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Delhi: Prominent malls and shopping complexes evacuated in late night security drills

“The drills were held to enhance our preparedness ahead of New Year’s eve to deal with any potential threats,” the official added.

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CPCB, a look at the science behind the air quality index

“Engineers can establish these stations, technicians can run it, but you need people who understand atmospheric science, to understand the data,” said Jakhwal. Hence, CPCB regularly absorbs students from various universities training them in their special sets of skills.With two more automatic stations being set up, their biggest asset to maintain air quality, is knowledge, said Jakhwal, which has finally made people take note of the state of affairs.Meanwhile, the honour of ‘severe’ air went to Muzaffarpur, Bihar, on Tuesday.White elephants
Scientist at the Air Laboratory for 29 years, DC Jakhwal, calls these stations the CPCB’s white elephants. Necessary as they are, each costs 1.1 crore to set up, roughly 12 per cent of that to maintain the sensitive equipment annually – eight machines for eight parameters – and depend heavily on connectivity to monitor remote areas. For now, the lab has 39 such stations across India connected to it, with Gaya joining on Tuesday itself.

Aradhna Wal

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Kirti Azad suspended: Congress, AAP have no moral right to criticise us, says BJP

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Both the parties have slammed BJP for taking action against Azad.

Kirti Azad

BJP on Wednesday took on Congress and AAP after both the parties took a swipe at it over its decision to suspend party MP Kirti Azad, saying they have no “moral right” to comment on its internal matter and cited the example of how they “mistreated” their senior leaders.The party said Azad was suspended after he continued to target Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who has maintained “impeccable standards” in public life and has “unblemished record”. “BJP is a democratic and disciplined organisation. One-man parties like Congress and AAP have no moral right to give us a lesson,” party secretary Shrikant Sharma said, noting that it was party’s Parliamentary Board which took the decision to suspend Azad.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nobody can forget the way Congress denied former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao’s body to be brought to its headquarters and the way it threw out its chief Sitaram Kesri, who came from a deprive community, he said.”In our party, Parliamentary Board takes such a decision while in Congress and AAP one person decides such things. These parties should introspect and not try to teach BJP a lesson,” Sharma said.Taking on AAP, he said its leader and Delhi Chief Minister used “abusive” language against senior leaders like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav before axing them from the party. Revelling in the trouble in BJP, the Congress wondered if BJP can “suspend free speech, fair comment, exposure of irregularities and corruption”. “These are the questions the Prime Minister must answer,” party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “There is no democracy in BJP. Honest voices are muzzled to protect corruption.

Children defenseless under new law, say experts

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Child rights lawyer Anant Asthana pointed at the implausibility of the children defending themselves who will be booked under the new law. “Till the time the case reaches the juvenile justice board, the child will be inside the jail. What defence will he or she have,” he said. “Apart from the FIR, the Bill does not mention any other material that the Board can refer to while making its decision.”

As the Rajya Sabha passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Bill, 2000 making it a law to punish children below 18 years committing heinous crimes as adults, experts pointed at the several fallouts of the newest law of the Indian Constitution.Child rights lawyer Anant Asthana pointed at the implausibility of the children defending themselves who will be booked under the new law. “Till the time the case reaches the juvenile justice board, the child will be inside the jail. What defence will he or she have,” he said. “Apart from the FIR, the Bill does not mention any other material that the Board can refer to while making its decision.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Experts also said that in cases of consensual sex involving children above 16, the child will now go to jail and not a child care facility. “When the parents of a girl press charges against a boy, usually the FIR has charges of rape and kidnapping,” added Asthana. Enakshi Ganguly of HAQ: Centre for Child Rights said that she was devastated. “The lynch mob mentality has won, and all these political parties have bought peace at the cost of our children,”she said. She added that it was unfortunate that the minister choose to ignore the recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee, recommendations of the Standing Committee, and two Supreme Court judgements. As per the new law, children who will be convicted will be disqualified for employment. And, a financial assistance will now be limited to once. Under the previous law, the state took responsibility of the child till he or she turns 21, with the state providing financial assistance more than once. “The state has totally abjugated its responsibility, and passed responsibility on the child. This is unfortunate,” he said.Lawyer Vrinda Grover said that with the passing of the law, India has given up its commitments to the several international treaties it is signatory to. “Scientific studies have time and again proved that the focus of juvenile justice should be on reform not punitive action. The ministry should come up with a committee and study the effects and publish it after a year of the law’s passing,” said Grover. Grover also added that the state does not have the resources to support the law. “The juvenile justice boards do not have the capacity to carry out the necessary actions. And the act of deciding whether a crime or situation should be pushed for punishment needs skilled people; it is open to abuse,” said Grover.

Release of juvenile convict: Maneka Gandhi puts blame on Rajya Sabha

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Maneka Gandhi said the existing law is insufficient to hold the punishment of the accused juvenile who was the most gruesome of all six rapists.
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PTI
As decks seemed to be cleared for the release of the juvenile convict in December 16 gang-rape case, Union minister Maneka Gandhi on Friday blamed Rajya Sabha for not passing the Bill to amend the Juvenile Justice Act which seeks stringent punishment for children aged between 16-18 involved in heinous crimes.”I would blame Rajya Sabha for not passing the law. Had they passed the Bill, he (accused juvenile) would not have gone scot-free,” Gandhi said outside the Parliament.She said the existing law is insufficient to hold the punishment of the accused juvenile who was the most gruesome of all six rapists. The juvenile convict, now 20, is likely to walk free on Sunday after his three-year sentence at a correction home gets over.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There is nothing that we can do as the existing law cannot deal with this,” the Union Minister for Women and Child Development said.Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said though the court’s decision cannot be questioned, the matter needs to be deliberated upon to find a solution.”I cannot question the court’s decision as it works in the ambit of laws. We will have to deliberate upon possible solutions in this matter,” she said.However, BJP leader and former top cop Kiran Bedi said even after he is released, the 20-year-old youth can be arrested by Delhi police for apprehension of breach of peace.”Rapist being released can be arrested by Delhi Police under 107/151 of CRPC for apprehension of breach of peace till SC considers parents petition,” she tweeted.The order evoked dismay among activists who said that it was necessary to ascertain that the youth has been reformed before releasing him in the society.”The probationary officer appointed by the Juvenile Justice Board is supposed to present the assessment report to the law enforcement agencies saying that he is fit to go back to society or that he is no more a threat. It is very understandable that High Court could have made a directive as we have not passed the law. Law makers are not serious about it, that is why they are letting this legislation without amendments hanging in Rajya Sabha,” said Social activist Ranjana Kumari.Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson, Swati Maliwal said she would appeal to the Chief Justice of India, Delhi High Court and write to the President against the release of the juvenile.”Some kind of analysis needs to be done as to what kind of reformation this man has gone through. We are hounded by emails, messages and calls from women who are feeling scared with the very fact that this man will come out in open, he could be travelling in a taxi or a bus. India needs to know what reformation he has gone through,” Maliwal said.Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee said, “It is a collective responsibility but primarily of the state because the whole focus of our judicial system is not retributive but reformative. And we focus on giving second chance to a person and specifically in the cases like this. Youth have got so much energy and if it is not channelised positively it can turn destructive.”Brushing aside the public outcry against his release, a High Court bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath directed the Juvenile Justice Board to interact with the convict, his parents and concerned officials of Department of Women and Child Development regarding his “rehabilitation and social mainstreaming”.The bench said BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking stay on the release of juvenile convict cannot be allowed as the statutory and existing law was coming in its way.

Bajirao Mastani to be banned in Pakistan

Two of the year’s biggest films are set to hit the cinema halls this Friday, Dilwale starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in lead after 16 years and Bajirao Mastani, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s larger than life depiction of Maratha warrior king Bajirao Peshwa, starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra. However just a day before release date, Bajirao Mastani seems have run in to some unexpected trouble in Pakistan.

A poster of Bajirao Mastani with Ranveer Singh as Bajirao, Deepika Padukone as Mastani and Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai

Knowing that Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani explores the relationship between Bajirao Peshwa and his Muslim wife Mastani, it has been a topic of hot discussion in the Indian subcontinent, however just a day before release, Bajirao mastani has failed to get a no objection certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) of Pakistan.Reports in the The Express Tribune quote Mobasher Hasan, chairman of the CBFC explaining why the decision to not allow screening was made,“Firstly, the film is in Hindi and our ordinance does not allow Hindi films to be screened. Secondly, it is a historical drama that is indirectly against Islam and Muslims,”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While speculations that intimate scenes and certain dialogues could have also played a part in the decision to ban the film, Hasan clarified that the reason for not allowing the release is not because of these reasons. The Pakistan’s censor board has termed the film anti-islamic and has said that it cannot allow such a film to be released in Pakistan. However, according to the local film distributors who called for a full board film review again, the board has agreed to review it previous decision. However the outcome is yet to declared. In 2014Vishal Bharadwaj’s Haider was disallowed to be released in Pakistan by the CNFC in 2014 terming it as against the “ideology of Pakistan”. Aamir Khan’s PK that discussed religious oddities of India was also heavily edited before release in Pakistan. Pakistan has three regional censor boards – Sindh Board of Film Certification (SBFC) in Karachi, Punjab Censor Board in Lahore, Central Board of film Certification (CBFC) of Pakistan in Islamabad.Punjab and Sindh have approved the release of the movie and distributors hope that because regional boards of Punjab and Sindh have no objection to the film’s release the CBFC might reconsider its decision and clear it for release however it appears to be a long shot. While the final decision is yet to be made, Shah Rukh Khan’s Diwale has been approved for release in Pakistan.

Pak boat row: Coast Guard DIG BK Loshali sacked for contradicting govt’s stand

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said the “circumstantial evidence” indicated that the Pakistani boat had suspected terror links
File Image
PTI
Coast Guard DIG BK Loshali has been sacked following a Board of Inquiry over his comments that contradicted the government’s stand on the sinking of a Pakistan fishing boat last year.”He was dismissed from services after the Board of Inquiry found him guilty of all the charges on Saturday. The inquiry was conducted by a panel of senior DIG (Deputy Inspector General) rank officers for over three months,” said a senior Coast Guard official. On eve the of New Year last year, a Pakistani fishing boat said to be carrying explosives was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard off the coast of Gujarat, but the vessel exploded and caught fire before sinking along with four occupants.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said the “circumstantial evidence” indicated that the Pakistani boat had suspected terror links. Dismissing claims that the occupants of boat were smugglers, the Minister had said he would classify them as “suspected or possible terrorists” since they had committed suicide after being intercepted and added that they were in touch with Pakistani maritime officials, “army and international contacts”.While the government has claimed that the Pakistani boat had been set on fire by its crew, Loshali told an audience of Coast Guard and Larsen & Toubro officials on February 15 that he had ordered to blow off the boat, which was a major embarrassment for the government as well as the Coast Guard. On “31st December night. I was there at Gandhinagar, and I told at night, blow the boat off. We don’t want to serve them biryani,” Loshali had said.Following this, the government had removed Loshali from the position of Chief of Staff, North West and attached him to the force’s Gandhinagar-based regional headquarters. A Board of Inquiry at Mumbai was also constituted to look into the matter, which probed the matter for over three months and court martialed him.

Mumbai University mulls over following Paris model, might break into smaller parts

The plan “2016-17 & Beyond” highlights this high-pitch proposal under the subhead, “Break-up of the University into several ones UoM1, UoM2 et al”.

Mumbai University

After years of rumours and high-level recommendations, the “exceedingly large” University of Mumbai is finally thinking about breaking itself into several small parts – on the lines of Paris University, which was broken into 13 smaller varsities following a huge civic unrest in the country in 1968. Reason: Largeness and heterogeneity due to which management of the varsity has become a “nightmare”. And it is beyond improvement, “even after using IT and digital platforms”. The plan “2016-17 & Beyond” highlights this high-pitch proposal under the subhead, “Break-up of the University into several ones UoM1, UoM2 et al”. “It will perhaps be in the interest of all concerned and most importantly in the interest of higher education at large to break up the university. To provide a link to and honour the University of Mumbai, the nomenclature could be UoM1, UoM2, et al, following the practice in other places, such as the University of Paris,” read the perspective plan document, which was made public last week.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The document states, “There are persuasive reasons why a university like ours, which is exceedingly large, needs to be broken up into several small parts. Currently, the sheer magnitude creates a management nightmare. The problem will still remain even if one were to use IT and digital techniques.” The university has over 750 affiliated colleges spread over six districts – Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Sindhudrug and Ratnagiri. It caters to over eight lakh students with skewed resources and often faces flak for a series of fiascos, botch-up examinations and delayed results. To start with, the varsity proposes to create more sub-campuses with a clearly defined role and “finally help them break-away as universities in their own right” for a balanced regional development. In 1970, the Paris university was divided into 13 autonomous universities. The newly created universities were numbered Paris 1, Paris 2 and so on. They also adopted names such as Pantheon Sorborne University, Pantheon Assas University and Paris Sorbornne University. There have been demands from various quarters to divide the MU for better management, with state government mulling over the proposal for the last four years, after the Kakodkar committe recommended the moves. Anil Patil, director of Board of Colleges and University Development, who was also the chairman of the 23-member committee that formulated the perspective plan, said, “This is the vision document that we intend to implement in future, if the need arises and that too in consultation with the state government. As of now, we are just planning more sub-campuses with greater power and autonomy. Jalgaon and Solapur Universities were also carved out from the Pune University.”
Also on cards: *Opening of five government engineering colleges in Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts*Four-year integrated programme for BA-BEd, BSc- BEd*A women’s college and a women’s law college*Three different categorisations – weak, reasonable and excellent affiliate collegesAlso, from 2016-17, the university plans to offer degree courses in bamboo and canned industry, oceanography and marine biology through Sindhu Swadhyay Sanstha. Two-year associate degree courses in safety and fire management courses at community colleges of industrial belt, diploma courses in music and dance and certificate course in sports management through distance education are among other programmes.

Nirbhaya rape case: Juvenile accused will be a threat to society, says victim’s parents

The convict, then aged under 18, is said to have inflicted maximum injury on the 23-year-old paramedical student, who died 13 days later, triggering a massive public outrage.

Juvenile accused in Nirbhaya rape case will walk out of remand home on December 15.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
With less than two days to go for the release of the juvenile convict in the December 16 gang rape case, the victim’s parents on Sunday feared that he might be a “threat to society” and demanded that his mental condition be assessed before setting him free.The convict, then aged under 18, is said to have inflicted maximum injury on the 23-year-old paramedical student, who died 13 days later, triggering a massive public outrage.”We demand that he should not be allowed to walk free as he is a threat to the society. There is a need to assess his mental condition before releasing him, so that he does not attack some other girl, like he had killed our daughter,” the father of the victim said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Juvenile Justice Board had on August 31, 2013 sent the juvenile to a remand home for three years. He will walk out of the home on December 15. Amid media reports that the juvenile has written to the Home Ministry that he should not be placed under a watch of an NGO after being released, the girl’s father said, “It will be as good as setting him free. He should not be released at all.If at all released, his face should be shown to the world.” The Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas also expressed concern over the issue saying, “as far as the Nirbhaya case accused is concerned, with just days to go for his release, I can only say that he will pose a danger to the society as he will be living among us.””No one has seen his face and now one doesn’t know who would be his next victim,” he said.The Delhi High Court had on Friday sought the response from the Centre on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea that the juvenile convict be not released till it is “demonstrably assured” that he has reformed himself and was not a menace to the society. The high court had issued notice to the Ministry of Law, Ministry of Home Affairs and the juvenile through the JJ Board, and is likely to hear the matter tomorrow.Amid apprehension raised by the victim’s parents, the Home Ministry is contemplating to ask the juvenile convict to sign a legal bond affirming good behaviour after his release. The bond as per Section 107 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) will act as security for keeping the peace after his release from the juvenile remand home, a senior ministry official had said.Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had recently emphasised on the need to keep a “close watch” on him (juvenile) following his impending release. The juvenile, arrested for rape and murder of the victim, was tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.The victim, who was brutally assaulted by six persons, including the juvenile, in a moving bus in south Delhi, had succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital plunging the country into grief.

You should cultivate sense of insensitivity to be in politics, says Wipro founder Azim Premji

Premji, whose company’s CSR arm, the Azim Premji Foundation, is already involved in primary education in backward areas among others, said that despite having large-scale projects the intended effect cannot be reached at micro-levels owing to dependency on executing agencies.
File Photo

IT czar Azim Premji on Saturday said one should cultivate a sense of insensitivity to be in politics.”Why am I not in politics? Because I think it would have killed me in a couple of years… you should cultivate a sense of insensitivity to be in politics,” said Premji.The Wipro’s billionaire founder, who has given away almost half of his stake holding in the company to philanthropy, was responding to a question from the audience here at the Indian Institute of Management’s first global alumni conclave and leadership summit ‘IIMBUE’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On lack of skillful and talented people with philanthropic attitude in politics, he said, “One would definitely encourage talented people to join government and to join politics, the issue is do they have a mental make-up for it?””Certainly they should be encouraged. How do you raise the standard of politics and the standard of governance unless you manage with the right people,” said Premji, who was in conversation with Biocon head and Chairperson of the Board of governors-IIMB Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw on the topic ‘The business of philanthropy’.Responding to a query on the challenges he encountered while giving away money for philanthropy, the business tycoon said, “I think the biggest challenge that we face is the size of the problem, the scope of the problem, the depth of the problem.”Premji, whose company’s CSR arm, the Azim Premji Foundation, is already involved in primary education in backward areas among others, said that despite having large-scale projects the intended effect cannot be reached at micro-levels owing to dependency on executing agencies.”… you are just penetrating a small proportion of the whole scenario, of the problem. That is very frustrating because you just don’t have bandwidth. You may still have the money, you don’t have the bandwidth,” he said.”Second thing is you do rely on government machinery in terms of the work we do, like education. We have to depend on them very significantly, but it is in the slowness of the change… ,” Premji added.Asked for his thoughts on the two per cent CSR mandate, he said, “in principle, I don’t like mandate. So, I would object to a two per cent mandate, but now that’s made accompli, it has become a statutory law.””I think what is good is they have left it up to the governance committee of the company to decide the priority of usage of those funds, all one can wish for is that companies utilise those funds honestly and don’t substitute their own personal charity with company funds. Let us see how it works out… ,” he added.

Justice for Nirbhaya: Delhi HC seeks Centre’s reply on steps post release of juvenile

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also asked the government to inform it about the measures taken, if any, regarding post release rehabilitation of the juvenile, who will walk out of the observation home on December 15 after serving the stipulated three year incarceration

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought Centre’s response on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea that the juvenile convict in the December 16, 2012, gangrape case be not released till it is “demonstrably assured” that he has reformed and was not a menace to society.A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also asked the government to inform it about the measures taken, if any, regarding post release rehabilitation of the juvenile, who will walk out of the observation home on December 15 after serving the stipulated three year incarceration. The court asked whether a management committee has been constituted as per the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Rules, is it still in existence and what are its activities.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”What are the plans, take instruction. it is not an ordinary case and requires consideration,” the bench said. It issued notice to the Ministry of Law, Ministry of Home Affairs and the juvenile convict through JJ Board and also asked the government to get instructions from the committee and listed it for hearing on December 14. The court passed the order after Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and central government’s standing counsel Jasmeet Singh told the bench that while there was no opposition to extension of the juvenile’s stay at the observation home, as per the rules the committee has to make plans for post release rehabilitation.Counsel for the Centre placed before the court the reports of the IB relating to the behaviour of the juvenile during his stay in special home. However, the court asked the counsel to place the report before it in a sealed cover.The government was responding to Swamy’s petition, who claimed that there is lacuna in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000, as amended in 2011. JJ Board had sentenced the juvenile three years detention in reformation home.In his petition before the HC, Swamy contended that “no provision has been made in the Act, to provide for vicious unregenerate convicted juveniles who despite having undergone the reformation process for the maximum penalty of three year’s custody in a special home, continue to be a menace to the society”. “…provision has to be made to deal with such juvenile for further period in such a manner that he does not prove menace to the society.”The question arises, in a very acute form, in the instant gangrape case, where the respondent no.1 (juvenile), one of the offenders, who was adjudged to be under eighteen years of age at the time of the offence, is about to complete the maximum period of the offence prescribed…. and yet it is learnt that there is a report of the Ministry of Home Affairs wherefrom it emerges that this juvenile has not reformed but has become worse, having been radicalized by association with another juvenile convicted of involvement in the 2011 Delhi High Court blast,” the plea said.He also said in his petition that the JJ Board should be given some “teeth to deal with such a case of an unreformed juvenile criminal”. The Supreme Court had earlier rejected Swamy’s petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000.He had sought that juvenile in the case be prosecuted in a criminal court in view of the gravity of his offence. Six persons, including the juvenile, had brutally assaulting and raping a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. The victim had died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012.Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay were awarded death penalty by trial court in the gang rape and murder case which was later confirmed by Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Accused Ram Singh had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail on March 11, 2013, and proceedings against him were abated following his death.

With Interpol refusing to budge, India takes diplomatic route to get Lalit Modi extradited

The MHA in consultation with the external affairs ministry has given a go-ahead to the agency for further course of action.

Lalit Modi

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With Interpol inordinately delaying issuing red corner notices (RCN) against former commissioner of Indian Premier League (IPL) Lalit Modi, the government has now turned to the diplomatic power. The ministry of external affairs (MEA) has cleared the ‘extradition request’ against Lalit Modi sought by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the alleged money laundering. The decision has been taken under the provisions of the extradition treaty existing between India and the United Kingdom. Extradition is the legal process that involves transfer of a suspected or convicted criminal by a country to another.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> ED has been making constant efforts to make Interpol to act, since September. A source in ED confirmed to dna that the extradition request has been cleared by the MEA and has been resent to the enforcement agency to take it forward. On November 13, the ED had moved a formal request to the ministry of home affairs (MHA) for initiating extradition proceedings against Modi based on a non-bailable arrest warrant against him. “In a request to ministry, the probe agency has clearly mentioned that the convict they are looking for is in the UK,” an official told dna. The MHA in consultation with the external affairs ministry has given a go-ahead to the agency for further course of action. Under the extradition proceedings, the enforcement sleuths have to approach Prevention of Money laundering (PML) court for issuance of a legal extradition order against the suspect/accused. In this case, once the court issues the order, the ministry concerned will send it to the UK government. Sources said the fresh move would compel the UK government to implement the legal request and deport Modi. “If Interpol issues RCN, it would help agencies to restrict Modi’s movement across the world. Even if it does not, we will have the extradition order to get him back,” said the ED source. dna has learnt that at this point of time, ‘extradition’ is important because the international police organisation is unlikely to issue the RCN easily. In its fourth communication to ED in the first week of November, Interpol wanted the case details to be handed over to Modi as part of his fundamental rights. The Mumbai ED refused to part with any legal document against Modi as they feared that he would find some way to scuttle deportation. Even on the three previous occasions, Interpol raised “frivolous queries” delaying Modi’s deportation. ED has been probing Modi, the IPL and its executives for alleged violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The case relates to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which had awarded a 10-year media right to WSG for $918 million. WSG then entered into a deal with MSM to make Sony the official broadcaster. The contract was replaced later with a nine-year deal, where MSM paid $1.63 billion.

No cricket with Pakistan till border situation becomes normal, says Anupam Kher

Citing the recent killing of Santosh Mahadik in a shootout with militants in Kashmir, Anupam Kher said that not playing cricket will be a way to show sensitivity towards the bereaved family.
File Photo

India should not resume its cricketing ties with Pakistan until the situation at the border becomes “normal”, feels veteran actor Anupam Kher. Kher, 60, is in Jharkhand to shoot for an upcoming biopic on Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He plays Dhoni’s father Pan Singh in the movie.”According to me, till the time our people are being killed on the front, matches should not be held. If diplomacy says that we should give a chance to enemy or neighbours, sports has its own status, people have their own status and music has its own status, that diplomacy has to be sorted out by the government,” he said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Citing the recent killing of Santosh Mahadik in a shootout with militants in Kashmir, he said that not playing cricket will be a way to show sensitivity towards the bereaved family.”Some things are above other things. What I feel is we should show sensitivity and cricket matches can be postponed for the time being, till situation becomes normal. When people stop killing innocents… then we will think. There is no urgency to play,” he added.There is a proposal for resumption of cricket matches between India and Pakistan. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is awaiting the government’s response on the fate of the series. The Pakistan Cricket Board has already got clearance from its government. Both countries have not played Test cricket since 2007 but Pakistan toured India in the winter of 2012-13 for a short limited-over series.

Villagers in Varanasi blame Coca-Cola plant for water scarcity

New Delhi: Eighteen village councils in Uttar Pradesh are demanding a local Coca-Cola bottling plant be prohibited from extracting water from the ground, claiming its over usage has led to water scarcity in the area, said an environmental campaign group.

The villages, which are located in Mehdiganj area of Varanasi district — the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — claim they have been facing water shortages since 1999 when the plant began operations.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Elected village council heads represent the voice of the people, and they are clear that Coca-Cola is not welcome in Mehdiganj. It is time for Coca-Cola to pack up and leave,” said Amit Srivastava of the California-based India Resource Center, which is supporting the village councils.

“Coca-Cola paints a pretty picture of itself internationally as a responsible user of water, but the reality in India is that it exploits groundwater at the expense of the poor, the women, children, farmers and livestock who have to live with less water because Coca-Cola mines groundwater in a water scarce area for profit.”

Mehdiganj is largely agrarian and communities here rely on groundwater to meet most of their needs, including for personal drinking and washing, irrigation and for livestock.

Coca-Cola uses the same groundwater source to meet its production needs — placing it in direct competition with the local community, environmentalists say.

Srivastava said the 18 village councils had written to State Pollution Control Board, which granted a license to Coca-Cola, urging authorities to prohibit the company from extracting any more groundwater in the area.

He also pointed to recent data released by the Central Ground Water Authority which declared Arajiline block, where the bottling plant in located, as “over exploited” in 2011.

Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt ltd said a 2012 study by another authority called the Central Ground Water Board into a complaint by villagers of ponds, wells and hand pumps drying up found no evidence that the company was responsible.

“The Central Ground Water Board observed that this depletion was not due to withdrawal of ground water by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd (HCCBPL) plant,” said a company statement emailed to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“The report further mentioned there was a clear trend of water depletion in seven blocks of Varanasi district and particularly in Arajiline block, the rate was higher.”

Despite the decline, the report also said there was enough water in ponds, dug-wells and good crops of wheat and mustard were observed in the fields, the statement added.

Reuters

DGCA to audit helicopter services after seven die in chopper crash en route to Vaishno Devi

Jammu: The Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has asked the DGCA to conduct a detailed safety audit of the helicopter operations between Katra-Sanjichhat sector in Jammu and Kashmir’s Katra belt, where a recent chopper crash killed six pilgrims and one pilot.

The chopper services, which were suspended as a precautionary measure after the crash in Katra on Monday, resumed its operations on Wednesday with trial flights.

Chopper crash in Katra. PTIChopper crash in Katra. PTI

Chopper crash in Katra. PTI

The board is especially concerned about the particular belt in Reasi district, from where nearly one crore people visit the shrine every year.

“The CEO of the Shrine Board, on the instructions of J&K Governor NN Vohra who is also the chairman of the board, approached the DGCA to separately conduct a detailed safety audit of the Heli operations between Katra-Sanjichhat-Katra sector,” a senior official of Board said.

A team from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) visited the crash spot in Jammu on Tuesday and initiated a detailed investigation into the accident.

The 2010-make chopper of private airliner Himalayan Heli service, which was carrying six pilgrims from Sanjichat helipad in Trikuta hills, crashed at the new bus stand area in Katra.

A separate team of DGCA officials reached Katra on Wednesday and started conducting audits on various air safety norms such as airworthiness of the helicopters, operation and maintenance procedure being followed by the operators, the official said.

The Shrine Board officers also attended the last rites of all the passengers in Jammu and Delhi.

The Board also met the family members of the deceased pilot and made arrangements for the transportation of her body to Delhi.

Meanwhile, the yatra to the Holy Shrine is proceeding normally and a fair amount of pilgrims were seen trekking the shrine on foot, ponies and palanquins.

J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Tuesday said, “As per initial information, a bird got caught in the tail rotor as a result of which it stopped functioning. Finding the area below populated, the woman pilot chose a safe landing at the new bus stand to avoid casualties on the ground. As the plane was descending, its rotors got entwined in electrical wires and caught fire.”

On Tuesday, a separate magisterial probe was ordered by the Jammu and Kashmir government into the incident.

PTI

Human foetus among specimens seized from Delhi private school

Dissection banned in schools, not to speak of wildlife * A non-bailable offence, those convicted could be sentenced for 3-7 years

The recovered human foetus, dissection box and other specimens

Acting on a tip-off, police and members of People for Animals (PFA) – an NGO helmed by BJP leader and Union minister Maneka Gandhi – raided a private school here on Thursday and to their surprise found female foetus among other species preserved in the lab there. Police seized 30 jars, which also contained preserved remains of a stingray, frog, kingfisher, snakes, a collection of claws and bird beaks. The eight-member search team was led by sub-inspector Vikram Singh and Gaurav Gupta of the PFA. “We came to know that the school was dissecting animals as part of the school syllabus,” said Saurabh Gupta, vice-president, PFA. “We immediately informed Maneka Gandhi and she proved to be instrumental in alerting the police officials about this,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> When the police reached the school at around 1:30 pm they found the dissection kit open along with a few jars containing animal specimens. Upon further inquiry, the students who were present in the science lab on the ground floor of the school building at the time led the team to a locked room within the lab where upon, wildlife specimens and a human foetus of a female was found deep inside a cupboard. According to Gaurav, principal Urmila Malik and owner Dharampal Sivas, initially feigned ignorance about the matter. The duo also failed to produce relevant permissions and certificates to justify the presence of the seized items. Garuav has been part of more than 100 raids over the course of his career, and immediately recognised the foetus and certain other obvious aquatic species. Despite repeated attempts, the school authorities were unavailable for comment. According to the staff there, the principal and the vice-principal were both taken ill and had left before school was done for the day. The CBSE-affiliated school has classes only up to standard X, and hence no requirement for a practical knowledge of this calibre, said Gaurav Pandey, himself a teacher. “In the science labs, the students usually conduct experiments related to chemistry. For biology, it’s is hardly done, that too with specimens,” he added. According to a ruling by the Animal Welfare Board of India, dissection is banned in schools across the country. To conduct dissection for educational purposes, a special permission must be taken from the board with complete details of the animal that would be dissected. Wildlife is not permitted for dissection at all. A case has been registered against the principal and the owner under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 under sections 9, 39, 42, 50, 51 and 315/428 of the IPC. This is a non-bailable offence and if convicted carries a sentence of 3-7 years. Bal Ram, SHO, Sangam Vihar police station said, “The samples have been sent for testing. It would be unfair to comment on the matter before we get the results.”

Decision of halving of scenes with kissing not mine, I’m yet to watch Spectre: CBFC chief

Following a controversy over his autocratic style of functioning – the latest trigger being halving of scenes with kissing in Spectre, the latest James Bond action flick — Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairman Pahlaj Nihalani has claimed that he is yet to see the film and the decision was taken by the examining committee of CBFC.“The examining committee has seen the film and recommended the cuts. I’m yet to see the film even once,” Nihalani told dna, adding that the producers had ‘gladly’ accepted the decision.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The censor board chief has lately been under attack by a section of the CBFC board members, as well as the social media, after reports of cuts in Spectre and the latest Salman Khan starrer Prem Ratan Dhan Payo emerged. He also came under fire for a short film that he had ‘unabashedly’ made on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s achievements. #SanskariJamesBond had been trending on twitter for several hours after the news broke.“People are going with the flow without even understanding the rules. The films are cleared and certified by the examining committee and I’m not a part of that,” Nihalani said, adding that only if a producer challenges the examining committee’s decision, the film goes to the revising committee.“I can be part of the revising committee or I can select board members who will watch the film again for a final decision, depending on the availability of members at that time,” Nihalani said.The CBFC chief even goes on to say that unlike the previous Bond movies, Spectre will be the first movie with the maximum scenes with kissing allowed in India.Board members of CBFC, however, did not buy Nihalani’s arguments, slamming him for not consulting them on important decisions related to CBFC.Film maker Ashoke Pandit said it will be a huge setback to the film industry, if CBFC continues to function the way it is doing at present. “A fear has developed in the minds of people… they do not know how the CBFC will react to their films. Nihalani can’t tell us how we should make our films. We are not here to act on his whims and fancies,” said Pandit.Pandit complained about a list of cuss words still being chopped off the films. “Certain words like ‘rakhail’ are not cuss words, but even those are being deliberately cut off the films,” Pandit said, adding that he will be writing to the I&B minister Arun Jaitley, complaining about Nihalani.A group of board members are also planning to visit Jaitley to complain about his arbitrary decisions on films, where they are bypassed completely.Another board member told dna all decisions on films are influenced directly or indirectly by the CBFC chief.An unfazed Nihalani, however, said board members should bring their suggestions or complaints to the board meetings in case they have any. He claimed that the CBFC has been functioning smoothly, with minimum pendency.

Pahlaj Nihalani row: Ashoke Pandit to write a letter to PM Modi and Jaitley

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit, one of the members on the board, said he is planning to write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Information & Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley to bring to their notice the problems plaguing the Central Board of Film Certification.
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dna Research & Archives
Two censor board members have come out strongly against chief Pahlaj Nihalani alleging that he is working without involving others and taking arbitrary decisions on movie certification. Nihalani was criticised on social media forums after it was revealed that board had shortened the length of kissing scenes in James Bond movie Spectre and cut some words.Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit, one of the members on the board, said he is planning to write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Information & Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley to bring to their notice the problems plaguing the Central Board of Film Certification.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am going to write to the PM and I&B minister requesting that the situation should be rectified. Entire board has to be taken into confidence. Mr Nihalani has become a joke. You can’t cut words without context,” Pandit told PTI.The filmmaker said that there is a verbal order to cut certain cuss words from Nihalani which is not in keeping with the rules.”He cut words from Rajshri’s film ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’. How can anyone cut words from a clean film like this? They are known for making clean family movies but it was also censored,” Pandit added.He said the I&B ministry is currently busy with the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI) but he will write to them very soon.Another member Nandini Sardesai said the problems that they are facing with Nihalani are not new as he has been running the board unilaterally since being appointed.”He runs the board without taking the members into confidence and this has been a problem since he came. You can tell a Bollywood film to get clearance from animal welfare board but how can Hollywood guys do it? A kiss is a kiss. How can you decide its length?” Sardesai told PTI.She said the board members want the new CEO Anurag Srivastav to call a meeting to discuss these issues.”We want the new CEO to call a meeting. The last one happened on July 31. I have met him and requested for a meeting. It has not happened till now and should take place as soon as possible. So that the board members who feel marginalised can discuss these problems.”

JNU to introduce three new MA courses in art, film and theatre

“The Board of Studies of the School of Arts and Aesthetics had recommended for introduction of the three courses. The proposal was mooted in July and discussed and approved by the board before placing the same before the council,” Sopory said.

Jawaharlal Nehru University will introduce three Masters programmes in film and television, art history and theatre from the next academic session.”The university will be offering three new MA programmes from the next academic session. The courses will be MA in Art History and Visual Studies; MA in Film, Television and New Media Studies; and MA in Theatre and Performance Studies,” JNU’s Vice-Chancellor S K Sopory told PTI.The varsity’s Academic Council (AC) had given a go-ahead for introduction of these courses in its recent meeting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Board of Studies of the School of Arts and Aesthetics had recommended for introduction of the three courses. The proposal was mooted in July and discussed and approved by the board before placing the same before the council,” Sopory said.”The preamble as well as the courses to be taught and credit requirements for the three programmes have been worked out,” he added.The AC, which is the decision-making body of the university, had in the meeting also taken note of a proposal to open ‘School of Indian Languages’ which will offer Masters programmes and research courses in Hindi, Urdu, Kannada, Tamil, Marathi, Assamese, Bengali and Odia languages.The proposal has now been forwarded to various departments of the university and the matter will be placed before the AC after their feedback has been received.The AC, however, rejected a proposal for introduction of short-term courses in ‘Indian Culture’ and ‘Yoga’ for “propagating spiritual and mythological traditions and establishing Indian values in the world”.

Bihar Elections 2015: After a massive defeat, BJP’s Parliamentary Board to meet today

Some BJP leaders felt that the “social combination” of the winning grand alliance could have caused NDA’s defeat even as rumblings of discontent within the party followed its disastrous performance with its president Amit Shah coming under attack over the “high-pitched” campaign crafted by him.

PM Narendra Modi led the aggressive campaigning in Bihar.
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AFP photo
Stung by its resounding defeat, BJP’s Parliamentary Board, the party’s highest decision-making body, will meet in New Delhi on Monday to introspect even as it said that the results will be analysed and corrective measures taken.BJP sources said the BJP Parliamentary Board in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among the members is likely to meet post-lunch tomorrow to assess the party’s defeat today and ascertain the reasons. Some BJP leaders felt that the “social combination” of the winning grand alliance could have caused NDA’s defeat even as rumblings of discontent within the party followed its disastrous performance with its president Amit Shah coming under attack over the “high-pitched” campaign crafted by him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shah while conceding defeat congratulated Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad on their massive victory and said his party respected the people’s mandate.”Our good wishes to the new government to take Bihar on the path of development,” he said.”We respect the mandate of the people of Bihar… I congratulate Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav on their victory in Bihar Assembly elections,” the BJP chief tweeted.Many senior party leaders met Shah at his residence as it became clear that the BJP-led NDA was headed to a massive loss in the high-stakes elections. After the meeting, BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav when asked if party leaders’ controversial remarks on the reservation issue had affected party’s performance in Bihar, said the rival combine had a “social mathematics” which went in their favour.Union Minister and senior BJP leader Jitendra Singh said that he believed there were no wrong statements from the party on the reservation issue, when asked whether the comments on review of reservation policy by RSS head Mohan Bhagwat harmed BJP in Bihar elections.BJP general secretary Ram Madhav dismissed suggestions that the appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on the wane in view of Bihar poll verdict but said the party will take corrective measures.”We try to learn from every election. Give us some time. We will take corrective measures,” he said. He said what led to the NDA’s loss will have to be analysed after they received all figures, adding that not one factor leads to victory or loss in elections.Madhav said all efforts were made to influence the Bihar poll outcome and suggested that return of awards by artists and others over “climate of intolerance” was one of them. In Patna, BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the ‘grand alliance’ emerged as a “strong social combination” and that the party would analyse its results and poll strategy by visiting every constituency in the coming days.On the reasons for the NDA’s defeat, he said, “I think they were successful in putting together a strong alliance. One of the reasons why they were successful is that their alliance was a strong ‘social combination’.”The BJP leader said the party will analyse its loss and the results by talking to each candidate after the polls and visit all the constituencies in the coming days.”Our overall performance has not been good, be it BJP’s or of its alliance partners. We will analyse the results and do introspection to assess the reasons of our defeat….NDA had a lot of hopes. We have got less than expected seats. What are the shortcomings and what was bereft in our poll strategy, we will analyse them and introspect,” he said.

Kerala High Court says local bodies to act against stray dogs in line with legal provisions

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and A M Shaffique insisted authorities should ensure strict compliance of Rules 7, 9 and 10 of Animal Birth Control Rules (Dogs) 2001.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
Observing that there has to be more concern for protecting the lives of human beings than stray dogs, Kerala High Court on Wednesday said local bodies can exercise their power to capture, sterilise or destroy the strays, provided it is done in accordance with legal provisions.The division bench comprising Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and A M Shaffique insisted authorities should ensure strict compliance of Rules 7, 9 and 10 of Animal Birth Control Rules (Dogs) 2001.Rules 7, 9 and 10 deal with capturing dog on specific complaint, euthanasia and handling of rabid dogs.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There cannot be any dispute with the proposition that there has to be more concern with the life of human beings than that of stray dogs and there cannot be any quarrel to the proposition that local authorities can exercise the power to capture and destroy the stray dogs and this exercise has to be carried out in accordance with provisions of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and Animal Birth Control Rules (Dogs) 2001,” the High Court said in its judgement.The court also criticised the local bodies’ inaction in implementing the provisions of Act and Rules in the state. The High Court, which pronounced the 86-page judgement while disposing of 12 writ petitions related to stray dogs, ruled that vaccination and sterilisation of stray dogs be made compulsory and veterinary hospitals and polyclinics should be set up in district and taluk level.The Animal Welfare Board of India was also directed to take steps to provide financial help for building infrastructure to deal with the dog menace. Rule 7 stipulates that capturing of dogs shall be based on specific complaints (for which the local authority in consultation with the Monitoring Committee shall set up a dog control cell to receive complaints about dog nuisance, dog bites and information about rabid dogs).”On receipt of specific complaint about nuisance or dog bite the same shall be attended on priority basis,irrespective of the area from which the complaint comes. On receipt of such complaint,details such as name of the complainant,his complete address, date and time of complaint, nature of complaint etc shall be recorded in a register to be maintained for permanent record,” it says.Rule 9 deals with euthanasia of street dogs. “Incurably ill and mortally wounded dogs as diagnosed by a qualified veterinarian appointed by the committee shall be euthanised during specified hours in a humane manner by administering sodium pentathol for adult dogs and Thiopental Introperitoneal for puppies by a qualified veterinarian or euthanised in any other humane manner approved by Animal Welfare Board of India,” it says.The Rule says that no dog shall be euthanised in the presence of another dog. According to it, on receipt of complaints from the public to the Dog Control Cell of the Local Authority or on its own, the dog squad of the Local Authority would catch such dogs, suspected to be rabid.The Rule says the dog would then be taken to the pound, where it would be kept in an isolation ward. It would then be subjected to inspection by a panel of two persons — a veterinarian surgeon appointed by the Local Authority and a representative from an Animal Welfare Organisation.”If the dog is found to have a high probability of having rabies it would be isolated till it dies a natural death. Death normally occurs within 10 days of contracting rabies. Premature killings of suspected rabid dogs therefore prevents the true incidence of rabies from being known and appropriate action being taken. But if it is found not to have rabies but some other disease, it would be handed over to the AWOs who will take the necessary action to cure and rehabilitate the dog,” it says.The High Court said local authorities shall ensure that dog shelters, dog capturers and ambulances are in place by next financial year. It directed the state government to provide infrastructure and financial assistance to local authorities.

French whistle-blower not happy with India’s black money probe

Falciani, had met KKV Chowdary, Central Vigilance Commissioner and then chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes last December in Paris, in order to join investigations.

French whistle-blower Herve Falciani, who had revealed the details of Indian account holders suspected to be having black money in HSBC, said on Monday that though he was willing to cooperate with Indian authorities, India lacked seriousness and interest on probe. Falciani, had met KKV Chowdary, Central Vigilance Commissioner and then chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes last December in Paris, in order to join investigations. Falciani is facing charges in Switzerland of leaking details of bank account holders in the Geneva branch of HSBC — a list of which reached the French government. France later shared with India the information relating to Indian clients.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Addressing a press conference here through Skype, Falciani claimed that black money worth billions of dollars are flowing out of India. He said that he was willing to help trace black money, but needs protection. “We need just simple protection,” he added. “We are not protected… If I am coming to India, I will be arrested,” he said. So far, the government has been focusing on data alone, and not unravelling the role of financial intermediaries, he said. Noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan, along with former AAP leader Yogendra Yadav, who arranged the press conference, said Falciani’s apprehensions is true, given the fact that the government has chosen to keep the accounts hidden.

End of an era: Hero MotoCorp patriarch Brijmohan Lall Munjal passes away

Munjal had retired from active role and become Chairman Emeritus of the over $4-billion group earlier this year and remained on the board of the company as non-executive member.

File photo

Hero MotoCorp patriarch and doyen of Indian two-wheeler industry, Brijmohan Lall Munjal, passed away on Sunday evening after a brief illness. He was 92.Munjal passed away at a private hospital in South Delhi, according to family sources. He is survived by three sons and one daughter. The cremation will be done tomorrow.Munjal had retired from active role and become Chairman Emeritus of the over $4-billion group earlier this year and remained on the board of the company as non-executive member.Hero Group, which officially came into existence in 1956, had started its activities in the early 1940s as a bicycle- maker run by the four brothers. Munjal was born in 1923 at Kamalia in present-day Pakistan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After India’s independence, the Munjal brothers started a small business of manufacturing bicycle components in Ludhiana and went on to build one of the largest business groups in the country.Munjal led the Hero Group to a number of firsts. Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest two-wheeler company now for the 14th year in a row. Another group firm, Hero Cycles, has been the largest manufacturer of bicycles since 1986.Munjal led the Hero group to form a joint venture with Japan’s Honda in 1984, the joint venture — Hero Honda, went on to become the world’s single-largest motorcycle maker. The partnership ended in 2011.Munjal was among the earliest Indian industrialists to effectively implement (Just-in-Time) JIT as well as backward integration and is acknowledged as the trend-setter in the area.Since early days, he ran the organisation with a sharp focus on current asset management, which helped evolve vendor efficiency and zero-inventory management practices at Hero.Beside Hero Group, Munjal held leadership positions in many national associations such as CII, SIAM, AICMA and PHD and had served as a member of the Regional Board of Reserve Bank of India. He was conferred with the ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 2005 in recognition of his contribution in the field of trade and industry.Munjal helped establish numerous medical, educational and infrastructure facilities. Amongst his notable contributions to Ludhiana are the Ludhiana Stock Exchange, the Ludhiana Aviation Club, Ludhiana ManagementAssociation and the Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, of which he was the Chairman Emeritus, after being its President for over three decades.

Check CTET result Sept 2015 on ctet.nic.in

This examination was conducted in 76 cities at 959 centres.

Representational Image

The result of 8th edition of Central Teachers Eligibility Test (CTET) September 2015 has been declared by the Central Board of Secondary Education on 30th October 2015.This examination was conducted in 76 cities at 959 centres. The Board had displayed the images of the OMR sheets of all the candidates who had appeared in CTET September 2015 along with answer key on CTET website.A total number of 6,55,660 candidates appeared for examination out of which 1,14,580 candidates successfully passed the CTET held in September 2015. The overall pass percentage of candidate who appeared in CTET September 2015 is 17.48% whereas in last CTET held in February 2015 the overall pass percentage was 12.18%.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Board has also announced the schedule of CTET for 2016 the 9th edition of CTET will be held on 21 February 2016 (Sunday) and 10th edition of CTET will be held on 18th September 2016 (Sunday).Check your results here.

Price of Lord Balaji darshan tickets and laddus at Tirupati set to increase

Tirumala temple

dna Research & Archives
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Trust (TTD) has formed a committee to look into the rates of ‘arjitha sevalu’, ‘laddu’ and other ‘prasadalu’ and the tariffs of rooms and ‘kalyana mandapalu’ and increase the prices.The hike will be implemented in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, The New Indian Express reports.The TTD Board Chairman Chadalavada Krishnamurthy said that the board would ensure accountability of all their employees by keeping a watch on them. The board has also decided to directly meet the buyers of human hair from countries like Brazil, China and Japan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Rs 300 ticket advance booking counter may also open in Tirupati soon. The committee appointed to revise the prices will submit their report in two weeks.Related read: Queuing up for the famed and patented Sri Vari Laddu at Tirupati

Maharashtra: SSC students from drough-hit areas exempted from exam fees

The board has also decided to refund the examination fee paid by HSC students belonging to drought-hit areas, MSBSHSE chairman Gangadhar Mhamane told dna.

The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has decided to waive the SSC examination fees for students living in drought-affected villages. In a circular dated October 23, the principals of the schools in the state have been asked to collect details about such students and exempt them from paying examination fees this year. The board has also decided to refund the examination fee paid by HSC students belonging to drought-hit areas, MSBSHSE chairman Gangadhar Mhamane told dna. He said the board could not waive the fees of HSC students at the collection stage as their forms were filled much earlier.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Mhamane said it is not necessary that the students being exempted from fee payment should be studying in the drought hit area itself. They can be from the schools outside their village also. But they should be residents of drought-hit villages.

Pakistani citizens visiting India are safe: Indian embassy

It is media hype and the situation on the ground is very different in India,” said the embassy

Amid incidents targetting Pakistanis in India by Shiv Sena activists, the Indian mission on Thursday said there is no security issue for nationals of this country visiting India and visas were being issued as per routine. “There is no delay in issuing visas to Pakistanis citizens and our activities are continuing as per routine,” Indian High Commission spokesperson Balbir Singh said. About recent attacks by Shiv Sena, Singh assured that there is no threat to Pakistani citizens visiting India. “It is media hype and the situation on the ground is very different in India,” he was quoted as saying by The Dawn.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The paper also quoted a Foreign Office (FO) official as saying that the ministry of foreign affairs was in constant contact with the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. The official said it is important for Pakistani citizens in India to remain in touch with the High Commission due to the recent activities of Shiv Sena. “We are observing the situation and if it remains the same due to the activities of Shiv Sena, the FO may issue a travel advisory for our citizens,” he said.In the latest attacks, Shiv Sena activists stormed Mumbai headquarters of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office, forcing cancellation of a meeting between the cricket chiefs of the two countries. Last week, the Mumbai book launch of Pakistan’s former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri was opposed by Shiv Sena, who smeared ink on Observer Research Foundation’s Sudheendra Kulkarni for hosting the event.Earlier this month, threats from Shiv Sena led to organisers cancelling legendary Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s show in Mumbai despite the ruling BJP assuring that the event would not be stopped.

India at war with itself, says Pakistan minister

India’s problem is structural whereof the trigger is being pulled by Modi, he said.

The BJP’s policy seems to be Pakistan-specific or Muslim-specific, but in reality ‘India is at war with itself’, Pakistan’s Information Minister Pervez Rashid said in a talk show on ARY News.Taking a jibe at India over attacks on Pakistani artistes and disruption of a BCCI and PCB meeting by Shiv Sena activists, Pakistan’s Information Minister said, “They (BJP) harass Muslims, Sikhs and even Christians. The BJP has a political narrative, which we feel is Pakistan-specific, because we are sitting in Pakistan. India is really at war with itself.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Talks between BCCI president Shashank Manohar and his Pakistan counterpart Shahryar Khan on the proposed bilateral series had been disrupted after the Shiv Sena activists forced the Board to cancel the meet in Mumbai.Earlier, a 50-year-old man, Mohammad Akhlaq, was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son severely injured in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri village allegedly by a mob following a rumour that the family was storing and consuming beef. Rashid said, “The BJP’s policy is same as those who killed Mahatma Gandhi. They (BJP) will target their own party’s people, they will target liberals. They are the people who represent an internal problem of India,” he said further.Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan were prevented from promoting their upcoming films in Maharashtra after threats from the Shiv Sena. The Shiv Sena had also prevented legendary Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali from performing in Mumbai earlier this month. Criticising recent incidents of attacks on Muslims, Pakistani journalist, foreign policy commentator and a television personality, Talat Hussain, who also participated in the talk show, Hussain said, “It is a messed up issue inside India. Recalling what former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had once said, Hussain said. “Manmohan Singh had said that India?s biggest internal threat was from Naxalites. Hence, we should not make India”s stance Muslim specific.India’s problem is structural whereof the trigger is being pulled by Modi, Hussain said.

Pakistan umpire Dar withdrawn from India-South Africa series | Reuters

MUMBAI Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar has been withdrawn from the ongoing series between India and South Africa, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Monday.

The ICC said it decided to remove Dar from the series after protesters stormed Indian cricket’s headquarters, demanding his removal.

“Under the present circumstances, it will be unreasonable to expect from Aleem that he will be able to perform his duties to the best of his abilities,” the ICC said in a statement.

“As such, he has been withdrawn and his replacement will be announced in due course.”

Dar, a member of the ICC’s elite panel of umpires, had been appointed to officiate in each of the five one-day internationals between India and South Africa.

He stood in the first three matches but will skip the last two with the ICC confirming the decision was made as a direct result of the protests.

“The ICC has made the decision following Monday’s incident in Mumbai where a group of extremists stormed the Board of Control for Cricket in India offices, and threatened to prevent the umpire from standing in the fifth ODI on Sunday.”

The fourth match is scheduled for Chennai on Thursday and fifth for Mumbai no Sunday.

(Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Rex Gowar)

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

10 people arrested in protest by Shiv Sena workers at BCCI office in Mumbai

The noisy protests by over a hundred slogan shouting members at the Board office during which BCCI President Shashank Manohar was ghearoed forced the cancellation of the much-anticipated talks today between him and Khan.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Mumbai Police has arrested 10 Shiv Sena workers who stormed the BCCI office on Monday morning. The workers were arrested under Section 141, 143, 149 of IPC and 37(1)/135 of Bombay Police Act.The noisy protests by over a hundred slogan shouting members at the Board office during which BCCI President Shashank Manohar was ghearoed forced the cancellation of the much-anticipated talks today between him and Khan. The talks on the proposed bilateral series have now been rescheduled to be held in Delhi tomorrow.”The talks have not been called off. Mr Manohar and Mr Khan will speak to each other in evening today and tomorrow they are coming to Delhi for another round of talks,” IPL Chairman and senior Board functionary Rajiv SDhukla told PTI. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shouting slogans against Pakistan and the PCB chairman, the Sena workers surrounded Manohar, asking him not to have any ties with the neighbouring country, which they said sponsors terrorism. Waving black and saffron flags, the workers sought to know from Manohar if he would go ahead with his meeting with the PCB chief here.Sena Vibhag Pramukh Pandurang Sakpal told reporters that his party is firm that there should be no cricket matches between the two countries. Asked about Sena being a part of the Maharashtra government, Sakpal said, “The government will do its job, we will do ours.”The protesting Sena workers were later taken into custody by the police.Also read: After Shiv Sena protest, PCB-BCCI meeting shifted to New Delhi

BJP unable to control Shiv Sena, says Congress

The Shiv Sainiks had earlier stormed into the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office to protest against the meeting with the Pakistan Cricket board to discuss the India-Pakistan bilateral series slated for December.

Image courtesy: ANI
The Congress Party on Monday condemned Shiv Sena’s protest at the BCCI Headquarters, saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led-Government in Maharashtra is unable to control fringe elements.”It is very unfortunate that such incidents are happening daily and Shiv Sena, which is an alliance partner of BJP, does this,” All India Mahila Congress president Shobha Oza told ANI.”It seems the law and order situation of Maharashtra has gone for a toss. It seems there is a jungle raj there. And the BJP-led Government is unable to control fringe elements,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following Shiv Sena’s protest at the BCCI Headquarters, the discussion over reviving cricket ties between the two nations has been cancelled.The Shiv Sainiks had earlier stormed into the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office to protest against the meeting with the Pakistan Cricket board to discuss the India-Pakistan bilateral series slated for December.The Shiv Sainiks charged into the office chanting ‘vande matram’ and slogans against PCB chief Shahryar Khan.They cornered BCCI president Shashank Manohar and protested saying they will not allow any cricket ties with Pakistan. The BJP ally had earlier attacked Sudheendra Kulkarni, who heads the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Mumbai division, ahead of a book launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.Earlier this month, Pakistani Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali concert was also cancelled in Mumbai and Pune after Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt it. Following threats from Sena, the organisers had cancelled the concert.

Over 1 lakh pilgrims visit Vaishnodevi during Navratras

Over one lakh pilgrims have visited Katra and paid obeisance at the cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi during the ongoing festival of navratras.

Over one lakh pilgrims have visited Katra and paid obeisance at the cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi located in Jammu during the ongoing festival of navratras.Around 1,05,801 pilgrims visited the Katra and paid obeisance at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine during the Navratras, Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) officials said.On the fourth day of the Navratra festival 2015 on Friday, about 28,838 yatris visited Katra and paid obeisance at the Shrine, according to the Yatra registration counter (YRC) Katra, the officials said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 14,000 more pilgrims paid reverence on the third day of the Navratras at the pilgrimage.In the first two days, 62,963 pilgrims had visited the shrine with 37,848 and 25,118 visiting on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.The Navratra festival this year started on October 13 and will continue till October 22.

‘Rail Neer’ racket: CBI seizes Rs 20 crore during raids; case against two former Railway officials

The probe agency conducted searches on premises atleast seven private firms based in Delhi and recovered rupees 20 crores in cash.

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday registered a case against two former Chief Commercial Managers (Catering), Northern Railways for allegedly showing favour to private firms which provided cheap packaged drinking water (PDW) to premium trains instead of the mandatory “Rail Neer”. The probe agency conducted searches on premises atleast seven private firms based in Delhi and recovered rupees 20 crores in cash. According to the agency, these firms were providing their product to premium trains including Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express after coming to an agreement to do so with the help of the accused managers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “Searches are being conducted today at 13 places in Delhi and Noida which led to recovery of cash amount of more than rupees 20 crore. A large number of incriminating documents have also been recovered,” said Devpreet Singh, CBI spokesperson. Among the firms that have been accused in the conspiracy are family owned RK Aggarwal Pvt Ltd and Brindavan Food Products, both based in New Delhi. Agency sources said that said amount was recovered from the two firms. Sources told dna that some of the money was recovered from the residence of the owners of the private firms. According to officials the Railway Board had prescribed that IRCTC shall provide “Rail Neer” at a rate of rupees 10.50 per bottle to the private caterers who in return would be paid rupees 15 per bottle for supplying the same to the passengers in premium trains . The private caterers however in order to obtain undue gain were allegedly supplying cheap PDW brands instead of “Rail Neer” which were available in the market at a rate of rupees.5.70 to rupees seven per bottle. The agency said the total amount of loss to the exchequer is yet to be calculated “The accused public servants allegedly did not take any action against the private parties providing catering services in the premium trains despite repeated requests of IRCTC for non-picking of allotted quota of “Rail Neer” by Private Caterers and directions of Railway Board to ensure supply of “Rail Neer” PDW in premium trains, thereby causing undue pecuniary advantage to the private parties and corresponding loss to IRCTC,” said the CBI spokesperson.

CBI busts Rail Neer racket; Rs 20 crore seized from suppliers

The sources claimed cash recovery of Rs 20 crore was made from the residence of Shyam Bihari Agrawal, his sons Abhishek Agrawal and Rahul Agarwal who own RK Associates and Brandavan Food Product.

The private suppliers were allegedly supplying cheap packaged water, other than “Rail Neer”.

CBI on Friday recovered Rs 20 crore in cash during searches at 13 locations against two former Northern Railways officials and seven private firms in connection with alleged corruption in supply of packaged drinking water other than mandatory ‘Rail Neer’ in premium trains. CBI sources said a case has been registered against the then Chief Commercial Managers (PS and Catering) of Northern Railways M S Chalia and Sandeep Silas.The agency has also booked private companies RK Associates Pvt Ltd, Satyam Caterers Pvt Ltd, Ambuj Hotel and Real Estate, PK Associates Pvt Ltd, Sunsine Pvt Ltd, Brandavan Food Product and Food World under Prevention of Corruption Act provisions. Silas has served as the private secretary of a former Union Minister.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The sources claimed cash recovery of Rs 20 crore was made from the residence of Shyam Bihari Agrawal, his sons Abhishek Agrawal and Rahul Agarwal who own RK Associates and Brandavan Food Product. It is alleged that the accused had shown favour to these private firms in supply of cheap packaged drinking water (PDW) other than mandatory ‘Rail Neer’ in premium trains including Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express.CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh said it was further alleged that the Railway Board had prescribed that IRCTC shall provide Rail Neer at a rate of Rs 10.50 (approx) per bottle to the private caterers and the private caterers will be paid Rs 15 (approx) per bottle for supplying the same to passengers in premium trains.However, the private suppliers in order to obtain undue gain, were allegedly supplying cheap packaged water, other than “Rail Neer”, available in the market at a rate of Rs 5.70 to 7.00 (approx) per bottle, thereby causing gain to themselves and loss to the exchequer, the official said.”The accused public servants allegedly did not take any action against the private parties providing catering services in the premium trains despite repeated requests of IRCTC for non-picking of allotted quota of ‘Rail Neer’ by Private Caterers,” the spokesperson said.CBI said directions of Railway Board to ensure supply of “Rail Neer” in premium trains were also ignored by the officials thereby causing undue pecuniary advantage to the private parties and corresponding loss to IRCTC.”Searches are being conducted today at 13 places in Delhi and Noida which led to recovery of cash amount of more than Rs 20 crore(approx) and a large number of incriminating documents,” the spokesperson said.

DCW expresses concern over poor condition of night shelters

liwal said that at two shelters, several security issues came to light.

Maliwal also pointed at a lack of proper lighting and infrastructure.

Delhi needs better night shelters and not “night life”, DCW has said while terming the existing ones “extremely unsafe for women” after surprise visits by its chief at three such facilities here. The women’s commission also said it will issue notices to DUSIB and the city police following the surprise visits which brought out “shocking facts”, including serious security issues. Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal along with her team last night visited three night shelters run by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) in Nizamuddin and Jama Masjid and slept at one of the shelters. “Delhi needs better night shelters, not a ‘night life’.The night shelters are not only few in number, they are extremely unsafe for women,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maliwal said that at two shelters, several security issues came to light. For instance, she explained, the male and female night shelters were discovered to be adjacent to each other at same complex with no security restrictions in place. Also, there were few toilets and no separate washrooms for women at the Jama Masjid shelter. And, there was only one woman caretaker while the rest were all male guards. “The chairperson will be sending a notice to DUSIB to explain the lapses and their preparedness for homeless women in winters. “Notice will also be issued to the authorities responsible for the street lights in Jama Masjid. Report will be sought from police on the missing children in the area,” DCW said.”There are no CCTV cameras. At the Jama Masjid night shelter, where the DCW team slept, it was observed that friends of the male guards kept pouring in throughout the night. Maliwal also pointed at a lack of proper lighting and infrastructure. “The family shelter at Jama Masjid was really shocking as there was no separation between families, not even a simple veil,” she said.Around 110 people were present at the Jama Masjid shelter yesterday, including nearly 60 women and children, DCW said, adding that the water supply from DJB was extremely irregular and even proper food was not made available to the people. It further added, “In the past 10 days, locals have complained about many children going missing. One girl child aged four went missing from the night shelter three days back and has not been found yet. DCW also said that there was a need for at least one more women’s shelter as the winter was approaching.

dna Morning Must Read: From Mufti Sayeed vowing to protect Article 370 to mysterious human skulls found at Afghan palace and more

Here is a curated list of top 5 stories for your morning read.

1. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government vows to protect article 370Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led Jammu and Kashmir government has put its alliance partner, BJP, into a tight spot after it asserted to protect the special status of the state under Article 370 and Article 35A enshrined in the Indian constitution.”We are here to safeguard and protect the Article 370 and Article 35A,” said Syed Basharat Bukhari, Jammu and Kashmir minister for law, justice and parliamentary affairs in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. Read More <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Transgenders enjoy basic human rights, protection from violence: Delhi courtUpholding the constitutional and fundamental human rights of all transgender persons, a Delhi court on Monday, passed judgment highlighting “the socio-economic marginalisation and exclusion of those whose behaviour is considered “inappropriate” by society”. Hearing the petition filed by Shivy, a 19-year-old trans male, who was tricked by his parents into coming to Agra from his home in California, locked up at home, had his passport and green card snatched away by the family, Justice Siddharth Mridul said in his judgment that “Every human beings have certain inalienable rights. This is a doctrine that is firmly enshrined in our constitution. Gender identity and sexual orientation are fundamental to the right of self-determination, dignity and freedom of individuals.” Read More 3. Arvind Kejriwal government issues fatwa on corrupt officers, seeks list of names with ‘doubtful integrity’Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has devised a unique way to crack down on corrupt officials within his government–a promise that had played a crucial role in bringing his party to power with an overwhelming majority early this year.Already crippled by a dispute with the Centre over the control of Delhi’s anti-corruption wing, the vigilance department of the AAP administration has issued a ‘fatwa’ on corrupt officials, by seeking a list of gazetted officers with ‘doubtful integrity’ for year 2015-16, from all departments. Read More 4. Central Board of Direct Taxes feels black money recovery difficultWhile the government has threatened rigorous action against black money hoarders after tepid response to its one-time compliance window, it may have limitations in recovering illegal money stashed overseas.A senior Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) official told dna, “We so far have no legal jurisdiction over the accounts maintained in foreign countries. Foreign governments can only cooperate in the event of established criminal conspiracy.” Read More5. Mysterious human skulls found at Afghan presidential palaceTwo sets of human remains have been discovered in the Afghan presidential palace, a spokesman said on , rekindling memories of the bloody fate of some of the war-ravaged country’s leaders and their families.A pair of skulls and other bones were discovered during construction work in the kitchen in one of the palaces of the presidential compound, an oasis of calm cut off from the choking traffic of Kabul by blast walls and a maze of pristine gardens. Read More

dna Must Read: From beheading of a five-year-old to fresh explosion in China

1. Five-year-old boy kidnapped, beheaded during human sacrifice ritual in Andhra PradeshIn a gruesome incident, a five-year-old boy was murdered allegedly by a man in a suspected case of human sacrifice as part of a witchcraft-related ritual in Prakasam district on Wednesday. Read more here.2. Government extends deadline for e-filing income tax returns till October 31The government on Thursday extended due date for e-filing of all returns of income & audit reports till October 31, 2015. In a tweet, the Finance Ministry said, “Government has decided to extend the due date for e-filing of all the returns of income and audit reports u/s 44AB till 31st October, 2015. Read more here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3. India rejects allegations of blockading Nepal trade checkpointIndia has rejected as “totally false” allegations that it blockaded a key trade checkpoint on the border with Nepal amid protests over that country’s new Constitution even as it emphasised that it is for the Nepalese people and parties to find a mutually acceptable solution. Read more here.4. Ranji Trophy: Why BCCI can’t implement point system proposed by Anil Kumble-led committee for current seasonDue to the adjournment of its working committee meeting of BCCI on August 28th, the Board was unable to discuss the proposed point system by the Anil Kumble-led technical committee for theRanji Trophy and now it is in no position to implement the changes in the upcoming season, according to a Firstpost report. Read more here.5. A day after serial blasts, fresh explosion reported in Chinese countyAnother explosion rocked south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regionearly Thursday, a day after a series of letter bombs exploded killing seven people and wounding 51 others. Read more here.

15,000 teachers to be recruited in Rajasthan; exam to be held in January 2016

The decision was taken in a meeting headed by the state education minister Vasudev Devnani.

dna Research & Archives
A notification for the recruitment of 15,000 teachers in Rajasthan will be released in a fortnight. The recruitment will be taken care of by Board of Secondary Education Rajasthan and Recruitment cum Eligibility Exam for Teachers (REET). These examinations will be conducted in January 2016. The decision was taken in a meeting headed by the state education minister Vasudev Devnani that included several administrative officers besides Board president Professor BL Chaudhary. It was also decided in the meeting that new syllabus will be implemented for class 9 and 11 from the next session.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the meeting Devnani also instructed officers to give more importance to Indian science and scientists in the new syllabus.

Anurag Thakur no party player, Modi or Shah to decide his fate in BCCI

According to a source who works closely with BJP president Amit Shah, Thakur is no longer the party’s blue-eyed boy.

Things seem to be going from bad to worse for Anurag Thakur. The 40-year-old secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was enjoying a free hand ever since he took charge in March. And given that president Jagmohan Dalmiya wasn’t keeping well, Thakur was literally running a one-man show. But with Dalmiya gone, the Lok Sabha member from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is well and truly on the back foot. dna has reliably learnt that the three-time MP’s fate as BCCI secretary and president of the party’s youth wing rests with the party leadership.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> According to a source who works closely with BJP president Amit Shah, Thakur is no longer the party’s blue-eyed boy. The dashing administrator, who represents the Hamirpur constituency, has annoyed many with his high-handedness. This, reportedly, has earned him the wrath of some party colleagues. Why, it has also put him, and the BJP, in a tight spot as far as the ‘board games’ are concerned. Come to think of it, Thakur has no say whatsoever as to who will occupy the chair vacated by Dalmiya. With Sharad Pawar expected to seek the support of ‘kingmaker’ N Srinivasan, Thakur is virtually a non-entity. In other words, the BJP will have no say in the matter. A BJP insider said, “There is no doubt Anurag is one of the most powerful men in the BCCI. And he has achieved this success on his own. But with Dalmiya gone, it is hard to believe that the party will keep him in charge of the BCCI. Frankly speaking, the party doesn’t consider him an experienced leader. He lacks the maturity to shoulder such a big responsibility or, for that matter, understand nuances of the top job.” Thakur, who is the son of former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, enjoys a sort of “exclusivity” in the party. In other words, only the top brass only can take him to task. Therefore, it will be either prime minister Narendra Modi or his chief whip, Shah, who will take a call on Thakur’s future as BCCI secretary as well as BJP youth wing president. For the record, Thakur defeated Sanjay Patel in the March elections largely because of the BJP top brass. Some timely phone calls from Shah swung things for Thakur, who beat incumbent Sanjay Patel by a solitary vote. In fact, Patel was the only member from the N Srinivasan camp to have tasted defeat. Everyone else — five vice-presidents, joint-secretary and treasurer — won with Srinivasan’s support. Dalmiya was, of course, a consensus candidate and, hence, elected unopposed. Looking at the amount of money involved in cricket, the last thing the saffron party wants is a scandal involving any of its members. Considered to be architect of BJP’s victory in the general elections last year, Shah also happens to be the president of Gujarat Cricket Association and is well-versed with the politicking at the board level. However, he is busy with the Bihar polls now.

Maharashtra board exam for Class IX students to include framing Whatsapp, text messages

The change was announced by the state board’s monthly magazine in its latest edition on September 17.

Whatsapp logo

State board students of class IX can now be asked to construct a leave message or condolence message on Whatsapp and text messages for their examinations. According to reports, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education’s new paper pattern design for students will include a component where there will be one question related to composing text messages for mobile phones.The change was announced by the state board’s monthly magazine in its latest edition on September 17. Although the details of the new design has not been set out clearly yet but most teachers have welcomed the inclusion of the component. A lot of schools, however, have not received the circular stating the new changes yet. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior teacher from Hansraj Morarji Public School, Uday Nare said, “Since it is introduced for Class IX, there are chances of it being carried forward in Class X too. All the new policies are first implemented in Class IX and then in Class X. It is good for students to learn how to frame formal messages on SMS or Whatsapp, but we have not trained students for the October exam,” a leading daily reported.

New maritime policy proposed for Maharashtra’s coastline development

“The ports policy has been presented to the MMB, board and will be formally placed before the cabinet soon.” MMB CEO Asheesh Sharma said.

Maharashtra Maritime Board proposes policy for coastline development
File Photo

The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) is planning a new policy for the development of infrastructure along the state’s 720-km coastline. Several new ports, shipyards and captive jetties are to come up on the coast to boost economic activity, and the proposed policy will seek to provide better connectivity between ports and industries.MMB CEO Asheesh Sharma told dna, “The ports policy has been presented to the MMB, board and will be formally placed before the cabinet soon.” He added that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had asked them to upgrade the old policy, and to draw on national and international knowledge to take care of issues such as shipyards and captive jetties. Accordingly, consultations with various stakeholders were also held.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra has two major port trusts – Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). MMB has entered into concession agreements for development of six ports – Rewas- Aware, Dighi, Jaigad (Dhamankhol), Vijaydurg, Jaigad (Lavgan) and Redi. It has also inked an agreement with the JNPT for development of the Vadhwan port in Dahanu, and a consultant has already been appointed for a techno-feasibility study.Sharma said the proposed policy will cover more sectors and ensure better connectivity to ports through road and rail routes, something which was a major problem. “Ports and industry have to go hand-in-hand. They have a symbiotic relationship and survive on each other. So they must work in tandem,” he added, stating that transparency will be ensured in the bidding process. “We will also promote ship manufacturing facilities. The major role is that of the Government of India, but we will play our part as the state government,” said Sharma.The present ports policy, to which changes were made in 1996, 2000 and 2002, consists of sops such as equity participation by MMB, concessional wharfage on cargo handling, freedom for tariff fixation and development of ports on build, own, operate, share and transfer (BOOST) basis. In 2010, the state cabinet approved a new policy to promote Greenfield ports, multi-purpose jetties and cargo terminals. Captive jetties, which will enable import of raw material and export of finished goods for industries in coastal areas, and the development of shipyards, will also help attract manufacturing, including that for the defence sector, under the Make in India and Make in Maharashtra plans. The state has two operational shipyards.According to the Economic Survey of wharfage Maharashtra 2014-15, during 2014-15 up to December, MbPT and JNPT handled 461.66 lakh MT and 480.73 lakh MT cargo traffic respectively. The three commissioned non-major ports (Dhamankhol-Jaigad, Dighi and Lavgan-Jaigad) together handled 148.96 lakh MT cargo traffic and 96.43 lakh passenger traffic during 2014-15 up to October, it added.

No special concessions for special trains in Bihar: EC tells Railway Ministry

The EC has asked the chairman of Railway Board to ensure that no special concessions are allowed for any special train leaving or entering to any station in Bihar without prior permission of it.

The Election Commission (EC) has warned the Railway Ministry against giving special concessions for special trains being run to and from poll-bound Bihar till the Model Code of Conduct is in force.The EC was responding to complaints made by the Congress-RJD-JD (U) alliance that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is using state machinery to seek political gains in Bihar. The EC has asked the chairman of Railway Board to ensure that no special concessions are allowed for any special train leaving or entering to any station in Bihar without prior permission of it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It also sought to know why no special permission was taken regarding such movement even after the model code came into force at 2.30 p.m on September 9, when EC had announced the Bihar election schedule. The term of the 243-member Bihar assembly comes to an end on November 29. Polls in the state will begin on October 12 and end on November 5. Counting of votes will take place on November 8.

J&K separatists slaughter bovines in public to defy beef ban

Kashmir valley was painted red on Friday when people brazenly defied the ban on the sale of beef by slaughtering the bovines in full public view.

Kashmir valley was painted red on Friday when people brazenly defied the ban on the sale of beef by slaughtering the bovines in full public view.From north to south to centre, Kashmir witnessed sacrifices of bovine animals on busy chowks and streets after the Friday prayers. People assembled at different streets and shouted slogans against the beef ban before sacrificing the bovines. The beef was later distributed among the people in different localities in defiance of the high court order.The bovines were slaughtered despite security clampdown on the separatists in Kashmir. Several separatists, including moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, JKLF chief Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz south Kashmir Qazi Yasir, were placed under house arrest. Hurrriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani was already under house arrest.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“We sacrificed the bovines near Jamia Masjid Reshi Bazar in Anantnag district to protest the ban on beef. As you know our beloved leader and late Mirwaiz south Kashmir Qazi Nissar Ahmad has defied the ban in mid-eighties when he sacrificed the bovine in Lal Chowk Anantnag,” said a spokesman of Umat-e-Islami.What added another dimension to the whole saga was the defiance shown by the mainstream Awami Ithaad Party (AIP) led by sitting MLA from Langate Sheikh Abdul Rashid aka Engineer Rashid. “AIP workers carried out two separate processions at tehsil headquarters at Kralgund and Qalamabad and slaughtered two bovines in Langate,” said Engineer RashidReports reaching here said people slaughtered bovines at different places in Srinagar, Pulwama, Tral, and Kulgam to defy the ban on the sale of beef. Sources said people were also seen collecting money to buy the bovines for slaughter at different places in Srinagar.J&K Muslim Personal Law Board led by Grand Mufti of Kashmir Bashir-ud-din Ahmad Farooqi, who also heads the self-styled Supreme Court of Islamic Shariat, passed a resolution denouncing the ban on beef terming it an interference in the religious matters of Muslims.“Muslims can sacrifice any animal allowed in Islam. Nobody has right to stop or ban the sacrifice of any animal prescribed in Islam. Anyone trying to impose his diktat will be treated as interference in the religious matters of the Muslims,” said a spokesman of the Board.Violent clashes erupted in old Srinagar city after the Friday prayers prompting the police and paramilitary soldiers to fire tear smoke shells to quell the mob that was protesting against the beef ban order. Protesters waved Pakistani flags and hurled stones on the forces.Waking up to the situation, main opposition National Conference said the people of J&K acceded to a secular India and not to a theocratic State. “In a multi-religious country like India religious beliefs of every community have to be respected and protected. Certain choices are determined by religious beliefs and cannot and also should not be dictated by the state,” said Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, chief spokesperson of NC.NC chief spokesman said they are consulting legal and constitutional experts with a view to effect suitable amendments in relevant sections of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) in order to preempt such situations from arising again in the future.

Tamil Nadu: New boathouse shut down after sewage discharged into Ooty lake

A joint probe will conducted into who discharged the sewage into the lake.

Ooty

dna Research & Archives
After the Kodaikanal-Unilever controversy, it now seems to be the turn of the Ooty lake. On Wednesday, the new boat house that was launched had to be shut down because of the unbearable stench from sewage in the lake.According to a report in The Hindu, sewage had been illegally discharged into the lake. The Regional Manager of Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), G Sankar has stated this is the first time in many years that this had happened. The sewage water will now need to be drained from the lake.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Boating in the lake will resume from Thursday if draining of the lake is complete. A team from Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, the Water Resource Department of the Public Works Department, Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation and the Udhagamandalam Municipality will launch a joint probe into the matter.Pollution in the Ooty Lake has been a major concern for some time now. Investigation is now on as to who could have discharged the sewage into the lake. There are many commercial buildings around the lake.

NCP alleges Vinod Tawde’s pressure behind marksheet RTI plea rejection

“It is believed that Tawde did not clear his 12th standard and hence an RTI query was made to clear doubts about about his 10th and 12th standard education,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik alleged.

Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde

Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education rejected an RTI plea about Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde’s mark sheet and board certificate due to Tawde’s pressure, NCP on Wednesday alleged.NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik in Mumbai claimed that the minister declared his education qualification as “BE (Electronics)” from a bogus institute called Dnayeshwar Vidyapeeth. “It is believed that Tawde did not clear his 12th standard and hence an RTI query was made to clear doubts about about his 10th and 12th standard education,” Malik alleged.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Public Information Officer and Joint Secretary Ranjana Chaskar of the Mumbai Board, in her reply to the RTI query by activist Anil Galgali, stated that the mark sheet cannot be given to any “third person”.Galgali appealed against the same, but Divisional Secretary C Y Chandekar also rejected his RTI plea stating the same reason. A written notice under Section 11(1) of the RTI Act has to be served along with a fresh application, and the roll number of the person, his year of passing and full address needs to be provided, Galgali was told.Later, he sought information if Tawde had cleared or failed his 10th and 12th standard examinations, but “got no response”. Nawab Malik demanded that Tawde himself should declare his 10th standard and 12th standard mark sheets, if he had nothing to hide.

Gujarat govt ad claims that Quran says eating beef can cause diseases

Cow’s milk, ghee and butter have therapeutic properties, but its meat is the cause of several diseases

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Advertisements in Gujarat by the government’s Gauseva and Gauchar Vikas Board has asked people to show respect to cows and avoid eating its meat, citing the Quran. “Show respect to cows, as it is the leader of all bovines, Its milk, ghee and butter have therapeutic properties, but its meat is the cause of several diseases,” the advertisements said. The ads which had which come up in Ahmedabad locality also had pictures of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and the Islamic symbol of the crescent moon and star. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Muslims leaders and scholars have denied that there is any such verse in the Quran.Mufti Ahmed Devlavi, from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board said there is no such quote in the scripture.“I have never come across such a verse in the Holy Quran. It is possible that it may be an Arabic statement, wrongly attributed to the Holy Quran. It appears to have been used to mislead Muslims,’’ Devlavi said to The Indian Express. Ghulam Mohammed Koya, a religious leader too has said that such verse does not exist in Quran.The board’s Chairman and Former Union minister Dr Vallabhbhai Kathiria said that he found the verse and its translation from a 20-page booklet in Hindi and Gujarati. He also said that he could not remember the name of the author or the book, the IE reports says.As per the board’s website, it was “established for preservation, development and welfare of the cow and its progeny”. It comes under the state government’s Agriculture and Cooperation Department.

Indian Army to get ‘desi bofors’ with indigenous artillery gun ‘Dhanush’

The gun, a towed howitzer with a strike range of 38-km, has been developed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata,

Along with electronic gun-laying and sighting systems and other features, the indigenously-developed gun has an enhanced 11-km range as against the gun range of 27-km of the imported Bofors.

Zee Media Bureau
In what would be a shot in the arm for a force that has not had a new 155mm artillery gun inducted since the Bofors scandal of 1987, the Indian Army is set to soon be handed over the indigenously-developed howitzer ‘Dhanush’, also known as ‘desi bofors’. “Dhanush, the indigenously-developed 155mm gun with 45 calibre having advanced features, is likely to be handed over to the army in November this year,” Senior General Manager of Jabalpur’s Gun Carriage Factory (GCF), NK Sinha, said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The gun, a towed howitzer with a strike range of 38-km, has been developed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata, after going through the design and voluminous documents running into more than 12,000 pages which were delivered to India under the first phase of Transfer of Technology (ToT) as part of the Bofors gun deal in late 80s, an official said. Costing about Rs 14 crore a piece, Dhanush is comparable to most current generation weapons systems which are in use by different countries, the official added. Along with electronic gun-laying and sighting systems and other features, the indigenously-developed gun has an enhanced 11-km range as against the gun range of 27-km of the imported Bofors. Indian army had stationed a special team of officers at GCF to help monitor the progress, coordinate proof resources and provide guidance regarding the qualitative requirements vis-a-vis the gun system from the user’s perspective, the official said. “A team from the 506 Army Base Workshop, close to CGF, was constantly providing technical inputs which it acquired for the project for over more than two decades,” he added.The Swedish Bofors company (now owned by Britain’s BAE System) could not complete the ToT for the 155mm howitzer with 39 caliber to India as the deal got embroiled in a major political row over alleged kickbacks in 80s.Subsequently, OFB struggled for a long time to produce the howitzer indigenously despite the fact that it has manufactured and supplied several components or spare parts to keep the Bofors howitzers operational in India, especially during Kargil war.

No scope of change in triple talaq system, says All India Muslim Personal Law Board

The spokesman said though saying talaq thrice in one go was not considered good in Islam, the process is considered to be complete.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Thursday said there was no scope of change in the triple talaq system and rejected the suggestion by some community outfits for building a consensus on making a three-month period mandatory before finalisation of divorce.Though as per Quran and Hadith, “triple talaq” is a crime, but once said the process would be considered complete and cannot be changed, AIMPLB Spokesman Maulana Abdul Raheem Qureshi told PTI.He said through news reports he has come to know that the All India Sunni Ulema Council had written a letter to the Board along with Deobandi and Barelvi sects that if there was any scope in Islamic law then “talaq” said by a person thrice in one go, should be considered as said only once.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Though the AIMBLP has not received any such letter as yet, but we do not agree with the suggestion.We have nothing to do with what happens in other Islamic countries. What is happening in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Sudan and other countries. We do not look into it. What we follow is what Quran Sharif, Hadith and Sunnat has said,” he added.The spokesman said though saying talaq thrice in one go was not considered good in Islam, the process is considered to be complete.”There is no scope of change in the system,” he said.Qureshi said last week the AIMPLB had sent a questionnaire to Ulemas across the country in which it was asked whether any penalty could be imposed on a person giving triple talaq or not.”There is an old fatwa which states that triple talaq in one go is a crime, but the process will be considered to be complete. Earlier, such husbands were lashed, but now it cannot be done. The Ulemas were asked what can be done in the present situation. We will invite them and discuss the issue at length,” he said.General secretary of Jamat Raza-e-Mustafa, a religious and social unit of center of Barelvi sect, Maulana Shahabuddin said the demand to consider triple talaq in one go ineligible had been raised in the past as well.”But the religious leaders of Hanafi, Shaafai, Maliki and Hambli sects decided that once uttered thrice, talaq will be considered complete,” he said.Spokesman of All India Shia Personal Law Board Maulana Yasoob Abbas said there were many complexities involved in the issue.”A girl leaves her parents house for once and all after marriage and lives with her husband all through her life. In between if husband says talaq thrice in a fit of anger, her life is torn into pieces,” he observed.He said that at this juncture Ulemas should sit together and deliberate on the issue of triple talaq.Maintaining that the practice of triple talaq was causing immense problems in Muslim society, a body of clericsritten to the AIMPLB and Islamic scholars to build consensus on making a three-month period mandatory before finalisation of divorce.In letters to AIMPLB and clerics of Deoband and Barelvi sects, the Sunni Ulema Council claimed that in seven Islamic countries, including Pakistan, Sudan and Jordan, the mandatory condition of three months is in place and the community in India too should consider similar practice.It will lead to less divorces as couples will get time for reconciliation. If the husband has given triple talaq in a fit of rage or when he was in an inebriated condition, he can make amends which is not possible under the present practice of giving talaq in one go, said Haji Mohammed Salees, general secretary of the Council.

India criticises UN Develpment Programme for ignoring developing countries

India has criticised the UN Development Programme for ignoring concerns of developing countries, saying “deliberate neglect” by the UN body towards views of developing nations does not augur well for the future of the implementation of the 2030 development agenda.

India has criticised the UN Development Programme for ignoring concerns of developing countries, saying “deliberate neglect” by the UN body towards views of developing nations does not augur well for the future of the implementation of the 2030 development agenda.”The way in which UNDP, which remains primarily a development agency, has chosen to ignore the concerns of its primary constituents, i.e. developing countries, does not augur well for the future of the implementation of the Agenda 2030,” Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN Prakash Gupta said at the Second Regular Session of the Executive Board of UNDP here on Tuesday. He said developing countries look up to UNDP with immense hope and aspirations to make sure that their common development objectives are fulfilled.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This continuing, consistent and deliberate neglect by UNDP Management towards views of developing countries is not leading to a desirable situation and needs to be addressed sooner than later. “We hope that UNDP will take necessary steps to ensure that its increasing perception of being against developing country interests is corrected at the earliest,” he added. Gupta said that since the last year’s June Session in Geneva, the Group of 77 and China has sent three official submissions to the UNDP and not one of the requests has been acted upon.”It is therefore most unfortunate that even on the question of scheduling sessions in Geneva, another issue that could well have been decided in the previous Board, or even this one, the Group is being forced to move for a decision in the UN General Assembly later next week,” he said. He said India along with G-77 has been requesting for deletion of just three indicators from a set of 100 in the integrated Results and Resources Framework since the last one year, but while thirty others have been pruned by UNDP Management, those three remain un-altered.He said for India, and for the entire developing world, the vision for the future cannot but have the eradication of poverty as its overarching goal. “We are gratified that there has been no compromise on the ambition of the Agenda 2030 either. Its fulfilment, in our view, can allow poverty to be eradicated within the span of a single generation,” he said.

Bring rules to check pet-care market where cruelty is norm, law commission told

Breeding of pets and fishes for aquarium in quick succession for commercial purpose is ‘cruelty’ and against the welfare of the animals, the Law Commission of India said and suggested the Centre to make rules to stop such practices and the traders should also face the legal consequences.In its 261 report, submitted to the ministry of law on Friday, the apex law panel said there is a “Need to Regulate Pet Shops and Dog and Aquarium Fish Breeding” and observed “pet shops and breeders violate provisions of animal welfare laws with impunity.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The report was prepared after the Animal Welfare Board of India had approached the commission and sought its view over the issue earlier.According to representations received by the law commission from animal rights and animal welfare organisations across the country, India has a pet trade estimated to have an annual turnover of several thousand crore rupees, and growing at a fast pace every year. However, the business remains largely unregulated. This is due to absence of rules in this regard under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.The Animal Welfare Board said that there are thousands of breeders and pet shops existing in the country and there are no regulations protecting the animals. The Board alleged that animals are kept in terribly inhumane conditions. Puppies are drugged to prevent them from crying, large birds are stuffed into small cages and fish become stressed and sometimes die because of confinement, crowding, contaminated water and unnatural temperatures.The report also highlighted de-beaking birds, docking the tails of dogs, selling unweaned pups, and de-clawing kittens. Poor conditions in pet shops and a lack of basic veterinary care also put the general human public at increased risk of contracting diseases transmitted through animals.”…The Central government must seriously take cognisance of the issue and regulate such trade and breeding practices,” said the six member commission headed by Justice A P Shah, retired Chief Justice of Delhi High Court.According to the commission, the rules on pet shops, dog breeding and aquarium fish breeding have been drafted in consultation with stakeholders and lying pending with the concerned ministry since 2010 but they are not yet came to force.

Water tanker scam: Delhi Jal Board Chairman recommends FIR against Sheila Dikshit, says sources

In 2012, Delhi Jal Board procured tankers to supply water in areas which receive less water

Sheila dikshit

Delhi Jal Board Chairman Kapil Mishra has recommended FIR against Sheila Dikshit in a 400 crore rupees water tanker scam, as per the sources.Kapil Mishra is the Water Minister of Delhi. In 2012, Delhi Jal Board procured tankers to supply water in areas which receive less water. Then Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit was in charge of the operations at Delhi Jal Board at that time. Further details are awaited in this case . With ANI inputs

Everyone’s life is important, human or animal: Delhi HC

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) told the court that in order to control the menace of stray dogs, it was necessary that Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001 be implemented in letter and spirit, maintaining that these rules were not being implemented.

Animal Rights
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dna Research & Archives
Life of everyone, whether a human being or an animal, is important, the Delhi High Court said today after an NGO sought directions to remove stray dogs from the streets of the capital calling them a menace. The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGOs, Nyaya Bhoomi and the Society For Public Cause, seeking directions to Delhi government and municipal authorities to take action to address the “growing menace” of stray dogs and dog bites as well as frame guidelines for the purpose.”Life of everybody is important, whether it is human or animals,” a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva observed after the NGO sought removal of stray dogs from the roads of the capital saying they were a menance to the society at large. It also urged the court to decide whether human life is precious or that of the animals.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) told the court that in order to control the menace of stray dogs, it was necessary that Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001 be implemented in letter and spirit, maintaining that these rules were not being implemented.”The street dogs population can be controlled and rabies eliminated, and the man-animal conflict can be effectively reduced only if the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) rules, 2001, enacted under Section 38 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act after receiving assent from Parliament in terms of Section 38A of the Act, are followed in letter and spirit by the local authorities, and all others,” advocate Anjali Sharma, who was appearing for AWBI, told the court. She contended that this was their primary contention before the Supreme Court, as issues raised here were also pending consideration there.Earlier, observing that stray dog bites were a menace, the court had directed the city’s municipal bodies to give detailed status report on how the rules for controlling the stray dog population were being implemented by them. The municipal bodies, who have not yet given the reports, were asked to file it before September 30.

Andhra Pradesh: National Board for Wildlife shelves proposal to resize Kolleru sanctuary

Last week, the National Board for Wildlife’s (NBWL) standing committee took up the proposal for consideration and after discussing it in detail, have decided to form a working group to study all “aspects of the matter”.

Home of the vulnerable Spot-Billed or Grey Pelican and 223 other avian species, the Kolleru Lake, one of India’s largest freshwater lake and the eponymous wildlife sanctuary are under threat as the Andhra Pradesh government has proposed to reduce the sanctuary’s size. Currently, the sanctuary is spread out across 308 sq kms, +5 feet above mean sea level. The AP government has proposed to reduce it to 135 sq kms and +3 feet above mean sea level.According to conservationists, the AP government’s move is a grave as it favours the interests of commercial aquaculture, whose methods and practices have in the past driven away the numerous bird species that prey on the lake’s fishes. Last week, the National Board for Wildlife’s (NBWL) standing committee took up the proposal for consideration and after discussing it in detail, have decided to form a working group to study all “aspects of the matter”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This will be the second time that an expert group will study the contentious issue since one detailed study, not recommending resizing of the sanctuary, was already carried out during UPA-II. The new working group will have Wildlife Institute of India expert R Sukumar, one member from the ministry’s wildlife division and one member from forest department of AP government and they have to submit a report to NBWL with two months.While arguing their case for resizing the boundary, state officials made a detailed presentation indicating that the sanctuary includes about 14861 acres of zirayati (private) lands which is the basis of livelihood of local population. With notification of their land in the sanctuary, their livelihood has been affected and the state is not in a position to provide compensation to them. But the NBWL committee noted that the sanctuary was notified after an order of the high court of Andhra Pradesh and even the Centrally Empowered Committee of the apex court ordered removal of aquaculture fish tanks within the sanctuary area. The apex court had ordered demolition of fish tanks after it was highlighted that pisiculturists drove away birds who would prey on fishes.

Supreme Court takes note of plea on cruelty against elephants in Kerala

Dealing with charges of cruelty meted to the elephants in Kerala, the court said it would be the state’s obligation to see that registration of the pachyderms is carried out.

Elephants are used to participate in religious festivals and processions in Kerala and also to carry the deities.
Image Courtesy: Wiki commons

The Supreme Court on Tuesday took note of pleas alleging cruelty meted out to captive elephants in Kerala, particularly in temples, and directed the top wildlife officer to undertake a headcount of all of them and act against those keeping them without the requisite permission.”As far as the present issue is concerned, we are inclined to direct that the Chief Wildlife Warden shall see to it that all the captive elephants existing in the State of Kerala are counted and in the absence of obtainment of requisite certificate under Section 42 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and the declaration made under Section 40, appropriate action shall be initiated against the owners,” the bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dealing with charges of cruelty meted to the elephants in Kerala, the court said it would be the state’s obligation to see that registration of the pachyderms is carried out.”It shall be the duty of the State, the District Committee, Management of the Devaswom, the Management of the Temple and the owners of the elephants to see that no elephant is meted with any kind of cruelty and, if it is found, apart from being lodging of criminal prosecution, they shall face severe consequences which may include confiscation of the elephants to the State,” the bench said.Referring to the Kerala Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules, it said on its perusal, it was “clear as crystal that it obliges the District Committee to take necessary measures to ensure that the festival committee constituted for smooth conduct of the festivals or the persons organising such functions in which elephants are exposed are required to adhere to many a measure. The District Committee is bound by the Rules and see to it that the festival committees follow the same.” It asked “temples or the Devaswom” to get themselves registered with the district committee within six weeks to ensure that elephants are used properly in religious events. Elephants are used to participate in religious festivals and processions in Kerala and also to carry the deities.”We think that they should be registered with the Committee and accordingly it is directed that the registration shall be done within a period of six weeks from today. The temple and Devaswom shall, apart from other formalities, also mention how many elephants it is going to use in any festival,” it said.During the hearing, Solicitor General (SG) Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre and the counsel for Kerala told the bench that the elephants participating in religious festivals and processions carry the deities and are not covered under the statutory definition of “performing animals” and hence, do not need to be registered.”There is no ban on captive elephants taking part in religious festivals,” the SG said.”If elephants carry the deities, then there is no problem. But there should not be any cruelty towards them,” the court said, adding that registration of elephants can be done under the rules framed under the Wildlife Protection Act.Earlier, the apex court had asked the Centre and others including Animal Welfare Board to ensure that no elephant is “treated or meted with cruelty” during religious festivals across the country. The court had issued notice to the Centre, nine states and the Animal Welfare Board of India on the PIL seeking steps for protection and welfare of elephants held in captivity including a complete ban on their sale, gifting and use in religious festivals.The PIL, filed by six organisations and individuals including Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, has said that the number of captive elephants kept by private persons and religious institutions stood at over 3,000. The figure of captive elephants is more than those which are with the forest department, zoos and circus and they were being traded openly and subjected to cruelty in violation of laws like the Wild Life (Protection) Act and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, it had contended.

Human DNA Profiling Bill: New govt bill proposes collection of samples from private parts

New bill proposes collection of samples from pvt parts for DNA

dna Research & Archives
The Union Government has proposed to allow collection of samples from private parts of human body for DNA profiling and data preservation with the approval of a regulatory body, as per the draft Human DNA Profiling Bill. The bill has been uploaded on the website of the Department of Biotechnology for feedback from stake-holders. It suggests that a National DNA Profiling Board and a National DNA Bank be set up in Hyderabad, with every state having a regional DNA data bank. “Any intimate body samples from living persons shall be collected, and intimate forensic procedures shall be performed by a medical practitioner. Intimate body samples mean a sample of blood, semen or any other tissue, fluid, urine or pubic hair; or a swab taken from a person’s body orifice other than mouth; or skin or tissue from an internal organ or body part taken from a person living or dead,” the draft bill says.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Intimate forensic procedure means “procedures conducted on living individual such as external examination of genitals or anal area,” the bill says, adding that methods such as vacuum suction, scraping or “lifting by tape” would be employed for collection of tissue.The DNA Data Bank would maintain records of samples found at crime scenes, or from suspects, offenders, missing persons, volunteers, etc. The bill also makes it clear that no DNA Laboratory shall undertake DNA profiling without the prior approval of the DNA Board. If a foreign country requests DNA profiling, the DNA Bank will coordinate through CBI or a concerned department.The draft bill mandates that the DNA profiles or samples be kept confidential, and they should be used only for establishing identity of a person and nothing else. Government investigation agencies and judiciary, among others, can seek information from Data Banks. For unauthorised use of data, a stringent punishment is provided.

Vyapam scam: CBI registers 2 more FIRs

The first case relates to the PMT examination in 2009 and has been registered against 42 accused upon allegations of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery under Indian Penal Code besides violation of MP Recognised Examination Act, 1937, a CBI spokesperson said here today.

Vyapam scam

CBI on Tuesday registered two more cases in the Vyapam scam, which involves alleged irregularities in the conduct of Pre-Medical Tests by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board between 2007 and 2010, taking the total number of cases to 61. The first case relates to the PMT examination in 2009 and has been registered against 42 accused upon allegations of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery under Indian Penal Code besides violation of MP Recognised Examination Act, 1937, a CBI spokesperson said here today. “The second case has been registered… against 10 accused relating to alleged illegalities in the Pre-Medical Entrance tests of 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 conducted by Vyapam,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>These two cases have taken the number of total cases to 61 as the Vyapam scam is on its way to becoming the largest probe with the central agency in terms of cases registered by it. Supreme Court had recently pulled up CBI and asked it to accomplish its taking over of Vyapam scam related cases by August 24 and report back to it. Former state education minister Laxmikant Sharma and several top bureaucrats are currently in jail in connection with the scam.Also, Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav has been accused of favouring some aspirants although the FIR against him was dropped on the orders of Madhya Pradesh High Court as he enjoys immunity by virtue of his office. Huge irregularities in recruitments to various government jobs by Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, or Vyapam, are being probed by CBI following a Supreme Court direction in this regard. Professionals, high-profile politicians and bureaucrats are believed to be involved in the scam.

Vyapam: ED set to take possession of tainted assets

The agency, which attached the properties of the alleged mastermind Jagdish Sagar in this case in March this year, got confirmed yesterday the order from the Adjudicating Authority of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based in Delhi.

Vyapam scam

File Photo
Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to take possession of assets worth Rs 15 crore belonging to a prime accused in a ‘Vyapam’ scam case in Madhya Pradesh. The agency, which attached the properties of the alleged mastermind Jagdish Sagar in this case in March this year, got confirmed yesterday the order from the Adjudicating Authority of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based in Delhi. The Authority is the first appellate authority and quasi-judicial body established to decide on attachment orders issued by the central probe agency under stringent anti-money laundering laws.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Authority has ruled in favour of the agency in this case. The agency will soon take possession of these assets and enforce prohibitory orders under PMLA. Notices would be stuck on the said assets,” sources said. The agency’s office in Indore had attached about 21 acres of land, four luxury cars and jewellery and cash worth Rs 3.33 crore in the name of Sagar and the estimated market value of these assets is about Rs 15 crore, they said.The Special Task Force (STF) of state police had named Sagar and two others as the alleged mastermind of the MP Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), ‘Vyapam’ in Hindi, scam which pertains to fraudulent selection of candidates to state government services and professional courses. The agency had registered a criminal FIR in this case in March last year and named former state Higher Education Minister Laxmikant Sharma and 27 others in its criminal complaint.The MPPEB scam was unearthed in July, 2013 by Indore Police with the arrest of “Munnabhais” (scorers) who appeared for original candidates in Pre-Medical Test (PMT) examination conducted by the Board. Later, the government handed over the case to STF for in-depth investigations and recently CBI has been entrusted with the investigations in this case. During investigations, it also came to light that the scam involves other examinations including for recruitment of contractual teachers, patwaris and transport inspectors and others.The STF, under the supervision of SIT, has filed a few charge sheets against the accused. Sources said the agency is set to attach more assets soon.

CBI registers preliminary enquiry into mysterious death of MP Governor’s son Shailesh Yadav

Yadav’s son Shailesh’s name had cropped up in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board or Vyapam scam for allegedly fixing the recruitment of 10 candidates as Grade III teachers.

Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav
File Photo

CBI today started a preliminary enquiry to probe the mysterious death of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav’s son Shailesh whose name had figured in the multi-crore rupee MPPEB scam, also known as Vyapam. Shailesh, 50, was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his official residence in Lucknow on March 25 this year. Police had claimed the exact cause of the death could not be ascertained immediately.Shailesh’s name had cropped up in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board or Vyapam scam for allegedly fixing the recruitment of 10 candidates as Grade III teachers. Ram Naresh Yadav, a former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, was appointed Madhya Pradesh Governor by Congress in 2011.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides registering the preliminary enquiry in the late evening, CBI today also registered six more FIRs into alleged corruption in the conduct of examinations and recruitment tests conducted by Vyapam. Giving details about the FIRs, CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said here that the first case has been registered against eight persons for alleged cheating by impersonation in Pre Medical Test, 2004 while the second FIR is against eleven persons for impersonating as candidates during PMT, 2005 and helping to secure admission in MBBS courses.CBI registered the third case on allegations of cheating by personation in Constable Recruitment Examination, 2012 against seven persons, the agency spokesperson said. The remaining three FIRs are related to Police Constable recruitment test in 2012.In one FIR, 27 accused are named while in remaining two–two accused each–are named. With the registration of these FIRs, the total number of cases under probe has touched 59.On the directions of the Supreme Court of India, CBI has taken over the investigation of the said FIRs which were earlier registered by the Madhya Pradesh Police. Further process of taking over of remaining cases is under way, Prasad said. Vyapam scandal has snowballed into a major political issue with parliament’s monsoon session being repeatedly disrupted after opposition continued its protests over Vyapam issue and Lalit Modi controversy.Allegations of rampant corruption surfaced in professional examinations conducted by Vyapam after RTI queries showed alleged involvement of top functionaries of state government offices. Former state Education Minister Laxmikant Sharma and several top bureaucrats are currently in jail in connection with the scam. Ram Naresh Yadav has also been accused of favouring some aspirants.