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PM Modi holds PRAGATI video conference with chief secretaries

Meanwhile, Modi also reviewed the progress with respect to Aadhaar enrollment and its seeding with bank accounts. Linking Aadhaar with bank account will allow authentication of the beneficiary to receive Direct Benefit Transfer under various government-run schemes like MGNREGA, scholarships. Prime Minister in this regard also asked states to complete the process expeditiously.

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Cow urine used only in 5 products, says Patanjali

Reacting to the ‘fatwa’, it further said: “This is conspiracy to misguide and confuse crores of poor Muslims who want to use affordable and pure Patanjali products.” Yesterday, a Tamil Nadu-based Muslim organisation had issued a ‘fatwa’ against Patanjali alleging products were made by using cow urine, saying its usage was considered ‘haram’ (forbidden) in Islam.=Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamat (TNTJ) had alleged that cow’s urine was being used as a ‘key ingredient’ in cosmetics, medicines and food products of Patanjali that are available in open markets as well as online.

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Two major defence deals that couldn’t fructify during Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia

Even as a $1 billion worth contract over manufacturing Kamov KA 226 light helicopters turns out the mainstay of India-Russia defence cooperation achieved during prime minister Narendra Modi’s latest visit to Moscow that concluded on Thursday, two other prominent defence deals that were being looked at failed to get formalised.According to sources, proposal for four Talwar class frigates – stealth warships with guided missiles – were on agenda for summit meeting between Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin but didn’t find mention in the two countries; joint statement.Four frontline warships, sources said are to be built built at a cost of around Rs 30,000 crore at a private shipyard in Gujarat and a formal agreement was expected during PM’s visit.A partnership for refit and modernisation of all Indian Navy surface ships of Russian and Soviet origin too was expected on the discussion table but no announcement was made in this regard.Currently, there are 35 Russian / Soviet-origin surface ships in the Indian Navy fleet. The value of this business is estimated to be over Rs 35,000 crore. And the combined value of above two opportunities exceeded USD 10 Bn ( INR 66,000 Cr) over next ten years.Besides, India’s recent decision for purchase of nearly Rs 40,000 crore Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems too didn’t form a part of the joint declaration.Ministry of Defence’s Dfenec Acquisition Council had given a go-ahead for the Russian air defence systems on December 17.Twin engine Kamov choppers are believed to become mainstay of Indian Army in mountaneous sectors for their unique utility and an agreement over them is the ‘first major platform under Make in India.A total of 16 agreements were signed between the two countries.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Press Council issues notice to Organiser for ‘negative’ article about Kerala

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The notice was issued to the Organiser weekly, considered close to the RSS, on December 16 and it has been given 14 days time to respond from the date it is served.

The Press Council of India has issued a show-cause notice to Organiser weekly on a complaint alleging that its article related to Kerala showed the state in “poor light”.The notice was issued to the Organiser weekly, considered close to the RSS, on December 16 and it has been given 14 days time to respond from the date it is served. The complaint filed by one Nidheesh P, a resident of Delhi and a member of the Kerala Shastra Sahitya Parishat, alleged that the article titled “Kerala; God’s own Country or Godless Country” defamed and demoralised the culture and civilisation of the citizens of Kerala.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It further alleged that the article is false with the intention of creating communal riots in the name of religion and food habits among peacefully living people in the state. The article had kicked up a furore in the state with parties across the political spectrum condemning it.

Plea in Delhi HC over amendment of St Stephen’s constitution

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Challenging the November 30 decision of the governing body (GB), 21 teachers of the college have in their plea alleged that amending of St Stephens’ constitution would result in “completely altering its basic structure and character without the consent of the Delhi University (DU)”.

St Stephen’s College

A petition was on Tuesday filed in the Delhi High Court against the move of St Stephen’s College governing body to amend the college’s constitution to increase control of the Church of North India over the institution.Challenging the November 30 decision of the governing body (GB), 21 teachers of the college have in their plea alleged that amending of St Stephen’s’ constitution would result in “completely altering its basic structure and character without the consent of the Delhi University (DU)”. The petitioners have claimed that such a step would lead to “jeopardizing the very status of the college as an affiliated and recognized institution”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Respondents 4 to 6 (Principal, Chairman and Vice Chairman of St Stephen’s) have mischievously sought to amend the constitution of the college thereby increasing the control of the Church of North India over the college and thereby giving controlling interest to Respondent 4 (Valson Thampu) after his retirement in February 2016,” the petition said. It has alleged that the “amendment process is tainted by a malicious objective of securing control of the college to persons such as Respondents 5 to 6 (Chairman of St Stephen’s, Warris Massih and Vice Chairman of St Stephen’s Alwan Massih) who themselves are currently illegally on the GB and aims to cover up their illegal memberships and functioning in respect of the college.”The teachers have sought quashing and setting aside of the November 30 decision of the Governing Body. They have also sought directions prohibiting the Chairman and Vice Chairman and their nominees in the Governing Body from functioning in the body with respect to amendment of the constitution of the college.The petition has also asked for directions prohibiting the amendment of the constitution of the college without approval of DU, Ministry of Human Resource Development and University Grants Commission. Thampu, who is retiring in February next year, has come up with a draft amendment in which he has proposed that the principal be empowered to take disciplinary action against students or staff irrespective of the Governing Body’s opinion.He has also called for giving a major say to the Church of North India (CNI) in the functioning of the college, handing over the powers to appoint faculty and admissions to its Supreme Council (SC) and recasting the composition of the Governing Body (GB). The amendment also proposes to replace St Stephen’s College Trust, which currently runs the college, with a St Stephen’s Educational Society that will have the power to establish Stephen’s-like private institutions across the country.According to DU statutes, any such move without consultation with the varsity’s Executive Council (EC) is in violation of the rules and might result in derecognition of the college. Further, it may also result in the prestigious college losing funds from the UGC, which currently provides 95 per cent funding to the institution, with the remaining coming from the Church of North India-controlled St Stephen’s Trust.

JNU professor sacked for alleged sexual abuse of foreign student

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The decision was taken today at an emergent meeting of of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Executive Council (EC), the varsity’s statutory decision making body.

Jawaharlal Nehru University
File Photo

JNU on Monday terminated services of an assistant professor after a varsity inquiry committee found him guilty in a case of alleged sexual harassment filed by a foreign scholar pursuing research under him. The decision was taken today at an emergent meeting of of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Executive Council (EC), the varsity’s statutory decision making body. The complainant, a Bangladesh national, was pursuing research under the professor’s supervision in the varsity’s Department of Sociology.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A research scholar from Bangladesh working under supervision of the professor, had alleged that she was sexually abused by the professor. Subsequently, an inquiry was instituted by the Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH), the university watchdog for dealing with such issues,” official sources said.”In its enquiry, the GSCASH found him guilty and recommended action against him, following which the EC meet was called to take a call on the issue. The EC decided to terminate his services with immediate effect,” they added.Meanwhile, repeated calls and text messages to the professor for his comments on the issue went unanswered.The EC’s decision comes at a time, when JNU is under criticism over the maximum number of sexual abuse cases reported from all the higher education institutes in the country.Only last week, Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani had informed the Lok Sabha that 25 cases of sexual harassment were reported from JNU in 2013-2014, the highest among 104 higher education institutions from where such matters were reported, according to the University Grants Commission (UGC) data.Last month, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal had also said that as much as 50 per cent of the 101 sexual harassment complaints filed in 16 educational institutions in the national capital since 2013 were from JNU.The varsity had recently notified its new sexual harassment policy which also includes a penalty provision for false complaints filed before the probe panel. GSCASH was instituted by the university in 1999 under the Vishaka guidelines of the Supreme Court. The panel has representatives from JNU Students Union (JNUSU), JNU Officers’ Association (JNUOA), hostel wardens, faculty and administrative staff.However, a group of JNU teachers had last month questioned the working of GSCASH, alleging that its “processes are perverted”.Demanding that JNU be a “gender-sensitive and gender-just” campus, a group of teachers has written an open letter to the varsity administration seeking its intervention to improve the functioning of GSCASH.The teachers had also alleged that the confidentiality with regard to complaints was being “blatantly violated”, leading to defaming the complainants and the putting their integrity on “public trial”. The committee had come out with a clarification saying that “it engages and encourages the community to file such cases in a confidential manner, without engaging unwanted attention and speculation at the same time”.

India clears Rs 40,000 crore air defence system purchase from Russia ahead of PM Modi’s meeting with Putin

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar chaired Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting held on Thursday cleared an another estimated Rs 25,000 crore proposal for defence acquisitions under ‘Make in India.

Days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Russian President Vladimir Putin during the former’s Russia visit later this month, India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) gave an approval for purchase of nearly Rs 40,000 crore Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems, government sources said.Defence minister Manohar Parrikar chaired Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting held on Thursday cleared an another estimated Rs 25,000 crore proposal for defence acquisitions under ‘Make in India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The deal of S-400 air defence systems that come with mobile launchers , will entail buying close to 6,000 missiles that can detect and destroy incoming missiles and aircraft up to a range of 400 kilometres.Besides, this, DAC also cleared a demand by the Army for six regiments of the DRDO developed Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher Systems at Rs 14,600 cr. Indian defence manufacturing Tata Power SED, BEML and Larsen & Toubro will manufacture these systems.Other major approvals under Make in India include a Rs 425 crore electronic warfare system, for the Indian Army. This system , to be developed by DRDO and manufactured by state-run Bharat Electronics Limited, are meant for use in mountain regions along the borders with China and Pakistan, said an official source.Further, at an expense of close to Rs 450 crore, 120 trawls for T-72 and T-90 tanks were also approved, the source added. These will also be made indigenously.MoD also appointed state-run Hindustan Shipyard Limited to build fleet support ships for Navy worth Rs 9000 crore , a proposal for which was sanctioned last year by DAC.Over all, close to Rs 65000 crore acquisition were approved that included nearly Rs 25000 crore under Make in India.

Arunachal Pradesh political crisis: CM Nabam Tuki writes to President and Prime Minister seeking intervention

Tuki said that he along with his council of ministers called on the Governor on December 15 but despite registering protest and requests urging him to reconsider his illegal order, he refused to heed to their pleadings.

Arunachal Pradesh CM Nabam Tuki
File Photo

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on Wednesday shot off two separate letters to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking their intervention in the political crisis that has gripped the state. In the letters Tuki apprised them of the “unilateral decision taken by the governor by summoning the Assembly session without consulting the democratically-elected government.”As per the provisions of Article 174 of Constitution, the Governor can summon session of the Legislative Assembly only on the aid and advice of the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers. On the contrary, the Governor, on the strength of Article 175(2) issues a message for summoning a session,” Tuki said in his letters.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”You are aware that message under Article 175(2) is only for a Bill and not any resolution of the members of the House. Furthermore, the Governor, not stopping by issuing this illegal order, also issues the agenda of the business to be transacted by selectively taking up pending business of removal of the Speaker to be chaired by the Deputy Speaker whereas the notice for removal of Deputy Speaker was submitted earlier to the Assembly secretariat,” he said.Tuki further added that he along with his council of ministers called on the Governor on December 15 but despite registering protest and requests urging him to reconsider his illegal order, he refused to heed to their pleadings.”In utter violation of all norms and laid down procedures, the Deputy Speaker, who stands disqualified along with some legislators convenes the illegal session with the permission of the Governor, in a badminton court and passes resolution for removal of the Speaker,” the letters said.”This is unprecedented murder of democracy and bypass of a democratically-elected government and in contravention to the provisions and ideals of the Constitution. I seek your support and timely intervention on the issue in the larger interest of the nation and to uphold the ideals as enshrined in the Constitution, the letters added.

No proposal for raising retirement age of SC, HC judges: Govt

In reply to another question on the entry of foreign legal firms, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said the matter is under consideration of the government in consultation with the Bar Council of India.
File Photo

There is no proposal to increase the retirement age of judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, the government on Friday informed the Rajya Sabha.In written reply to a question on raising salaries and allowances of judges, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said, “It will take place once the salary of Secretaries to Government is re-fixed.””There is no proposal to increase the age of retirement of Judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court under consideration of the government,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The minister said the salary of higher constitutional functionaries including the judges of Supreme Court and High Courts are fixed by making necessary adjustments with reference to the pay scales suggested by the Pay Commissions and approved by government for the level of Secretaries to the Government of India.In reply to another question on the entry of foreign legal firms, Gowda said the matter is under consideration of the government in consultation with the Bar Council of India.

AICTE has proceeded against 132 engineering institutions for violating norms: Government

This information was shared in the Lok Sabha by HRD minister Smriti Irani in a written reply to a member’s question

Smriti Irani

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in 2015-16 has proceeded against 132 private engineering institutions which failed to act on norms laid down by it, the government said on Monday. This information was shared in the Lok Sabha by HRD minister Smriti Irani in a written reply to a member’s question. 132 private engineering institutions, including 5 in the state of Rajasthan, which failed to fulfil the norms laid down by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have been proceeded against by AICTE in 2015-16 after issuing a show cause notice and considering their explanation, Irani said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The penal action ranged from reduction in seats in some and even closure of 87 colleges,” she added. Responding to another question, Irani said that as per information received from Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), there is no proposal to draft in some new persons to rewrite certain aspects of Indian history.

Manipur’s Tamenglong gears up to host 12th edition of Orange Festival

The United Naga Council, meanwhile, has appealed to all the Nagas not to extend any form of support in organising the Festival.

Oranges on display at 7th Orange festival, Manipur. Image credit: http://manipur.nic.in/

The 12th Edition of the Manipur’s Orange Festival will be held at Mini Stadium, Tamenglong District Headquarters, about 150 km west of Imphal, on December 9.The festival is held annually to promote tourism in Manipur and provide an opportunity for orange farmers to display their produce before potential buyers. It also aims to promote orange production by giving awareness on orange cultivation to the farmers.Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh is likely to grace the festival as the Chief Guest.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This year the festival will see various competitions and cultural extravaganzas, including orange eating competition, best orange competition, orange queen contest, display of traditional and customary items, craft exhibition, seminar for orange growers, indigenous games and sports.Meanwhile, the United Naga Council (UNC) has appealed to all the Nagas and tribal people not to extend any form of support to Chief Minister O Ibobi and his Deputy Chief Minister in organising the upcoming Orange Festival, sponsored by the Government of Manipur.”The Naga people should not succumb to the appeasement policy of the State government in enticing the people in the guise of organising different forms of festivals in Naga and tribal territory just to fulfil and strengthen their selfish political objectives,” a statement issued by the publicity wing of the UNC stated.The council alleged that crores of rupees sanctioned by the Government of India for horticulture development in Manipur, particularly for Tamenglong District, through the Horticulture Mission of India under the Ministry of Agriculture had been misappropriated without implementation. It also alleged that the Manipur government has not been addressing the rights and interest of the orange growers and this had led to a decrease in production over the years.Tamenglong accounts for more than 50% of orange production in Manipur and a large part of the district’s economy depends on it. Last year, around 350 orange growers participated in the festival.

Rajya Sabha paralysed for second day; opposition demands VK Singh’s ouster from cabinet

No government business could be transacted as the House was adjourned repeatedly as members of BSP and Congress pressed for ouster of Singh from the Council of Ministers as well as Parliament for ‘dog’ analogy after the killing of two Dalit children in Haryana

VK Singh

Rajya Sabha was paralysed for the second consecutive on Friday, with the some opposition parties gunning for minister V K Singh for his ‘dog’ remarks and some others creating ruckus over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s reported comments on Ram temple.No government business could be transacted as the House was adjourned repeatedly as members of BSP and Congress pressed for ouster of Singh from the Council of Ministers as well as Parliament for ‘dog’ analogy after the killing of two Dalit children in Haryana. Adding to the pandemonium, members of Samajwadi Party protested against Bhagwat’s remarks that ‘ground should be prepared’ for building Ram Temple in Ayodhya and demanded action against him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government ruled out any action against Singh, arguing that he has already clarified on the issue. With regard to Bhagwat’s comments, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said people have “fundamental right” to reiterate commitment for construction of a temple but the government will respect the court’s decision. Ruckus began soon after the House met for the day and mourned the death of former member M A M Ramaswamy.BSP chief Mayawati said the government’s attitude over Singh’s comments was “very sad and unfortunate”. As Deputy Chairman P J Kurien disallowed her and asked her to give a notice for making a statement, her party members rushed into the Well raising anti-government slogans. Not to be left behind, Naresh Agarwal (SP) raised the issue of Bhagwat’s comments.Kurien did not allow this as well and asked them to make mentions during the Zero Hour. “Please give notice. This is against rules. You cannot make a statement without notice,” he said. Immediately thereafter, SP members rushed into the Well of the House raising slogans.Mayawati alleged that social and communal atomsphere in the country has detoriated since BJP came to power, as the government instead of taking action against the rabble-rousers was indulging in soft-peddling such issues. “Dalit virodhi yeh sarkar nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi (anti-Dalit government will not be allowed)”, “V K Singh murdabad (down with V K Singh)”, the BSP members shouted.With members of the two parties not listening to his pleas for order, Kurien adjourned the House for 15 minutes.Similar scenes were seen when the House met at 11.30 am with slogan-shouting BSP members again trooping into the Well.

India should focus more on renewable energy: Expert

According to media reports, US and its allies in the global North, as pushing for equal financial contributions from the developing countries, going against the principle of common but differentiated responsibility.

India needs to establish itself as a natural leader in solar energy

Negotiating its way through the climate talks in Paris, India needs to be careful of not being reactionary, yet be able to give it back in kind and focus on its ambitious renewable energy targets, to counter the spoiler tag coming its way, say experts observing the talks. US Secretary of State, John Kerry’s statement prior to Paris, calling negotiating with India a challenge, set the ball rolling on “political posturing on whom to blame”, as Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of Council for Energy, Environment and Water told dna, India needed to stay it’s course and not rise to the bait.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to media reports, US and its allies in the global North, as pushing for equal financial contributions from the developing countries, going against the principle of common but differentiated responsibility. This has also thrown a spanner in the making that the developed world meet its pledge of $100 billion to help the developing world by 2020, and could sour this crucial stage in the climate negotiations.Srinivas Krishnaswamy, founder of Vasudha Foundation, New Delhi, told dna that “industrialised countries, particularly EU and US are pushing for language on decarbonisation goal as part of the long term goal.” India, he added, was “resisting that language” as “its stance primarily is that it is in a stage of development, where it requires all sources of energy to secure its energy future.”According to him, and Ghosh, India’s trump could be its focus on renewable energy, its ambitious plans to set it up, and establishing itself a natural leader in solar energy with the International Solar Alliance.”The Prime Minister’s speech was a one-two punch,” said Ghosh. It put on the table India’s large plans for renewables and also joined hands with other countries. Thus it maintained a positive position and couldn’t just be seen as a country that wanted to hold on to differentiation.”If countries want to talk coal, then India should talk coal,” Ghosh explained further, as the US consumed more coal today than India will in 2030. The EU used coal in the form of lignite, which was one of the dirtier kinds of coal. India’s lignite usage, said Ghosh, was 1/10th that of the EU’s.Ghosh also said that India’s renewables target had set it on the correct trajectory. It may not achieve 175GW of renewable energy by 2022, but it would get there in time. Krishnaswamy too, comparing India and China, said that “India has already an ambitious RE target until 2022 and if this is realised, could potentially ramp up its RE targets even further until 2030 and despite the head start that China has had on RE, India could very surpass China in the percentage share of RE in its mix.”

UNSC seat should not be a high priority for India: Former Diplomat

Getting a seat in the United Nations Security Council should not be a high priority for India, a former top diplomat has said.

Representational Image

Getting a seat in the United Nations Security Council should not be a high priority for India, a former top diplomat has said.”I don’t think it should be a high priority for India. We have wasted enough time in this already,” Krishnan Srinivasan, former Foreign Secretary of India, said on Tuesday. He said the issue was so complicated that it was postponed year after year at the UN.”Permanent membership of the UNSC without veto is not so attractive that we should spent time on it,” he said.United Nations Information Centre director Kiran Mehra Kerpelman said the discussion on UN in India was always related to the UNSC seat.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Many complain that the UN only talks, but talking is better than bombing,” she said.

Solar alliance shows India’s leadership in clean energy: US environmental experts

The alliance, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with French President Francois Hollande also has the potential to propel international solar markets forward while fighting climate change, improving global health and boosting economies, Suh said.

AFP
The launch of an unprecedented international solar alliance in Paris on the sidelines of the climate change summit shows India’s leadership in clean energy, environmental experts have said.”This unprecedented international solar collaboration sets an encouraging tone as country representatives gather today to reach a new global climate agreement. India’s leading role in forming an International Solar Alliance anchors its own climate commitment to ramp up renewable energy,” said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The alliance, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with French President Francois Hollande also has the potential to propel international solar markets forward while fighting climate change, improving global health and boosting economies, Suh said.Launching the alliance in Paris, Modi and Hollande invited over 100 solar-rich countries to facilitate widespread implementation of solar projects and infrastructure.”This new alliance is a sign of India s leadership on the global stage. The international alliance brings together developing and developed countries to expand energy access, accelerate solar power deployment, and stimulate economic development. Backed by USD1 trillion in investment, the alliance should drive down the costs of solar power, making it affordable for a growing number of communities,” said Manish Bapna, managing director World Resources Institute.Modi, who spearheaded this partnership with leaders of several African countries, continues to show strong commitment to expand renewable energy in India. The alliance will support India in building 100 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022, he said.”With the US and China joining India, along with over 100 other nations, to support this solar alliance on the first day of the UN climate negotiations, the majority of greenhouse gas emitters are demonstrating tremendous leadership to develop sustainably while curbing climate change,” said Jing Jing Qian, China Programme Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.Anjali Jaiswal, India Initiative Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council said coupled with its comprehensive solar programme aiming to reach 100 gigawatts by 2022, India has once again positioned itself as a global leader in clean energy.”Developing affordable solar technologies and attracting the considerable investment required to finance the envisioned solar transition are critical steps to support India and other countries to achieve their ambitious clean energy goals set as part of the Paris negotiations,” she said.Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water said, “India has emerged as the natural leader for this alliance, with its ambitious targets to install 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, and non-fossil fuel electricity generating systems accounting for 40 per cent of the cumulative installed capacity by 2030.”

Valson Thampu pulls up St Stephen’s teachers for speaking to media

The Stephen’s staff association had in a November 23 meeting briefly attended by Thampu outrightly rejected the amendment draft.

The Stephen’s staff association had in a November 23 meeting briefly attended by Thampu outrightly rejected the amendment draft.

File Photo
Amidst a controversy sparked by his proposal for amending the St Stephen’s constitution, its principal Valson Thampu on Saturday disapproved of the move by its faculty members to speak to the media on the issue and urged them to exercise “responsible restraint”. “At a recent Staff Council meeting, concerns were expressed by everyone present about the tendency to drag college matters through the media muck, aimed at discrediting the institution in the eye of the public. It was decided unanimously that all faculty members shall refrain such irresponsible indulgences. “I am disappointed to note that this has been violated. I would urge my colleagues to exercise responsible restraint in such situations and explore avenues of dialogue rather than of confrontation,” he said in an email sent to the college faculty.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thampu, who is retiring in February next year, has circulated a draft amendment in which he has proposed that the principal be empowered to take disciplinary action against students or staff irrespective of the Stephen’s Governing Body (GB)’s opinion. He has also called for giving a major say to Church of North India in the functioning of the college, handing over of faculty appointments and admissions to the Supreme Council and amending the composition of the GB. The Stephen’s staff association had in a November 23 meeting briefly attended by Thampu outrightly rejected the amendment draft. “If teachers abandon the bottomline commitment to intellectual and moral responsibility, they will only discredit themselves and the cause over which they are made to look agitated. “Confrontation solves nothing. To give out to the public the impression that the ‘teachers of the college’ have ‘rejected’ the amendments even before they are considered by the GB has problems (sic),” Thampu further said.While the staff association includes both ad hoc and permanent faculty, in a separate petition to the GB, 37 confirmed faculty members have urged that taking up of the amendment process be deferred till Thampu retires. They have also called for the legal and procedural ramifications involved in the amendments to be studied carefully. The GB is scheduled to meet on November 30 to take a call on the issue.

St Stephen’s staff association rejects Thampu’s proposal to amend constitution

The principal, who is retiring in February next year, has circulated a draft amendment in which he has proposed that the principal be empowered to take disciplinary action against students or staff irrespective of the Governing Body’s opinion

Valson Thampu

The proposal by St Stephen’s Principal Valson Thampu to amend the 102-year-old constitution of the institution was outrightly rejected on Monday at the meeting of the college’s staff association which said it will appeal to higher authorities to discard the move.”The proposal was discussed during the specially convened meeting of the staff association and 26 members opposed the move to amend the constitution. We will appeal to the higher authorities including the university and the Church of North India (CNI) to consider the repercussions of the amendments and reject the proposal,” a staff association member said. Thampu, who also came to the meeting for few minutes, did not answer any questions raised by the teachers regarding the amendments.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The principal, who is retiring in February next year, has circulated a draft amendment in which he has proposed that the principal be empowered to take disciplinary action against students or staff irrespective of the Governing Body’s opinion. He has also called for giving a major say to CNI in the functioning of the college, handing over the faculty appointments and admissions to the Supreme Council and amending the composition of the GB.The amendment also proposes to replace St Stephen’s College Trust, which currently runs the college, with a proposed St Stephen’s Educational Society, which will have the power to establish Stephen’s-like private institutions across the country.”If the amendment is passed the Governing Body (GB) which so far takes a call on all important issues, will be reduced to a toothless body. Also with changes in the composition of the GB, the role of teachers will be marginalised,” another member said. The move to amend the constitution has also attracted the ire of the college alumni who have criticised the proposal as an attempt to make St Stephen’s a Christian ghetto.While university statutes say that the move to amend the constitution in deviation of the rules laid down in the ordinances, can result in de-recognition of the institution, Thampu has been claiming that it is the Supreme Council’s decision to make the amendments and there is no violation of procedures or law in the same. The amendment draft will be placed before the Governing Body meeting on November 30.

Not in race for 2019 polls, claims Arvind Kejriwal

Asserting that the party’s main aim was to tackle corruption, Kejriwal claimed his was the first government to sack a Minister for involvement in graft.

Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal on Monday claimed that the party is not in the race for 2019 elections and asked its members to not run after polls even as he indicated that the party could get a Delhi-like opportunity in Punjab.”We are not here for power politics. People ask if AAP is in race for 2019? We are not in any race. Delhi’s win was miraculous. We just have to keep working hard and honestly. Don’t run after elections. All indications are that you are going to get the same opportunity in Punjab,” he said in his address at AAP’s National Council meeting. The meeting where the party is expected to elect its new members of the National Executive, the second highest decision-making body of the party, began here today amid protests outside the venue by AAP members who claimed that they were not invited for the meet.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that the party’s main aim was to tackle corruption, Kejriwal claimed his was the first government to sack a Minister for involvement in graft. “We had two aims in the beginning – tackling corruption and bringing Janlokpal and Swaraj. In the last 10 months, we have worked so hard, I can challenge, Sheila (Dikshit) government did not do in 15 years. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi had the entire nation at his disposal, even he did not do. “Let’s talk about corruption first. There is no such instance in the past that a government sacked its own Minister found involved in corruption. We see how governments keep brushing corruption cases under the carpet, especially against their Ministers.”But in the case of our govt, nobody knew about it. Someone had sent a clip on WhatsApp. We saw it and felt that the Minister was involved. We analysed it and summoned the Minister and confronted him. He confessed and we sacked him in a press conference in an hour,” he said. Assuring that the Janlokpal bill will be passed in the ongoing Winter Session of Delhi Assembly, Kejriwal said, “Lokpal is also going to be passed in this session. It’s the same old bill minus citizen charter and vigilance. We have implemented the vigilance aspect. Citizen charter is being tabled today. So BJP and Congress have no issue to protest against.”The Chief Minister also claimed that, “the party is implementing the idea of Swaraj through executive orders and not through legislation, because Centre would never clear it. Why should we give them an opportunity to install Swaraj?” Listing AAP government’s achievements, Kejriwal said, “We completed a flyover before deadline. Metro also completed its project ahead of deadline. But what is different is, we saved Rs 100 crores on it”.”Manishbhai (Sisodia) is today tabling a historic bill today. All services will be delivered in time bound manner. In case of default, officers will pay fine to you,” he said. The National Council is the body of founding members of the party, while National Executive is the second highest decision-making body of the party. The Council ratifies all the decisions taken by the party. According to the party’s Constitution, the National Executive has to be reconstituted every three years. The tenure of the present members of the National Executive ends this month. The AAP was formed in November 26, 2012.Founding members Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav, Ajit Jha and Anand Kumar, who were expelled in April this year, are to be replaced by new members.

AAP to tackle corruption, not target 2019 Punjab Assembly polls: Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal today claimed that the party is not in the race for 2019 elections and asked its members to not run after polls even as he indicated that the party could get a Delhi-like opportunity in Punjab.

“We are not here for power politics. People ask if AAP is in race for 2019? We are not in any race. Delhi’s win was miraculous. We just have to keep working hard and honestly. Don’t run after elections. All indications are that you are going to get the same opportunity in Punjab,” he said in his address at AAP’s National Council meeting.

The meeting where the party is expected to elect its new members of the National Executive, the second highest decision-making body of the party, began here today amid protests outside the venue by AAP members who claimed that they were not invited for the meet.

PTIPTI

PTI

Asserting that the party’s main aim was to tackle corruption, Kejriwal claimed his was the first government to sack a Minister for involvement in graft.

“We had two aims in the beginning – tackling corruption and bringing Janlokpal and Swaraj. In the last 10 months, we have worked so hard, I can challenge, Sheila (Dikshit) government did not do in 15 years. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi had the entire nation at his disposal, even he did not do.

“Let’s talk about corruption first. There is no such instance in the past that a government sacked its own Minister found involved in corruption. We see how governments keep brushing corruption cases under the carpet, especially against their Ministers.

“But in the case of our govt, nobody knew about it. Someone had sent a clip on WhatsApp. We saw it and felt that the Minister was involved. We analysed it and summoned the Minister and confronted him. He confessed and we sacked him in a press conference in an hour,” he said.

PTI

Delhi University students to get special discount on food, apparel, study material

The ISIC card will be in the form of a smart card which will serve the dual purpose of an identity card for a DU student and a discount card.

Delhi University

Delhi University students will be able to avail discounts on major national and international brands, study material, food and apparel by displaying a special student I-card provided to them.The I-card, called the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) endorsed by UNESCO was launched on Saturday and is being made available to the university students by Delhi University Student’s Union (DUSU) and will be accepted worldwide.”An ISIC card is currently being used by students in around 130 countries. Once this card is made available to DU students they can avail discounts in Microsoft, British Council, IELTS, Lenskart, Pizza Hut and other popular brands,” said a DUSU member.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ISIC card will be in the form of a smart card which will serve the dual purpose of an identity card for a DU student and a discount card.DUSU is going to organise camps in various colleges starting in a few days to issue these cards to the students.”The cards will be issued to students only when they show their DU identity card. A nominal fee of Rs 250 will be charged from the students at the time of issuing of cards. It will come with a magnetic strap and a unique identification number like the smart cards and can be swiped at some places,” the member said.Some of the offers that will be available on the card include, a 90% discount on purchase of software from Microsoft, 20% discount on career planning workshops organised by Career Smart, a career counselling group, up to 50% discount on brands like Lakme and Pizza Hut outlets.

Karnataka: Process for removal of Lokayukta started

A petition seeking removal of Rao as Lokayukta with 46 members of BJP and 37 of JD(S) signing it was separately submitted to Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa, as the winter session of the state legislature is underway.

Setting the ball rolling for removal of controversial Karnataka Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao, Opposition parties on Tuesday petitioned the Assembly Speaker initiating the process for his exit over an alleged extortion racket in the anti-graft ombudsman’s office involving his son.A petition seeking removal of Rao as Lokayukta with 46 members of BJP and 37 of JD(S) signing it was separately submitted to Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa, as the winter session of the state legislature is underway.Rao, who has been sticking to his guns despite calls for his resignation, is on a long leave since July after his son Ashwin Rao was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in connection with the case.Speaking to reporters after receiving the petition, Thimmappa said, “As per the amended Act, at least 72 members have to sign, so there is adequate numbers now. I will call for a meeting of all parties and discuss how to go forward and will then take the action. We will come to a decision in two or three days.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming it a “legally complicated matter”, Thimmappa said, “I want to have a unanimous opinion on this.” Thimmappa said after verifying the petition, he and Chairman of the Legislative Council will have to write to the High Court Chief Justice to constitute an inquiry committee. “…..the three members, consisting two members appointed by Chief Justice and one member appointed by us will inquire and come out with a finding which will be placed before the Legislature and final decision will be taken.” “…as this matter will go before the committee that will have retired High Court Judge, we will have to look at things responsibly and move forward in this matter,” he added.Under attack from the Opposition for allegedly soft-pedalling serious charges of corruption in the office of the Lokayukta, the state government had in July tabled the Karnataka Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2015 pertaining to removal of anti-corruption ombudsman, which was passed. The passage of the bill has made the process of removal of the Lokayukta simpler. Karnataka Lokayukta Joint Commissioner (PRO) Syed Riaz and a few others were also arrested in connection with the scandal. The scandal came to light after Lokayukta Superintendent of Police Sonia Narang wrote a letter to the Registrar of Karnataka Lokayukta, about the complaint she received from a person who alleged that someone from the Lokayukta office demanded Rs 1 crore in bribe to avoid a raid.Speaking to reporters after meeting the Speaker, Leader of Opposition BJP in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar said, “we expect this process for the removal of Lokayukta is completed soon.” “Lokayukta institution which is to protect people is on the verge of loosing its significance today, because of Bhaskar Rao…; his removal is of prime importance to protect this institution….” he added. Expressing a similar opinion, JD(S) leader Y S V Datta said that at the Business Advisory Committee meeting yesterday all the parties including the ruling party leaders have expressed feeling that Lokayukta Bhaskar Rao has to go. “….by initiating this process we will be able to send a clear message to people that legislature is in no way trying to protect Lokayukta,” he added.According to the Act, the notice of motion for removal of Lokayukta may be given in writing to the Speaker or Chairman of the state Council duly signed by not less than one-third of the total membership of both the Houses. On admission of the motion, they shall refer the matter to the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court for investigation on the grounds over which the removal is prayed for.If the misbehaviour or incapacity of Lokayukta shall be deemed to have been proved by the inquiry, it is then taken up for consideration by the House where the motion for removal is pending. Once the motion is adopted, an address praying for removal is presented to the Governor duly signed by the Speaker and the Chairman. Once the Governor gives assent to the address, the Lokayukta shall be deemed to have been removed from office in accordance with the law.The investigation for proof of misbehaviour or incapacity of Lokayukta has to be done as provided in the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968, by a three-member committee, comprising two judges and a jurist. The entire process is expected to take some months before it sees the exit of Lokayukta.

India full of diversity, It is our pride and our strength: PM Modi at Wembley Stadium

Modi was addressing thousands of people, almost all of Indian origin, at a Grand Community reception in his honour at the iconic Wembley Stadium, home to rock concerts and England’s national soccer team. The event was themed ‘Two Great Nations, One Glorious Future’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a welcome rally in his honour at Wembley Stadium in London on November 13, 2015.

AFP photo
Facing attack back home over the issue of intolerance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India’s diversity was the country’s “strength and pride” and underlined the importance of peaceful co-existence.Modi also said that there is no reason for India to remain poor, asserting. “we harbor poverty for no reason.” “India is full of diversity. This diversity is our pride and it is our strength. Diversity is the speciality of India.” he said, adding that despite the country being home to diverse religions, over 100 languages and 1,500 dialects Indians have proved how to live together.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi was addressing thousands of people, almost all of Indian origin, at a Grand Community reception in his honour at the iconic Wembley Stadium, home to rock concerts and England’s national soccer team. The event was themed ‘Two Great Nations, One Glorious Future’.Courting the Indian diaspora with rock star-style tour on the second day of his three-day visit to the UK–the first by an Indian Premier in 10 years–, Modi got a rapturous welcome when he reached one of Britain’s most famous sporting venues this evening. An estimated 50,000 to 60,000 people were present at the event, according to the organisers.”Your warm welcome makes me feel home,” Modi told the biggest gathering of Indian diaspora he has ever addressed since assuming office in May 2014.Modi was introduced to the gathering by British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose wife Samantha, draped in a saree, was also present.Cameron greeted the assembled audience with a “Namaste” which drew loud cheers and followed up with another greeting “‘kem cho'(How are you?) Wembley” in Gujarati. He renewed his pitch for India getting a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.”When it comes to UN we know what needs to happen- India with a permanent seat at the UN Security Council,” Cameron said.Britain has a 1.5 million-strong Indian diaspora population. The event was held in a carnival atmosphere following celebrations for Diwali festival.Performers included Indian-origin pop star Jay Sean, popular Bollywood singer ‘Baby Doll’ Kanika Kapoor and Alisha Chinai, who belted out her famous ‘Made in India’ Hindi number of the 90s, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.A dynamic cultural show showcasing dance styles prevailing across India besides a variety of dance mixes with Bollywood songs was on display. The audience also heard classical, folk art and contemporary music performances. There was also a performance by Scottish bagpipers.Special ‘ModiExpress’ buses were deployed to transport the attendees from across the UK.Modi told the gathering that newspaper and TV headlines are not the barometer to assess a country, a veiled reference to a number of reports in the British media today that were critical of his past and his record on human rights besides bringing up the issue of perceived intolerance in India.”India is not only that much what is seen in newspapers. India is much bigger. India with its 125 crore people is much bigger and better with a preeminent position beyond the screen of Television,” he said.Referring to his meeting with leaders of the Sikh community yesterday, Modi said, “We shared our thoughts on various subjects. I understand their pain on some issues as well”.Modi said the two dreams India were working towards was a clean India and India with 24/7 electricity. “18,000 villages in India need electricity. In next 1,000 days we will ensure they get it.””The pace and direction of progress in India is such that the fruits of development will be seen very soon,” he said.”World is seeing India as a land of many opportunities”.The Prime Minister announced a direct Air India flight between Ahmedabad and London from December 15. He said this connectivity had been established in 2003 during Vajpayee government but was discontinued later.”What is the use of taking names as to who did it,” he said in apparent dig at the UPA government.During the course of his 75-minute address, Modi referred to a youth Imran Khan of Alwar in Rajasthan who made 50 mobile applications and dedicated them to the students without charging anything.”My India resides in people like Imran Khan,” he said.Stating that FDI into India has increased by 40 %, Modi said this showed the increasing international confidence in India.Setting the tone for the global summit on climate change in Paris later this month, Modi said India will take a lead in showing to the world how to deal with the problem. He said he will be hosting a meeting of countries rich in solar energy resorces to help tap the renewable energy.The Prime Minister referred to the defence sector and said efforts were on to ensure that weapons systems including submarines, tanks, planes, warships are made in India which will help the country save millions of dollars. He said all major global players in defence sector are knocking at India’s door expressing keenness to manufacture in India.Modi, who acknowledged that terrorism is a challenge to both India and the UK, asserted that the Sufi tradition is the best antidote to terrorism and anybody who understood the message of this tenet would not have picked up the gun.”Kabir and Rahim have been our inspirations. Sufi tradition is the best antidote to terrorism,” he said, adding the two main challenges facing the world today are terrorism and global warming.Addressing the issue of terrorism, Cameron said this is a threat to the very existence of the two countries and they stand shoulder-to-shoulder to tackle it, reminding the gathering about the Mumbai and London attacks.Modi said that his experience in the office in 18 months has made it clear to him that there is no reason for India to remain poor.”There is no reason for India to remain poor, we harbor poverty for no reason. I wonder why we have started pampering povery” he said, adding that India’s demographic profile is predominantly of youth and hence nobody can stall the country’s development.”65 % of the population of the country consists of people below 35 years. India is full of youth and a country which has so many youth cannot continue to lag behind. Nobody can halt its march to development,” he said.On Indo-UK relations, Modi said, “Between two vibrant democracies we are celebrating this very special relationships in this very special venue,” Modi stated.”I was told London will be cold but not so cold. Your warm welcome makes me feel at home. I am grateful to PM Cameron for his kind words,” Modi said.”I want to thank PM Cameron and acknowledge the affection he has towards India,” he added.

PM Modi reaches out to NRIs, says headlines not the barometer to assess India

PM Modi was addressing thousands of people, almost all of Indian origin, at a Grand Community reception in his honour at the iconic Wembley Stadium, home to rock concerts and England’s national soccer team.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a welcome rally in his honour at Wembley Stadium in London on November 13, 2015.

AFP photo
Facing attack back home over the issue of intolerance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India’s diversity was the country’s “strength and pride” and underlined the importance of peaceful co-existence. Modi also said that there is no reason for India to remain poor, asserting. “we harbour poverty for no reason.””India is full of diversity. This diversity is our pride and it is our strength. Diversity is the speciality of India.” he said, adding that despite the country being home to diverse religions, over 100 languages and 1,500 dialects Indians have proved how to live together.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi was addressing thousands of people, almost all of Indian origin, at a Grand Community reception in his honour at the iconic Wembley Stadium, home to rock concerts and England’s national soccer team. The event was themed ‘Two Great Nations, One Glorious Future’.Courting the Indian diaspora with rock star-style tour on the second day of his three-day visit to the UK–the first by an Indian Premier in 10 years–, Modi got a rapturous welcome when he reached one of Britain’s most famous sporting venues this evening. An estimated 50,000 to 60,000 people were present at the event, according to the organisers.”Your warm welcome makes me feel home,” Modi told the biggest gathering of Indian diaspora he has ever addressed since assuming office in May 2014.Modi was introduced to the gathering by British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose wife Samantha, draped in a saree, was also present. Cameron greeted the assembled audience with a “Namaste” which drew loud cheers and followed up with another greeting “‘kem cho'(How are you?) Wembley” in Gujarati. He renewed his pitch for India getting a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.”When it comes to UN we know what needs to happen- India with a permanent seat at the UN Security Council,” Cameron said.Britain has a 1.5 million-strong Indian diaspora population. The event was held in a carnival atmosphere following celebrations for Diwali festival. Performers included Indian-origin pop star Jay Sean, popular Bollywood singer ‘Baby Doll’ Kanika Kapoor and Alisha Chinai, who belted out her famous ‘Made in India’ Hindi number of the 90s, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.A dynamic cultural show showcasing dance styles prevailing across India besides a variety of dance mixes with Bollywood songs was on display. The audience also heard classical, folk art and contemporary music performances. There was also a performance by Scottish bagpipers. Special ‘ModiExpress’ buses were deployed to transport the attendees from across the UK. Modi, who acknowledged that terrorism is a challenge to both India and the UK, asserted that the Sufi tradition is the best antidote to terrorism and anybody who understood the message of this tenet would not have picked up the gun.”Kabir and Rahim have been our inspirations. Sufi tradition is the best antidote to terrorism,” he said, adding the two main challenges facing the world today are terrorism and global warming.Addressing the issue of terrorism, Cameron said this is a threat to the very existence of the two countries and they stand shoulder-to-shoulder to tackle it, reminding the gathering about the Mumbai and London attacks. Modi said that his experience in the office in 18 months has made it clear to him that there is no reason for India to remain poor.”There is no reason for India to remain poor, we harbour poverty for no reason. I wonder why we have started pampering poverty” he said, adding that India’s demographic profile is predominantly of youth and hence nobody can stall the country’s development.”65% of the population of the country consists of people below 35 years. India is full of youth and a country which has so many youth cannot continue to lag behind. Nobody can halt its march to development,” he said.On Indo-UK relations, Modi said, “Between two vibrant democracies we are celebrating this very special relationships in this very special venue,” Modi stated.”I was told London will be cold but not so cold. Your warm welcome makes me feel at home. I am grateful to PM Cameron for his kind words,” Modi said.”I want to thank PM Cameron and acknowledge the affection he has towards India,” he added.Modi told the gathering that newspaper and TV headlines are not the barometer to assess a country, a veiled reference to a number of reports in the British media today that were critical of his past and his record on human rights besides bringing up the issue of perceived intolerance in India.”India is not only that much what is seen in newspapers. India is much bigger. India with its 125 crore people is much bigger and better with a preeminent position beyond the screen of Television,” he said.Referring to his meeting with leaders of the Sikh community on Thursday, Modi said, “We shared our thoughts on various subjects. I understand their pain on some issues as well”.Modi said the two dreams India were working towards was a clean India and India with 24/7 electricity. “18,000 villages in India need electricity. In next 1,000 days we will ensure they get it.””The pace and direction of progress in India is such that the fruits of development will be seen very soon,” he said.”World is seeing India as a land of many opportunities”.The Prime Minister announced a direct Air India flightbetween Ahmedabad and London from December 15. He said this connectivity had been established in 2003 during Vajpayee government but was discontinued later.”What is the use of taking names as to who did it,” he said in apparent dig at the UPA government. During the course of his 75-minute address, Modi referred to a youth Imran Khan of Alwar in Rajasthan who made 50 mobile applications and dedicated them to the students without charging anything.”My India resides in people like Imran Khan,” he said. Stating that FDI into India has increased by 40 per cent, Modi said this showed the increasing international confidence in India.Setting the tone for the global summit on climate change in Paris later this month, Modi said India will take a lead in showing to the world how to deal with the problem. He said he will be hosting a meeting of countries rich in solar energy resorces to help tap the renewable energy.The Prime Minister referred to the defence sector and said efforts were on to ensure that weapons systems including submarines, tanks, planes, warships are made in India which will help the country save millions of dollars. He said all major global players in defence sector are knocking at India’s door expressing keenness to manufacture in India.

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

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

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

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

Congress to intensify stir on Andhra Pradesh special status issue

Centre should implement all promises made in the AP Re-organisation Act, he added.

The state unit of Congress on Friday decided to intensify its agitation on the issue of special status for Andhra Pradesh from Monday. The decision was taken at the executive committee meeting of Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee under president N Raghuveera Reddy’s chairmanship. C Ramachandraih, the party’s floor leader in Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council told reporters about the resolutions passed during the executive committee meeting. “The party would intensify the agitation. The stir would be taken in a phased manner from November 9 till the end of the month over our demand to the Centre to accord special status,” he said. Centre should implement all promises made in the AP Re-organisation Act, he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In another resolution, the party condemned the attitude of NDA Government for its attempt to undermine the contributions made by the country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,” Ramachandraih said. Congress would take up a campaign on November 14, the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, at all the district headquarters, to focus on his contribution to the nation before and after the independence. He said that on that day, a large scale public meeting would be conducted by the party at Guntur.In another resolution, the party demanded that the state government fulfilled all promises made by the TDP during last general elections. “The party feels that the TDP government failed to implement the crop loan waiver to all farmers as well as women under the Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWACRA) scheme,” he said.

Broadcasting council issues notice to Star World over ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ homosexual content

The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has issued a notice to the television channel Star World for showing a homosexual encounter and for “denigrating women” in its popular soap Grey’s Anatomy in June, reports The Times of India.

Grey’s Anatomy. Twitter @TheColIegeLifeGrey’s Anatomy. Twitter @TheColIegeLife

Grey’s Anatomy. Twitter @TheColIegeLife

The notice follows complaints from the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B).

The scene that caused complaints from viewers involved a female doctor telling her male colleague about failing to please her (female) partner, and asked him to teach her via a physical demonstration, reports The Independent.

Homosexuality is illegal in India under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

BCCC, a self-regulatory body set up by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, has asked for a reply from the channel by 1 December, reports Mashable.

Tamil Nadu Medical Council to issue ‘smart’ certificates to doctors

In 2014, there were 45 fake doctors or quacks who were arrested by the police in Tamil Nadu

Representational image

The Tamil Nadu Medical Council (TNMC) has decided to issue certificates to all doctors which carry an encryption. Patients can now use a mobile app to swipe the certificate and verify details of the doctor to ensure they are not quacks.A leading daily has reported that these certificates have to be displayed in doctors’ clinics along with the doctor’s photo, name, registration number and field of specialisation. Patients can send an SMS with the doctor’s name and registration number to 56767 to check if the doctor is registered with the TNMC. In case the doctor turns out to be fake, patients can complain to the TNMC. Patients will also be able to use the Q Reader app to verify the doctor’s details. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There are nearly 1.3 lakh doctors registered with the TNMC adds the report. In 2014, there were 45 fake doctors or quacks who were arrested by the police in Tamil Nadu. Indian Medical Association (IMA) has alleged that there are 3000 fake doctors in the state. The verification by app and SMS will help police crackdown on fake doctors and also help patients verify whether the qualifications of the doctor mentioned on the certificate are real.

Woman who filed harassment case against RK Pachauri quits TERI

The woman in her resignation letter said that TERI had “failed to uphold my interests as an employee” while it “protected (accused) RK Pachauri and provided him with full immunity”.

The 29-year-old complainant in the sexual harassment case against eminent climate scientist R K Pachauri on Wednesday resigned alleging she was being treated in the “worst possible manner” by TERI, a charge denied by the organisation as “completely false and baseless”.The woman in her resignation letter said that TERI had “failed to uphold my interests as an employee” while it “protected (accused) RK Pachauri and provided him with full immunity”.Speaking to dna, the complainant’s lawyer Prashant Mendiratta said that his client is “really disappointed” with the organisation, which has done nothing against accused RK Pachuri, while holding her salary and changing her role within the organisation. “Her salary has been withheld for months, and she was asked to move from the office located at the India Habitat Centre to the Gurgaon office, so that Pachauri could go to the office,” said Prashant. “My client had refused to go to office as long as Pachauri was in office because she had reported to him directly earlier.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the letter, addressed to Dinesh Verma, HR director at TERI, the complainant had alleged that the organisation did not take any action despite the internal complaints committee’s report that indicted Pachauri. “The (governing) council could not even suspend a man pending inquiry and took NO ACTION despite the indictment. You also created a hostile environment for me which has only escalated and showed no signs of subsiding whatsoever. It is becoming clear that the Governing Council works for the DG and under his instructions. There has been no changeover in the DG as well as stated on 23 July, 2015,” she wrote. It must be added that the head of the internal complaints committee Ranjana Saikia, too, quit the organisation months after the report was filed. Prashant added that the resignation letter has come after months of waiting. “She was waiting for a possible communication from the organisation, and hoped that TERI will reinstate her to her original post at the IHC office.But, in clear violation of the Vishakha guidelines, there has not been a single response from the organisation ever since the complaint was filed,” said Prashant. In addition to that, Ajay Mathur, who was appointed as the director general in July by the governing council, is yet to take up his role.On the other hand, Pachauri, against whom an FIR was registered under sections 354 (assault on woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 (d) (molestation), and 506 (criminal intimidation), continue to serve as the director general of the organisation. His anticipatory bail, challenged in the court, is due for hearing in December. Pachauri’s removal was granted a stay ex parte, and that case is continuing at a tribunal in the Karkardooma court.However, he added that his client will continue to fight the case. “We will pursue the case with vigour and will take the case to its logical end,” he said.

TERI official who accused RK Pachauri resigns, alleges ‘worst possible’ treatment in letter

New Delhi: The complainant in the sexual harassment case against climate scientist RK Pachauri has resigned from TERI alleging that the organisation treated her in the “worst possible manner” and harmed her “mentally, professionally and economically”.

In her resignation letter to TERI HR Director Dinesh Verma, the complainant, a research analyst, has said that despite the enquiry committee finding Pachauri guilty of misconduct, the organisation has “failed” to do the “bare minimum” to ensure that she is not impacted.

RK Pachauri. IBN LiveRK Pachauri. IBN Live

RK Pachauri. IBN Live

The woman had registered a complaint against Pachauri for sexual harassment at the workplace earlier this year. On February 13, an FIR was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections including 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 (d)(molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

The court had granted him anticipatory bail while imposing the conditions that he will join the probe as and when called and not enter the TERI office premises.

In the place of Pachauri, TERI governing council had on 23 July appointed Ajay Mathur as its Director General.

Pachauri had also stepped down from the United Nations’ IPCC and the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change.

The full text of the complainant’s resignation letter is below (emphasis hers):

Dear Mr. Verma,
This is in reference to my ICC complaint against R K Pachauri for sexual harassment at the workplace and my subsequent FIR with Delhi Police in Feb 2015. The inquiry committee did hold R K Pachauri guilty of misconduct and TERI failed to do the bare minimum in order to ensure that I am not impacted.

Your organisation has treated me in the worst possible manner. TERI failed to uphold my interests as an employee, let alone protecting them. The organisation has instead protected R K Pachauri and provided him with full immunity, despite being held guilty of sexual harassment at the work place by your own inquiry committee. The Governing Council too let me down in an unprecedented way. The council could not even suspend a man pending inquiry and took NO ACTION despite the indictment. You also created a hostile environment for me which has only escalated and showed no signs of subsiding whatsoever. It is becoming clear that the Governing Council works for the DG and under his instructions. There has been no changeover in the DG as well as stated on 23 July, 2015.

I am tendering my resignation from TERI with IMMEDIATE EFFECT.

You changed my work profile and played deaf to my requests for not doing so. I was given ZERO EXPLANATION of taking such an action and none of my emails/requests were heeded to. I only got vague responses. I refuse to be associated with an organisation such as yours for the way you have mistreated me, for not standing by the law, for not having respect for my capabilities, for doing NOTHING to ensure that my career is not harmed and instead harmed me mentally, professionally and economically.

I tender my resignation without any prejudice to my rights to claim my salary, damages and other dues/costs for the gross misconduct and mental torture meted out to me at the work place, apart from taking all pending litigation to their logical conclusion.
Best,

 With inputs from PTI

BJP slams Congress, says development is our only vested interest in J&K

Following Congress’ defeat in Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) elections last month, the party leaders had alleged that BJP has vested interests in Jammu and Kashmir.

BJP on Monday countered Congress’ allegation that the party was dividing the people of Jammu and Kashmir along communal lines, saying its only vested interest in the state is development and to reinvigorate normalcy through it.”It is both dishonourable and unprincipled on Congress’ part to lead people into believing that BJP has vested interests in Jammu and Kashmir and is dividing the people of the state along communal lines,” state BJP spokesperson Arun Gupta said.”Everyone at the end of the day needs reassurance in the form of security of employment, food and shelter. These are the fruits of development and it is BJP’s only vested interest in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Is working towards development of the state communal? Development provides employment in turn. Does Congress intend to push the idea that employment and prosperity is communal?” Gupta asked.”Decades of inefficient rule by the two players has left the state in the lurch. The BJP-PDP combine is looking to reinvigorate normalcy in the state,” he added.Following Congress’ defeat in Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) elections last month, the party leaders had alleged that BJP has vested interests in Jammu and Kashmir and is dividing the people of the state on communal lines.Criticising the “double-talk of secularism that Congress is employing in the state”, Gupta questioned the intent behind the “new found anti-India enthusiasm” displayed by Congress and National Conference (NC).”Congress along with NC completely opposed the Accession day celebrations. Aren’t they actually trying to confuse the people over the conclusiveness of J&K s Accession to India? Are they not trying to instigate the people in Kashmir on communal lines?” Gupta asked.Commenting on defeat of Congress in LAHDC polls, he said, “People of Ladakh are sharp and have an astute understanding of what they want. Congress and NC’s divisive designs fell flat on their face in elections as people want to see development.””Once the results of true development start showing, it is only a matter of time that the populace in Kashmir as well will start opening their eyes to the politics of hate that the region’s two major players have been propagating,” he said.

Karnataka Congressman G Parameshwara says he was humiliated for being a Dalit

Congressman G Parameshwara said that untouchability was still being practised in the state.

Congressman G Parameshwara

At a meeting organised to celebrate Congressman G Parameshwara’s five-year-run as Karnataka Congress president, the leader spoke of how he had been humiliated for being a Dalit while growing up, the Deccan Herald reports.He was trying to position himself as a Dalit leader when he recounted these experiences. He spoke of how he had not been allowed to drink water in a glass but had to drink from a bowl.His father was a Member of the Legislative Council but he wasn’t allowed to enter a saloon to cut his hair. The report adds that Parameshwara was emotional when he spoke of these instances.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congressman G Parameshwara also said that untouchability was still being practised in the state. He said he wanted to follow the footsteps of BR Ambedkar and bring dignity to the Dalits, adds the report.

Delhi court permits former TERI Chief RK Pachauri to attend conferences in Somalia, Kuwait

New Delhi: A Delhi court has granted permission to former TERI Director General R K Pachauri, facing sexual harassment allegations, to visit Kuwait and Somalia to attend conferences from November 1 to 7.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shivani Chauhan, while allowing Pachauri’s application, directed him to inform the court when he returns to India and make himself available to the investigating officer (IO) as per requirement.

File photo. Image courtesy: ibnliveFile photo. Image courtesy: ibnlive

File photo. Image courtesy: ibnlive

“Accused (Pachauri) is permitted to travel as per his itinerary from November 1-3 to Kuwait and thereafter from November 3 to Somalia and return on/or before November 7, subject to furnishing of one local surety of Rs 4 lakh to satisfaction of this court and upon furnishing an undertaking that he will make himself available to the IO as per requirement upon service of notice on him,” the magistrate said.

The court also asked him to file a copy of the travel tickets and intimate the court and the IO about any changes in his itinerary, in advance.

Pachauri’s advocate Ashish Dixit sought permission to travel abroad citing his past cooperation in the case and said that his client needed to attend the meetings and deliver a lecture in Kuwait and attend a conference in Somalia between November 1-7.

However, the investigating officer opposed his application saying Pachauri had failed to give satisfactory answers but admitted that he had joined the investigation.

On February 13, an FIR was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections including 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 (d)(molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

The court had granted him anticipatory bail while imposing the conditions that he will join the probe as and when called and not enter the TERI office premises. In the place of Pachauri, TERI governing council had on July 23 appointed Dr Ajay Mathur as its Director General. Pachauri had also stepped down from United Nations’ IPCC and the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change.

PTI

Now, Smriti Irani-led HRD Ministry wants ICSE board to justify its existence

The ministry’s reminder to the council was apparently prompted by a notice from Delhi High Court on a petition filed by Jose Aikara, who was removed as chairman of the council in November last year.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani
Arijit Sen
dna
The HRD Ministry under Smriti Irani has asked the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), which conducts the ICSE and the ISC examinations to furnish reasons to justify its existence.According to a report in the Telegraph, the ministry last week asked the CISCE to immediately reply to a letter sent in December 2014 in which the council was asked to submit documents showing the government’s approval of the memorandum of association and rules and regulations of the council.Deputy education adviser to the HRD ministry DK Bhawsar had sent the letter last year, said the Telegraph. The ministry last week sent a reminder, asking the council to “expedite the matter and furnish the reply immediately”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The HRD Ministry has cited a court notice to justify the letter and the reminder. However, there seems to be some dissension within the ministry itself. A source told the Telegraph that the HRD Ministry was using the notice to nettle the CISCE, given that many of its schools are run by Christian managements.The ministry’s reminder to the council was apparently prompted by a notice from Delhi High Court on a petition filed by Jose Aikara, who was removed as chairman of the council in November last year. Aikara was removed following charges of financial irregularities and violation of rules. The matter is pending before the Delhi HC, says the Telegraph report.1.5 lakh students from 1900 schools in the country appeared for the ICSE examinations this year. 71,000 Class XII students from more than 900 schools took the Indian School Certificate (ISC) test earlier this year.The Ministry feels that immediately after getting the notice from the high court, officials hunted for records on the CISCE, but could not find any document that suggested it had been set up by an executive order of the government or Act of Parliament.

Siddaramaiah meets Sonia and Rahul Gandhi over reports of his removal as Karnataka CM

An indication to this effect came after the CM’s meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday with party general secretary Digvijay Singh, who is also the in-charge of party affairs in the state.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is said to have got the backing of the Congress High Command amid reports that some state leaders are lobbying for his removal from the post.An indication to this effect came after the CM’s meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday with party general secretary Digvijay Singh, who is also the in-charge of party affairs in the state. Siddharamaiah, who is the capital, had also met party chief Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi.When asked about reports of some senior state leaders lobbying for Siddaramaiah’s removal, Singh remarked, “There is no vacancy”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Cabinet reshuffle in the state, he said, “Reshuffle is completely the chief minister’s discretion and the high command will not interfere.”There are three vacancies in the Council of Ministers and some reports claim that Siddaramaiah is expected to drop three ministers from his Cabinet. In all, Siddaramaiah plans to induct six ministers. When asked whether Karnataka PCC chief G Parmeshwar will be getting a second term, “There is still some time for his term to be over.”Some reports have claimed that the Dalit leader was lobbying for a second term as PCC Chief after his plea for making him deputy chief minister in Siddaramaiah-led government did not find favour with the leadership.Karnataka and Kerala are the two major states among the eight where the Congress is in power. While it is in power on its own in Karnataka, in Kerala it is leading the ruling United Democratic Front.

Communal disturbances in UP because of very poor law and order, says Governor Ram Naik

Jalaun (UP): Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik on Sunday said that incidents of communal disturbances in the state are due to “very poor” law and order situation.

“The law and order situation is very poor in the state…

Ram Naik in a file photo. IbnliveRam Naik in a file photo. Ibnlive

Ram Naik in a file photo. Ibnlive

I have requested the chief minister that it should be improved. The communal disturbances which are happening are due to bad law and order situation,” Naik said.

He was talking to reporters after inaugurating ‘Kala Mahotsav’ in Orai town.

Yesterday, two police officials were injured in violent clashes that broke out between two communities in various parts of Kanpur district over alleged desecration of a religious poster, forcing the administration to impose prohibitory orders in the area.

While BSF and PAC staged a flag march in Kannauj, where prohibitory orders were clamped, following the death of a person in a clash during a Durga puja immersion procession.

The governor’s comments have come at a time when Rajbhawan and the state government are not on the same page on various issues.

The choice of Lokayukta has run into rough weather with the Samajwadi Party government insisting on a particular name over which Naik has reservations citing lack of consensus among members of the selection committee.

Besides, Naik has refused to clear names of five candidates for the Legislative Council in the nominated members category, raising questions over their expertise for qualifying in that category.

Certain bills passed by the state legislature too are awaiting his assent.

The governor has in the past too made critical comments on the law and order situation in the state.

PTI

NITI Aayog working on agri-land lease law for farm income

With increasing incidents of suicide and growing debt among farmers in the country, government’s think tank – NITI Aayog – has found a solution for regular income for the farmers i.e. agriculture land leasing. NITI Aayog has formed an expert committee that would be working to formulate a model agriculture land leasing law.The ten-member committee, headed by former commissioner for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and director of Council for Social Development (CSD) Dr T Haque, would submit its report by December to the NITI Aayog. The committee has also been asked to suggest amendments keeping in view the need to liberalise land leasing for agriculture efficiency, equity, occupational diversification and rapid rural transformation. The committee has already held first round of talks with chief secretaries of seven states who are also committee members and may involve chief secretaries from other states for consultations too.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Talking to dna, an official from the NITI Aayog on condition of anonymity said, “The focus right now is on agriculture land leasing for farming only, but we could also look at leasing land for industrial purpose too. With land acquisition becoming difficult due to stiff political opposition and farmer resistance, land leasing could be one of the best ways forward.””NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya also thinks so,” he says adding that “Small-scale farming is becoming unviable and with at least leasing farmland, farmers can get assured income. Since everything would be in black and white, it would help them to reserve their rights. BJP state governments too seem to like the idea.”However, committee chairman Dr T Haque, said, “Our mandate is to just look at land leasing for agriculture purpose only and no directions have come for industrial purpose. Agriculture land leasing will help in three ways as it will help in improving productivity, will give access to credit and crop insurance to lease holders and better utilization of land and labour.”He adds that with this, farmers can get atleast regular income and risk would be forwarded to the lease holder.There are various mechanisms to assure that agriculture land is used for farming only. “There could be ceiling on the land that a person can take on lease. It would be a simple model frame work facilitating state governments.”On question of whether the move will help contract farming in the country by corporate, he said, “It is too soon. Let us work on the model and develop it.”He refused to comment further.Land being a state subject, it’s the prerogative of state government to decide on whether to allow leasing agriculture land by farmers or not. At present the country has a wide variation in agriculture land leasing.For example in North Eastern states like Nagaland, no one holds the land rights. The land rights are with the village community which is headed by village chief or king. He is the one who decides how much land is to be given to a person for cultivation.Similarly, in states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, agriculture land leasing is illegal except certain categories of people who are allowed to lease out land. These are widows, minors, physically challenged people and those working in armed forces. In the states of Kerala, Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir, leasing out of agriculture land is banned legally.

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.

Arvind Kejriwal takes a dig at Centre, says make people’s lives ‘smart’ first

“Common people remain poor and unemployed. There is not even proper water supply in areas where they reside and we talk about a city becoming smart. It is impossible,” he stressed.

Taking a jibe at the Centre for its ‘Smart Cities’ project, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said it is “impossible” to achieve it when common people remain poor, unemployed and starve for even basic facilities like drinking water.”New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is going to become a Smart City. I think, no city will become smart only because of good roads. It will become smart when people’s lives also become smart. We have to make the people’s lives smart first,” Kejriwal said after inaugurating a Public Convenience facility near Traffic Training Park under the jurisdiction of NDMC.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chief Minister insisted that poor segment of populace must be the first to enjoy fruits of Smart Cities.”Common people remain poor and unemployed. There is not even proper water supply in areas where they reside and we talk about a city becoming smart. It is impossible,” he stressed.Listing out issues which governments need to pay immediate attention to, the AAP leader expressed concern that quality of education in Delhi schools is going down and also stressed upon the need to concentrate more on providing good health facilities.”There is 24-hour water supply in VIP areas, but in areas where common people reside water crisis is witnessed everyday,” he added.He also reached out to other parties, saying “we all need to work together” for bringing development.”We had played politics and fought each other before elections. But after the formation of government, we need to work together. I appeal to all political parties to work jointly,” he said.The NDMC was listed in the Centre’s Smart City plan under the Smart Cities Mission earlier this year.

Policy draft calls for 20% MP funds for education, social upliftment by institutions

Social services and spirituality will also be key components of the eduction policy. Apart from this, education institutions could be asked to adopt villages and participate in social upliftment, and the National Council for Teacher Education could be asked to make BEd a five-year programme.

HRD minister Smriti Irani

The draft of the National Education Policy (NEP) envisages a separate and permanent cadre for education on the lines of administrative, revenue, foreign and police services. As per the draft, being drawn up by the HRD ministry, MPs will be asked to contribute 20% of their funds to education.Social services and spirituality will also be key components of the eduction policy. Apart from this, education institutions could be asked to adopt villages and participate in social upliftment, and the National Council for Teacher Education could be asked to make BEd a five-year programme.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the consultation process now reaching the final stage, the government has initiated the drafting process.Setting up a separate cadre for teaching, ie taking education out from the hands of the bureaucracy, has been a long pending demand of academicians. The DS Kothari report on education commission of 1964-65 had also recommended setting up of a separate cadre for education on the lines of the IAS and IRS.”Suggestion for a separate academic cadre has come from several stakeholders,” said a ministry source.The ministry is also looking at the option of setting up a separate commission for education on the lines of the Election Commission of India. The HRD ministry is vetting the Hari Gautam Committee report that has recommended replacing the University Grant Commission with the National Higher Education Authority.”As the Authority will only be catering to higher education, the ministry has received suggestions to set up an autonomous commission, which would ensure autonomy to education institutions and facilitate appointments,” explained an officer.HRD minister Smriti Irani has hinted on removing the Right to Education clause of not holding back or expelling students till the completion of elementary education. The new education policy will give it a legal sanctity.RSS-affiliated education bodies have been lobbying with the government to make Std X board exams mandatory. HRD minister Smriti Irani, in a meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education this August, had also managed to bring states on board on the issue of re-introducing the Std X board exams. “We have started receiving letters from states extending their support for bringing back Std X board exams. The ministry is hopeful that this exam will be reintroduced and the ‘not holding back student’ clause will be removed next year,” added the official.Education activist and RSS idealogue Dinanath Batra said, “The current teachers training curriculum is absolutely hollow. No thought process has gone into it. Government should make teaching models more holistic.Students can’t be taught just from books, teachers should be made institutions in themselves.” He confirmed that he has made this suggestion to the ministry and hopes it will be considered.The ministry is likely to come up with its first draft by the end of this year. It is hoping to bring the Bill into the Parliament in the budget session.

DU Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh distances himself from controversy surrounding Nandita Narain

Delhi University had constituted a fact-finding committee to look into some complaints from DU colleges against Narain, who has been summoned to appear before it on October 19. With the timing of the call being close to that of the VC demitting office, Narain had alleged that it was a deliberate attempt on his part to trouble her before leaving.
File Photo

The outgoing vice-chancellor of Delhi University, Dinesh Singh on Friday distanced himself from the controversy surrounding the formation of a fact-finding committee against St. Stephen’s College professor and varsity teachers’ association president Nandita Narain.Delhi University had constituted a fact-finding committee to look into some complaints from DU colleges against Narain, who has been summoned to appear before it on October 19. With the timing of the call being close to that of the VC demitting office, Narain had alleged that it was a deliberate attempt on his part to trouble her before leaving.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh, whose term as VC ends on October 28, said, “I have no role to play in sending any summon to anyone. If the fact- finding committee has sent summon to someone, they must have found something against the person… The committee works on directives of the university, I have nothing to do with it.” Meanwhile, Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), of which Narain is president, today held an emergency meeting of the Executive Council to discuss the issue.”DUTA has unanimously expressed strong condemnation of the outgoing VC’s attack on the DUTA president for discharging her duties as the elected representative of the teaching community… It sees the attack on Narain as an attack on DUTA as an institution of the academic community,” a statement from DUTA reads.”The DUTA Executive has also resolved to write to the Visitor and the MHRD on the prevailing situation, demanding immediate intervention and reversal of the VC’s action and an official reprimand to him,” it added.

15 years of Resolution 1325: All about women, peace and security

1325 was the first of a series of Security Council resolutions on “Women, Peace and Security.” A few years later, the Security Council adopted Resolutions 1820 and 1888 took cognizance of sexual violence in conflict.

Representational image

dna Research & Archives
On a cold, dark October day in 2000, sitting in my office on campus, I somehow stumbled upon live-streaming from the UN Security Council of a debate on women, peace and security (WPS). I had the debate and the vote running on my desktop as I worked on other things, excited but without a sense of the history I was witnessing.That day, as the culmination of decades of women’s peace activism and of a growing consensus in global institutions about gender justice in conflict and post-conflict moments, the United Nations Security Council, under the leadership of Bangladesh’s Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, adopted Resolution 1325 unanimously.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>What does 1325 say? The Resolution recognized that the experience of conflict was gendered, and that this needed to be factored into conflict resolution and peace-building. Its central instruction to Member-States and the United Nations was to include women at every stage of the conflict-peace cycle. “More women at the peace table,” was the 1325 mantra.There were also provisions about gender sensitization, gender analysis and about dealing with impunity. It is commonly stated that there are three core pillars to 1325—participation, protection and prevention. While Member-States were to formulate and implement National Action Plans within a time-limit, they were also encouraged to work with women’s organisations on the ground.1325 was the first of a series of Security Council resolutions on “Women, Peace and Security.” A few years later, the Security Council adopted Resolutions 1820 and 1888 took cognizance of sexual violence in conflict.Resolution 1889 reiterated the 1325 message about women at the peace table. Resolution 1960 returned to the concern with sexual violence and instituted ‘naming and shaming’ along with sanctions as a deterrent device. Resolution 2106 addressed institutional measures that the UN should adopt and Resolution 2122 returned to the broader concerns of 1325. Yesterday, at the annual Open Debate on this question at the Security Council, the latest in this series was adopted. Resolution 2242 resolved to integrate women, peace and security concerns across all situations and crises on the Council agenda.Step back and think about what had started on that dark October day: The global executive body with the most decision-making and enforcement authority adopted the peacebuilding language and peacemaking agenda of women peace activists around the world and for fifteen years, has been promoting it through its agencies.In these fifteen years, many reviews and studies have been undertaken—locally, regionally and globally. Released this week was the official 15 year review, “Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, Securing the Peace: A Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325”.The Global Study starts by acknowledging that the world has changed in these fifteen years, a fundamental change being that we understand both peace and security far more holistically now. Like all UN documents, it starts by listing what has been accomplished—as both a recounting of precedents and a report card—commenting, “much of the progress towards the implementation of resolution 1325 continues to be measured in ‘firsts,’ rather than as standard practice.”One of the positives it notes include the fact that between 2000-15, 27% of peace agreements have referenced women, where only 11 % had between 1990-2000. In the six accords where the UN has played a part, the percentage is 67. But women make up only 9% of peace negotiators at work and only 3% of the military missions working for the UN.The Global Study is based on consultations around the world with experts and at the grassroots. It is also built on a host of especially commissioned studies. These messages from the field have been filtered into principles for women, peace and security work. They include a reminder that 1325 was first advocated as a human rights resolution, following the Beijing Women’s Platform for Action, among other things.As a corollary, “attempts to ‘securitize’ issues and to use women as instruments in military strategy must be consistently discouraged.” Accountability and justice are key principles; but the message is that justice for violence against women and girls should not be just punitive, the process should also address underlying structural inequalities. The role of women peacebuilders should be recognized and supported; “funding and support to women peacebuilders in contexts of rising extremism can play a critical role in ensuring that extremist ideologies neither survive nor thrive.”The Global Study faithfully reflects the current thinking in the field on at least two counts. First, it speaks with conviction of extremism and counter-terrorism as threats to women’s security. Working in the field now, all conversations veer to this. Second, it clearly extends responsibility for implementing the WPS resolutions well beyond the nation-state, regional organizations and the United Nations with recommendations for the media and civil society. It also dwells on the need for better data—a felt need on the ground as well among women peace activists.For the women’s movement, historically, militarization has been as much a concern as formal conflict. This has not been reflected in much of the official 1325 discussion. But in the stories that emerge about civil infrastructure being destroyed in the rivalry of armed groups or the challenges of getting to a hospital in zones with extended curfews, it is clear that militarisation, occupation, areas of insurgent and counter-insurgent operations and even in the battles over “development” projects, the extended security presence change women’s life-chances for the worse. (See the Community Conversations reports here)The Global Study notes, “Across religions and regions, a common thread shared by extremist groups is that in each and every instance, their advance has been coupled with attacks on the rights of women and girls—rights to education, to public life, and to decision-making over their own bodies.”The attack on Malala Yousufzai by the Pakistani Taliban, the abduction of 276 girls from Chibok by Boko Haram and the ISIS outreach to women across the world exemplify this. The Global Study notes that women are both victims and perpetrators in these movements.Based on the experience of women peacemakers and women’s rights activists, the Study recommends removing gender equality from the military and counter-terrorism agendas (which is not to say that gender sensitization and inclusivity should cease) so that human rights and peace work are not compromised—nor the safety of activists. The safety of women activists for peace and human rights are an explicit concern of the study, which actually mentions the work of the Urgent Action Fund in getting help to human rights defenders in danger.Critical academic and activist work on 1325 in the last few years has questioned the utility of focusing on the willingness of states to adopt National Action Plans. The Global Study devotes time and space to delineating the role of media and civil society. The section on the role of the media is a positive one, recognizing the role of social and community media in taking social movements forward—it opens with an anecdote from the Tahrir Square protests in 2011.Activists talk about how important it is to have their concerns featured in the media. “To get one’ message out in the media is extremely important since the public generally accept what is presented in the news as ‘truth,’” the report quotes Pernilla Ahlsén as writing.The use of community radio gets a special mention. The Global Study takes note that journalistic independence is imperilled in conflict contexts. Recommendations for media outlets include: committing to accurately portray women and men’s roles and experiences; increasing women’s representation in newsrooms, decision-making and leadership; monitoring reportage on sexual and gender-based violence and creating an ethical code for covering these issues.Civil society, especially the women’s movement, gets credit for 1325, and the responsibility to “shape public and government agendas and create the political will for action.” A civil society survey was commissioned for this Study and respondents said that while 1325 had been an important programming pivot, they say it as “only ‘moderately effective’” because it had not been quite transformational in impact. The Global Study recognizesthree constraints on civil society’s own effectiveness in this work: lack of resources; gaps between international policies and local realities and finally, lack of trust between governments and civil society. That last is growing in importance worldwide, and exacerbating other constraints. It is evident both in the inability of civil society to insist on and get accountability for conflict and state violence, and it is evident in the denial by many states of conflict situations. Still, it falls to civil society to bring issues, actors and stories to light; to create more inclusive discourses and spaces for peace, and to help adapt global ideas and strategies to local realities. The Global Study asks women’s organisations to build networks for peace and develop joint advocacy strategies.With each successive WPS resolution, the emphasis on protection seemed to be growing, but the Global Study moves attention back to prevention repeatedly. The report quotes a participant in its Asia-Pacific consultation as saying, “Women, peace and security is about preventing war, not about making war safer for women.”To look at protection of women as the central purpose of this work is to ensconce thinking about peace firmly within patriarchy. To facilitate meaningful participation of women in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and transformation and post-conflict reconstruction is to dismantle patriarchy and build a gender-just peace.The Global Study serves to benchmark progress, to identify good practices and also to offer a roadmap for action. As we mark the fifteenth anniversary of 1325 and figure out, each of us, our own work on this agenda, this will be the document we return to again and again in the coming decade. It reminds us, through the words of Nobel Laureate, Leymah Gbowee, “We have the power to stop war and turn our upside down world right.”A Call to Action “In all previous generations, when the world was at war, where there was increased militarization and terrible violence, women have come forward as peacemakers and peacebuilders. Today is no exception. It still happens at the local level, whether in Syria or the DRC. The international world, by embracing ‘celebrity culture’ has forgotten these women, and allows them to remain invisible. It is important to turn the spotlight again onto these women peacebuilders, to support and fund their efforts. Networks must be created at the local, regional and international level, so that their voices and activities can reach a climax and stem the current tide of recurrent militarization and mindless violence.Swarna Rajagopalan is a political scientist who has been thinking and writing about gender, peace and security topics, including 1325, for several years. She is the founder of Prajnya and a part of the Women’s Regional Network.

India lashes out at UN Security Council, calls it ‘ineffective’ and ‘powerless’ to resolve crisis

Mukerji called for prioritising an early reform of the Security Council during the current 70th session of the Assembly “in order to bring hope to these millions of ordinary men, women and children.”

India has expressed its strong dismay at the lack of accountability and transparency in the framing of peacekeeping mandates by the UN Security Council, saying this “failing” by the world body is resulting in rising casualties among peacekeepers and civilians.”We are dismayed at the opaque manner in which the Security Council continues mandate peace operations, without any accountability or transparency,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji said at a debate in the UN General Assembly here on Tuesday on peacekeeping operations. Mukerji said the human costs of “this failing” are evident in both the rising number of casualties among UN peacekeepers, as well as an alarming growth in the number of civilians, now reaching 60 million, whose lives are being disrupted by the conflicts that an “ineffective Security Council is powerless” to resolve.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mukerji called for prioritising an early reform of the Security Council during the current 70th session of the Assembly “in order to bring hope to these millions of ordinary men, women and children.” In the report titled ‘The report of the United Nations Peace Operations: Implementation of the recommendations of the High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations’, the Secretary General has recommended that sustained dialogue between the Council, the Secretariat and contributors is essential for shared understanding of appropriate responses and their implications for the mandate and conduct of a peace operation.Mukerji said India strongly supports the Secretary General’s statement that this dialogue should begin before the establishment of the mission. He added that the report also rightly recognise that “a United Nations peace operation is not designed or equipped to impose political solutions through sustained use of force” and that UN peace operations are not the appropriate tool for military counter-terrorism operations. “We endorse this recommendation, as UN peacekeepers are not deployable for targeted offensive action against armed militias, non-state actors and terrorists,” Mukerji said.He stressed that the international community should not abandon the cardinal principles of UN peacekeeping of consent of the parties, impartiality and the non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.He also urged a review of the current allocation of resources within UN peace operations to ensure that the growing resource constraint faced by UN peace operations is considerably mitigated. Mukerji said UN peacekeepers are not only the UN’s boots on the ground, but also the organisation’s eyes and ears, adding that the Security Council can only benefit from the ground level assessments which troop contributing countries can provide in direct interaction between member states.India is the largest cumulative troop contributor to UN peace operations, with over 185,000 troops having served in 48 of the 69 missions mandated so far. The country has repeatedly called for the Security Council to consult troop contributing countries before drawing up peacekeeping mandates given that troops now have to function is increasingly difficult and hostile conflict situations across the world’s hot-spots.

Dr Aravind Malagatti resigns from Sahitya Akademi’s General Council

Malagatti is among 20 representatives from various Universities in the General Council of the Sahitya Akademi. He has worked in in varied forms of Kannada literature like poetry, prose, essays, criticism and folklore study.

Photo Courtesy: www.dalitindia.in

Joining the group of writers resigning their posts from the Sahitya Akademi, Kannada writer and researcher Dr Aravind Malagatti on Sunday resigned from its General Council, condemning its ‘silence’ over the killing of progressive thinker and scholar M M Kalburgi.”Yes I have resigned as member of the General Council and have sent a letter to the President and Secretary of the Akademi this morning,” Malagatti told PTI.”I have resigned condemning the killing of Kalburgi and silence of Akademi over the issue. It should have spoken out and expressed its condemnation against such acts,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>77-year-old vocal and outspoken rationalist Kalburgi fell to the bullets of two unidentified men at his residence at Dharwad in north Karnataka, considered the state’s cultural capital on August 30.”Killing of personalities like Kalburgi, (Govind) Pansare and incidents like Dadri lynching are an attack on the Constitutional rights in this country. They are highly condemnable,” Malagatti said.Malagatti is among 20 representatives from various Universities in the General Council of the Sahitya Akademi. He has worked in in varied forms of Kannada literature like poetry, prose, essays, criticism and folklore study.Karnataka government has bestowed the prestigious Ambedkar Fellowship Award to him considering his corpus of writing. His ‘Government Brahamana’ being the first Dalit autobiography in Kannada has got the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award.Recently literary figures like Shashi Deshpande, K Satchidanandan, P K Parakkadavu had resigned from their posts in the Akademi, citing similar reasons. Eminent personalities like Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi and Sara Joseph have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards.At the state-level, six Kannada writers had earlier this month returned their awards to Kannada Sahitya Parishat upset over the delay in arrest of Kalburgi’s killers. On Saturday, eminent Malayalam writer Sarah Joseph and Urdu novelist Rahman Abbas had announced they would return the Sahitya Akademi award and the Maharashtra State Urdu Sahitya Akademi award respectively, joining a growing protest against ‘rising intolerance’ in the backdrop of murder of noted rationalists and Dadri lynching incident.The announcement had come on a day when Malayalam poet K Satchidanandan decided to quit all posts in the Akademi in protest against the murder of Kalburgi. Another Malayalam short story writer P K Parakkadavu had also said he would quit the Akademi membership.

Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex to get world heritage status by 2016?

Union Territory administration of Chandigarh gave a powerpoint presentation to the members of UNESCO’s International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) on the management plan of the Chandigarh dossier, prepared in the year 2008.

Palace of Assembly Chandigarh

Wikimedia Commons
Union Territory administration of Chandigarh gave a powerpoint presentation to the members of UNESCO’s International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) on the management plan of the Chandigarh dossier, prepared in the year 2008.According to The Indian Express, the team was here to assess the structure of city’s Capitol Complex for the bid to get world heritage status. The team is expected to give an assessment on the areas that need improvement. The reports will then be submitted to ICOMOS and, finally, to the World Heritage Committee. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the UT Home Secretary Anurag Aggarwal, the approval to the dossier is expected by June 2016. The dossier concerns the policy decisions regarding the alterations and additions to the Capitol Complex, risk preparedness and firefighting arrangements in several buildings.Chandigarh has been bidding for the honour since 2006, but has not been able to make it due to either a no-clearance from the Ministry of Culture or UNESCO. The Chandigarh report focused on its capital complex, apart from buildings designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, and Sukhna Lake and Leisure Valley.

Indian-origin man wins right to sell alcohol in dry UK village

The 38-year-old will have to comply with strict rules such as putting up clear signage telling customers not to drink alcohol outside the premises.

Representational Image

An Indian-origin shopkeeper in the UK has won a legal battle to be allowed to serve alcohol in what has virtually been a “dry village” for about 120 years. Kamal Sharma made history this week when Birmingham City Council’s licensing sub-committee allowed his Mary Vale News convenience store in Bournville to sell booze. The tiny village near Birmingham in the West Midlands region of England is best known for its chocolate connections and has been dry for decades as a result of the teetotal Quaker roots of its founders, the Cadbury family.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “If it had been turned down, I would have seriously looked at closing the business down. I am doing all I can to save my business and selling alcohol may just do that,” said Sharma, who has been running the shop for seven years. The 38-year-old will have to comply with strict rules such as putting up clear signage telling customers not to drink alcohol outside the premises and CCTV will have to be installed at the shop with alcohol allowed to be sold between 10am and 9pm. “I certainly don’t want to alienate my wonderful customers who have supported me through this. It will remain a newsagents and convenience store but will now sell alcohol,” Sharma told the Birmingham Mail. Over 400 people had signed a petition in favour of the proposals but there had been 230 objections from residents. “This is a catastrophic decision and goes against 120 years of history and heritage in Bournville. There will be a rise in anti-social behaviour in the area now with the selling of alcohol. It is a devastating blow for residents but we will appeal,” said Bournville councillor Rob Sealey, who is opposed to the move. Bournville was built in the 1890s by the Cadbury family to create homes, schools and shops for its chocolate factory workers. The area has remained dry ever since – with the exception of alcohol sold at two social and working men’s clubs. Bournville’s founder, George Cadbury, intended that Bournville should have no alcohol selling shops and pubs. He famously said: “We wish to preserve that unique cultural identity for the area.” In 2010, Cadbury was sold to US giant Kraft Foods for a reported 11.5 billion pounds and is now part of global snacks business Mondelez.

Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi slam UN resolution over Sri Lanka

Karunanidhi said it was tantamount to vesting the power to probe in the very hands of the accused.

The UN resolution shows that the union government did not take any steps over the unanimous resolution adopted by the Tamil Nadu Assembly, said Jayalalithaa

Coming out strongly against a UN resolution that endorsed a domestic probe in Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday expressed deep disappointment and anguish while DMK chief Karunanidhi termed it shocking. Also, both Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi blamed the Centre for not acting on a September 16 resolution of the Tamil Nadu Assembly seeking an international probe. “The resolution passed yesterday will in no way render justice to Sri Lankan Tamils. This resolution is in favour of Sri Lankan government and adversarial to Sri Lankan Tamils,” Jayalalithaa said today in a statement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>UN Human Rights Council had yesterday adopted a resolution paving the way for a probe involving foreign judges and prosecutors into the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Although the resolution has features like participation of foreign judges it would in no way be equal to an international judicial probe, Jayalalithaa said. “This weak resolution adopted by perceiving a change of heart of the Srilankan government will not do any good to Srilankan Tamils,” she said. Blaming the Centre, Jayalalithaa said “the UN resolution shows that the union government did not take any steps over the unanimous resolution adopted by the Tamil Nadu Assembly.”Recalling writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue seeking action on the Tamil Nadu Assembly resolution, she said “however, that the Central government has not taken any positive steps over this issue has caused unhealable wound.” Tamil Nadu Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution asking the Centre to move a “strong resolution” in the UNHRC for an international probe into the alleged war crimes in the 2009 war in Sri Lanka. “I had clearly stated in the Tamil Nadu Assembly that the Indian government had the duty to prevent a resolution asking Sri Lanka itself to probe into war crimes,” she said.Also, she had pointed out that a September 1 resolution of the Srilankan Northern Provincial Council had sought an international probe. International probe was sought so as to ensure justice, to strengthen the Council’s resolution and in deference to the feelings of all Tamils, she said. Expressing shock over UN resolution, Karunanidhi said it was tantamount to vesting the power to probe in the very hands of the accused and doubted if even such a watered down version would be implemented.

PM Modi praises Sushma Swaraj for ‘excellent’ speech at UN General Assembly

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday praised External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for her ‘excellent’ speech at the 70th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Reuters
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday praised External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for her ‘excellent’ speech at the 70th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).Addressing the UNGA, Swaraj said that in order to preserve the ‘centrality and legitimacy’ of the UN as the custodian of global peace, security and development, the reform of the Security Council is its “most urgent and pressing need.””This is the need of the hour. How can we have a Security Council in 2015 which still reflects the geo-political architecture of 1945? How can we have a Security Council which still does not give place as a permanent member to Africa and Latin America?,” she questioned.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Watch: Full speech of Sushma Swaraj at UN General Assembly​Taking to micro-blogging site, PM Modi tweeted, ” Just spoke to @SushmaSwaraj ji & congratulated her for the excellent speech at the @UN. A perfect articulation of key global issues.”He further said, “EAM @SushmaSwaraj has wonderfully highlighted India’s contribution to @UN & shared India’s vision of what UN must be in the 21st century.”Modi also said that Swaraj rightly emphasised on the need to end all forms of terror & make the world a peaceful place to live in, adding, “Fully agree with you @SushmaSwaraj ji, empowering the girl child is vital to bring about a change in society.”Also read: India rubbishes Pakistan’s 4-point peace formula at UN, says ‘give up terrorism and let’s talk’ Swaraj also rubbished Pakistan’s 4-point formula for peace and asserted that it is ready to discuss all issues if the neighbouring country addresses “just one” point of ending terrorism emanating from there as she proposed NSA-level talks to address the problem.She made it clear that terrorism emanating from Pakistan is hampering normalisation of bilateral relations as she underlined that “talks and terror cannot go together”.With agency inputs

Modi in US: India hosts G-4 Summit; pushes for UNSC reform in ‘fixed timeframe’

In a joint statement later, the G-4 leaders stressed that “a more representative, legitimate and effective Security Council is needed more than ever to address the global conflicts and crises, which had spiraled in recent years.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at G4 Summit in New York on Saturday.

PTI
India, Japan, Germany and Brazil on Saturday declared themselves as “legitimate” candidates for permanent membership of the UNSC as they pushed for its reform in a “fixed timeframe”, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the task should be accomplished immediately.Hosting a Summit of leaders of Germany, Japan and Brazil under the G-4 format in Silicon Valley, he said the UN Security Council “must include the world’s largest democracies, major locomotives of the global economy, and voices from all the major continents” to carry “greater credibility and legitimacy”. He said the four countries are ready to assume global responsibilities as he pressed for change, saying the world body reflects the mindset of a century “we left behind” and is not in tune with “new concerns” like terrorism and climate change. It will make it more representative and effective in addressing the challenges of the 21st century, he said at the Summit meeting with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, the first since 2004.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi noted that “some movement” had been seen recently in the decades-old endeavour when the UNGA took the “significant step” to commence text-based negotiations on the reforms but said it has to be taken to its “logical conclusion” during the current 70th session of the global body.In a joint statement later, the G-4 leaders stressed that “a more representative, legitimate and effective Security Council is needed more than ever to address the global conflicts and crises, which had spiraled in recent years.” They strongly emphasized that the process underway in the UN to bring about the reform of the Security Council should be conducted, given its urgency, in a fixed timeframe.The leaders emphasized that the “G-4 countries are legitimate candidates for permanent membership in an expanded and reformed Council and supported each other s candidature.”The G-4 “noted with concern that no substantial progress had been made since the 2005 World Summit where all the Heads of State and Government had unanimously supported early reform of the Security Council as an essential element of the overall effort to reform the United Nations.” Leaders of the 11-year-old grouping, which has been jointly pushing for UNSC reform and their entry into it as permanent members, “expressed determination to redouble their efforts towards securing concrete outcomes during the 70th session of the General Assembly”.They felt that legitimate reforms can be “achieved by reflecting the realities of the international community in the 21st century, where more member states have the capacity and willingness to take on major responsibilities with regard to maintenance of international peace and security.”The four nations pledged to work together with all member states and to accelerate outreach towards achieving an “early and meaningful reform” of the UNSC, the joint statement said. They supported Africa’s representation in both the permanent and non-permanent membership in the UNSC, while noting the importance of adequate and continuing representation of small and medium sized member states, including the small island developing states, in an expanded and reformed Council. They also affirmed their resolve to continue contributing to the fulfillment of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, it said.”The reform of the Security Council within a fixed time frame has become an urgent and important task,” Modi said.Noting that the modern age faces challenges like trends in demography, urbanization and migrations, he said, “Climate change and terrorism are new concerns. Cyber and Space are entirely new frontiers of opportunities and challenges.”The Prime Minister added, “Our institutions, approaches, and often mindsets, reflect the wisdom of the century we have left behind, not the century we live in. This is especially true of the United Nations Security Council.” Modi, while making initial remarks, said the subject of reforms in the UNSC has been the focus of global attention for decades but “unfortunately, without progress” so far.”We live in a fundamentally different world from the time the UN was born. The number of Member States has grown four-fold. Threats to peace and security have become more complex, unpredictable and undefined,” Modi said.”We live in a digital age. The global economy is changed, with new engines of growth, more widely dispersed economic power and widening wealth gap,” Modi said, adding “In many ways, our lives are becoming globalized, but fault-lines around our identities are growing.”He referred to the recent decision of the UNGA to commence text-based negotiations on UN reforms and said, “after decades, we finally see some movement. The 69th Session of the General Assembly has taken a significant step forward”.At the same time, he said, “this is just the first step. We should aim to take this process to its logical conclusion during the 70th session.”Talking about G-4, he said, “Our Group of four countries came together in 2004, bound by our shared commitment to global peace and prosperity, our faith in multilateralism and our willingness to assume our global responsibilities that the world expects from us.”In her remarks, Merkel said the G-4 was not any “exclusive group” and it believes in taking others also along in its pursuit of ensuring reform of the UNSC. Abe, while terming the meeting as a “golden opportunity”, said there was a “mounting momentum for change” and “voices of great nations should be heard”. Rousseff also underlined the need for urgent reform of the world body.The joint statement said the leaders welcomed the adoption by consensus of the General Assembly decision to use the text presented by the President of the 69th General Assembly in his letter dated July 31, 2015 as the basis for negotiations within the IGN (Inter-governmental negotiations).”They also pledged to support and cooperate with the President of the 70th General Assembly,” it said.The leaders also noted with appreciation the efforts of member states in moving towards text-based negotiations.

Union Minister VK Singh assures speedy implementation of One Rank One Pension

The government is committed for the welfare of ex-servicemen and the One Rank One Pension will soon be implemented, a government release quoting VK Singh said.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Union Minister V K Singh on Saturday gave the assurance of speedy implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the benefit of ex-servicemen.The government is committed for the welfare of ex-servicemen and the One Rank One Pension will soon be implemented, a government release quoting Singh said.The former Army Chief, who was at Pithisar village in Churu to attend a function, also underlined the importance of a permanent seat for India in UN Security Council which, he said, has become “necessary with the change of time”.Meanwhile, the minister asked the people of Shekhawati region, from where many move to Gulf countries for work, not to seek the services of unauthorised agents to go to foreign countries.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Many people go to Gulf countries and some of them also face problems there. To avoid such problems, do not trust unauthorised agents,” he said.The Union minister was received by Rajasthan Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore at Churu.

LIVE Updates: PM Modi at G-4 Summit bats for reform of UNSC, wants largest democracies to be included

India is the host at G-4 Summit.

Image credits: Vikas Swarup Twitter
PM Narendra Modi is currently hosting the G-4 summit in New York. The G-4 bloc of India, Japan, Brazil and Germany will give a “strong push” to inter- governmental negotiations for achieving early UNSC reform in the summit, a top official had said earlier.The summit came together as an event only after the September 14 consensus adoption by the General Assembly of a negotiating document and the decision to commence text-based negotiations on UNSC reforms in the current session.The joint statement after the G-4 Summit came to an end said that the leaders emphasise upon a reform in the Security Council in a fixed time frame. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Joint Press Statement at G-4 Summit G-4 leaders stressed that a more representative, legitimate and effective UNSC needed. They strongly emphasised that process to bring about the reform of the Security Council should be conducted given its urgency, in a fixed time frame. The leaders emphasised that the G-4 countries are legitimate candidates for permanent membership in an expanded and reformed Council and supported each other’s candidature. They pledged to work together with all Member States and accelerate outreach towards achieving an early,meaningful reform of UNSC.Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the leaders at the summit felt it was important and mobilize support for long delayed reform of UNSC. “They agreed that we must push for text based negotiations and a complete outcome in this 70th anniversary year of the UN. It was a very imp summit meeting as it came in the backdrop of recent decision of the General assembly to commence text based negotiations. And for this purpose they will mobilise as broad a coalition of like minded countries as possible. The leaders felt that this was the very important occasion for the international community to mobilise support and come together for the long delayed reform of the security council.”Earlier updates:PM Modi makes the inaugural address:*I’m delighted to welcome you all, thank you for attending this meeting, want to specially thank PM Abe who has just arrived here. Thank you for meeting this early on a Saturday, want to specially thank PM Abe who just arrived in US*A group of 4 countries came together in 2004 bound by our shared commitment to global peace and security.I’m delighted that we are meeting after 10 years*Trends in demography and migrations are posing new challenges, climate change and terrorism our new concerns*Security Council must include the world largest democracies.The reform of UNSC has become an urgent and important task, it must include World’s largest democracies*I am sure that this meeting today will give impetus for our efforts in this direction*Reforms in United Nations Security Council has been the focus of global attention for decades – unfortunately, without progress so far.Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff speaking at G4 summit. *The results achieved so far have not been very substantial*We need a representative and effective security councilGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at G4 Summit*We need reform of security council which reflects distribution of power in the World*We need to try to find allies and we need to talk to others to meet our goals* It will carry greater credibility & legitimacy and will be more representative and effective in addressing challenges of 21st centuryJapanese PM Shinzo Abe speaking at G4 Summit * We need to communicate our results to rest of the world*We have a resolve and we have to communicate our resolve to rest of the World. I hope this will lead to a concrete outcomePM Modi took forward the discussion:*We finally see some moment, the 69th session of General Assembly has taken a significant step forward to commence text based negotiations*This is just the first step. We should aim to take this process to its logical conclusion during the 70th sessionMinistry of External Affairs vikas Swarup tweeted from the event:Swarup further said that UN reform is not restricted to an overhaul of the Council but also includes reforms in the world body’s governance structure Underscoring that the expansion and reform of the 15- nation Council is very important, Swarup said when the world body was formed there were only 51 countries but today its membership has reached to 193 countries.The Council has been expanded only once between 1963-1965 when a resolution was passed to increase the non-permanent members from 11 to 15.

Nothing new in PM Modi’s speech at UN: Congress

In an apparent attack on Prime Minister Modi, Tewari said, “After one speech somewhere, you move on to the next target. This is not going to really help India’s cause in getting a permanent seat in the UNSC.”

PTI
Congress leader Manish Tewari on Saturday said there was nothing new in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the United Nations summit as every prime minister since 1991 had been saying the same thing that the power balance (at United Nations Security Council) of 1945 could not be geo-strategic reality of 2015.Stating that the UNSC reform is a very contentious issue as the existing members don’t want to give up the ‘veto’, Tewari said, “The question is not whom to include in the UNSC, but whom to exclude, as there are various contending and competing countries from each continent. Thus, it is a very contentious issue, discussions are in progress and India will have to be consistent in her effort.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also Read: Full text and video of PM Narendra Modi’s speech at UNGAIn an apparent attack on Prime Minister Modi, Tewari said, “After one speech somewhere, you move on to the next target. This is not going to really help India’s cause in getting a permanent seat in the UNSC.”

US announces support for India’s permanent UNSC membership bid

Washington: The US has said it is committed to India’s inclusion as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, days after the General Assembly adopted a negotiating text for the long-pending reforms of the powerful wing of the world body.

The reaffirmation from the US comes in the backdrop of the maiden India US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue which was held on Tuesday.

United Nations Security Council. AP ImageUnited Nations Security Council. AP Image

United Nations Security Council. AP Image

Notwithstanding, apprehensions appearing in certain quarters following recent developments at the UN headquarters in New York, the US said, it supports India as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

“The US Side reaffirmed its support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member,” said the joint statement issued after the conclusion of the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.

Both sides committed to ensuring that the Security Council continues to play an effective role in maintaining international peace and security as envisioned in the UN Charter, it said.

According to the joint statement, both India and the US are committed to continued engagement on Security Council reform in the UN Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council Reform.

India-US partnership is a significant contributor to the peace, stability and prosperity in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific regions and around the globe, the statement said.

Building on successful cooperation in Asia, the two countries welcomed continued cooperation under the Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region agreed by US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The US also commended India’s leadership in evacuating foreign nationals including US citizens, from conflict in Yemen, as well as cooperation between the US and India on providing post-earthquake relief in Nepal.

India and the US resolved that they would work as partners in responding to the needs of civilians in global crises.

Both countries also welcomed Japan’s participation in the MALABAR 2015 naval exercise later this year.

Pledging to continue high level consultations on Afghanistan, both the countries agreed that a sovereign, independent and prosperous Afghanistan is in the interest of peace and security in the region, and will contribute to the global efforts to combat terrorism and extremism.

The two countries also expressed satisfaction at the convening of the first meeting of an upgraded UN and Multilateral Dialogue in February 2015, the first meeting of the Space Security Dialogue in March 2015, and the first India-US consultations on Africa in April 2015.

PTI

PM Modi’s campaign aide Sareshwala preferred over Amitabh Bachchan, Gulzar, Azim Premji for Urdu University Chancellor

Those shortlisted by the Council included actor Amitabh Bachchan, poet Gulzar, Wipro Chairman Azim Premzi, former Chief Justice of India A M Ahmadi and first Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah.

Zafar Sareshwala, who was Muslim face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election campaign, has been preferred over personalities like Amitabh Bachchan, Gulzar and Azim Premji for the post of Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University by the Union government.The documents accessed by PTI show that names of six people were considered by Executive Council of the University for the post of Chancellor as the term of Dr Syeda Hameed, a known academician, came to end on July 10, 2014.Besides Sareshwala, a car dealer, those shortlisted by the Council included actor Amitabh Bachchan, poet Gulzar, Wipro Chairman Azim Premzi, former Chief Justice of India A M Ahmadi and first Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The shorlisted names were sent to the Ministry of Human Resources Development by the University on December 1, 2014, the records accessed under the RTI Act show. “The Chancellor is appointed by the President of India who is a visitor of the University for a period of three years (As per statute 1(1) of MANUU Act reads as ‘The chancellor shall be appointed by the Visitor from a panel of not less than three eminent persons recommended by the Executive Council from amongst persons of eminence in academic or public life of the country),” the letter carrying names said.It said that the Executive Council in its meeting held on November 8, 2014 proposed a few names and authorised vice-chancellor to communicate the same to the MHRD. The Ministry finalised the name of Sareshwala saying he “gives the amalgamation of youth and industry hence the Institution can benefit from his leadership”.Surprisingly, a noting is inserted in between the lines of above noting says, “A penal (corrected as panel) of three or more names may be recommended.” Later, in the summary sent to the President for appointment of the Chancellor, the Ministry said,”The Ministry of Human Resource Development recommends that the President of India, in his capacity as Visitor of the University, may consider and appoint Zafar Sareshwala, who gives the amalgamation of youth and industry expertise, as chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad.”Sareshwala, a car dealer in Gujarat, had gained prominence as a Muslim face who canvassed vigorously for Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his election campaign. He was also behind the launch of Urdu web site on Modi in the run up to the high voltage election campaign.

With no takers for engineering courses, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to lose 80,000 seats

More youngsters in India seem to be shunning engineering as a career choice.

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More youngsters in India seem to be shunning engineering as a career choice. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) chairman Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe, during his visit to Chennai last month, said that nearly 40% of the engineering seats were vacant in India as students seemed to prefer other courses.According to a report in Deccan Chronicle, one of the issues faced is the shortage of faculty in government as well as private colleges, Sahasrabudhe said. The AICTE is now going to scale down the number of seats by 40% over the next few years in India. As a result, 40,000 engineering seats each in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will be cut. The report states that as of now Telangana has 1.85 lakh seats and Andhra Pradesh 1.8 lakh seats. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As fewer students opted for engineering, the management of colleges in Telangana cut down the number of seats to 1.5 lakh while Andhra Pradesh cut it down to 1.45 lakh respectively. Now, the number of seats in both states will be further reduced by another 30,000 next year, the report says. The total number of seats in each state will then stand at 1 lakh.

UGC’s distance education degrees valid for central jobs

All distance education degrees, diplomas and certificates including technical education degrees and diplomas awarded through distance education mode by the universities with the approval of University Grants Commission (UGC) would be valid for central government jobs.

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dna Research & Archives
All distance education degrees, diplomas and certificates including technical education degrees and diplomas awarded through distance education mode by the universities with the approval of University Grants Commission (UGC) would be valid for central government jobs.The Ministry of Human Resources and Development has notified the rule in the gazette recently. The notification was necessitated due to several changes in the distance education sector. Earlier, the approval of all distance courses needed approval of the Distance Education Council.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Distance Education Council which worked under the Indira Gandhi National Open University and worked as the distance education regulator was scrapped two years back and the whole gamut of distance education was shifted to UGC, the apex body of higher education.”The central government hereby notifies that all the degrees/diplomas/certificates including technical education degrees and diplomas awarded through open and distance learning mode of education by the universities established by an Act of Parliament or state legislature, institutions deemed to be universities under section 3 of the UGC Act 1956 and Institution of National Importance declared under an Act of Parliament stand automatically recognised for the purpose of employment to posts and services under the central government provided they have been approved by the UGC,” reads the gazette, dated 10 June 2015.

Bengaluru: Student attacked on Indian Institute of Science campus

IISc Students Council members with Sandeep Patil

Image Courtesy: Facebook
The Indian Institute of Science is reeling under the attack on a student on its premises on September 16. The incident has been narrated at length on the Students’ Council IISc Facebook page. The post states that around 9:20 PM on Wednesday night, two students (Sushil and a woman) were going for dinner. Suddenly a high speeding car nearly brushed them and when they retaliated by waving their hand to slow down, the driver, identified as Raghavendra, stopped and started arguing. When they replied back, the driver reportedly got out from the car and took a stone to hit them. He then abused them verbally and told them that his father was an IISc employee and no action could be taken against him. The car driver then came back with his friends and when the couple was returning from dinner allegedly attacked them. Sushil was physically assaulted. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sushil and his friend managed to escape and call security and their friends for help. However, the chief security office of IISc reportedly refused to take action against Raghavendra. The students have filed a police complaint against the culprits. Raghavendra’s father is a non-teaching staff at IISc.The students have now updated the Students’ Council IISc Facebook page with a post stating that they met with the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central), Sandeep Patil, who has promised to take action against the culprits. The IISc Students Council says it is firm in their demand and that loopholes in IISc security must be fixed.

India to focus on number of critical issues at UN General Assembly

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji told reporters here yesterday that Modi will address the summit on the morning of September 25.

India will focus on critical issues of Security Council reform, peacekeeping, terrorism, climate change and development agenda at a landmark session of the UN General Assembly here next week, a top Indian official said.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrives in New York on September 23, will address the high-level Sustainable Development Summit hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on September 25, when the new and ambitious post-2015 development agenda will be adopted.Slated to be one of the largest ever gatherings at the UN, the Sustainable Development Summit will be attended by more than 150 heads of state and world leaders.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pope Francis will also address the UN General Assembly on September 25.India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji told reporters here yesterday that Modi will address the summit on the morning of September 25.The Prime Minister “has given a lot of attention to the substance of the development agenda. The focus of his speech will be Agenda 2030,” Mukerji said.Outlining the priorities of India during the 70th session of the General Assembly, Mukerji said India’s focus will be peacekeeping, Security Council reform, terrorism and climate change.Modi will then head to the West Coast to visit San Francisco on September 26-27 and will return to New York on September 28, when he is expected to have a bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama, who will be in the city to address the General Debate on its opening day.On UNSC reform, Mukerji said “we are very upbeat” after the General Assembly endorsed beginning of negotiations on reform of the powerful UN body on the basis of a text.”We are looking forward to beginning the negotiations when the General Assembly convenes on this agenda item in early November,” he said.India’s focus will also be to conduct “active outreach” in taking matters forward on the reform process, he added.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will deliver India’s statement in the General Debate in the morning session on October 1.Modi will also speak at the Second Peacekeeping Summit on September 28 at the world body’s headquarters, that will also be addressed by the UN Secretary-General and Obama.Mukerji said Modi will hold bilateral meetings during his visit to New York but did not give any further details.He also did not comment on whether the leaders from India and Pakistan could meet next week on the sidelines on the Assembly session.When asked to comment on Pakistan National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz planning to present a dossier to the UN on Kashmir, Mukerji said, “it is for him to do what he wants to do. When he does what he does, then we will see what to do.” On terrorism, India will continue to strive for progress towards finalisation of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.It will also “initiate action” for the listing of terrorists of security concern to us by the Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committees of the Security Council.On peacekeeping, Mukerji said the session will see action on the recommendations of the Independent Panel on Peace Operations chaired by Jose Ramos Horta as well as on the Implementation Report being prepared by the Secretary General.An approach paper prepared by the Indian mission for the session said India’s effort will be to ensure acceptance of the recommendation relating to the primacy of political solutions so that mandating of peacekeeping missions only takes place when there is peace to keep and not with offensive or interventionist mandates.Other focus areas for India during the UNGA will be international peace and security, human rights and disarmament.India will call for continued engagement of the international community through support in security, political and economic areas to the Afghan government to ensure the country does not re-lapse into conflict, according to the approach paper.”The international community must continue to focus on and address the support for terrorists and armed groups that fuels conflict in Afghanistan,” the paper said.India also supports UN efforts to assist the national authorities in the Middle East region, including Syria, Yemen and Libya to promote internal dialogue and reforms with a view to resolving the crises and ensuring stability and prosperity.India will also continue to support initiatives at the UN for an early realisation of a sovereign, independent and united state of Palestine side by side and at peace with Israel, it said.India will also be hosting the meeting of the G4 foreign ministers but Mukerji said the time and date of the meeting are still being worked upon keeping in mind the convenience and availability of the ministers.Mukerji said India is the “biggest canvas” for the sustainable development goals and the country is looking at a time-bound manner to implement the targets.”The success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) will depend on the success of India in many ways, especially on eradication of poverty,” he said.He added that for India the three areas of interest in the SDGs are the provision of financial resources for development, transfer of dissemination of technology for development and empowerment of women for development.Mukerji said India is striving to accomplish several SDG targets at the national level including providing access to sanitation and clean water by October 2, 2019, coinciding with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.Another target relevant to the SDG goal on energy is to shift by 2022 the mix of energy in India in favor of solar and renewable energy.Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar will also be arriving in the city later this month to participate in a high-level climate change meeting, Mukerji said.Mukerji stressed that through the past UNGA sessions, India has demonstrated that it believes in “inclusive and holistic approach” and not in an “approach of confrontation”.

Delhi Police initiates probe into death threats to John Dayal

Delhi police on Wednesday initiated a probe into alleged threats received by civil rights activist John Dayal.

Delhi police on Wednesday initiated a probe into alleged threats received by civil rights activist John Dayal.Dayal had earlier this week complained to the authorities that he was living in constant fear after receiving death threats on Twitter. According to senior police officials, the department is yet to file an FIR into the case but has decided to take up the matter for investigation.Speaking to dna, Dayal said he wanted to inform the authorities about the development and let the police decide the future course of action. “I have received more than 15,000 hate messages. My personal number was also posted on twitter after which I received calls from four different numbers. I also received a very abusive SMS,” Dayal said. He refused to share the details of the abusive message, and added that he was forced to switch off his mobile. “They kept on calling and didn’t speak. I decided to switch off my phone for hours together,” added Dayal<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his complaint to the police commissioner of Delhi, the activist wrote, “I am a member of the National Integration Council (NIC)of India, secretary- general of the All India Christian Council and a past president of All India Catholic Union. I have subscribed to the websitetwitter.com and use the medium to communicate with various people.”This campaign of vitriolic abuse, vilification and bigotry reached a crescendo on 12th September, 2015, when a sudden, unprovoked and large-scale attack on me and the members of my community was launched on twitter by a large number of people,” Dayal said.The activist also shared details of Twitter handles from which he was allegedly being harassed. “Direct threats of harm to my life and liberty have been made. People tweeting from handles such as @ajaykamath1981 @dwivedi_ji12 tweeted saying that I must die, with the latter tweeting that the person who shoots me will be a patriot. People tweeting from the handles @damodarshenoy92 @[email protected] incited people to be violent with me. ?”Sir, my reputation stands destroyed, my life is in danger. I live under fear for my life and liberty and more alarmingly there is a conspiracy underway to destroy religious harmony. A prima facie perusal of the tweets attached with this complaint reveals the commission, inter alia, of offences under sections 153(A), 295 (A), 499, 503, 505 and 507 of the Indian Penal Code and other enactments,” the complaint reads further. ?The Delhi Union of Journalists in a statement accused ‘right wing outfits’ of harassing the activist and brought the matter to the notice of Delhi chief minister, Lt governor and the Human Rights Commission.Deputy commissioner of police BS Gurjar told dna that investigators are checking the nature of threats and action will be taken on the basis of preliminary findings. An official of the cyber cell also confirmed the case is being looked at by their department.

Russia assures India of support on UNSC permanent seat bid

Russia has assured its support to India for permanent membership in the UN Security Council, days after it along with the US and China refused to contribute to the text for negotiations on reforms which was seen as a move to thwart India’s bid for the seat.

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Russia has assured its support to India for permanent membership in the UN Security Council, days after it along with the US and China refused to contribute to the text for negotiations on reforms which was seen as a move to thwart India’s bid for the seat.The assurance was made by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov during a meeting with Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Sujata Mehta yesterday when the two sides held wide-ranging discussions on the agenda of the 70th anniversary session of the UN General Assembly.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Special attention was paid to the issue of the United Nations Security Council reform. The parties exchanged opinions on the main aspects of intergovernmental negotiation process considering the current various options for the increase in the UNSC membership.”The Russian side reaffirmed the readiness to support the Indian candidature for the United Nations Security Council permanent membership in case of decision to extend it in both categories – permanent and non-permanent members,” a release from the Russian embassy said today.The meeting comes two days after the UN General Assembly adopted a negotiating text by consensus for the long-pending Security Council reforms, boosting India’s bid for a permanent seat in the revamped world body.However, the US, China and Russia did not contribute to the text, a move which was seen as an attempt to thwart India’s bid. Though the US and Russia have been supporting India’s bid, China has been against any expansion of the Security Council.India and Russia also discussed mutual priorities for the UNGA 70th session and stated proximity of approaches of the two countries on many issues being discussed within the framework of the UN bodies.In the context of the analysis of regional crises in the Middle East and the North Africa, special importance was given to the task to widely consolidate and coordinate international counter-terrorism efforts on a firm international legal basis under the UN aegis, the release said.The two sides expressed common view on the significance of implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and formulation of main parameters to hold the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016.

Vice President Ansari holds talks with Cambodian PM to shore up economic ties

Ansari held talks with Hun Sen at the the Peace Palace which was followed by delegation-level parleys and signing of two MoU — one on tourism and the other on “quick impact projects”.

Hamid Ansari
File Photo

Vice President Hamid Ansari on Wednesday held wild-ranging talks with Cambodian Premier Hun Sen to discuss a host of issues including shoring up of economic engagement and conveyed India’s decision to support several projects in Cambodia under the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation. Ansari held talks with Hun Sen at the the Peace Palace which was followed by delegation-level parleys and signing of two MoU — one on tourism and the other on “quick impact projects”. Under the MoU on “quick impact projects”, there were four projects two in healthcare, one on women’s empowerment through information and communication technology and one on agriculture.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> At the Peace Palace, Ansari was accorded ceremonial welcome and guard of honour. Earlier in the morning, the Vice President visited the Independence Monument that was built in 1958 to symbolise Cambodian Independence from being a French protectorate. He also visited the Royal Memorial, a 27-metre tall shrine that has a bronze statue of Late King Norodom Sihanouk. He also laid a wreath at the two places. School children had lined up along the rood to greet Ansari with flags and flowers. After the talks, Ansari also delivered an address on Cambodia-India ties at the Office of the Council of Ministers. He then paid floral tributes at Mahatma Gandhi’s statue. In his meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen, Ansari conveyed the decision of the Indian government to support several projects under Mekong-Ganga Cooperation programme targeting the health sector, agriculture and women’s empowerment. “We hope that these projects would benefit local communities, and contribute to improvement of public welfare,” Ansari said in the address at the Council of Ministers. The Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) was established in 2000 at Vientiane, Laos, at the First MGC Ministerial Meeting. It comprises six member countries, namely India, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. They emphasised four areas of cooperation, which are tourism, culture, education, and transportation linkage. Ansari’s visit is focussed on shoring up economic ties with Cambodia as bilateral investment and trade remains “below potential”. Total bilateral trade for 2013-2014 between India and Cambodia was US $153.98 million (Indian export of US $141.26 million and import of US $12.72 million). Cambodia has been very supportive of India’s position in multilateral fora, including in stepping up engagement with ASEAN and it has also extended its unconditional support for India’s bid for a permanent UNSC seat.