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Juvenile Justice Bill: Ramdas Athawale claims those with sexual urges should be forcibly married

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“Those who have sexual urges… they should be taught a lesson. They should get married. And if they have sex, then it should be consensual.”

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On Tuesday, veteran lawmaker Ramdas Athawale, the president of the Republic Party of India made some bizarre remarks before passing the Juvenile Justice Act in parliament. He was quoted saying by NDTV, “Those who have sexual urges… they should be taught a lesson. They should get married. And if they have sex, then it should be consensual.”He also used an expletive that was expunged from the remarks. He also claimed that during the times of Shivaji, no one would commit such crimes as their hands and legs were broken and the law should allow a modern democracy like India to do the same. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi thanked the opposition for passing the much-expected Juvenile Justice Bill under which juveniles aged 16 years and above will now be tried under laws for adults for heinous crimes.”This is a Bill that everyone feels strongly about and I am happy that everyone supported it,” Gandhi said as she stepped out of Parliament. Congress leader Renuka Chaudhary said her party was the architect of the Bill in many ways and just wanted an intense debate on various aspects of the Bill. CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the walkout by the Left parties was not in protest of the Bill, but because they wanted the Bill to go to a Select Committee so that all aspects are looked into. “If tomorrow you catch hold of a young ISIS terrorist, you will say bring down the age by another two years. The question is not about the age but the kind of crime that has been committed,” he said. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, which provides for lowering the age for trial from 18 years, was passed by Rajya Sabha with a voice vote after a walkout by Left parties which wanted it to be sent to a Select Committee. The bill was passed by Lok Sabha earlier.

Juvenile Justice Bill: Here’s what Maneka Gandhi said in Rajya Sabha

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Discussing the bill in Rajya Sabha, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi claimed that the bill is compassionate.

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The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill was on Tuesday tabled in Rajya Sabha for consideration and passage. Following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a plea against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case, Parliamentarians have cut across party lines to seek the passage of the amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act at the earliest.Discussing the bill in Rajya Sabha, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi claimed that the bill is compassionate.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She said, “We may not be able to do anything about the Juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya case, but we can deter many other boys from doing the same.”Here is what she said.Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday assured the parents of Nirbhaya (December 16 gang rape victim), that he would be extending all his support to get the Juvenile Justice Bill passed in the Raya Sabha.”We are meeting every one because the Bill is to be tabled today. He (Rahul Gandhi) has said that he supports the Bill and would support it,” Nirbhaya’s mother told the media.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also assured disappointed Nirbhaya’s parents that the Juvenile Justice Bill would be today passed in the Parliament.

Rs 1,800 crore advance extended under Mudra scheme: Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel

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Patel also called upon women entrepreneurs to take advantage of the women’s empowerment schemes, notably the Women Industrial Park, set up by Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) at Sanand.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Bollywood actress Kajol light lamps at Vibrant Garima Business Women Conclave 2015 in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

PTI
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Saturday said Rs 1,800-crore advances were extended to small and big industrialists during a camp under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna’.Patel also called upon women entrepreneurs to take advantage of the women’s empowerment schemes, notably the Women Industrial Park, set up by Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) at Sanand.”Rs 1,800-crore advances were extended to small and big industrialists during a camp under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna in Gujarat,” she said inaugurating the Vibrant Gujarat Business Women Conclave organised by Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patel said that industrial development in the state was no more restricted to urban areas and it has spread to rural and even remote areas in the tribal belt. The Chief Minister also asked women to fight social evils, superstitions and social inequality.Bollywood actress Kajol Devgn, present on the occasion, exhorted women to work, which she said was necessary for self-esteem. GCCI Women Wing Chairperson Grishma Trivedi said one purpose of this conclave is to encourage women entrepreneurs in rural areas.Under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna’ banks, NBFCs and MFIs would provide loans between Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh to the unfunded sections of the society.

State ACB goes on probe overdrive on Delhi government officials

The escalating war between the Centre and the AAP government took a new turn with the CBI raids at Delhi secretary at on Tuesday –but the worst hit in the months-old political crossfire has been the Delhi bureaucracy –more with allegations of the state anti-corruption branch (ACB) going on an investigation overdrive on officials placed with the Delhi government.According to sources, the situation has worsened in the last two months, with the Mukesh Meena-led ACB aggressively digging out age-old complaints against government officials, allegedly putting hundreds of other corruption complaints on the back burner.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior government official claimed the Delhi-government’s anti-corruption helpline 1031 has forwarded more than 500 corruption complaints against Delhi as well as central government officials to the anti-graft body after carrying out preliminary investigations on them.“None of those complaints have been acted upon so far. The ACB has decided to investigate complaints only against Delhi government officials, that too those which it has received independently,” the official told dna.“They didn’t even register an FIR against a DDA (Delhi Development Authority) employee who was caught red-handed accepting bribe by our Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM),” the official said. DDA functions under the central government.The ACB’s alleged ‘selective’ investigation also resonates with a memo issued by lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung in September this year, where the bureaucrats of Delhi government were advised not to follow any ‘illegal orders’ of the Delhi government. The memo also warned the officials of disciplinary action if they chose to follow such orders of the government.The situation has now demoralised many Delhi government officials, many of whom fear they might be targeted just for working with the Kejriwal government.Sources say some are even contemplating seeking transfers elsewhere from the central government, to save themselves of uncalled troubles.An example is that of a case registered against the state’s principal secretary Chetan B Sanghi and other officials for converting 350 industrial sheds from leasehold to freehold in 2011-12, when he was heading the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (DSIIDC) – a step which has been taken both by those heading DSIIDC before and after Sanghi.The case was registered weeks after Sanghi submitted a probe report on the alleged complaints of irregularities in Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA), on which the Delhi government was to set up a commission of inquiry, Kejriwal had revealed on Tuesday.While Sanghi has gone on a long leave and was not available for comments, another official said there is not much they can do if they are scheduled to be the next in the line of fire.“If they (ACB) choose to take up an empty case like that of the DSIIDC, they can slap any charge on us out of vindictiveness,” an official said.Similarly, secretary to CM Rajender Kumar who faced a lot of mud-slinging on Tuesday following the CBI raids in his office, was first interrogated by the ACB. He is also facing ACB investigations on a separate Rs100 crore CNG scam that took place during the Sheila Dixit regime. While the charges against him are yet to be proved by CBI, Kumar is still under the ACB net and has faced multiple interrogation sessions in the last few months. The anti-corruption branch is also probing deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, and has sent a notice to the government’s directorate of information and publicity (DIP) department for allegedly giving contracts of government advertisements to his relatives. A few officers from the department were interrogated by the ACB on Thursday.The anti-graft body has also initiated inquiries on an alleged scam regarding the procurement and disbursing of onions at a subsidised rate.Above all, ACB chief Meena had also ordered a probe into the helpline management of the AAP government’s anti-corruption helpline 1031 and an inquiry against the officials involved in setting it up.Talking to dna, an official from ACB said, “We are investigating the cases against Sanghi, Kumar and others and their details can’t be revealed as of now,” said an official. Meena remained unavailable for dna’s queries despite repeated calls and messages sent to him.A joint commissioner-ranked IPS officer, Meena was appointed in June this year by Jung against AAP government’s wishes. This was a first time that a joint commissioner ranked official was put at the helm of the anti-graft body; the post had earlier been occupied by an additional commissioner-ranked official since the start of the ACB.AAP had claimed that following the Delhi High Court’s order that allowed ACB to also act on corruption complaints against central government officials, the Centre had ‘taken over’ ACB from the Delhi government. However, the battle over the control of the anti-graft body continues.

Punish juvenile like an adult in Nirbhaya case, says Hema Malini

Expressing her disappointment over the decision to release the juvenile convict in the brutal Nirbhaya gang-rape case, actor-politician Hema Malini on Wednesday demanded that the former should be tried as an adult as his mind is devilish.

Expressing her disappointment over the decision to release the juvenile convict in the brutal Nirbhaya gang-rape case, actor-politician Hema Malini on Wednesday demanded that the former should be tried as an adult as his mind is devilish.”I have told it earlier also that the juvenile was more involved in the crime than the other convicts, who harmed the girl. He has got a very devilish mind, he is crime minded,” Malini told the media outside the Parliament.”You can treat him as much you want, but he is not going to get treated. He is an adult and he should also be punished like an adult,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking in the Lok Sabha earlier on the Nirbhaya gang-rape case, the BJP MP from Mathura said that the juvenile should be treated as an adult and punished as his mind is devilish.According to the reports, the Delhi Government’s department of Women and Child Development (WCD) is planning to give the juvenile a one-time financial grant of Rs. 10,000 and a sewing machine to enable him to open a tailoring shop.The release of the juvenile has been a matter of debate for sometime now with the government not too keen to set him free.The parents of the victim have expressed grief over the decision of the government.The Centre had earlier asked the Delhi High Court to extend the observation home stay of the convict.The victim was brutally assaulted by six persons, including the juvenile in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. She had later succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital.

Paris deal frames climate ambition in ‘lens of equity’: India

The Paris climate change agreement is a victory for climate justice, India has said stressing that the multilateral deal preserves the development imperatives of developing countries and frames climate ambition in a “lens of equity”.

The Paris climate change agreement is a victory for climate justice, India has said stressing that the multilateral deal preserves the development imperatives of developing countries and frames climate ambition in a “lens of equity”.”India is happy with the outcome of the COP-21 in Paris.As our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) said, we are all winners in the Paris outcome. Climate Justice has won and the new Agreement marks a new push jointly by all nations for a greener future,” India’sDeputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Bhagwant Bishnoi said at a briefing organised here yesterday by the President of General Assembly on the just concluded climate summit in Paris.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bishnoi said India participated in Paris in a spirit of openness, constructiveness and flexibility and India’s voice was a voice of developing countries.”Our call for climate justice was based on the centrality of equity, historical responsibilities and the right to development for the world’s poorest.”We are happy that the Paris Agreement acknowledges and preserves the development imperatives of India and other developing countries, framing climate ambition in a lens of equity,” he said.Noting that the agreement unequivocally acknowledges the imperative of climate justice, Bishnoi said the deal based itself on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.”We are also happy that the Agreement differentiates between the actions of developed and developing countries across its elements,” he said as he expressed appreciation for efforts of French President Francois Hollande climate envoy Laurence Tubing and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.”The Paris Agreement has given a new hope and direction to our collective effort to address climate change. The COP-21 in P aris has marked a high point in what has been a defining year in multilateralism,” Bishnoi said.He noted that the Paris Agreement complements the 2030 Development Agenda and taken together, both the outcomes mark a new beginning for international cooperation to protect the health of the planet and ensure a life of dignity to all people.UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has termed the Paris Agreement “a health insurance policy for the planet”.

Shakur Basti row: Urban Development ministry asks DDA not to carry demolition drive in winter

The action follows the demolition drive by Railways in West Delhi’s Shakur Basti area where a seven-month-old infant was killed on Saturday, triggering a political storm over the incident.

People burning an effigy of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu during a protest over the demolition of a Shakur Basti slum, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Tuesday.

PTI
A day after a political slugfest broke out over slum demolition issue, Union urban development ministry directed the Delhi Development Authority to put a hold on all demolitions in the city till winter is over. The DDA has been told not to carry out any further demolition till the winter period is over, according to sources in the ministry.”DDA Chairman has been told to do the needful for banning all demolitions in the winter months. It has been done to prevent people from hardship during the winter months,” the sources added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The action follows the demolition drive by Railways in West Delhi’s Shakur Basti area where a seven-month-old infant was killed on Saturday, triggering a political storm over the incident. While the Railways said child had died before demolition, the AAP-led Delhi government claimed that the death took place during the drive.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had met Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday and got assurance that no further demolition on railway land will take place without rehabilitation of the affected persons.

1.5 million children in India die due to diarrhoea: Report

The report says that by 2015, the figure of malnutrition should have dropped to 26% as per the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) but the country fell short of the goal by 7%.

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Out of more than 35 million Indians who are affected by water-borne diseases annually, 1.5 million children die due to diarrhoea alone, a Centre for Science and Environment report revealed on Tuesday. The latest publication ‘Body Burden 2015- State of India’s Health’ which examines the linkage between environment and health quite comprehensively said that a number of public health catastrophes arising out of environmental reasons are staring the people of India in the face.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “The report informs that about 37.7 million Indians are affected by water-borne diseases annually. Around 1.5 million children die due to diarrhoea alone, and 73 million working days are lost due to water-borne illnesses each year. Estimates suggest India loses Rs 36,600 crore every year due to water-borne diseases,” CSE said.Referring to the connection between water and sanitation and malnutrition, the report says that by 2015, the figure of malnutrition should have dropped to 26% as per the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) but the country fell short of the goal by seven per cent. Notwithstanding the progress, CSE said that India still cannot answer why the malnutrition rate among its children is so high. “The world’s largest programme to tackle child malnutrition, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), has been in force in the country since 1975, much before any other country, save the US, introduced measures to tackle the problem,” points out the report. Noting that malnutrition is prevalent in comparatively richer states as well, the report indicates that higher income does not necessarily correlate with better health of children. “India loses over US $12 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies among its population. Malnutrition is not just about access to food. “Children who are constantly exposed to faecal microorganisms demonstrate Environmental Enteric Dysfunction or EED, where the gut becomes permeable and brings microbial products in contact with blood.” “This leads to activation of the immune system which down-regulates the growth factors in the body and leads to stunting. States like Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand where more people defecate in open, have more malnourished children, comparatively,” it said.

Crematorium near Taj: Supreme Court seeks ‘comprehensive plan’ from Uttar Pradesh government

The bench sought a response from the state government within six weeks on the issue after it informed the court that it has planned to promote the electric crematorium and make it’s use free from the next year for people to choose it over traditional method to lit funeral pyres.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to submit a comprehensive plan on reduction of carbon level near the Taj Mahal with the use of technology by modernising an 18th century crematorium near the world heritage site.A bench comprising Justices T S Thakur and C Nagappan took note of the submission of the state government that it would not be feasible to relocate the crematorium and rather asked the authorities to make people aware so that they use the electric crematorium.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bench sought a response from the state government within six weeks on the issue after it informed the court that it has planned to promote the electric crematorium and make it’s use free from the next year for people to choose it over traditional method to lit funeral pyres.The court, meanwhile, gave permission to the state government to fell 281 trees for widening of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway after the state assured it that it will plant 2800 trees as compensatory plantation as mandated by rules.The bench was hearing the matter after taking it into account a letter written by an apex court judge, Justice Kurien Joseph, pointing out that the Taj was under threat from pollution due to smoke emanating from the crematorium.On November 16, the apex court had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to consider shifting of the crematorium.It had noted that despite several previous orders to the Agra Nagar Nigam and Agra Development Authority, “nothing meaningful” has been done and the public crematorium continues to be at present location resulting in possible damage to the historic monument.Justice Joseph’s letter stated that he along with his family had visited the Taj in September. During his visit, he noted that the emissions arising from the cremation ground may damage the monument’s white marble.In his letter, Justice Joseph had also proposed that the authorities be directed to relocate the crematorium to some other place in order to protect the site.

Shakur Basti demolition: Kejriwal urged Suresh Prabhu to look into JJ dwellers issue in December 1 letter

In his letter to Prabhu dated December 1, Kejriwal assured that the Delhi Government will extend “full” co-operation for providing flats constructed under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for relocation of JJ dwellers

Shakur Basti demolition site

Image courtesy: ANI
Days before a fresh confrontation erupted between Delhi and the Centre over the death of a baby during an anti-encroachment drive by railways, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had written to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu urging him to look into the issue of rehabilitation of JJ dwellers staying along the rail track on “priority” basis.In his letter to Prabhu dated December 1, Kejriwal assured that the Delhi Government will extend “full” co-operation for providing flats constructed under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for relocation of JJ dwellers. “I would like to impress upon you to get the matter regarding rehabilitation of JJ dwellers squatting in the safety zone (15 metres on either sides of rail track) examined on priority.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) will extend full co-operation for providing flats constructed under JNNURM for relocation of these dwellers,” Kejriwal wrote. In the letter, the Delhi Chief Minister also drew Prabhu’s attention towards an old communication between the two regarding new Delhi Slum Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy, 2015, which is currently under Union Ministry of Urban Development’s examination.Kejriwal mentioned in the letter the issue of shifting six JJ clusters falling in the safety zone, which the Chief Minister said, is pending before Green Tribunal. “The Tribunal had sought appearances of DUSIB on October 7, 2015 (in the matter). Principal Secretary (Urban Development), Government of NCT of Delhi had convened two meetings on this issue on October 13 and November 9, 2015 to sort out the matter but it seems there are certain issues still to be decided at the Railway Board/Ministry level,” Kejriwal said in the letter.He further said Railways had deposited Rs 11.25 crore in the year 2003-04 for relocation of approximately 4,410 JJ dwellers but only 257 JJ dwellers could be rehabilitated as due to another court matter, the Slum and JJ Wing of MCD (now DUSIB) had to transfer approximately 8,000 developed plots for JJ dwellers to DDA on priority basis.”Now, DUSIB can adjust the amount already deposited by the Railways along with interest but rehabilitation can only be done as per the new/extant rehabilitation policy and at the cost of rehabilitation as per the policy,” the CM said. A fresh confrontation has erupted between Delhi government and Centre following death of a six-month-old baby in Shakur Basti area of West Delhi where the railways had undertaken a drive to remove encroachments yesterday. This had evoked angry protests from Kejriwal who wanted murder case to be registered.

Vasundhara Raje govt will complete 5 years and will again win: Amit Shah

Amit Shah and Vasundhara Raje also inaugurated online five out of seven new medical colleges with a grant of Rs 189 crore each in Barmer, Bhilwara, Dungarpur, Churu, and Pali.

BJP National President Amit Shah with Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje during the celebrations of completion of two years of Rajasthan government at Janpath in Jaipur on Sunday.

PTI
BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday patted both the party organisation and the government in Rajasthan for very good coordination and said the Vasundhara Raje government will not only complete five years successfully but will also win people’s mandate again.”As the President of BJP party, I must congratulate both Sangathan (organisation) and sarkar (government) for the public works they have done jointly in two years in Rajasthan”, Shah said at the launch of several schemes to celebrate the completion of second year of Raje’s government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Very good works are being under taken by the Raje government specially of Modi government’s schemes like Skill Development, Digital India, on power, agriculture sectors, and Swachh Bharat. It has set up an example in choosing four cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, and Ajmer too, besides giving boost to works in panchayats”, he said.”Desh mein Modi ki sarkar hai, Rajasthan mein Raje ki sarkar hai…dono jagah BJP ki sarkar hain…bahut achcha kaam ho raha hai…udharan pesh kar rahein hain (Modi government is at Centre, Raje government in Rajasthan.. BJP governments are at both places and setting up examples)”, he said.”The way the organisation and Raje government have worked jointly on public works in the Raje leadership and state President Ashok Parnami, it has set up a unique example in the country”, he exhorted.”In a similar way the organisation and government will serve people, I am sure the Raje government will complete five years successfully to serve people but will also get +jannadesh+ again and again. This is BJP’s tradition to win public mandate after every five years in the power,” he asserted.BJP in Rajasthan will fulfil the dreams and aspiration of public, Shah said. Reacting to Opposition Congress’ remark that nothing good happened during Raje government’s two year rule, Shah said, “I agree with former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who said nothing good happened in Rajasthan in last 2 years. Two things, scams and corruption have not occurred in Rajasthan in Raje government”.Challenging the Congress, Shah said let them see/watch today’s launching of dozens of schemes. This much public welfare programmes did not happened in last fifty years during the Congress rule. BJP won 163 out of 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan, then in the parliamentary polls won all the 25 MP seats in the state and later in civic bodies and panchayat polls the party won with huge mandate, Shah said.”By winning public mandate again and again in last two years in Rajasthan, it showed that Sangathan and Sarkar both are …. moving in the same direction”, he justified.Raje government has followed BJP’s slogan: Sabka Saath, Sabka vikas…and her government has proved it in principle and working, Shah said. Like Gujarat government, Raje government has also succeeded in providing 24 hours domestic power to people in entire state through Deedayal Gramin Vidhyut Yojna, he said.Shah and Raje also inaugurated online five out of seven new medical colleges with a grant of Rs 189 crore each in Barmer, Bhilwara, Dungarpur, Churu, and Pali. A number of irrigation and water supply schemes, national highway, SC/ST programmes were inaugurated. Laptops and scooty were distributed to students and girls for their merit at the function.Under Bhamasha Health Insurance Yojna which was launched today, poor patients would get cashless treatment at hospitals up to Rs 3 lakh, Raje said. Under RUIDP (Rajasthan Urban Improvement Development Programme) a sum of Rs 4200 crore would be spent on development works in 10 heritage towns and 24 cities where the population is standing between 50,000 and one lakh, she announced.A state level Urban Administration Training Institute would be set up in the state for newly elected representatives of civic bodies and nominated officers, Raje said. She said the Centre has approved a project on the pattern of MGNREGA, and it would be called “LIFE” (Livelihood In Full Employment).Reacting to a media survey on completion of 2 years and better performance by Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh governments, Raje said had she got three terms (15 years), the progress in Rajasthan would have been far better than the neighbouring states.Raje claimed about 6 lakh out of 15 lakh jobs promised in party manifesto have been given to unemployed youth in various sectors in last 2 years. Remaining jobs would be provided to unemployed youths in remaining three years with opening of new sectors, skill development and private companies, she said.Others who spoke on the occasion included state BJP President Ashok Parnami, BJP General Secretary Avinash Rai Khanna, Rajasthan Home Minister G C Kataria, and Industry Minister G S Kheenvsar.

National Herald case – Prove your charges against PMO: BJP to Rahul Gandhi

“He should come and give an explanation in the House, and should give the proof of what he is talking outside the House,” he added.

Taking strong exception to allegations levelled by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is oppressing the judiciary, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Wednesday asked Gandhi to ‘prove his claims’. “We would ask Rahul Gandhi, if he has courage enough; if he has a standing as a leader of his political party, he should come to Parliament and give the proof of the allegations that he has made against the judiciary, the government, and the PMO,” Rudy told the media.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He should come and give an explanation in the House, and should give the proof of what he is talking outside the House,” he added.Criticising the Congress vice president for being ‘instrumental in disrupting the House’, Rudy said, “After the court has taken some cognisance against him and Sonia Gandhi, they are trying to become heroes out of their charge against them.””At the same time, they don’t have enough courage to come inside the House and say what they are speaking to the television media,” he added. “The friends of the Congress Party haven’t mustered enough courage to go down and speak in Parliament to place the issues,” he added. The Congress vice president termed the National Herald Case proceedings ‘political vendetta’. This is pure political vendetta coming out of the PMO. It is their way of doing politics… I have full faith in the legal system.”

Senior TMC leader asks party workers to show ‘restrain’ ahead of Assembly elections

Chatterjee, the Education minister, said while during the Left Front regime 32 colleges had come up in the state in the over three-decade long period, 30 colleges were established during the four and half year period of TMC government.

Partha Chatterjee

File Photo
Trinamool Congress (TMC) Secretary-General Partha Chatterjee on Saturday asked party activists to be restrained and be prepared to face the big challenge in the crucial time, ahead of assembly elections.”In our effort to reach out to people, everyone should be united. We must take everyone along us. We should not put the party in embarrassing situation,” Chatterjee told party workers here in South 24 Parganas district.He asked TMC workers not to bring out ‘jatha’ (rally) the same day of the CPI(M) procession “in the respective locality and rather bring it out the next day and thus not give them the chance.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chatterjee, the Education minister, said while during the Left Front reg ime 32 colleges had come up in the state in the over three-decade long period, 30 colleges were established during the four and half year period of TMC government. Even these included one for women, he added.Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim said while CPI(M) and Congress were having alliances, TMC will never go for any track with those who were responsible for the Nandigram ‘killings’ and Singur attack.Abhisek Banerjee, the national President of All India Trinamool Youth Congress, said by the name of taking ‘jathas’ CPI(M) was aiming to capture villages.State President of TMC Subrata Bakshi said people knew the party whose leader went on a fast for 26 days on Singur issue, will always remain on their side. “We had held 109 administrative meetings in four years time,” Bakshi said. The leaders were addressing a party workers’ meeting in Canning.

Cidco launches its own smart-city project

The corporation plans to develop eight nodes under the project. They are Kharghar, Kamothe, New Panvel, Kalamboli, Ulwe, Taloja, Dronagiri and Pushpak Nagar.

The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) launched its smart-city project on Friday in Vashi in the presence of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.The corporation plans to develop eight nodes under the project. They are Kharghar, Kamothe, New Panvel, Kalamboli, Ulwe, Taloja, Dronagiri and Pushpak Nagar.Since Cidco is a town planning agency and not a municipal body, its nodes could not be included in the central government’s project. Hence, Cidco has decided to develop its own smart city.The corporation will spend around Rs 2,000 crore on the project and it will be self-financed. “We are using land as a source for financial self-sustainability,” said Sanjay Bhatia, vice-chairman and managing director, Cidco.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Free broadband services and computers to all zilla parishad schools and 55,000 homes for the economically weaker section at a cost of Rs 10,700 crore are the other highlights of the project.

Commendable job done by disaster-hit Chennai residents: Venkaiah Naidu

Naidu added that things were improving, but the real problem would start once the water receded and the health hazards and causalities would be known.

AFP
Complementing the people of Chennai for the resilience that they have shown in confronting their worst natural calamity after record breaking rains, Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said it has done a commendable job and has demonstrated a good example to the nation. “The tragedy is huge, any amount of help may not suffice as the government of India also has some limitations. Chennai is seeing a rare calamity of severe nature. The entire country needs to help the state. I am very thankful and particularly complement the people of Chennai for the resilience they have shown. All sections of the community have come forward and have done a commendable job. They have shown a good example to others as well,” Naidu told media here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Naidu added that things were improving, but the real problem would start once the water receded and the health hazards and causalities would be known. “The Army, Navy, Air Force, everyone is doing their duty and I have been in constant touch with the defence minister. Defence airplanes and Naval ships have been deployed. Air India is also making a special drive to transport stranded passenger to different places. This process will go on.. Govt of India is in constant touch with the state,” he said while talking about the rescue operations being undertaken.With rainfall easing from Wednesday night in Chennai, there has been some relief for the marooned people. However, normal life continues to be affected in Chennai, its suburbs and nearby districts. Relief agencies are working round the clock as water has flooded people’s homes, roads and offices and people sheltered in relief camps and stranded on rooftops. Rainfall has decreased compared to Wednesday. Due to less rain, water level has come down in many areas. And relief workers have been fanning out to more and more flooded places. But overflowing lakes and breaches in embankments have resulted in people being forced out of their homes. Overflowing lakes in Mudichur, Vardarajpuram, West Tambaram, Manickam have led to flooding in those areas and movement of vehicles has come to a standstill. Thousands of homes and offices are deluged and normal life has been badly affected.

December 16 gangrape: Youngest convict won’t walk free, to be sent into custody of NGO, say reports

The convict who is now 21, will be in the custody of an NGO for a year and take vocational training,

File Photo

dna Research & Archives
The youngest convict in the 2012 Delhi gang rape case that shook the conscience of the nation, who was a minor at the time he committed the crime, will walk out of the special home on December 22, but will not be free.The convict who is now 21, will be in the custody of an NGO for a year and take vocational training, says an NDTV report. The Delhi Police had earlier wanted to invoke the National Security Act against the youth, to keep him from being released.Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had said a few days ago that she had written to the home ministry demanding that sex offenders be tracked after their release.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: December 16 rapist walks free: Maneka Gandhi advocates close watch on ‘juvenile’ accused”You know the issue is not of that particular individual, the point is that I have written to the home ministry saying that there should a tweaking of the law in which every person accused of sexual abuse, who has served a time and has come out should have to report to the police station and he should be monitored,” Maneka Gandhi had said.The parents of the woman, who died two weeks after being gangraped, had demanded that the convict’s ‘face be shown to society’ so that people know he is a dangerous criminal.The family had petitioned the home ministry, courts and the National Human Rights Commission to stop the convict’s release. In 2013, he had been sentenced to three years in a remand home, being a minor at the time of the incident.Related Read: Parents of December 16 gangrape victim want juvenile’s face be shown before releaseThe Union home ministry had in October decided to call a meeting of top officials to take a decision on whether to release or not the then-juvenile convict.The home ministry was in a fix what to do with the juvenile convict amid reports that he has turned a radical Islamic hardliner during his stay in the rehabilitation centre where he was indoctrinated by one Abid, a juvenile Kashmiri militant.

India ‘will cut coal for climate cash’

India will cut back its skyrocketing use of coal if sufficient cash for renewables emerges from a Paris deal, says a senior negotiator.

KVs will teach Spanish, French, Mandarin, German as additional foreign languages

Senior officials said that in a recent meeting, it has been decided KV students should be allowed to study these four languages as additional languages keeping in mind their importance as they are spoken by large populations globally.

Kendriya Vidyalaya students who wish to study Spanish, French, Mandarin or German as an additional language will be able to opt for these provided there are at least 15 students who wish to pursue the same.Senior officials said that in a recent meeting, it has been decided KV students should be allowed to study these four languages as additional languages keeping in mind their importance as they are spoken by large populations globally. Senior officials confirmed that a decision to allow the teaching of these foreign languages in KVs has been taken in a recent meeting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier on Monday, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani had also said that students from classes VI to VIII of KVs who are desirous of learning German are allowed to study it as an additional subject provided at least 15 or more students in a school opt for the same. The HRD Ministry had also signed a Joint Declaration of Intent with the Federal Foreign Office of Germany in October, which aims at promotion of teaching of German as an additional foreign language and also teaching of modern Indian languages in German institutions.

On Day 2 of Climate Summit, India holds its ground

It was important for India and the developing nations to have access to “financial support and technological access” so as to accelerate the pace of their efforts, to achieve results quicker.

AFP
India, on the second day of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), Paris, stood its ground as a voice for the energy needs of the developing nations, even as French President Francois Hollande seemed to back it in his speech.Speaking at the opening of the Leader’s Event segment on the first day of the 21st meeting, Hollande, heavily invested in the success of these talks, said that the agreement that emerged from Paris should be universal but differentiated and binding, where “developed countries must take the lead and developing countries must be supported in adapting”. “Hence, the need to finance climate actions,” he said, highlighting the developed world’s historical responsibility as having emitted the greenhouse gases for years.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hollande also said that finance needed to be cleared for technology transfer, enabling the developing nations to have easier and cheaper access to clean energy. This is what India has been demanding, as laid out by India’s chief negotiator Ajay Mathur, in a video interview in Paris. The agreement, he said must protect the interests of millions of people in India, and ensure “adequate affordable energy” to increase the quality of life, especially of communities such as farmers and fishermen, who live by the coast.It was important for India and the developing nations to have access to “financial support and technological access” so as to accelerate the pace of their efforts, to achieve results quicker.Mathur also called on countries to submitted periodic Intended Nationally determined Contributions (INDCs), each “more ambitious” than the last. This in the light of the fact the current INDCs will fall short of limiting global warming to below 2 degree celsius. He called on the developed countries to “enhance” their INDCs for 2030, and for a global stocktaking that would point the countries in the right direction for the next set of INDCs.The key was, Mathur said, that no country should be able to walk out of their commitments of goals, as many did when they found they could not fulfill the goals of the Kyoto Protocol. There has been talk of Paris exploring a legal binding on countries to fulfill their INDCs, currently a voluntary commitment.However, the talk of freeing up finances for developing nations also touched a nerve with India. Hollande spoke of the $100 billion that rich nations had pledged at the Copenhagen summit in 2009 (COP15), as financial assistance by 2020, to cut greenhouse emissions. He said that in Paris, financial resources must be freed and guarantees on their sources and availability must be provided for developing nations. Last year, a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said that $60 billion had already been mobilised through various institutions. This India has found flawed. At the ADP2 spin off session on Monday, India claimed to be not amused by these claims.Some of the ill-will India garnered after the Copenhagen talks failed, for being “obstructionist” seemed to have continued as an undercurrent in Paris, as the developed world continues to see India as having taken an “uncompromising position” as labelled by the New York Times. However, India has staked out its role as sharing energy with the rest of the developing world, with the first meeting of the steering committee of the International Solar Alliance held today. Twenty two nations from Asia, Africa and the Americas participated, and the next meeting is be held in Abu Dhabi.

Mumbai Central chawl dwellers take redevelopment upon themselves

What’s more, even the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has agreed to accept their proposal. The property in question is a Bombay Improvement Trust (BIT) chawl.

The BIT chawl in Mumbai Central
Emmanual Karbhari

Redevelopment is DIY (Do It Yourself) stuff. Over 1,000 residents from a Mumbai Central chawl are getting ready to show us all how. When they do it, it will be real-estate history.Fed up with dubious developers, cheating, forgery and delays, the residents have decided to redevelop the Bellasis Road property on their own.What’s more, even the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has agreed to accept their proposal. The property in question is a Bombay Improvement Trust (BIT) chawl.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have been struggling with developers for almost a decade. So, we thought of this move. We will submit our proposal to the BMC soon, along with the consent of residents,” said activist Santosh Daundkar of the BIT Chawl Seva Sangh. The residents have called for a special general body meeting on Sunday.Most of the 1,074 tenants, occupying 19 buildings, have lived here for generations and don’t want to leave the prime locality.”Of the 19, three buildings are occupied by policemen and three others by BMC staffers. Once we get formal approval, we will go for tendering and redevelop the property in a transparent manner. Each tenant will also get a corpus fund of around Rs 6 lakh. We will appoint a top firm to undertake the redevelopment,” Daundkar said. Normally, when a developer undertakes redevelopment, tenants only get a bigger flat and no profits. In this case, the redevelopment firm will only charge a flat rate, leaving the profits for the tenants.Right now, there are common toilets on each floor.After redevelopment, each tenant, owning a 180 sq-ft room, will get a one-room self-contained flat of 500 sq ft.The residents are aided by structural engineer Chandrashekhar and IPS-officer-turned-lawyer YP Singh, who will look after the legal aspects.”Tenants can even make a good profit if they redevelop the chawl themselves. There will be no illegalities or irregularities, which is, usually, the case when developers step in,” Singh said.BMC officials said that a society of residents could redevelop a chawl. “The redevelopment will happen under Section 33(7) of the Development Control Rules. If their proposal fits the bill and gets 70% consent, they can redevelop. However, other developers will also be eligible. It will be open to all,” said Kishore Kshirsagar, deputy municipal commissioner (estates).The redevelopment of the massive complex has been mired in controversy, with allegations of corruption and bogus documents being raised.”Redevelopment of other BIT chawls is also stuck due to developers,” said Daundkar.”If our project is successful, it will set a new trend. Tenants in other societies will also go for self-redevelopment, instead of being at the mercy of developers,” he said.Hope developers are listening.

Intolerance Debate – Questioning secularism is a fundamental threat: Jairam Ramesh

Ramesh said, “Communal ideologies that speak with mask of development was the other threat faced by the country.”

“If India is not secular, it becomes a mirror image of Pakistan”, he said.

Congress leader and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday made a scathing attack on BJP for terming secularism as “most misused word” and said questioning secularism was a fundamental threat to the Indian republic and constitution. Referring to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s ‘secularism’ remarks in Parliament on Thursday, Ramesh said “India is defined by secularism. If India is not secular, it becomes a mirror image of Pakistan”.Speaking at a seminar on ‘Growing intolerance and threat to secularism’ here, the Congress leader noted, “Secularism is part of our constitution. The day, we drop the word ‘secularism’, I think we will be destroying the very foundation of Indian republic.” Coming down heavily on the Narendra Modi government, Ramesh said, “Communal ideologies that speak with mask of development was the other threat faced by the country.” “Leaders will come and speak the language of development. I do not have to name those leaders. You all know whom I am referring to. They speak of development, but bottom line is practise of communal polarisation. So it is this mask of development that pose a threat”, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a dig at BJP for its drubbing at Bihar assembly polls, Ramesh said, “People of Bihar saw the threat. Bihar showed that they could see through the mask of development. Certain communal organisations wear the mask of development and say we believe in strong India, we believe in 8 per cent GDP growth, we believe in development of India. All this sounds well. But, fundamentally the DNA is communal”, he said. The Congress leader asserted that all types of communalism had to be fought, whether it was majority or minority. “I do no distinguish between Hindu communalism, Muslim communalism, Christian communalism and Sikh communalism.Communalism is dangerous and pose a threat to the country,” he said, adding a political party that misuse religion for political purposes is a communal party.Without directly referring to the debate on a uniform civil code, Ramesh said unity of India is not equal to uniformity. “Unity yes…Uniformity no. Because India is a country defined by several religions, 500 languages, numerous regions, 29 states, 5,000 communities. India is not just unity in diversity, but unity through diversity”, he said. “What communal ideologies want is uniformity and that is not what India needs”, he added.

City of Light comes to City of Joy: 55-metre replica of Eiffel Tower to be built in Kolkata

Kolkata: A 55-metre replica of the Eiffel Tower in being planned at the Eco Park in the smart city New Town.

The replica of the tower would come up in the Eco Park and is expected to be a major tourist attraction, West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (HIDCO) chairman Debashis Sen told PTI.

The project planned in the satellite city would take about three years to complete after its work order is issued and nearly 300 tonne of steel would be required to build it, HIDCO officials said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is laying the foundation stone of the project today in presence of the Consul General of France in Kolkata.

ReutersReuters

Reuters

Officials said that it would also be an expression of solidarity towards world peace and pay tribute to the 129 victims of the November 13 terror attack in the French capital.

“With its completion, tourists can have a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower without going to Paris,” Sen said, adding, “The spot has been identified to showcase Bengal’s outstanding artworks drawing attention of the tourists from the country and abroad.”

He said the tower would be a giant steel structure with a height of an 18-storey building.

“We could have tried and constructed an exact replica if the location had not been close to the glide path of the flights landing and taking off from NSC Bose International Airport,” Sen said.

“The Tower will have two tiers where people can go up and stand to catch a glimpse of the town below,” the HIDCO chairman said.

“The viewing gallery will be at a height of 25 m and two lits will be there to carry the passengers. The base of the structure would rest on 650 sq ft,” Sen said.

The project was conceived by the HIDCO recently and the West Bengal government immediately gave its clearance.

“We will float a tender soon to select the agency that will build the structure,” the HIDCO chairman said.

“This will be the first such prototype of the Eiffel Tower in India and its architectural designs are worked out by the Institute for Steel Development and Growth,” Sen said.

One of the wonders of the modern world, the 324-m Eiffel Tower is the most popular tourist attraction in Paris.

The City of Joy has already got a replica of the famous London tower ‘Big Ben’ developed by South Dum Dum Municipality as a permanent structure.

The 90 ft tall tower stands at the busy junction of Lake Town-VIP Road crossing since October last.

PTI

Move over Bhajji, this is the new Slapgate: Slap Aamir Khan and get Rs 1 lakh reward, offers Shiv Sena

As if the hullaballoo over Aamir Khan’s remarks hadn’t spiralled enough out of control, the Shiv Sena’s Punjab unit (be honest, how many of you actually knew the Sena even had a Punjab unit?) has gone one step further and announced a reward of Rs one lakh for each slap landed on the actor.

That’s right, the party’s Punjab chairman Rajeev Tandon made the announcement during a protest outside Ludhiana’s MDB Radisson Blu, where Aamir is staying for the ongoing shoot of his upcoming film Dangal, reports The Indian Express.

Before this turned into a nationwide slap-a-thon, Tandon was quick to clarify the terms and conditions of his ‘Slap Aamir’ contest.

The report quoted him as saying, “We give an opportunity to the manager and employees of the hotel and also the team of his film to slap Aamir and get Rs 1 lakh from us. The courageous and patriotic persons who will slap Aamir Khan in Ludhiana will get Rs 1 lakh reward per slap from us.”

To recap: You have to be a manager or employee of the hotel, or from his film team to qualify for the reward. Also, slapping undertaken in Ludhiana will be honoured.

That’s Madhuri Dixit out of contention, then:

It’s possible that being ‘courageous and patriotic’ is also a prerequisite, but that’s likely also the catch.

Never mind patriotism, would a courageous person slap someone for expressing an opinion?

Keeping it classy as always, the Sena mouthpiece Saamana carried an article accusing the actor of having become a ‘self-appointed mullah’. The piece goes on to add that “such persons already enjoy too much freedom”. And of course, there were the usual refrains of “Go to Pakistan”, which actually merit a bit of investigation.

Could it be that the Shiv Sena is the covert PR wing for the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation?

If that’s not something you want to wrap your minds around, here are some tweets in response to ‘Slap Aamir’ contest:

Modi government gets set for legislative business for upcoming winter session

The Modi government decided on the priorities in a recent held inter-ministerial meeting to discuss legislative priorities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
File Photo
Getty Images
Forced to eat its own recipe of disruptions in parliament proceedings by the opposition, the BJP led NDA government is planning to execute a carefully drafted legislative business plan for the upcoming winter session that begins on November 26. Though the government plans to pursue 20 bills for passage, top on the agenda are the GST, Negotiable Instruments, Payment of Bonus Amendment, Anti-Hijacking and the Carriage by Air, and Real Estate Bills that the PMO thinks are a hindrance to the development and delivery plank. The BJP may also issue whip to all its MPs to be present in both the houses to match opposition’s lung power.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Modi government decided on the priorities in a recent held inter-ministerial meeting to discuss legislative priorities. The idea is to put bills of immediate and universal urgency ahead of others so that the opposition cannot bring any logjam and any such attempt is viewed as against the national interest.The government note prepared during the meet said that two bills of Ministry of Civil Aviation- the Anti-Hijacking Bill and the Carriage by Air Bill- is the top priority. The Anti-Hijacking Bill which will include death penalty for hijacking is pending in Rajya Sabha while the Carriage by Air Bill is pending in Lok Sabha. The government wants to state its tough stand towards terrorism by these two bills and thinks that any opposition to these two bills will give it a high moral authority in the current scenario riddled with ISIS crisis.The government has also made up its mind not to withdraw the Negotiable Instruments Bill, 2015 and would push for its passing in Rajya Sabha during the winter session. The bill seeks to reduce the pendency of the cheque bouncing cases and was passed by Lok Sabha. In the meantime, government brought an ordinance in September. Ministry of Finance, which is piloting the bill, said, “Once it is passed by Rajya Sabha, the bill to be returned to Lok Sabha with amendments regarding ordinance.”Ministry of Law and Justice headed by Sadanadna Gowda has been asked to draft the High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2015 as its top priority. Two other bills-Arbitration and Conciliation and Commercial Courts- to replace ordinance is also on top of the agenda of the government.The government is also planning to get the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) bill cleared in the winter session. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty alleviation has already incorporated the amendments as suggested by the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha and awaiting PM’s nod. The bill aims to establish the Real Estate Regulatory Authority for regulation and promotion of the real estate sector and to ensure sale of plot, apartment or building as the case may be, in an efficient and transparent manner and to protect the interest of consumers in the housing sector.Besides, five bills have already been drafted and cabinet approval obtained by the concerned ministries. The note said Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015, to transfer the authority to regulate ‘Potable Alcohol’ to states and the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill to facilitate achieving the goals of making arbitration process more party-friendly , cost effective and timely disposal of arbitration cases, is ready to be pursued by the government.Incidentally, government has decided not to pursue legislative business related to Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health, Department of Ayush, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Minority Affairs as bills piloted by these Ministries are not on the priority list of Modi government.

India test-fires indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile off Odisha coast

The ‘kill’ effect of the interceptor was being ascertained by analysing data from multiple tracking sources,” a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist said soon after the test was carried out.

DRDO logo

As part of efforts to develop a full fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system, India today test-fired its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile, from a test range off Odisha coast.”The test was conducted to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode,” said defence sources. The interceptor, known as Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile, was engaged against an electronically prepared target which simulated the trajectory of a hostile ballistic missile.After getting signals from tracking radars, the interceptor, positioned at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island), roared through its trajectory at around 0946 hrs to destroy the incoming missile mid-air, in an endo-atmospheric altitude, defence sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ‘kill’ effect of the interceptor was being ascertained by analysing data from multiple tracking sources,” a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist said soon after the test was carried out. The interceptor is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator, the sources said.The interceptor missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars, the sources said.

India test-fires indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile

Balasore: As part of efforts to develop a full fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system, India on Sunday test-fired its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile, from a test range off Odisha coast.

Representational image. Agencies

Representational image. Agencies

“The test was conducted to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode,” said defence sources.

The interceptor, known as Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile, was engaged against an electronically prepared target which simulated the trajectory of a hostile ballistic missile.

After getting signals from tracking radars, the interceptor, positioned at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island), roared through its trajectory at around 9.46 am to destroy the incoming missile mid-air, in an endo-atmospheric altitude, defence sources said.

The ‘kill’ effect of the interceptor was being ascertained by analysing data from multiple tracking sources,” a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist said soon after the test was carried out.

The interceptor is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator, the sources said.

The interceptor missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking andhoming capabilities and sophisticated radars, the sources said.

PTI

Vaccines and their critical role in realising the vision of a developed India

Given the enormity of India’s development task and its proclaimed reliance on its demography, it is in India’s best interests to ensure that a comprehensive preventive approach, which includes new vaccines against both, pneumonia and diarrhoea – the largest killers of India’s children under the age of five- is judiciously adopted.

Polio vaccination drop being given to a child.

File Photo
India is firmly vested in the belief that robust economic growth is the key to development. To this end, we have the new economic vision – Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, Smart Cities, Jan Dhan Yojana (banking the unbanked), cooperative federalism and efforts to increase the ease of doing business. Interestingly, a common thread runs through all of these policies set to put India on it’s chartered path – its reliance on a productive demography.India’s new vision rests on the hope that its demographic profile translates into a demographic ‘dividend’. This assumes that the young will grow healthy, get an education, gather skills, and remain in good health and high productivity through their middle years to retirement. It is this equation that is sine qua non to India’s development optimism.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>But therein also lies the challenge.Each year over 12 lakh children in India still don’t make it to their fifth birthdays. Diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea, the leading killers of children under the age of five, claim nearly 800 lives every day. What’s more, being exposed to these diseases increases children’s risk of malnutrition making survival even more difficult, let alone allowing them to flourish into able-bodied productive citizens.Presuming the children do survive these initial horrors, the effects of such early afflictions cause substantial long-term consequences. The early and repeated onslaught of these diseases negatively impacts even the cognitive development in children, thereby rendering them unable to grow into a healthy, productive adults, and keeping them trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty.Research has long established that tools such as vaccines are a vital component of early childhood interventions that, in addition to preventing the onset of infections among children, can help improve education, health and economic outcomes. However, several Indian children, often those most vulnerable to these diseases, are unable to access these vaccines because they are not on the national programme and only available on the private market at prohibitive prices. In fact, many children in hard to reach areas and from poor communities do not receive even the vaccines that are available through the programme.Related read: Vaccination will never die, says infectious disease specialist Neha ParanjapeAs a paediatrician, I am moved to believe that access to vaccines can be that life-affirming sentence of social justice, permitting each child an equal shot at life. Moreover, by preventing disease, vaccines reduce healthcare costs and avert lost productivity. One study estimated that by introducing and scaling up coverage of just three vaccines—Hib, PCV, and rotavirus—India could realise Rs. 3621.4 crore each year in economic benefits and avert a large number of needless child deaths.The government certainly recognises the positive and disproportionate impact vaccines can have on its public health system and has been doing its utmost to ensure that crucial life-saving vaccines become available and accessible. In July 2014, the government announced its plans to expand the national immunisation programme to introduce four new vaccines including one against rotavirus diarrhoea. This year, the government also endeavoured to strengthen the reach of its immunisation programme so that all children are fully immunised. The Mission Indradhanush campaign is targeting 201 districts with the largest numbers of unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children across the country. Gauging from the achievements of the first phase, this campaign needs to be looked at as a substantial gain for India’s public health system.Good immunisation coverage rate is a critical indicator of a robust healthcare infrastructure and also helps indicate results for equity, human rights and child survival. Global experience suggests immunisation coverage is almost proxy for the health of communities and countries. In fact, for the health-related Goal 3 of the recently ratified Sustainable Development Goals, there is growing consensus in the health community that an immunisation indicator will deftly help monitor progress on several health targets.And as we know, well begun is half done.Given the enormity of India’s development task and its proclaimed reliance on its demography, it is in India’s best interests to ensure that a comprehensive preventive approach, which includes new vaccines against both, pneumonia and diarrhoea—the largest killers of India’s children under the age of five—is judiciously adopted. This approach must include complementary interventions such as breastfeeding, nutrition, safe drinking water, handwashing, hygiene, reducing indoor air pollution and zinc supplementation. The ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’ is that important initiative complementing this work.Having its hopes pinned on a demographic dividend is no stretch of India’s collective imagination. More than half of India’s population is under the age of 25 years and 65% of the population is below the age of 35. Globally, every fifth person below 25 years of age is an Indian. At the current rate, India will retain the bulk of its young and middle-aged population for the next two decades. This is the cohort that will usher India to great heights.There is no replacement for a healthy start to life and India’s children need to remain protected against all diseases preventable by vaccines, especially for the country to sustain the trajectory of growth till 2040. Its demographic profile will in fact only translate into a ‘dividend’ if this young workforce is appropriately empowered, and good health is a critical component of this package of empowerment.The country has to assume leadership to ensure that it continues to prioritise all steps necessary to prevent disease and death in our young ones and that essentially includes both existing and new vaccines. We will need to dedicate adequate financial and technical resources to do this. For the rest, we must continue to support our leaders as they work out this equation.
Prof. Narendra K Arora is the Executive Director of the International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN) Trust. He has been involved as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator in almost 50 major research projects funded by national and international agencies.

Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh’s selfie with Kareena Kapoor Khan draws Congress’ flak

CM Singh who was the chief guest in the programme was caught on camera taking selfie with Kareena while sitting on the stage.

Image Courtesy: Unicef India

Chief Minister Raman Singh on Friday drew severe flak from the Congress over taking selfie with Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor Khan during a programme here.The main opposition Congress accused the Chief Minister of being insensitive towards the incidents of farmers’ suicide in the state and engaged in taking pictures with a Bollywood star.Kareena, who is the UNICEF India celebrity advocate, was a special guest in a programme based on child rights at the state capital Raipur jointly organised by Unicef and state’s School Education and Women and Child Development Departments.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CM Singh who was the chief guest in the programme was caught on camera taking selfie with Kareena while sitting on the stage.”More than a dozen farmers, distressed with drought situation (in the current Kharif crop season), have so far committed suicide in the state. Instead of expressing concern for them, CM was busy in taking selfie with a film star,” state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel said.He further questioned CM, what he wanted to prove by taking selfie with Kareena Kapoor.Meanwhile, a senior administrative official pointed out that the CM usually clicks pictures with children and guests during his programmes and today also he did the same.As many as 31 meritorious girl students and 5 teachers from 36 schools were felicitated with “Chhattisgarh Ratna” in the programme.

Smriti Irani booed at summit after saying women in India not dictated over dressing

New Delhi: Women in India are not told what to wear and how to wear what, union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani said in New Delhi on Friday.

In a packed hall at the Women in the World Summit, India, the minister was booed by the audience after she made the statement saying: “Women in India are not told what to wear. They are not dictated how to wear any thing.”

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTIUnion HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

In the audience which included veteran journalists, filmmakers, civil society members, international figures like US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Irani was left spell-bounded to her statement.

While in conversation with media personality Tina Brown, she was asked about the growing intolerance issue in the country and the returning of awards, Irani resorted to the “freedom” of Indian women.

“I think that these challenges and push and pulls are part and parcel of each and every country in the world,” she said.

On being asked why she chose Bharatiya Janata Party as her career stream in politics, she said: “I am from a swayamsevak ideological family background, so I chose this party to begin my career with.”

Irani also mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi as being her biggest mentor.

“Modiji has trusted me a lot. He has helped me to look into my audacity in politics.”

IANS

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Check nabard.org for NABARD Admit Card 2015

Admit card for Development Assistant exam scheduled on November 28, conducted by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development ( NABARD) is available now.Candidates are required to keep their Application, Registration Number etc handy for downloading admit card. Candidates should download their admit card and keep it for future reference. To access the admit card, candidates need to use this link https://www.nabard.org/english/career.aspx<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

RSS leader Indresh Kumar says Jawaharlal Nehru was not a patriot at all

Speaking at a teachers’ training programme on nation building through higher education at the Centre for Professional Development in Higher Education, Delhi University, Kumar said that Bhagat Singh and KB Hedgewar were true soldiers of India, whose contribution to the freedom struggle has remained lesser known.

Post Chikki row, new policy on item purchase in place, says Bombay HC told

As per the policy, the process of e-tendering has been made compulsory for any and every purchase.

He added that before any purchase is made prior approval of the state government is a must.

In view of allegations that sub-standard ‘chikki’ was supplied to government schools in Maharashtra, the state today told the Bombay High Court that a new policy has been formed which sets out procedures to be followed before purchasing such items. Advocate General Shrihari Aney informed a division bench of justices V M Kanade and Revati Mohite Dere that a government resolution dated October 30 has been issued setting up a policy ‘Manual of Office Procedure for Purchase of Stores by Government Department’. “Under the policy several categories have been formed setting out procedures that will have to be followed by the state departments before purchasing any items. Financial constraints have been set so as to reduce any allegation of corruption,” Aney said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the policy, the process of e-tendering has been made compulsory for any and every purchase. “If the purchase is between Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000 per annum then e-tenders will have to be issued. If the purchase is between Rs three lakh to Rs one crore then quotations will have to be called before issuing tenders,” Aney said. He added that before any purchase is made prior approval of the state government is a must. “Proposals for any purchase will have to be submitted before February 15 every year and the same will have be sanctioned by the government before March 15. No sanctions will be given after March 15,” the advocate general said.The HC was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Sandeep Ahire and others seeking an inquiry by a retired High Court judge into the alleged Rs 206 crore ‘chikki scam’, for which Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde had come under fire. The court today sought to know if any inquiry was set up by the government in the alleged ‘chikki scam’ to which Aney said no inquiry as such was ordered but the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration had conducted checks on the quality of the ‘chikki’ and found it to be fine.The court has now posted the petition for hearing on December 10.

Dhingra Commission will submit its report soon on Vadra land deal: Manohar Lal Khattar

The Commission was to probe subsequent transfer or disposal of the lands, allegations of private enrichment, ineligibility of beneficiaries under the rules, and other connected matters, bringing Vadra land deal under the scanner.

Justice SN Dhingra Commission, which is making inquiries into grant of land licences to some companies including that of Robert Vadra’s in four villages of Gurgaon, will soon submit its report, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said today. He said all “wrongdoings” of previous government would be made public and alleged scams, involving crores of rupees, be exposed so that the hard-earned money of the people could be returned in through development.Facts were being collected and those found guilty would be brought to book, he said adding that about 18 to 20 cases of corruption have come to the State government’s notice. Khattar said, of the three such cases, two have been handed over to the CBI. “The (Justice Dhingra) Commission would soon submit its report to the state government,” he said while addressing a public meeting after laying foundation stone of Government College for Women at village Alewa in the district. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Khattar government had in May appointed one-man Commission of Inquiry to probe about alleged irregularities in grant of license(s) by the Department of Town and Country Planning to some companies, including that of son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi Robert Vadra’s, in Sector 83 of Gurgaon for developing commercial colonies. The Commission was to probe subsequent transfer or disposal of the lands, allegations of private enrichment, ineligibility of beneficiaries under the rules, and other connected matters, bringing Vadra land deal under the scanner. Notably, BJP had made land deals under the previous Congress regime in Haryana a major poll issue during the last year’s election alleging that rules were relaxed to favour a few including Vadra.The Commission was to submit its report to the government within six months from the date of its first sitting. Khattar, whose government completed one year in office a fortnight ago, further said during the Congress regime “people had witnessed a fragmented Haryana”. He said a White paper on the economic condition of the previous government released prior to the first budget session disclosed that there was a huge difference in per capita income of two districts sharing borders. “While annual per capita income of Gurgaon district was Rs 4.40 lakh, it was only Rs 40,000 in Mewat district. If Gurgaon could be developed why not Mewat,” he pointed out. He attacked previous governments, without taking names of the chief ministers representing those areas, saying there were times when the development of only Bhiwani (Bansi Lal) was ensured, then of Hisar (Bhajan Lal), then Sirsa (Om Prakash Chautala) and later Rohtak (Bhupinder Singh Hooda). Khattar said he was not criticising the development taking place in these districts, but if that had been carried out in all districts, all-round development of the State could have been ensured. Taking a dig at opposition parties for criticising his government, he said, they have no issues to raise, therefore, their leaders were allegedly making baseless statements.Referring to the statement made by Leader of Opposition, Abhay Chautala, regarding INLD’s rally at Rohtak on November 1, Khattar said the Sonipat rally of the BJP organised on November 5 was much bigger in terms of attendance, in spite of being rally of only eight districts while that of the INLD was a state-level rally. The Chief Minister said during the last one year, “the State government covered pits dug by the previous government, be it nepotism in government jobs or corruption and lopsided development.”Asserting that complete transparency would be ensured in the recruitment process, he said advertisement has been issued for 50,000 posts and the recruitment process would be complete in the coming year to meet the requirement for employees in various government departments. Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Birender Singh, said “those who looted the farmers during their tenure were now posing as their well-wishers”. He said before pointing the fingers at the present government they should first introspect themselves.Singh, who joined BJP in August last year ending his 42 year association with Congress, said, during the previous Congress regime in the state, “about 20,000 acre land of poor farmers had been acquired and released to the builders and colonisers at throwaway prices”. Singh alleged that the previous government had done injustice with Jind district and urged the Chief Minister to ensure its development on priority basis. Speaking on the occasion, Haryana Agriculture Minister, O P Dhankar said the government would take the district on the path of development at rapid pace “as it has lagged behind during the tenure of the previous governments”.He said the government had ordered special girdawari (revenue survey) in the State to assess the damage caused to the cotton, bajra and guar crops due to whitefly attack. Dhankar said the affected farmers would get compensation for crop loss within the next three weeks. Earlier, Khattar laid the foundation stones of five projects, Government College for Women, worth Rs 64 crore in Jind district today.Addressing a gathering after laying foundation stone of Government College for Women at village Alewa in Jind, Khattar said while Jind is the centre point of Haryana, the district has always remained neglected in terms of development. The Chief Minister said in past one year his government has inititated development projects which were more than those initiated in the last 40 years.Stressing that his government was committed to ensure uniform development of the State by rising above the party politics, he said priority in development would be given to those districts which have so far been lagging behind. He also said that a college for women would be established at every 20-km in the state so that girls would not have to travel far to get higher education. The Chief Minister said this during the annual function of SD College at Uchana in the district.He said it was necessary to provide quality education to youth for the state’s development. “In future, this distance would be reduced to 10 km,” according to an official release here. The Chief Minister said with a view to improve level of education, the government has prepared a special action plan under which various institutions could adopt government schools. He also urged the office-bearers of ‘Vidya Bharati Shiksha Sansthan’ to adopt government schools.

Mughals built the Taj Mahal, you can’t build a road? Supreme Court asks UP govt

Slow progress: Apex court also asks state govt to consider shifting of crematorium located near the monument

The Mughals built the Taj Mahal with just hammer and chisel but the Uttar Pradesh government has failed to build a proper road around the world-famous monument even with all the modern tools being at its disposal, the Supreme Court observed on Monday.The court also directed the UP government and other authorities to consider shifting of a crematorium located near Taj Mahal to prevent smoke affecting the world heritage site. The sharp rebuke came as the top court was hearing a petition filed by the UP government seeking permission to build a cobbled stone road instead of a bitumen road near the monument. “Taj Mahal was built in the 17th century by hands, hammer and chisel. But your government can’t build a proper road with modern tools,” a bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UP government was arguing that bitumen roads add to pollution during summers. As per a study by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, cobbled stone roads which have a lifespan of 50 years, do not have this problem.The bench also expressed displeasure over the quality of road being built near the monument and said there needs to be “finesse” in doing things as people from the world over came to see the Taj. “You are making road, you are not making Taj Mahal. Years ago, people with bare hands with chisel and hammer made a wonder of the world. Such was the craft at that time. Today, with all the facilities at hand, look at the work the contractors and engineers have done,” the bench said.The bench also considered a letter written by Supreme Court judge Justice Kurien Joseph to Chief Justice of India pointing out that Taj was under threat from pollution due to smoke emanating from the crematorium.The court noted that despite several previous orders to the Agra Nagar Nigam and Agra Development Authority “nothing meaningful” had been done and the public crematorium continues to be at present location resulting in possible damage to the historic monument.Justice Joseph in his letter dated October 1 had said that there was a looming threat to the monument due to smoke and ash arising from the cremation ground. He said he along with his family had visited the Taj in September. During his visit, he noted that the emissions arising from the cremation ground may damage the monument’s white marble. Justice Joseph also proposed that the authorities be directed to relocate the crematorium to some other place in order to protect the site.

Combating terrorism must be a priority for Brics nations, says PM Modi at G20

Antalya: Condemning strongly the terrorist attack in Paris, India on Sunday made a case for united global effort to combat the menace of terrorism.

“We stand united in strongly condemning the dreadful acts of terrorism in Paris… The entire humanity must stand together as one against terrorism. The need for a united global effort to combat terrorism has never been more urgent,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the meeting of the Brics leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.

PM Narendra Modi. AFPPM Narendra Modi. AFP

PM Narendra Modi. AFP

India, which takes over the Chairmanship of Brics from 1 February, 2016, will accord priority to combating terrorism, he said.

In the worst ever terror attacks by IS in Paris on 13 November, at least 129 people were killed and 352 injured, many in critical condition.

Combating terrorism, Modi said, “must also be a priority for Brics nations”.

Besides Modi, Brics meeting is being attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Jacob Zuma and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Modi said: “We express deepest sympathy and support to Russia for the loss of life in Sinai. Ankara and Beirut are also reminders of terror’s growing spread and impact”.

“The theme of India’s Brics Chairmanship will be ‘Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions’ which, in short, will be ‘Brics’. It aptly describes the ethos of our group,” Modi said.

There was a time when the logic of Brics and its lasting capacity were being questioned, but today Brics can also give shape to G20, he added.

“We have provided proof of the relevance and value of Brics through our actions. And, this has come at a time of huge global challenges,” he said, adding that “together, we can also give shape to G20”.

The New Development Bank, the Currency Reserve Arrangement, Strategy for Brics Economic Cooperation – these are clear evidence of our vision and our resolve.

“India attaches the highest importance to Brics. We are honoured to assume the Chairmanship of Brics from February 1, 2016 and build on the great work done by other Members,” he said.

PTI

Why do Naxals never attack churches in Chhattisgarh, asks RSS leader Indresh Kumar

“Naxals have never targeted churches and priests just because they serve them or is there some other reason?” he asked.

Indresh Kumar of RSS

Calling churches and Christians to play an “active role” in eradicating Left wing extremism, senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar on Monday wondered why Naxals have ‘never targeted’ the minority community in Chhattisgarh.”Development can be achieved (only) through peace and brotherhood and not through violence. I have raised a few questions keeping in view Chhattisgarh which has been suffering from the menace of Naxalism with a high degree.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Naxals have never targeted churches and priests just because they serve them or is there some other reason?” he asked, while interacting with reporters on the sidelines of a programme organised by Forum for Awareness of National Security (FANS) here, to discuss Left wing insurgency prevailing in south Chhattisgarh.Stating that he was putting “a few questions” before the Christian community and others working in Bastar region, the RSS leader said arms and huge sums of foreign money have been supplied to Naxals.”…People from media, society and government provide information regarding illegal activities being carried out in the region. Have churches ever tipped off media or government about such kind of violent and illegal activities in the region?” he asked.However, Indresh clarified that he was not questionning integrity of churches.”My intention is not to criticise churches. I know they are committed to India and their people believe in serving the nation, but I want their active role in eradicating Naxalism, therefore I have put forth these issues.”They should decide whether Naxal movement has brought life or death to the region, educated people or snatched away literacy from them, ensured better health or ruined health facilities, triggered development or stalled growth,” he said.Indresh also appealed to the ultras to quit the path of violence and contribute in building a new Chhattisgarh.”The movement of fear should get transformed into a movement for development. It should become a movement for humanity rather than a movement of violence,” Indresh added.

Why Naxals never attack churches in Chhattisgarh, asks RSS leader

Stating that he was putting “a few questions” before the Christian community and others working in Bastar region, RSS leader Indresh Kumar said arms and huge sums of foreign money have been supplied to Naxals.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
Calling churches and Christians to play an “active role” in eradicating Left wing extremism, senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar on Sunday wondered why Naxals have “never targeted” the minority community in Chhattisgarh.”Development can be achieved (only) through peace and brotherhood and not through violence. I have raised a few questions keeping in view Chhattisgarh which has been suffering from the menace of Naxalism with a high degree. Naxals have never targeted churches and priests just because they serve them or is there some other reason?” he asked, while interacting with reporters on the sidelines of a programme organised by Forum for Awareness of National Security (FANS) here, to discuss Left wing insurgency prevailing in south Chhattisgarh.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that he was putting “a few questions” before the Christian community and others working in Bastar region, the RSS leader said arms and huge sums of foreign money have been supplied to Naxals.”…People from media, society and government provide information regarding illegal activities being carried out in the region. Have churches ever tipped off media or government about such kind of violent and illegal activities in the region?” he asked.However, Indresh clarified that he was not questioning integrity of churches.”My intention is not to criticise churches. I know they are committed to India and their people believe in serving the nation, but I want their active role in eradicating Naxalism, therefore I have put forth these issues. They should decide whether Naxal movement has brought life or death to the region, educated people or snatched away literacy from them, ensured better health or ruined health facilities, triggered development or stalled growth,” he said.Indresh also appealed to the ultras to quit the path of violence and contribute in building a new Chhattisgarh.”The movement of fear should get transformed into a movement for development. It should become a movement for humanity rather than a movement of violence,” Indresh added.

Congress slams omission of Jawaharlal Nehru’s photo in govt ad

The Rajya Sabha MP charged that the omission of Nehru’s photograph in the advertisement amounted to an insult to the 125-crore people in the country.

Congress MP V Hanumantha Rao on Saturday sat on a dharna as he took exception to the absence of a photograph of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in a Children’s Day advertisement brought out by the Union Women and Child Development Ministry. “The advertisement released by Maneka Gandhi’s ministry (Women and Child Development) in some newspapers had the photos of only the President and Prime Minister. “Nehruji was Prime Minister for 17 years. He was a freedom fighter and went to jail. He initiated public sector companies, irrigation projects and promoted science. They are trying to finish his legacy,” Rao said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajya Sabha MP charged that the omission of Nehru’s photograph in the advertisement amounted to an insult to the 125-crore people in the country. Rao, who at 10 AM began his protest at a statue of Nehru here, said he would continue with his dharna till 5 PM.He added that he would organise protests at all schools if the “practice” continued next year too.

PM Modi being ‘dictatorial’, say Sonia, Rahul Gandhi

Attacking the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi said when he is abroad, he says India is tolerant and government wants to take all sections together but he says nothing of this sort when he is in India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday came under strident attack from Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who accused him of being “dictatorial” and using the smokescreen of development to mask communal agenda. Castigating the ruling dispesnation over a number of incidents like Dadri lynching and burning of Dalit children in Haryana amid the raging debate on intolerance, Sonia, Rahul and other top leaders tried to put the Modi dispensation on the mat. Training her guns on the Prime Minister, the Congress president said,”Simply because someone holds a different view or disagrees they cannot be branded a traitor. This is neither the way of our democracy nor a form of patriotism. It is a form of dictatorship.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Today, we are witnessing attempts by certain individuals and elements to whitewash their communal agenda in front of the world by hiding it behind the mask of development.” “Development is used as a buzzword, again and again. It is ironic that they speak of development yet fail to learn from the legacy and lessons of the man synonymous with laying the foundation of India’s growth-Nehruji,” she said. Attacking the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi said when he is abroad, he says India is tolerant and government wants to take all sections together but he says nothing of this sort when he is in India. “Prime Minister is silent when Dalit children are killed in Haryana or when someone is killed in the name of religion in Dadri,” he said. Accusing Modi, BJP and RSS of practising unilateralism, Rahul said the Prime Minister does not take interest in Parliament and though the Opposition raises issues neither he nor his government bother to respond, which is in stark contrast to the respect shown by Nehru to his opponents. Alleging that people were being viciously attacked for holding different beliefs in the “prevalent atmosphere of intolerance”, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accused Modi of promoting himself by harping on the issue of development.An unusally aggressive former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “Hamare Pradhan Mantri Vikas Ki baat karte hain. Jahan Jaate hain vikas ke naam par apni dukandaari chamkaane ki baat karte hain (Our Prime Minister talks of development. Wherever he goes, he tries to promote himself in the name of development).” He was was greeted with loud cheers. The attack on Modi came at the concluding ceremony of the 125th birth anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, which also saw repeated reference by party leaders to the poll victory of the grand alliance in Bihar.

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi reaches out to military with big landslide in sight | Reuters

YANGONMyanmar’s democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi, moving closer to an absolute majority in parliament on Wednesday, requested a meeting with the president and the powerful military chief to discuss national reconciliation.

Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) has won over 90 percent of the seats declared so far in the lower house and is well ahead in the upper house and regional assemblies.

If the final results confirm the trend, Suu Kyi’s triumph will sweep out an old guard of former generals that has run Myanmar since the junta handed over power to President Thein Sein’s semi-civilian government in 2011.

But the army retains formidable power in Myanmar’s political institutions after nearly 50 years of running the country and it is unclear how Suu Kyi and the generals will work together.

In letters to the commander-in-chief and the president dated Nov. 10 which the NLD released to media on Wednesday, Suu Kyi requested meetings within a week to discuss the basis of “national reconciliation.”

“It is very important for the dignity of the country and to bring peace of mind to the people,” Suu Kyi said in the letter.

President Thein Sein would meet Suu Kyi, said Zaw Htay, a senior official from the president’s office. “It’s just a question of when.”

Relations between Suu Kyi and armed forces chief Min Aung Hlaing are said to be strained.

One of the biggest sources of tension between Suu Kyi and the military is a clause in the constitution drawn up by the former junta barring her from the presidency because her children are foreign nationals.

Few doubt the clause was inserted to rule her out.

‘MAKING ALL DECISIONS’

While her letters seek conciliation, Suu Kyi has become increasingly defiant on the presidential clause as the scale of her victory has become apparent.

She has made it clear she will run the country regardless of who the NLD elects as president and described the constitution as “very silly”.

“We’ll find one,” she told the BBC in an interview on Tuesday, referring to her choice of president. “But that won’t stop me from making all the decisions as the leader of the winning party.”

Results so far gave Suu Kyi’s party 135 of 149 seats declared out of the 330 seats not occupied by the military in the chamber. Under the junta-crafted constitution, a quarter of the seats in both houses are unelected and reserved for the armed forces.

To form Myanmar’s first democratically elected government since the early 1960s, the NLD needs to win more than two-thirds of seats that were contested in parliament.

The NLD has said it is on course for over 250 seats in the lower house, well above the 221 needed to control the chamber. Reuters was not able to independently verify the party’s estimates of its own performance.

The ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), created by the junta and led by retired soldiers, has conceded defeat in a poll that was a major milestone on Myanmar’s rocky path from dictatorship to democracy.

Suu Kyi also requested a meeting with former USDP chairman Shwe Mann, the lower house speaker. He lost his seat, but before the election had been seen as a presidential contender.

He antagonised the military while in parliament and built close ties to Suu Kyi, arousing the suspicion of many in his party.

CONTROL OF BUREAUCRACY

In addition to his bloc of parliament seats, the commander-in-chief nominates the heads of three powerful and big-budget ministries – interior, defence and border security.

The interior ministry gives him control of the pervasive bureaucracy, which could pose a significant obstacle to the NLD’s ability to execute policy.

Among other formidable challenges for Suu Kyi is trying to put an end to decades of conflict with armed ethnic groups. Thein Sein failed to do that despite protracted talks that led to a ceasefire with some groups. The government’s chief ceasefire negotiator, Aung Min, was among the heavyweight politicians that lost in the elections.

Sunday’s vote was Myanmar’s first freely contested general election since Thein Sein ushered in a period of reforms that prompted a partial lifting of international sanctions.

Money from abroad flowed in quickly afterward. Foreign direct investment stood at $8 billion in fiscal 2014/15, more than five times the flows recorded just two years earlier.

Washington welcomed the election as a victory for Myanmar’s people, but said it would watch how the democratic process moved forward before lifting the remaining U.S. sanctions.

President Barack Obama has visited Myanmar twice in the past three years, hoping to make its democratic transition a legacy of his presidency and an element of his strategic “pivot” to Asia.

Final results are due no later than two weeks after Sunday’s poll.

(Additional reporting by Hnin Yadana Zaw; Writing by Simon Webb; Editing by Bill Tarrant)

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

Obama wishes Modi on Diwali

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday night called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi to greet him on Diwali and they agreed to meet in Turkey on the sidelines of the G20 Summit to be held early next week.”A short while ago @POTUS (President of the United States) called. We exchanged Diwali greetings. This was our first conversation through the newly-established hotline,” Modi tweeted. “President Obama & I look forward to meeting in Turkey during the G20 Summit,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi said President Obama and he “discussed a wide range of other issues as well. It was good knowing how @WhiteHouse is marking Diwali.” After his visit to the United Kingdom beginning on November 12, Modi will travel to Turkey to attend the G20 Summit to be held on November 15-16.The Summit is being held at a critical juncture after the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals agenda at the United Nations and ahead of the climate change Summit in Paris on November 30 to December 1. “During the Summit (in Turkey), we will review the progress on decisions taken at the Brisbane Summit and take up issues of climate change, terrorism, refugees, weak growth in global economy, strategies for growth and employment, investment strategies, trade, energy and financial sector resilience,” the Prime Minister had said in a Twitter post a few days ago.

NHRC issues notice to Gujarat government for discriminating against Dalits

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Gujarat Government over the issue of a separate Anganwadi for Dalit children in Hajipur village of Patan district.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Gujarat Government over the issue of a separate Anganwadi for Dalit children in Hajipur village of Patan district.Taking suo motu cognizance of a media report, the NHRC has issued notice to the the Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Gujarat, and sought a report within two weeks.According to the report, there are two separate Anganwadis, one for the children of Dalits and the other for the children of other castes in Hajipur village.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reports stated that a three-year-old Dalit girl, who was lost in conversation with her four-year-old neighbour friend, walked towards Anganwadi number- 160 but was stopped at the gate and asked to go to Anganwadi number- 159 that was meant for Dalits.According to the NHRC, if the contents of the media report were true then it raised serious issues of human rights violation of Dalits.

UP official faces axe for clicking selfies during meeting

Lucknow: An Uttar Pradesh official was transferred after he was found clicking selfies during an official meeting.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

On Monday, District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra conducted a meeting in Barabanki for district officials.

During the meeting, Mishra sought answers from many officials, including Block Development Official (BDO) Mangal Pandey.

But Mishra did not get a response from Pandey as the latter was busy clicking selfies from his mobile phone. The district magistrate immediately announced Pandey’s removal from his post.

The action stunned officials into silence. Sushant Singh has been posted as the new BDO of Suratganj, an official told IANS.

The office of the district magistrate also issued directives that officials attending meetings should avoid using cell phones during deliberations.

IANS

HRD ministry decides to expand scope of non-NET fellowships

HRD ministry decided to expand the existing awards under the non-NET fellowships and guidelines will be developed for selection, coverage, award and administration to enable an enhancement of these grants.

HRD minister Smriti Irani had said that the Centre had directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to not discontinue the scheme.

The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has decided that it will expand the scope of the non-NET fellowships and bring the benefits of the scheme to a larger number of institutions including State Universities. Emphasising that the fellowships will not be discontinued, ministry officials said that a decision has been taken to expand the existing awards under the non-NET fellowships and guidelines will be developed for selection, coverage, award and administration to enable an enhancement of these grants.Officials said that in her interaction with students yesterday, HRD minister Smriti Irani had said that the Centre had directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to not discontinue the scheme. HRD Minister Smriti Irani had yesterday come out for a brief interaction with protesting students, who had marched up to Shastri Bhawan here, and reiterated the government’s stand that the fellowships will not be discontinued.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>UGC had resolved to discontinue the scheme of non-National Eligibility Test (NET) fellowship, which is provided to those undertaking research in Central universities across India, in a meeting held on October 7, citing shortage of resources.Students began protests against the move to scrap the non-NET fellowships, after which the government had last week appointed a five-member panel to review the research grants offered by UGC, which, meanwhile, has been asked to continue all existing grants.

CM Arvind Kejriwal meets Home minister Rajnath Singh over tussle with LG Najeeb Jung

. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been alleging that Jung was showing “undue interest” in parole for Chautala

The ongoing tussle between Jung and the AAP government over issues like granting of parole to former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala

File Photo
Amidst the AAP government’s tussle with the Delhi Lieutenant Governor, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed with him various issues concerning the national capital. The 20-minute meeting came a day after LG Najeeb Jung met the Home Minister on issues related to NCR. The ongoing tussle between Jung and the AAP government over issues like granting of parole to former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and allotment of land to BJP for constructing a building were also believed to have figured at the meeting today, sources said. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been alleging that Jung was showing “undue interest” in parole for Chautala, a charge which the LG dismissed saying that the former Haryana chief minister’s parole plea was rejected on October 5.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has accused Jung of allotting land earmarked for a school to BJP for the purpose of building its party office, wondering what had “forced” the LG to take such a step. However, Delhi Development Authority, headed by the LG, claimed that the land usage, from a “nursery school” to one for a party office, has not been changed but was in “due process”.

University of Mysuru to host 103rd Science Congress in January 2016

A Hall of Fame will be set up and dedicated to late President Dr Abdul Kalam.

The 103rd Science Congress which will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister will be held at the University of Mysuru from January 3 to 7, 2016. A report in Deccan Herald states that the theme for this event is “Science and Technology for Indigenous Development in India”. More than 15000 delegates are expected to attend the event. There will also be lectures by Nobel laureates and 450 top institutions will showcase cutting-edge innovations under the Pride of India Science Mega Expo.A Hall of Fame will be set up and dedicated to late President Dr Abdul Kalam. A special pavilion will also be dedicated the late Bharat Ratna Sir M Visvesvaraya.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Science Congress is being hosted in Karnataka after 13 years and in Mysuru after 34 years, says the report. About 500 scientists and experts are expected to speak at the event. There will also be genesis symposiums, Vigyan Jyot, vision talks, women and children science congress, young scientists’ award, ISCA awards, science communicators’ meet and public lectures.The 103rd Science Congress is being supported by Infosys which will host 600 people on its Mysuru campus.

Did LG Jung give away land earmarked for school to BJP?

It further said that the change in land use was done upon the request of L&DO for inviting public objections and suggestions in accordance with the DDA Act

Najeeb Jung

Amidst allegations by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia that Delhi LG Najeeb Jung had allotted land earmarked for a school to BJP, DDA on Wednesday sought to clarify its stand on the charge of “change” in land use for the plot, saying the site belonged to the government’s Land and Development Office.It further said that the change in land use was done upon the request of L&DO for inviting public objections and suggestions in accordance with the DDA Act. Jung is the DDA chairman. In a two-page letter yesterday to Jung, Sisodia had accused him of allotting the said plot to BJP for building a party office and wondered what had “forced” the LG to take such a step. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had in this regard asked the LG whether he was only expected to please his “political bosses” in his capacity as the DDA chairman.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While a senior official had reacted to the allegation yesterday, DDA in a statement on Wednesday sought to further clarify its stand on the accusation. “The site mentioned in the letter belonged to the Land and Development Office (L&DO) and not the DDA. The L&DO had already allotted the land to BJP (Delhi Pradesh) on 27.11.2014 and the site was handed over by L&DO to them on 5.12.2014. “The land falls under the local jurisdiction of North Delhi Municipal Corporation,” said DDA.”The DDA Authority meeting had processed only the change of land use on the request of L&DO for inviting public objections/suggestions in accordance with the DDA Act. “This agenda item was circulated well in advance to all the elected members of the Authority, which included AAP’s elected members,” the statement said. Reacting to the charges yesterday, a senior DDA official had said that the matter was in the “initial stage” and was far from being final.”It is only after the procedure for receiving objections and suggestions has been completed that a board of inquiry sits and approves the changes it deems fit. “And, finally, DDA Authority approves it. So, I don’t get where the worry is,” the official had said.Observing that the LG is the “owner of land” in Delhi and has the authority to take a decision in this regard, Sisodia had said that the Constitution has not vested him with this power so that he “can allot land earmarked for school to a party which is in power at the Centre… a party that has been given three seats by the people in Delhi”.DDA further said that, in the last couple of years, change of land use proposals pertaining to social sectors, especially education, health, solid waste management, old age homes, night shelters, etc. have been processed by it.These proposals were on the request of Delhi government. In fact, 10 such proposals of health and education sectors, measuring about 100 acres of land, have been approved by the Delhi Development Authority.Also, about 95 acres of land has been approved for solid waste management, it said.Besides, additional land has been provided to Delhi Government for expansion of health and education facilities, including about 13 acres to seven senior secondary schools of its education department, as also approximately eighteen 18 acres to 14 health facilities, such as dispensaries and hospitals like ‘Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya’, DDA said.Not much progress in construction has taken place in more than 40 sites already allotted to Delhi government for schools, it added. The urban body also said it has taken various policy initiatives for social sectors, mainly education and health, some of which include – policy on regularisation of pre-existing educational and health institutions around 720 such requests have been recently approved to be considered for the proposed regularisation on “as is where is basis”, as per Delhi government and other statutory norms.Master Plan modified for norms of schools wherein Land Area Requirement norms, under the Delhi School Education Act and Rules (1973), for Sr Secondary school plots have been reduced to 0.4 hectares from 0.6 hectares 0.8 hectares.”Augmentation of medical facilities in Delhi FAR (floor area ratio) increased from 200 to a maximum of 375. Augmentation of night shelter facilities in Delhi FAR increased from 120 to 200,” it said.

Include wife’s name in husband’s death certificate: Women and Child Development Ministry

Inclusion of wife’s name in death certificate will help women claim life insurance and other policies, besides transferring of property on their name.

In a meeting with Registrar General recently, Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi asked him to pull up the states for not implementing the order.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Union Women and Child Development Ministry has raised concern about non-inclusion of wife’s name in husband’s death certificate’s and has asked Registrar General to issue strict directions to the state governments on the matter.In a meeting with Registrar General recently, Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi asked him to pull up the states for not implementing the order. The Registrar General had issued a circular in 2013 asking all states to mention wife’s name on the husband’s death certificate but some states were implementing it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A death certificate should ideally include wife or husband’s name on it but some states are not implementing it. The ministry has asked Registrar General to take necessary action in the matter,” a senior ministry official said.”We are looking it from the perspective of women. Sometimes she is ill-treated by her in-laws after husband’s death and property rights are also denied to her. But if she has her name on the death certificate, she can at least take legal recourse,” the official said.Inclusion of wife’s name in death certificate will help women claim life insurance and other policies, besides transferring of property on their name.

Dec 16 gangrape: Victim’s parents dismayed over juvenile’s release

The victim’s father pinned the blame on the Centre accusing it of failing to improve the safety situation.

Maneka Gandhi today expressed helplessness in extending punishment to the juvenile (PTI)

File Photo
The parents of the 2012 December 16 gangrape victim on Monday expressed their exasperation with the legal system and wondered whether the juvenile convict in the case, who is to be shortly released, has undergone any reform.They were reacting to the comments of Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi who stressed on the need to keep a “close watch” on him following his impending release.”He was few months short of an adult while committing the crime and was sent to a reformation centre for this reason. But did he reform? Thousands of girls are being raped across the country. What has changed?” the victim’s mother asked.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Echoing the minister’s apprehension that the convict, who has turned 21, may commit another crime, the victim’s father pinned the blame on the Centre accusing it of failing to improve the safety situation. “He may go out and commit another crime and if he does, it will be due to shortcomings on the government’s part,” he said.Meanwhile, women’s rights activists appeared divided over Gandhi’s remarks. While activist Kavita Krishnan slammed the minister for issuing “provocative” statements, Brinda Adige welcomed the comments saying the minister’s choice of words may have been “poor”, justice has actually not been served. “It is not about the possibility of him committing another crime but about the possibility of violation of another person… the law needs to be taken care of,” Adige said.Krishnan, a member of CPI(ML), called for urgent reforms in the area of juvenile justice which she said will make reformation and rehabilitation possible in the actual sense. “Such provocative statements won’t help and may put the convict’s life in threat in the form of societal retribution following his release. There should be monitoring, but from the point of view of whether he is being properly rehabilitated or not instead of spying on him,” she said.CPI(M) leader Subhasini Ali said the danger of the accused committing another crime “is always there” so there should be a mechanism to keep a tab on him. “Like someone who’s out in parole.”Ahead of release of the juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya gangrape case next month, Gandhi today expressed helplessness in extending punishment to him and said while law was adhered to, she was not sure whether the justice was done in one of the most gruesome cases.She advocated that a ‘close watch’ be kept on the accused after he is freed after completing sentence in the December 16 gangrape and murder case and said she will raise the issue with the authorities for doing so.

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.

Mayawati pledges not to construct any memorial, museum in future

The ex-chief minister said she would concentrate of development and law and order.

Mayawati

BSP chief Mayawati on Saturday said she will not construct any memorial or museum if she comes to power again in Uttar Pradesh, after her previous terms saw a flurry of such projects including a giant park in Noida.The ex-chief minister said she would concentrate of development and law and order. Opposition had alleged financial fraud to the tune of Rs 40,000 crore in installation of statues of elephants and also stone memorials by her government in the state.When asked if it was the reason behind her defeat in UP, Mayawati told reporters that the mission has been completed and she would not construct any memorial or museum in the future. “Once back in power, I will concentrate on development, law and order,” Mayawati said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BSP chief said she would ensure that all ‘goonda’ elements are behind the bars, which she said was the right place for them. Mayawati said though her party lost, but its vote percentage was intact. She also slammed the Centre for misusing of CBI against her.

Delhi CM Kejriwal asks Chief Secy to convene meeting of DDA and MCD

A senior government official said that the chief secretary has been asked to mediate and get the amount that is due to the MCD in the form of service charge to be released by DDA.
File Photo
PTI
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday directed the Chief Aecretary to convene a meeting of DDA and MCD saying the land owning authority has admitted that it owes money to the civic bodies.A senior government official said that the chief secretary has been asked to mediate and get the amount that is due to the MCD in the form of service charge to be released by DDA.”Delhi Chief Minister has directed chief secretary to immediately convene a meeting of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and three MCD commissioners following the authority’s letter on dues to Delhi government. In a letter to Delhi government DDA has admitted that it has to pay service charges to MCDs and this can be worked out mutually,” a senior government official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The official added that the issue of how much money will be released immediately will also be decided in the meeting as the civic bodies are paid in installment.Earlier on Friday, Kejriwal had rejected the claims that the Delhi government owes any money to the civic bodies and instead asked the DDA, which comes under the Centre, to release Rs 1,500 crore as property tax to the MCDs.Even as the AAP ruled Delhi Government and BJP ruled civic bodies are tied in a slug fest over funds transfer, sanitation workers has abstained from work in the National Capital adding to woes of the people due to piling up garbage and concerns over unhygienic conditions prevailing over a week.

RSS slams writers’ protest, says it is no ‘punching bag’

It is indeed a political, desperate, frustrated act of these people to keep their shop running: RSS

“Their desperate act shows that they want to be in the news, otherwise people will forget them,” he said.

The RSS on Friday hit back at those who have returned their awards, saying it was a “politically motivated” move by a “handful of pseudo-secularists” who were using the Sangh as a ‘punching bag’ out of frustration. “A handful of people returning awards are losing ground… It is indeed a political, desperate, frustrated act of these people to keep their shop running…They feel they can make RSS the punching bag in the name of intolerance. “The RSS is not a punching bag for any of these so-called liberal, pseudo-secular, intolerant people,” RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said. The Sangh questioned why these writers, filmmakers and scientists did not speak up in the past when the Godhra train burning incident occurred or when Kashmiri Pandits were targeted in the Valley.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It accused them of political conspiracy to create an atmosphere that religious intolerance had increased after the formation of BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, and added “the reality is just the opposite”. “Because some people could not stomach the change in the country, the change for the better, the change towards nationalism, the change towards the pride of India, change towards better life and development. “These things they cannot stomach, because their ideological shops are being closed. They are frustrated, their desperate act shows that they want to be in the news, otherwise people will forget them,” he said. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader said the so-called intelligentsia are finding themselves misfit and are desperately trying to be in the news through such “politically motivated acts”. Hosabale said the “intolerance” of such kinds has been there for the last 60 years, but such people preferred to remain quiet. “I want to ask, when hundreds of people in the Kashmir Valley were being killed, what happened to these people…Why it did not happen when kar-sewaks were burnt alive. Then these people did not raise their voice,” he said. Hosabale said Dadri incident and attack on the litterateur in Karnataka took place in non-BJP ruled states and asked why they were trying to blame the Narendra Modi government instead of raising questions to governments in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.Stressing that RSS had always condemned such incidents, Hosabale said the developments show “intolerance” on the part of the handful of people who linked such incidents to BJP and RSS. Asked about scientist P M Bhargav returning his Padma Bhusan, Hosabale asked, “If he is a scientist why not take part in a scientific debate? What scientific issue he has debated upon? What he has to do with politics? Why didn’t he and his ilk return awards during the phase of intolerance in the past?””RSS is not a punching bag that anyone could level any allegation,” he said, adding, the Sangh had been popular for its patriotism and a handful of litterateurs and filmmakers cannot damage its image as the people knew and understood everything.Writers, filmmakers and scientists have joined a growing protest against “climate of intolerance” in the country with many giving away their awards after the lynching of a Muslim man over rumour of eating beef in Dadri and killing of rationalist and Kannada writer M M Kalburgi. The RSS leader claimed that people are supporting the RSS and its people were coming to power in every state, which they are unable to digest.Hosabale is here to attend the executive body meeting of the RSS which was inaugurated by Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat.As the RSS hit back at a “handful” of people returning awards as part of spiralling protests against the Modi government over the “climate of intolerance”, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took a dim view of this trend and urged them to help the government with “constructive criticism”. Echoing Fadnavis’ view, Mumbai-born music maestro Zubin Mehta said he failed to understand why artists, writers filmmakers and scientists were returning their state awards and suggested those protesting against the government should engage in a dialogue with it.CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury demanded that the Modi government listen to what the “eminent minds” have to say. A statement by a group of 250 academics including professors from leading institutions like Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Madras Institute of Development Studies, IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta, expressed “shock” at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “late response” to the incidents of intolerance. “We as social scientists, scholars, teachers and concerned citizens, feel extremely concerned about the lynching at Dadri, and the murders of scholars and thinkers like M M Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and others and wish to register our strong protest,” it said.

From $10 bn soft loan to farm support: PM Modi lays out his Africa strategy

Much of India’s development priorities and Africa’s vision for its future are aligned, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today at the third India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi on Thursday, announcing a slew of measures to support the continent.

“India is honoured to be a development partner for Africa. It is a partnership beyond strategic concerns and economic benefits. It is formed from the emotional bonds we share and the solidarity we feel for each other,” he said.

He added that Africa and India are the two bright spots of hope and opportunities in the global economy, which is witnessing a downturn.

“We will open our doors more; we will expand tele-education; and we will continue to build institutions in Africa,” he said.

Ever since the first such summit happened in 2008, India has given $7.4 billion in concessional credit to Africa, and also a $1.2 billion grant. More than this, India is building infrastructure on the continent. According to the prime minister, nearly 25,000 young Africans were trained and educated in India in the last three years alone.

PM Narendra Modi at the India-Africa Forum Summit on Thursday. Twitter @PIB_India

PM Narendra Modi at the India-Africa Forum Summit on Thursday. Twitter @PIB_India

Here are the key takeaways from the speech:

Help for Africa’s agriculture sector: India will help Africa in developing its agriculture sector, Modi promised. “Africa has 60 percent of the world’s arable land reserves and just 10 percent of the global output. India will help to develop Africa’s agriculture sector,” he said.

He said a spurt in Africa’s agriculture sector can drive the continent’s march to prosperity and also support global food security.

Appreciating the measures taken by the African countries in the fields of healthcare, education and agriculture, Modi said: “We see strong measures that are radically improving healthcare, education and agriculture. Primary school enrolment in Africa now exceeds 90 percent.”

Technology and innovation: Quoting Egyptian Nobel Prize-winning writer Naguib Mahfouz who said science brings people together with the light of its ideas, PM Modi said that technology will be a strong foundation of the partnership between India and Africa.

He said Africa has now joined the global mainstream of innovation. “The mobile banking of M-Pesa, the healthcare innovation of MedAfrica, or the agriculture innovation of AgriManagr and Kilimo Salama, are using mobile and digital technology to transform lives in Africa,” Modi said.

$10 billion credit: In addition to the ongoing credit programme, PM Modi committed a $10 billion credit programme.

“To add strength to our partnership, India will offer concessional credit of $10 billion over the next five years. This will be in addition to our ongoing credit programme,” said Modi.

Apart from this, Modi also pledged an assistance of $600 million to the continent, which includes 50,000 scholarships for African students in India, an India-Africa Development Fund of $100 million and an India-Africa Health Fund of $10 million. It will also support the expansion of the Pan Africa E-Network and institutions of skilling, training and learning across Africa, he said.

Combatting climate change: “No one can be more conscious of climate change than Indians and Africans,” Modi declared calling for cooperation between the two to combat climate change.

Both Africa and India want to “light up lives of our people and power their future”, but it should be done in such a manner that “snow on Kilimanjaro does not disappear, the glacier that feeds the River Ganga does not retreat,” he said.

He, however, pointed out that excess of a few cannot become the burden of many, alluding to the differences between developing and developed nations on the issue. At the meet in Paris in December, India will do its part for it, but also wants to see “a genuine global public partnership that makes clean energy affordable; provides finance and technology to developing countries to access it; and the means to adapt to the impact of climate change”.

Solar alliance: He invited the African nations to join an alliance of solar-rich countries that India has proposed to launch in Paris on 30 November at the time of COP-21 meeting.

“Our goal is to make solar energy an integral part of our life and reach it to the most unconnected villages and communities.”

Together for a global trading regime: He said India and Africa should also seek a global trading regime that serves the development goals and improves the trade prospects of both the regions.

UNSC reforms: Lastly, Modi also exhorted India and Africa to speak in one voice for reforms in international institutions like the UN Security Council.

“The world is undergoing political, economic, technological and security transition on a scale and speed rarely seen in recent history. Yet, our global institutions reflect the circumstances of the century that we left behind, not the one we are in today,” the prime minister said.

With inputs from IANS

Gas leak at Bombay High contained

The team left the platform after successful repairs, they said, adding the timely intervention prevented a potentially hazardous situation.

The Navy deploys ISVs to provide security to the Bombay High Offshore Development Area.

A “hydrocarbon leak” was detected at an unmanned oil platform of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) at Bombay High but was contained by a Navy team, sources said on Thursday. “Hydrocarbon leak was detected on an unmanned oil platform of Nilam oil field at Bombay High last morning,” a defence official said. The Navy rushed an Immediate Support Vessel (ISV) upon the request by ONGC and a repair team of two persons, along with equipment was moved to the platform, the official said.The team left the platform after successful repairs, they said, adding the timely intervention prevented a potentially hazardous situation. The Navy deploys ISVs to provide security to the Bombay High Offshore Development Area. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Myanmar opposition candidate attacked with machetes | Reuters

YANGON An opposition lawmaker and two other people were attacked with machetes and injured on Thursday, in the first serious violent incident in campaigning for Myanmar’s historic Nov.8 election, his campaign manager said.

Naing Nan Lynn, a lower house lawmaker from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, who is running for a seat in the regional assembly in Yangon, was attacked while campaigning around 9.30 p.m. by three men with machetes.

The attackers were being held at a police station. Their motives were unknown.

“One of the guys came out and started yelling at the car. He returned with two other men with machetes and attacked the people around the campaign truck,” Aung Myo Oo, an NLD campaign manager who witnessed the attack, told Reuters.

“The candidate suffered serious injuries after being hit on his head and his arm.” The three injured people were taken for treatment Yangon General Hospital.

The attack will likely raise security concerns ahead of a rally by the NLD’s charismatic Suu Kyi, who typically draws massive crowds, planned for Sunday at the heart of Yangon, the country’s commercial capital and its largest city.

The NLD leader and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi, has criss-crossed the country without major incidents, galvanizing crowds with a message of sweeping change, faster reforms and a state respectful of ethnic minorities.

Tensions have been running high in the run up to the poll, in which the NLD is expected to trounce the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), and the but the attack is the most serious case of election-related violence so far.

Myanmar’s junta ceded power to a semi-civilian government four years ago after ruling for 49 years.

(Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski, Soe Zeya Tun and Timothy McLaughlin; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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

Full speech: PM Modi’s addressal at the third India-Africa Forum Summit

“Today, Africa and India are two bright spots of hope and opportunities in the global economy,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi at the third India-Africa Forum Summit

Image Credit: ANI
Full text of PM Narendra Modi’s speech at the Inaugural Ceremony of the third India-Africa Forum Summit on 29th October 2015:Your Majesties, Chairperson of the African Union, His Excellency Robert Mugabe, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Madam Dlamini-Zuma, Excellencies, The fabric of this world is richer because of the 54 sovereign flags of Africa. Today, their brilliant colours have made Delhi the most special place in the world. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> To the 41 Heads of State and Government and the other eminent leaders; to the hundreds of senior officials, business leaders and journalists from Africa, I say this: we are deeply, deeply honoured by your presence today. To our visitors from the land where history began, humanity grew and new hope rises; From the deserts of the north, where the glory of human civilization shines through the shifting sands of time; From the south, where the conscience of our age has been forged – from Mahatma Gandhi to Albert Luthuli to Nelson Mandela; From the shores of Atlantic that has been at history’s tragic crossroads and now at the frontiers of many successes; From our neighbours on the resurgent east coast; From Africa’s heart, where Nature is generous and culture is rich; And, from the sparkling gems of island states;
A very warm embrace of welcome and friendship from India. Today, it is not just a meeting of India and Africa. Today, the dreams of one-third of humanity have come together under one roof. Today, the heart beat of 1.25 billion Indians and 1.25 billion Africans are in rhythm. We are among the world’s oldest civilisations. We are each a vibrant mosaic of languages, religions and cultures. Our histories have intersected since ages. Once united by geography, we are now linked by the Indian Ocean. The currents of the mighty ocean have nurtured the ties of kinship, commerce, and culture through centuries. Generations of Indians and Africans have travelled to each other’s land in search of their destiny or by the force of circumstances. Either way, we have enriched each other and strengthened our ties. We have lived in the long shadow of colonialism. And, we have fought for our liberty and our dignity. We have struggled for opportunity, and also for justice, which, the African wisdom describes, is the prime condition of humanity. We have spoken in one voice in the world; and, we have formed a partnership for prosperity among ourselves. We have stood together under blue helmets to keep peace. And, we have fought together against hunger and disease.
And, as we look to the future, there is something precious that unites us: it is our youth. Two-thirds of India and two-thirds of Africa is under the age of 35 years. And, if the future belongs to the youth, then this century is ours to shape and build.
Excellencies, Africa is already on that path. We are all familiar with Africa’s ancient achievements. Now, its modern strides are catching the attention of the world. The continent is more settled and stable. African nations are coming together to take responsibility for their development, peace and security. African struggles and sacrifices are upholding democracy, combating extremism and empowering women. Women now constitute around 20% of the elected Members of Parliament in Africa. To one who has played a role in that, President Sirleaf, I extend our best wishes on your birthday today. Africa’s economic growth has gathered momentum and has a more diversified base. African initiatives are replacing old fault lines with new bridges of regional economic integration. We see many successful examples of economic reforms, infrastructure development and sustainable use of resources. They are turning adrift economies into dynamic ones. Four hundred thousand new businesses were registered in Africa in 2013; and, mobile telephone now reaches 95% of the population in many places. Africa is now joining the global mainstream of innovation. The mobile banking of M-Pesa, the healthcare innovation of MedAfrica, or the agriculture innovation of AgriManagr and Kilimo Salama, are using mobile and digital technology to transform lives in Africa. We see strong measures that are radically improving healthcare, education and agriculture. Primary school enrolment in Africa now exceeds 90%. And, across its magnificent landscape, Africa is setting standards in wildlife conservation and eco-tourism. Africa’s sports, art and music delight the entire world. Yes, Africa, like the rest of the developing world, has its development challenges. And, like others in the world, it has its own concerns of security and stability, especially from terrorism and extremism. But, I have confidence in African leadership and the African people to rise to those challenges. Excellencies, for the past six decades, so much of our independent journeys have been together. Now, so much of India’s development priorities and Africa’s lofty vision for its future are aligned. Today, Africa and India are two bright spots of hope and opportunities in the global economy. India is honoured to be a development partner for Africa. It is a partnership beyond strategic concerns and economic benefits. It is formed from the emotional bonds we share and the solidarity we feel for each other.
In less than a decade, our trade has more than doubled to over 70 billion dollars. India is now a major source of business investments in Africa. Today, 34 African countries enjoy duty free access to the Indian market.
African energy helps run the engine of the Indian economy; its resources are powering our industries; and, African prosperity offers growing market for Indian products. India has committed 7.4 billion dollars in concessional credit and 1.2 billion dollars in grant since the first India-Africa Summit in 2008. It is creating 100 capacity building institutions, and developing infrastructure, public transport, clean energy, irrigation, agriculture and manufacturing capacity across Africa. In the last three years alone, nearly 25,000 young Africans have been trained and educated in India. They are the 25,000 new links between us. Excellencies, There are times when we have not done as well as you have wanted us to. There have been occasions when we have not been as attentive as we should be. There are commitments we have not fulfilled as quickly as we should have. But, you have always embraced India with warmth, and without judgement. You have rejoiced in our success, and taken pride in our achievements. And, you have stood for us in the world. This is the strength of our partnership and our friendship. And, as we travel on the road ahead, we will do so with the wisdom of our experience and the benefit of your guidance. We will raise the level of our support for your vision of a prosperous,integrated, and united Africa that is a major partner for the world. We will help connect Africa from Cairo to Cape Town, from Marakesh to Mombassa; help develop your infrastructure, power and irrigation; help add value to your resources in Africa; and, set up industrial and information technology parks. Excellencies, As the great Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka insisted, human entity remains the primary asset in overall development. Our approach is based on the same belief: that the best partnership is one that develops human capital and institutions; that equips and empowers a nation to have the freedom to make its own choices and shoulder the responsibility for its own progress. It also opens doors to opportunities for the youth. So, development of human capital in every walk of life will be at the heart of our partnership. We will open our doors more;we will expand tele-education; and we will continue to build institutions in Africa. The Egyptian Nobel Prize winning writer Naguib Mahfouz said, “Science brings people together with the light of its ideas…and prods us towards a better future.” There can be no better expression of the ability of science to unify people and advance progress. So, technology will be a strong foundation of our partnership. It will help develop Africa’s agriculture sector. Africa has 60% of the world’s arable land reserves, and just 10% of the global output. Agriculture in Africa can drive the continent’s march to prosperity, and also support global food security.
India’s expertise in healthcare and affordable medicines can offer new hope in the fight against many diseases; and give a newborn a better chance to survive. We will also collaborate to develop Indian and African treasures of traditional knowledge and medicines.
We will make available our space assets and technology. We will use the possibilities of digital technology to transform development, public services, governance, disaster response, resource management and quality of life. We will expand and extend the Pan Africa E-Network, conceived by late President APJ Abdul Kalam, which links 48 African countries to India and to each other. This will alsohelp set up your Pan Africa Virtual University. We will work to reduce digital divide within Africa and between Africa and rest of the world. We will cooperate for sustainable development of Blue Economy that will become important future drivers of our prosperity. For me, Blue Economy is part of a larger Blue Revolution to reclaim our blue skies and blue waters, as we move on the path of clean development. Excellencies, When the sun sets, tens of millions of homes in India and Africa become dark. We want to light up lives of our people and power their future. But, we want to do it in a way that the snow on Kilimanjaro does not disappear, the glacier that feeds the River Ganges does not retreat and our islands are not doomed. No one has done less to contribute to global warming than India and Africa. No one can be more conscious of climate change than Indians and Africans. This is because we are the inheritors of Nature’s most precious gifts, and of traditions that respect them the most; and, our lives remain most connected to Mother Earth. We are each making enormous efforts with our modest resources to combat climate change. For India, 175 Gigawatts of additional renewable energy capacity by 2022 and reduction in emission intensity by 33-35% by 2030 are just two aspects of our efforts. We will also deepen India-Africa partnership on clean energy, sustainable habitats, public transport and climate resilient agriculture. But, it is also true that the excess of few cannot become the burden of many. So, when the world meets in Paris in December, we look to see a comprehensive and concrete outcome that is based on the well established principles in the UN Convention on Climate Change. We will all do our part for it. But, we also want to see a genuine global public partnership that makes clean energy affordable; provides finance and technology to developing countries to access it; and the means to adapt to the impact of climate change. I also invite you to join an alliance of solar-rich countries that I have proposed to launch in Paris on November 30 at the time of COP-21 meeting. Our goal is to make solar energy an integral part of our life and reach it to the most unconnected villages and communities. India and Africa seek also seek a global trading regime that serves our development goals and improves our trade prospects. When we meet at Nairobi Ministerial of the WTO in December, we must ensure that the Doha Development Agenda of 2001 is not closed without achieving these fundamental objectives. We should also achieve a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security and special safeguard mechanism in agriculture for the developing countries. Excellencies, This is a milestone year when we are setting the agenda for our future and celebrating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. The world is undergoing political, economic, technological and security transition on a scale and speed rarely seen in recent history. Yet our global institutions reflect the circumstances of the century that we left behind, not the one we are in today. These institutions have served us well, but unless they adjust to the changing world, they risk becoming irrelevant. We cannot say what will replace them in an uncertain future. But, we might have a more fragmented world that is less capable of dealing with the challenges of our era. That is why India advocates reforms in global institutions. This is a world of free nations and awakened aspirations. Our institutions cannot be representative of our world, if they do not give voice to Africa, with more than a quarter of UN members, or the world’s largest democracy with one-sixth of humanity. That is why India and Africa must speak in one voice for reforms of the United Nations, including its Security Council. Excellencies, Today, in many parts of the world, the light of a bright future flickers in the storm of violence and instability. When terror snuffs out life on the streets and beaches, and in malls and schools of Africa, we feel your pain as our own. And, we see the links that unite us against this threat. We also see that when our oceans are no longer safe for trade, we all suffer together. And, when nations are caught in conflict within, no one around remains untouched. And, we know that our cyber networks bring opportunities, but also carry huge risks. So, when it comes to security, distance no longer insulates us from each other. That is why we wish to deepen our cooperation in maritime security and hydrography, and countering terrorism and extremism; and, why we must have a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. We will also provide support for Africa Union’s peacekeeping efforts. And, we will train African peacekeepers here and in Africa. We must also have a stronger voice in decisions on UN Peacekeeping Missions. Excellencies, From connecting lives to collaborating for our prosperity, from keeping our people safe to advancing our global interests, the agenda of our partnership stretches across the vast territory of our linked aspirations. To add strength to our partnership, India will offer concessional credit of 10 billion US dollars over the next five years. This will be in addition to our ongoing credit programme. We will also offer a grant assistance of 600 million US dollars. This will include an India-Africa Development Fund of 100 million US dollars and an India-Africa Health Fund of 10 million US dollars. It will also include 50,000 scholarships in India over the next five years. And, it will support the expansion of the Pan Africa E-Network and institutions of skilling, training and learning across Africa. Excellencies, If this century is going to be one in which all humans have a life of opportunity, equality and dignity; stand in peace with each other; and live in balance with nature, then India and Africa must rise together. We will work together: From the memory of our common struggles; and, the tide of our collective hopes; From the richness of our heritage; and, the commitment to our planet; From the pledge to our people; and, the faith in our future; From the generosity of the African saying that a small home can hold hundred friends; From the spirit of India’s ancient belief: सन्तः स्वयं परहिते निहिताभियोगाः that great souls are always taking the initiatives to do good to others; From the inspiration of Mandela’s call to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. Today, we pledge to walk together, with our steps in rhythm and our voices in harmony. This is not a new journey, nor a new beginning. But, this is a new promise of a great future for an ancient relationship. Your presence here today, Your Majesties and Excellencies, is the strongest proof of our resolve and our commitment. Thank you! Thank you very much!!

India, Africa united by goals of progress: Sushma Swaraj

India and Africa are united by their common goals of peace, progress and prosperity, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said as she sought cooperation and partnership between the two in the spirit of “sabka saath, sabka vikas.”

India and Africa are united by their common goals of peace, progress and prosperity, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said as she sought cooperation and partnership between the two in the spirit of “sabka saath, sabka vikas.”Speaking at the third India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi, she said the gathering of Heads of Governments and States was like a “family reunion” and pointed to the shared history of struggle against imperialism, colonialism, racial discrimination and apartheid.Swaraj said at one time India and Africa were one landmass, united by geology and today are “united by our common goal for progress, prosperity and peace around the world.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She said two are also joined together by the 2.7 million strong Indian diaspora in Africa, which is contributing actively to its economic development.”India has always stood for and with Africa. Ours is a relationship forged in the crucible of the shared struggle against imperialism, colonialism, racial discrimination and apartheid. That era is now behind us, but the solidarity engendered by that shared struggle continues,” Swaraj said.She said the modern partnership between India and Africa rests on the pillars of economic growth, development and empowerment and is a consolidation of engagement at various levels bilateral, regional and pan African.”The longstanding and multifaceted India-Africa development partnership is based on the principles of equality, friendship and solidarity. It represents one of the finest examples of South-South cooperation,” Swaraj said adding that she was confident that the Summit will chart a bold new course for future cooperation.”We want to travel far on the path of development and we want to travel together with our African friends and partners, in the true spirit of sabka saath, sabka vikas (Together with all, Development for all).

Kalam Bungalow row: Ministry clarifies govt bungalows cannot be converted into memorials

Criticising Centre for not converting Kalam’s residence into a memorial, senior AAP minister Kapil Mishra had said, “limiting Dr. Kalam’s work to Rameswaram only and shifting all his documents, books and even Veena to Rameswaram is insulting…his residence should not be vacated but should be converted into a Knowledge Centre in the loving memory of the legend.”

Mahesh Sharma was also in the eye of a storm last month for his remarks that Kalam was a great nationalist “despite being a Muslim”.
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After AAP criticised government’s move to allot Former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s bungalow to Union Minister Mahesh Sharma, Government has issued a statement saying that the bungalow was alloted to Sharma under Minister’s Residence Rules,1962. It clarified that as per the government decision on October 18, 2014, a total ban on conversion of government bungalows into memorials of the departed leaders was imposed.Criticising Centre for not converting Kalam’s residence into a memorial, senior AAP minister Kapil Mishra had said, “limiting Dr. Kalam’s work to Rameswaram only and shifting all his documents, books and even Veena to Rameswaram is insulting…his residence should not be vacated but should be converted into a Knowledge Centre in the loving memory of the legend.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Government on Wednesday night said, “Government had imposed a total ban on conversion of Government bungalows into memorials of the departed leaders. Executive Assistant of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has informed Ministry of Urban Development that bungalow would be vacated by October 31. Government has already decided to build a memorial for Dr APJ Abdul Kalam at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, his birthplace. The said bungalow at No.10, Rajaji Marg has been allotted to Dr. Mahesh Sharma under Rule 3 of the Minister’s Residence Rules,1962.”All other Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State have been allotted government accommodation and only Sharma was waiting for official accommodation and accordingly, the Urban Development Ministry said, adding the bungalow was allotted to him on vacation basis. Asked about the demand from friends and supporters of Kalam to convert the Rajaji Marg residence into a memorial, Sharma had earlier said, “It is the government’s policy not to convert any Lutyen’s bungalow into a memorial.”RLD leader Ajit Singh had also demanded converting the Tughlaq Road residence of his late father Charan Singh into a memorial but the demand was not accepted.”The former President’s house has to be vacated by October 31, 2015 and his belongings, which includes numerous books and his Veena, have been shifted out to his home town Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu.Incidentally, Sharma was also in the eye of a storm last month for his remarks that Kalam was a great nationalist “despite being a Muslim”.”I am getting an official accommodation after 11 months. Earlier, I was allotted 7 Tyagraj Marg but I could not move there as it was not vacated by the earlier occupant,” Sharma said.The Minister also asserted that the “walls of former President’s house” will inspire him to do better.The JD(U) also condemned the government’s decision to allot the house to Sharma and demanded that the residence should be developed as a Kalam memorial. Reacting strongly to Sharma’s statement that he had been allotted the bungalow, JD(U) spokesperson K C Tyagi said it was very “uncultured” of him.”Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu had said that Kalam’s residence should be developed as Children’s Art Gallery. In the memory of the late President, we request to the President to kindly intervene in this matter as it will hurt the sentiments of millions of Indians,” he said. He said Sharma should withdraw his “claim” in Kalam’s honour and memory.With Agencies

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