  It was in September last year that Joshi was appointed officer on special duty in the Ministry of Drinking Water ahead of the 2 October launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Unfortunately, the results of the cleanliness drive have not been commensurate with the euphoria at the launch of the campaign, and could be linked to Joshi’s retirement — three years ahead of schedule and barely a year into the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Goyal’s retirement, however, stemmed from a trust deficit with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. In fact, according to this Firstpost report, Singh had last week expressed his grievances to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about Goyal’s ‘approach and attitude’. The report quotes a ministry official who stated that “Goyal would often sleep over a file or find 10 different reasons to negate a particular move. His approach to work was of a typical sarkari saheb, who would keep looking to the rule books, precedents to seek endless clarifications, which would take the steam out of a move. At times his approach to a project would amount to virtually killing an initiative”.

Looking further back, seven years ago to be precise, when Joshi was managing director, Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation, her husband and 1978-batch IAS officer also from the Gujarat cadre GP Joshi had filed for VRS while serving as principal secretary (finance) in the Gujarat state government. A report in The Times of India at the time said, “Joshi is the second IAS bureaucrat who has put in his papers this year. The first one to quit four months back was JS Rana of 1975 batch. Rana, too, opted for VRS. And like Rana, Joshi — despite his known abilities — failed to be posted to good postings”.

The report added that 13 IAS officers had resigned between 2001, when Modi became Gujarat chief minister and September 2008, when GP Joshi resigned. Fast-forward to 2015, and a report in The Times of India in June stated that no less than 56 IAS officers had resigned prematurely from their Central postings — opting to be repatriated with their states or to retire — since the Modi government came to power in 2014.

Whether these are cases of clearing the way for more worthy candidates or indicative of deeper political issues within the ministries, one thing is clear: Being a babu is no easy task in the Modi sarkar.

Census 2011: Is rise in Muslims larger conspiracy to Islamise Bharat?, asks RSS mouthpiece

Above average growth rate of Muslims is due to illegal migration and conversion (Representational Image)

File Photo
Raising concerns over the rise in Muslim population in the religious data of Census, the RSS publication ‘Organiser has wondered if the the trend is a “larger conspiracy to Islamise Bharat”.At the same time, the editorial termed the decline in Sikhs and Buddhists numbers in religious data of Census as “worrisome” and said whenever indigenous faiths have declined separatist tendencies increase and called for concrete policy measures to correct it. Noting that growth rate of Hindus and Muslim in India is inversely proportionate and the imbalance is increasing in the last three decades, with the community registered such growth the consecutive third time, it said Muslims share rose by the same 0.8 percentage points between 1981-1991 and 1991-2001 in total population of the country. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Is this growth all about the growing size of Muslim families? Is it a larger conspiracy to Islamise Bharat? Is it to do just with the less economic development of the community as some reports claim?,” it questioned. “Bharat is expected to have 311 million Muslims in 2050, which is 11 per cent of the global total. This will make India the largest population of Muslims in the world,” the editorial titled ‘Making numbers policy relevant’ said.It also slammed Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for his remarks that the latest religious data would lead to “communal violence”, saying that a leader of a party that “nurtured” the “politics of votebank” in the name of “secularism” is now rubbishing the numbers on communal grounds. “The other religious groupings who are comparative insignificant in political parlance but more rooted in Bhartiya traditions like Sikhs and Buddhists have actually declined in numbers, is also worrisome. Whenever indigenous faiths have declined in numbers, the separatist tendencies increased is also a historical fact.”The ‘seculars’ like Mani Shankar Aiyar do not want to encounter with this reality. His raising of the communal tension bogie also answers the rationale behind UPA government not releasing the data earlier. Unless we accept that the issues brought up by this Census are national concerns and come up with concrete policy measures about them, whole exercise of Census would be a mere ritual,” it said.The editorial said two reasons that can be attributed to the above average growth rate of Muslims is illegal migration and conversion. “Growth of Muslim population in Pashchim Banga (West Bengal) and Assam definitely indicate the insidious illegal migration issue, while in other cases it can be linked to conversion issue,” it said.Hitting out at Aiyar for his remarks that the data will lead of communal flare-up, it said, “It is strange that a representative of the party who nurtured the politics of ‘vote bank politics’ in the name of ‘secularism’, is now rubbishing the numbers on communal grounds and denying it s policy relevance.”

Dr. Subhash Chandra discusses if India has truly attained independence

He said India will get true independence when every citizen in the country uses his/her time to contribute something positive in our society.

Dr. Subhash Chandra
File Photo

The Chairman of Essel Group and ZEE reached SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai for the new episode of ‘Dr. Subhash Chandra Show’. Dr Chandra, in his latest episode, addressed a group of students and teachers and discussed whether India and its people have attained independence in its true sense. Dr. Chandra started the discussion with a very poignant question that asked if we have attained social or economic independence till now?Talking about the two versions of India, Dr. Chandra said, “India and Bharat are two different entities now. People still do not have basic facilities in rural areas while we sit in the luxury of our homes in the urban India. People in rural areas do not even have facilities to attain education, there are not enough schools and resources.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dr. Chandra further said that India will get true independence when every citizen in the country uses his/her time to contribute something positive in our society. He said, “We do not celebrate patriotism and the people who are patriotic and do something good for the country and our society. Media should celebrate them, that will help us in gaining ture patriotism. “Watch the video here: The session was organised as part of the episodes of the Dr. Subhash Chandra Show. Dr. Subhash Chandra (DSC) Show is aired every Saturday at 10 pm on Zee News and 7 pm on Zee Business with a repeat telecast on Sundays at 11 am on Zee News and Zee Business. This show is also aired on other channels of Zee Media.

Why extra chance to only those who did not appear in 2011: Allahabad HC to UPSC

Many of those who did not appear in 2011 may have taken the tests in the subsequent years.

Many of those who did not appear in 2011 may have taken the tests in the subsequent years.

The Allahabad High Court on Friday asked Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to file its reply on a petition challenging the “extra chance” given this year to those civil services aspirants who could not appear in exams held in 2011 on account of the introduction of CSAT.A division bench, comprising Justice Arun Tandon and Justice Bharat Bhushan, asked UPSC to file its counter affidavit and fixed August 31 as the next date of hearing on the petition filed by advocate Animesh Singh and two others.The court asked UPSC to explain the rationale behind giving extra chance only to those who could not appear in 2011 when the agitation against CSAT, mainly by Hindi medium students, had been underway since 2010 and many of those who did not appear in 2011 may have taken the tests in the subsequent years. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The preliminary examinations for civil services are scheduled to be held on Sunday, August 23.The Central Administrative Tribunal had passed an order for giving an extra chance to those candidates who could not appear in 2011.

IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt sacked: Shame-then-frame trend a part of vendetta politics of Gujarat?

Sanjay Bhai Joshi, Bharat Sinh Solanki and Sanjiv Bhatt should exchange notes on the art of giving a dog a bad name and hanging him. All three Gujaratis, by birth or karma, have had the unfortunate distinction of figuring in scandals that derailed their careers. They share a common past, common enemies and a common destiny perpetrated by sex CDs.

Bhatt’s case is a shocking example of a state judging an officer on the basis of what he does outside the office, in his bedroom. The 1988 batch IPS officer, who was suspended in 2011 for being absent from duty, has been kicked out for, among other things, an alleged extra-marital affair.

Bhatt, like Joshi, has denied that he is the man in the CD. Though he has refused to challenge his termination arguing the futility of staying on when he is not wanted by the government, Bhatt claims somebody impersonated him in the sleaze video.

Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was sacked on Wednesday. PTISuspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was sacked on Wednesday. PTI

Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was sacked on Wednesday. PTI

Since when has the private life of an officer become a valid entry in his CR? Amitabh Thakur, the UP-cadre IPS officer who was suspended recently after a taking on Mulayam Singh Yadav, claims Bhatt is a victim, not the offender.

“All that Rule 20 (applicable to conduct of officers like Bhatt) prohibits is public drinking, heavy use of drugs, being intoxicated in public…what a person does as regards having physical relationship with another is definitely his personal affair,” Thakur has written in a letter to the Gujarat home secretary.

Bhatt is no saint, he has a controversial past and questionable credibility. Before he took on Narendra Modi in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots, Bhatt was a non-descript officer except with a few skeletons at his home. Later, when he fell out with ‘family friend’ Tushar Mehta, an additional advocate general of the Gujarat government, several sleazy stories about the reason for the animus surfaced.

Bhatt’s testimony, that he was present at a meeting of police officials at Modi’s residence where “he claims the then Gujarat CM asked cops to allow Hindus to vent their anger, is also disputed. Nobody has backed his assertion; he has himself failed to explain how he was present at the alleged meeting without being invited.

But, there no is gainsaying that Bhatt riled Modi, first with his campaign and then by propping up his wife as the BJP candidate from Maninagar against the then CM in the 2012 election.

By design or default, or because of sheer bad luck or karma, not many get away after taking on Modi in Gujarat.

Sex videos, by some weird coincidence, are always part of the plot. In 2005, Sanjay Joshi, Sangh’s blue-eyed boy and Modi’s rival, figured in a controversial CD. He was immediately removed from all posts in the BJP. The video was later revealed to be doctored; a police officer later testified that the CD was given to him by controversial police officer DG Vanzhara. But, by then, Joshi had fallen from his perch.

In December 2007, on the eve of Gujarat assembly elections, a CD featuring Gujarat Congress chief Bharat Sinh Solanki surfaced in Ahmedabad. The Congress claimed the CD was morphed and the party was ready for a CBI enquiry into the scandal. After the election, not much was heard of the CD.

On Wednesday, The New York Times, pointed out how the state is targeting another Modi critic, human rights activist Teesta Setalvad. ‘The state filed an affidavit in India’s Supreme Court accusing her and her husband, Javed Anand, of perpetrating a “colossal fraud”–to wit, raising $1.1 million in the “name of riot victims” only to siphon most of it to pay themselves exorbitant salaries and splurge on luxuries. The affidavit, while neglecting to mention that the Ford Foundation found no evidence of wrongdoing, dwelled at length on the couple’s “conspicuous consumption,” noting, for example, that they had eaten at a Subway, and, in boldface type, describing the purchase of sanitary napkins.’

And now, Bhatt is facing the heat of a ‘sex scandal’. Could the shame-and-frame trend be part of Gujarat’s vendetta politics; the defining feature of a revenge plot where the state first tarnishes the character of its opponents to strip them of public sympathy and then throws them at the ruthless investigating agencies?

Or, by some sheer coincidence, the state’s enemies have perfected a formula to fall on their own to doom and humiliation?

MP govt lauds eunuchs for discouraging open defecation

About 300-odd eunuchs blow whistles in these districts whenever they see anyone defecating in open.

Swachh Bharat (Representational image)

Nearly 300 eunuch have been carrying out a campaign against open defecation under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in Madhya Pradesh, with a state minister today saying that his government’s idea to rope-in eunuchs to discourage the unhealthy practice in three districts has paid off.”The state government’s idea to rope-in eunuchs, about two years back, has brought in encouraging results. The cases of open defecation have come down in Sehore, Sagar and Vidisha districts,” state Cooperative, Social Justice, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Gopal Bhargava told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The efforts of eunuchs in checking the menace of open defecation in villages of these districts have paid off, he said.About 300-odd eunuchs blow whistles in these districts whenever they see anyone defecating in open. They politely tell them not to engage in such unhealthy practice, the minister said.Bhargava said the eunuchs are being paid an honorarium for the job. “We are going to rope-in some more eunuchs as their involvement has been fantastic,” he said.The government is working hard to end open defecation in two years, the minister said, adding that the state’s efforts under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan had even been lauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme.

Yadav Singh joins ‘shame list’ at anti-corruption temple in Kanpur

When there is no hope left in anything else, one turns to God. That might be a common aphorism. But, for the people of Kanpur, who have lost all hope against corruption, Lord Shani or ‘Shani Dev’ kindles the faith that the losing battle might, after all, be won.The devotees paste or nail pictures of corrupt officials and ‘netas’, who have been the source of their troubles, on the walls of this temple praying to the Lord to deliver them to justice. Interestingly, the latest addition to this shamed list is Yadav Singh, the notorious former chief engineer of Noida, who allegedly made crores by embezzling government funds in abetment with top officials and politicians.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the congested Vikas Nagar area of Kanpur, the peculiarly named “Bhrasht Tantra Vinashak Shani Mandir” (Shani temple which destroys corruption) attracts many despairing devotees who have all but given up their fight against corruption. Locals say the steady crowd on weekdays swells to double the regular numbers on Saturday (‘shanivar’ in Hindi), the day consecrated to Lord Shani.“We pray here as we believe that Lord Shani delivers justice,” says Ravi Sharma, who was the person behind establishing this unique temple with like-minded people. “After, I faced many hardships in life and suffered at the hands of corrupt officials, I turned to God. When one loses all hope, this is the only path left,” he says, talking about how the temple came into being.According to Hindu belief Shani is the lord of the seventh planet (Saturn) out of the nine celestial powers which govern our life. Shani is believed to destroy evil and remove obstacles. As such, he was the obvious choice for those praying for destruction of the evil of corruption.Ravi Shukla, an activist associated with Bharat Punarnirman, an anti-corruption organization, says people coming to the temple write down their problems and put it in an envelope, which is dropped in a box kept in the temple. The letters, addressed to Lord Shani, are fervent prayers against corruption, he says, adding that the people come back for thanksgiving when their job is done.Others paste or nail pictures of the corrupt netas on the temple walls hoping the Lord’s fabled “vakra drishti” (oblique gaze) would destroy them. ‘Shani Dev’ is believed to obliterate anything or anyone he sets his eyes on.The cynical may doubt whether the desperate hopes and prayers of the distressed are answered at all. But, the devotees’ unequivocal faith surely serves as a ray of hope for all suffering due to corruption.

Bihar reeling under ‘jungle-raj’ since 15 years: Amit Shah

“Modiji wants electricity, water and employment opportunities to reach each and every village of Bihar. The NDA Government wants the development and progress in the eastern part of the country,” he added.

Amit Shah

File Photo
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Sunday launched a blistering attack on the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar Government, saying the state has been reeling under jungle-raj for the past 15 years. “There was a jungle-raj in Bihar for over 15 years. Today is 9th August, the day when Gandhi ji gave the slogan of ‘Angrezo Bharat Chhodo’ (Quit India). People of Bihar must also take a pledge today that jungle-raj should quit Bihar and that an NDA Government be formed here,” he said while addressing a rally in Gaya.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP president further said that the NDA Government wanted development and progress in the eastern part of the country. “Modiji wants electricity, water and employment opportunities to reach each and every village of Bihar. The NDA Government wants the development and progress in the eastern part of the country,” he added. The BJP, which along with its allies had won 31 of the 40 seats in Bihar in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, is set for a battle against a united Janata Parivar comprising of the JD (U) and RJD.

PM Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission fails in Varanasi

Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission has not only failed at his constituency, Varanasi but also in the nation’s capital, Delhi.

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign that started a year back hasn’t achieved desired goals yet. In a recent assessment on cleanliness carried out by Union Urban Development Ministry, Modi’s own constituency, Varanasi ranked 418 on a list of 476 cities. Meanwhile, the capital is also on the bottom of the list. Delhi ranks 379 on the list while New Delhi Municipal Corporation ranks higher up, 16 on the list. The assessment was carried out to check on open defecation and solid waste management in municipal areas. This was done by looking at three main aspects-primary data received from municipal bodies, field inspection and interacting with people on field. They also assessed the drinking water quality, waste water management, mortality because of water-borne diseases, quality of water bodies and the status of disposal of sewage from septic tanks.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This survey will help assess the present situation in these cities so that they can undertake necessary interventions to meet SBM (Swachh Bharat Mission) targets in urban areas,” a ministry spokesperson told a newspaper daily. While urban areas may rank lower on the list, smaller cities like Mysore did better. “Mysore leads the cities with minimal open defecation and extensive adoption of solid waste management practises,” an official statement said.

Man kills gay partner after he refuses to switch roles during sex

The court noted that on the night of the incident, after the victim refused to “switch roles” in their sexual act, the enraged man in the heat of passion hit his friend with a stone which led to his death.

A Delhi court has sentenced a man to seven years imprisonment for unintentionally killing his same sex partner in the heat of passion. His confession in private to the ‘granthi’ of a Gurudwara came in the way of his defence of being innocent. The only concession for the convict, who was a good pal of the victim, was the dropping of the murder charge against him which would have either entail death or life sentence.Additional Sessions Judge Manoj Jain held the man, a native of Uttar Pradesh, guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, saying he and the victim were good friends and used to indulge in sex and there was no enmity or motive to kill his friend. The court noted that on the night of the incident, after the victim refused to “switch roles” in their sexual act, the enraged man in the heat of passion hit his friend with a stone which led to his death.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The convict knew the victim before hand. Victim used to visit the house of convict off and on and they both were very close and intimate friends. It has come on record that they both used to indulge in unnatural sexual activity and when convict, on the night of the incident, tried to switch roles and tried to become an active partner in such activity, such idea was shunned by the victim which agitated the convict and, therefore, in a heat of passion, he killed him with a stone lying at the spot itself.” Naturally, there was no premeditation,” the court said. According to the prosecution, on the night of April 12, 2013, the victim came to house of the accused and they both consumed liquor and the next morning, the victim was found dead in Bharat Nagar area in north west Delhi. As per the medical report, there were injuries on the victim’s body indicating an attempt to sodomy. After the incident came to light, the accused confided in the ‘granthi’ of a Gurudwara that the victim used to sexually exploit him since childhood and when he tried to establish physical relations with the deceased, he started resisting which made him furious and killed him.

Porn ban: Modi govt’s bid for swachh internet has become a source of mockery

The government insists its big bad porn ban has been done in the name of blocking child pornography rather than as a blanket ban on adult entertainment in general.

But some of the names on the black list of 857 don’t seem to quite fit the pedophlia proscription – maturosexy.com or shemale.asia, not to mention a very not XXX-rated CollegeHumor.com and BarstoolSports. But then who is going to sit and parse the list and petition the government to unblock their matureosexy entertainment on the grounds that no children are involved? Which bureaucrat does one write to?

Representational image.Representational image.

Representational image.

It’s surreal enough that our politicians are jousting with high minded rhetoric about porn in public. Once upon a time they just minded their own business and watched porn quietly in parliament on their mobile phones. Now they are minding everyone else’s business.

But in true government style this is all show with no substance. Just as the much ballyhooed Swacch Bharat campaign tagged people with gusto but has hardly resulted in a visibly cleaner India. The 15 August deadline is approaching and the Economic Times says companies are scrambling to scale up their toilet building plans. Toilet building is one thing, toilet maintenance is another. The only thing we know for sure is that the government has spent Rs 94 crore on ads for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. “Now people are at least aware they should not litter,” says skill development minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy. But do they not litter?

The problem was always really about will not awareness. And the fact that most of the time there are no dustbins to be found nearby. On 15 August the government will probably trot out an impressive number of toilets built as proof of a giant leap forward for Swachh Bharat but the basic question will remain – do we feel we live in a cleaner India?

Symbols are important but if a campaign gets mired in its own symbols, it defeats its very purpose by ignoring the big picture and painting by numbers instead. A Swachh Bharat is about a cleaner India and the toilets have to be a means to that end, not the end in itself, something crossed off a checklist.

Cleaning the internet of child porn is even more riddled with hollow symbolism. The government might think the list of 857 is proof of its commitment to the issue and testimony to its seriousness about combating child porn. In reality, thanks to the government’s ham-handed efforts, the media is awash in the last few days with more coverage of porn than it has done in years. The government has effectively legitimised porn in mainstream discourse by taking a sledgehammer to it.

As any Indian who downloads pirated movies could have told the government, this is an exercise in futility. 857 is just a drop in the bucket given the tens of thousands of sites out there. Blocking the URLs does nothing because the same sites can rechristen themselves or create a mirror site and pop up again. A Pakistani friend commented that “Your Pakistani neighours have one word for you: Proxy” which might lead to interesting new frontiers in Aman ki Asha – VPN tutorials instead of Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Finally there’s always BitTorrent. And appointing someone like a retired Supreme Court judge to be the porn ombudsman, as the government is apparently mulling, is hardly going to fix any of these loopholes. Where there is a will there is a way and this list of 857 will not clean up the Internet anymore than tagging Shah Rukh Khan or Shashi Tharoor will clean up our streets.

But at least Swachh Bharat can be credited for attempting to create some kind of awareness about the importance of cleanliness and sanitation. Swachh Internet is actually having the reverse effect. All the government has really done in its zeal is informed the nation at large about hundreds of porn sites they knew nothing about day before yesterday but can now check out via VPN. In its efforts to combat child porn, the government has made scouring the world wide web for it that much easier with its handy Beginner’s Guide to Internet Porn.

It’s mystifying that a campaign that was so good at fine-tuning and honing its message has proven so klunky in power.

In a way this half-hearted website-scrubbing move parallels what the censor board tried to do with its blacklist of forbidden words. Those included “masturbating” and “haramazada”. Apparently sitting MPs can get away with using that word but films cannot. @uddubhaskar scoffed on Twitter “So, going by the list of words banned by the Censor Board, none of Pahlaj Nilhalani’s films would have passed without censoring the songs.” Nihalani, is of course the chief of the censor board. Even his own committee member Ashok Pandit panned the directive calling it a “murder of creativity”. Director Hansal Mehta said “This board has again taken us back in time. They want us to protect Indian culture but it is the culture as the [Hindu nationalist group] RSS wants.”

Whether a true RSS-supporter never says any of those cuss words or visits any of those forbidden 857 sites, all that these loophole-ridden plainly ineffective measures prove is that while puritanism can be a source for concern, half-baked puritanism is a source for mockery.

There were already a slew of jokes yesterday saying the government’s porn ban was to boost the home-grown “certified adult” efforts of its chosen FTII head Gajendra Chauhan’s ouvre like Jungle Love, Jungle Queen and Khuli Khidki.

As for the next MLA caught watching porn on his mobile phone, we can already hear the robust defence “Well I was not on any of the 857 sites identified by the government.”

‘Idiots lined up every step’: IAS officer whose sexual harassment complaint was disregarded

“I can only pray that no woman is born in this country,” IAS officer Riju Bafna said on Facebook, on a post shared on 1 August. What may have driven her to make such a statement? The disturbing misogyny of various people in power and positions of responsibility.

Riju Bafna. Image courtesy: Facebook.Riju Bafna. Image courtesy: Facebook.

Riju Bafna. Image courtesy: Facebook.

Bafna says in the post that she had lodged an FIR against Santosh Chaubey, the Ayogmitra of Human Rights Commission. Chaubey had been sending her ‘indecent’ messages for a while.

With the help of the district collector Bharat Yadav, prompt action was taken against Chaubey, who was removed from his post immediately.

However, when she turned up to record her statement before the judicial magistrate in the state, a group of advocates decided to crowd around her as she gave her statement. When she asked them to leave, one of them started shouting at her, and allegedly told her, she may be a government “officer” in her office, she is nothing in the court. When she told the judge taking her statement that the court should make sure such incidents are not repeated, the judge brushed it off saying, “you are young and that’s why demanding such things”.

Read Bafna’s entire post here:

Hi everyone. I am posting this message to share my experience with judiciary on a sexual harassment case filed by…

Posted by Riju Bafna on Saturday, 1 August 2015

India bids farewell to ‘People’s President’: APJ Abdul Kalam laid to rest with military honours

Rameswaram: In a spontaneous outpouring of grief, thousands of people bid an an emotional farewell to former President APJ Abdul Kalam who was laid to rest on Thursday with full state honours in his home town Rameswaram amid chants of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

Kalam’s mortal remains were buried in the middle of a 1.5 acre piece of land earmarked for the purpose at Peikarumbu after being brought from his family mosque where special prayers were offered.

The ‘People’s President’ was accorded full military honours, including gun salute and playing of the Last Post as the members of his family and local Jamath lowered his mortal remains into a trench as slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ rent the air.

PM Modi at Kalam's funeral. PIBPM Modi at Kalam's funeral. PIB

PM Modi at Kalam’s funeral. PIB

The funeral of the ‘Missile Man’ was attended by a number of leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi who placed a wreath, offered his final salute and stood in silence in front of Kalam’s body that was draped in national flag. He also went around the casket with folded hands.

The Prime Minister later went up to Kalam’s eldest brother 99-year-old Mohammed Muthu Meeran Lebbai Maraicker, who was seated nearby, and offered his condolences. Congres vice president Rahul Gandhi also paid his last respects to Kalam, who died of cardiac arrest in Shillong on 27 July.

Besides some foreign dignitaries, several leaders including Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, his cabinet colleague M Venkaiah Naidu and state Finance Minister O Panneerselvam were present.

Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad and Chief Ministers of Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh Siddaramaiah Oommen Chandy and Chandrababu Naidu and CPI-M veteran V S Achuthanandan were also among those who paid their homage.

The three services chief also paid their respects to their former Supreme Commander.

Earlier, a large number of teary-eyed mourners swarmed the carriage carrying his mortal remains and briskly moved with it on the last journey of the 83-year old scientist. Condolences poured in from the country and across the world, paying respects to the affable man who endeared himself to the masses with his simplicity.

Tight security, including deployment of Naval, Coast Guard and Marine police personnel in the sea around the town, was put in place in view of the convergence of several dignitaries.

A large number of mourners were seen perched on roof-tops and trees both near his house and the burial ground to catch a glimpse of the late leader, who rose from humble beginnings.

Municipal authorities had laid a special approach road to the place of burial for facilitating movement of the carriage and VIPs.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had expressed her inability to attend the funeral citing health grounds. The state government was represented by senior Ministers including Panneerselvam.

Modi, who arrived by a special helicopter at nearby Mandapam, drove to this island town in his bullet-proof car amidst tight security.

Earlier, as part of the last rites for the departed soul, a ‘Namaz-e-Janaza’ was held here with the ‘Aalin’ or Chief Priest reading out prayers, which was later repeated at the burial site.

Tamil Nadu government had announced a public holiday on Thursday, with state-run liquor outlets and bars closed as a ‘mark of respect’ for Kalam, who served as the President of the country from 2002-07.

The country’s first bachelor President, Kalam had received several prestigious awards including Bharat Ratna, and played a crucial role when India tested its nuclear weapons at Pokhran in 1998 when the Vajpayee government was in power.

Gloom and poignancy was palpable in this island town as supporters of Kalam streamed in from different parts of the country, as far as from Punjab and West Bengal, to pay their last respects, giving ample signs of his popularity.

People swarmed the town to see-off their favourite ‘Kalam Sir’ on his final journey, with scores of them carrying the Indian tricolour and placards hailing the former President. They kept pouring in through the night by various transport including buses, trains and boats to attend the last rites and many of them even slept on the roads last night.

Shops, business establishments and hotels remained shut in the town and throughout Tamil Nadu as a mark of respect to the late leader fondly called the ‘People’s President’.

Moist eyes and tributes among people was a common sight as mourners bid one last farewell to Kalam.

A small town citizen who later rose to become the first citizen of India, Kalam’s life is an illustrious example of hardwork and dedication. A soft-spoken genial man, his scientific exploits call for an exhaustive resume.

Whether mastering the launch vehicle technology in his days at ISRO or later exploring through missile technology in DRDO, Kalam left his indelible signature in India’s science and Defence programmes.

An avid backer of nuclear technology, the visionary Kalam was an integral part of the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests undertaken by the A B Vajpayee-led NDA Government.

The veteran scientist also backed the controversial Indo-Russian joint venture Koodankulam Nuclear power project in the state, which was strongly opposed by the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE).

Having risen through the ranks of the Indian scientific community, Kalam inspired many of his fellow citizens, especially youngsters, urging them to have a dream, for the progress of themselves and the country.

This instantly struck a chord with youngsters and students, with aspiring engineers, doctors and scientists looking upon him as a living example worth emulating.

The former President has been ‘trending’ on the online forums, with thousands of Twitterati and Facebook users heaping encomiums on him. While some shared their fortunate moments with him, others recalled his inspirational quotes to pay tributes to him. A slew of demands have already been made to record Kalam’s name in posterity, by constructing memorial or re-naming Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) here, where he did aeronautical engineering, after him.

PTI

PM Modi to attend Kalam’s last rites in Rameswaram

Speaking to reporters at the Palam technical area from where the mortal remains of the former president was flown to his hometown Rameswaram by a special aircraft, Naidu said some chief ministers are also expected to attend the last rites.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the last rites of former president APJ Abdul Kalam in Rameswaramon Thursday, whose demise he described as a loss of “Ratna (gem) of Bharat”.”The Prime Minister is coming,” Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu confirmed when asked if he would be attending the last rites of the former “scientist-President”.Speaking to reporters at the Palam technical area from where the mortal remains of the former president was flown to his hometown Rameswaram by a special aircraft, Naidu said some chief ministers are also expected to attend the last rites.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Prime Minister will arrive early in the morning and attend the rituals at around 11 am, sources said.Penning his tribute to the ‘missile man’ and who was felicitated with the highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, Modi in his blog, said “Bharat has lost a Ratna”.”Our scientist-President – and one who was genuinely loved and admired across the masses – never measured success by material possessions,” he said.”For him, the counterpoint to poverty was the wealth of knowledge, in both its scientific and spiritual manifestations,” the Prime Minister said.He remembered Kalam as one who took little from the world, and gave all he could to the society.”Kalamji refused to be defeated by circumstances. His character, commitment and inspirational vision shine through his life. He was unencumbered by ego; flattery left him cold,” Modi said.Describing him as a “hero” of India’s defence, the Prime Minister said his contributions to “our nuclear and space achievements have given India the muscle to be confident of her place in the region and the world.”Modi said his profound idealism was secure because it rested on a foundation of realism.Kalam was “equally at ease before an audience of suave, globe-trotting ministers and a class of young students”, Modi said.

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